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John Deere is a major manufacturer known for its agricultural, construction, and forestry machinery, among other products. When referring to a “side by side” in the context of John Deere, it usually means a Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) also known as a side-by-side vehicle. 

These vehicles feature side-by-side seating for two or more people, a small cargo bed in the back, and are used for a variety of purposes including farm work, hunting, trail riding, and more.


John Deere’s side-by-side lineup falls under their Gator Utility Vehicles category. These range from basic models designed for light work and transportation around a property, to more robust models equipped with more power, four-wheel drive, and enhanced suspension systems suitable for rough terrain and heavier loads. 

The Gator series is known for its durability, versatility, and capability to perform in various conditions and environments.

Models vary in specifications, including engine type (gasoline or diesel), power output, capacity, size, and equipped features. 

Some are more tailored towards recreational use with higher speeds and more comfortable seating, while others are designed for work purposes with features like heavy-duty tires, winches, and cargo boxes designed to carry tools and supplies.

Choosing the right John Deere side-by-side (UTV) model involves considering your specific needs and preferences. Here’s a guide to help you navigate through the selection process, ensuring you find a model that perfectly aligns with your requirements

1. Intended Use

  • Work: If you’re primarily using the UTV for work-related tasks, such as farming, landscaping, or construction, look for models designed for heavy-duty performance, durability, and utility features like cargo beds with high load capacity.
  • Recreation: For recreational activities, such as trail riding or hunting, prioritize comfort, speed, and models with better suspension systems for a smoother ride on uneven terrain.

2. Terrain

  • Flat Land: If operating mainly on flat or gently undulating land, a two-wheel drive (2WD) may suffice. However, consider the ground conditions—whether it’s mostly paved, grassy, or dirt.
  • Rugged Terrain: For hilly or rough terrain, a four-wheel drive (4WD) is essential. Look for models with superior suspension and ground clearance to navigate obstacles and steep inclines safely.

3. Capacity Needs

  • Passenger Space: Consider the seating capacity. John Deere offers models ranging from two to four seats (or more in certain configurations). Ensure there’s enough space for all passengers to sit comfortably.
  • Cargo Space: Evaluate the size and payload capacity of the cargo bed. If you’ll be transporting tools, supplies, or game, ensure the UTV can handle your typical load.

4. Specific Features

  • Towing Capacity: If you plan to tow trailers or other equipment, check the towing capacity of the UTV. Ensure it meets or exceeds the weight you intend to tow.
  • Power: Engine power is crucial, especially for work tasks or navigating steep terrain. Consider both horsepower and torque to ensure the UTV can handle your requirements.
  • Safety Features: Look for models with enhanced safety features, such as roll-over protection (ROPS), seat belts, and possibly even a windshield and doors for added protection against the elements and debris.

Making Your Decision

After considering these factors, the next step is to visit John Deere’s official website or a dealership. Here, you can:

  • Compare Models: Use comparison tools to directly compare the specifications and features of different models side by side.
  • Ask for a Demo: Many dealerships offer test drives or demonstrations, allowing you to experience the UTV’s performance firsthand.
  • Discuss Customization: Talk to a sales representative about customization options to tailor the UTV to your specific needs, whether that’s adding a snow plow attachment, winch, or customizing the cargo bed.

John Deere’s Gator Utility Vehicles (UTVs), commonly referred to as side-by-sides, are renowned for their robustness, versatility, and wide range of applications. Here’s an overview of the general features you might find across various models in the John Deere side-by-side lineup:

Durability and Build Quality

  • Heavy-Duty Frame: Designed to withstand rough terrain and heavy use.
  • Durable Materials: Use of high-quality materials for body panels and frames to ensure longevity.

Engine and Performance

  • Engine Options: Variety of gasoline and diesel engine options to cater to different power needs and efficiency preferences.
  • Power and Torque: Engineered for strong power output and torque, suitable for towing and hauling heavy loads.
  • 4-Wheel Drive: Available on many models for enhanced traction in rough or muddy conditions.

Comfort and Convenience

  • Seating: Comfortable seating for two or more passengers with ample legroom and ergonomics.
  • Noise and Vibration Reduction: Designed to minimize noise and vibration for a more comfortable ride.
  • User-Friendly Controls: Intuitive dashboard and controls for easy operation.

Utility and Versatility

  • Cargo Bed: Equipped with a cargo bed for hauling supplies, tools, and more. Some models feature hydraulic lift for easy unloading.
  • Towing Capacity: Capable of towing significant loads, making them useful for a variety of tasks beyond transportation.
  • Attachments and Accessories: Wide range of available attachments (like snow blades, winches, and sprayers) and accessories to customize the vehicle for specific tasks or preferences.

