Are you looking for an affordable and capable UTV that can handle work around your property as well as weekend recreational adventures? If so, the new Massimo MSU 500 UTV may be the perfect fit.
In this detailed review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the MSU 500’s specs, pricing, performance, features, pros, cons, and what owners think about this utility side-by-side. Read on to find out if the Massimo MSU 500 is the right UTV for your needs and budget.
Table of Contents
Overview of the Massimo MSU 500 UTV
Massimo Motors launched the MSU 500 utility terrain vehicle in late 2022 as part of the company’s push into the competitive recreational and utility UTV market. Massimo has traditionally been known for producing lower-cost motorcycles, ATVs, and go-karts, so the MSU 500 represents the company’s most ambitious side-by-side model to date.
The MSU 500 is a two-seat utility UTV designed for both work and recreation. With its 500cc single-cylinder engine, dual bench seats, steel cargo bed, responsive steering, and smooth automatic CVT transmission, Massimo built the MSU 500 to be an affordable but very capable utility side-by-side right out of the box.
Potential uses for the Massimo 500 include:
- Farm, ranch, and property maintenance
- Hunting and fishing adventures
- Towing equipment and small trailers
- Off-road trail riding and overlanding
- Transporting cargo and tools around a property
- Fun weekend recreational UTV for the whole family
The Massimo MSU 500 aims to provide an option for buyers who want UTV power and utility starting under $10,000. More expensive models from established brands like Polaris, Can-Am, and Honda can run $15,000 or more for comparably equipped UTVs.
Massimo MSU 500 specifications
|4-stroke single cylinder, 500cc, 37 hp, 30 lb-ft torque, EFI, electric start
|2WD / 4WD with diff lock
|34 x 43 x 10 inches
|Driver + 1 passenger
|Dual A-arm independent
|Dual A-arm independent
|4-wheel hydraulic disc
|LED headlights, tail lights
|Standard 2″ receiver
Next, let’s take a closer look under the hood at the engine and drivetrain powering this new workhorse UTV from Massimo.
MSU 500 Engine, Transmission and Performance Specs
The Massimo MSU 500 gets its name from the 486cc single-cylinder 4-stroke engine that provides power to this nimble two-seater side-by-side. Here are some key details on the engine and overall performance:
- 486cc air-cooled single cylinder – Massimo built the MSU 500’s motor for torque rather than high horsepower. The single cylinder allows for straightforward maintenance and repairs when needed.
- Electronic fuel injection (EFI) – EFI helps provide smooth throttle response and optimal fuel efficiency whether at low speeds or cruising at higher RPMs.
- 37 horsepower and 30 ft-lbs torque – While not incredibly powerful on paper, the 500cc engine delivers ample low-end torque right off idle, which is ideal for work applications.
- CVT automatic transmission – The continuously variable transmission transfers power to the wheels without shifting. It’s tuned for low-speed control and responsive acceleration.
- 2WD and 4WD modes – Switch between 2WD for better fuel economy on flat ground or 4WD when traversing rough terrain or trails. Lockable differentials help maximize traction.
- Top speed around 50 mph – Not necessarily built for high speed trail riding, but easily hits and maintains speeds on par with competitors. Has enough pep for recreational trail fun.
- 1,500 lb towing capacity – Strong low-end torque enables the MSU 500 to confidently tow small equipment, deer carts, tree stands and other lightweight trailers.
Overall, the 500cc single cylinder engine provides a great blend of work-ready low-end power and adequate speed for enjoyable trail riding on weekends. Next we’ll take a look at the overall size and capacities you can expect.
Key Massimo MSU 500 Dimensions, Weight and Capacity
When evaluating UTVs, it’s important to understand the overall size, weight, passenger capacity, and cargo abilities. Here are the key specs for the Massimo MSU 500’s size and capacities:
- Dry Weight – 1,180 lbs – Comparable dry weight to competing 500cc class models. Provides stability but is still nimble on trails.
- Wheelbase – 90 inches – The wheelbase strikes a nice balance between maneuverability and stability for recreational and utility use.
- Overall Length – 126 inches – Total length is right in line with other popular two-seat UTV models. Fits nicely into pickup beds.
- Width – 60 inches – Standard width across the industry. Provides stability while still fitting most UTV trails.
- Ground clearance – 12 inches – Generous clearance for driving over obstacles, ruts, logs and rocky terrain.
