Zooming along back-country trails, checking fence lines on the ranch, and moving around the worksite, UTVs are handy. They’re compact transport for everything from serious work to serious fun. Today, UTV manufacturers are adding electric vehicle (EV) UTV models to their lineups for the latest in eco-friendly outdoor mobility. Most are fairly standard, but a few are outside-the-box designs. These include high-speed fully enclosed electric UTVs and burly models almost like miniature trucks. Or focus today is on 2023 Ranger XP Kinetic vs HuntVe Game Changer 4×4.
Electric UTVs offer both advantages and disadvantages compared to gasoline models. The vehicles often don’t provide as much range as their ICE counterparts, just like many passenger EVs. However, electric UTVs operate almost silently and don’t smell gasoline, oil, or exhaust. Hunters appreciate these features since they enable driving near game animals without alerting or scaring them off. And, of course, EV UTVs carry people to their destination in a much greener way than ICE UTVs.
Two rivals in this field are the 2023 Ranger XP Kinetic and the HuntVe Game Changer 4×4. Polaris builds the Ranger XP Kinetic as its premium model. Unusually for electric UTVs, which mostly use lead-acid batteries, Polaris updated the Ranger’s battery to lithium-ion. Using rare earth minerals for the battery gives the Ranger some extra capability. Meanwhile, the HuntVe Game Changer is an American-made electric UTV with some premium features. Here’s how the two stack up against each other.
2023 Ranger XP Kinetic vs HuntVe Game Changer 4×4: Side-By-Side Comparison
|HuntVe Game Changer 4×4||Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic|
|Seating||Two people||Three people|
|Range||25 miles||45 miles or 80 miles|
|Top Speed||25 mph||60 mph|
|Payload||950 lbs||1,500 lbs|
|Towing||1,200 lbs||2,500 lbs|
|Warranty||1 Year Limited||3-Year Powertrain Warranty, |
5-Year Battery Warranty
|Price||$19,995||$24,999 to $29,999|
Ranger XP Kinetic vs HuntVe Game Changer 4×4: What’s the Difference?
HuntVe Game Changer and the Ranger XP Kinetic boast a standard UTV loadout. Both are compact and maneuverable, designed for rugged off-road use in many different situations. They ride on four wheels (unlike some six-wheel electric UTVs also appearing on the market) with a traditional layout. Each has a roll cage doubling as a cabin, with a top to keep rain and sun at bay.
Both also feature a windshield and have a dump bed mounted in the back for cargo. They are equipped with a standard 2” receiver hitch for trailers and other accessories. They are even fairly visually similar, though the HuntVe comes with standard camo paint, and the Ranger doesn’t. However, some notable differences in performance and features exist between them.
Speed, Range, and Recharging
The HuntVe runs on a lead-acid battery similar to those used for over a century in most ICE vehicles. The technology is well-proven and solid but somewhat limits the electric UTV’s performance specs. The Game Changer travels up to 25 miles on a single charge, a fairly short range even for EV UTVs.
The Game Changer is a true electric 4×4. Two electric motors provide power, one mounted to the front pair of wheels and the other to the back. The 72-volt motors develop 38 horsepower. HuntVe says the Game Changer’s electric motors provide more torque than ICE models. This is not surprising, given how EVs offer large amounts of instant torque. However, the company doesn’t state the actual torque figure publically.
Polaris outfits both trim levels of the Ranger XP Kinetic with lithium-ion batteries. The base trim, dubbed the Premium, draws power from a 14.9 kWh battery. This provides a range of 45 miles per charge, almost double HuntVe’s range. Those upgrading to the top-level Ultimate trim also gain use of a 29.8 kWh battery, improving the range to 80 miles. This makes it one of the longer-range UTVs on the market, though a few exceed 100 miles.
Horsepower remains the same for both trims at 110 hp. The electric motors supply 140 ft-lbs of torque. The XP Kinetic recharges from either Level 1 (120v) or Level 2 (240v) sources. A Level 2 charger raises charge from 0% to 100% in approximately 5 hours. The Ranger is much faster than the Game Changer, with a 60 mph top speed and sporty driving characteristics. A low center of gravity allows for good handling, multiple driving modes and high speed, making the Kinetic a fast, interesting drive.
The Ranger XP Kinetic has 14-inch wheels to conquer various trails and terrain. Polaris fits these with 29-inch Pro-Armor X-Terrain tires. The company uses these tires on its ATVs and UTVs, designing them for traction and comfort. The Pro-Armor X-Terrains feature aggressive lugs to grip multiple ground types, including loose, treacherous surfaces. The sidewalls defend against punctures with 8-ply three-belt ballistic material.
The XP Kinetic provides 14 inches of ground clearance for getting over obstacles. It slightly outclasses the HuntVe Game Changer in this regard since the latter offers about 11 inches of ground clearance. Both are high enough for users to enjoy getting over low rocks and stumps and avoid high-centering on moderately rutted trails.
The HuntVe wears slightly smaller off-road all-terrain tires at 25 inches. This makes it slightly less mobile over rough ground, though it still provides lots of capability. The tires resist puncturing somewhat less than Polaris’ Pro-Armor tires. The HuntVe sidewalls contain 6-ply construction versus the Ranger tires’ 8-ply sidewalls. As a result, while both machines give capable and strong off-road transport, the Ranger XP Kinetic is again the winner. Both are excellent drivers in difficult conditions, but owners won’t feel short-changed by HuntVe’s cross-country chops.
