Hisun Side-by-Sides are a decent, mid-range, product that for the price, will give the consumer the necessary attributes most UTV consumers want in a vehicle. While other brands boast better performance and slightly higher quality, Hisun fairs well with its competition for their prices.
If you are relatively new to the UTV world then it is most likely that you have not heard of Hisun, pronounced (High-sun), brand UTVs.
With big names like Can-Am, Polaris, Arctic Cat, Honda, and Yamaha, dominating the market, this new China-based company has been flying under the radar until as of late.
History of Hisun UTV and ATVs
The Hisun company has been around since 1988 and originally produced motorcycles, scooters, and ATVs strictly in China. It wasn’t until 2014 when they launched at the AIMExpo in Orlando.
Strictly speaking, the Hisun brand has been in the American market before 2014, really ever since 2011 and have been ranked number 6 on the list of largest UTV producers in North America.
However, it really wasn’t until 2014 that Hisun started making a real name for itself here in the United States.
Much like many of you, I am always wary of new companies coming in and making a name for themselves in an industry that already has “big-dogs” that run the show.
And while most of us, myself included, like to stay within the safety of names such as Polaris, Can-Am, Yamaha, and Honda, that we know we can trust that doesn’t mean that this fairly new company doesn’t have a decent product to offer.
Of course, the fact that we can have large companies like this pop-up, seemingly overnight, is the beauty of capitalism at it’s finest and it is only fair to give the new company, and its line of UTVs their due diligence.
So, after some digging on the company, and scouring over forums and reviews, I’ve been able to get a good sense as to what type of quality these vehicles are and if they are worth getting, or if we should just stick to what we already know and love.
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UTV Factory Process
I was actually pleasantly surprised to see that quite a bit of information about the Hisun name was so easy to find and that it was readily available to the public.
There were even various companies that had gone out and took a look and a tour at one of the factories in Chongqing, China.
The Chinese factory itself is quite large sitting at about 7.1 million square feet. It has a lot of, in my opinion, unnecessary amenities such as a two-story hotel, restaurant, and small movie theater. However, despite all the extras their factory process is up to snuff in my opinion.
Even though the Hisun products aren’t as amazing as top leaders like Polaris and Can-am, Hisun does meet all the standard requirements and does a decent job at making a quality vehicle.
Now that being said, I believe that Hisun does have much ground to cover before I personally would ever put them anywhere near the level of craftsmanship that Polaris and Can-Am are at.
If you own or are thinking about buying a Hisun, you can breath easy in knowing that every single one of Hisun’s UTVs meets current and proposed stability standards as being considered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Out of the various 16 buildings that are on site of the factories location, two of them are used for research and development purposes, which to me, says that they are just getting started in the UTV market and plan to really take off here in the next few years.
There is also an engine building plant as well as an assembly plant, and as a standard part of the factory process, all of the engines and frames are built on site, at the factory.
The frames production plant is split into two divisions. One is a molding and fixture workshop and the other is dedicated to stamping and welding.
The factory process also provides injection molding, powder coating, painting, welding, as well as assembly and packaging. Much of those things are done right there in the factory in China. There is an assembly plant in Mckinney, Texas as well.
There was one specific attribute about the factory process that Hisun takes that really blew me away.
It blew me away, not because it necessarily sparked ingenuity, or that it was something huge and unexpected, but quite simply because the Chinese company took the time and resources to actually go about doing it.
There is a building on the factory grounds known as the CNC machining center. It is there that various engine parts are machined. What is fascinating about this building is that it is kept at a constant temperature of about 22-26 degrees Celsius.
It is kept at this constant temperature because if a CNC-machined part is created in an environment with one temperature and then assembled in an environment with another temperature, expanding or contracting of the part can occur.
This would then of course cause the part to not fit as precisely and make for an inexact fit.
It makes logical sense to have a temperature controlled CNC-machining facility, and one would think all factories would operate in this way, but Hisun is the only powersport manufacturer in China to do so.
The engine plant at the factory is also temperature controlled at the same 22-26 degree Celsius conditions and German torque assembling systems and BASF catalytic converters are included as part of the engine development.
Another thing that I really do admire about Hisun is that they seem to take the quality of their vehicles seriously in the sense of making them appealing toward their consumer base, that being primarily North Americans.
They made sure to have a six-acre track where the UTVs are tested at before they are put on the market.
The track has everything that a testing track would need, containing both on and off-road sections, whoops, rocks, mud, sharp turns, inclines, potholes, and even small jumps.
It was all designed by the help of a U.S. consultant so that they could create and market their UTVs to the U.S. client base, so as I said, I do admire them for doing something like that.
