Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Content

What’s the Difference Between Sport ATVs, Utility ATVs and UTVs?


The most common mistake we’ve heard people make is confusing utility ATVs with UTVs, and we’re here to set the record straight. In addition to the distinct differences in appearances, there are a lot of subtle nuances in handling and design between sport ATVs, utility ATVs and UTVs that make one a better choice over the other depending on your intended use.

ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle)

ATV rider jumping over sand and dusty terrain

Sport ATV

  • Lightweight
  • Require the rider straddles the seat
  • Requires stamina, strength and full attention
  • Designed for fun and racing
  • Two-wheel drive
  • Beefy suspension
  • 2- or 4-stroke engines
  • 5- or 6-speed transmissions
  • Capable of quick turns and handling
  • Designed to be modified and enhanced
  • High output motor
  • 250cc to 700cc
  • Good for speed and adventure
Utility ATV next to a freshly-plowed field or garden

Utility ATV

  • 2- or 4-wheel drive
  • Low-end power for pushing snow and toing
  • Short travel suspension
  • Light farm work, plowing, hunting
  • Requires straddling the seat
  • Requires strength and stamina to operate
  • Larger tires
  • Bit easier to ride
  • More for work than play
UTV rolling through autumn mud

UTV (Utility Task Vehicle)

  • Sometimes called side-by-side, Gator or Rhino
  • Seat belts, carriage bed, roll cages
  • Can seat two or four people
  • Heavy-duty work applications
  • Sport ATV suspension
  • Powerful engine
  • Room for more passengers
  • Bigger tires
  • Provide more torque than utility ATVs
  • Comfortable seat(s)

More in ATV