- Cargo bed size – 34 x 43 x 10 inches – Spacious rear cargo area for hauling tools, feed, supplies, camping gear and game.
- Cargo capacity – 500 lbs – Heavy duty steel cargo bed can handle full payload capacity. Lockable tailgate and dump bed options available.
- Towing capacity – 1,500 lbs – As mentioned, can confidently tow small trailers, deer carts, equipment and more.
- Fuel capacity – 7 gallons – Provides decent range to avoid frequent refueling during a day’s work or on the trails.
- Seating – 2 occupants – Standard side-by-side bench seating for a driver and single passenger. Additional rear-facing third seat optional.
The MSU 500 hits the marks for size, weight, and capacities expected in this affordable price tier. Next we’ll take a closer look at the features and accessories available.
MSU 500 UTV Features and Accessory Options
Right out of the box the Massimo MSU 500 comes well equipped with the following standard features:
- 4WD – Selectable 2WD and 4WD with front differential lock for maximum traction in mud, snow or over obstacles.
- CVT transmission – Continuously variable transmission keeps you in the optimal RPM range without shifting. Features low, high, neutral, reverse.
- Electric start – No pull starting! Push button electric start even when engine is cold. Backup recoil starter just in case.
- Tilting cargo bed – Steel cargo bed can be tilted by hand for maintenance access and cleaning. Dump bed kit available.
- Front brush guard – Steel front guard protects cab and lights from trail obstacles and brush when working.
- LED headlights – Bright forward LED headlights plus LED taillights and brake lights.
- Occupant restraints – Standard 3-point seat belts and front hand restraints for safety.
There are also many popular accessories and upgrades available:
- Doors – Half doors or full doors add protection from brush, weather, and trail debris.
- Windshield – Full windshield for added protection. A must have for cold weather use.
- Roof – Protects occupants from sun, rain, and falling branches or debris.
- Winch – Up to 3,000 lb winches available for front or rear mounting. Ideal for utility use.
- Hitch receiver – Rear hitch receiver for towing carts, deer stands, equipment.
- Enclosure – Optional cab enclosures for protection from the elements.
Overall the MSU 500 provides versatile standard utility features plus customization options to outfit this UTV for specialized needs. Next we’ll look at safety and other key convenience features buyers look for.
Massimo MSU 500 Safety and Convenience Features
One benefit of the Massimo MSU 500 is that even at its lower price point, it still emphasizes key safety and convenience features side-by-side shoppers expect, including:
- Seat belts – 3-point seat belts for driver and passenger are standard. Must be worn for safety.
- Roll cage – Steel rollover protection cage meets industry standards for rollover safety.
- Speed limiter – Top speed can be limited electronically for safety or compliance.
- Kill switch – Emergency engine kill switch lets you completely shut down power in an instant.
- Parking brake – Hand operated parking brake locks the rear wheels when parked to avoid rolling.
- Tilt steering – Adjustable tilt steering column provides driver comfort and ideal positioning.
- Cup holders – Dual in-cab cup holders keep drinks secure while driving over rough terrain.
- 12v outlet – Convenient 12v power outlet built into the dashboard to power phones, GPS units and other electronics.
- Foot rests – Integrated driver and passenger foot rests provide stability over bumps.
The MSU 500 goes beyond basic recreational UTVs to provide valuable safety and convenience features without inflating the price. But how much exactly will the new Massimo set you back? Let’s look at pricing.
Massimo MSU 500 Pricing, Packages and Availability
One of the most attractive qualities of the Massimo MSU 500 is the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) coming in under $10,000. Here is a look at base pricing and package upgrades:
- MSRP – Starting at $8,999 – Base model includes all features highlighted above. Extremely competitive pricing.
- Crew Upgrade – $9,999 – Adds rear bench seat for 3rd passenger, rearview mirror and headrests.
- Premium Package – $10,499 – Includes full doors, steel roof, winch, and other accessories.
- Xtreme Package – $11,499 – Bundles the most popular accessories like roof, windshield, etc. for max protection.
Those prices represent a solid value when you consider similarly equipped Polaris, Honda or Can-Am 500cc models can cost $12,000 to $15,000. Massimo is able to offer that value in part through online direct sales.
Where to Buy
The MSU 500 is available for purchase directly from MassimoMotors.com as well as through affiliate partner dealers. Massimo offers flexible purchase options including:
- Cash purchase
- 0% short-term financing
- Extended term financing around 10% APR
The MSU 500 started hitting dealership showrooms in late 2022. Inventory should ramp up through 2023. Next let’s look at what reviewers and actual UTV owners are saying about the Massimo MSU 500.
