SxS vs. ATV Which Choice Is Right For You? | Hunt or Shred

If you are in the market for a high-performance off-road vehicle, you likely are considering an SxS or an ATV. We will help you make the right choice.

The two vehicles have similar features and performance capabilities but differ in riding style and experience. Knowing what each can offer is important to decide which option might suit your needs best.

The SxS vs. ATV debate is interesting, but the vehicles differ. An SxS has two seats that allow a passenger to sit next to the driver, while an ATV is a single-seater with the option for a passenger behind the driver are larger models. UTVs are generally larger than ATVs too.

The first thing you need to do when deciding on an ATV or SxS is figure out what kind of terrain you will be using it on. If the terrain is primarily off-road, then an ATV would be your best option because they are best for adventure. SxS vehicles are better used as utility vehicles with cargo beds and wider frames.

We have tested various off-road vehicles in the past, and both of these options are impressive but extremely different. Keep reading to understand better what makes each unique and who should drive them.

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SxS vs. ATV Which Choice Is Right For You?

The SxS and the ATV are both great vehicles for off-road adventures. The choice ultimately depends on a few key factors like riding style, experience, and budget.

If you want speed and off-road performance, the ATV has a few advantages over the side-by-side. Meanwhile, your average SxS will provide much more utility for various tasks.

The Side by Side is a four-wheel drive vehicle that is better suited for paved roads and trails. It can also be used in more challenging conditions like mud, snow, and sand.

The ATV, on the other hand, is an all-terrain vehicle that can handle more difficult areas. We will examine both to determine which is right for you.

What Is An ATV?

ATVs are all-terrain vehicles with gas or electric-powered engines and motors. Two key designs include utility ATVs and sports ATVs, and both can provide excellent performance.

An ATV has a smaller turning radius and can be driven in tighter spaces than the typical SxS can provide. This is because they are much smaller and designed for higher speeds and more intense riding.

Most riders use ATVs for recreational riding because they provide a better experience for off-road adventures. This also increases injury risk, and ATVs are considered a bit more dangerous for riders too.

Key Features

ATVs are a popular form of off-road vehicle for leisure and transportation. Many people use them for recreational purposes, such as hunting, camping, and fishing.

They are built for rough terrain and can be used for various purposes. We have listed three key features that differentiate ATVs from side-by-side vehicles below.

Single-Rider Straddle Seat Design

ATVs are designed for single riders, and the rider straddles the seat. UTVs and side-by-sides have a more traditional dual seating arrangement.

This is important because the single-seat design gives you more freedom to move around while riding. However, it also leaves you more exposed while riding.

This is one reason why ATVs tend to be a bit more dangerous. It is easier for a rider to fall off while riding fast or after hitting a bump.

Faster Engine

Advanced engine designs are the reason why ATVs have faster speeds. These designs provide better performance and power than their predecessors.

The design of an ATV's engine is one of the most important factors in determining its speed. A more powerful engine design can make a vehicle go faster than a less powerful one, as it will be able to use more fuel to generate more power.

You get more speed because of the compact design too.

Precise Turning And Handling

Another thing worth mentioning is how well ATVs handle turns and tight corners. This precise handling is due to the compact frame, stable wheel design, and tight steering.

This makes ATVs much more efficient to use as a means of transportation. They can ride in tighter areas, and it is much easier to become a pro riding this vehicle when compared to a UTV.

What is An SxS?

An SxS is commonly referred to as a side-by-side vehicle or a UTV. This is because they are known for their useful purpose on farms as reliable tools to get jobs done quickly and efficiently.

The side-by-side has a greater ground clearance and offers more cargo space than an ATV. If you need to transport large items or have a lot of gear, the UTV is better for you due to the extra space.

They have a few distinct advantages when compared to ATVs, like more seating, better weight capacity, enhanced cargo storage, and a wider wheelbase. This makes it an ideal choice for people looking to use this machine for more advanced tasks.

Key Features

The side-by-side vehicle features are not just for off-roading. They provide a lot of benefits on the road, too. Side-by-side vehicles can be used in many different situations, like farming or transporting heavy gear.

Below are three key features that emphasize what this vehicle is most useful for and why it differs from your average ATV.

Extended Rear Cargo Area

The SxS is a more powerful and versatile vehicle for storage because of the extended rear cargo area. You should expect a wide bed with an automatic dump feature depending on the design.

This added storage space is often used on farms for various tasks like hauling or transporting materials. They also have extra room for another rider, so you have plenty of extra cargo space.

Sports Roof

Another great thing about the SxS is the sports roof included with the sleek design. This provides better safety and coverage in bad weather conditions like rain or snow.

The roof gives you better protection when riding through rugged areas too. The vehicle's design is much wider and built more like a traditional car than an ATV.

Doors & Bumper Guards

The design of your average SxS includes a set of two or four doors, depending on the size, and a durable bumper guard. This allows for better safety for passengers in all situations.

Who Should Use An ATV?

An ATV is a great vehicle for people who live in rural areas, off-road enthusiasts, or those who want to get into adventure riding.

ATVs are categorized by their size, weight, and engine size. There are ATVs designed for children as well as adults.

The ATV is an excellent vehicle for people living in rural areas with large property. They are also excellent for off-road enthusiasts because they can easily go on any terrain.

This is a superior choice if you do not need the added cargo space provided by an SxS because it comes with higher speeds and more driving precision and versatility.

It is a perfect vehicle for those who enjoy the outdoors and want to explore it on their own terms. ATVs are also a great option for those who love to hunt.

They offer hunters the ability to get closer to game without worrying about being seen by potential prey. But one common complaint is they tend to be noisy, so you must choose wisely for hunting.

Who Should Use An SxS?

The SxS UTV is a perfect product for those looking for an off-road vehicle that can also be used on the road.

This vehicle is also great for those who want to use it as a recreational vehicle and work tool. Between the extra cargo space and dual seating, you can do much more at the same price.

The design of an SxS allows for quieter driving too. This makes it a slightly better choice for the average hunter because you will not make as much noise when riding through hunting areas.

These vehicles are commonly used in workplaces or on farms because they have excellent towing and hauling capabilities. If this sounds like something you often do, the choice is obvious.

SxS vs. ATV: Which Is Safer?

ATVs are considered more dangerous than side-by-side vehicles for a few reasons. First, they tend to go much faster and are used in more dangerous off-road riding situations.

On the other hand, most people use an SxS to drive around at average speeds on safer terrain. They have a wider wheelbase to remain balanced and stable too.

ATVs are more prone to tipping over and can easily lose control compared to the average UTV. You also have less protection on an ATV without any roof or doors to keep you inside the vehicle.

SxS vs. ATV: Which Is Faster?

ATVs are considered to be much faster than the average side-by-side vehicle because they have a compact design with a powerful engine. This makes them more reliable to ride on rough terrain too.

The ATV is also different from other vehicles because it has been designed with an emphasis on off-road driving. This means that you will find features such as large tires, large suspension, and a low center of gravity.




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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