KAWASAKI TERYX4 800FI LE
— Smooth operator at a good price —
While there are more and more choices for family four-seat fun in the UTV market, the Kawasaki Teryx4 remains an excellent choice with a short wheelbase, excellent build quality, and a lot of bang for the buck. Its comparatively low price allows the owner to customize the Teryx4 for specific types of riding or adventures and still come in below the cost of other four-seat UTVs. We got a chance to check out a heavily accessorized Limited Edition Teryx4 at the Moab Rally on the Rocks.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2019?
For 2019, Teryx4s get new graphics and color choices—new Metallic Carbon Gray and Candy Steel Furnace Orange join Matrix Camo Gray on Limited Editions. We got an accessorized Candy Steel Furnace Orange LE for this 2019 test. Kawasaki offers accessory performance packages, and our Rally on the Rocks ride had the Recreation Package. Our Moab Teryx4 was fitted with Kawasaki’s accessory Warn ProVantage 3500-S winch ($559.95), Warn Roller Fairlead ($49.95), winch mount ($125.95), and Hand-Held Remote ($99.95), Jensen Audio System ($619.95), half windshield ($180.95), black rear bumper ($379.95), front and rear aluminum A-arm guards ($155.95 per pair), rear-view mirror ($59.95) and hitch components ($88.75). The accessories total comes to $2,477.25, bringing the as-tested total to $19,476.25.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The base-model Teryx4 800 EPS is $15,799. The Realtree Xtra Green Camo Teryx4 is $16,299, and the Limited Edition is $16,999 to $17,199. Yamaha’s Wolverine X4 850 EPS is $16,499 to $16,899, and the Special Edition is $17,249. Honda’s Pioneer 1000-5 is $16,899. The Deluxe is $17,899, and the Limited is $22,099, while the Pioneer-4 700 is $12,399 to $13,899. The Polaris General-4 1000 EPS is $21,299, and the Ranger Crew XP 900 EPS is $15,499. Can-Am’s Defender Max HD8 DPS is $14,699 to $15,499. Kawasaki’s Mule Pro-FXT EPS is $14,899 to $16,999 for the Ranch Edition. Arctic Cat’s Stampede 4 is $15,699 to $18,199 for the 4X Hunter Edition.
HOW FAST IS THE 783CC V-TWIN?
It’s got a sporty throttle map for turn-to-turn fun. The 783cc V-twin has a fairly short stroke at 69mm for quick revs and is tuned for meaty torque. We got 31 mph out of the Teryx4 in Low and 52 mph downhill in High, as the Teryx4 has an electronic speed limiter set at 50 mph. It has got the perfect power for negotiating Moab’s slick-rock trails.
WHAT ABOUT THE CVT/4X4 DELIVERY?
It’s as solid as Moab’s red rocks. The Teryx4’s dual-range CVT has electronic belt protection and four-wheel engine braking, along with a centrifugal clutch applying constant belt tension for longer life and cooler running. We have never seen a blown belt, or a broken Teryx axle for that matter. The gated range selector is fairly slick and very positive. A dial switch on the dash selects 2WD, 4WD and 4WD diff-lock, and servos carry out commands instantly. It’s very user friendly and efficient.
WHAT ABOUT TERYX4 HANDLING?
It’s among the best-handling four-seat UTVs. While the Honda Pioneer 1000-5 and Yamaha Wolverine X4 have slightly shorter wheelbases, the Teryx4 is no longer the shortest-wheelbase four-seater, but its sporty delivery makes it as agile as the X4 or 1000-5. It’s easy to bend around mountain switchbacks and fun to drift, and it’s pretty stable on fast straights. The EPS-assist map is also very well-tuned and speed sensitive for an agile yet stable ride.
HOW IS THE SUSPENSION?
It’s tuned well for four-up fun, but there are sportier packages. Fox Podium 2.0 piggyback shocks have 24-position compression adjusters with factory settings in the midpoint of damping at 12 clicks out. We backed them off to three clicks out for Moab’s rocks. Travel is 8.0 inches in front and 8.3 inches out back, and ride quality is good with four seats occupied. A lone front sway bar fights body roll in turns yet allows articulation for rocks, roots and ruts. The Teryx4 has better suspension control at higher speeds than most of its direct competition, but it could use plusher low-speed ride quality. The aftermarket has all sorts of long-travel kits, spring kits and shock upgrades for turning the Teryx4 into an off-road limousine.