Safety Features

  • Roll-Over Protective Structure (ROPS): Standard on most models to protect passengers in case of a roll-over.
  • Seat Belts: Equipped with seat belts to keep passengers secure.
  • Lighting: Adequate lighting for visibility in low-light conditions, including headlights and, in some models, brake lights and turn signals.

Models and Customization

  • Wide Range of Models: From basic models for light work and transportation to more robust models with advanced features for heavy-duty tasks.
  • Customization Options: John Deere offers numerous options to customize the Gator to specific needs, including tire choices, canopy options, and more.


  • Efficient Engines: Some models are designed with fuel efficiency in mind, reducing operational costs and environmental impact.
  • Electric Models: John Deere offers electric Gator models for those seeking a quieter, zero-emission option.

As of my last update in April 2023, John Deere’s lineup of side-by-side utility vehicles, known as Gators, includes several models categorized into different series based on their intended use, capabilities, and features.

The main series include the Work Series, Mid-Size Crossover, Full-Size Crossover, and High-Performance models. Below is an overview of these series and some of the models available within each:

Work Series

  • Traditional Gators: These are designed for basic utility tasks, featuring simple, durable designs. Examples include:
    • TS 4×2
    • TX 4×2
    • TH 6×4 Gas
    • TH 6×4 Diesel

Mid-Size Crossover Series

  • XUV Mid-Size: These models offer a balance between size and performance, suitable for both work and recreation. They typically seat 2-4 people. Examples include:
    • XUV560E
    • XUV590E
    • XUV590M

Full-Size Crossover Series

  • XUV Full-Size: Designed for more demanding tasks, these models have larger cargo capacities, more powerful engines, and can accommodate more passengers. Examples include:
    • XUV825E
    • XUV835R with HVAC
    • XUV865M
    • XUV855M S4

High-Performance Series

  • RSX High-Performance UTVs: These are geared towards recreational users who demand the highest speed and performance off-road. Examples include:
    • RSX860E
    • RSX860M

Specialty Models

John Deere also offers specialty models designed for specific applications, such as military use or for those requiring electric powertrains, like the:

  • TE 4×2 Electric

Each series and model comes with its own set of features, capabilities, and customization options, from basic utility functions to high-speed, off-road performance.

The best choice depends on the specific needs of the user, including factors like terrain, cargo capacity, passenger seating, and intended use (work vs. recreation).

Using attachments with your John Deere side-by-side (UTV) significantly enhances its versatility and functionality, allowing you to tailor the vehicle for a wide range of tasks beyond transportation. 

John Deere offers a variety of attachments designed to fit their Gator Utility Vehicles, making them even more useful for work, recreation, or property maintenance. Here are some popular attachments and how they can be used:

1. Cargo Box Accessories

  • Cargo box extensions: Increase the volume of material that can be carried.
  • Cargo nets and dividers: Help organize and secure the load.

2. Protection and Security

  • Brush guards: Protect the front of the vehicle from damage when moving through rough terrain.
  • Floor mats and seat covers: Protect the interior from dirt and wear.
  • Windshields and roofs: Provide protection from the elements for the occupants.

3. Towing and Hauling

  • Hitches and winches: Enable the Gator to tow trailers or pull heavy items, enhancing its utility on a farm or worksite.

4. Landscaping and Maintenance

  • Blades and plows: Useful for snow removal or grading tasks.
  • Sprayers and spreaders: Can be used for distributing fertilizers, pesticides, or seeds over a large area.

5. Lighting and Electrical

  • Additional lighting: Improves visibility for early morning or late evening work.
  • Power lift for the cargo box: Facilitates easy dumping of materials.

Using Attachments Effectively

When using attachments with your John Deere side-by-side, consider the following tips to ensure effectiveness and safety:

  • Compatibility: Ensure the attachment is compatible with your specific Gator model. John Deere dealers can help you identify the right attachments for your vehicle.
  • Installation: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for installing attachments. Improper installation can lead to damage or safety issues.
  • Maintenance: Regularly check attachments for wear and tear, just as you would with the vehicle itself. Proper maintenance ensures longevity and reliability.
  • Training: Familiarize yourself with how each attachment operates. Some may change the handling characteristics of your Gator or require special precautions during use.

Benefits of Using Attachments

  • Increased versatility: Attachments transform your Gator into a multipurpose tool for a variety of tasks.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Utilizing attachments can be more cost-effective than purchasing separate equipment for each task.
  • Efficiency: Attachments can help complete tasks more efficiently, saving time and effort.

