Best Side-by-Side Vehicles Under $10,000


Are you an avid outdoorsman with a budget? If so, you are probably in search of the best side-by-side (also known as a utility task vehicle) that is both affordable and useful. My name is Michael Aguirre, and I’m here to give you all the information on the best side-by-sides under $10,000.

What are the best side-by-side vehicles under 10 grand? The most versatile and economically friendly side-by-sides on the market today are:

  • Kawasaki Mule SX XC – $8,399.
  • Honda Pioneer 500 –  $9,599
  • Polaris Ranger 500 – $8,999.
  • Can-Am Defender HD5-$9,999
  • Polaris ACE 570SP: $9,999
  • CF Moto ZFORCE 800: $9,999
  • Polaris Ranger 570: $9,999
  • Kymco UXV450: $7,999
  • 2016 Hisun Sector 750: $8999
  • Textron Prowler 500: $8,499

These UTVs are the top picks because of how fuel efficient and user-friendly they are. These models also avoid many of the pitfalls and complications that UTVs are sometimes known to have. And of course, all of these are less than $10,000.

Finding an affordable yet versatile side-by-side vehicle specific to your needs is no small task. Most UTV buyers tend to look for the most attractive or fastest UTVs on the market, but looks aren’t everything. Continue reading to learn how to recognize the amazing qualities of a reliable side-by-side within your budget range.

All of the hard-working gems listed above are great options, but you’ll also want to be able to recognize these qualities for yourself.

Kawasaki Mule SX XC

Price (MSRP)-$8,399

The Kawasaki Mule SX XC is a marvelous machine that perfectly marries the benefits of a low-maintenance and cheap UTV with the high-performance qualities that only the best UTVs have. The reason that this multipurpose utility vehicle is worth the money boils down to two very important features.

First, the handling on this vehicle is an absolute dream, providing quick steering and rapid response on the transmission part without being too jerky. The Kawasaki Mule SX XC comes with a 2-speed, automatic transmission; which is, in my opinion, the simplest yet most effective transmission out there.

It is so simple and straightforward that a child could learn to drive it if they were eligible to do so by law. If you are looking for a one of the highest-quality UTVs on the market, you always need to pay extra attention to how it handles on the roads and trails.

Secondly, the 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, OHV engine built into this baby puts out a max torque of 21.7 lbs.per foot. If you aren’t aware of just how amazing that is, that much torque can tow nearly 1,100 lbs. of equipment. Plus, due to the phenomenal air-cooling feature in the engine, this machine is like a workhorse that never seems to overheat or get tired.

If you are looking for your number one, all-purpose UTV under 10 grand, this is the best one on the market, guaranteed.

Honda Pioneer 500

The Honda Pioneer 500 is a phenomenal compact vehicle. This particular UTV can replace pickup trucks any day and comes super close to achieving the first place spot on our list. The only reason it didn’t make number one on our list as the best UTV under 10 grand is that automatic transmission requires that one uses paddle shifters rather than the familiar gear shifts found in an automatic car.

While the option to have the vehicle perform gear shifts automatically is provided, the manual shifting can be very tricky to one who is unfamiliar with paddle shifters.

Honda Motors has always had a reputation of gold. This Japanese motor company has been making their motorized vehicles to perfection for over seventy years now, so you know they know their stuff when it comes to motors. The Honda pioneer is just another testament of the precision and fine-tuning the goes into all Honda vehicles.

This UTV is built for most purposes such as construction projects, hunting outings, family fun on the trails, and mining operations. This compact little vehicle is easy to maneuver in tight conditions and can fit into a full-sized truck bed or small shed, making it the perfect vehicle for hunters.

Some of the notable features on this particular UTV are the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and large rear carrier design (450 lb. capacity). Though I wouldn’t recommend using the Honda pioneer for super heavy loads, such as the ones carried in logging or mining situations, it is built to be swift and light for easy portation.

Clocking in at a top speed of 40 mph, the Honda Pioneer 500 sports a 28.6 horsepower engine. It also comes with independent rear suspension, coupled with a phenomenal transmission to provide the best handling money can buy. If you are in the market for a perfect vehicle built for outings with the family or with your hunting crew, this UTV fits the bill.

Polaris Ranger 500

Coming in third on our list, the Polaris Ranger 500 is a noteworthy competitor on our list. Quick and strong, this UTV has very few setbacks and deserves the third place position on our list.

The Polaris Ranger 500 is best known for being a favorite among hunters and farmers. This machine is very quiet on the trail in comparison to other UTV of its class, purring along the trail. The 32 horsepower, 498cc, 4-stroke engine is truly a wonder to behold.

This UTV can put out a maximum speed of 44 mph on flat elevation and is faster than most other UTVs made by nearly all manufacturers. Along with that, this machine has a maximum towing capacity of 1,250 lb (567 kg) and a payload weight capacity of 1,000 lb (453.6 kg). Some notable features that really stand out are the speed key which limits your speed to 23 mph to avoid speeding and the level of comfort found with this vehicle.

