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New side-by-side offers more speed, features

Photo courtesy of Kubota Kubota RTV-XG850 in 4 colors
NEW LINE, NEW COLORS: Kubota’s latest addition to the RTV line is the gas-powered RTV-XG850, which offers four color choices — camo, orange, black and green. The range is a departure from just orange and camo in the past.
Kubota is ramping up its game in the utility vehicle business with a new multipurpose machine.

The side-by-side utility market is perhaps one of the most competitive in the off-road industry. The rising number of players in the market is one factor, but current manufacturers are also broadening their lines. For Kubota, the RTV line just got a little faster. The new RTV-XG850 Sidekick will provide higher speed and will be gasoline-fueled.

The company’s popular diesel RTV lineup has been a solid performer, but dealers and customers see value in a machine that can move through the field faster. The answer is this new gasoline-powered RTV that meets the need with a 40-mph top speed.

Willie Vogt

FEATURES AND CHOICES: This Sidekick model features enhanced graphics. Doors are standard, as are the shoulder bolsters. This machine also features the premium windshield and enhanced top, which allows the addition of an LED lightbar.

The Kubota-designed, Subaru-built, electronic fuel-injected gasoline engine provides 48 hp for hauling. The machine is rated to carry 1,000 pounds. It can tow up to 2,000 pounds, depending on the terrain. In more rugged, hilly terrain, the company rates the machine to pull 1,500 pounds. The bed can carry up to 15.2 cubic feet of material.

Plenty of features
The company has also come up with a newer take on the continuously variable transmission. “With the traditional CVT, the belts are slack until engaged,” says Roger Gifford, product manager, utility vehicles. “This new CVT uses a centrifugal clutch, and the belts are kept under tension — which reduces wear, but also makes sure power is immediately available.”

The machine is designed with engine braking, to provide solid control on downhill runs. “We want to help the user maintain control during operation,” Gifford says.

As for operator comfort, the full-size side-by-side offers plenty of seat space for riders. Selectable full-time four-wheel drive is also standard. Kubota was an early user of power steering in its RTV lineup, and that continues with this new model.

“This is speed-sensitive power steering,” Gifford says. “When you slow down, there’s more assist for the operator, and when you’re going faster there is less assist.” With less assist at higher speed, the driver has a better feel for handling and conditions.

Willie Vogt

ACCESSORIES: This bed extender bar has three positions, so it can be forward, up or back as needed. The utility box in the bed is also sized so that three will fit in the bed of the new Sidekick, if needed. All are easy to install and remove.

The diesel RTV was often used as a hydraulic tool carrier. For this multipurpose Sidekick, there’s now hydraulic power to run tools. However, users will find it has plenty of electric power to drive a variety of equipment. The regulator and fully shielded generator are controlled by a microcomputer, which will ensure you have stable power for any attachment.

Doors and shoulder bolsters are standard on this new machine for added safety. In addition, there is full Rollover Protective Structure protection, and there are accessory tops for keeping the sun off your head.

Kubota, in launching this new gasoline line of machines, is also bolstering its accessories line. There are now 55 new accessories available for this RTV, from folding windshields to utility boxes for the rear cargo box. That’s a point of competition, too. As Gifford notes, these machines are seldom sold without some accessories.

You can learn more about the new machines at

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