Honda Rancher vs Foreman ATV Comparison | Hunt or Shred

One of the best ATV brands is Honda because they have two top vehicles on the market, the Rancher and the Foreman. We’ll compare both below.

The Honda Rancher is a reliable ATV best used for performance riding, trails, and other sporty riding activities. The Honda Foreman is better suited for work tasks, towing, and heavy-duty performance. Both of these ATVs are reliable and affordable, with different functions.  

We have tested the Honda Rancher and Foreman to determine the key differences between these ATVs. This review takes a closer look at each vehicle's design and key features to help readers determine which model suits their needs best.

Table of contents


Honda Rancher vs. Foreman ATV Comparison

The Rancher and Foreman are popular models of ATVs made by Honda. They are reliable and well-built ATVs, and the choice will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

If you need a smooth ride and prefer an automatic transmission, the Rancher might be a good choice. The Foreman might be better if you need a more powerful ATV for heavy-duty tasks or off-road adventures.

The Rancher is a more versatile, nimble, and fast ATV with excellent handling and versatility. We prefer this option when choosing an ATV for speed, but we will examine the key differences and how they stack below.

Honda Rancher

The Honda FourTrax Rancher is a reliable and durable all-terrain vehicle suitable for various activities, including farming, ranching, and recreational use.

It is powered by a Honda liquid-cooled fuel-injected OHV engine and features a rugged, high-tensile steel frame that can handle rough terrain and challenging conditions. The Rancher also has a smooth, automatic transmission that makes it easy to ride and maneuver, even for novice riders.

In addition, it has a comfortable seat, handlebars, and ample storage space, making it an excellent choice for longer rides. This ATV is a solid choice for a reliable and capable off-road vehicle.

Other features worth mentioning about the Honda FourTrax Rancher include the following:

  • Available in several engine sizes, including 420cc
  • Available in both manual and automatic transmission options
  • It has a solid rear axle, which provides a smooth ride but may not be as capable in rough terrain as a swingarm suspension.
  • Features Honda's Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) system, which improves traction and handling

Honda Foreman

The Honda FourTrax Foreman is popular for work and recreational use. It is powered by a dependable longitudinally mounted liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine and can handle rough terrain and tough conditions.

It also has a smooth transmission, which makes it easy to ride and maneuver. In addition, it has a comfortable seat and handlebars, as well as ample storage space, making it an excellent choice for longer rides.

The Foreman is also equipped with Honda's TraxLok system, which allows the rider to easily switch between 2WD and 4WD, depending on the terrain. Overall, the Honda FourTrax Foreman is a versatile and capable ATV that is well-suited for various activities.

Below we have mentioned some other features to remember when discussing the Honda Foreman.

  • Available in 518 cc engine size
  • Only available with a manual transmission
  • Features a swingarm suspension, which provides better traction and handling in rough terrain than a solid rear axle
  • It has a more powerful engine than the Rancher, which may make it better suited for heavy hauling or plowing.

Honda Rancher Pros & Cons

The Honda FourTrax Rancher is a popular all-terrain vehicle (ATV) known for its durability, reliability, and versatility.

Here are some potential pros and cons of the Honda Rancher ATV:


  • Wide range of engine sizes: The Rancher is available in many more sizes and variations, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.
  • Automatic or manual transmission options: The Rancher is available with either a manual shift transmission or a Honda Automatic DCT transmission, giving you a choice between more precise control or easier operation.
  • Solid build quality: Honda has a reputation for building durable and reliable vehicles, and the Rancher is no exception. It is made with high-quality materials and has a reputation for holding up well over time.
  • Versatility: The Rancher is suitable for various tasks, from leisurely trail rides to heavy hauling. It is also available in 2WD or 4WD versions so that you can choose the best fit for your needs.


  • Single-shock rear suspension: While the Rancher's single-shock rear suspension system is suitable for most terrain and tasks, it may provide a less smooth ride or handling on rough terrain than a double-shock system.
  • Limited ground clearance: Depending on your version, the Rancher may have less ground clearance than some other ATVs, which could limit its performance on very rough or rocky terrain.
  • Price: Depending on the specific model and features you choose, the Honda Rancher ATV can be expensive compared to other ATVs on the market.

Honda Foreman Pros & Cons

The Honda FourTrax Foreman is a powerful and capable all-terrain vehicle (ATV) that is well-suited for many tasks, including heavy hauling and tackling rugged terrain.

Here are some potential pros and cons of the Honda Foreman ATV:


  • Larger engines: The Foreman is available in fewer model types but larger engine sizes, providing more power and torque than the smaller engines in some other ATVs. This can be beneficial for heavy hauling or tackling rugged terrain.
  • Extra cargo racks: It’s easier to carry cargo because of the heavy-duty front and rear racks with Honda Pro Connect integrations  
  • Good ground clearance: The Foreman has a relatively high ground clearance, which can be beneficial for tackling rough or rocky terrain.


