Are you looking for an affordable yet powerful utility vehicle that can handle both work and recreation? If so, the new Axis 500 UTV definitely deserves a close look.
In this in-depth Axis 500 review, we’ll cover everything potential buyers want to know:
- Key specs and features
- Towing capacity, ground clearance, etc
- Pros and cons based on expert and owner reviews
- How it compares to competitors like the Polaris RZR 900
- Pricing and value
We’ll provide detailed insights into the performance, capability, comfort, and overall owner satisfaction of the Axis 500 so you can determine if it’s the right fit for your needs.
Table of Contents
Overview Of The Axis 500 UTV
Axis is a leading manufacturer of rugged, durable utility vehicles designed for farms, ranches, and recreational trails. They are known for building proven machines at reasonable prices.
The all-new Axis 500 is one of their latest UTV models. Powered by a 471cc single cylinder fuel injected engine, it’s built to deliver impressive torque and acceleration in a compact chassis.
With seating for two, digital gauges, plush bucket seats, shoulder guards, and side nets, the Axis 500 provides an optimal blend of utility, comfort, and safety.
The Axis 500 starts at an MSRP of $12,499, making it very competitively priced for its class. It comes with a 2 year limited warranty.
Below we’ll do a deep dive into the Axis 500’s specs, capabilities, pros and cons, and how actual owners feel about this exciting new UTV.
Axis 500 UTV Specs And Features
Under the hood, the Axis 500 is powered by a proven 471cc SOHC single cylinder engine that generates ample low-end torque. It’s both quick and efficient thanks to electronic fuel injection.
A continuously variable transmission (CVT) transfers that power to the wheels seamlessly without any harsh shifts. The CVT also keeps the engine in the optimal RPM range for acceleration and climbing ability.
With four-wheel drive engaged via a dash-mounted switch, the Axis 500 can tackle muddy, snowy, and rocky terrain with ease.
Here are some key specifications and capabilities:
Axis 500 UTV Specs
- Engine: 471cc single cylinder, liquid cooled, 8 valve SOHC, EFI
- Horsepower: 24 hp
- Transmission: Continuously Variable (CVT)
- Drive System: True 4-wheel drive with locking front differential
- Towing Capacity: 1,500 lbs
- Payload Capacity: 600 lbs
- Ground Clearance: 12 inches
- Wheelbase: 75 inches
- Dry Weight: 1,100 lbs
- Bed Dimensions: 28 x 29 x 11 inches
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 7.6 gallons
The Axis 500 isn’t the most powerful UTV in its class. However, most owners say it has plenty of torque for climbing, hauling, and quick acceleration. The CVT optimizes power delivery.
|471cc Single Cylinder
|28 x 29 x 11 inches
With 12 inches of ground clearance and high-mounted engine air intakes, the Axis 500 can traverse over rocks, logs, and uneven terrain without bottoming out.
The 1,500 pound towing capacity allows you to pull a decent sized trailer, boat, equipment or supplies. The 600 pound payload lets you load up the rear cargo bed with gear, wood feed bags or other cargo.
Cabin Comfort And Convenience
Inside the cabin, the Axis 500 provides a surprising amount of comfort and amenities for a UTV at this price point.
The adjustable bucket seats have ample padding and support. There’s enough leg room for taller drivers with the adjustable driver’s seat slid back.
Convenience features include:
- Tilt steering wheel
- Multi-function digital gauge cluster
- 12V power outlet
- Cup holders
- Lockable glove box
- Under seat storage
The digital instrument panel provides the driver with essential data like speed, RPM, hours, fuel level, gear position, and engine temperature. There are indicator lights for the headlights, 4WD engagement, brake system, and more.
With its spacious side-by-side seating, the Axis 500 can comfortably fit two average sized adults. The shoulder guards and 5-point harnesses are designed to keep occupants protected in the event of a rollover.
One downside is the base model lacks doors, coming equipped with side nets instead. While the nets are secure, full doors would provide enhanced safety, weather protection, and noise reduction. However, aftermarket doors can easily be added.
Towing, Cargo, And Payload Capacity
In terms of utility and cargo capabilities, the Axis 500 can handle a wide range of tasks.
The 1,200 pound towing rating allows you to pull small tractors, compact excavators, trailer loads of dirt or mulch, fishing boats, and more. Just be sure to use an appropriate hitch and wiring kit.
