John Deere Gator
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Gator Utility VehiclesJohn Deere first released it's Gator utility vehicle back in 1993, and it has become a popular utility vehicle. The John Deere Gator is more of a workhorse for around the farm, ranch, or worksite. Generally speaking, it is not as off road capable as some of the newer utility vehicles currently available. However, the entry level John Deere Gator utility vehicles are also less expensive than many of the other off road utility vehicles. So, if you don't need to use your utility vehicle for serious off road adventures, then you might want to consider a Gator. There are several different models that are categorized in 3 primary groups. There is the Compact Series, Traditional Series, and High Performance series.
COMPACT SERIES - The Compact series is designed mainly for the the home and light duty user. The John Deere Gator CS is equipped with a 249 cc Kawasaki 8 HP engine, while the Gator CX comes equipped with a more powerful 286 cc Kawasaki 10 HP engine. Both have CVT automatic transmissions. Both are rated to carry up to 400 lbs in their 5 cu.ft. composite (plastic) cargo box. Rated towing capacity on both is up to 600 lbs. Top speed of both is around 15mph, and both do not have rear suspensions. These features make these utility vehicles well suited to landscaping, gardening, and light duty work around the house. It's compact size makes it easier to maneuver and go places where a pickup would not be well suited. These John Deere vehicles are the entry level, lower priced models.
TRADITIONAL SERIES - The Traditional series is designed for heavier duty work around the farm, ranch, or worksite. The John Deere Gator TS model starts the line up with a 286 cc Kawasaki 10 HP engine, and is rated to be able to haul up to 500 lbs in it's 10.1 cu.ft. steel cargo box while it's towing capacity is up to 900 lbs. Both have CVT automatic transmissions. The TS does not have a rear suspension. On the other hand, the TX model has a rear suspension and also comes with a more powerful 401 cc Kawasaki 13 HP engine, and it's 11.3 cu.ft. cargo box can carry up to 600lbs with a maximum towing capacity of 1000 lbs. The John Deere TH 6X4 model comes with a more powerful 675 cc twin cylinder Kawasaki 19 HP engine and offers 4 wheel drive at it's rear wheels. The TH does not have a rear suspension. It's 11.3 cu.ft. steel cargo box can haul up to 1000 lbs and the TH 6X4 is rated for up to 1400 lbs towing capacity. The Traditional series has a top speed of around 20 mph.
HIGH PERFORMANCE SERIES - The High Performance series is designed for heavy duty work in areas where traction may be limited. The John Deere Gator HPX models come equipped with 4 wheel drive, full suspension front and rear, high/low range CVT automatic transmission, . The HPX 4X4 and HPX 4X4 TRAIL models have a 617 cc liquid cooled, twin cylinder Kawasaki engine that produces 20 HP. The HPX 4X4 Diesel offers these same features with a 784 cc Yanmar 3 cylinder diesel engine that also produces 20 HP. All 3 High Performance models come with a 11.3 cu.ft. capacity steel cargo box that can carry up to 900 lbs and the towing capacity of these models is 1300 lbs.
As a quick summary, the following reference chart compares some of the primary features of these Gator utility vehicles.
These utility vehicles offer JD quality and parts availability, and can make good work vehicles around the home, farm/ranch, or worksite. If you need a utility vehicle that is more off road capable in more extreme conditions, then you might also want to consider some of the other utility vehicles currently available. Because the Gators have been in production for a relatively long time, there is also a wide variety of accessories available to customize your John Deere Gator for the specific tasks you require.
UPDATE: The John Deere XUV Crossover series is built to compete with the other more performance oriented utility vehicles out there. There are several different models of John Deere XUV. The entry level XUV 550 comes with an air cooled, carbureted 16 HP V-Twin engine that gives the XUV 550 a top speed of around 28 mph. Price on this entry level XUV is $8,199. For those wanting to haul more people, the XUV 550 S4 gives you 4 person seating with prices starting at $9,299. The next step up is the $10,199 XUV 625i with a fuel injected, liquid cooled 617cc V-Twin engine that produces 23 HP and propels the $11,399 XUV 625i to speeds of up to 30 mph. For those wanting a big step up in performance, the XUV 825i comes with an advanced 50 HP liquid cooled, electronic fuel injected 3 cylinder gas engine capable of pushing the XUV 825i up to 44 mph. Finally, for those that prefer a rugged, heavy duty diesel engine, the $12,199 XUV 855D comes with an 854cc liquid cooled 3 cylinder diesel engine. The number of choices of John Deere Gator utility vehicles has really grown. The newer performance XUV models are not like the traditional John Deere Gators of the past!