Honda Pioneer 700-4 to fill a need at our tour company Texas Borders Tours which is located near the border Town of Progreso, Texas. Since day one, we were excited to try out one of Honda's most improved UTV's. At first look the Honda Pioneer 700-4 is all quality and craftsmanship. Every lever feels firm and smooth when engaging, every button is quality made and it has the perfect fit when you press it. The casting of the differential and engine parts, look aesthetically clean and of good quality. Everything with the Honda Pioneer is well thought off, every detail is set to work as it was design and intended to do. Keep in mind this machine is a work horse for the ranch, farm and job site. However, it is not a sport UTV, so don't expect to ride like a Maverick X or a Razor 1000. With that being said, lets go into the likes and dislikes about the unit.
Why does it work so well
Honda made this machine with work in mind, it has a powerful 700 single piston engine. Combine that engine with a truly automatic transmission and what you get is a side by side (SxS) that can pull, tug and haul anything you throw at it. The accelerator has a quick response and gives you the right amount of torque when you need it along with the right gear. One thing that I noticed with the Pioneer 700 is that even though it does not have a low gear selector like other sport UTV's, under a load, the computer selects a gear and maintains that gear until you are through. We tried it in a field that had just been plowed and the night before we got about 5 inches of rain, so it was the perfect condition for one muddy day. As we entered the field, the weight of the Honda Pioneer dug into the earth, with the axle deep in mud the only option was to put the pedal to the floor and hope we didn't stop. The Honda Pioneer picked the right gear and it didn't let up until we were out of that mess.
The truck bed of the Pioneer 700-4 is a multi-purpose Swiss army knife. With the pull of a lever you can set up 2 additional seats that allow riders to climb in and ride comfortably. One of the things that stood out to me was the amount of leg room it provides in the back. Although, they are not bucket seats, they are made to serve a purpose. When you stow the seats away, you have a cargo bed to haul anything you want, from gravel, dirt to fishing or hunting gear. The cargo bed also lifts like a miniature dump truck allowing you to unload your cargo.
What are the downsides of the Honda Pioneer 700-4
It is not ergonomically correct, the front seat is a bench seat made for 3 riders with 2 seat-belts available. Honda gave you one upright position with no adjustable forward or backward movement on the the seat selection. The steering wheel is also in a fixed location, you don't have the option to select a comfortable position which on long drives you can feel the pain. In addition, the accelerator pedal is also uncomfortable and in a weird angle. It almost sits too high off the floor and you find yourself with your foot lifted trying to press the pedal. After about an hour of riding, you can start to feel you leg muscle cramping up as you try to keep the accelerator going.
When it comes to cleaning your Pioneer 700-4 you will find yourself spending a lot of time trying to clean it on the inside, especially after a hard day of muddying. You see, the Honda Pioneer doesn't have any drains or traps on the floor board that allow you to easily hose off and clean your vehicle. This makes the chore of cleaning a dreaded one. Another thing that I noticed is that the front skid plate underneath the differential tends to hold debris and mud and it too doesn't have any drains or traps that allow you to hose it off easily.
Whats the verdict
Overall, this is one solid, strong UTV for the farm, ranch or construction site. If you are the type that likes to push machines to the limit of what they can do, the Honda Pioneer 700-4 will not disappoint. It will keep working for you day after day. That's the reputation that Honda has been able to build with anything Honda makes.