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With UTVs becoming all the rage right now for both hard work and good fun, manufacturers are raising the bar when it comes to new models and breathtaking features. Are you looking to get a new side by side this year? Do you wonder who makes the best side by side UTV models in 2021? You have come to the right place! Today, we will present you with X best side by side UTV models to consider!

To make things easier for you, we will split the models into utility UTVs and sporty UTVs. We will briefly discuss these best SXS on this list, focusing on what they can do for you. So let’s start our quest to find the best side by sides for your needs!

Top 10 Utility Best Side by Side Models to Consider in 2021

When it comes to hard labor, power, stability, and heavy cargo, few vehicles can beat a utility UTV. For those working on farms and agricultural enterprises, fishermen, hunters, etc., the UTV came as the correct answer to all their issues. If you want a vehicle that can mix capability, size, affordable prices, and plenty of versatility, a utilitarian UTV is your go-to choice this year. Let’s see what manufacturers tantalize us with regarding side-by-sides that can haul heavy loads, perform heavy-duty work, travel any possible terrain, and offer you safety, comfort, and flexibility.

1. The Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss Edition

Image courtesy of Polaris

Seasoned UTV users know the Polaris name very well and the Polaris Ranger SXS models even better. The Polaris RZR XP 1000 is still a legend and, if you already have one, don’t hesitate to upgrade it with mods and accessories for even better performance! 

But the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss promises to be a revelation. According to the manufacturer, this model boasts a ProStar engine, capable of generating 82 HP.

The class-leading towing, payload, and box capacity, together with the bright LED lights, excellent self-leveling off-road rear suspension, and aggressive tires, it makes one of the top UTVs to consider for heavy-duty work this year. 

When you search for the best SXS to buy, some tech specs come in handy and, looking at the XP 1000 Trail Boss, we can say that Polaris did raise the bar quite high:

  • Engine: 4-Stroke Twin Cylinder DOHC
  • Horsepower: 82 HP
  • Fuel Capacity: 11.5 gal
  • Payload: 1,560 lb.

As you can see, this UTV model promises and delivers plenty of benefits. So if your interest lies with vehicles that can perform strenuous work while giving you a comfortable, safe, and fun ride at the same time, then you can put the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss on your shortlist of best side by side utility models of the year. 

2. Cam-Am 2021 Defender Pro Lone Star

Image courtesy of Cam-Am

In truth, Cam-Am delivers an entire collection of utility UTVs this year and you have plenty of homework to do to pick the best one for your needs.

The Cam-Am Defender Pro lineup features some impressive beasts to say the least. For this list of best side by side utility models to get in 2021, we chose the Defender Pro Lone Star, convinced by its heavy duty front steel bumper. It is similar in technical specifications with the Defender Pro XT, the latter being also a tad cheaper, but not by much. 

Cam-Am utility UTVs have a strong reputation with the connoisseurs. Now, the Pro Lone Star allows you to accomplish everything from crossing muddy or rocky terrains in full comfort, drive in heavy rain, haul immense cargo, and have a couple of fun days trailing or hunting. 

If “bigger, better, faster, more” was what you wanted when it came to a top UTV to buy this year, the Pro Lone Star delivers on its promise and then some! 

It provides users with cutting-edge comfort features, among which, we would like to mention the intuitive cockpit with optimized visibility, the arched TTA rear suspension with external sway bar/10 in. travel, and the full hard roof plus the aluminum rock sliders for extra protection.

But let’s see a few tech specs that might spark your curiosity regarding this SXS:

  • Engine: Rotax® 976 CC, V-twin, liquid cooled
  • Horsepower: 82 HP
  • Fuel Capacity: 10.6 gal
  • Payload: 1,650 lb.

An eye-catching, bold, powerful, and resilient UTV, the Cam-Am Defender Pro Lone Star is among the best side by side models to buy for all your work and entertainment needs this year. For the price, you get 1-year warranty and a vehicle to take farming, hunting, trailing, and adventuring for the ages. 

3. Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe


Image courtesy of Honda Pioneer

When it comes to Honda Pioneer, UTV enthusiasts know it is one of the top UTVs to get in the entry-level utility department. The older models sported only two or three passenger seats but amazing towing performance. The 2021 Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe is here to change everything you knew about taking the whole family to work, hunt, trail, or travel across wide, challenging pastures and terrains. 

The first thing you should know about the new Honda Pioneer lineup (Pioneer 1000-5, Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe, and Pioneer 1000-5 Limited Edition) is that they are “recutility” vehicles, as the manufacturer calls them. In other words, you can use one for both recreational and working purposes. 

However, we consider the 1000-5 Deluxe to be an excellent choice when you are in need of a powerful workhorse that can get you anywhere. 

The new Honda 1000-5 family have some traits in common, making each of them a top rated UTV. This “red thread” connecting all of them consists of Honda’s proprietary QuickFlip® seating in the bed. It means you can switch almost instantly from cozy passenger seating to a fold-flat bed configuration and vice versa. You did not have this feature on previous 3-seats Pioneer models and it is reason alone to put this UTV on your shortlist of best SXS to buy this year. 

The 1000-5 Deluxe model features a fully automatic dual clutch transmission (DCT) with six forward gears and four drive modes. But let’s see other tech specs that might interest you!

  • Engine: 4-Stroke 999cc liquid-cooled twin-cylinder Unicam® 
  • Horsepower: 72 HP
  • Fuel Capacity: 7.9 gal
  • Payload: 1,700 lb.

While this Honda Pioneer comes with a smaller fuel capacity than the previous two models on this list, it does not mean it will display lower performance. It comes with a lower price compared to the Polaris and Cam-Am we discussed already, but in terms of utility vehicles you can also us for recreation, the 1000-5 Deluxe is hard to match. 

4. 2021 Yamaha Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition

Image courtesy of Yamaha Motor Sports

The next UTV on our list of best side by side models to get this year comes from a manufacturer that needs no presentation: Yamaha. Following the “hard-working, good-looks” trend in Yamaha UTVs, the Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition is a staple of cutting-edge engineering. 

This utility vehicle allows you to transport plenty of people (up to six) and a decent amount of cargo. Yamaha boasts a broad range of UTVs for heavy work and recreation, and the Viking EPS is also an interesting model you might want to check out. Nevertheless, the Ranch Edition is the go-to choice for families or entrepreneurs who need mobility on their properties, farms, etc. 

The Ranch Edition comes with a few features that prove very useful for agricultural, forestry, ranch, and farm activities: it sports expanded storage options, included soft-top and brush guard for safety, and Yamaha’s exclusive three-position On-Command® 4WD system. Unlike its competitors, Yamaha’s On-Command® system allows the driver total control to make the best out of the available traction no matter the terrain types they cross. 

Let’s take a quick look at the Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition tech specs and features:

  • Engine: 4-Stroke 686 CC liquid-cooled SOHC
  • Horsepower: N/A
  • Fuel Capacity: 9.7 gal
  • Payload: 600 lb.

Some of the best features of this UTV include under-seat storage, aggressive-looking front brush guard, powerful lights, the bed grab bar, and the stamped steel dump bed you can unlatch and tilt from either side, depending on your needs. 

One last thing before we move on to the next best side by side on this list is the fact that the Viking Ranch Edition starts at a price about $5,000 lower compared to the models we have discussed so far. 

5. 2021 Kawasaki Mule PRO-FXT

Image courtesy of Kawasaki

If you ever wondered what the best side by side for the money was, we might have just found it for you. The 2021 Kawasaki Mule PRO-FXT sports some fantastic features for a price almost $7,000 lower than the Honda or the Cam-Am. It is cheaper than the Yamaha model presented above, too. So let’s see what makes this UTV one of the best utility SXS vehicles of the year!

The Mule’s design and features beg you to use it at its full potential. Don’t worry about wearing and tearing it too much, however, as it comes with a 3-years warranty, the best one on this list so far. Built in the United States, it features a roomy cabin and integrated inner wheel wells. The vehicle can carry 3 to 6 passengers and some heavy loads too. They do not call it the Mule for nothing!

