Gator Vs. Kubota [Similarities & Differences]

John Deere and Kubota are major brands in the agricultural and lawn businesses and even in the recreational side of things with their UTVs. Now, you could argue that since a UTV is a Utility vehicle, it has no place in a recreational activity, that is, until you climb into one. 

Of course, comparing the two brands in terms of UTVs is nearly impossible since both have several variations of UTVs, with the RTVs from Kubota and the Gators from John Deere. 

Instead, we’ll narrow it down to the best UTV that both Kubota and John Deere have to offer. Both Kubota and John Deere don’t skimp on the fine stuff, and both brands offer only excellence with their UTVs. 

Kubota RTV-X1140 Versus John Deere XUV855M S4

Both of these UTVs represent the best that both John Deere and Kubota have to offer. They both seat four and feature diesel engines. Their price point is nearly the same, with the John Deere at $18,799 and the Kubota at $18,599.

Kubota RTV-X1140

The Kubota features a 3-cylinder, 4-cycle diesel with 24.8 hp at 3,000rpms. It also has a towing capacity of 1,300lbs. The drive system is a standard 4WD with a Variable Hydro Transmission.

The max speed of the RTV-X1140 is 25mph on a nearly 8-gallon tank. From an exterior point of view, this Kubota is relatively large, with enough space to easily carry four people, maybe five if everyone squeezes into the rear bench seats. 

It has a very long body that is available in construction-site orange or Realtree camouflage. It also comes with a two-year or 1,000-hour warranty. 

The rear cargo bed is also hydraulic, which makes it much easier to unload when you reach your destination. The Kubota is an extremely tough vehicle with plenty of pulling and hauling power. 

Due to its length, passengers will be comfortable in the back, even though the seats are a bit on the hard side. 

The accessories that come with the Kubota are also exceptional, with built-in hitch receivers and a colossal dump bed operated by hydraulics. The best thing about the Kubota is that it can either be a serious workhorse, a recreational toy, or both. 

On the flip side, even for someone who just wants a serious toy to play around with, the Kubota RTV-X1140 is not a cheap ride by any means. Unfortunately, it seems that as more and more UTVs and ATV types are released each year, the prices go up and up. The RTV-X1140 is no exception.

Kubota also allows its customers to accessorize and customize their new Kubotas, and the RTV-X1140 offers many customization options. All you have to do is select “Build my Kubota” on the online store, and you’re off to the races. 

John Deere XUV855M S4

This John Deere XUV has a slightly less powerful diesel engine that provides 22.8hp but can haul more weight than the Kubota design by 200lbs. With a 1,500lb hauling capacity and a cargo box that can haul 1,000lbs, the XUV855M is a heavy-duty UTV.

It features what John Deere calls an “on-demand” true, four-wheel drive. However, it has a smaller tank capacity than the Kubota and can only hold 7.3 gallons of diesel at full capacity. The engine itself is a 4-cycle diesel with a displacement of 845cc. 

What separates the John Deere XUV855M S4 from the Kubota RTV-X1140 is that the John Deere has an independent suspension system that makes for a very smooth ride. The front suspension is a dual, A-Arm adjustable coil suspension, while the rear is the same with an additional sway bar. 

The drivetrain features a Continuously Variable Transmission, which hasn’t always been the best of transmissions available out there due to its complexity. However, it’s not a major complaint from John Deere owners either. 

It also features traction assist with a positive locking mechanically actuated system that is completely hand operated, so you feel a little more in control. Like the Kubota, this John Deere XUV is long so that you won’t be cutting tight corners in either vehicle. 

It does have a slightly higher ground clearance at 11″. It’s capable of hauling an entire crew with four, possibly five people, as both the front and the back seats, are full bench seats, so you can do a little squeezing if necessary. 

Like the Kubota, it comes with its hitch system, and there are many customization options available if you make your purchase online. The “Build Your Own” feature is present here as well, so you can have a bit of fun decking your John Deere out. 

Kubota Versus John Deere Gator Longevity

As we mentioned earlier, the Kubota comes with a 2-year, 1,000-hour warranty, and the John Deere Gator comes with a 12-month or 1,000-hour warranty. So the hours are the same, but Kubota offers 2x the warranty in terms of months. 

Some Gators come with a 24-month warranty, but it is a very basic warranty. Fortunately, so long as you take care of either the Kubota or the John Deere, you can expect many years of lifetime. 

These things are all but vehicles themselves, and the biggest thing they have to deal with daily is how much you rag them out. You can expect a shorter time if you are constantly crawling over rocky terrain and tearing up donuts in the backyard. 

Both the Kubota and the John Deere require oil changes every fifty hours of use. So you should set your maintenance routine around that, which means taking care of the other fluids, topping everything off, running a full inspection, and replacing anything that needs it. 

John Deere XUV855M S4 Versus Kubota RTV-X1140 Price

These UTVs are very similar in price, with a fully loaded Kubota costing $200 less than a fully loaded John Deere. On the low end, both of these UTVs will run around $16k. Of course, that depends on what you want to add during the customization process.

You can tell that these two are fierce competitors as they offer their potential customers many leeways when customizing their respective UTVs. However, since both of them are similar regarding their add-on packages and accessories, the only thing that really matters is that the Kubota is ever so slightly cheaper.

When you are talking about spending upwards of nearly $19k, however, the price difference between the two is almost negligible. After taxes in most states, the ultimate price for both will be well over $20k unless you break either one down to its most basic level. 

All Things Considered

If it boils down to needing a pure workhorse, the John Deere XUV855M S4 has a slight advantage in how much it can haul and how much it can tow. However, you can’t leave out the fact that the Kubota has a hydraulic dumping mechanism, which makes unloading a thousand pounds of materials far easier than doing so by hand. 

Kubota also offers a better warranty and a more reliable transmission, as the continuously variable transmission gets a lot of hate for subpar performance. 

Ultimately, comparing the two will not make much difference to those who are fans of either brand.

But for those on the fence, Kubota’s top-of-the-line UTV carries the slight edge for a nearly infinitesimally small price difference.

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