Shopping for Side-by-Side Utility Vehicles

I always like to stop into the Bass Pro Shop when I’m in Las Vegas. It’s a huge outdoor adventure store that not only supports fishing and hunting but also every other outdoor sport you can think of. They have a ton of watercraft as well as ATV’s, UTV’s and side-by-sides.
When I was up in Warroad, MN a few weeks ago visiting Marvin Windows, Mr Marvin himself told me that Artic Cat and Polaris were not far away and that business for them has been booming, even through this economic downturn. I’ve always loved go-karts and ATV’s and the new high-performance side-by-sides look like so much fun, it’s no wonder people can’t get enough of them. Prices can range from $5,000 to upwards of $20,000 with all the bells and whistles and there are definitely plenty of high-tech customizations and add-ons available.
Bass Pro Shop mostly stocked Arctic Cats and they had a full-range of utility vehicles that were meant for hauling and better used around the farm or ranch as well as high-performance utv’s that are also known as side-by-sides (due to the seating arrangement). Think of a go-kart on steroids or a compacted dune buggy.
Polaris, Kawasaki, Can-Am, Yamaha and John Deere all offer a full-line of side-by-sides that can seat from 2 to 4 people. The popularity of side-by-sides has absolutely exploded although the use of standard ATV’s is still popular they both have applications where one is better served than the other.
ATV’s are more nimble and can navigate smaller trails. They are also outright faster and quicker and can do almost as much on a much smaller budget than an side-by-side.
The side-by-side UTV’s have been growing in popularity as they are more comfortable to some and the driving style is just like driving a car. They provide a greater sense of security with the full roll cage and the hauling capabilities are almost as much as a small truck. It’s also a lot more fun to race around with your buddies sitting right next to you and we would love to take a few of these camping someday.
Have you been shopping for side-by-sides recently? What are you finding and do you have any favorites this year?
My son is already dreaming of the day when he can take one of these for a spin, just like dad.

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  • Bugler

    Awesome. Anything that combines “cheap” and “green” is bound to be a winner.

  • Allison

    Wow! Now that’s a lot of work! Gotta give her credit for that!

  • sellwoodian

    No no no. This is a hideous publicity stunt. She does a “reuse” show, one of those “crafty” shows that demonstrates how to make tacky crap out of crap, on one of the design channels. And this house? It’s a McMansion that takes up nearly the whole lot and looms over the neighborhood. There’s NOTHING green about the size, and taking over the neighborhood with her on-site storage system smacked of hubris. Hers was a dangerous intersection through the whole process. The next-door neighbors had to sell their house because their entire backyard is no longer private or allowed sun. I am appalled that the surface presentation of this makes people giddy; it’s superficial marketing, and why people keep blogging about it’s “greenness” I just don’t get. Quit giving Quimby, destroyer of neighborhoods, the undue attention.