It seems we all have to watch our pennies these days as funds for outdoor fun can be tight. Getting the best bang for every buck is so important and it is what has kept companies like Kymco producing entry level off road machines for the first time buyer. It is not only the pricing but also the features and additional accessories that Kymco bundles into the pricing that make some of their machines attractive to the entry level buyer. For model year 2015, Kymco has introduced their newest UTV in the line of side-by-side machines. It is call the Kymco UXV450i LE 4X4. Being a utility machine with trail riding fun attached, this rig is ready for the woods.
Producing an estimated 33hp, the well-built Kymco 443cc four-stroke engine is the heart and soul motivation for the off-road vehicle. Getting up and moving is easy with fuel injection tripping the starting gate for your next adventure. Kymco is known for building many different types of engines. I would say if other manufacturers are using them in their machines it proves that the engine dynamics of Kymco is spot on. This liquid cooled power plant transfers the power to the CVT transmission and on down to the four wheels combining 2WD/4WD and 4WD differential lock as selections for the multi use machine gives owners a choice in traction. The simple dash mounted dial switches these modes easily at the driver’s discretion. Drive gears, whether it be high, low, neutral or reverse, can be changed on the center dash mounted shift lever and is simple to operate. While we had our time in the new UXV, one of my concerns was the odd shift pattern of the dash-mounted lever. It was a little odd to go backwards or down to get to high gear verses up on the lever. It also seemed a little difficult to really lock into a gear like maybe the gates for each selection needed to be deeper or more pronounced. It worked perfectly when in gear but was certainly not what I was used to with other UTVs.
Slipping into the cab of the Kymco UXV450i LE is a comfortable as well as welcoming motion. The way Kymco has set up the inside of their cab is very simplistic but very functional and everything was within eyesight or close reach. The tilting custom steering wheel and multifunctional digital dash, which shows Speedometer, Odometer, Tach, Clock, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, Hi-Temp and more, adds to the entire spacious design a high visibility package. One item that is included in the cab is a hand actuated brake lever. This is mounted right in front of the drivers left knee. This device works as expected but in my opinion could become a hazard should the driver be tall or hit something solid and slide forward into the lever. Although the logic is if the driver has his seat belt fastened then this couldn’t happen.
One more feature that cannot be taken for granted on large UTV machines is storage space. The Kymco UXV 450i seems to have very spacious storage compartments all over, with a couple places for smaller items you might not notice right away. There are buckets under the seats that can be used to hold most anything you could need on the trail. There is also a large storage box under the hood. The tailgate has a secret compartment as well, where you can store some small hand tools or a length of rope. We were able to get a couple of bottles of water in the lockable glove box for our ride through the South Carolina woods.
When talking suspension on the Kymco UXV450i LE, the advertised full ten inches of ground clearance is available to get the UXV450i LE through the rough trails. The independent A-arms suspended from all four corners of this UXV450i have 7.5 inches of travel which allows the Kymco to crawl across things like rock littered trails and traverse off camber trails with little trouble. As we rode further into the steep countryside, we found that at an enjoyable speed (10-15mph) our machine could handle the task of a good ride. Our UXV450i uses its overall width of 59 inches well to travel between the tighter tree lined trails. When it comes to turning the side-by-side in the tight stuff it is also easy at slower speeds. The hydraulic disc brakes performed as expected with no trouble in stopping the ride on command. The dual piston calipers on each of the front wheels combined with the prop shaft mounted dual piston caliper for the rear brakes seem to be very predictable and get you and your passenger to a safe stop.
Getting around to the working side of Kymco UXV450i LE, the tilting bed will hold 440 pounds of strapped cargo and dumps it out when needed. Install your hitch in the two-inch receiver on the rear of the machine and this machine will tow 1200lbs. The one thing we did not get around to was actually loading the bed and determining how the ride and control was affected. LED and Halogen lights will keep the trail bright if the working day should get a little long. Should you get to a place where a remote light or accessory is needed then the 12 volt port built into the dash is always available.
The tightly wooded hillside of Union South Carolina is where Kymco took myself along with several other journalists to test their newest rides. This is where the Big Buck grand national cross country event is held every year and the course gave us seven miles of tight trails, open fields as well as creek crossings in the marshy bottom land. It is my opinion that this Kymco UXV450i will accommodate most riders and their passenger or cargo well. If we had to pick on anything it would probably be the steering at higher speeds. This has been an issue in the past but it seems to be slowly getting resolved. The price is positioned to help an entry-level budget and the company stands on that. It is built to meet an entry level price point and gives someone with a little less free spending cash a chance to enjoy the outdoors. Here is where the concerns lay with regards to pricing though. Is Kymco beginning to get to close to other industry products pricing and so close in fact that they are no longer considered entry level? The gap in two-seat model UTVs has been getting lower and are very comparably priced.
We enjoyed our limited edition Kymco UXV450i LE as it did look great with the styling being very fresh and new to the industry. When you get this Limited Edition or LE package elements such as Alloy wheels, 3000lb winch and painted plastics are included. This is the première ride from Kymco in the 450 class UXV. It is also important to note that Kymco is celebrating 50 years in the business and has added the 50 year logo to the LE models of their off road lines. This really is a good machine for the money and worth a try should you want to experience a relaxing free ride in the outdoors.
For more information on the Kymco UXV450i LE, visit kymcousa.com