WHAT ABOUT ROCKS AND MUD?
We have conquered many trails at Utah’s Moab and Sand Hollow red-rock formations, and the torquey engine, great CVT and locking front diff make hard obstacles easier. The engine and transmission easily turn taller tires, too. The stock suspension only delivers 11.2 inches of ground clearance. If mud ruts get any deeper than that, the Teryx4 struggles, but it has highly placed intakes under the hood for deep-water crossings up to 3-plus feet. The Kawasaki is very capable in rocks and streams, and the fenders, half doors and roof do a good job of keeping flung mud out of the cabin. Water comes up through the floor, though.
HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?
Strong enough for Moab. The multi-disc, oil-bathed rear and hydraulic disc front brakes are well sealed against mud and water, and they are backed by a very effective four-wheel engine-braking system and centrifugal clutch. Only Limited Edition T4s sport the 27-inch Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires, which also apply more force to the brakes.
WHAT ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?
The Teryx4 is one of the most comfortable four-seat UTVs. High-back bucket seats have side bolsters for support and covers from the jet ski division for great comfort. The rear seats are stadium style for better views. The poly roof has channels to keep water from running into the cabin, and half doors provide protection and confidence. All controls are well-placed and deliver great feel, and we really like the over-molded tilt steering wheel. The digital instrument pod is in the center of the dash instead of over the steering column, but it is tilted toward the driver. The faux-carbon dash has blanks for the winch switch and Jensen audio system. At slower trail speeds, the Jensen sounds great, but above half throttle, intake noise drowns it out. The winch and suspension guards are good insurance for rock crawling and general trail riding.
WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
The Teryx4 delivered great performance and cabin comfort on our all-day trail rides at Moab, the motorsports mecca. While there are other mounts that deliver more suspension travel and speeds for more open desert, the Teryx4 is especially effective on slick-rock trails with steep ascents and descents, where the CVT and EBS shine. It does everything well and is very agile in turns. It’s sure-footed and delivers perfect power for trail riding and rock crawling. The Limited Edition is super comfortable for long rides, and the accessories package makes it even more enjoyable on the trail.
2019 KAWASAKI TERYX4 800FI 4X4 LE
Engine type Liquid/oil-cooled, 8-valve, SOHC, 4-stroke
Bore x stroke 85mm x 69mm (x2)
Compression ratio 10.7:1
Lubrication system Semi-dry sump
Induction 36mm Mikuni EFI (x2)
Starting/back-up Electric push-button/none
Idle adjustment N/A
Access Remove hood and six airbox clips
Transmission Dual-range CVT w/ rev. & EBS
Reverse procedure Move gearshift to “R”
Drive system 2WD/4WD w/ diff-lock
Final drive Shaft
Fuel capacity 7.9 gal.
Overall length/width/height 125.4”/61.6”/77.8”
Ground clearance 11.2”
Claimed curb weight 1,628.8 lb.
Bed capacity 249 lb.
Towing capacity 1,300 lb.
Frame Tube steel Double-X
Front Dual A-arms w/ prel-, comp.-adj. piggyback
Rear Dual A-arms w/ prel-, comp-adj. piggyback
Front Twin-piston hydraulic discs/left pedal
Rear Oil-bathed multi-disc/left pedal
Parking Locking lever on console
Front 27×9-14 Maxxis Bighorn 2.0
Rear 27×11-14 Maxxis Bighorn 2.0
Front Quad 20.4W/10.2W LED headlights
Rear Dual 21W/5W brake/tail-lights
Instrumentation Multi-function digital meter plus
Colors Bright White, Realtree Xtra Green;
LE, Metallic Carbon Gray,
Candy Steel Furnace Orange, Matrix Camo Gray
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price $15,799; Camo, $16,299;
Contact Kawasaki Motor Corp., (800) 661-RIDE