Part of what we do is to place a real-world value on the vehicles we test. We ask ourselves: Is this vehicle worth what it costs to buy?
Sometimes the answer’s yes, sometimes it’s no and sometimes it’s that a vehicle is worth far more than it costs.
The interesting thing is what’s valuable to one person, may be worthless to another. If the vehicle doesn’t do what you need it to do is it still a good value?
There are two types of value that need to be considered when you’re buying an ATV.
First is price versus features, which is a tangible value you can measure because it’s based on numbers. If you line up a bunch of ATVs and compare them based strictly on their specs you’re getting for the price they cost, you can easily find a winner.
The second is Real World Usefulness, which is entirely personal and subjective. Let’s say you have an Arctic Cat Alterra 450 sitting in front of you. It boasts an adequate list of features and performs quite well on the trail and as long as you’re taking its low price into consideration, it rates high in the price versus specifications category.
However, let’s say you’re a recreational rider who puts on big miles in places like Hatfield McCoy or Brimstone Recreation where the trails are wide and relatively fast. A 450 may not be as fast as you like and therefore, not well suited for you no matter what it costs. That particular engine size may just not be as useful for you in the real world whereras a more expensive ATV with more horsepower and more touring features would rate higher for you despite its higher price.
The flip side of this is equally as true. If you’re the kind of guy who takes the kids for rides on the weekend, does yard work, pulls around a bush buggy and occasionally goes for a longer trail ride, an Outlander 1000 isn’t really good value for you because its not practical in your world. It has huge horsepower, awesome features, incredible capabilities and tons of cool factor, but it would also rip up your lawn, be hard to ride slow with the kids and be overkill for your occasional trail ride.
Of course, it is true that a few ATVs are universally high on value. An ATV that’s capable in nearly every situation with a price that is realistically affordable for almost anyone, is a hidden gem in this industry and if you looked up the definition of the word “value” in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of one of these vehicles staring back at you.
So, this gives you a bit of insight into how we look at the ATVs we test. More importantly it gives you the key to translate our reviews so they answer your specific questions as they relate to value for you. You can read or watch any of our reviews, listen carefully to what we’re saying and convert that information into a conclusion that’s specific to your situation.