I purchased a 850D Gator in 2007 and quickly realized it was one of the handiest "tools" I've ever owned. I had to swallow hard writing the check for what seemed to be a giant toy but it's made property upkeep so much easier.
We've decided to keep the Gator at the old family farm (56 acres) in Pennsylvania and buy a UTV for our new home in Ohio. It will be used for chores and occasional fun rides for the grandkids. At first, I wanted to save money with a used one but I'm discovering the pickings are slim. Nice used UTVs aren't much less than new prices and less expensive units are beat to death. So, we've decided to look at new models and having power steering is a very appealing feature.
I've narrowed the list down to the following:
1) Gator 850i - LD has a leftover 2014 Midnight Black Special Edition with PS that he's offered with a good discount. I'm not enthusiastic about flat black everywhere but it's equipped with lots of very nice features.
2) Kawasaki 4010 Mule - about $4k less than the Gator but it's a pure "work" vehicle without many features aside from PS. I'd have to spend a little more for a spray in bed liner which is standard with the Gator.
I haven't excluded the Kubota RTV or Polaris Ranger just yet but I think the Kubota is a more expensive heavy duty work machine and the Polaris is a more expensive off-road fun machine (perhaps comparable to the Gator 850i).
My other concern with the Kawasaki and Polaris are the dealer mega-stores selling ATVs, motorcycles, jet skis, etc. I'd have more confidence in service and support from Deere or Kubota. Given the amount of money I've spent on Deere, I'd like to think my Pennsylvania and Ohio dealers will do more to make sure I'm happy.
I'd love to hear your opinions and thoughts....very tough choices when trying to balance costs with advantages / disadvantages!