Honda Recalls 65,000 Pioneer 1000 UTVs

The 2016 Honda Pioneer 1000 EPS is one of the models being recalled.

Honda is recalling approximately 65,000 Pioneer 1000 utility vehicles because potential muffler overheating may cause a plastic heat shield to melt or catch fire. Consumers should immediately stop using the vehicles and contact a Honda powersports dealer for a free inspection and repair. Honda is contacting all known purchasers directly. The recall involves model year 2016, 2017 and some 2018 three passenger and five passenger Pioneer 1000 vehicles. The vehicles were sold from October 2015 through April 2018. The following recall information is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Hazard:  The muffler can overheat, causing the plastic heat shield to melt or catch fire, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Remedy:  Repair

Recall date:  May 15, 2018

Units:  About 65,000

Consumer Contact:  American Honda toll-free at 866-784-1870 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at and click on “Recall Information” at the bottom of the page for more information.

Recall Details

Description:  This recall involves all model year 2016 through 2017, and some model year 2018 Honda Pioneer 1000 Vehicles. The recalled vehicles were sold in various colors including: red, blue, green, gray and yellow. The name “HONDA” is on the front, sides and the rear of the vehicle. The model name Pioneer 1000 is printed on a label located on both sides of the vehicle, near the rear. The serial number (VIN #) is stamped in the frame at the left rear, below the tilt-up bed/seat. The following model numbers and serial number ranges are being recalled:


MY Model VIN Start
2016 Pioneer 1000 3P


1HFVE04**G4000001 — 1HFVE04**G4008403
2016 Pioneer 1000 5P


1HFVE04**G4000001 — 1HFVE04**G4010507
2017 Pioneer 1000 3P


1HFVE04**H4100001 — 1HFVE04**H4102101
2017 Pioneer 1000 5P


1HFVE04**H4100001 — 1HFVE04**H4103000
2018 Pioneer 1000 3P


1HFVE04**G4200001 — 1HFVE04**G4203360
2018 Pioneer 1000 5P


1HFVE04**G4200001 — 1HFVE04**G4207379

* Variable character

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ROVs and contact an authorized Honda Powersports dealer to schedule an appointment for a free inspection and repair. Honda is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries:  The firm has received 22 reports of the muffler plastic heat shield melting and three reports of muffler plastic heat shield fires. No injuries have been reported.

Sold At:  Authorized Honda Powersports dealers nationwide from October 2015 through April 2018 for between $14,000 and $22,000.

Manufacturer(s):  American Honda Motor Company Inc., of Torrance, Calif.

Manufactured In:  United States

Recall number:  18-742

Learn More:

SVR’s Take:  This is another very large recall for the industry and once again related to an overheating and heat shield issue that can create a fire hazard. While massive recalls by Polaris have probably received the most attention in the industry, other manufacturers have had very large recalls as well.

Horsepower is one of the key vehicle specifications that manufacturers use to differentiate their offerings. This has created an atmosphere of one-upsmanship regarding engine size with each vehicle introduction trying to outdo the last in terms of horsepower. Given the large number of recalls in recent years related to overheating and/or fire hazards one has to wonder if the industry’s expertise in engine technology has outpaced their expertise in handling the additional heat output by these increasingly powerful engines. SVR has been tracking utility vehicle recalls for the past several years.

Marc Cesare,

2018 Honda Pioneer 500 Reviews

2018 Honda Pioneer 500 utility vehicle

The 2018 Honda Pioneer 500 is Honda’s entry level utility vehicle.

The 2018 Honda Pioneer 500 is the same as the 2017 version which was updated from the previous model. Priced at $8,999, this entry level Honda utility vehicle is powered by a 475cc liquid cooled, single cylinder four-stroke engine with electronic fuel injection. This two-seater is only 50″ wide, making many trails accessible, and fits in a full-sized pickup’s bed. The Pioneer 500 features selectable 2WD/4WD and a five-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode with paddle shifters and the automatic mode. Switching between modes can be done on the fly. Other key specifications include:

  • Front and rear independent double-wishbone suspensions
  • 5.9″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • 8.5″ of ground clearance
  • 24″ tires
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • 1,000 lbs towing capacity
  • 450 lbs rear rack capacity
  • Low doors with safety nets

The Honda Pioneer is available in Red or Olive, or for in Honda Phantom Camo for an additional $600.

