Cub Cadet introduced their Challenger UTV line in early 2015 with the Challenger 500 and Challenger 700 models. The models are similar with the main difference being a larger sized engine in the 700, 686cc vs. 471cc. The models are positioned as offering excellent value for the price with a host of standard features including a hard-top roof, quick-release windshield, winch with remote, alloy wheels and digital display. The MSRP for the Challenger 500 is $8,499 (see model specs) and the Challenger 700 is $9,499. SVR interviewed the Marketing Director and discussed at length the new Challenger line and future development plans.
I found fewer reviews for the Challenger 700 but did find an expert review from UTV Action. The had tested the Challenger 500 at Moab’s Rally on the Rocks. Some of the key takeaways from their test drive:
- The Challenger 700 can reach speeds up to around 60 mph in high gear and above 40 mph in low gear but can take time to reach those speeds.
- The transmission and 4WD worked well with quick engagement and smooth operation.
- It corners well in 2WD but steering gets heavier in 4WD without EPS. The relatively short wheelbase and torsion bars are good for tight trails.
- The relatively low 7.3″ of suspension travel limits it ability on more challenging terrain but it handles typical trail obstacles satisfactorily.
- “Excellent in rocks and good in mud”
- Very strong brakes for steeper terrain.
- Good ergonomics in the cockpit and nice creature comforts.
Overall, they seemed to have pushed the Challenger 700 hard and came away with a positive impression for the vehicle.
There was limited user generated reviews but I did find some comments on a UTV forum.
- Overall the two users seemed satisfied with the Challenger 700.
- A-arms needed to be greased upon first purchasing.
- Exhaust valves needed to be adjusted.
- Top speed of 55 mph reported.
- The hitch is “quirky” because of existing pin hole placement.
If you are looking to purchase this model please note that Cub Cadet recalled some of these vehicles in early 2016 because of an issue with the parking brake cable failing.
If you have had any experience using this vehicle, please leave a comment below.