Let’s face it, ATVs are getting more and more expensive. Some of the biggest and baddest ATVs available in 2022 are priced well north of $15,000. Case in point, have you seen our first look at the Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 Ride Command Edition? The truth of the matter is that unless you’re blasting through a knee-deep mud bog, you really don’t need that much power. And you can have just as much fun without all of the bling and fancy electronic accessories. A 4WD ATV with half the ponies will still blaze trails, climb rocks, and shred sand with a price point that’s far less than the cost of those high-end ATVs.
So we’ve put together a number of machines from each manufacturer that will still get you to trail’s end for less than half the price. You might just be shocked how far you can stretch a dollar with some of the features found in this list of affordable 4x4s.
2022 Arctic Cat Alterra 450: This kitty packs a 443cc fuel-injected single-cylinder engine and an automatic CVT transmission with high and low range. Two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive operation is selectable on the fly with a handlebar-mounted rocker switch. It comes with 25-inch tires on steel wheels. It includes independent suspension at all four wheels with a double A-arm design, and 10.5 inches of ground clearance will have you enjoying the most rugged trails. Front and rear racks can handle a combined total of 225 pounds. A 2-inch receiver can tow up to 1,050 pounds. The Alterra 450 is available on Coyote Tan or Smoke Screen Gray.
2022 Argo Xplorer XR 500: This all-new model is built around a 443cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-valve engine with an automatic CVT transmission with high and low range and engine-braking. It comes with selectable 2WD/4WD and push-button front diff lock. The latter is a rare feature at this price point. Fully independent suspension boasts of 10.5 inches of ground clearance. Front and rear racks are rated for a mammoth 360 combined pounds, and it will tow 1,050 pounds with its standard 2-inch receiver hitch. You can upgrade to the Xplorer XR 500 SE, which includes aluminum wheels, upgraded Kenda tires, and a 3,000-pound winch. And the SE still squeaks in at just under our $7,000 limit.
MSRP: $6,299 / $6,999 (SE)
2022 Can-Am Outlander 450: Get premium Rotax power at a bargain price with Can-Am. The Outlander 450 is fitted with a 38 hp, 427cc single-cylinder EFI engine. An automatic CVT transmission combines high and low range gearing with engine-braking. You can select 2WD and 4WD on the fly with Can-Am’s Visco-Lok automatic locking differential. Fully independent suspension allows up to 9 inches of travel and 10.5 inches of ground clearance. This is also the only model under $7,000 to include trailing arm rear suspension. Steel racks are rated for 360 pounds of combined cargo, and it will tow up to 1,300 pounds.
2022 CFMoto CForce 400: The 2022 CFMoto CForce 400 looks and feels different from last year, and that’s because it’s all new. The CForce 400 is fitted with a single-cylinder liquid-cooled 400cc engine fed by a Bosch EFI throttle body that produces 31 hp and 24 pound-feet of torque. The transmission uses proven CVTech clutching with high and low range gearing. The CForce 400 has 2WD, 4WD, and fully locked 4WD, which are selectable with an updated switch on the handlebars. Dual arched A-arms provide independent suspension at all four wheels, helping to provide almost 10 inches of ground clearance. The steel racks can handle a combined cargo load of 225 pounds and a standard 2-inch receiver can tow up to 620 pounds.
2022 CFMoto CForce 500: This model is also new from the ground up. It’s similar to the CForce 400, but it comes with a 495cc single-cylinder four-valve engine that puts out 38 hp. Bosch electronic fuel injection and liquid-cooling are standard. The CVTech automatic transmission includes high and low range gearing, and 2WD/4WD is selected with a new thumb controller that includes a locking front differential. You can’t beat the price with premium features like aluminum wheels, a 2,500-pound winch, and LED headlights and running lights. This is the only one of two models in this roundup that receives electric power steering. Ground clearance is a respectable 10.3 inches. Front and rear racks can handle a combined 225 pounds and a standard 2-inch receiver will tow up to 783 pounds.
MSRP: $5,799 / $6,149 (camo)
2022 CFMoto CForce 600: Its 580cc engine makes the CForce 600 the most powerful machine on this list with 40 hp and 36 pound-feet of torque. A CVTech transmission comes with high and low range as well as engine-braking. Select 2WD/4WD with a new thumb controller that includes a locking front differential. Double A-arms provide independent suspension at all four wheels. Composite over steel racks can safely handle up to 225 pounds of cargo and a 2-inch receiver will haul up to 1,000 pounds. Premium features include LED headlights and taillights, a high-contrast digital gauge, variable-rate electronic steering, 12-inch alloy wheels, and a 3,000-pound winch. A camo trim is available, but you’ll have to cross the $7,000 ceiling to get it.
2022 Honda FourTrax Rancher 4×4: There are a total of eight 420cc Rancher models in Honda’s fleet, but only four of them fall below our price point and only two of those four are equipped with 4WD. The FourTrax Rancher 4×4 and Rancher 4×4 ES are two of the three models in this list that don’t use a belt-driven CVT transmission. The Rancher 4×4 has a manual foot shift, five-speed transmission with auto-clutch, and the ES (electric shift) comes with an electronic push-button shifter. Both models feature Honda’s TraxLok selectable 2WD/4WD system. Front suspension sports an independent double-wishbone design, and the rear is a single shock swingarm design.
MSRP: $6,599 / $6,899 (ES)
2022 Polaris Sportsman 450 H.O.: This single-cylinder ProStar 450 is oddly named since it comes with a 499cc displacement. The engine pushes 33 ponies through a CVT transmission with high and low range gearing. It does not include engine-braking but it does come with one-touch selectable 2WD/4WD on the fly. The front suspension uses MacPherson Struts with 8.2 inches of travel, while the rear gets dual A-arms with 9.5 inches of travel. The 11.5 inches of ground clearance means you’re less likely to get hung up on rocks and logs. The racks can handle 270 combined pounds of cargo with a tow rating of 1,350 pounds.
2022 Suzuki KingQuad 400 ASi or KingQuad 400 FSi: There’s only one difference between these two models—the transmission. Suzuki gives you the choice of an automatic CVT transmission with the ASi, or a five-speed manual auto-clutch transmission with the FSi. Both have high and low range gear selection. The Suzukis are powered by a 376cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine with EFI. The 2WD/4WD operation is selectable on the fly. The front suspension is an independent A-arm design, while the rear suspension gets a swingarm with dual shock absorbers. Ground clearance is good at almost 10 inches. Both models are available in either Flame Red or Terra Green color.
2022 Yamaha Kodiak 450: The Kodiak 450 chassis is built for this motor. It’s lighter and more compact, making it more nimble and fun to throw around on the trails. The liquid-cooled 421cc engine is electronically fuel injected. It’s mated with Yamaha’s Ultramatic V-belt transmission with high and low range and all-wheel engine-braking. On-Command 2WD/4WD is selectable while in motion. Double-wishbone control arms provide fully independent suspension at all four corners, and the rear brake system is a sealed multi-disc system that is virtually maintenance-free. This model includes 9.6 inches of ground clearance, can handle up to 264 pounds of cargo on the racks, and has a towing capacity of 1,322 pounds.
MSRP: $6,499 / $6,699 (camo)