— 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MASSIMO T-BOSS 550
Engine type Single cylinder, liquid cooled, 4-valve, OHC,
Bore x stroke 87.5mm x 82mm
Compression ratio 10:1
Lubrication system Wet sump
Additional cooling Auto fan
Starting procedure Turn ignition key
Choke location N/A
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
Final drives Shafts
Fuel capacity 6.87 gal.
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.
Frame Steel round tube
Front Dual A-arms w/ preload-adj. shocks/6.9”
Rear Dual A-arms w/ preload-adj. shocks/6.5”
Front Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Parking Lever on console
DC outlet Console
Front 2 35W headlights
Rear LED brake/taillight
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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