Utility side-by-side vehicle buyers don't exactly rush to Kawasaki dealers because of their great styling. For 2014, however, the Japanese manufacturer’s entry-level mule is adding a special edition that looks tough and mean with Super Black paint, Kawasaki green graphics, a hard top, durable lower cladding, and aggressively styled wheels. It's still compact enough to fit in the back of a full-size pickup truck.
The 2014 Kawasaki 610 4x4 XC SE is a true go-anywhere worker with proven off-road capability, borrowing some of the best technologies from Kawasaki’s ATVs and larger side-by-side vehicles. Its rugged 4-wheel drive system uses a limited-slip front differential and dual-mode locking rear differential, while a Kawasaki Automatic Power Drive System (KAPS) with High/Low forward, neutral, and reverse handles the power from its 401cc, four-stroke, OHV, single-cylinder engine.
Speaking of which, the 2014 Kawasaki 610 4x4 XC SE generates 13 hp at 4,000 rpm and 22 lb-ft of torque at 2,400 rpm. Top speed is electronically limited at 40 km/h.
Built on a ladder-type, tubular steel frame, the 2014 Kawasaki 610 4x4 XC SE rides on larger 12'' wheels and offers more ground clearance than the base 610 4x4 (8.1'' vs. 6.7'') thanks to extra-large 26" Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 radial tires that improve rough-terrain capabilities. On the trail or around the farm, it also benefits from a fully independent suspension with MacPherson struts, as well as auto-adjusting, sealed hydraulic drum brakes.
Other highlights of the 2014 Kawasaki 610 4x4 XC SE include:
- Space up front for mounting a 3,000-lb capacity winch;
- Standard skid plates;
- All-weather seat cover;
- Automotive-style dash with easy-to-reach controls;
- Sport steering wheel from the Teryx side-by-side;
- Tilting cargo bed that can haul a maximum of 181 kg (400 lbs);
- Towing capacity of 500 kg (1,100 lbs).
The 2014 Kawasaki 610 4x4 XC SE
starts at $9,799. Consider it along with the Polaris Ranger 400
and Kymco UXV 500i