The Taiwanese giant couldn’t ignore the public’s infatuation with side-by-side UTVs. With the new 2011 UXV 500i, Kymco is set to conquer a new segment, where the outdoor enthusiast is king.
|The litte UTV has inherited many mechanical aspects from the MXU 500i ATV. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Great modern styling combines with traditional lines, serving up a dollop of original cues such as the beautiful aviation-type fuel cap and pickup-like bed.
The litte UTV has inherited many mechanical aspects from the MXU 500i ATV. This strategic synergy enables the manufacturer to offer more affordable products ($10,495 for the UXV 500i) than its Japanese rivals ($2,000 to $4,000 more expensive) with pricing closer to the American models like Polaris’s Ranger 500
($10,999), the least expensive on the market.
Small but strong enough
The UXV 500i is motivated by a 498.5-cc, single-cylinder injection engine out of the brand’s ATVs. Though a tad noisy (our tester featured a high-performance silencer), the diminutive mill propels the 535-kg rig without batting an eyelash, getting up to 75 km/h, surprisingly enough, whereupon it runs out of steam. It proves extremely efficient at work and at play thanks to its wide torque band, well-spaced gears and easily modulated accelerator.
The CVT features high, low, reverse and neutral gears, selectable via a user-friendly shifter on the centre console. You can toggle between two- and four-wheel drive at the touch of a button located to the left of the steering wheel and lock the front differential via a switch near the ignition.
A real looker
Fashioned from quality plastics, the body is all Kymco, and the ergonomic cabin features digital instruments, a central storage space and a spacious glove compartment. The tip-up dump box, easy to use thanks to a well-centered pivot and shock absorbers, can accommodate up to 200 kg. The UXV 500i also includes an 8-litre storage compartment under the hood, right beside the electronics and radiator.
|The CVT features high, low, reverse and neutral gears, selectable via a user-friendly shifter on the centre console. (Photo: France Ouellet)