This UTV has to be one of the most comfortable on the market, with a soft two-person bench, plenty of legroom and comfortable seat belts that will not dig into your shoulders. Upon the first drive, it becomes quite apparent that This UTV was built with taller operators in mind, sporting high arching roll-cage, a comfortably placed adjusting steering wheel and plenty of distance between the seat and pedals to avoid having to cram in.

The reason this UTV doesn’t deserve a higher placement on this list is a slight manufacturing error with the floorboard that causes it to easily crack when on mountain trails. Though this does not pose any real danger for the driver or passenger, it is a noticeable flaw that really stands out and causes a rattling sound when driving. Though not perfect, this relatively cheap yet quality utility task vehicle is one worth looking into.

Can-Am Defender HD8

Price (MSRP)-$9,999

If you are looking for a heavy duty side-by-side and are willing to sacrifice some speed, the Can-Am Defender HD5 is the right tool for the job This side-by-side is a meaty machine, built for hauling heavy material and for facilitating any large scale project you may have.

The heavy duty 38 horsepower, single cylinder engine makes this vehicle a powerhouse on the work field, with a towing capacity of 2,500-lbs (1,134 kg). The engine on this baby is phenomenal, giving you the right ratio of speed to power.

Some other notable features worth looking at are the central skid plate to avoid undercarriage damage when running into debris, the intelligent throttle control, and a flippable VERSA-PRO bench seat to allow more space for storage. This UTV is a farmer’s dream. If you are in the market for a workhorse rather than a vehicle for fun, the CAN-AM Defender HD8 is the optimal choice for you.

Polaris ACE 570 SP

Price (MSRP): $9,299

The Polaris ACE 570 SP is the odd one out in the side by side market, for the reason that it is a single driver UTV advertised as a side-by-side. However, it does not slough out on quality and lives up to the Polaris reputation as one of the best sport side-by-sides out there.

If you are looking for a side by side that is built for pure, high-speed offroad pleasure, the ACE 570 SP is the right UTV for you. This sportsman UTV is built with a single cylinder four stroke engine, that when coupled with the lightweight sporty build can top out at 60 mph, making this fastest UTV for its price.

This vehicle is larger than your average ATV but significantly smaller than your average UTV, providing that perfect middle ground for trailblazers and off-road enthusiasts.

Like the Polaris RZR, the ACE 570 knows how to run rough scenarios but at a fraction of the cost and is only built with one seat for single riding. This model comes with electric power steering, making tacking through tight trails a dream.

Built a sportsman standard roll cage and double A-arm front suspension, the ACE 570 SP is one of the most sophisticated and trail worthy UTVs on the market; guaranteed to surprise any outdoor sportsman with just how phenomenal this machine handles.

Though built for the roughest of conditions, the ACE sure can provide a comfortable ride for riders of all ages eligible for a driver’s license. Even for elder riders, the ACE is a common favorite for accessibility and comfort. With plenty of legroom and just enough space between you and the wheel, you’ll feel tightly locked in for a wild ride.

CF Moto ZFORCE 800

Price: $9,999

Any outdoor adventurer and UTV veteran driver would know that for a long ride one a reliable vehicle, but what about comfort? The CF Moto ZFORCE 800 is the perfect example of the right amount of utility and comfort.

THe ZFORCE has been repeatedly tested by professionals and enthusiasts alike in the attempt to understand what makes this vehicle so enjoyable to ride for its price. The answer to this question is quite simple; you get more bang for your buck with this machine. Coming with all the standard equipment and then some, this is quite the package for a small price.

The ZFORCE 800 comes with a winch, mirrors, signals and a horn to just name a few. Coming stock with  800cc V-twin four-stroke motor, this UTV can put out around 54 lbs/ft of torque, which roughly translates into nearly 62 horsepower. With such a powerful engine fitted into such a light frame, this side-by-side can reach a top speed of 70mph.

The power steering on this baby is phenomenal. While often times, power steering can seem sub-par or even nonexistent with vehicles of the same price range, the power steering on the CFMoto ZFORCE 800 is the Goldilocks standard in the world of off-road sports.

One really can’t go wrong with how easy it is to steer this thing. It is highly unlikely for one to feel out of control or overcorrectm their steering when going down mountain trails. Built with two CFMoto factory standard seats and high-quality double wishbone suspension, this UTV will surprise any driver or passenger for how comfortable the ride is going down the trail, despite the hazards on the trail.

Now, let’s talk about dimensions. The CF Moto ZFORCE 800 provides a generous amount of ground clearance. With 11.8 in. (300mm) of ground clearance, that pesky trail debris and rocks would be a bother. With all this in mind, one can come to see that the CFMoto ZFORCE 800 is an optimal choice for any outdoorsman with a budget and a need for speed.

Polaris Ranger 570

Price: $9,999

The Polaris Ranger 570 is a simple workhouse machine. In short, this UTV is similar to most higher quality working UTVs on the market but with a smaller, yet efficient, engine and lacks electrical power-steering.

Focusing on what the Polaris Ranger 570 is exceptional at, the engine has an output of 44 horsepower, which is more than enough to get the heavy chores done around the ranch or camp site. This vehicle has a payload carrying capacity of 600 pounds, which is plenty for anyone looking for a pack mule to tote around your tools. On top of that, it also has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds.

