ATV And UTV Fuel Efficiency: A Complete Guide | Hunt or Shred

You want the most bang for your buck when it comes to gas mileage. This is your one stop stop when it comes to ATV and UTV fuel efficiency.

Burning fuel quickly will reduce the range of your ATV or UTV, so it is necessary to understand these vehicles’ fuel efficiency better. This will allow you to ride for longer while decreasing your fuel expenses.

ATV and UTV fuel efficiency is an interesting debate, but UTVs have the upper hand as the more fuel-efficient vehicles. This is because they have larger fuel tanks and less powerful engines, making them more optimized for efficiency. The average UTV has an MPG of 18-20, while an ATV is 12-15.  

The ATV and UTV industry has been growing rapidly over the last few years. While this is good, it also means more machines on the market to choose from. One of the most important things to consider when purchasing an ATV or UTV is how fuel efficient it is, and we will explain this further below.

We have compiled in-depth research through ATV and UTV specs to learn all the essential details and information shared below. The goal is to help you become an expert on ATV and UTV fuel efficiency by this end.

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ATV And UTV Fuel Efficiency: A Complete Guide

ATVs are less fuel efficient than UTVs. This is because they are designed more for extreme performance and faster speeds.

They are also less aerodynamic, while UTVs are lighter and built for more balanced riding and handling. UTVs can provide similar fuel efficiency to many vehicles and larger trucks.

ATVs and UTVs are two different types of vehicles with unique purposes. ATVs are more suited for off-road driving, while UTVs are more suited for on-road driving.

The fuel efficiency for each vehicle is different because they have different engine sizes and drivetrains, which affects how much power the vehicle can produce.

The design separates these two vehicles because ATVs are best for single riders, while UTVs have side-by-side seating to accommodate multiple passengers with comfort.

Because of this, ATVs have a more compact design while riding lighter during use. However, the engines are more advanced and heavier, leading to more fuel consumption.

The key to saving gas and money is understanding how to drive your ATV or UTV more efficiently. This guide will teach you how to use your ATV or UTV more efficiently.

How Many MPG Does An ATV Get?

ATVs are not the most fuel-efficient vehicles, but they are perfect for being stable and durable even when riding over rough terrain. They have a compact design that is not overly difficult to handle either.

We have also made it easy to understand the different ATV sizes' fuel efficiency. Below is a detailed chart with averages based on the industry standard, including fuel tank size, total miles per tank, and miles per gallon for the average ATV.

Engine Size Fuel Tank Size Total Miles Miles Per Gallon
50cc to 100cc 0.5 to 0.75 G 5 to 15 miles 9 to 12 MPG
110cc to 250cc 1.0 to 1.25 G 15 to 25 miles 12 to 14 MPG
300cc to 450cc 1.5 to 3.0 G 25 miles to 60 miles 12 to 18 MPG
500cc to 750cc 3.0 to 4.5 G 50 miles to 100 miles 12 to 18 MPG
750cc+ 5.0 to 7.0 G 75 miles to 150 miles 12 to 18 MPG

How Many MPG Does A UTV Get?

UTVs are much different than ATVs for a few reasons. They are known to be more fuel efficient because they resemble an actual vehicle with side-by-side seating, bigger tires, and a balanced frame.

You tend to use your UTV for more practical tasks, too, rather than only trying to maximize speed and performance. Check out the chart below to get MPG estimates based on your UTV engine size.

Engine Size Fuel Tank Size Total Miles Miles Per Gallon
250cc to 400cc 1.50 to 1.75 G 20 miles to 30 miles 16 to 18 MPG
450cc to 600c 4.1 to 6.5 G 60 miles to 115 miles 16 to 20 MPG
650cc to 750cc 6.6 to 9.1 G 105 miles to 175 miles 16 to 20 MPG
750cc to 1,000cc 10.0 + G 160 miles to 200 miles 16 to 20 MPG

How Much Does It Cost To Fill Up Your ATV Fuel Tank?

On average, you can expect a fuel tank size of roughly 5 gallons on most ATV models. This ranges from three to seven gallons depending on the size and brand of the ATV too.

You must first measure your fuel tank to calculate how much it will cost. If you are unsure, it is best to look in the vehicle’s owner’s manual to find the proper measurement.

This can also be done by hand. Once you determine your fuel tank's size, calculate the fuel per gallon cost based on the fuel you are using.

