UTV vs Side by Side

UTV vs Side by Side: What’s the Difference? (Explained)

We often come across the words UTV and side by side. Often, there is some confusion as to whether these two are different or similar.

I had this confusion too, so, I carried out research on UTV vs Side by Side to understand the relationship between these two.

Read this article to know the similarities & differences between UTV vs Side by Side.

UTV vs Side by Side Difference

There is no difference between a UTV and a Side by Side because both are off-road utility vehicles in which two people sit beside each other. Enclosed in a roll cage-like structure, driven with a steering wheel and gear shift, both vehicles are used for hauling loads with towing winches.

Check out these popular side by sides in 2023:

  1. Tracker 800SX Reviews.
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  3. Honda Pioneer 700 Reviews.
  4. Intimidator UTV Reviews.

UTV vs Side by Side Comparison Table

UTV Side by Side
Bucket or Bench SeatingBucket/  bench seating
Roll CageRoll Cage
Foot Controls for Braking and ThrottleFoot Controls for Braking and Throttle
Four Wheel/ All-Wheel/ Two-Wheel DriveFour Wheel/ All-Wheel/ Two-Wheel Drive
Cargo BoxesCargo Boxes
Aftermarket AccessoriesAftermarket Accessories
Steering WheelSteering Wheel

Bucket or Bench Seating

Both the UTV and side-by-side vehicles are designed with bench or bucket seats placed to allow two persons to ride side by side. These sears often come with either 3 or 4-point safety belts.

Roll Cage

UTVs and side-by-side vehicles are both designed with roll cages built around the passenger’s compartment or cabin to promote added safety for the users, particularly in cases of accidents.

Foot Controls for Braking and Throttle

UTVs and side-by-side vehicles are both equipped with foot control for brakes and throttle just like a regular car or truck.

Four Wheel/ All Wheel/ Two Wheel Drive

UTVs and side-by-sides both come with turf mode. Both can switch between 2wd and 4wd depending on the terrain.


A tailgate is a board-like structure at the back of a vehicle that can be let down for loading or unloading cargo from the storage box. Both UTVs and side-by-side vehicles come with cargo tailgates which are usually either made of vinyl or plastic materials.

Cargo Boxes

Cargo boxes are box-like structures located at the rear end of vehicles. Both UTVs and side-by-side come with cargo boxes for hauling loads.

Aftermarket Accessories

Both UTVs and side-by-side vehicles require the same accessories like winches, bed extenders, snow blowers, plows, bumper guards, cab covers, and lots more.

Steering Wheel

Just like regular cars, UTVs, and side-by-side vehicles come with steering wheels for controlling the movement of the vehicle.

Is UTV same as Side by Side?

A UTV is the same as a side-by-side because both are four-wheeled vehicles with the same features like cargo box, steering wheels, differential drivetrain, tailgate, steering wheel, and much more.

Pros & Cons of UTV vs Side by Side

Next in this article on UTV vs side by side, we take a look at their pros and cons:

  • Allows for side-by-side passenger seating.
  • Comes with safety features like seatbelts and roll cages.
  • Provides enough space for cargo with about 1500 to 2000ib bed capacity.
  • Great for work and play.
  • Offers selectable drivetrain for more comfortable rides across various terrains.


  • UTVs and side-by-side are quite expensive.
  • Repairs can be very expensive for UTVs and side by side.
  • You might experience a lot of transmission issues.


Which Is Safer UTV or Side by Side?

Both the UTV and side-by-side offer equal levels of safety like 3-4 point seat belts, roll cages, LED lights, hydraulic disc brakes, and more because they are the same.

What Is Another Name for A Side by Side Vehicle?

Another name for a side-by-side vehicle is a utility vehicle (UTV). Other names for a side-by-side vehicle are

  1. Utility Task Vehicle
  2. Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle
  3. Multiple Off-Highway Utility Vehicles.


Over time, there has been a bit of confusion as to whether a UTV is the same as a side by side. A UTV is the same as a side by side. UTVs are actually called side by side vehicles because they allow two passengers to seat beside each other.

This article on UTV vs side by side clarified this point by outlining the similarities between these concepts. I hope you found this article insightful.

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