ATV vs UTV: The Key Differences You Need to Know

If you’re in the market for a new recreational vehicle, you may be wondering what the differences are between an ATV vs UTV. These vehicles have their pros and cons, so it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.
Let’s take a look at the key differences between these vehicles. We’ll also give you some tips on which type might be best for your needs.

The Main Differences Between an ATV vs UTV

ATVs are great for off-road adventures. They’re perfect for traversing rough terrain and getting to hard-to-reach places. UTVs are also recreational vehicles, but they are also suited for hauling cargo or towing a trailer. Both vehicle types are suitable for outdoor adventure, but they still differ in these aspects:


ATVs are small vehicles, having a seating capacity for just one rider. They are suitable for taking quick turns and maneuvering in tight spaces. Operating them is pretty easy as there is only throttle for speed control and handlebars for steering.

UTVs are larger vehicles than ATVs. (Credit: PixaBay / dimitrisvetsikas1969)

UTVs are slightly larger as they have a seating capacity for up to four people. Because of having bucket- or bench-like seats, riders have more comfort on rough trails. If you know how to drive a car, you will have no problem driving a UTV. It has foot pedals, like a car, for speeding up and down and a steering wheel for maneuvering.


ATVs are smaller and more agile than UTVs. These features make them ideal for tight spots and maneuvering through forests or over rocks. UTVs are larger and have more ground clearance. For this reason, they are better suited for open areas like deserts or fields.

Safety Features

Recreational off-road vehicles don’t come with the best safety features. But if you still want to compare, UTVs will be the better option. They have roll bars and seat belts to keep passengers safe during a rollover. ATVs don’t have any such add-ons. However, you should use safety gear no matter which vehicle you are riding.


Another difference between the vehicles is in their price tag. ATVs are typically less expensive than UTVs. The reason for this difference is that UTVs are more complex machines with more features.



ATVs and UTVs have basically similar tires. But ATVs have significantly smaller front tires than their rear ones. The size difference in UTV front and rear tires is not that prominent.

So, what’s the verdict? If you’re looking for a vehicle that can handle a variety of tasks and you have a large area to cover, a UTV is the best option. If you’re mainly interested in off-road adventures, an ATV is the better choice.


Between an ATV vs UTV, both have their benefits and drawbacks. It’s important to decide what you need your vehicle for before making a purchase. Whichever type of vehicle you choose, make sure to do your research and pick the one that’s right for you.