Kawasaki Adds Premium Utility UTV

Kawasaki took the wraps off its latest creation – the 2024-’25 Kawasaki Ridge UTV. The manufacturer designed this sport-utility vehicle for off-road enthusiasts who use their UTVs for work and recreation. The manufacturer has been teasing the launch of this machine for weeks, and has a Super Bowl commercial lined up for the big game. The vehicle lineup includes models ranging from $24,000 up to $33,500.

A 999cc DOHC, a 4-valve-per-cylinder powerplant moves the Ridge. Its configuration boasts a bore and stroke of 73.4 x 59.0mm. This setup translates to 92 hp and 65.6 ft-lbs of torque. Kawasaki says the engine is “exceptionally quiet,” which customers in this segment seem to appreciate as it allows for easier conversations in the cab. The engine is complemented by a continuously variable transmission (CVT) designed for low-speed performance.

Ride modes

The Kawasaki Ridge offers a choice of three operating modes – Work, Normal, and Sport. Work mode provides a milder response that Kawasaki claims is ideal for tasks requiring a smooth and constant pace. Work mode’s programmed throttle response and engine braking characteristics at low speeds allow drivers to control speed with only the gas pedal.

Sport mode gives riders a sharper, more linear throttle response that establishes a direct connection between the gas pedal and the engine. This mode is for trail riding or more “spirited acceleration.” Normal mode is designed to deliver a smooth engine response right from the moment the throttle is opened.

Selectable 4WD

The electrically selectable 4WD and rear differential lock provide gives riders the flexiblity to transition between different modes to meet the demands tough terrain. While 4WD Mode provides enhanced traction that minimizes ground disturbance, 4WD + Differential Lock mode engages both 4WD and the rear differential lock. This combination delivers maximum traction. The On-the-Fly system transitions between drive systems as soon as you turn the switch.

Wide-body chassis

The Ridge frame boasts a ladder-type construction crafted from steel square tubes, ensuring a robust foundation. High-strength material is strategically employed in high-load areas, such as the suspension mounting plates, reinforcing critical components. The chassis was specifically engineered to accommodate long-travel suspension and a full-cab. With a wheelbase of 90.7 inches, the SxS balances handling and a spacious cab with ample legroom.

The Ridge has a ground clearance of 14 inches (13.6 inches on Limited and Ranch models) at max preload and enhances accessibility during work or recreational activities. Additionally, the high ground clearance contributes to a favorable breakover angle, minimizing the risk of bottoming out when cresting a ridge or traversing over obstacles.

The cargo bed, measuring 35 x 49 x 12.8 inches, with a load capacity of 1,000 lbs. to handle substantial loads. Its flat design facilitates loading from three sides, and in models without a full cab, the cargo bed can be accessed from the cab. Four built-in hooks provide convenient tie-down points. The gas-assisted tilting cargo bed has release levers on both sides.

Additionally, the Ridge boasts a towing capacity of 2,000 lbs. and a standard 2-inch tow hitch receiver is compatible with a variety of accessory hitches.

Automotive touches

  • The front headlights (48.6 W / 22.2 W) use line-type LED position lamps.
  • The front wheel wells with a beveled leading edge deflect mud away from the body.
  • The roomy cab accommodates three people comfortably, offering contoured seating for the driver and right-side passenger.
  • Electric Power Steering is standard.
  • The driver’s seat is lever-adjustable, with a forward-rearward range of 5 inches, adjustable in ½ inch increments.
  • The factory-standard full cab on the Ridge HVAC and Ridge Limited models is equipped with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC).
  • The full cab includes a glass windshield, full doors with power windows, a glass rear panel, a plastic roof with a roof liner, a windshield wiper and washer, a rearview mirror, and an interior ceiling light.
  • The HVAC unit includes multiple vents with mode selection, adjustable fan strength, a choice of fresh or recirculated air, and fast-acting temperature control.
  • A large 7-inch high-grade full-color TFT LCD screen integrated into the automotive-style dashboard adds to the truck-like quality of the Ridge.

Accessories

Kawasaki makes a comprehensive range of accessories available. Options include full hard doors (power), KQR soft upper doors, fixed windshields in glass or polycarbonate, vented windshields, flip-up windshields in glass, half windshields in polycarbonate, and various rear panel options. Comfort features also extend to a heater/defroster and windshield wiper with a washer. Other add-ons include a cargo bed lift, cargo bed storage box, and cargo bed KQR mount.

For those requiring a winch, the Ridge Ranch comes with the Warn VRX 45 Powersport Winch as standard equipment, featuring durable aircraft-grade steel rope. The Ridge Limited is equipped with the Warn VRX 45-S Powersport Winch, featuring synthetic rope. Both winches are built with premium components, offering market-leading performance and features. Installation kits designed specifically for the Ridge models ensure a well-integrated fit. Illuminated dash-mounted rocker control switches are complemented by corded remotes for user-friendly operation.

Price and availability

2025 Kawasaki Ridge
Colors: Candy Persimmon Red
MSRP: To be announced
Availability: Coming this Fall

2024 Kawasaki Ridge Ranch Edition
Colors: Metallic Stardust White
MSRP: $23,999
Availability: Now

2024 Kawasaki RidgeHVAC
Colors: Candy Persimmon Red
MSRP: $29,999
Availability: Coming this Spring

2024 Kawasaki Ridge Limited
Colors: Metallic Shadow Gold
MSRP: $33,499
Availability: Coming this Spring

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