As UTV manufacturers continue the process of refining and evolving their product lines, the mid-size segment of this market especially keeps getting better and better. Among the major players in the 4x4 mid-size segments are the Mule 610, the Ranger 400, the Club Car XRT950 and the new Husqvarna 4414. Husky's entry is the poster child for the philosophy of "less is more", but it offers all the goodies that mainstream UTV owners desire, such as four-wheel independent suspension, “shift-on-the-fly” four-wheel drive, sealed CVT, tilt-bed and a rugged brush guard.
In terms of sheer utility and load-carrying capabilities, full-size UTVs reign supreme. However, not everyone has the need to put all that potential to use--a full-size UTV would seem like a waste of power and capacity for some users, especially outdoorsmen. It’s at this group that Husqvarna is aiming the 4414.
We expected good things from this machine well before we ever sat down behind the wheel. Husqvarna has a long and, we believe, well-deserved reputation as a manufacturer of quality machinery, and we expected its new UTV to carry on that tradition--and for the most part, that's precisely what this vehicle does. Over the past several years we’ve tested Husky's entire full-size 4x4 HUV line-up and have always come away impressed with the quality and overall feel of the company's UTVs. Husqvarna's outdoor products--everything from chainsaws to UTVs--have always scored at or near the top in quality, reliability and versatility. We wanted to see how its 4414 measured up.
Exterior / Features / XP Package
Like the rest of Husqvarna’s 4x4 HUV line, the 4414 makes a good impression right from the start with its rectangular headlights and large-diameter steel tube brushguard structure integrated into a clean, modern front-end design. Four bright 35-watt headlights means that you can start a job before sunrise and continue after sunset. Flexible mudguards around the wheel wells provide splash protection, and there are cut-outs for adding a set of fog lights. For safety, the 4414 has a certified ROPS (Roll Over Protection System).
All of Husqvarna’s HUV bodies share the same bright orange-colored, high-quality plastic that doesn’t easily scratch and cleans up nicely. Large 25" aggressive tread tires hook up well on slippery surfaces and 9" of ground clearance under the belly give it a 12" “step-in” to the cab (the lowest we’ve ever tested on a 4x4 UTV). A low step-in to the cab floor will be appreciated by workers whose job necessitates frequent entering and exiting the vehicle. Like other mid-size UTVs, the 4414 can be transported in the bed of a full-size pickup, so that people and equipment can be hauled to just about any worksite (for those venturing into the backcountry, the XP package includes underbelly skid plate protection, front and rear steel protectors for the CV joints, a rugged brush guard, sealed CVT and a 2" rear receiver).
Cab / Interior
The 4414 doesn't break any new ground as far as technology or interior design, but it's well-built with durable materials and offers plenty of practicality. The user-friendliness begins with automotive-type controls and a dashboard-mounted gear / differential selection system that’s within easy reach and continues on to the two large cup holders, a passenger-side glove box and passenger grab handle. Even more storage space is located beneath the hinged front hood. Unlike many UTVs, this machine has a flat firewall, meaning there’s no wheel-well intrusion into the leg area (it also means relative leg comfort for occupants up to 6’2”). The dominant dashboard feature is the all-in-one instrumentation gauge, which includes an electronic fuel gauge / hour meter, low oil warning light and an optional speedometer.
The thickly foamed bench seat was designed with the outdoors worker in mind. It has a tough vinyl covering to lessen the chances of tears and gouges from tools sticking out of your rear pocket. The seats were indeed comfortable and made even the long Hatfield-McCoy trail rides seem relaxing, even though bench seating by its nature doesn’t have the conformed shape that bucket seats offer to keep your posterior in place. Although the thick anti-tear vinyl covering does make the seat comfortable, when taking a sharp corner or stopping quickly you may at times experience “rump slide.” Anti-slip or a rougher texture would help with this. The high seat placement provides a commanding view of the trail ahead.
Engine / Transmission
The mid-mount engine is an effective Vanguard 480cc, HSE, four-stroke, air-cooled, V-twin cylinder that puts out 14hp with 23 ft. / lb. of torque. It’s an aluminum alloy cylinder block with Dura-Bore cast iron sleeves. The engine maintains an ideal operating temperature with the help of a temp-controlled cooling fan. For cold engine starts, the single-barrel float feed carburetor has a dash-mounted variable choke pull that opens the throttle during ignition.
The twin-cylinder engine puts out adequate power with a driver and passenger aboard, but when fully loaded to its 925-pound capacity (400 lb. in bed and 525 lb. in the cab) it will wheeze coming up steeper hills. Otherwise, on moderate terrain a loaded 4414 has good handling manners. Its low center of gravity gives it a nimble nature--even when top-loaded--that will have it running tight little circles around any other mid-size UTV. The sharp, communicative steering with sport-style wheel is particularly impressive. The 4414 has a mechanical governor for its 25-mph top speed.
While 23 ft. / lb. of torque doesn’t sound like much on paper--and 14hp sure doesn’t give you that “hoo-boy!” feel when you tromp the gas pedal--more often than not we were pulling other (and larger) machines out of the mud. We even pulled out a 1,500-lb. UTV that was stuck up to its frame. While the 4414's power doesn't compare with that of full-size UTVs, it’s no wuss, either. Our only complaint about the engine was that the spin-on oil filter is in an almost unreachable location. Word to the wise, Husky.