The Ranger XP Kinetic’s designers built in a full-body skid plate to protect its undercarriage from terrain damage. This steel plate shields the UTV’s sensitive parts from rocks, stumps, logs, and other obstacles.
The Kinetic and Game Changer is made as workhorse UTVs and trail riders. The engineers designing both gave them rear dump beds and towing hitches to carry out the many different tasks expected of a UTV. The HuntVe can carry a total payload inside the vehicle, amounting to 950 lbs. The stronger motors of the Ranger Kinetic, supported by a powerful lithium-ion battery, outdo this by more than 50%. The Polaris UTV’s dump bed payload is a full 1,500 lbs, probably well beyond the quantity of most items that can be fitted into the bed.
The towing capacity of the two electric UTVs also differs sharply, though both sport 2” receiver hitches. The HuntVe Game Changer tows up to 1,200 lbs, while the Ranger Kinetic more than doubles this with a 2,500-lb towing capacity. Towing such heavyweights probably halves the range as with full-size EVs such as pickup trucks.
The dump bed is one of the few places where the HuntVe Game Changer outshines the Ranger XP Kinetic. The owner dumps out the Kinetic’s bed using a manually operated lever. HuntVe, on the other hand, equipped the Game Changer UTV with a powered bed. This feature enables raising it to drop its contents out on the ground with the simple push of a button.
The Ranger XP Kinetic wins back some of its advantages with a power outlet in the dump bed. This 12v outlet allows owners to run various tools, drawing on the electricity stored in the Kinetic’s battery. Given the relatively low charge, the batteries can hold. However, this feature should probably be used with caution and frequent checks of the remaining charge indicator.
While UTVs don’t have as many systems, bells, and whistles as full-size vehicles, both these models have a few extra conveniences. Both vehicles include half-height safety doors to close off the sides of the cab area to protect passengers’ legs. The HuntVe Game Changer’s safety doors are sturdier than the Kinetic’s. HuntVe makes its UTV’s safety doors with solid panels, while Polaris opted for fabric over a metal pipe frame.
The Game Changer seats two people, while the Kinetic seats three. Both machines light up the trail or work area with bright, long-lasting LED headlights. The LED lighting ensures crisp, natural colors and long-range illumination on even the darkest nights. The use of LED lighting also ensures power draw is minimal. Turning on the headlights and taillights in the dark shouldn’t significantly affect battery charge.
HuntVe uses a lot of aluminum in the Game Changer’s construction. This design choice gives the UTV a lighter weight than some equivalents containing a lot of steel. As a result, it’s more likely to “float” over the soft ground on its all-terrain tires and less apt to get bogged down. The lightweight also makes trailer transport a little easier. The aluminum resists corrosion even in constantly wet conditions, mostly avoiding the risk of rust in humid climates.
Options and Price
As of early 2023, HuntVe supplies the Game Changer 4×4 in a single variant, though more might be added eventually. The vehicle costs $19,995 in its base setup, plus destination charges. The Polaris UTV comes in two different trims. The Ranger XP Kinetic Premium costs $24,999 and features a smaller battery. The Ranger XP Kinetic Ultimate sets you back $29,999 and includes the larger, longer-range battery.
XP Kinetic vs HuntVe Game Changer: 6 Must-Know Facts
- The Game Changer and Kinetic are approximately the same size and configuration.
- The HuntVe’s top speed is 25 mph, and the Polaris Ranger’s top speed is 60 mph.
- The HuntVe Game Changer’s maximum range on a single charge is 25 miles.
- The Ranger XP Kinetic’s maximum single-charge range is 45 miles for the smaller battery option and 80 miles for the larger battery.
- The HuntVe carries 950 lbs and tows 1,200 lbs, while the Ranger’s max payload is 1,500 lbs and its towing capacity is 2,500 lbs.
- Depending on the trim, the HuntVe is $5,000 to $10,000 cheaper than the Kinetic.
Ranger XP Kinetic vs HuntVe Game Changer: Which One Is Better?
The HuntVe Game Changer 4×4 and the Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic are solid, functional UTVs with good capabilities. Both UTVs are made to high-quality standards, using tough, durable materials. Each is a good choice and will likely provide years of service to their owners.
That said, the Ranger XP Kinetic is the superior vehicle in most regards. Spending several thousand dollars more gives the owner about double the range (45 miles versus 25 miles) or even triple (80 miles). The increased range translates into more work, too. The Kinetic hauls more, tows more, covers more territory, and can run power tools through its 12-volt outlet while still having more range than its HuntVe competitor.
The Kinetic’s 1,500-lb payload and 2,500-lb towing capacity put it in a class by itself. The UTV streaks at 60 mph, leaving the HuntVe at its 25 mph top speed in its rear-view mirror. Reviewers report the Kinetic is not only highly functional but fun to drive as well. Owners enjoy the benefits of sporty, responsive handling and a stable, low center of gravity with the weight of the lithium-ion battery. For anyone who can afford it, the XP Kinetic appears in most ways to be the superior pick.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©TrapperJames/Shutterstock.com.