All-Terrain Vehicles VS Sport Utility Vehicles – Vol. 290

By Sejin Kim

The ATV and SUV are commonly confused with each other. To distinguish between these two vehicle types, we also must examine a third, the UTV. Once a consumer understands what each vehicle is and what it is used for, it is far easier to choose which one to purchase.

What is an All-Terrain Vehicle?

An all-terrain vehicle, or ATV, is any vehicle that can easily traverse any and all types of terrain. All-terrain vehicles are more commonly referred to as three-wheelers, four-wheelers, quads, or quad bikes.

These vehicles have no cab, the rider straddles the seat like a motorcycle, and is exposed to elements. All-terrain vehicles have low pressure tyres, which assist in traversing many different types of land. These vehicles will have handlebars instead of a steering wheel. As they are not road-worthy vehicles, it is not necessary to have a driver’s license or permit to use an all-terrain vehicle.

What is a Utility Task Vehicle?

A UTV, or utility task vehicle is most commonly an off-road vehicle that sits two to six persons. This vehicle will have four-wheel drive, and have the ability to travel over many of the same grounds as an all-terrain vehicle.

In most instances, utility task vehicles are used on work sites or farm lands. They have the ability to travel the tough roads and uneven grounds, while also having the ability to haul a small amount of cargo or equipment. Many people assert that a utility task vehicle appears similar in shape and size to a large golf cart, with larger tires and more rugged features.

What is a Sport Utility Vehicle?

Known as both an SUV and suburban utility vehicle, the sport utility vehicle is a refined cousin to the ATV and UTV. This vehicle type is completely enclosed like a standard car or van, has specific delineations between the interior and exterior, is driven by a steering wheel, and offers standard safety features.

A sport utility vehicle will travel over ground that a car cannot, yet may still have issues with terrain that is too rough. SUVs have the ability to tow, haul generous amounts of cargo, and are likely to have four-wheel drive. This vehicle type is used in remote areas of the world, on rural lands and in modern cities. Buyers can find basic models sold by a number of big named manufacturers, as well as luxury models with added packages and features.

Which vehicle should you buy?

To determine whether you require an all-terrain vehicle, a utility task vehicle, or a sport utility vehicle, you must evaluate what the vehicle will be used for. If your needs are centered on covering many types of terrain at a good speed, without needing to haul cargo or passengers, then the all-terrain vehicle is the correct choice.

If you require a vehicle that will allow you to move tools, equipment, products, and a few people from place to place on your work site, then the utility task vehicle is what you need. However, if you are looking for a vehicle that is road-worthy, hauls people and cargo over common terrain, and meets standard IHS Safety Ratings, then the sport utility vehicle is the correct choice.

Buyers should always keep in mind that while the ATV and some of the UTVs do not require a driver’s license, that also means that they are not considered to be “street legal”. Therefore, if your needs require driving on actual paved streets or roads, you could be breaking the law by using the wrong vehicle type.

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