The side-by-side 4x4 utility vehicle (UTV) buying experience can be involved and, at many points, complex. I’ve been through the same process researching which UTV brand I’m willing to put the Benson Ace Hardware name behind as a dealer. There are several brands to consider. All have multiple models, widely varying design and engineering characteristics, and lots of ways to add and combine options or features.
So, it’s no surprise to regularly hear customers ask the same, very valid questions:
“How do I choose the right UTV?”
“How do I know which brand offers the highest quality for the money? Especially when everyone says they are high quality.”
“What features are the most important consider and select correctly?”
Helping a customer determine the best UTV fit for their needs and uses is a perfect fit with our hardware and power equipment business. Just like paint or cooking grills, it comes down to finding the right tool for the job. Selecting a UTV happens on a significantly larger scale than choosing the right power drill or lawn tractor. But it still depends on how a customer wants to use the equipment.
When any of us look at a major purchase for the first time, there's a greater chance we don’t know what we don’t know. Which is why I ask A LOT of questions and use a wide lens to talk about which UTV style – or power, or feature, or accessory – is the best fit. The result is always better when we look at the bigger picture together. We go over the considerations one by one.
How Do You Plan to Use Your UTV?
Do you need it to work hard? Play hard? Both? If we establish that trail riding is the majority use, we talk about whether top speed is a factor. That’s important consideration because some power train options are geared for more torque and low-gear power. Those engines, better suited for work, are slower out of the gate and will have a lower top speed. If you want a more responsive power train and higher top-end speed, that’s a 1000cc engine that will be clutched for a sportier experience.
Another example: If the UTV use is not heavy trail riding, and you’re mostly buzzing around the property, it might be smart to prioritize a Koehler gas engine. That product comes with a longer three-year engine and power train warranty. In the case of an Intimidator, that's on top of the bumper-to-bumper one-year warranty. You might as well take the piece of mind that comes with that kind of protection.
Sometimes the conversation is about tough, heavy work. In that case, we want to look at a truck model and the capacity to carry up to 1200 pounds. Plus, fold-down sides for a larger flatbed, an electric bed dump, stronger suspension, and an overbuilt frame. When we talk about the type of work, we might identify the need for onboard toolboxes and roomy storage.
Accessories are also a major part of the equation, so think ahead to correctly set-up a vehicle that can accept something like a snowplow attachment. Or, if heat is important and we need to install a traditional heater kit, we automatically spec a liquid-cooled engine instead of air-cooled.
Eventually, we move to breaking down the various feature packages or, in the case of the GC1K Series, Stages 1, 2 and 3. Does the customer require the front or rear bumper? Electronic-assisted power steering? What about radial tires? And should those to be the larger 30-inch tires compared to 28-inches? What are the benefits of a 7-inch color display compared to the 4.3-inch screen?
Know Your Price Point and Stick to It
Some brands can be a bit pricey. Determine your budget and try to stick to it. To get the most value for your investment, I can confirm that our research showed the Intimidator UTV to be a heavy-duty, powerful and stylish machine at a price that won’t break the bank. So that's our recommendation for the best place to start. We realize there are many options when it comes to purchasing a UTV. We know and stand behind the Intimidator brand because we’re confident you will get an American-made, quality-built vehicle that is tough, comfortable, and affordable.
Asking for Help
On any kind of product selection, Benson Ace Hardware is a consultant for our customers. We’re not focused on simply moving UTVs out the door. It’s not just about signing the papers, and then we never talk again. It’s a package deal. You get the UTV, you get Benson Ace Hardware, and you get personal service long after the sale. This only works if you can depend on us at every point in your UTV ownership. So, even after the deal is done, we want to know about everything you experience with your vehicle. Good or bad. Even the small things. If you tell us about it, we can help.