The following are highlights from several different reviews of the 2018 Honda Pioneer 500. The reviews are fairly consistent with the general view that the Honda Pioneer 500 is a nicely priced small UTV that is good for the trail and doing smaller size chores around the farm, ranch or work site. The ability to switch between manual and automatic transmission modes and the performance of the transmission are the favorite feature. The engine size is appropriate and peppy enough. The clever door latch system and handling are other well-liked features. The main negative is that the ride can be harsh and the vehicle could use slightly more suspension travel or better shocks. Honda Pioneer 500 Review

  • Manual transmission mode gives the vehicle an edge
  • Good for trails and chores around the farm or ranch
  • “Pioneer 500 represents the best bang for the buck…” in its class
  • Requires less maintenance than most machines
  • Sporty feel for recreation and capabilities for utility use
  • Reports by some owners:  Too noisy, harsh ride and lacks a fully locking front differential – Tested mostly on trails made for quads. Tested 2017 version which is the same as the 2018.

  • Peppy engine
  • Clever door latch system opens doors and folds back safety nets at the same time
  • Nimble handling and crisp steering
  • Increased suspension travel could improve ride
  • “Trail pace that will out-pace the suspension”
  • Comfortable cabin

  • Like the door and net latch system
  • Power steering and fulling locking front differential would have been nice
  • Like the paddle shifters and the versatility of the automatic and manual modes
  • Better down hill control with the manual shifting
  • Gas and brake pedals are far enough apart unlike other UTVs
  • Like the lack of center console that can get in the way of your legs
  • 50″ width provides more trail access
  • Not as much wheel travel as my ATVs
  • Great emergency brake
  • Like roll cage for when carrying kids
  • Simple design with crankshafts going directly to drive shafts


2018 Yamaha Wolverine X4 Reviews

2018 Yamaha Wolverine X4

The new 2018 Yamaha Wolverine X4, a 4-passenger UTV designed to be more compact and nimble for recreational use.

Yamaha introduced the model year 2018 Wolverine X4 last year. The recreational utility vehicle features a new 847cc, twin-cylinder engine and stowaway full-size rear seats for flexible cargo space. To improve efficiency, the engine features a dry-sump design for a more compact layout, and an offset cylinder block to reduce friction loss, while rubber engine-mounts and a geared counterbalancer are designed to greatly reduce vibration at idle and throughout the RPM range, as well as reduce noise. The X4 also includes the new Yamaha Chip Controlled-Throttle (YCC-T®), a drive-by-wire system providing precise throttle control, and a key controlled speed system for restricting the vehicle’s top speed to 25 mph. The dimensions (59.8″ wide and 82.7″ wheelbase) of the new Wolverine X4 are purposely on the compact end of the scale to provide a more nimble vehicle for more technical trail riding. Other key features and specs include:

  • Ultramatic V-belt transmission with all-wheel engine braking
  • Yamaha On-Command 3-way locking differential; 2WD, 4WD, full diff-lock 4WD
  • 8.7″/8.9″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 10.7″ of ground clearance
  • Rear self-leveling shocks
  • 26″ Maxxis tires
  • Electronic power steering
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • 600 lb. cargo bed capacity
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity
  • Full underbody skid plates
  • Fully enclosed doors
  • Wide fenders
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Two 12V DC outlets
  • Four pre-wired accessory switches
  • MSRP $15,999 in Graphite

Model variations include the Wolverine X4 in:

  • Yamaha Blue with overfenders and cast aluminum wheels (MSRP $16,499)
  • Realtree Xtra camo with overfenders and cast aluminum wheels (MSRP $16,899)
  • Matte Silver and Matte Carbon Special Edition (SE) models with overfenders, painted bodywork, color-matched interior and shock springs, and cast aluminum wheels (MSRP $17,249)

According to Yamaha managers they are trying to deliver a 4-seat UTV with some of the handling and size characteristics of a two seater and a high degree of versatility. They believe this segment of the market is currently underserved.

