Cost Vs Performance

Comparing Kawasaki & Kymco…

September 2017 Reviews Steve Janes Web Exclusive

            Often we’re told you cannot compare apples to oranges. Well, if you’re choosing between buying an apple or buying an orange, some comparisons must be made in your decision-making process.

            Recently the Editors of Dirt Toys Magazine took our 2017 Kawasaki 800 Teryx LE and 2017 Kymco UXV 700i LE out on a mountain ride. We have always found the best way to see the strengths and weaknesses of a UTV is not only by testing it in severe terrain, but also by having another vehicle available to provide a contrast.

            The Kawasaki and Kymco are two very different side-by-sides. Although both offer a “performance” component mixed with a utility design, the Teryx is much better equipped to pound down the trails than the UXV.

            The most important difference, which tends to tell the story about the market intent of these two vehicles, is the cost. The Kymco retails for $9,699, whereas the Kawasaki is listed at $14,999. So just by the price you see the Teryx is going to feature a bigger engine, better suspension and nicer creature-comforts than the UXV.

            All these features are noticeable on the trail.

            Almost immediately you can tell the Kawasaki is heavier and a little more stable—thus, the suspension tends to absorb the bumps and the ride comes across much smoother. The seats are noticeably softer. Since the Kymco is lighter, the bumps tend to bounce the unit around a little more. The seats are stiff, but still very functional. You wouldn’t complain about the ride if you didn’t have a direct and immediate comparison.

            The Kawasaki features a 783cc four-stroke engine while the Kymco offers a 695cc four-stroke engine. This allows the Teryx to carry a slightly larger payload. The Kawasaki wheelbase is also just under 87 inches while the Kymco’s wheelbase is just over 75 inches—thus a little more stability. The Teryx also sports 27-inch tires while the UXV offers 26-inch tires.

            Although the Teryx has more power and can reach higher ground speeds, we never felt the UXV was underpowered for the terrain and held its own while climbing and crawling over rocks.

            The bottom line comes down to how much you want to budget when looking for a new side-by-side. If you spend 30 percent more, you’re likely going to get 30 percent more in performance are ride. And if you spend a lot of time out on the trails, it’s always better to spend a little more on the Kawasaki.

            But if you’re looking for a good affordable ride for those occasional weekend outings, don’t be afraid to look at the Kymco. It delivers a lot of bang for the buck.

            Again, the two are like apples and oranges. And it all comes down to your diet.

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