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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    Dec 2004
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    2,273
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    western NC
    Tractor
    JD 2320; 4520

    Default Which UTV for Me?

    I am in the market for a UTV since I sold my Gator. I would like to see the new Gators but I likely need something before they come out. I am looking at the Polaris 700XP and the Rhino primarily, or going back with another Gator. I do some light, medium hauling, slight light offroading and maintain about one mile of steep paved road in winter. I also need something manuverable that can perform well running on the gravel and rural service roads in our area. I really liked my diesel Gator. I did everything I asked of it. My only complaints were that it was a little slow and had a stiffer ride. It plowed well and pulled great though. My JD dealer offered to price a 2006 model for me, but I would prefer to go with the newer JD coming out next year if I go with green. My biggest problem is time. I do most of my heavier landscaping in winter when the ground cover is low. I have to get into some tighter spots, but not many. I have lots of hills and some unstable terrain around. since I have a tractor also, I do not need something that will haul heavy things, but I would like to haul some mulch, etc. at times. After visiting websites and looking at what I feel to be "staged" videos about the positives of each machine I am more confused than ever. I have briefly test driven the mentioned machines, and liked them. But---there is a big difference between a parking lot and my property and unique needs. Suggestions and good resources on the part of this panel would be appreciated.

    John M

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    505
    Location
    Iowa

    Default Re: Which UTV for Me?

    What gator did you have ? 6x4 ? I think you'll find the HPX to be a lot faster and do all the stuff you mention and then some easily if you decide to go that route. It is much better then you could ever imagine compared to the 6x4.

  3. #3
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    5,980
    Location
    S. IN
    Tractor
    Jinma, Foton, TYM, Belarus, Yanmar, Branson, Montana, Mahindra and maybe some green and orange too.

    Default Re: Which UTV for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcmseven
    I am in the market for a UTV since I sold my Gator. I would like to see the new Gators but I likely need something before they come out. I am looking at the Polaris 700XP and the Rhino primarily, or going back with another Gator.
    I've owned 3 Gators in the past and each gave me great service. However, for the 'heavy' work around the house I ended up moving to an RTV. I won't go into my particular reasons for that here because it is not pertinent to the niche you are looking to fill. I also did have a need for a UTV to do some work, tread lightly on my lawn when the lawn was wet, still be able to haul everything I could fit into the bed, and yet be more fun on the trails and have more power and speed.

    One of my best friends has bought numerous Polaris units. He really likes them even though he has definitely run into the Polaris reliability issues. He owns a very successful law firm with several other attorneys working for him and he is quite busy. So, for all maintenance work and all repairs (in and out of warranty) he just has the Polaris dealership pick up his units and bring them back when repaired. They leave him a loaner when his is gone. I even think he has the new 700XP Ranger now.

    In my situation, I am too cheap to pay the dealer to do all of my work and to make all repairs. Even though he is very pleased with the performance of the Rangers he's had, he is the one who suggested I go drive the Rhino. I did so and ended up also buying a Rhino to go along with my RTV. With the spring preload settings set on max, I've hauled over twice the rated amount in the bed numerous times on some very rough trails without any problems. The Rhino (and the Ranger for that matter) is in a different league from the HPX and RTV on acceleration, hill climbing, trail abilities, and overall power.

    No one unit will do what I want, and that is why I have two UTV's. If the new Gator that comes out next year will fill both needs for me, I'll buy one of those. For now though, the RTV and Rhino work well. To me there are only two drawbacks to the Rhino. One is the physical size of the bed. That is it's limiting factor on what it will haul. It will easily haul anything you can stack or cram into it. The other drawback is that it currently is not fuel injected. It annoys me to mess with a choke. I'm thinking that since the new Yamaha Grizzly, from which the Rhino is based, is now a 700 and fuel injected, a fuel injected Rhino should appear soon. For some, a carb is no problem. Me, I don't care for them.