Hisun manufactures almost all of the components of their UTVs themselves including the engines. The only things that they outsource are the electrical components and tires which they buy from other suppliers.
Hisun uses Delphi Electric Fuel Injection systems, which is located in the United Kingdom.
For their CVT clutch systems, they use a Canadian company called CVTech and they import their transmission belts from Bando, a company based out of Japan.
All of these components are then installed into Hisun’s UTVs.
Hisun also has their very own die casting building which was built in 2014. This building allows Hisun to die-cast their own parts for its engines, whereas previously the Hisun was using outside factories for engine parts.
A cool tidbit about the China factory is that for every 200 units that are produced, one is taken out for testing to ensure quality standards are met.
Here’s a quick video that shows a brief overview of Hisun’s quality control at the assembly facility in Mckinney, Texas.
Before any UTV is shipped off to various dealers and retailers throughout the United States, the vehicles undergo a 31-point inspection process and are driven through six miles of testing.
In fact, Mario Nunez, a production control manager at HISUN Motor Corp., USA said about the inspection…
“Our team is dedicated to combing through each unit with a fine-tooth comb to ensure maximum quality before leaving our facility. It is our mission to deliver the highest quality product possible, and we intend on doing so.”Mario Nunez Production Control Manager at HISUN Motors Corp., USA
Jerry Cadenas, a production manager at HISUN Motors Corp., USA said…
“The manufacturing process is a timeless art, and we are always looking for ways to enhance our process and products. Here at HISUN we take a lot of pride in the craftsmanship our teams put into getting every unit showroom ready”Jerry Cardenas, Production Manager at HISUN Motors Corp., USA.
So needless to say the factory process that Hisun uses is unique in many aspects for it being a Chinese company and they really do want to ensure quality parts and vehicles tailored to their United States consumers.
UTV Specs & Accessories
You might be thinking “Okay thanks Matt, Factory details are great and all, however, I want to know what kind of UTVs that Hisun offers and what many of those various vehicles have specification and accessory wise.”
I am more than happy to report on the various products that Hisun has, and as I’ve said before, while they aren’t Polaris or Can-am level. They are good enough in their own ways and for the price, fairly compelling.
As of 2023, the Hisun side-by-side lineup was as follows.
- Strike 250 R (MSRP $5,599)
- Strike 550R ($10,999)
- Strike 1000R ($14,599)
- Strike 1000 Crew ($15,999)
- Sector 250 (MSRP $4,749)
- Sector 450 ($9,649)
- Sector 550 ($10,999)
- Sector 750 ($11,999)
- Sector 1000 ($18,599)
- HS 400 (MSRP $7,499)
- HS 500 ($8,999)
- HS 800 Crew ($11,999)
As you can see from this list, that most of these side-by-sides, including the sports models, which are normally more expensive, are actually quite affordable. Only one UTV on this 2023 lineup exceeds $15,000.
Another thing that Hisun excels at with their UTVs, besides the affordable prices, is the accessories that come standard with every side-by-side.
Every UTV comes with a hard-top roof, two-piece windshield, side mirrors, nitrogen assisted performance shocks, and a heavy-duty, 3,500-pound winch.
The HS models come with all of those things, as well as, taillights, aluminum rims (instead of standard steel), a camouflage option, and a one-inch receiver hitch.
I believe that that is what the big selling point is with these Hisun side-by-sides. They come with great standard accessories and are quite affordable.
Most UTVs with these kinds of accessories would be running you $13,000-16,000 for even the 400 or 500 models, and upwards of $20,000 for the 800-1000 models.
Every single model listed here above is also EPA and CARB compliant.
A great addition that I personally love to see with any product, especially UTVs, and one that really only Kawasaki has is that each model comes with a 1-year factory warranty.
Interestingly enough Polaris is the only other company in the world, that’s right, the world, that boasts a more complete line.
So after all that has been said, it seems that Hisun might actually be able to compete with the “big dogs” of the UTV world after all.
Hisun Quality Reviews
Of course, companies can give out all the accessories that they want. They could say that the side-by-side comes with an entire trailer, but that doesn’t make the product good or lasting right?
Many of the reviews that I have read up on concerning the Hisun side-by-sides are mixed, to say the least.
Concerning the Hisun Sector 750, there were a few different things that I found to be of note.
The Sector 750, and many models like it, runs fairly smoothly and has no problems starting straight out of the box.
The acceleration is good at lower RPMs, however, the engine seems to be a little less content when it is pushed to higher revs.
Like most vehicles, and especially UTVs, the Hisuns seem to do a lot better once you really break them in and get all of the “out-of-the-box-” kinks out of the way.
