In eastern Idaho, Kymco is not a common name in the UTV industry. In fact, unless you knew where to look, you likely couldn’t find one. Although there are a few dealers scattered about the region, most people know little or nothing about the Taiwan powersports company.
So when the editors of Dirt Toys Magazine got a chance to spend some quality time on the Kymco 2017 UXV 700i LE, we jumped at it.
At face value, the UXV 700I LE is most comparable (price, size and market) to the Polaris Ranger 570, Can Am Defender 800, Kawasaki Mule 800 and the Honda Pioneer 700. It is slightly less expensive, perhaps not quite as fast, and definitely not as visible on the trail as its competition.
But don’t be fooled, the Kymco is quality built and offers a great ride in rugged terrain as all the competition. It just hasn’t been around out West as long and is slow to break into the mountain market.
So what are the selling points of the Kymco?
First, the power package is complete with its 695cc fuel-injected and liquid-cooled 4-stroke/4-valve engine. Electronic fuel injection offers smooth acceleration and great fuel economy.
Kymco’s CVT automatic transmission features high and low gears plus reverse. It also has an On Demand two wheel drive and four wheel drive at a touch of a button. And in case of extreme traction demands, Kymco features a selectable Front Differential Lock.
A front and rear dual A-arm independent suspension provides a smooth ride even in the extreme rugged terrain.
Basically, the Kymco is comparable to all other quality side-by-sides made. Although the UXV 700i is built to be somewhat sporty, it’s still designed to be a utility vehicle the can carry a 420-pound payload, pull 1,200 pounds and still be fun to drive.
In a quick walk-around, we noticed the Kymco’s quality fit and finish. This thing wasn’t just thrown together. A lot of engineering went into the design. The seat was comfortable. There was plenty of room in the cab for both the rider and passenger.
Once we got on the trail, we found that although there is adequate power and performance, the Kymco was not designed for speed. It was very comfortable cruising at 40 mph, although we did get it up over 55 mph. Although it is sporty, its design is more for function that speed.
Being that it is still springtime in the mountains, our ride took us over some rutted trails left by vehicles that had recently dug their way through soggy soil. In these conditions the Kymco impressed us on how well it worked when negotiating deep ruts. You could really feel the independent suspension working its way through the holes and bumps.
For about 60 miles we worked our way through dirt, dust, rocks and mud. (Kymco’s 26-inch tires did an excellent job in gripping the terrain without flinging mud everywhere. It was nice to not be covered by gobs of sticky mud for a change.) The UXV handled well. There was just a little vibration in the steering wheel, which is very common in all UTVs, and little or now vibration permeating through the chassis.
At the end of the ride we weren’t fatigued from driving like what you may expect from a utility vehicle. The UXV delivered enough “sport” to the ride to make you want to go out for more.
Although Kymco may not be a household name, expect it to become a lot better known in the UTV industry as word gets out that this vehicle can deliver the goods.