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Argo 8×8 vs Honda Pioneer (Side by Side)

Is an Argo 8×8 better than Honda’s Pioneer UTVs? An Argo XTV can travel over water, ice, sand mud and steep terrain that the Pioneer can’t touch, but that could be said when comparing an XTV to any side-by-side. How do these two types of vehicles compare to each other when it comes to regular UTV tasks like off-roading and pulling trailers? They’re more evenly matched than you may think.

Honda Pioneer

Honda offers the Pioneer in three versions, the 500, 700 and 1000, which are named after their approximate engine displacements. All three motors are water cooled and fuel injected, while the 1000 uses a twin cylinder engine instead of a single cylinder. The Pioneer can operate in two and four wheel drive modes and a differential lock is included with the 700 and 1000.

The 500 and 700 use a 5 speed automatic with the option of manual shifting, while the 1000 has a 6-speed DCT for faster shifts and a two-speed final drive that provides a low gear for severe climbs and big loads.

These UTVs measure between 100 to 116 inches long and 50 to 63 inches wide. The 500 has 8.5 inches of ground clearance, the 700 has 10.7 inches and the 1000 has 12.7 inches. Towing capacity goes from 1,000 to 1,500 and finally 2,000 lbs. as you move up the line.

Standard models have seating for three on a bench seat, although it’s a bit of a squeeze for full-size adults. Behind the passengers, there’s a fixed bed for cargo. The Pioneer 700-4 and 1000-5 add a pair of Honda’s Quickflip seats which can be folded to convert the back into a cargo bed.

Honda offers a range of accessories to outfit their side-by-sides including lighting, storage space, weather protection and a mounting bracket for a Warn winch.

Argo 8×8

Argo’s 8×8 line covers 24 models ranging from simple passenger haulers to fully loaded work vehicles. Engine choices include 750 cc Kohler Command Pro and Aegis gas engines as well as their one-liter KDW diesel. Every model uses a CVT for smooth power control and comes with a low range.

At 119 to 125 inches long and 58 to 65 wide, the only model that has an edge in size is the Pioneer 500. Factor in the Argo’s ability to turn in place and an XTV can often get through spaces that would be a serious challenge for the Pioneer.

With a ground clearance of 9.5 inches with stock tires or 10.5 inches when equipped with tracks, Argo’s offerings can’t match the superior ground clearance of the 1000, but, like vehicle size, there are some design advantages that give XTVs the edge. With an entirely flat bottom covered by a skid plate and all mechanical components inside the hull, there’s no chance of getting driveshafts, differentials or suspension arms hung up on terrain. If you do get stuck, most models come equipped from the factory with a 3,500 or 4,500 lb. rated Warn winch.

When it comes to towing, Conquest models can match the Pioneer 1000’s towing capacity, while Avengers pull 400 lbs. more than the 700 and Frontier 8x8s can pull 400 lbs. more than the 500. Both Honda and Argo use standard hitch receivers.

Except for the dump bed-equipped Explorer models, the rear seats can fold up to use the rear cargo area, and some models have space for up to 6 people. Need a vehicle with the option of a bed or extra seating? Conquest XTVs without the dump bed can be outfitted with removable versions of both a bed and a bench seat, letting you switch between cargo and people. Since rollovers are unlikely, there’s no need to have a roll cage around the seating area, making the back of an Argo much easier to access.

When it comes to accessories, Argo is well ahead of Honda, offering equivalent items as well as tracks and specialty equipment, while items like skid plates and dash storage come standard. There are even models outfitted for specific industry needs including electric line work, hunting, and first response.


A lot of Honda’s best side-by-side features are only available with the bigger Pioneer models or are only available as accessories, but they’re included across Argo’s lineup including a two-speed final drive and rear seats. The largest Honda may edge out an XTV on ground clearance, but in practice, it’s less of an advantage.

Want to see what you can do with an Argo 8×8? Talk to the experts at Shank’s Argo, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. To get here from I-81, exit to Rt. 11 Marion and drive one mile east. Want to look over specs or schedule a demo? Not in the area and need parts for your XTV? Visit our website,

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