As far as comfort wise, people seem to have no really bad complaints on the seating and such in the Hisun UTVs.
The seating seems quite minimalist and not as enticing as some of the other more expensive brands. I’d say it’s adequate seating at best.
One thing I dislike about these UTVs is that they don’t have a park on their CVT. It is simply High, Low, Neutral, and Reverse. So you have to engage a parking brake at all times to park your vehicle.
The engine braking on these UTVs is pretty good and people have seemed to have no problem in this regard to the Hisun side-by-sides.
The shocks and suspension was something else that people have said they needed to adjust. Obviously, suspension adjustment is something that all UTVs need from time to time.
More expensive/higher-end model UTVs have suspension/shock adjustment that you can do from the cab, but for these lesser-end models, you usually have to do some tinkering around by hand.
People have reported having to mess around with a balance of soft-rigid suspension settings and varying air pressure until they find the right fit for the terrain they are on.
While this isn’t a make or break thing for most consumers, and certainly not myself, it is just an added step in adjusting your vehicle.
Others have also reported putting on other shocks, that aren’t stock by Hisun on some of the earlier 2012 models, so really anything aftermarket is just consumer preference.
All in all the reviews seem to be good. The Hisun side-by-side’s seem to be durable and reliable. They are a happy medium for UTV consumers who want fun and efficient UTVs without breaking the bank.
Frequent Problems of Hisuns
The most frequent problems that I am viewing about these Hisun UTVs is for overheating of the engine and exhaust.
Granted these problems seem to be occurring with the earlier model Hisun UTVs 2011-2012.
This, however, seems to be an easy fix, as most people would just install dual fans to help cool the engine and would wrap the exhaust so that it isn’t as hot.
Other more intrusive fixes included modifying the hood compartment, and moving the cooler that is in front of the radiator slightly. People report that doing this usually helps with the problem.
Other problems that are reported here and there are about the transmission being a little bit sticky, some bolts on the rear differential being loose, and the suspension not having dampeners.
There are similar issues like this with every UTV out there after it has seen extensive use and so I don’t believe that those problems should deter anyone from buying a Hisun.
You’re always going to have maintenance problems here and there with any type of vehicle you own, UTV or not.
Overall Impressions of Hisun UTVs
Overall I think that Hisun side-by-sides are decently fair. They seem to be good quality and run well.
If I had all the money in the world they certainly wouldn’t be my first pick, but for that nice low to mid-range price, they seem to be a good buy.
If you can do without all the added accessories I might say find a used Polaris or Can-am but if you want something new then I see nothing wrong with purchasing a Hisun.
The reviews were all pretty good. I mean this brand seems to really be a mid-range brand, which is why I’m not really raving about them.
I don’t see any problems quality wise. They stack up nicely against the competition and I believe they would make a nice accessory to anyone who is looking to get started with their first low-risk side-by-side.
How Does Hisun Compare to Polaris?
In most instances Hisun UTVs are going to cost you less when compared to one of the largest off-road manufacturers, Polaris. But in terms of vehicle quality and ride how do they compare to each other?
Let’s take a closer look a the Hisun Sector 750 and the Polaris Ranger 1000, two very popular UTV models.
Hisun Sector 750:
Engine: Equipped with a potent liquid-cooled, four-stroke, OHV V-twin engine delivering up to 45 horsepower.
Styling: Hisun offers a rugged, bold appearance with a unique grille design and aggressive headlights.
Speed Control: Despite its top speed of 55 mph, it’s surprisingly easy to handle, suitable for rough trails, steep climbs, and heavy workloads.
Usability: Ultra-versatile, it’s ideal for both trail and work, with a 735cc engine and on-demand 4-wheel drive system.
Polaris Ranger 1000:
Engine: Boasts a powerful 999cc ProStar engine, one of the market’s most potent UTVs.
Styling: Features a sleek, modern design with chiseled bodywork, sharp lines, and a spacious, comfortable cabin.
Speed Control: Offers speed control features like engine braking, active descent control, and electronic power steering for precise handling.
Usability: Reigns supreme with a 2,500-pound towing capacity, 11.5 cubic-foot cargo bed, and compatibility with various accessories.
Pros and Cons:
Hisun Sector 750:
- Pros: Affordable, good power, versatile for work and play.
- Cons: Lower build quality, limited support, cramped interior.
Polaris Ranger 1000:
- Pros: Powerful, comfortable, advanced tech.
- Cons: Costly, lower fuel efficiency, less maneuverable in tight spaces.
Choose the Hisun Sector 750 for a budget-friendly option with good power and versatile features. Opt for the Polaris Ranger 1000 for premium speed, styling, and advanced tech.
