The Top Five Reliable Side-by-Side (SxS) Vehicles for 2024

When it comes to side-by-side (SxS) vehicles, reliability is a crucial factor to consider. Whether you're using them for work or recreation, having a dependable SxS can make all the difference. In this article, we will delve into the top five most reliable SxS vehicles for 2024 and explore why each model has earned its reputation for reliability.

1/7/20248 min read

1.Honda Pioneer

The Honda Pioneer has established itself as one of the top reliable brands in the side-by-side (SxS) vehicle category, and the 2024 models continue this legacy. Here's a detailed overview of why the Honda Pioneer, particularly the 2024 models, are considered reliable:

Engine and Performance

  • Engine Type: The 2024 Honda Pioneer models are powered by a 999cc liquid-cooled Unicam® longitudinally mounted parallel-twin four-stroke engine. This type of engine is known for its balance of power and efficiency, contributing to the vehicle's reliability.

  • Transmission: They feature an Automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) with 6 speeds plus reverse, offering a range of drive modes including 2WD, 4WD, Turf, and 4WD with differential lock. The DCT provides a smooth and responsive riding experience, enhancing the vehicle's performance and reliability under different conditions​​.

Suspension and Brakes

  • Suspension: The models are equipped with a double wishbone suspension, with some trims featuring FOX® Quick Switch 3 shocks, providing up to 10.6 inches of travel. This suspension setup ensures a comfortable ride over various terrains, contributing to the vehicle's durability and reliability.

  • Brakes: They come with dual hydraulic calipers with 210mm discs at the front and a single hydraulic caliper with a 210mm disc at the rear, ensuring reliable stopping power​​.

Unique Features and Utility

  • Tilt Bed with Capacity: The Pioneer 1000-5 Trail, for example, includes a 1000 lb capacity tilt bed that houses two pop-up seats, enhancing its utility.

  • Towing and Winch Capacity: These models have a 2500-pound towing capacity and some come with a 4,500-pound winch, which is very useful for various outdoor activities and tasks.

  • Intelligent 4WD: The Pioneer 1000 and 1000-5 models retain traction-optimizing "Intelligent" i-4WD on the Trail and Forest trims. This system serves as a locking front differential without the typical downsides of a fully locked diff, enhancing the vehicle's off-road capabilities and reliability.

  • QuickFlip Seat System: The Pioneer 1000-5 features a QuickFlip seat system that provides two additional seats in the bed, offering more passenger capacity over the Pioneer 1000's three-wide bench seating arrangement​​​​.

Design and Build

  • Multi-faceted Utility: The Pioneer 1000 is described as the most capable and multi-faceted UTV in Honda's lineup. It is suitable for both work duty and recreational activities, reflecting its versatility and reliability.

  • Build Quality: Honda is known for its high build quality and attention to detail. The durable construction of the Pioneer series contributes significantly to its reliability.

  • Model Variants: The 2024 lineup includes several variants like the Pioneer 1000-5 Trail, Pioneer 1000-5 Forest, Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe, and others, each designed to cater to specific needs and preferences, while maintaining the core attributes of reliability and performance​​.

The combination of a powerful and efficient engine, advanced transmission, robust suspension and braking systems, along with the utility-focused design and build quality, solidify the Honda Pioneer's status as a top reliable brand in the SxS category. Whether it's for work or recreation, the Pioneer series offers a dependable and versatile vehicle choice.

2.Kawasaki Mule

The Kawasaki Mule is widely recognized as one of the top reliable brands in the side-by-side (SxS) market. This reputation is built on several key features and specifications that define its models, especially the 2024 lineup. Here's an in-depth look at why the Kawasaki Mule is considered so reliable:

Key Features of the 2024 Kawasaki Mule

  1. Versatility and Configurations: The 2024 Mule™ 4010 TRANS4x4® series exemplifies versatility with its Trans Cab™ system design. This allows quick conversion from a two-row, four-seat configuration to a one-row cargo hauler without needing tools. Additionally, the Mule™ 4010 series comes in four different configurations, catering to diverse needs​​.

  2. Engine and Power: The 2024 models are equipped with a 617cc engine, providing ample torque (47 Nm) for heavy-duty tasks. This engine size and the power output are well-suited for a work-focused vehicle like the Mule​​.

