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ATV Buyer's Guide

Market Share:

ATV market share is led by Honda (27%) and then followed by Polaris (25%), Yamaha (18%), Can-Am (10%), Arctic Cat (8%), Kawasaki (7%), and Suzuki (5%). In 2010, there were 256,750 new ATV units sold. Sales peaked in 2004 at 812,970 new units.


Polaris dominates UTV sales with 36% of the market followed by Kawasaki, Kubota, John Deere, Yamaha, Arctic Cat, Honda and Can-Am.

How to Buy the Best ATV:

There are many things to consider when buying your new ATV or UTV. Your budget will be the first place you will want to start. ATV's range in price from approximately $2,000 for a 50cc kids model to around $20,000 for a top of the line side-by-side model.

Once you have a budget in mind, the next thing to do is determine whether you want to buy a new or used one. There are obvious pros and cons to each path and it just depends on which way you feel more comfortable. There is nothing like a new ATV but you will pay a premium to have this. But if you have a tight budget, preowned might be the best way to go.

Now that you have a budget in mind, you need to decide which class of ATV/UTV you want. Do you want a Utility, Sport, Side by Side, etc? If you are looking for something fast and don't need to use it in the woods, then a sport ATV model is best. However, if you plan on using it for hunting, plowing, towing, etc. then a utility class ATV would fit you best. And, if you are looking to carry more than 2 people, then a UTV model would be best for you.

The next way to narrow down your choices for an ATV is the engine size. They range in size from a 50cc kid's ATV model to an 1100cc UTV. In the past, selecting a 2 stroke vs. 4 stroke model was an important consideration but now most models are all 4 stroke. The number of engine cylinders can be another way to further narrow down your choices based upon the engine.

Now you are starting to narrow your selections down. If you have a brand preference such as Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Polaris, or Can-am, narrowing it down to 1 or 2 brands will help even more. It all depends on your situation. Some people are extremely brand loyal while other consumers could care less and just want the best ATV/UTV for their budget.

Another way to narrow down your choices even more is whether you want a 4x4 model. And then once you know this, selecting the transmission type such as manual or automatic will further narrow down your choices.

The above ATV buyer's guide should be able to help you narrow your choices in ATVs down to a small list, but if you are still not sure what ATV to buy then there are a few other considerations. Ground clearance can be an important spec if you are looking to take your ATV off road. Also, weight can be another important consideration too.

Hopefully the above ATV buyer's guide helps you narrow down your choices to find an ATV/UTV that fits your needs. We have a great ATV research tool on that can help you narrow down your choices even more so check it out!!!

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