Ah, there it is. The age-old question that can never be answered: “What’s the best UTV there is?” You’ve probably wondered this, or have been asked it by a friend, on more than one occasion. While we wish we could give you a solid and honest answer, the truth is there is no single “best” side-by-side. As we all know, it truly comes down to your personal preference. What kind of off-road experience are you looking for? Where do you ride most often? Are you looking for something more utility-focused or something that’s going to deliver tons of fun? (Or maybe a mix of both?)
Thankfully, with so many variables at play, we’re never deprived of options when it comes to new UTV models. Companies are constantly improving and releasing newer, more exciting models, which is part of the reason why we love this industry so much.
With that being said, although there’s no way we could ever curate a list of the best machines on the market, we can put together a list of the most popular ones. So we racked our brains, consulted with the experts, and compiled a list of the six most hyped-up machines of 2019. The result? A list of some of the most talked-about releases from last year. It’s obviously not all-inclusive, as there are way too many machines released each year to go into detail on all of them. But it’s a pretty good summary, in our opinion.
So here it is—our (by no means comprehensive) list, in no particular order, of some of the most exciting releases from 2019. These are the machines that have raised the bar and left us wondering, “What’s next for this industry?” We don’t know, but we can’t wait to find out.
The Kawasaki Teryx is the machine that made trail riding comfortable, affordable, and accessible for riders everywhere. While you can certainly use it to have fun on the trails, the 2019 model is geared towards utility above all else, as evidenced by its 1,300-lb. towing capacity and 600-lb. cargo bed capacity. It truly offers the best of both worlds. Who doesn’t want a machine that works as hard as it plays?
The 2019 Teryx brought lots of exciting improvements, like an improved suspension setup for extra comfort and better handling. Both electronic power steering and Fox Sport Podium shocks come with the base model (MSRP starting at $12,999), making it one of the most impressive yet affordable utility side-by-sides on the market. The price is an obvious perk, but what we love most is its multi-functionality. The Teryx is more than capable of conquering almost any terrain type and then putting in a few good hours of work around the farm afterwards.
The 2019 Defender XT HD8 is one of Can-Am’s most capable and highest outfitted machines. Although it’s by far the company’s most utility-focused side-by-side, it boasts the performance and suspension setup of a sport UTV. Whether you’re traversing wide-open roads or rugged trails, the Defender will get you there comfortably and quickly. It’s not known to back down to any terrain, be it mud, water, rocks, or hills.
The deluxe instrumentation of the Defender will have you feeling like you’re riding in luxury at all times. New in 2019 was an increased towing capacity (500 more pounds!) and a new silver color option. The 4,500-lb. winch now comes in all standard models, and you get a total of six gallons of storage, including a 5.6-gallon removable waterproof box located underneath the passenger seat. All in all, the 2019 Defender brings some serious work credentials to the table along with some unexpected touches of fun.
Last year brought with it the most hyped non-turbocharged RZR yet: the Polaris RZR XP 1000 EPS. The 2019 model came with plenty of improvements focused on rider comfort, including a new tilt steering wheel, improved bucket seats, and redesigned lap belts. The cabin was built to be roomier, giving you more than enough leg and elbow room, and the bowed quarter doors promote both comfort and style.
The RZR XP 1000’s base model comes equipped with electronic power steering. It turns well and demonstrates impressive agility on the trails. It might not be the machine for you if you’re into dunes or other wide-open spaces, but if mud and trail handling is your thing, this is definitely the machine for you. Hey, that’s why we love it so much!
The Honda name is known for dependability and reliability. They might not always be the fastest at bringing exciting and innovative machines to the market, but when they do release something new, you won’t be disappointed. This is evidenced by the 2019 Pioneer 1000, a machine that truly puts the “utility” in “utility task vehicle.” With the ability to tow one ton of cargo and haul up to half a ton, this side-by-side can tackle big jobs that would otherwise require a tractor or truck.
While the 2019 base model doesn’t come with electronic power steering as a main feature, all other Pioneer models from that year have it standard. What the standard machine does have is a refined chassis that’s built to cover even rougher terrain, so no matter where you’re hauling to or from, your Pioneer is up for the task. The 2019 model also introduced a slightly different cab design made to cut down on heat flowing into the cab, which had been a problem with older models.
The Can-Am Maverick X3 X RS Turbo was introduced in 2017 as the first production turbocharged UTV, and things have only improved since then. The 2019 Turbo R kicked it up a notch by adding a Smart-Lok fully locking front differential to all base models, along with a high-tech control model. The 2019 model also brought with it a more powerful EPS system for weight and fuel savings.
Overall, we’re big fans of the Turbo R for lots of reasons. First off, it’s seriously fast, topping off around 80 MPH. It also offers super smooth handling, bringing out the best driver in all of us. You get incredible performance and great suspension, making it perfect for taking on wide-open dunes. And Can-Am paid enough attention to the seats and harnesses to make it comfortable for extreme trail riding.
The Polaris Ranger has always been known for pulling its weight around the farm, and the 2019 model is no exception. While the Ranger XP 1000 is a utility-focused machine at heart, it’s been known to reach speeds of 50+ MPH, meaning it can take you on some fun adventures when the work day is done. Pulling 82 HP and boasting a dual A-arm front and rear suspension setup with 12.5″ of ground clearance, the 2019 Ranger is truly the ultimate blend of work and play.
The 2019 model introduced some exciting new changes, most of which involve taking comfort to the next level. The driver-focused improvements are part of the reason everyone was so excited for this machine’s release. For starters, you get an extra five inches of leg room, new contoured seats, and a redesigned cab giving you maximum visibility while behind the wheel. The 2019 Ranger XP 1000 also offers extra storage space, both within the cab and in the cargo bed. The new, redesigned bed can fit a standard-size pallet and haul up to half a ton of cargo. Talk about a workhorse!
|2019 Polaris RZR|
XP 1000 EPS
|2019 Can-Am Maverick|
X3 X RS Turbo R
|HP||110 HP||172 HP|
|Top Speed||80 MPH||80 MPH|
|Fuel Capacity||9.5 gallons||10.5 gallons|
|Dry Weight||1,448 lb.||1,585 lb.|
Defender XT HD8
|HP||60 HP||50 HP|
|Top Speed||50 MPH||55 MPH|
|Towing Capacity||1,300 lb.||2,500 lb.|
|Fuel Capacity||7.9 gallons||10.6 gallons|
|Dry Weight||1,521 lb.||1,560 lb.|
|2019 Polaris Ranger|
XP 1000 EPS
|HP||72 HP||82 HP|
|Top Speed||67 MPH||50 MPH|
|Towing Capacity||2,000 lb.||2,500 lb.|
|Fuel Capacity||7.9 gallons||11.5 gallons|
|Dry Weight||1,526 lb.||1.546 lb.|
How to Install a High Gear Kit and Clutch Kit on a Polaris RZR XP Turbo
A (Somewhat Brief) History of the UTV Industry
Adventure Awaits on the TransAmerica Trail
How to Install a Heavy-Duty Carrier Bearing on a Polaris Ranger Crew
What Is a Side-by-Side?
How to Install a 4500 Lb. Black Ops Winch on a Polaris RZR