Below are highlights from various reviews of the Yamaha Wolverine X4. Similar competitive vehicles would be the Kawasaki Teryx4 and the Honda Pioneer 1000-5. The reviews are mostly positive. Some of the common positive aspects across the reviewers include:

  • Quiet cabin
  • Comfortable seating front and rear with enough legroom for most riders
  • Good and smooth power from the new engine
  • Smooth transmission
  • Handles well
  • Self-leveling suspension works well
  • Light and precise power steering but still provides enough feel
  • Good sight lines for front and rear passengers

Negative comments include:

  • Driver legroom may be insufficient for taller riders
  • Rear leg position is slightly compromised by engine hump
  • Cargo bed can fit small to medium size coolers/boxes but is not designed for loose material and is limited with four passengers
  • Ingress and egress is a little tricky – Yamaha sponsored test drive at the Brushy Mountain Motorsports Park in Taylorsville, NC. Tight trail conditions.

  • Comfortable seats and ergonomic cockpit
  • Open sightlines
  • More comfortable redesigned seat belt and retractor system
  • Quiet cabin
  • “peppy yet smooth” acceleration and predictable takeoff
  • Good CVT system with no belt concerns no matter the obstacle
  • Top speed in low range of 29 and low 50’s in high gear
  • Non-dump cargo bed is not made for loose material like gravel but can carry small to medium size gear
  • X4 handling “really shines”
  • Very precise and predictable in corners
  • Light steering
  • Smooth gated shifter
  • Self-leveling shocks worked “great” and provided greater than expected comfort in the back seats
  • Comfortable back seats with well-placed angled footrests and grab handles – Yamaha sponsored test drive at the Brushy Mountain Motorsports Park in Taylorsville, NC. Tight trail conditions.

  • Comfortable seats for someone 6` 1″
  • Self-leveling suspension handled a range of different load conditions, from one to four passengers, well
  • Ultramatic CVT worked well even on tight trails, hills, low speeds and in High gear
  • “Wolverine X4 is probably the quietest on the market”
  • Performed well in east coast trail conditions for which it is designed – Yamaha sponsored test drive at the Brushy Mountain Motorsports Park in Taylorsville, NC. Tight trail conditions.

  • “Quietest UTV on the market in our minds, bar none.”
  • Torquey new engine
  • Smooth transmission with centrifugal clutch that removes belt lag
  • “really great” engine braking
  • Comfortable seats but footwell area cramped for 6` 3″ driver.
  • Good sight lines
  • Back seats are adjustable for more cargo space or legroom and slightly rasied for stadium-style view
  • Impressed with backseat legroom
  • Interior door handles keep them free of mud and debris
  • “…the X4 goes where you want it to go, even with 4 people aboard.”
  • No pushing in corners
  • Great feedback from power steering and nice ‘feel’
  • Ingress and egress for front and back seats is a “challenge”
  • Limited storage area with four passengers
  • Front seats could sit higher for more legroom – Yamaha sponsored test drive at the Brushy Mountain Motorsports Park in Taylorsville, NC. Tight trail conditions.

  • Comfortable seats
  • New engine with more power throughout RPM range
  • Really smooth throughout the throttle pedal range
  • Torquey response
  • Quiet cabin
  • Easy to shift
  • Handling gives confidence in many trail conditions
  • Self-leveling suspension provides a nice ride
  • Comfortable back seats with ample room and raised position gives good sight lines

Enthusiast Video and Review – jay_man81 – Local dealer demo event. Walk around video and separate ride video.

Walk around video

  • Most comfortable front seats in a UTV that I’ve ridden in
  • Door latch piece makes ingress difficult
  • Shoulder bolster and padded grips in back seats are nice but engine hump moves your legs slightly to the side
  • Nice and comfortable adjustable steering wheel and good cockpit ergonomics
  • Like the parking brake and switch blanks
  • Glovebox has no rubber seal to keep water out
  • One lever auto-style tailgate latch is better than previous tailgate latches
  • Easily accessible air filter
  • Better comfort than my Honda Pioneer 1000 but less power

Drive video

  • Quiet even in low and can converse in the cabin
  • Smooth power delivery
  • Soaks up the bumps and stays planted
  • Seat belt cutting into my neck a little bit
  • Power steering “spot on”. Light but gives enough trail feel
  • 0 – 30 in 5.58 seconds
  • Power in between Pioneer 500 and 1000-5.
  • Good enough power to put a grin on your face
  • Cannot feel any engine heat in the cabin
  • “Quite an impressive machine”

Capital Powersports in North Carolina – Video with comments from customers taking demo drives

  • Handles well
  • Adjustable seats
  • Bigger steering wheel is comfortable
  • Rear seats fold-up
  • Good on the trail
  • Comfortable seats
  • Smooth suspension on all sorts of terrain
  • Good engine braking
  • Good power at higher speeds but some hesitation at lower speeds

Cub Cadet Launches Challenger 400 4×4

The new Challenger 400 4×4 UTV from Cub Cadet.