Certainly, it must be obvious by now that the Polaris Ranger 570 is not meant for recreation. While it is advertised as a work or recreation UTV, it mostly lies on the work side of the spectrum due to the lack of power steering. Some have said that for trail taming, the Polaris Ranger 570 is not the vehicle for the job, and can be quite a handful.

However, even with these negative insights, none can diminish its reputation for being one of the best work-based UTVs on the market for under $10,000. Don’t let the serious nature of the Polaris Ranger 570 scare you off so easily. Where it shines is in the hard work it can preform daily without fail; hauling off logs, pulling one-and-a-half ton trailers with ease, being a phenomenal pack mule machine.

One downside that seems to have become a trend for the Polaris Motor company, is the lack of a windshield. This undoubtedly shaves off some of the cost to produce this model, which certainly determines the price. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem seeing how the Polaris Ranger 570 is not built for speed.

Kymco UXV450:

Price:$7999

Though this little red truck is the lowest priced UTV on this list, it certainly doesn’t skimp out on the power. Powered by a 443cc SOHC four-stroke, EFI engine, the Kymco 450 puts out 24.6kW (33hp), which is more than enough to get all the heavy lifting done on the farm. This UTV is like having a super obedient and cheap ranch hand that you can drive. This particular model comes with quite a lot of storage space between the storage compartment under the seat, a glove box, and a payload.

The Kymco 450 is extremely quite. If you are a cattle rancher, you know there is nothing worse than scaring off your heard. While it’s not the end of the world when it does happen, it sure can make the day seem to drag on and on. A group of cattle ranchers in the western United States wanted to test how quiet the Kymco was, so they decided to take it out into their pasture. To their astonishment, the cattle didn’t even bat an eye since its presence wasn’t startling in the slightest.

While the Kymco 450 handles well and is rather handy in most situations on the ranch, we are disappointment in the fact that it doesn’t come with a windshield. Either way, this UTV is very affordable, but it isn’t cheap when it comes to quality.

2016 Hisun Sector 750

Price: $8999

Now, this one is a real treat. The Hisun Sector 750 is incredibly affordable and comes with few tricks up its sleeves. Let’s begin with he positives.

Each Hisun Sectro 750 comes with a single cylinder OHV four stroke engine. With a towing capacity of 1200 pounds and a fuel capacity is 7.9 gallons, this little UTV will give you just enough power for most situations.

Farm hands, and ranchers should lean more toward heavier UTVs with a higher towing capacity. However, for homeowners who enjoy a construction project now and again and are looking for a cheap machine to carry around your materials, the Hisun Sector 750 will do that and then some.

Let’s be honest, though the Hisun Sector 750 is not the most attractive UTV on the block, it is known as being one of the most reliable UTVs on the market for an affordable price. Hisun is dedicated to producing motors that are built to last and get the job done well, but for lower prices.


Textron Prowler 500:

Price: $8,499

The Texron Prowler 500 is far from a lightweight machine. While similar to the last three vehicles on this list, this model is a mid-weight machine that truly shines.

Featuring a liquid-cooled 500 4-stroke engine, this model will make an essential addition to any rancher equipment. With a towing capacity of a ton and a half, and a payload capacity of 500 pounds, you can bet the Textron Prowler 500 is reliable.

This mid-sized side-by-side comes stock with a 2 passenger bench, a tilting rear cargo box, and decent windshield. Many workers and ranch hands revere this side-by-side for the extra 15 gallons of storage space apart from the payload, which really gives it that edge on the market for versatility.

This vehicle is not meant to be pretty, just reliable for anyone in search of a powerful beast of a vehicle for a lower price. You really cannot beat finding a vehicle of this quality for 8.5 thousand dollars.

Why Purchase A Side-By-Side Below $10,000?

Simply put, side-by-sides can be more if not just as pricey as a regular car. However, for many hard-working men and women, UTVs are essential to day to day work life. While in search of that perfect utility vehicle, many workers and employers believe that the pricier the better and then miss out on a UTV that is equally as efficient and half the price. Don’t let this be you. Look into these models. They are just as efficient as any other hefty side-by-side on the market for double the price.

Related Questions

What is the best side-by-side at a low price? The best side-by-side for the money is the Kawasaki Mule SX XC for $8,399. For hardworking individuals who also like to have fun, the Mule SX XC is the perfect fit due to its versatility and well rounded development.

Where to buy the best side-by-sides for cheap? Craigslist and Actionmotor.com are the best places online to buy the best side-by-sides for cheap. Craigslist, in particular, has become quite popular in the northwestern hemisphere and is often used to sell vehicles to a local buyer, giving buyers room to negotiate price. Acttionmotor.com is known for their extensive knowledge of all kinds of offroad motorized vehicles and give great deals for pre-owned standard issue vehicles.

Why are side-by-sides so expensive? The market for side-by-sides is steep, with very little competition among other types of vehicles. Due to how exclusive this product is, it is most profitable for manufacturers to charge more for their vehicles. Buying a side-by-side is like buying a car, following the same regulations and pricing standards.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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