ATV, UTV ROUNDUP: Big deals in the four-wheel sector

Publish Date: 
Jul 24, 2013
By Bruce Steever

ALTHOUGH STILL SLOW, the ATV and SxS market is showing growth as we move through 2013. Hurray!

Rather than simply soldier on with the same product lineups, OEMs are aiming to capitalize on that growth by offering some exciting and innovative new four-wheelers to attract consumers as they carefully tip-toe back into dealerships.

We’ve rounded up some of the latest new model news to brief you on the various new machines heading to dealerships for 2014.

Honda has unveiled several new and heavily updated four-wheelers. On the ATV front, Honda has significantly updated both the FourTrax Rancher and FourTrax Foreman sport-utility ATV lineups. Underneath the updated styling for both model ranges are new frames and improved suspension systems.

On the Foreman, the engine remains Honda’s time-tested 500-class single, updated for improved fuel economy. A new drivetrain includes selectable push-button two- and four-wheel drive with an all-new locking front differential to make the most of available grip in challenging conditions.

The rest of the changes revolve around the chassis, which receives several upgrades. A new frame works with updated suspension to provide a plusher ride, thanks to additional shock travel. A softer seat helps the comfort up front. Finally, angular new bodywork provides a more modern look and is claimed to be more durable.

The Rancher lineup continues to run with its 420cc longitudinal crankshaft single and receives many of the upgrades found in the Foreman. As before, the Rancher line offers a variety of semi- and fully-automatic transmission options for the needs of various consumers and their budgets, including Honda’s proprietary DCT, or Dual Clutch Transmission.

The big news from Honda is the replacement for the Big Red. Starting at $9,999, the Pioneer 700 and Pioneer 700-4 side-by-sides are all-new vehicles built in South Carolina designed to meet the expectations of customers in a competitive SxS marketplace. Power comes from a fuel-injected 675cc single running through a fully automatic transmission.

In both the 700 and 700-4 models, Honda is quick to highlight the many automotive advances shared in the Pioneer, including double-wishbone suspension, vibration-resistant engine mounting, auto-style electronic automatic transmission and clever off-road-ready features such as the sealed intake system. (Continued)