What Is a Side-By-Side ATV? (A Quick Guide)

Cool pictures of active ATV driving in mud and wat

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Off Road four-wheeled “bikes” are used for utility, enjoyment, or sport. You’ve heard of ATVs, sometimes referred to as quads. However, another form of ATV particularly unique is the “side-by-side” ATV.


This type of ATV is an off-road vehicle similar to a car in that it has one steering wheel and two seats. They are designed to be driven on various terrains, including mud and snow. Although more expensive than quads, side-by-side provides a more comfortable and communal driving experience.


Keep reading to find out more.


About Side-By-Side ATV

Black and Gray Utv on Brown Ground


An ATV technically refers to any vehicle designed to be driven over “all-terrain.” For example, you might call a Jeep Wrangler an ATV and be true since it is designed to handle any terrain.

However, most people associate quads with four-wheeled motorbikes equipped with off-road tires and meaty suspension. If you want to refer to another kind of ATV, you will often need to specify which one you are referring to.


Side by side is the 2nd most common ATV type. They are between a Jeep and a quad but lean more toward the Jeep side.


It gets better: Rather than a motorcycle-style arrangement with a throttle, handlebar, and a seat on top, the seating, pedals, and steering wheel are similar to those seen on the side-by-side ATV.


Because they are not street legal, they are designed only for off-roading, whether for sport or utility.


Note: A more straightforward approach to side-by-side vehicles is to call them UTVs, the acronym for utility terrain vehicles.


Regardless of the name, you may still refer to sport-oriented side-by-side UTVs; it’s just a more convenient way to distinguish quad ATVs from side-by-side ATVs.


A UTV may have two or four seats, with four-seaters being more popular for a more comfortable UTV ride. If you’re more into off-road sports, you’ll notice that two-seaters are more preferred.


People ride UTVs due to their more familiar experience than an ATV, which needs practice and physical skill in the case of a sports ATV. On the other hand, UTVs are instantly understandable by anybody driving a vehicle or understanding how a car operates.


As if that’s not enough: UTVs are more relaxing for lengthy trips than ATVs since you are seated. Both driver and passenger may benefit from a more relaxed experience overall, which results in a more friendly encounter that can last a whole day.


For utility uses, a UTV can hold or transport more items, plow snow more effectively, and pull more effectively because of its bigger and heavier size and weight.


Not to argue that UTVs are superior to ATVs: they provide an entirely new experience, but we simply attempt to explain why you may purchase/use one over an ATV.


Types of Side-By-Side ATVs


UTVs, like ATVs, may be classified in various ways based on what they are intended to be used for.


1. Utility

atv 3


The utility UTV is intended for practical usage or to assist in outdoor activities like hunting. A UTV is useful for getting around a farm, towing, plowing snow, and transporting equipment. These are the less expensive UTVs since they are not designed to be speed demons but rather functional and comfortable vehicles.


2. Sport 

atv 4


Sport UTVs focus only on recreational use, and this is where you’ll spend the most money on a machine, depending on how powerful and sophisticated you want your UTV to be. They may also be the least expensive due to the lack of bells and whistles, such as luggage space and winches.


These are smaller, more streamlined bikes with bucket seats, strong engines, and a “sportier” suspension designed to handle quick, hard turns. They may be four-seaters, but you’re more likely to find two or even one-seaters here since smaller size equals less weight and higher performance.


3. Sport Utility

atv 5


This kind of UTV or side-by-side is multipurpose and may be utilized for recreational or utility reasons. The seats are often sporty “bucket” seats designed to keep both the driver and passenger in position through sharp bends while maintaining the functionality of a utility UTV. If you have room for one UTV, this is the way to go.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do They Call It Side-By-Side?


It contrasts with an ATV; a side-by-side includes car-like controls, including a steering wheel, pedals, and a bench seat that mimics a car seat. They are termed “side-by-sides” because they typically feature two seats next to each other, with the option of adding rear seats.


Where Can I Learn to Drive ATVs?


You can learn at the ATV Safety Institute, where students learn fundamental safety methods through hands-on activities that include starting and stopping, turning (both slow and rapid), emergency stopping and swerving, climbing slopes, and riding over barriers. Each lesson includes a section on safety concerns.


How Do an ATV and a Four-Wheeler Differ?


An ATV is a three-or four-wheeled off-road vehicle, including quads and four-wheelers. A four-wheeler is either an all-wheel drive or a four-wheel-drive quad. A quad is a four-wheeled ATV that may be two-wheel or four-wheel driven.


What Is an ATV RZR?


Polaris Manufacturers made the RZR, a side-by-side sport ATV. It was launched in 2007 as a 2008 model. It was named the Ranger RZR since it was advertised as a sub-model of the bigger, work-oriented Ranger.


How Long Does an ATV Last?


The majority of ATVs last a long time with proper maintenance; caring for your machine can save you money in the long run by preventing costly engine repairs. The average lifetime of an 


ATV is rather excellent, and many riders are still riding machines more than twenty years old. The used ATV industry is growing since so many ATVs are reliable.


Wrap Up


Side-by-side ATVs are all-terrain vehicles more similar to a Jeep Wrangler than to a motorcycle, such as a quad ATV. It results in more space, comfortable sitting, easier-to-understand functioning, and greater potential horsepower. 


They are a fantastic investment for people who focus primarily on these characteristics. Depending on what you’re looking for, side-by-side ATVs may be rather expensive, on par with Jeep Wranglers, but they’re well worth the investment if you want something exciting and useful.

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John Lawrence

John Lawrence

Hello, my name is John Lawrence, and I’m an adrenaline junkie.
My whole life, I’ve been drawn to activities that get my heart racing, from Bungie jumping to parachuting, motorcycles, and even water skiing, and there’s nothing that does that quite like ATVing.

About Me

ATVs are a lifestyle – I’m sure you know.
Lucky for me, my son (who got the bug from me LOL) just got a job with an ATV dealer, so I can get the insider’s secrets – but I’ll share it with you!

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