Cub Cadet continues to expand their utility vehicle line-up with the new Challenger 400 4×4. Building on the 2WD Challenger 400, the compact Challenger 400 4×4 has four-wheel drive and at only 50″ wide can fit into the bed of a standard pick-up truck. The new model is being positioned as a compact crossover UTV for work or play.

This model’s off-road capability is improved with enhanced ground clearance, heavy-duty shocks, 24″off-road tires, rear selectable locking differential and front automatic locking differential. The two-passenger Challenger 400 4×4 also features a 400 lbs cargo bed compared to the 350 lbs cargo bed in the 2WD models and can tow up to 1,200 lbs compared to 500 lbs. Other key specs include:

  • 14 hp, 404cc Subaru EX40 air cooled gas engine
  • 25 mph top speed
  • 10″ aluminum alloy wheels
  • Heavy-duty coil shocks
  • 5″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • Adjustable driver’s seat and adjustable headrests
  • LED headlights and brake light
  • Hard roof
  • 12V in-dash outlet
  • Ball mount and pin hitch
  • Dent-resistant, double-walled cargo bed with tie downs and bed divider slots

The MSRP for the Cub Cadet Challenger 400 4×4 is $7,499. See the manufacturer’s video explaining key features.

The main differences between the new Challenger 400 4×4 and the base Challenger 400 include:

  • 4WD vs. 2WD
  • 400 lbs vs. 350 lbs cargo bed
  • 1,200 lbs vs. 500 lbs towing capacity
  • 6.7″ vs. 5.5″ of ground clearance
  • 5″/5″ vs. 6″/4.5″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 24″ front and rear tires vs. 21″ front and 22″ rear tires
  • Hard roof
  • Alloy wheels
  • LED brake light
  • Headrests
  • 12V in-dash outlet
  • $7,499 vs. 5,599 MSRP

SVR’s Take:  Cub Cadet has really committed to reinvigorating their utility vehicle line-up. They started with the launch of the Challenger series in 2015 and have steadily added models to their lineup. The work and crossover segments have become highly competitive as many manufacturers view these market segments as growth opportunities. However, to be viable in these segments manufacturers need to make a long term commitment to product development, as the main players in the UTV market are frequently launching new vehicles and smaller manufacturers and imports are active as well. In addition, the main players have taken notice of the success of brands like Cub Cadet in the value end of the market, and launched new lower priced models or enhanced the value of their existing lower priced models.

Polaris RZR XP Turbo S Reviews

Polaris RZR SP Turbo S

The RZR XP Turbo S has 25″ of usable front and rear suspension travel.

Polaris introduced their new, top-of-the-line RZR, the 72-inch RZR XP Turbo S in March. The RZR XP Turbo S was completely “redesigned and reengineered” with a reinforced chassis, stronger axels and other strengthened components. Like other high performance RZRs this model is powered by a 168 hp ProStar turbo H.O. engine. Rather than bump up the horsepower, Polaris beefed up almost every other aspect of the vehicle. The XP Turbo S features 32″ ITP Coyote tires 16″ of ground clearance and 25% more assist in power steering. This model also has the Dynamix Active Suspension system, 19″ or 21″ of wheel travel depending on settings and 25″ of what Polaris refers to as useable travel to the skid plate. The drive system is the new Isolated Xtreme Performance True On-Demand AWD/2WD with greater front drive impact strength, improved throttle control and a redesigned clutch box “..for better air flow and decreased belt temperatures.”

Other key specs and features of the RZR XP Turbo S include:

  • 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc with Triple-Bore Front and Dual-Bore Rear Calipers
  • EPS
  • 2.5″/3″ FOX Podium Internal Bypass Shocks with Live Valve
  • Premium Sparco Steering Wheel
  • Bolstered Bucket Seats with 4-point Harness
  • Aluminum Roof
  • Bowed 1/4 Doors
  • Front Blacked Out White LED Low/High w/ Accent Lights & Rear Red LED Tail / Brake / Accent Lights
  • Rear Wired Camera
  • RIDE COMMAND™ 7” Glove-Touch Display with DYNAMIX Visualizer
  • Built-In GPS
  • Bluetooth & USB Smartphone Connectivity
  • GoPro® Control
  • In-Vehicle Communications Capable
  • Ride Command App Integration

The RZR XP Turbo S is available in Indy Red or Polaris Blue and has an MSRP of $27,499.