Among the utility UTVs on this list, Kawasaki’s Mule impresses with its substantial torque (48.0 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm), packing an impressive pulling power. In other words, you can haul and tow massive loads across a wide range of challenging terrains. 

The vehicle comes with plenty of features, appealing tech specs, and convenience to make it one of the most sought top UTVs on the market today. Let’s see some of these specifications:

  • Engine: 4-Stroke 812 CC, 3-cylinder, liquid-cooled DOHC
  • Horsepower: N/A
  • Fuel Capacity: 7.9 gal
  • Payload: 1,574 lb.

The Kawasaki Mule PRO-FXT is a serious contender to other previous Kawasaki models and the best side by side UTVs on this list in 2021. You can enjoy amazing tech specs at an affordable price and even use the vehicle for recreational purposes, too. 

This concludes our top UTV choices of the year in the utilitarian department. Now, let’s take a quick look at the best side by side models in the sports and recreation field! 

Top 10 Sports & Rec Best Side by Side Models to Consider in 2021

What do you want from your sports UTV? Power, speed, oomph, the ability to go across and through all terrains? People buy UTVs for a multitude of reasons, but fun and adventuring are probably the most crucial ones. So let’s see a quick rundown of the top UTVs for your off-road adventures this year!

1. 2021 Arctic Cat Wildcat XX

Image courtesy of Arctic Cat

Under the slogan “Go anywhere. Ride over anything,” Arctic Cat delivers on a long-time promise of offering some of the best sports and recreational vehicles to enthusiast explorers. Many people forget that Arctic Cat is a legendary manufacturer of snowmobiles. In the last years, they became fierce competitors in the ATV and UTV market to more recognizable brands. 

The Arctic Cat Wildcat XX is a sports side-by-side that can take you across rocks, mud fields, dirty trails, forest paths, dunes, and anything else you can think of in terms of challenging terrains. You can even take it racing, as the 2/4-wheel drive with 4wd lock, the 14-inch ground clearance, and the naturally aspirated engine are features to rely on when you prepare for your next off-road adventure. 

No matter what places and untraveled roads you choose to explore with your UTV, the Wildcat is going to offer you the ride of your life, in full comfort and safety! But let’s see some of this vehicles’ best tech specs and features:

  • Engine: 998cc 3-Cylinder Naturally Aspirated EFI
  • Horsepower: 130 HP
  • Ground Clearance: 14-inch
  • Seats: 2

As you know, sports top UTVs focus less on payload and towing. While the Wildcat XX will display moderate performance on your farm, it will definitely offer you and your passenger a memorable ride in any part of the world you want to conquer. 

2. 2021 Can-Am Maverick X3 X RS Turbo RR 

Image courtesy of Cam-Am

Next on our list of best side by side UTVs for sports and recreation we have another Cam-Am model, equipped with “the most advanced suspension ever fitted to a Can-Am,” according to the manufacturer. Indeed, the Smart-Shox suspension is a technological wonder, able to react to both compression and rebound with unrivaled speed over any challenging terrain.

The Maverick X3 family takes pride in its lineup of UTV sporting 2 to 4 seats, turbocharger, upgraded pistons, high performance air filtration, a durable intercooler and plenty of other features that will make racers’ adrenaline levels rise.

The Maverick X3 X RS Turbo RR displays the best science the car industry has and packs it into a high-performing UTV built to resist anything. Do you want to ride the desert/dunes or try some new trails nobody has seen before? Then look at this beast’s tech specs:

  • Engine: 900 CC turbocharged triple-cylinder engine, liquid-cooled Rotax ACE
  • Horsepower: 195 HP
  • Ground Clearance: 14-inch
  • Seats: 2

For the price of the Maverick X3 X RS Turbo RR, you get a full load of features and safety measures hard to come by in other models. As you can imagine, the price is not low. On the other hand, the value-price ratio is balanced enough for you to consider this model one of the best side by sides to buy in 2021 for proper adrenaline rush. 

3. 2021 Polaris RZR Turbo S 

Image Courtesy of Polaris

The 2021 updated RZR Turbo S side by side from Polaris comes with an active DYANAMIX suspension, new engine air intake, factory-installed 32” ITP Coyote tires, and 3-times more robust drive system. This UTV balances form and function like no other, but you should know it is among the most expensive SXS models on this list. 

