Honda Pioneer 4×4 Side-by-side Review: Watch this Buyer’s Guide! (Video)

2018 2017 honda pioneer 1000 700 500 side-by-side utv
Honda Pioneer 4×4 1000-5 Limited Edition

What is the Honda Pioneer UTV all about? It’s a small recreation and utility vehicle that combines all terrain 4×4 capability with utility comparable to a tiny pickup truck. The model you see here is the top-of-the-line Pioneer SXS 1000-5 Limited Edition with several Honda Powersports accessories. If you are on the market for a side-by-side, then this TFLtruck buyer’s guide is your best friend.

There are three flavors of the Honda Pioneer: the Pioneer 500, Pioneer 700, and Pioneer 1000 model lines. All of these model are equipped with several different version of 4×4 systems.

Honda Pioneer 500

Honda Pioneer 500

As the naming suggests, the 500 is the smallest of the bunch with a 475cc liquid-cooled engine underneath. An automatic transmission does the shifting. It has the distinction of being just 50 inches wide, which means that it will fit in the bed of nearly all full-size pickup trucks. It’s about 8.5 feet long, so your tailgate will have to be down. The curb weight is about 1,025 lbs, so many half-ton pickups will be able to haul it wherever you want to go.

There is seating for two, and the Pioneer 500 can tow up to 1,000 lbs. The starting price for the 2017 model is $8,999 (before the $600 destination charge).

Honda Pioneer 700-4

Honda Pioneer 700 & 700-4

If you need a little more oomph and capability, then the 700 may be better suited. It’s powered by a 675cc liquid-cooled engine and the automatic transmission sends the power to a selectable 4×4 system. At 59.7 inches, it’s much wider than the Pioneer 500. The 700 comes in two configurations: 700-2 for two people with a cargo bed in the back, and a 700-4 “crew cab” with a rear bed that also converts into two additional seats (four people maximum).

The Pioneer 700 is rated to carry 1,000 lbs of weight in the bed and can tow a maximum of 1,500 lbs. The starting price for the 2018 Pioneer 700-2 model is $10,599. The four-seater starts at $12,299. Each can be optioned with power steering and manual shifting mode with paddle shifters. These additional features come with the Deluxe optional package.

Honda Pioneer 1000-3

Honda Pioneer 1000-3 & 1000-5

Finally, you can step all the way up to the 1000 series Pioneer. The liquid-cooled twin cylinder 999cc engine produces around 72 horsepower, and it is mated to a slick 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission with paddle shifters. The Limited Edition you see here comes with a i-4WD system that offers three modes: Turf (rear wheel drive with open differential), 2WD (rear wheel drive with a rear locker engaged), and 4WD (with intelligent traction system that engages the front locker and brakes the wheels that have the least amount of traction automatically).

As the names suggest, there are two models: the three-seater with a rear cargo bed, a five-seater with the rear bed that converts into seats for two. You can option the Pioneer with manually adjustable Fox racing off-road shocks, a winch, a roof, front wind screen, auxiliary lights, and more.

The 1000-3 model starts at $14,499, and the 1000-5 Limited Edition model retails for around $21,000.

If I was in the market for a side-by-side, I would go for a Pioneer 1000-3 model. The suspension, engine, and transmission are very well matched together for one fun and useful UTV.

Check out the video Buyer’s Guide!