WHAT’S A CUB CADET
Cub Cadet is best
known for its lawn and
garden tractors, mowers
and Volunteer 4x2 and
4x4 utility vehicles. It’s
based in Cleveland,
Ohio. The Challenger
500 and 700 lineups
were introduced this
spring to provide a better
platform for playing after
the work day is done.
They feature improved
and standard features
like a 3500-pound winch
with a remote, hard roof,
windshield, turn signals,
horn, halogen headlights,
alloy wheels with 26-inch
Carlisle Trail Wolf tires
and digital instrument
display. Challengers are
assembled in America and built for
durability with dual-row wheel bearings,
heavy-duty frames and reinforcements,
Delphi EFI, four-wheel disc brakes,
and a one-year powertrain and limited
HOW DOES PRICE COMPARE?
The Cub Cadet Challenger 700 is
$9499 and the 500 is $8499. The
Bennche Bighorn 700 is $9199. It’s
$10,049 for the EPS 700 and $10,299
for the 700 HD. Hisun’s Sector 750 is
$9999, and the Massimo Knight 700 is
$10,495. The Yamaha Wolverine 700
is $10,999, and the Wolverine R-Spec
is $12,199 without EPS and $13,199–
$13,799 with it. Arctic Cat’s Wildcat
Sport 700 starts at $13,399.
HOW FAST IS THE CHALLENGER 700?
Faster than the old Rhino 700,
which was limited to 41–42 mph. We
got the Challenger past that mark in
low range, and high range is good for
around 60 mph, which is faster than
the new Yamaha Wolverine. The 686cc
single takes a while to get up to those
speeds, but it’s sporty from turn to turn.
The intake tract is very short, compared
to the Rhino 700’s, as the Cub Cadet
draws air directly from the center
console’s air scoop.
WHAT ABOUT THE CVT/4X4 DELIVERY?
It’s very good. The continuously
variable transmission has a smooth
engagement for delicate rock-crawling
situations, and it spools up quickly
when you hammer the throttle.
Selecting a range is fairly smooth, and
HOW DOES IT HANDLE?
low range has plenty of top speed for
various trail obstacles. The 2WD/4WD/
diff-lock switch is a two-button affair like
the Rhino’s, so it’s positive, and servos
quickly engage 4WD and lock up the
Very well, although steering gets
progressively heavier in 4WD and diff-
lock, since the Challenger doesn’t
sport EPS. It turns in well and corners
predictably in 2WD on loose surfaces,
but like most 4x4s, it’ll push in 4WD.
More experienced drivers can pull the
parking brake lever with the release
button pushed to drift out the rear end
(in 2WD), as it has a fifth brake on the
rear transfer case. The wheelbase is
The new Challenger 700 EFI is a new-generation utility vehicle from Cub Cadet, one that can
play after the work day is done, and it’s built to take abuse. Shane Trittler airs out the 700 on
the sand-dune section of Behind the Rocks.
Width is a stable 65. 75 inches, and the
26-inch Carlisle Trail Wolf tires were replaced
with more aggressive Wanda AT26x9-12
tires for Moab’s ROTR. Front travel is 7. 3
inches, and the standard 3500-pound winch
has a wired remote for tight situations. We
like the heavy-duty bumper, side mirrors,
roof, turn signals and halogen headlights. Our
main windscreen was removed for the test.
The dumping bed has a 350-pound capacity,
and it’s rated to tow 1200 pounds. Not only
does the Cub Cadet have turns signals, it has
emergency flashers. It also has stout plastic
A-arm guards and over-fenders.