John Deere’s lineup of side-by-side vehicles, known for their reliability and versatility, offers a range of options for different uses, from agricultural and property maintenance tasks to recreational activities. 

However, like any brand or product, there are pros and cons associated with John Deere side-by-sides. Here’s a summary of the advantages and disadvantages:


1. Durability and Quality

  • John Deere vehicles are renowned for their build quality and durability. They are designed to withstand tough conditions and heavy use, making them a long-lasting investment.

2. Versatility

  • With a wide range of models, from utility-focused to high-performance recreational vehicles, John Deere offers options for various needs and preferences, including towing, cargo hauling, and off-road adventure.

3. Resale Value

  • John Deere products generally maintain a high resale value due to the brand’s reputation for quality and reliability.

4. Comfort and Ease of Use

  • Many models feature comfortable seating, intuitive controls, and user-friendly designs that make them accessible to drivers of various skill levels.

5. Support and Warranty

  • John Deere provides strong after-sales support, including a comprehensive warranty, parts availability, and a wide network of dealerships for service and maintenance.

6. Customization and Accessories

  • A broad range of accessories and attachments is available, allowing users to customize their vehicles for specific tasks or personal preferences.


1. Cost

  • John Deere side-by-sides can be more expensive than some competitors, both in initial purchase price and in the cost of genuine parts and accessories.

2. Size and Maneuverability

  • Some models, especially the full-size and utility-focused ones, may be larger and less maneuverable than competing side-by-sides, which can be a drawback in very tight spaces or narrow trails.

3. Fuel Efficiency

  • Depending on the model and usage, some John Deere UTVs may not be as fuel-efficient as lighter or less powerful alternatives, leading to higher operational costs over time.

4. Availability of Recreational Features

  • While John Deere excels in utility and work-related features, some recreational riders might find the brand’s offerings less focused on performance and thrill-seeking compared to brands that specialize in recreational side-by-sides.

5. Noise Level

  • Some of the diesel and larger gasoline models can be noisier than electric or smaller gas-powered vehicles, which might be a consideration for residential areas or noise-sensitive environments.


John Deere’s side-by-sides are a solid choice for those prioritizing durability, versatility, and support. They are especially well-suited for work-related tasks and offer considerable customization options.

However, potential buyers should consider their specific needs, including budget, intended use, and performance expectations, to ensure they choose a model that aligns with their priorities.

Comparing John Deere’s offerings with those of other manufacturers can help in making an informed decision.


Here are some frequently asked questions with their answers:

What is a John Deere side-by-side?

A John Deere side-by-side is a utility terrain vehicle (UTV) designed for a variety of tasks, from agricultural and property maintenance to recreational activities. These vehicles offer seating for multiple passengers, cargo space, and are equipped for off-road capabilities.

What models of side-by-sides does John Deere offer?

John Deere offers several series of side-by-side models, including the Work Series, Mid-Size Crossover, Full-Size Crossover, and High-Performance Series. Each series caters to different needs, from basic utility tasks to high-speed recreational use.

How much does a John Deere side-by-side cost?

The price of a John Deere side-by-side can vary widely depending on the model, features, and accessories. Basic models may start at a few thousand dollars, while high-end models with additional features and attachments can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

For accurate pricing, it’s best to consult a John Deere dealership or their official website.

Can I customize my John Deere side-by-side?

Yes, John Deere offers a wide range of accessories and attachments that allow you to customize your side-by-side for specific tasks or personal preferences. Options include protective gear, lighting, cargo solutions, and performance upgrades.

Are John Deere side-by-sides good for recreational use?

While John Deere side-by-sides are known for their utility and work capabilities, they also offer models suitable for recreational use.

High-performance and crossover models provide the speed, handling, and comfort desired for trail riding and other recreational activities.

Can John Deere side-by-sides be used on public roads?

In most cases, John Deere side-by-sides are not street legal and cannot be used on public roads. However, some localities may have specific laws or exemptions that allow for limited road use.

It’s important to check local regulations and ensure compliance with all legal requirements.

What is the warranty on a John Deere side-by-side?

John Deere side-by-sides come with a limited warranty that covers parts and labor for defects in materials or workmanship.

The length and terms of the warranty can vary by model, so be sure to review the specific warranty information for the model you’re interested in.

Related links

  1. https://www.deere.com/en/gator-utility-vehicl…
  2. https://www.atv.com/manufacturers/john-de…

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