  3. Transmission and Driveline: They feature a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with selectable 2WD/4WD driveline modes, which includes a rear unlocking differential and a standard limited slip differential at the front. These features contribute to its adaptability across different terrains and tasks​​.

  4. Durable Construction: The frame is made of steel, with a body constructed from durable plastic. This robust build is complemented by protective features like brush guards, mud guards, radiator guard, and skid plates, ensuring the vehicle can withstand tough conditions​​.

  5. Suspension and Brakes: The front suspension is a McPherson Strut type, and the rear suspension is a De Dion Semi-Independent type. This setup, combined with sealed hydraulic drum brakes at both ends, provides a balance of comfort and control, enhancing the Mule's reliability in various work environments​​.

  6. Utility and Storage: The Mule features a cargo bed with an 800-pound capacity and a towing capacity of 1200 pounds, making it highly functional for a range of tasks. The practical design extends to its storage capabilities, with standard glove box and dash storage, as well as optional cargo bed storage​​.

  7. User-Friendly Features: The 2024 Mule models, especially the Fleet Edition (FE) lineup, include features tailored for industrial or commercial job site requirements, such as a high-visibility orange seat belts, horn, universal key, and a Bright White color scheme for easy logo addition​​.

  8. Performance Review: The 2024 Kawasaki Mule, with a KRX engine, provides more power than previous models. This increase in power, coupled with its well-established utility features, makes it a highly capable and reliable work UTV​​.

  9. Warranty and Trust: The entire Mule lineup is backed by the Kawasaki STRONG 3-Year Limited Warranty, which is a testament to the brand's confidence in the vehicle's durability and reliability​​.


The combination of versatility, robust construction, powerful and efficient engine, user-friendly features, and a strong warranty all contribute to the Kawasaki Mule's reputation as a reliable workhorse in the SxS market. Whether it's for agricultural work, industrial applications, or general utility tasks, the Mule stands out as a durable and dependable choice, as exemplified by the 2024 models.

3.Yamaha Viking

The Yamaha Viking, particularly its 2024 models, is highly regarded in the side-by-side (SxS) market for its reliability, which can be attributed to its robust design, powerful engine, and versatile performance. Here's an overview highlighting why the Yamaha Viking is a top reliable brand:

Engine and Performance

  • Engine Type: 686cc liquid-cooled SOHC 4-stroke with 4 valves, providing strong and efficient power output.

  • Transmission: Ultramatic V-belt with all-wheel engine braking and a 3-way locking differential (2WD, 4WD, locked 4WD), ensuring smooth and reliable power delivery in various conditions.

  • Fuel Delivery: Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI) ensures consistent engine performance.

  • Ignition System: Transistor Controlled Ignition (TCI) for reliable startups and engine operation​​.

Chassis and Handling

  • Suspension System: Independent double wishbone suspension with 8.1 inches of travel at both front and rear, offering a smooth ride over rough terrain.

  • Braking System: Dual hydraulic disc brakes at both ends provide reliable stopping power.

  • Tires: Equipped with robust AT25 tires (front 8-12, rear 10-12), ensuring good traction and durability.

Design and Dimensions

  • Dimensions: It measures 122.1 inches in length, 61.8 inches in width, and 75.8 inches in height, with a wheelbase of 84.1 inches, offering a balanced and stable ride.

  • Ground Clearance: A maximum ground clearance of 11.8 inches allows the Viking to navigate challenging terrain effectively.

  • Fuel Capacity and Weight: It has a fuel capacity of 9.7 gallons and a wet weight of 1,431 pounds, balancing fuel range with a sturdy, durable build.

Reputation for Reliability

  • The Yamaha Viking is known for its durable construction, capable of handling tough jobs and challenging environments.

  • Its practical features, combined with Yamaha's reputation for quality, make the Viking a go-to choice for both work-related tasks and recreational off-roading.

In conclusion, the Yamaha Viking's blend of powerful engine performance, robust chassis design, and versatile handling make it a highly reliable choice in the SxS market. These features, coupled with Yamaha's commitment to quality and durability, ensure the Viking remains a top contender for those seeking a dependable utility vehicle.

4.Kawasaki Teryx

The Kawasaki Teryx, particularly its 2024 models, stands out as one of the top reliable brands in the side-by-side (SxS) market, thanks to its robust construction, versatile performance, and high-quality components. Let's explore the details that contribute to its reliability:

Model Variants

  • The 2024 lineup includes the Teryx, Teryx 4, Teryx KRX 1000, and Teryx KRX 4 1000, offering a range from two-seaters to four-seaters.

