HOW DOES THE PRICE COMPARE?
The Pioneer 500 is a lot cheaper
than most big UTVs, which start
near $10,000, but Honda isn’t the
only company to see the appeal of
affordable vehicles. At $8499, the
Pioneer 500 is right in there with the
$8299 Polaris Ranger 400. The sporty
Polaris Sportsman Ace is only $7499.
Kymco’s UXV 500 starts at $7999.
HOW NEW IS IT?
The Pioneer 500 is powered by an
engine adapted from the Foreman 500,
but its compact chassis is all new.
It’s 50 inches wide for easy access to
width-restricted trails, and it fits in a
full-size pickup. It’s a sport utility UTV,
but there’s no tilting bed. Instead, the
Pioneer has a large rear rack that can
carry 450 pounds.
WHAT KIND OF ENGINE DOES IT HAVE?
It’s a fuel-injected, 475cc, pushrod
single with four valves. Like on Honda
sport utility ATVs, the crankshaft is in
line with the frame for efficient power
WHAT KIND OF TRANSMISSION DOES IT
A manual-shift five-speed with an
automatic clutch and automotive-
style paddle shifters! You upshift and
downshift with paddle levers near the
steering wheel, All other UTVs use fully
automatic transmissions of one kind or
another. The ability to shift your own
gears gives the Pioneer driver much
more control for sport driving and tough
terrain, plus natural engine braking and
none of the belt wear worries that come
with the continuously variable belt-type
automatics most UTVs use.
There is no full automatic mode, so
the paddle-shift five-speed calls for
a bit more skill than fully automatic
transmissions, but it’s a lot more fun for
performance-minded drivers. The shift
action is sure and quick, and full-power
shifts are smooth and harmless to the
driveline, thanks to a momentary fuel
and ignition cut during gear changes.
Reverse is easy to engage with a pull
on a dashboard lever and a downshift
WHAT KIND OF 4WD SYSTEM DOES IT
A mechanical lever on the dash lets
you select 2WD or 4WD. As with most
UTVs, there’s no rear differential, so
both rear wheels are always driven. In
4WD, the Foreman 500 uses an open
The new Pioneer 500 is a small, affordable UTV that delivers a lot of fun and function.
Double-A-arm front suspension with non-adjustable shocks provide 5. 9 inches of travel.
Double A-arms and preload-adjustable shocks deliver 5. 9 inches of
travel in the rear.
The pushrod, four-valve, 475cc engine is based on the Foreman 500’s
powerplant. Tuning and gearing changes give it plenty of power for
the 1010-pound Pioneer.