For example, if you pay $3.00 per gallon and your fuel tank holds five gallons of gas, it will cost $15 to fill up your ATV. This gives you anywhere between 60-120 total miles of driving before needing to fill it again.

How Much Does It Cost To Fill Up Your UTV Fuel Tank?

The fuel cost per gallon can vary depending on the fuel type. Gasoline is the most common type of fuel used in UTVs.

Gasoline prices are not fixed, so they can change daily or even hour to hour. The price per gallon will also depend on where you purchase it from and how much you buy at a time.

With the UTV, you will take the same approach by calculating your fuel tank size and fuel cost per gallon.

The average UTV has a larger fuel tank and holds between six to ten gallons. Assuming you will need seven gallons at $3.00 per gallon, it will cost you $21 each time you fill up.

What Factors Impact Fuel Efficiency For ATVs And UTVs?

The fuel efficiency of an ATV or UTV can be impacted by the size of the engine, the type of transmission, and the terrain where it is being driven.

However, these are not the only factors that can cause this dilemma. There are many other things to remember, and we will explain each of them to ensure you know what could be wasting your fuel easily.

Fuel Injected VS. Carbureted

Fuel-injected engines have a higher fuel efficiency because they can control the air and fuel mixture more precisely.

In addition, the EFI system is better at controlling engine temperature, which can help improve fuel efficiency.

Carbureted engines are less efficient than fuel-injected engines because they don't have a sophisticated way of controlling the air and fuel mixture. This makes it hard for them to control the engine temperature, reducing their overall efficiency.

Tire Size

Tires are one of the most important parts of your ATV or UTV. When it comes to fuel efficiency tire size is one of the most important factors regarding fuel efficiency.

This includes proper PSI levels and inflation of the tire. Poorly inflated tires will cause your vehicle to work harder and burn fuel faster.

When you buy new tires for your ATV or UTV, ensure they are the right size and have enough pressure in them. If not, you will have difficulty going off-road with them and increasing gas consumption.

Learn how to take care of your tires so they will last 50% longer.


The transmission on your ATV or UTV will also impact the vehicle's fuel efficiency. While transmission is not the only factor that affects fuel efficiency, it is one of the most important.

You should try only using a vehicle that uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) because it tends to be more practical and efficient.

This is because it lets the engine reach higher power levels in varying conditions. So the gear ratio will change as the speed, load, or RPMs change. This is optimal for fuel usage.

Driving Style

Every driver has a different driving style. This will impact how well your car handles fuel and its efficiency.

For example, if you are a heavy-footed driver, then you will use more fuel than someone with a smoother driving style.

Your driving style is another factor that will impact how well your vehicle handles fuel and its efficiency. If you are a more aggressive driver, you will use more fuel to go the same distance as someone who drives more cautiously.

Aerodynamic Design

Many UTVs or ATVs are getting designed with an aerodynamic finish. This is to help with speed and fuel efficiency.

Finding a vehicle like this can save money on fuel while contributing less waste to the environment during the process.

An example of this would include an aerodynamic windshield. This allows for reduced drag to maintain optimal speeds without burning extra fuel.


The terrain you drive on with your ATV or UTV will also impact your fuel usage and fuel efficiency. You can't compare two vehicles that are used in different terrains.

For example, if you use a UTV for off-roading, you'll need to account for the extra wear and tear on the vehicle. This will lead to lower fuel efficiency and higher fuel usage.

Driving on dirt roads with many hills will use more gas than driving on paved roads. The terrain you drive on can also affect your speed and gas use.

For example, driving up and down hills in the sand uses more gas than driving up and down hills in the grass. Also, driving at a steady speed will use less gas than accelerating quickly from a stop and then slowing to stop again.

How To Improve The Fuel Efficiency Of A UTV

The fuel efficiency of a UTV can be improved by trying many different things. First, it is best to try and understand what you are currently doing, which could result in reduced fuel efficiency.

Below we will discuss some strategies that can instantly increase the efficiency of your UTV while improving ride quality and vehicle durability.

Proper Tire Inflation Levels

Driving on under-inflated tires can decrease your vehicle's fuel efficiency and, in some cases, increase rolling resistance.

This is because the air pressure inside the tire is lower than it should be, which reduces the tire's contact area with the road and increases its rolling resistance.