    I'd really like to go with one UTV rather than the two I now have, but I still haven't seen one that will do what I want. With a simple change of the CDI box (a 2 minute change with the Black Rhino CDI) my Rhino will run 53 mph. Although I don't often need to go that fast, it's nice at times. For pulling, the Rhino and Ranger will have tons more power than an HPX or RTV and they weigh less. The Ranger is considerably wider than the Rhino and, therefore, would really limit it in getting to certain areas of my property unless I wanted to cut down several trees; which I don't. Also, since I bought it new in 2004, my Rhino has never been back to the dealer nor required even a single repair of anything. It has been completely bulletproof for me. All I've ever done is change the engine oil and filter as required.

    The new 700 Ranger has the potential of doing both for me, but I'm still very hesitant to buy one with seeing the issues my best friend has had over the years and reading about the reliability issues of Polaris virtually all over the internet. My theory right now is that I'll keep my RTV and Rhino for now, and if the 700 Ranger proves to have improved reliability in the next couple of years, I'll just buy one of those to replace both. I'm not figuring on the new HPX to have the performance and power of the Rhino or Ranger. Good luck!
    1982 18" Murray push mower (B&S industrial 8 hp engine!) custom deck, new blade - became unbalanced when one side old blade broke off!
    HF moving dolly - high torque! Dogbone multi-wrench too..wait, it split on first use.
    My trash man is the greatest. No matter how bad the economy gets and how bad stocks drop or how bad home values drop, his business is always picking up.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    2,273
    Location
    western NC
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    JD 2320; 4520

    Default Re: Which UTV for Me?

    I had the HPX diesel model. As I said, it was really stout, but had only a 25 mph top speed. Speed racing is not that important to me, but I do run up and down gravel roads and hills a lot and going 30-35 at times would be helpful to me. Dargo, I agree the box on the Rhino is a little smallish, but if it would haul some mulch or I could get sideboards or extenders to increase its volume capacity some it would be better. Also, what is the panel feeling about the prices I obtained and about the ability to plow snow in winter? One advantage of my HPX was with the diesel engine and its weight, I could really push some snow. I have a concern the Rhino in particular would be less good due to its reduced weight. And the Yamaha blade is over 1K!!! I must admit, the more narrow stance of the Rhino does appeal to me. It seems like it could snake into more places than could the Ranger. As for this CDI box, does that not void the warranty, and if not were would one obtain that??? My father has had no problems from his Polaris ATV, but then again he in no way pushes its limits either. In the opinion of the group would the pulling power of these two machines be pretty equal and would they be close to or equivalent or better than my previous UTV? I do move small trailers around, etc.

    John M

  5. #5
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    5,980
    Location
    S. IN
    Tractor
    Jinma, Foton, TYM, Belarus, Yanmar, Branson, Montana, Mahindra and maybe some green and orange too.

    Default Re: Which UTV for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcmseven
    One advantage of my HPX was with the diesel engine and its weight, I could really push some snow. I have a concern the Rhino in particular would be less good due to its reduced weight. And the Yamaha blade is over 1K!!! I must admit, the more narrow stance of the Rhino does appeal to me. It seems like it could snake into more places than could the Ranger. As for this CDI box, does that not void the warranty, and if not were would one obtain that???
    The Rhino has considerably more power than the HPX or RTV diesels do. You are correct on the weight issue, but the guys I know just fill their beds with snow and the weight problem is solved. Power is not an issue. The CDI boxes are widely available from about every ATV/UTV place on the net. I don't know if it would void your warranty or not. My theory was that I didn't want to push my Rhino that hard until it was broken in, so I never considered the Black Rhino CDI until after it was 6 mos old. I've run with it for the last 1 1/2 years without issue.

    The Ranger 700XP is awfully nice from what I've seen. As I said, just being conservative, I'm going to wait to see if they prove to be more reliable since I've personally seen the break downs on them with units owned by friends. I guess I've just been spoiled with my Rhino never having to have a wrench on it and like that idea. I'm actually really curious as to what Honda is coming out with. I'm sure reliability with them will not be an issue, but I don't know much about their soon to arrive offering. You may want to call your local Honda dealer and inquire. Good luck with whatever you buy!
    1982 18" Murray push mower (B&S industrial 8 hp engine!) custom deck, new blade - became unbalanced when one side old blade broke off!
    HF moving dolly - high torque! Dogbone multi-wrench too..wait, it split on first use.
    My trash man is the greatest. No matter how bad the economy gets and how bad stocks drop or how bad home values drop, his business is always picking up.