  • Commonly referred to as the Teryx 800, these models are equipped with a 783cc V-Twin engine, known for its power and durability​​.

Engine and Performance

  • Kawasaki’s signature liquid-cooled engines ensure durability and reliability.

  • Electronic fuel injection enhances engine reliability and improves fuel efficiency.

  • These engines are well-rounded, providing sufficient power for most off-road situations, although they may not match the top-end performance of some sportier SxS models​​.

Drivetrain and Handling

  • Selectable 2WD/4WD with a shaft drive, offering excellent traction in various terrains.

  • The front differential locks for added traction when needed.

  • Equipped with an automatic CVT transmission and centrifugal clutch, providing excellent throttle response and minimal lag in acceleration​​.

Suspension and Comfort

  • Double wishbone suspensions at both front and rear, with suspension travel varying between 8 and 10 inches depending on the trim level.

  • The Teryx KRX models have a double wishbone front suspension and a 4-link trailing arm rear suspension for more aggressive riding.

  • Fox podium shocks with adjustable preload are featured in all models, offering customizable ride quality and comfort​​.

Build Quality and Design

  • Renowned for high-quality parts and components that withstand off-road conditions.

  • Designed for comfort during long rides, with spacious and ergonomic cab areas.

  • Big, supportive seats with grab bars for stability.

  • Steel and plastic skid plates protect the underside, with steel covering the most vulnerable areas for added durability​​.

In summary, the Kawasaki Teryx's reputation for reliability is well-deserved, built on a foundation of powerful and efficient engines, versatile drivetrains, robust suspension systems, and a focus on rider comfort and vehicle durability. These attributes make the Teryx a top choice for both recreational and utility use in the SxS market.

5.Honda Talon

he Honda Talon, a line of Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs) by Honda, has garnered attention for its reliability and performance. It was introduced by Honda in 2019, marking the company's entry into the sport side-by-side UTV category​​.

Reliability and Performance

  • Engine and Transmission: The Honda Talon features a 999cc twin-cylinder engine producing 106hp. A notable aspect is its dual-clutch transmission system, which does not use a belt to connect the gearbox and the engine, leading to efficient power transmission​​​​.

  • Suspension: The Talon models come with a robust suspension system, including options like Fox podium shocks. However, the stock fox shocks have been noted to perform below expectations at slow and moderate speeds outside dunes​​​​.

  • Tires and Wheels: The Talon 1000 R uses a larger 15-inch wheel with relatively small tires. Optimal tire size for the Honda Talon is suggested to be 30-31×10-15, but wider offset is needed for the back tires if using used wheels​​.

  • Protection: The vehicle has plastic skid plates; however, better protection could be achieved with aluminum or Ultra-high Molecular Weight (UHMW) skid plates, especially beneath the engine at the back​​.


  • Engine: 999cc liquid-cooled, Longitudinal parallel-twin four-stroke system.

  • Transmission: Automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) with 6 speeds + reverse and high/low sub-transmission.

  • Suspension: Various configurations include double wishbone with Fox podium shocks, offering significant travel for off-road resilience​​​​.

  • Brakes: Hydraulic calipers with 250 mm discs and an electronic brake force distribution system.

  • Tires: Typically 28x9x15 at the front and 28x11x15 at the rear​​.

User Experience and Observations

  • Suspension Performance: The updated suspension tune on models like the 2023 Honda Talon 1000R4 has been noted for its improvements​​.

  • Steering and Handling: The new steering components in recent models offer increased strength and decreased effort, reducing bump steer on rocky terrain​​.

  • Power and Speed: While the Talon revs up to 8,500 rpm and produces about 100 horsepower, it has been observed that it may feel underpowered compared to some turbocharged competitors​​.

  • Driving Experience: Users have praised the Talon for its nimbleness and fun driving experience, especially on twisty trails. The dual-clutch transmission makes it much more enjoyable to drive​​.


Despite some limitations and areas for improvement, the Honda Talon stands out for its reliable and durable performance, particularly in off-road conditions. Its robust engine and transmission system, alongside notable suspension and steering improvements in recent models, contribute to its reputation as a top reliable brand in the UTV market. However, like any vehicle, proper maintenance and appropriate use are essential to maximize its capabilities and lifespan​