  • Fuel consumption: The larger engines of the Foreman may consume more fuel than smaller engines, making it more expensive to operate over time.
  • Weight: The Foreman is a relatively heavy ATV, which could make it more challenging to maneuver in some situations.

Honda Rancher vs. Foreman: Durability

The Honda FourTrax Rancher and Foreman ATVs are known for their durability and reliability. Both models feature a high-tensile steel frame and are powered by high-performance engines.

However, critical differences between the two models may make one better suited for specific applications.

The Honda FourTrax Rancher is known as a trail quad with sporty features and handling, which is reliable for improved performance. Because of this, it doesn't provide the same strength and durability as the Foreman.

One key difference is the type of transmission each model has. The Rancher has an automatic transmission, which is generally easier to use and requires less maintenance than a manual transmission.

On the other hand, the Foreman is available in both manual and automatic transmission versions. The manual transmission may be preferred by some riders who want more control and a more engaging riding experience.

Another difference is the suspension. The Foreman has a more advanced suspension system with a dual-locking differential, allowing it to handle rough terrain and heavy loads better.

The Rancher has a more straightforward suspension system that may need to be better suited for rough terrain and heavy loads. However, anybody can expect industry-leading durability from both ATV models.

Honda Rancher vs. Foreman: Performance

The Honda FourTrax Rancher and Honda FourTrax Foreman are both all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) designed for off-road use.

They have many features in common, but some fundamental differences in their performance and capabilities may make one model more suitable for a particular task or type of terrain than the other.

One key difference between the Rancher and Foreman is the size and power of their engines. The Rancher is available in various engine sizes, including 420cc, while the Foreman is available in a 518cc model.  

The larger engines of the Foreman can provide more power and torque, which can be beneficial for heavy hauling or tackling rugged terrain. However, the engine size is not the primary performance difference between these models.

Instead, it’s the vehicle's style and how it is built. The Rancher is known as a trail-riding ATV, while the Foreman is better referred to as a work ATV. One handles rugged trails better, while the other has balance and weight support for work tasks.

The Foreman is better suited for yard work or on farms, while the Rancher is the preferred choice for off-road adventures on various trails.

Honda Rancher vs. Foreman: Cost

Both the Honda Rancher and Foreman have so many features worth mentioning. They are two of the most popular Honda ATVs, so let’s compare the pricing of each below.

Honda Rancher

First, you’ll notice more variations and model types when looking at Honda Ranchers than Foremans. We have listed the base price for each, but because Honda allows for modifications, the price can change based on preferences.

  • FourTrax Rancher: $5,899.00
  • FourTrax Rancher 4X4 EPS: $7,699.00
  • FourTrax Rancher 4X4: $6,999.00
  • FourTrax Rancher 4X4 Automatic DCT IRS: $7,999.00
  • FourTrax Rancher 4X4 Automatic DCT IRS EPS: $8,699.00
  • FourTrax Rancher 4X4 Automatic DCT EPS: $8,199.00
  • FourTrax Rancher 4X4 ES: $7,299.00
  • FourTrax Rancher ES: $6,199.00

Honda Foreman

Because there are fewer Foreman models, many are more expensive because this is a larger utility ATV option. It’s geared towards working, towing, and hauling, so the bigger engine size costs more too.

  • Honda Foreman 4X4: $7,899.00
  • Honda Foreman 4X4 ES EPS: $8,849.00
  • Honda Foreman 4X4 EPS: $8,599.00

What Other Honda ATVs Are Worth Considering?

Honda is one of the top ATV brands in the world, and they have many more options outside of the Rancher and Foreman. We have reviewed some other options that are worth the price below.

Honda FourTrax Rubicon

The Honda FourTrax Rubicon is an easy-to-use four-wheeler that can tackle any terrain. The Rubicon ATV is designed for adventure, speed, and fun on the trails with a versatile body and engine design.

It’s a good size option with four trim levels and a similar engine size compared to the Foreman. It also has rear disc brakes and works well as a utility option.

Honda FourTrax Recon

The Honda Recon is not an overpowering ATV, but it’s designed for off-road use and has many features that make it an excellent choice for those who like to go out on the trails.

This includes a 229cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, shaft drive engineering, and an electric shift program. We love this ATV as a first vehicle for new off-road riders.

Key Takeaways

  • The Honda Rancher is a smaller and more agile ATV than the Foreman. It’s best used as a trail-riding vehicle because it’s light, easily maneuverable, and has solid speed capabilities.
  • The Honda Foreman is better known for its size and power with larger engine sizes. It’s the preferred option for utility and work tasks because it is sturdy, strong, and durable.
  • Other Honda ATVs worth considering include the Honda Recon and Rubicon.




29 years old. I'm from Texas. I've been riding ATV's for the last couple years here in TX. I'm learning a lot about this hobby right along side you.

Read More About Author Name