Top 4 Most Reliable ATV's | Hunt or Shred

Whether you are driving quads for farmwork, racing, or just enjoying casual rides on your favorite trails, you are going to want a reliable ATV.

The most reliable ATVs are the Honda 4X4 420 FM ATV, Can-Am X XC 1000R, Polaris Sportsman, and the Kawasaki Brute Force. However, the most reliable ATVs should be based on a rider’s preferences and performance needs.

As the technology behind ATV manufacturing continues to increase, we are seeing these All-terrain vehicles become more and more reliable. Innovation in engineering and the rising popularity of quad riding has led a lot of the biggest names in the industry to rethink what makes a quality quad. When picking out an ATV, most riders tend to focus on features such as speed, towing capacity, and comfort. Whereas some riders like to prioritize quads that are well-rounded in all of these features. At the end of the day, the most reliable ATVs will be determined based on how you intended to use your quad and what kind of performance you expect it to deliver on. To help you understand this further, we are going to break down the most reliable ATVs.

After years of working as an ATV mechanic and racer, I have had a lot of experience testing out the performance and reliability of many different quad manufacturers. My experience has taught me that the most reliable quads are those that can handle the primary needs of their rider.

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Most Reliable ATVs

When picking out a reliable ATV, I always try to look for specs that will assure me that the quad I am considering will be able to perform the way I want it to. As a rider that likes to drive on rough trails, haul heavy equipment, and speed down country roads, I generally aim to pick out All-terrain vehicles that are praised for delivering on all of the above.

With that being said, some quads are much better at handling some situations better than others, which is why you should reflect on the kind of rider that you are to truly determine the ATV that is going to be most reliable for you. A good place to start is to choose brands that have built reputations as being the best ATV manufacturers. Let’s take a closer look at the most reliable ATVs.

Honda 4X4 420 FM ATV

There are a lot of quad companies out there that are neck and neck for the most reliable ATVs on the market but few deliver on this kind of performance the way Honda does. Honda has been manufacturing ATVs for decades and has continuously proved itself as being one of the best in the world.

This manufacturer has released some of the fastest quads ever made, as well as terrain vehicles that are powerful and dependable in the roughest conditions. However, a true stand-out among Honda quads has got to be their 4X4 420 FM ATV. This is one of the most well-rounded and reliable ATVs ever made and delivers on everything from performance and power to comfort and safety.

One of the best things about this quad is how user-friendly it is. For beginners, manual transmissions can often be an obstacle and an annoyance, which is why the 4X4 420 FM ATV from Honda features a semi-automatic transmission that lets you slide in between gears with the push of a button. This enables even the most novice riders to get on the seat of this quad and be in full motion in minutes.

This ATV has just the right amount of power to handle the needs of pretty much any rider - with a 420cc engine and the option to drive in either 4WD or 2WD, you really cannot go wrong with this quad. In addition, you have got 24.6 lb/ft torque at 5,000 RPM at your disposal. So, unless you are a competitive racer or work in an industry that requires an excessive amount of towing, this is all of the power that you will really need under the hood.

While there are plenty of quads that can beat these specs such as 1000cc ATVs from manufacturers such as Can-Am or Polaris, the reliability of the 4X4 420 FM is unbeatable, which is why so many experienced riders stand by this Honda quad.

Honda’s 4X4 420 Fm ATV is highly regarded by farmers for being able to handle muddy terrains, gravel roads, and even snow. Its towing capacity is capable of pulling heavy loads and overall, it gets the job done. In addition, its user-friendliness makes this quad perfect for people who just love to go out trail riding, as its power is balanced and its performance is phenomenal.

Honda has been releasing the 4X4 420 FM for nearly a decade and it has one of the best track records on the market, as so many riders that purchased this beast of a quad as early as 2013 have praised it for still going strong to this day - without serious mechanical issues. At the end of the day, a reliable quad is not just one that can go fast or pull a lot of weight - it should be able to stand the test of time and the 4X4 420 FM has proven to do just that.

Can-Am Outlander X XC 1000R

Canada’s legendary ATV manufacturer Can-Am is hands down one of the best in the industry and they have released enough reliable quads over the years to earn themselves a seat at the top. Whether it is speed or sheer power that you are after, Can-Am will not let you down.

This manufacturer has released a lot of different quads over the years - with some being regarded as the best quads ever made. However, the model that we found to be the most reliable from Can-Am has got to be the Outlander X XC 1000R.

This is certainly one of the most reliable quads ever made but more so for the experienced rider than someone new to riding ATVs. The specs of this machine outweigh just about anything on the market and it delivers on every type of performance that a rider could ever dream of.

The Can-Am Outlander X XC 1000R is insanely fast, powerful, and is built like a tank. The quad was designed to be ready for anything and its durability ensures you that you can take it on the roughest trails with pure confidence. As you race down backcountry roads you can enjoy the smoothness of its CVT Transmission and if you need to stop suddenly, this ATV has full engine braking. It has a twin-cylinder ROTAX engine which is one of the most reliable motors ever to be put inside of a quad and an intelligent throttle control system.