Other UTV Brands you May Want to Look Into
Hisun and Polaris are only two of the many UTV manufacturers available to you. Here’s a quick look at some other big and smaller names brands.
Honda has been making some pretty big waves in the side-by-side world recently with their 2023 lineup. Their Honda Pioneer currently has a MSRP of between $11,899 and $16,999, depending on the exact model.
This mid-range utility UTV boasts a narrow 50-inch width for trail maneuverability.
Transmission: It offers both automatic (AT) and manual (MT) modes via paddle shifters.
Performance: The 475cc, liquid-cooled engine with electronic fuel injection handles various conditions. It provides strong low-end torque and can tow up to 1,000 pounds.
Suspension/Drivetrain: The TRAXLOK system allows 2WD or 4WD traction. Suspension has 5.9 inches of travel for both front and rear wheels. Ground clearance is 8.5 inches, but overall suspension travel may be limited.
The Honda Pioneer shines in transmission versatility but has some limitations in ground clearance and suspension travel.
To read more about how Honda compares to Polaris, click here!
CFMoto stands out as a Chinese manufacturer that defies the stereotype of poorly made products from China. They’ve earned a reputation for building robust and competitive UTVs that rival top North American brands.
While Chinese-made ATVs and UTVs often face skepticism, CFMoto has worked diligently to dispel these doubts, proving their worth in the market through their quality products.
One area that I think that CFMoto shines is their engines. For the lower price you pay, you would expect an engine that does not perform as well as other more expensive name brands. The 2019 UForce 1000 has a V-Twin cylinder, 4-stroke engine. That is right up there with the Polaris Ranger Crew XP 1000.
The power of the engine in UFORCE 1000 engine is nothing to sneeze at. It has 79 Horsepower which is only slightly below the other ones. The displacement is higher than the Can-Am Defender XT which I found to be surprising.
To read more on CFMoto UTVs, click here!
Can-Am is a well-known brand in the UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) and ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) industry. It is a division of BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products), a Canadian company with a rich history in manufacturing various recreational vehicles. Here’s some key information about Can-Am UTVs:
- Product Range: Can-Am offers a wide range of UTVs, also known as Side-by-Sides. These include models for work, sport, and recreational use. Some popular Can-Am UTV series include the Can-Am Defender, Can-Am Maverick, and Can-Am Commander. They also have youth-oriented models like the Can-Am DS and Can-Am Outlander for ATVs.
- Performance: Can-Am UTVs are known for their performance capabilities. They often feature powerful engines, advanced suspension systems, and innovative technology to provide an exhilarating riding experience. The company offers models designed for both utility and sport, catering to a broad range of customers.
- Technology: Can-Am UTVs come equipped with various technological features, such as advanced navigation systems, electronic power steering, selectable driving modes, and digital displays. These features enhance comfort, control, and overall performance.
- Comfort and Design: Can-Am pays attention to rider comfort and ergonomics. Their UTVs often have well-designed interiors with comfortable seating and intuitive controls. They also offer various customization options, allowing customers to tailor their vehicles to their specific needs and preferences.
- Innovation: Can-Am is known for its innovation in the UTV industry. They’ve introduced features like the industry’s first factory-installed sound system, adaptable cargo solutions, and advanced suspension technology, setting trends in the market.
To read how Can-Am compare to Polaris, click here!
Massimo, founded in 2009 in Texas, manufactures UTVs in several series, including T-BOSS, Warrior, MSU, and Buck. Here’s a brief overview:
- T-BOSS Series: Nine models starting at $8,999.99. Premium but not overly expensive. For example: 2021 T-BOSS 550F offers a 3,000-pound winch, a 33-horsepower EFI engine, and speeds up to 45 mph.
- Warrior Series: Five models starting at $15,299. For example: 2021 Warrior 1000x includes a 4,500-pound winch, hydraulic/electric dump bed, and advanced features.
- MSU Series: Two models: 2021 MSU 800: $12,999.99; 2021 MSU 800-5: $15,999.99
- Buck Series: Four models starting at $6,699.99. For example: 2021 Buck 250: $6,699.99
Quality and customer service experiences vary among users. Consider your needs and budget carefully before buying.
To read more on Massimo UTVs, click here!
Bobcat’s line of side-by-sides is renowned for its ruggedness and high-quality construction, making them ideal for demanding terrain, job sites, and work environments.
These UTVs come equipped with a range of accessories that enhance their utility, whether you’re tackling tasks like plowing, landscaping, or pallet lifting.
Although they may not be the speediest options available, Bobcat side-by-sides boast substantial power, exceptional carrying capacity, and impressive towing capabilities.
To more about the Bobcat brand, click here!