MASSIMO T-BOSS 550

— Testing a well-equipped $8199 UTV —

If you’ve been wanting a new UTV but the price has put you off, you need to know about Massimo’s T-Boss 550. It costs just $8199, and it comes with more extras than many brands’ special editions.

The T-Boss 550’s smooth ride and quiet cabin make it feel more expensive than it is.

HOW DOES COST COMPARE?

The T-Boss 550 is $8199. Massimo also has the more utility-styled T-Boss 500 for $7999 and the T-Boss 410 for $7199. Cub Cadet’s Challenger 550 is $9999. Hisun’s Sector 550 is $8999.The Polaris Ranger 500 is $8999. Can-am’s Defender HD5 is $9999.

The winch and heavy-duty front bumper are part of the T-Boss’ long list of standard features.

WHAT EXTRAS ARE STANDARD EQUIPMENT?

The T-Boss 550 comes with a roof, winch, aluminum wheels, folding windshield, side mirrors, turn signals and camo bodywork if you want it.

WHAT POWERS IT?

A single-cylinder, single-overhead-cam, four-valve, 493cc engine.

The rear differential unlocks for tighter turns and delicate turf. The front differential is lockable too.

WHAT KIND OF TRANSMISSION DOES IT HAVE?

A fully automatic, dual-range, belt-type continuously variable transmission. The T-Boss transmission doesn’t have automatic engine braking. The dash-mounted range selector isn’t the smoothest, but we always got the range we wanted.

WHAT FEATURES DOES THE 4WD SYSTEM HAVE?

Nearly everything you can think of. It has got selectable 2WD/4WD and locking front and rear differentials.

The Massimo’s compact 57-inch width and light 1157-pound dry weight make it easy to maneuver on tight, twisty trails.

HOW FAST IS IT?

About as fast as you expect a 493cc UTV to be. You can cover rugged territory at a good pace, but machines this size aren’t built for speed. Top speed is about 35 mph on dirt.

HOW IS THE POWER DELIVERY?

Smooth, which is what you want from a recreation utility rig. The 550 is easy to control on difficult sections on the trail, and that tractability is handy when maneuvering the machine when doing chores. There’s enough grunt to conquer steep climbs and power-sapping soft terrain like sand and mud.

A single-cylinder, 493cc, single-overhead-cam four-valve engine supplies the power.

HOW GOOD IS THE SUSPENSION?

The Massimo has an impressively comfortable ride, especially considering the machine’s low price and its 6.9 inches of travel up front and 6.5 inches in the rear. Double-A-arm front and rear suspension deals with small impacts and big hits from ruts and holes with very good control, though the suspension isn’t challenged by the higher speeds larger vehicles generate.

The cabin is roomy enough for two adults, and the bench seat has room for a small third passenger with the center console flipped up.

HOW DOES IT HANDLE?

It’s nimble, nicely planted and predictable. The 550’s compact 57-inch width and light 1157-pound dry weight make it easy to maneuver on tight, twisty trails. Our test machine didn’t have power steering, so we could feel some extra steering effort in 4WD, and the steering is heavy with the front differential locked. Massimo’s power steering kit for the 550 is $650. Even without power steering, the T-Boss has no annoying kick through the steering when hitting bumps. The Massimo has a surefooted feel on steep terrain and off-cambers, and it corners well.

Full instrumentation moves with the tilt wheel. The dash has a 12-volt power port and a USB port.

HOW IS IT FOR HILLS AND DIFFICULT TERRAIN?

The T-Boss has enough power to top the tough climbs on typical trails, but not much in reserve with two men aboard. A lower low range would give the 550 more grunt for the harder sections. The Massimo’s transmission doesn’t have automatic engine braking, but its four-wheel disc brakes are more than up to the task of slowing the machine in steep terrain.

HOW ARE THE DETAILS AND COMFORT?

The Massimo’s standard equipment list is remarkable, especially considering this machine’s price, and the vehicle with the extras is very good. The T-Boss also has a smooth ride; sporty, modern styling; a quiet cabin; and premium touches like full instrumentation that moves with the tilt wheel. There’s a 12-volt power port and a USB port. Like most machines, the 550 has room for improvement. The T-Boss has more driveline noise than we like, the range selector could operate more smoothly and doors would be better than nets. Our test machine had Massimo and Linhai emblems, but this may change.

The T-Boss 550 comes with a roof, winch, aluminum wheels, folding windshield, side mirrors and even turn signals.

WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?

Massimo’s T-Boss 550 is a comfortable, very affordable UTV that’s better equipped than some brands’ high-end special-edition models.

SPECS:

MASSIMO T-BOSS 550

ENGINE/TRANSMISSION

Engine type Single cylinder, liquid cooled, 4-valve, OHC,

4-stroke

Displacement 493cc

Bore x stroke 87.5mm x 82mm

Compression ratio 10:1

Lubrication system Wet sump

Additional cooling Auto fan

Induction EFI

Starting/back-up Electric/none

Starting procedure Turn ignition key

Choke location N/A

Air filter:

  Type Pleated paper filter

  Access Tool-less, remove hood and undo 4 clips

Transmission Dual-range CVT w/ reverse

Reverse procedure Move range selector to “R”

Drive system Selectable 2WD/4WD w/ front and rear

diff-lock

Final drives Shafts

DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES/WEIGHTS

Fuel capacity 6.87 gal.

Wheelbase 73”

Overall length/width/height 107”/57”/74”

Ground clearance 11”

Dry weight 1157 lb.

Bed weight limit 400 lb.

Hitch 2” receiver

Towing limit 440 lb.

ROLLING CHASSIS

Frame Steel round tube

Suspension/wheel travel:

  Front Dual A-arms w/ preload-adj. shocks/6.9”

  Rear Dual A-arms w/ preload-adj. shocks/6.5”

Brakes/actuation:

  Front Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

  Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

Parking Lever on console

Tires:

  Front 25×8-12

  Rear 25×10-12

ELECTRICAL

DC outlet Console

Lighting:

  Front 2 35W headlights

  Rear LED brake/taillight

DETAILS

Instrumentation Analog & LCD digital multimeter

Colors Blue, red, white, camo

Minimum recommended operator age 16

Suggested retail price $8199

Contact Massimo, www.massimomotor.com

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