Youth side-by-sides are typically much cheaper than their adult-sized side-by-side counterparts due to their smaller engines, less power, and smaller size. Depending on the manufacturer and style of the vehicle, youth side-by-sides cost anywhere from $1000-5,500.
You will rarely find a youth side-by-side that is 6,000 dollars or more. You may reach that kind of price if you purchase various accessories for your side-by-side, but that is typical for any off-road vehicle that you purchase youth or adult.
Side-by-sides have become an integral part of the Powersports world. Where ATVs once ruled, side-by-sides are pushing their way to the top, and they are truly taking the market by storm.
As more and more Powersports companies produce side-by-sides in order to stay current and ride this rising trend, consumers have been calling for not just fun fast side-by-sides for themselves and their families, but also for something that their children can ride all on their own.
If you are familiar with economics, consumers dictate the market, so people asked for youth side-by-sides and various companies like Polaris and Hisun answered the call.
Youth side-by-sides are a great way to help get your new young driver into side-by-sides, and Powersports in general and be able to do so in a smart and safe way.
Adult side-by-sides typically have large motors from 250cc and above, that can be a little much power and vehicle to handle for a young child, and not to mention it is not the safest idea or way to teach your kid either.
Youth side-by-sides are much smaller in comparison to their adult counterparts and have various features that allow for parental control over the vehicle in order to manage, power, speed, and other factors of the side-by-side.
There are even side-by-side options for small toddlers if you want to begin to teach your children at that young an age. So no matter what age you are wanting to start, there is typically some form of side-by-side out there that can more than meet your needs.
With that being the case let us look at some of the various youth side-by-sides that are out on the market today in order to give you a better idea of what is available and what side-by-side may be the best fit for you and your child.
I will not go into a lot of detail about toddler-sized side-by-sides. Typically I would not even mention them but since this article is specifically on youth side-by-sides and toddlers are today’s youth I will give it a brief mention.
There are quite a few different options for toddler-sized side-by-sides out on the market. Most of them are off-brand names that are not apparent in the larger Powersports and more precisely, side-by-side world.
These “side-by-sides” could really be considered electric karts at best. While they are marketed as side-by-sides they are more akin to the little barbie jeeps you might find one of the kids in the neighborhood riding around in.
While a few of these vehicles do offer 4×4 capabilities they are very limited in where they can be used, and are typically made from hard, durable, plastic and are battery-powered.
It makes sense that these vehicles are so underpowered though, mainly because I would not recommend a toddler to be driving anything powered by more than a 24-volt battery. Especially nothing that is gas-powered.
All this being said, there are options out there for you to look at, so let us look at one.
Blade XR 4×4 UTV Ride On Side X Side RC: $497.99
For what it is, and that is is designed for toddlers, this side-by-side really is kind of cool looking. If you want your toddler to be able to drive around in his/her own vehicle and look cool doing it then I would recommend this vehicle.
While most of these smaller side-by-sides look pretty lame and have no real grit to them, this one actually does. The Blade XR actually has 4WD capability and it has a long-travel suspension. So your toddler will actually be able to go over some smaller bumps and rocks without too much hassle.
The Blade XR has a 20-inch wide leather seat insert, and it also has an AUX/MP3 outlet so your child can even listen to music while he totes around the backyard or campground.
This side-by-side comes with a remote control as well so that you, the parent, can have complete control over the vehicle so that your child does not go anywhere they should not, and can stay safe and out of danger.
The vehicle has a fail-safe option so that if the side-by-side goes out of range from the remote control, then the vehicle shuts down until it is in range of the remote control once more. There is also an emergency stop button on the remote control so that you can stop the vehicle immediately if danger presents itself.
Other than that the controller gives the parents options to control the speed of the vehicle.
So equipped with 9-inches of ground clearance, a 12V battery, 4WD, and long-travel suspension, your toddler can tote around in the Blade XR in style.
Getting into the larger “youth” side-by-sides we have some side-by-sides that are gas-powered and therefore have a little bit more power, speed, and torque to them compared to the toddler-sized side-by-sides.
Most of the side-by-sides listed here would be for children of ages 10+. There are a few different companies that offer youth side-by-sides, the ones we will look at here are Polaris and Hisun.
Can-Am does not offer any youth style side-by-sides surprisingly, neither does Kawasaki, Yamaha, or Honda. So a lot of the big-name companies are out for the count on this one.
Besides Polaris, a lot of youth side-by-sides are sold from more obscure overseas companies from China and the like. In my opinion, though Polaris and Hisun currently offer the best youth side-by-sides out there in terms of quality and price.
RZR 170 EFI: $5,299
The RZR 170 EFI is 2WD and has a 168cc engine, that can go up to about 25 miles per hour. You do not need to worry though because it has speed settings, so the parent can decide how fast the vehicle can go ranging from 10-25 miles per hour.
The RZR 170 sits 6 inches off the ground and has a width of 48 inches so it is a relatively small vehicle. It has a protective roll cage, adjustable seats, as well as safety nets around the doors and sturdy seat belts.
Polaris also is nice enough to include 2 standard youth helmets and a training DVD when purchasing the vehicle to help your child get started right.
Ranger 150 EFI: $5,499
The Ranger 150 EFI is just a bit cooler than the RZR 170 in my opinion. It has the same parental safeguard features but boosted a bit. With the Ranger, you can have a geo-fencing feature from your phone.
Meaning you can put in a certain area that the Ranger can travel, say the perimeter of your house, and the vehicle will not be able to travel anywhere outside that perimeter that you have set. Within that same app, you can control the speed limit of the vehicle and make a password protected start, so your child can’t even start the vehicle without your permission.
The Ranger 150 has a 150cc engine, slightly smaller than the RZR 170, and is also 2WD. The Ranger has higher ground clearance though at 8-inches and also has a cargo box that can carry 50 pounds of things.
Strike 250: $5,199
Out of all of the side-by-sides listed, I believe that Hisun has the best bang for your buck when it comes to the youth side-by-sides. Not only is this strike 250 less money than the RZR 170, but it comes with a lot more things included with it.
The Strike 250 also has parental safety features for speed and such just like the RZR and the Ranger, however, the Strike 250 comes with a roof, windshield, doors, and a 2,500-pound synthetic rope winch.
The Strike 250 is 2WD like the Polaris youth models, and it has independent dual A-arm suspension front and back. It has a cargo bed capacity of 50 pounds and has an 8-inch ground clearance.
Sector 250: $5,599
The Sector 250 is Hisun’s version of the Polaris Ranger. It has 229cc engine so it is a bit larger than the Ranger 150, it does not have any of the geofencing features that the Ranger has either, but it does have all of the same included accessories that the Strike 250 has.
The cargo bed capacity is more than the Ranger’s though with a capacity of 110 pounds the Sector has an 8-inch ground clearance like the Strike 250 and the competing Polaris models.
There are plenty of other models out there to choose from for youth side-by-sides but the ones listed here, are in my opinion, the best ones on the market. They are from trusted brands that continually deliver quality products for a fair price.
No matter who you decide to buy from, be sure to do your due diligence in researching the product and be safe when letting your kids go out and operate machines such as these.