  6. #6
    Elite Member Kyle_in_Tex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    4,662
    Location
    Giddings, Texas
    Tractor
    JD 4310,JD5420

    Default Re: Which UTV for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcmseven
    One advantage of my HPX was with the diesel engine and its weight, I could really push some snow. I have a concern the Rhino in particular would be less good due to its reduced weight.

    I do move small trailers around, etc.

    John M
    John, we have an HPX gas 2WD and an electric golf cart. Guess which gets used 95% of the time. I have a few slight annoyances with the Gator. It takes a lot of arm torque to steer at slow speeds, it is heavy duty therefore it rides rough at slow speeds, and it is cold natured always needing choke to start. Starting is a 2 handed operation. 1 for the key and 1 for the choke management. It has never needed to go in for repairs (2 1/2years old). My wife's uncle is an ATV nut (he likes Arctic Cat and has 3). But he also has a Rhino which he brought over for us to play with. WOW, what a machine. Don't let the light weight scare you off. You can always ADD weight. It is nimble, responsive and the best suspension I've tested stock. Steering is one handed, seats are comfy enough. Uncle is 6' plus and 300 lbs big guy. Says he's never HAD to put it in 4WD for necesity. He has custom fitted/plumbed an extra muffler to quiet it for deer hunting. Yamaha did their homework. Shaft drives, no chains. Powerful torque. 45mph stock. Fuel injection would be nice but the carbs work well.

    I always figured that if you need to haul more, get a trailer for the Rhino and when you get to where you are, unload the Rhino and hook the trailer behind it. Double trailer usage.

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    239
    Location
    West Virginia
    Tractor
    Farmtrac 360 DTC TLB

    Default Re: Which UTV for Me?

    Check out http://www.prcforum.com/ for Ranger info. Especially check into the parking brake fix with landscaping, I am in process now because the factory pads are worthless!!
    The XP issue with heat was resolved in 2006 as you will learn on the forum and as for reliability the Ranger is one of the longest in production UTV's out there.
    I ride and work my Ranger hard with 300 hours in 1 1/2 years. Many payloads of stone, dirt, wood ect... As I have stated here before after a year of research I found it to be the best for work and play!

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    2,273
    Location
    western NC
    Tractor
    JD 2320; 4520

    Default Re: Which UTV for Me?

    The more I think about it, the more I am leaning toward getting either a Rhino or Ranger now, rather than waiting on the JD. The JD is supposed to be really nice, but I cannot see JD putting out a 50 mph UTV. On these promo videos Yamaha makes a big deal out of its handling and quality. I have not looked at the Polaris machines that much, but it does not seem like they are poorly made. Locally the Polaris dealer seems nicer and more affable and has some good prices. He also is less than two miles from my home. The Polaris has fuel injection, which I find a plus and the top speed is on up there, although it is not my primary concern. The Yamaha looks well made, and by all reports is a burner. I do want to haul some things at times though, and that bed looks awfully small. It is a narrow machine, which would help me get into some tight spaces though. I like that. Our nearest large dealer is in Asheville which is about 40 miles from me. It sounds like the Yamaha's will not be going to the dealer very much. Truly, though, in day to day use is there THAT much difference between these two machines, or should I just go with the one that is the better priced. And, does a poster have thoughts on the snow blade of choice for either machine. I had an Eagle plow for my JD which was OK, but it appears Yamaha makes its own but it is pretty pricey. I assume Eagle also makes plows for the Polaris, but I wonder if the Yamaha would do as well with the aftermarket plow as with its own brand.

    John M

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    2,273
    Location
    western NC
    Tractor
    JD 2320; 4520

    Default Re: Which UTV for Me?

    Fellow Posters,

    So I need a vote from the panel. Polaris 700 or Rhino, which one should I buy? I think I have my finances in order to purchase either at a good price, and to me they each have good points and weak points (just not many). I just need our well-seasoned posters to give me an opinion and I will tally and go with that opinion. I am planning to get SOMETHING within the next 2-4 weeks. The advice has been most helpful, now time to decide. Thanks to all.

    John M

  10. #10
    Gold Member R_Walter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    292
    Location
    Lindrith, NM
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240

    Default Re: Which UTV for Me?

    kubota RTV

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