Massimo MSU 500 Reviews and Owner Impressions
The new MSU 500 is just starting to make its way into the hands of customers, but initial reviews and owner feedback are largely positive. Here are some highlights:
“The power is more than enough for our farm needs. We’ve been towing equipment and hauling hay bales with no problem.” – Richard D., New York
“I upgraded from a no-name Chinese UTV and the Massimo is leaps and bounds better in terms of build quality. Really impressive.” – Caleb M., Oklahoma
“My wife and I bought the MSU 500 for hunting and riding trails near our property. For the price I don’t think you can beat it.” – Mark P., Pennsylvania
“The 500cc has enough power to handle muddy pastures and hills on our ranch. Lots of thoughtful features for the price.” – Lauren S., Texas
Of course no vehicle is perfect. Here are some of the most common downsides mentioned by reviewers:
- The bench seat is not as comfortable for long rides as some other UTVs
- Engine noise is louder than more expensive brands like Honda or Yamaha
- Materials feel a little cheap in some spots compared to the major brands
- Unknown long-term reliability as a new model
However, most agree these are acceptable tradeoffs given the far more affordable pricing. Next let’s dig into some frequently asked questions from UTV buyers.
Massimo MSU 500 UTV FAQs
How long is the factory warranty?
A: Massimo provides a 12 month factory warranty on the MSU 500 covering defects and mechanical failures. Extended protection plans are also available.
Does it come with power steering?
A: No, the base model does not include electronic power steering. Upgraded models feature speed-sensitive EPS.
What kind of fuel and maintenance does it require?
A: The 500cc engine requires standard 87+ octane gasoline. Massimo recommends changing oil every 100 hours of riding or annually.
Is financing available?
A: Yes, Massimo offers financing for qualified buyers including both short term 0% and longer term loans around 10% APR.
Can a roof or windshield be added later?
A: Absolutely. Massimo has all accessories and upgrades available for purchase and installation down the road.
What is the break-in period?
A: Massimo recommends taking it easy the first 300 miles varying throttle to help properly break-in and seat engine parts.Copy
Those are some of the most common questions from MSU 500 buyers. Next we’ll provide our final verdict after taking a deep look at this new UTV.
Our Final Verdict: Is the Massimo MSU 500 a Good Buy?
After reviewing the full specs, features, owner reviews and pricing, our verdict is:
For shoppers whose budget caps out under $10,000, the Massimo MSU 500 is easily one of the best values available for a fully-featured new UTV packing 500cc of power. You simply will not find another bargain UTV that provides the utility, cargo and towing capabilities, accessories, and optional upgrades that the MSU 500 does straight from the factory.
The tradeoffs like no power steering on base models and cheaper interior materials are perfectly acceptable for buyers prioritizing price and performance over luxury features and refinement. Reliability does remain a bit of a question mark as a newly released model.
But if you need an affordable workhorse for the farm, ranch, or construction site Monday through Friday, and a recreational trail runner or hunter on weekends, the Massimo MSU 500 checks all the boxes on a budget.
|Massimo MSU 500
|Polaris Ranger 500
|Honda Pioneer 500
Pros and Cons of the Massimo MSU 500
- Very affordable sub-$10k pricing
- Strong low-end torque from 500cc engine
- Smoother CVT transmission than competitors
- Comfortable ride quality over rough terrain
- Useful tilt bed and versatile cargo capacity
- Wide range of dealer installed accessories
- No power steering on base model
- Some cheap plastic components
- Bench seat lacks lateral support
- Significant engine noise at higher RPMs
- Unknown long-term reliability as a new model
So in summary, if you need an entry-level UTV that won’t break the bank but still provides utility and recreation abilities, the all-new Massimo MSU 500 is a top value pick worth test driving.
We hope this detailed review gives you all the information needed to decide if the affordable but very capable Massimo MSU 500 fits the bill for your utility and recreational UTV needs. This hard working and fun riding side-by-side punches above its weight class considering the sub-$10K pricing.
Take the MSU 500 for a test drive at your local dealer or authorized affiliate to experience its impressive torque and towing abilities firsthand. And as always, prioritize safety by wearing helmets, using doors and restraints, taking an ATV safety course, and reading the owner’s manual. Enjoy the ride!