Most machines have a low- or narrow-ratio CVT that requires a two-range transmission to gear down enough for hillside take-off. However, like Husqvarna’s full-size 4421 series, the 4414 line has a "high-ratio" CVT to eliminate the need to have a two-speed transmission. Husqvarna says its automatic low-range may extend belt life, since drivers won’t be using the low-range in other machines as much as they usually do, which causes undue belt wear. The vehicle's high-ratio CVT system eliminates having to “gear-down” in power situations. We still prefer having a low-range, but we must admit that Husqvarna's system works well.
The 4414 rides on a MacPherson strut front suspension with 5.1” of travel, while rear suspension duties are handled by a trailing arm with coil-over adjustable pre-load shocks with 5.2” of travel. Double-sealed hydraulic brakes at all four wheels provide stopping power, and large 25" tires mean improved off-road handling. Steel front differential / axle guard and middle and rear differential guards are standard on the XP and help protect important powertrain components. Overall suspension is good. It's a nice ride with ample support in the rear to keep the machine from squatting even with a filled 400-pound-capacity cargo bed. The machine doesn’t feel twitchy if the bed's empty, either, nor is there bed-clang when riding over bumpy trails.
The 400-lb.-capacity tilting cargo beds increase the vehicle's work versatility. The beds feature a cleverly designed lift-and-pull system (no latches, levers or hasps) to release or fasten the tailgate quickly and securely. The system works exceptionally well, and rubber grommets mean that tailgate rattle is non-existent. The steel bed measures 34”L x 47”W x 10”H and can easily be dumped by one person, as we discovered using our completely scientific (well, sort of . . . ) method of filling the bed with heavy oak firewood and lifting it with one arm. Its working height is a comfortable 33.5” (as a point of reference, anything from 30"-34" is generally considered ideal). Bed volume is 9.25 cu. ft.—smaller than the Mule 610 (10.9 cu. ft.) but slightly larger than the Ranger 400 (9.0 cu. ft.).
Dimensions / Chassis
At 105” in length the 4414 is about 10” shorter than most full-size UTVs. and its 55” width will save you about 5” over full-size machines. Dry weight is around 1,275 lb., 265 lb. heavier than the Mule 610 and 225 lb. heavier than the Ranger 400 (the extra weight will give it more pulling power). The vehicle has a 5.2-gal. gas tank with 9” of ground clearance on the double-coated steel frame. The 4414's 71” wheelbase makes it an inch shorter than the comparable mid-size Ranger 400 and an inch longer than the Mule 610.
Driveline / Traction System
Owners will like the peace of mind that comes with the proven efficient and durable CVT. The high-ratio CVT allows for simple range lever selection: Forward, Neutral and Reverse. Unlike the fully-automatic 4WD traction systems in Husqvarna’s full-size HUV line, the 4414 has selectable 4WD. Another lever switches between 2WD and 4WD, and the third dash-mounted lever is a dual-mode “turf-saver” system--in 2WD it allows you to unlock the rear differential for one-wheel drive.
The front differential is an “open” systemthat allows the tire with the least traction to spin--not true locking 4WD. Still, we didn’t encounter any traction problems, as the 12” floor height kept us out of the deeper mudholes anyway. The CVT is coupled with a dependable, low-maintenance shaft drive to best deliver the engine’s power.
Husqvarna's 4414 has a whiff of scruffy "bad-boy" about it. We repeatedly did things that we originally thought it couldn’t do, such as pulling out heavier machines buried frame-deep in mud, climbing the gnarly trails of Hatfield-McCoy and plowing through 12” of snow. The 9" of ground clearance was most evident in the gnarly stuff, but our guess is that if you’re thinking of buying a mid-size UTV, extreme-rated terrain capability won't be your highest priority. We constantly pushed this machine beyond what we thought was normal testing, to be surprised over and over again by its capabilities. We’ll bet a week's salary--well, a couple of days, anyway--that pushing a UTV beyond its limits is what people like to do with their UTVs anyway. The premium vibe we got from the mid-size 4414 is that it offers pretty much full-size functionality in a maneuverable, transportable, non-full-size package--in other words, you get the best of both worlds.
MSRP - HUV4414G XP $8,699 (as tested); HUV4414G $7,999 (without XP package); HUV4214G $7,299 (2WD)
|Fuel Tank Volume||5.2 gal.|
|Drive System||Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) Sealed|
|Traction System||4-wheel drive|
|Brakes||4-wheel hydraulic disc|
|Maximum Ground Speed||25 mph|
|Chassis Vehicle Frame Material||Steel|
|Ground Clearance (Differential)||9"|
|Suspension Vehicle Load Capacity||925 lb.|
|Bed Load Capacity||400 lb.|
|Front Tires||All Terrain 25 x 9-12 4-ply (Mud tires included in XP Package)|
|Rear Tires||All Terrain, 25 x 9-12, 4-ply (Mud tires included in XP Package)|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||5.2 gal.|
|Trailer Hitch||Receiver Rear 2"|
|4WD||Shift on Demand 4WD|
|High-Low Range Engagement||Automatic|
|Electrical System||12-volt, 500 CCA|
|Brakes||4-wheel, hydraulic disc|
|Frame||Chassis Box tube steel|