In addition, the Can-Am Outlander X XC 1000R has got Aluminum Beadlock wheels that are complemented by dynamic power steering. So, you know that this thing handles like a dream and will be reliable even when hitting the most rugged terrains. If you are still having doubts about the Outlander X XC 1000R, its 1000cc engine capacity should shut down any critics that want to challenge the power and towing capacity of this quad.

However, power and performance are not everything when it comes to the Can-Am Outlander X XC 1000R, you have got incredibly intuitive design features and a seat that is as comfortable as any of the top competition, which makes this ATV reliable for every type of terrain. While the Can-Am Outlander X XC 1000R is an extremely reliable quad and is hands down one of the best ATVs ever made, it is not for everyone.

If you are new on the ATV scene, then a more modest quad from Honda will probably suit your riding style better, but if you have been around the block more than once and want a quad that you can count on through thick and thin, there really isn’t a better option than the Can-Am Outlander X XC 1000R.

Polaris Sportsman 450

Polaris is no stranger to the world of quads and is highly regarded in the industry, which is why the United States Military entrusts this manufacturer to engineer ATVs for them. We have seen Polaris crush much of the competition over the years with their massive lineup of different quad models, which vary greatly in speed, power, and reliability.

The ATV from Polaris that we consider to be the most reliable is their Sportsman 450. This quad is dependable, well-rounded, and has amazing performance overall. The 450 model, in particular, may not be the fastest or most powerful quad that Polaris has ever released, but it certainly is the most reliable - given that the specs are so balanced.

The bottom line is that the Polaris Sportsman 450 is a very well-rounded quad that can take care of the needs of just about any rider. It has just the right amount of power to haul heavy loads, so long as they are under 1,350 lbs and a payload capacity of 500lbs, which makes it perfect for farmers that have small to medium-sized properties.

The Polaris Sportsman 450 has a 499cc engine capacity, liquid cooling, and an electronic fuel injection battery system. This quad has got power, which is complemented by state-of-the-art technology to guarantee reliability in its performance.

While this quad may not be the most powerful quad ever manufactured (or from Polaris for that matter), it does still have 33 HP and enough balanced specs to make it extremely reliable in even some of the most rugged terrains. These qualities make the Polaris Sportsman 450 a great quad for experienced riders and even those that are relatively new to riding.

With that being said, if you wanted more power out of your Polaris Sportsman to rival Can-Am’s Outlander X XC 1000R, no problem, as the Sportsman is available in numerous different engine capacities such as 570, 850, and even 1000. With that kind of range, you can enjoy the reliability of this quad’s specs, while at the same time customizing the power of the engine to your desired performance.

Kawasaki Brute Force

Kawasaki has made so many iconic quads over the years that have been praised by diehard riders that love to race, work, or casually drive on their favorite trails. This manufacturer makes quads that are built to last and can be used in dynamic settings, which is why some riders stand by Kawasaki as being one of the best in the business.

With that being said, there are great Kawasaki racing quads out there that can get you to where you need to go just as fast as some of its most regarded competition but these ATVs often lack some of the features that we value in a reliable quad.

When it comes to a Kawasaki ATV that you can rely on, their Brute Force 300 quad has truly proven itself as being dependable in a lot of different situations. Whether it is power, speed, or smooth performance, the Kawasaki Brute Force 300 has got it all. The 271cc engine capacity makes this ATV great for general labor duties and perfect for trail riding. You can haul medium-sized loads without any fear of breaking down and take care of the majority of your farmwork just fine.

This quad is a favorite among riders that just like to get out and hit some trails. Unless you plan on driving on the highest level trails around, you should not have any issues conquering rugged terrains with the Brute Force 300, as it has been praised by riders for being able to handle mud and gravel like nothing.

This quad is very easy to use and is an instant hit among riders that have not had a lot of experience driving quads before. It has a very straightforward interface that encourages riders to start driving the second they hop in its cushy seat.

However, the Brute Force 300 does not have the sheer power to be reliable in extremely rough conditions or for pulling loads that have an excessive amount of weight. To meet the standards that Kawasaki’s riders want out of their quads, they released the Brute Force 750 4X4i, which has double the power of the Brute Force 300.

The Brute Force 750 4X4i delivers on all of the power and performance needs that just about any rider would ever need and is even more reliable in some ways than the Brute Force 300. While this more powerful Kawasaki quad may pack more punch than most riders need, it does have the versatility to hop between 4WD and 2WD with ease, which can prove to be a highly valued feature in certain conditions. Regardless, the Brute Force series from Kawasaki was designed to be reliable for every type of rider - no matter whether they are beginners, veterans - or how much power they want out of their machine.




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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