As an avid fan of four-wheelers, I'd like to share my knowledge on dirt bikes and ATVs.
Are you looking to purchase a side-by-side youth UTV for your kids? If so, you are looking at a wide range to choose from, and you are looking at a fairly steep price. You are right to research this decision, including by reading this guide.
We're going to be talking through some of the most recommended side by sides, looking at what age and what size UTV you should be getting - plus as this is a buyer's guide - a look at how you can get the best deal.
Here's what we will discuss:
- A child's age versus the size of the UTV
- Why a 150cc UTV is probably the best option for your kid
- At what age you should upgrade
- What child safety precautions you should take
- How to operate the UTV safely
- How to maintain it properly
- What models you should consider
- What you should look for when buying a UTV
- The best place to get one
- Ultimately, is getting one the right choice?
How Much Do They Cost?
Of course, pricing up a UTV is somewhat difficult as you will be comparing different models with one another, whether they are new or old. Plus, they getting increasingly more expensive. At the time of writing this, for a new model you will be looking at around $3000 to $5000, and for the same model with a few years on it about $1000 less than that.
As you can see, UTVs are a significant investment, so you will want to abide by the rules with regards to legalities and safety as well as ensure that you are getting a good deal for the money that you are investing.
What Size to Get for My Kid?
When it comes to figuring out what size motor should you get for your kid, consider the driving experience the child has, their height (can they actually reach the pedals?), and perhaps most important, their age.
Each model will have a recommended age limit for the child to drive the UTV, and each state may have state laws that you should be consulting to ensure that you are abiding by them.
That said, a good rule of thumb to take into account is on the Polaris website. They recommend the Polaris RZR 170 and ACE 150 for operators of 10 years of age and older; however, they must always be supervised by an adult if they are under the age of 16.
There are some larger and lesser known models out there too that say they start at older as well as younger ages. It's best to abide first by the law, and then just by your instincts and play it on the safe side.
Of course for toddlers and youth, there are electric side by side options you can get that run on 12 V and 24 V; for example, the Peg Perego RZR, which is actually a very impressive little two-seater vehicle. However, below we are going to be discussing some of the popular gas models that are on offer.
Generally speaking, gas-powered models classified as "youth ATVs" vary from 150 cc to 300 cc in size.
Models of Youth UTVs
1. Polaris Range 150 EFI
A 4 stroke 150 cc engine with dual A-arm front suspension and overall width of 48 inches. The Polaris 150 EFI looks like a whole lot of fun that kids will certainly love to have a go on. You can check out the explainer video below, which also goes into maintenance and safety for a side by side.
2. Polaris 170 EFI
The Polaris Razor 170 EFI is perhaps the most famous youth UTV of all and for good reason. It has built a solid foundation of being great value for money but also a lot of great fun for your kids and is the recommended model that a lot of hardcore UTV side by side enthusiasts get their kids into. For a full review and spec out please consult the video below.
3. SRU170RS Side By Side
This is a new model that is replacing the famous SSR170. It is from a very well known brand in this space and it certainly looks the part of a tough-looking UTV. There were some issues with the air intake in the older models, but they seem to have been corrected with this model. You can see in the video below where they directly compare the RZR 170 to that of the SSR 170.
4. Blade 170
A UTV that offers plenty of leg room to grow into and whose seat and positioning are adjustable (which is an important feature to look for in a UTV). Plus, it can pick up some quite impressive speed considering the 150cc engine. As it is essentially brandless, it comes with a lower tag than branded machines. However, all the main essentials are still there. Plus its 6-inch ground clearance gives you the ability to get in and out of some pretty tricky scenarios.
5. Trailmaster 150X
For a UTV that lies on the cheaper side (especially when comparing it to the Polaris models), it goes pretty darn fast. In fact it claims to reach speeds of more than 20mph.
Now, although all this is impressive, we favor the Polaris over this Trailmaster. It comes down to reliability. Do your research; there appear to be a few ponderings on the longevity of this model and how easy it is to fix. The review below on Youtube gives a fair overall analysis—and should give you a good insight as to whether this model is for you.
6. Pitster Pro Avenger
Although they are lower than the others in overall power, the Pister Pro Avenger comes with a lower price tag to reflect this. Plus, it is incorporated with some pretty beef safety features (including the impressive roll cage), so certainly a great option for parents who are wanting something safe for their kids to drive in but don't want to spend a fortune too.
Where to Get the Best Price?
As with any big purchase, the absolute best thing you can do is carry out thorough research into the model you are after. This includes offline research as well as online—go and actually visit the model that you are thinking of.
Once you have honed in on the UTV you would like for your kid that you would like, don't just jump straight in and buy the first one you see. Hold back and be patient. Scour websites like ATVtrader.com, and hunt through eBay marketing listings and the Facebook market place.
Once you have researched the side by side that you really want—and you have looked at enough of them for sale—you will have a feel for what's a good deal and what's not a good deal.
You also need to know what defect or problem is worth looking out for. A great way to do this is to ask existing UTV owners what they would be looking for. Is it the engine? Axle system? Tires? Does that model have a particular fault to look out for that you found on a forum?
Are You Getting a New Model or a Used Model?
The pros and cons of getting a brand new Kids UTV as opposed to a used or refurbished model depend on quite a few factors.
Condition of the used and reconditioned model. If it is in good shape and is only a few months old, there won't be any difficulties. If it isn't in great shape, are you capable of bringing it up to scratch?
Cost. Does the pricing on either vehicle make sense, according to your thorough research into the model you are getting?
Safety. If safety and the warranty coverage are incredibly important to you, you might want to go with a brand new model as opposed to a used or older model.
One thing about youth UTVs is that they hold their value surprisingly well for a motor vehicle; they don't depreciate quickly. Of course, getting it new - you're going to be succumb to a heavy depreciation - however -after that, you can have a 5 year old UTV that really won't be much cheaper than when you bought it brand new.
Another great way of getting a good deal on a kid's side by side is to make sure you are shopping in the off season, when people aren't riding around in UTVs. Just like you buy your winter coat in summer and shorts in winter. You get the better deal on the opposite end of the year.
Is a Youth UTV the Way to Go?
Hopefully, you have got some more insight into the world of kids UTVs and youth side by sides. This article should have given you a better indicator of whether getting a side by side is the best thing for your kids. You might well want to consider an ATV as well, check out the comparisons and differences between an ATV Vs UTV. If you are still thinking yes, then absolutely go for it. If you have doubts, that's fine too: have more of a think on it and decide whether the financial or safety issues make you want to treat them to something you are more comfortable with.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Harry Sheen