ATV 2-UP or UTV?

Posted by Mario Boriassi on 12, Jun 2015
Mario Boriassi


ATV 2-UP or UTV, which is right for me?

I have been posed this question many times and in various ways from numerous off-roading enthusiasts. Typically they are either veterans of the sport that currently own a 2-UP and are considering making the switch, or new comers to the sport trying to decide which unit type would be best for them. Trying to answer this question is almost impossible as ultimately when it’s all said and done, it boils down to personal preference. For me, I owned a 2-UP for many years and my wife and I covered countless kilometers together and we both enjoyed our experience immensely. However today after having experienced riding together in various UTVs, I would never go back to owning a 2-UP.

There are many reasons why I personally prefer a UTV to a 2-UP but I will not elaborate on them. Why? Because quite simply it remains my personal preference and it should not influence others decisions. Instead over the next few paragraphs I will give you some steps and some insight on important factors to help you determine if a UTV is the right vehicle choice for you.

First we need to get the obvious out of the way! A 2-UP and a UTV do not ride nor handle the same way; the user ride experience is totally different and varies greatly from one rider to another. For me to try and describe this experience would be ludicrous, so first things first, you guessed it, a test drive. When selecting a unit for your test drive, select a unit that best resembles your riding style and if at all possible conduct your test drive in an actual trail environment and not a dealer parking lot! The test drive should not only focus on the unit’s capabilities but more on the overall ride experience for you and your passenger.

After your test drive, regardless if you walked away with a positive or negative feeling towards your first experience, don’t make a decision just yet! Consider renting a UTV for the weekend and taking it out on the trails you most frequent. Spending a day out on the trails with the UTV should suffice in answering the crucial question: did my passenger and I enjoy the ride and overall experience that a UTV can provide? Yes this approach will cost you a few dollars on the rental, but better spending a few dollars to ensure that you don’t spend a lot of dollars on a purchase that you will regret in the long run.

Now that you have lived the UTV off-roading experience and if you are still leaning towards a UTV purchase, here are some important factors for you to consider. These factors although elementary are important and may hinder your long-term decision if not considered. I will stay away for the PROs of owning a UTV as by now you should have a good idea on what they are, I will focus more on the CONs that you may have overlooked.

A UTV will cost you more to operate and maintain, plus it will also be more expensive to haul to your favorite riding destination. While we are on the subject of hauling, is your trailer adequate to transport a UTV or will you have to purchase a new one?

Cleaning and washing is what UTV off-roaders dread the most! Unlike an ATV 2-UP, a UTV is a nightmare to wash and clean. If you play hard and want to keep your UTV in pristine condition, be prepared for a few intense hours of cleaning. I have seen riders sell there units because of this, I kid you not.

Accessories and Bling! Is this a CON? Defiantly not, but it needs to be mentioned. You can and most probably will be spending hundreds of dollars accessorizing your unit. You will love your unit and you will want to make it unique, transforming it from mild to wild, this will happen to you, so be prepared!

So there you have it! Does this answer the original question of “2-up or UTV”? Absolutely not. It was never my intent to answer the question because as I mentioned earlier, it really does boil down to personal preference. However I hope that the information I shared with you helps you on your journey to decide if a UTV is the correct vehicle choice for you.

I made my decision many years ago and I haven’t looked back. In fact I love UTV off-roading so much that I became the editor of this magazine…

You liked what you just read? See my other posts:

Our Top 3 UTV picks for 2015
Is the Sportsman Ace “single-seater” the next big thing ?


Mario Boriassi




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