The 500 pound payload capacity means you can load up the rear cargo bed with a half ton of cargo. You can easily fit a few 50 pound bags of animal feed, tools, tree branches, and other items.
While not the largest in class, the 28 x 29 x 11 inch steel cargo bed provides ample room for hauling equipment, gear, and supplies around a property or work site. It comes with four heavy duty tie down hooks to secure loads.
With 7.6 gallons of fuel capacity, you can expect a range of at least 100 miles given the Axis 500’s fuel efficient engine. That allows you to ride long distances on trails or cover a large property without refueling.
Overall, the Axis 500 provides extremely solid capabilities for towing, hauling, and carrying cargo for both recreational and utility use. It meets the needs of most owners looking for an affordable two-seat utility vehicle.
Axis 500 UTV Review: Pros & Cons
Based on reviews from both experts and verified owners, there are many positive factors that make the Axis 500 a compelling option in the midsize UTV market:
- Powerful Engine: The 500cc single cylinder EFI engine provides plenty of low-end torque and quick acceleration. It has ample power for climbing hills, pulling loads, and cruising trails at 40+ mph. The engine feels responsive thanks to the optimized CVT transmission.
- Smooth And Reliable Transmission: The continuously variable transmission helps maximize the engine’s power band. It provides smooth, seamless shifting without any noticeable gear changes. The CVT requires little maintenance compared to a manual clutch.
- Comfortable Ride Quality: Considering its compact chassis, owners say the Axis 500 soaks up bumps and ruts surprisingly well. The long travel shocks and plush seats prevent a rough, jarring ride. The cabin is roomy enough for two adults.
- Trusted And Proven Brand: Axis has been manufacturing rugged UTVs for over 15 years. They are known for making affordably priced but very capable and reliable utility vehicles. The Axis 500 has proven to be a well-built machine.
- Decent Value For Performance: For under $13,000, the Axis 500 delivers impressive specs and capabilities for both work and recreation. You get far more utility than a $10,000 recreational-only UTV. It beats more expensive models in value.
- Responsive Handling And 4WD: The 500 handles very well at slower worksite speeds and at 50+ mph on trails. Engaging the locking front differential provides enhanced traction in mud, snow, and over rough terrain.
As you can see, the Axis 500 gets high marks for its powerful engine, smooth transmission, comfortable ride quality, brand reputation, value, and responsive handling from both expert reviewers and actual UTV owners.
While owners praise the Axis 500 overall, there are some downsides to note:
- No Power Steering: The base model lacks power steering, meaning turning the wheels requires more upper body strength. Power steering takes effort out of maneuvering at low speeds and on trails.
- No Engine Braking: The CVT has no true engine braking, so you must rely solely on the brake pedal to slow down. This takes some adjustment from utility ATVs with manual transmissions.
- Minimal Wheel Well Clearance: The wheel wells are not as wide or deeply recessed as some pricier UTV models. So the tires can rub the body at full turn at higher speeds.
- Basic Suspension Limits Speed In Rough Terrain: The budget shocks and suspension are not adjustable and bottom out more easily than premium models over jumps and rough terrain. This limits speed and control in very rough conditions.
- Entry/Exit Involves Removing Nets: The base model lacks doors, so you must detach and reattach the side nets each time you get in or out. Doors provide faster access and better protection.
As you can see, most downsides relate to the trade-offs made to meet this lower price point. Adding power steering, a sportier suspension, and doors would raise the cost but enhance certain areas of performance.
Axis 500 Vs Polaris RZR 900 Comparison
The Axis 500 and the Polaris RZR 900 are both popular models in the UTV market. Here is a side-by-side comparison of their specs and features:
|Polaris RZR 900
|500cc Single Cylinder
|875cc Twin Cylinder
|FOX 2.0 PODIUM
|Cargo Box Capacity
Performance and Features
The Polaris RZR 900 costs around $3,000 more but does provide some additional performance and features:
- More powerful 107 hp ProStar engine
- Premium FOX 2.0 PODIUM shocks
- 2 extra inches of ground clearance
- Easier entry with half doors
However, there are some key areas where the Axis 500 still compares favorably:
- Equal 1,500 pound tow rating
- Lighter weight improves handling
- More affordable price
- Excellent value for dollar
While the RZR 900 certainly delivers more speed, power, and premium components, the Axis 500 offers impressive utility and capability for thousands less.
