We get this question more than you’d think.

What’s the difference between a side by side (or a UTV) and an ATV?

The answer is: quite a lot.

While ATVs and UTVs have some things in common (i.e. you ride them outdoors, they have four wheels, they are made by a lot of the same manufacturers, etc.) they have quite a lot of things different. Here’s how you can tell the difference between the two:

  • ATVs are all terrain vehicles. They’re smaller than a UTV and are usually meant for a single rider (sometimes 2). They’re recreational and are often used for racing/sports because they’re nimble and handle well.
  • UTVs/side by sides are off-road vehicles that can seat between 2 and 4 people (6 seaters are on the way!) and they’re designed for rougher terrain, hauling, and more work horse sort of tasks. (P.S. UTV stands for utility task vehicle).
  • Sometimes, you might hear the term ROV or MUV. Both of these terms are referring to side by sides, not UTVs.
  • ATVs you straddle like a saddle to ride. UTVs you sit in bench or bucket seats.
  • ATVs steer using a handlebar system. UTVs have a steering wheel similar to a car or truck.

Those are the biggies. If you want to get even more specific, you can think about accessorization (UTVs usually come stock with windshields and roll cages where ATVs usually don’t; UTVs can be easier to make street legal, etc.).

Does this clear things up? We certainly hope so.