Below are highlights from reviews of the RZR XP Turbo S from a Polaris arranged test drive event in the desert near Las Vegas, NV. Not surprising for a high end vehicle, the reviews in general are predominantly positive. The Dynamix Active suspension with the new FOX shocks is a big hit. Reviewers are amazed at how the vehicle handles rough terrain and can corner. Reviewers noted the difficulty of the trails on which they drove the vehicles and on several occasions the vehicles easily handled terrain where the driver thought they had pushed the envelope too far. The new steering wheel is also widely praised. While the turbo provides the same horsepower as the previous RZR Turbo model, reviewers found the power output to be more than adequate and good throughout the throttle range. On the negative side, seat comfort could be an issue, one reviewer wants full doors and one wants a lower low range for rock crawling. The 4-point harness is welcomed but can take some adjusting. – Las Vegas test drive first ride review

  • Feels sturdy and stout
  • Designed for 32″ tires
  • Can adjust suspension from the cab
  • Good visibility from the cockpit
  • Improved CVT cooling and stronger front differential
  • Liked the LED accent lights
  • Liked the new Sparco steering wheel
  • Not enough legroom
  • “Low range is too high for technical rock crawling.”
  • Too much seat movement in rough terrain
  • Hard to adjust harness
  • Usable travel is the distance from the bottom of the tires while at full droop to the skid plate. – Las Vegas test drive first ride review

  • New Sparco steering wheel much better
  • EPS system works well similar to other RZRs
  • 32″ tires are “hook up well” and are smoother over obstacles than 29″ Bighorns
  • “Tires track and slide predictably” but wear relatively quickly in the rear in 2WD
  • Felt quick despite width and long travel
  • Punchy throughout throttle positions and a top speed of 85 mph
  • CVT belt appears more durable
  • Handles big bumps really well
  • Can drive with confidence with stronger suspension components
  • Would have liked full doors – Las Vegas test drive  – This reviewer’s perspective is from a rider less experienced with high-end side-by-sides than the typical reviewers.

  • “…no flexing, clanking or rattling on the roughest of trails.”
  • Harness is “fiddly”
  • Soaks up the bumps
  • Provides a controlled and stable ride
  • “Ridiculously fast”

Dirt Trax Video  – Specs Review and some commentary

  • Best Polaris EPS system of any RZR to date
  • Balanced through the corners – Full video review. Includes an informative discussion with Polaris technical about how the Dynamix system works.  This accompanying article provides an in-depth technical review.

  • Like the RIDE Command touchscreen
  • Linear power and well-tuned – more driveable
  • Impressive ride on very difficult terrain
  • Can really take a hit
  • “Dynamix system is real”
  • Longer throttle to control compared to X3
  • “Wow. that is super impressive…70 mph through those whoops”
  • “Tough and works really well”
  • Handles really well through corners

Brandon Pierce – Las Vegas test drive video

  • Love the steering wheel
  • Like the comfort setting on the suspension
  • Feels fast
  • This is a “beast”

Brandon Pierce – Polaris Marketing Spokesman Vehicle Walkaround & Main Points

  • Completely redesigned from old turbo model -not just larger tires and long travel kit
  • 168 hp turbo is the same but top speed increased to 85 mph and throttle mapping more aggressive for 32″ tires
  • Toughest machine – 32″ tires, which requires redesigned chassis and other components – control arms, tire rods, spherical, knuckles, trailing arms, radius rods, axles; larger and stronger front drive; improved clutch box and belt cooling
  • Higher ground clearance but same center of gravity as previous RZR Turbo
  • Most capable suspension – Smart travel with Dynamix Active suspension, usable travel and improved FOX Live Valve internal bypass shocks shocks
  • Most evolved cockpit – new Sparco wheel, new seats, 4-point harness, new driving position in relation to wheel and maintained sight lines; Ride Command with rear view camera;
  • Lower profile ROPS with more welds and generally beefier
  • Aluminum roof