In this battle of multi-passenger Sport-Utility UTVs, we look at how the 2018 Yamaha Wolverine X4 and Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe compare.
The 2018 Yamaha Wolverine X4 turned a lot of heads when it was released a little while back. We all had a pretty good idea where the previous Wolverine fit into the market, but finding where the new X4 fit in is a different story. We already compared it to the Kawasaki Teryx4 last month. It wasn’t a fair comparison, as it isn’t an apples-to-apples sort of deal. Now let’s compare it to another machine aimed at the same basic market – the Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe.
Again, this is nowhere near an apples-to-apples; more like an tangerines-to-oranges. Both machines have some excellent qualities that are strikingly different, and some that are very similar. How about we take a look, by the numbers?
|2018 Yamaha Wolverine X4||2018 Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe|
|Engine||847cc Inline-Twin||999cc liquid-cooled twin-cylinder Unicam four-stroke|
|Driveline/Differential||On-Command 3-way locking differential; 2WD, 4WD, full diff-lock 4WD||Direct front and rear driveshafts|
|Transmission||Yamaha Ultramatic V-belt with all-wheel engine braking||Fully Automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) with six forward gears and Reverse.|
|Wheelbase||82.7 in||80.2 in|
|Overall Dimensions (LxWxH)||122 x 59.8 x 77.2 in||116.6 x 63.0 x 76.4 in|
|Curb Weight||1,666 lbs||1,709 lbs|
|Front Tires||AT26 x 8-12 Maxxis MU75||27 x 9 x 12; 27 x 9x 14|
|Rear Tires||AT26 x 10-12 Maxxis MU76||27 x 9 x 12; 27 x 11-14|
|Ground Clearance||10.7 in||12.4 in|
|Fuel Capacity||9.2 gal||7.9 gal|
|Front Suspension||Independent double wishbone w/anti-sway bar; 8.7 in travel||Independent double-wishbone; 10.6 inches travel|
|Rear Suspension||Independent double wishbone w/anti-sway bar, self-adjusting shock absorbers; 8.9 in travel||Independent double-wishbone; 10 inches travel|
|Front /Rear Brakes||4-wheel hydraulic disc||4-Wheel 210mm hydraulic disc|
|Bed Capacity||600 lbs / dual level||1,000 lbs|
|Towing Capacity||2,000 lbs||2,000 lbs|
Engines of Creation
The Pioneer has a 999cc parallel Twin with Honda’s excellent DCT dual clutch transmission. Some people don’t like the DCT, but we love it. It allows for automatic shifting, or manual shifting via paddle shifters. In automatic, you feel it cycle through the gears, but for most of our riding, we’ve always run the paddle shifters. Too much fun and an added bit of control. You get six forward gears plus reverse in both high and low range. And if you’re into rough terrain and want to crawl, low range, first gear is about as low as you’re ever going to get. Great stuff.
Yamaha pulled out the stops with the X4. It gets an all-new 847cc parallel twin that shares technology with its award-winning motocross bikes. As we’ve said many times in the past, Yamaha doesn’t do things the way people expect. Take a look at any Yamaha and it’s plain to see that Yamaha engineers do what they feel is best for the type of machine they want to build. It builds serious brand loyalty and Yamaha has a solid reputation for durability and dependability. The 2018 Yamaha Wolverine X4 is built for adventure, and the new engine delivers. It’s quiet, torquey as you’d expect from Yamaha, and dependable. It has Yamaha’s rock-solid Ultramatic transmission, using what is considered by many to be the best CVT system in the industry.
Both of these machines are designed on a shorter wheelbase platform than other machines that can carry multiple passengers. Polaris’ General 4 is a great machine, but it is longer than both of these machines. Same goes for Can-Am’s Commander Max. So where do the rear passengers go? In both machines, passenger space costs cargo space. With the Pioneer-5, the back seats fold up and out of the cargo bed. With the 2018 Yamaha Wolverine X4, it was designed first as a four-passenger adventure machine. If you need cargo space, however, the two back seats slide forward to open up the cargo area. With the seats folded down, the Honda will haul 1,000 pounds of cargo. The Yamaha will handle 600 pounds.
One cool feature that is found on the rear of both the 1000-5 Deluxe and the Wolverine X4 is self-leveling suspension. The last thing you need when adventuring is to have the weight of the rear passengers adversely affect the handling of the machine. Load-leveling suspension handles this after a few moments of riding. What it does is basically bump compression while cycling through the stroke to compensate for the added weight in the back. It’s a very cool feature that these machines share.
Speaking of suspension, the Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe has at least 10 inches of travel all the way around. (10.6 in the front and 10 out back). The Yamaha has 8.7 in front and 8.9 out back. The Honda also has the ground clearance advantage, with two more inches than the X4’s 10.7 inches.
It should also be noted that Honda considers the Pioneer to be both recreational and utility, where as Yamaha designed the X4 from the ground up as a recreational machine. Sure, you can do some work with it, but if work is the bulk of what you want to accomplish, Yamaha has the very capable Viking lineup available. This simple fact makes this a difficult comparison. Luckily, we’re not trying to declare a winner. This isn’t a shootout. This is simply a discussion that many of you may have either with your buddies, in your own mind, or with a dealer.
Going to the dealership is the best way to decide which is best for you. Get behind the wheel. Do a test drive. That’s the real comparison. If you’re looking for two great recreational UTVs, the Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe and the Yamaha Wolverine X4 are both great options.