Pricing And Value
With an MSRP starting at $12,499, the Axis 500 is competitively priced against other midsize utility UTVs like the Honda Pioneer 500 and Kawasaki Mule Pro FXT.
Here is a pricing comparison:
|Honda Pioneer 500
|Kawasaki Mule Pro FXT
|Polaris RZR 900
When looking at the overall performance, build quality, features, and capabilities, the Axis 500 provides excellent value in the midsize utility UTV market.
You can certainly find cheaper models starting under $10,000, but they are designed more for recreational use with limited utility. The Axis 500 gives you far more capability.
While the RZR 900 costs $3,000 more, you do get increased power, suspension, and handling. But many owners don’t require that extra performance for farm work, hunting, or casual trail riding.
So at just over $12,000, the Axis 500 hits a sweet spot of impressive capabilities and features at a very appealing price point. It’s the perfect UTV for price-conscious ranchers, farmers, outdoor explorers, and recreational riders.
What Owners Are Saying in Axis 500 Reviews?
Based on reviews across forums and sites like ATV.com, UTV Guide, and direct customer reviews, here is what actual Axis 500 owners highlight:
It Provides Utility and Recreation in One Machine
Owners love that the Axis 500 can work hard around their property or farm during the week, then transform into a fun recreational trail machine on weekends. It eliminates the need for two separate ATVs or UTVs.
The Power Feels Bottomless
Several owners mention the 500cc engine feels almost deceivingly powerful. It provides torquey acceleration whether lugging loads in low range or cruising trails in high range.
It Rides Smoother Than Expected
While no Cadillac, owners say the adjustable shocks provide a reasonably plush ride over bumps and trail chatter, even when pushing it to higher speeds. The seats help absorb impacts too.
The Transmission Shifts Seamlessly
Owners accustomed to manual transmissions are impressed with how smoothly the CVT delivers power, reducing fatigue on long rides. It’s very responsive while still being beginner friendly.
It’s Surprisingly Nimble and Stable
Despite the utilitarian chassis, owners say the Axis 500 handles very predictably. The triangulated 4-wheel independent suspension allows tackling uneven terrain and trails aggressively.
It’s Built Extremely Tough
Multiple owners describe the Axis as feeling over-built for the price. The frame, metal cargo bed, thick plastic body panels, and components are made to withstand abuse.
Minor Quirks Require Adjustment
Owners do note the lack of power steering requires more upper body strength. And the lack of engine braking means relying solely on the brake pedal to slow down. But they adjusted to both quirks quickly.
Overall, Axis 500 owners describe it as an extremely capable and confidence inspiring utility UTV perfect for rural owners, farmers, hunters, and weekend warriors. They love the blend of work/play versatility, power, ride quality, and value.
Who Is The Axis 500 Best Suited For?
The Axis 500, with its impressive blend of utility, capabilities, performance, and value, is ideally suited for:
- Rural property and land owners
- Ranchers, farmers, and homesteaders
- Hunters, anglers, and outdoor explorers
- Campground and park rangers
- Construction crews and worksites
- Recreational trail and dune riders
It’s the perfect multipurpose machine for both work chores and fun. It can be a truck, tractor, and recreational toy all in one.
The Axis 500 is likely overkill for those just needing a basic recreational trail machine. But it’s an excellent value for owners needing to tow, haul, traverse rugged terrain, and take on physical jobs during the week.
Axis 500 UTV Review: Conclusion
In summary, the all-new Axis 500 delivers an exceptional blend of utility, performance, comfort, and value in an affordable midsize UTV package.
It provides ample power from its 500cc engine, smooth shifting from the CVT transmission, and surprising ride quality from its long travel suspension.
The Axis 500 can take on any job or adventure thanks to its 1,500 pound towing capacity, 12 inches of ground clearance, locking front differential, and 600 pound payload.
While it lacks doors and power steering at this price point, those are really the only notable downsides. For shoppers wanting an extremely capable and proven utility vehicle under $13,000 (though actual pricing may vary), the Axis 500 is easy to recommend. It retains everything you need while trimming the frills you may not.
So if you need an affordable, durable, midsize utility UTV that can work hard while also being fun on trails, the new Axis 500 is definitely worth test driving. It provides the perfect blend of performance, comfort, and value for rural owners, farmers, hunters, and weekend thrill seekers.