Why are Side-by-Sides so Expensive? We Find the Answer

One of the most common comments we get on the TFLoffroad YouTube channel is about modern side-by-side prices and how high they are. 

So we decided to address the question of whether or not today’s side-by-sides are actually worth it. To better understand how performance has improved, let’s look at the Polaris RZR lineup.

The 2009 Polaris RZR S was the very first pure-sport side-by-side from the brand, and it had 12-inches of suspension travel, ran 26-inch tires and packed 55 horsepower. That unit sold for an MSRP of $13,999 when it was brand new.

Fast forward five years to 2014, and Polaris rolled out the RZR XP1000 with 110 horsepower, 16-inches of travel, 29-inch tires, though the price also shot up to $20,000.

And then you make the leap to today’s RZR Turbo S, which makes 168 hp, packs 32-inch tires and the suspension allows for 25-inches of wheel travel. The two-seat RZR Turbo S starts at $27,000 USD ($34,000 CAD), while going for the four seat version pushes the price up to $30,000 USD ($36,000 CAD).

So the price for a sport side-by-side has doubled since 2009, but the performance has more than doubled, with today’s Turbo S offering an unbelievable riding experience.

And here at TFLoffroad think that price is totally justified for the amount of performance you’re getting.

Think of it this way: a modern-day Trophy Truck, the absolute top echelon of off-road racing, packs between 26- and 30-inches of suspension travel, not a huge amount more than these side-by-sides. When you look at some of the best performance cars you can buy, the gap between those and the best performing race cars in the world is still pretty wide. In the off-road world, spending $30K on a side-by-side is getting you a near Trophy Truck experience, for a fraction of the cost. Remember, those TTs can easily cost $500,000, all the way up to $1 million.

Whether you agree or disagree with the prices, it’s obvious that folks are willing to pay the money for these machines, and if that remains the case, then companies will keep on charging for them.

Weigh-in with your thoughts in the comments section below, or head over to the YouTube video to see the hundreds of comments that have already been shared on the topic.