The proper inflation level for tires can vary depending on various factors, such as driving conditions, speed, load, and vehicle age. You should never underestimate the importance of tire inflation. In fact, it can have a big impact on fuel efficiency.

Reduced Cargo & Weight

Reducing weight is one of the most effective ways to increase fuel efficiency. The lighter a vehicle is, the less energy it takes to move it.

This means that there will be less strain on the engine and less air drag on the vehicle as it moves through the air. This includes extra passengers or added cargo to the rear of the vehicle.

Body panels should also have an aerodynamic design to reduce air drag and wind resistance.

Removing any unneeded equipment will also help with fuel efficiency because this equipment has an extra weight that needs to be moved around when driving.

Manage Braking

You should also aim to manage your braking if you notice that fuel efficiency has been a problem for your UTV lately. Many drivers have a habit of being brake happy.

This means they will excessively use the brakes while riding, causing a lot of stop-and-go motion. This is well known to burn more fuel, especially in performance UTVs.

By eliminating this habit, you can see your average MPG increase by 1-2 miles right away.

How To Improve The Fuel Efficiency Of An ATV

The fuel efficiency of an ATV can be improved by making some changes to the engine or the body of the vehicle. The way you drive and maneuver the machine matters too.

We have listed three common ways to quickly improve the fuel efficiency of your ATV to save money on gas and extend your average ride range.

Don’t Overload The Vehicle

Avoid overloading your ATV to avoid putting unnecessary weight on the vehicle. This will increase fuel efficiency and may prolong the life of the vehicle.

ATVs are designed to carry a certain amount of weight on them, but that doesn't mean that we can overload them at or above their capacity. This will decrease fuel efficiency, increase wear and tear on tires, and may cause the machine to malfunction.

The ATV should not exceed the weight capacity. This will also increase the durability of the machine over time.

Reduce Aggressiveness

Aggressive driving means speeding and braking hard, which is not good for fuel efficiency. You should reduce your aggressive driving if you want to improve your ATV's fuel efficiency.

This is another common issue ATV drivers struggle with. They tend to try and always reach top speeds, causing your vehicle to perform with less efficiency.

It ends up costing you money by burning fuel. Instead, you can attack off-road terrains differently with a more efficient approach.

Test A Fuel Additive

Additives are used to change the properties of a fuel. They can be added to gasoline or diesel to improve the efficiency of engines and help reduce emissions.

It is important to know what type of engine you have before using this additive. You should consult your owner's manual or contact the manufacturer if you're unsure.

This additive may not be compatible with some aftermarket modifications or other types of fuels besides gasoline and diesel, so make sure you read the product label carefully before use.

Learn how to treat your fuel.

What Are The Most Fuel-Efficient ATVs?

ATVs are designed to handle a lot of different terrains. This includes rough and steep terrain like hills, sand dunes, and snow banks. They are also designed to handle more challenging weather conditions than most vehicles.

This increase in performance means things like fuel efficiency could suffer. But we have listed three of the most fuel-efficient options so you can see what to expect from an average ATV.

ATV Type Engine Size Fuel Capacity Miles Per Gallon
Arctic Cat Alterra TRV 700 695cc 5.3 G 13 to 18 MPG
Can-Am Outlander 570 570cc 5.4 G 12 to 17 MPG
Honda FourTrax Rancher 420cc 3.9 G 12 to 17 MPG

What Are The Most Fuel-Efficient UTVs?

The most fuel-efficient UTVs are not always the cheapest ones. Many factors affect fuel efficiency.

The engine size, transmission type, and weight all influence how much gas is used per mile driven. This is calculated by dividing the volume of fuel consumed by the distance traveled.

You can see some examples below. You will notice the Polaris Ranger 570 is far ahead of its competitors regarding fuel efficiency.

UTV Type Engine Size Fuel Capacity Miles Per Gallon
Polaris Ranger 570 567cc 8.8 G 27.8 MPG
Kawasaki Mule Pro-MX 695cc 9.5 18.0 MPG
Honda Pioneer 700 675cc 7.9 18.7 MPG




45 years old. I'm in business marketing. I write for Hunt or Shred on the side. I love hiking, camping, and everything outdoors with my family. I have 6 years of experience working at an ATV shop selling, fixing, and test driving all brands and models.

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