Built to take on wild open terrain, this UTV is a dream came true for families who want to travel together and have epic off-road adventures. The model also sports windshields, RIGID & Pro Armor light bars for night travel, stronger, tougher, and more resilient chassis & drivetrain. 

But let’s see some other tech specs that might interest you enough to contact the Polaris dealership in your area:

  • Engine: 925 CC 4-Stroke DOHC Twin Cylinder Turbocharged
  • Horsepower: 168 Hp
  • Ground Clearance: 16-inch
  • Seats: 2

As you know with all Polaris models, you can upgrade it with a handful of accessories, from windshields and a desert bumper to numerous lighting options. 

Bold, aggressive, and highly performing, this top UTV impresses with its re-engineered cockpit, intuitive controls, purposeful building, and hard to match performance. It is a bargain if you look at things from this perspective! 

4. 2021 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 Special Edition

Image courtesy of Kawasaki

Is anyone here surprised that one of the best side by side sports UTVs comes from Kawasaki? You shouldn’t, knowing how the Japanese manufacturer built a reputation on innovation technology and attention to details. 

The 2021 Teryx KRX 1000 Special Edition is near the top of its class. Some off-road enthusiasts consider it to be in a league of its own. The selectable 2WD/4WD with locking front differential final drive, the 10.6 gal fuel capacity, and the 20.3 ft. turning radius make this model one of the crown jewels of UTV racing and wild open space adventuring. The ladder type, tubular steel frame is a plus when you want to ride across uncharted territories. 

You should not disregard the Kawasaki 2021 Teryx model, even if the price is a bit steep, as its tech specs are worth every cent:

  • Engine: 999 CC 4-stroke liquid cooled DOHC, 8-valve parallel-twin
  • Horsepower: 112 HP
  • Ground Clearance: 13.8-inch
  • Seats: 2

Allow the Japanese to offer you a comfortable, Tony-Stark type of ride while you take the desert or some rocky hills by the storm! The upgraded stereo system, excellent lights, and the Warn VRX 45 winch become instant favorites once you start riding this aggressive, yet easily tamable brute. 

5. 2021 Honda Talon 1000R with FOX Live Valve Suspension

Image courtesy of Honda

The last entry on our list of best side by side models to buy to quench your off-road thirst is the new Honda Talon 1000 R. For 2021, Honda delivers adventurers versatility and flexibility, with 2-seat or 4-seat Talons, equipped with a compelling range of suspension options. If you are curious about the difference between the Talon 1000R and the other two-seater UTV (the Talon 1000X), let us explain it for you. The Talon 1000R features now a longer wheelbase, more suspension travel, and a wider vehicle track.

In other words, if you prefer more rugged and challenging terrains (we are thinking mountain roads and difficult rocky areas), you may want to take the Talon 1000R for a spin. 

What makes this particular model so compelling is the FOX Live Valve suspension, allowing both automatic transmission and launch mode. If you feel like racing right about now, let’s see the other tech specs boasted by the Honda Talon 1000R:

  • Engine: 4 Stroke 999 CC liquid-cooled Unicam® OHC parallel-twin
  • Horsepower: 105 HP
  • Ground Clearance: 13-inch
  • Seats: 2

Built to resist and take you where no UTV rider has gone before, the new Honda Talon 1000R makes a whole world of difference when you are there racing or exploring uncharted territories. Its price does not differ much from its utility counterpart but, if we did not say this enough times, a Honda side by side is a work of art, inside and out. 

Bottom Line

When they consider buying the best side by side on the market depending on their needs, many UTV enthusiasts wonder whether they should buy a new one or a used one. This particular topic makes the subject of another guide but, to make sure you land a good deal, always test a second-hand UTV before you sign the papers. While designed to take a beating, you should not pay for less performance and function than you expect. 

Now that we offered you our list of best side by side models to consider in 2021 for both work and recreation, it’s time to hear from you! Which are the top UTVs on this list that interest you the most! Do you already have one? Would you like us to add some more models in this guide? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter!