WINNER: Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
Value is defined by more than just price. Value isn’t value unless you’re getting more than you’d normally expect for your money.
Nothing compares to the Sportsman 500 HO for bang-for-the-bucks value. It accomplishes this with an incredible feature list and a reputation for durability that reaches back a decade.
Certainly the pricier, upscale EFI equipped version of this Sportsman is appealing but so is the extra G-note or more you’ll have left in your pocket by choosing the carbureted 500 HO.
Get a load of the stuff Polaris throws in with the 500HO: CVT transmission, low range, independent rear suspension, diff-lock, selectable 4×4 and disc brakes all round.
The value list is topped off with a proven, impressive performing, liquid cooled engine and what we feel is still the best all-round performing suspension in the business. Composite racks feature surplus stowage, the gauge package is comprehensive and this is one of the most comfortable ATVs you’ll ever ride.
We can’t think of anything else in the business that matches what you get here for a price that’s a full category lower. Value? You bet.
RUNNERS-UP: Yamaha Grizzly 400 4×4, Arctic Cat 366 4×4
The Grizzly 400 IRS 4×4 edges out its 20cc larger sibling, the 450, for value because it’s a great performing, great riding ATV minus very few features for a very affordable price.
Actually, the only glaring item missing is a locking differential and, frankly, we defy you to tell the difference in performance between this engine and the 450.
Arctic Cat has slipped a very competitive mid-range ATV into its model selection and it comes with everything you’d want in a 4×4. There’s selectable 4WD, IRS, liquid cooling, CVT transmission and a long list of throw-ins like hydraulic disc brakes and engineered-in lightness.
It’s a surprisingly strong performer and Cat has been able to keep its price in the bargain range. Great value!