500 ES 4X4 LONG WHEELBASE
Large, low-cost petrol 500 with generous standard kit. Single cylinder aircooled engine, £3658 + VAT.
Our rating: 6th
Large, low-cost petrol 500 with generous standard kit. Single cylinder aircooled engine, £3,658 + VAT.
Looks, build quality ++
Built on the same heroic scale as the Polaris and Arctic Cat but without their quality or attention to detail. Headlamps and reverse gear’s rev limiter override failed during test drive belt sometimes graunched.
Equipment, cost +++++
A winch, alloy wheels and a bolt-on passenger seat are standard in the rock-bottom price.
Thick-tube racks look the biz but have low weight capacity. Stowage is generous via a very big box aft of the seat, a netted pocket up front and compartments under the seat.
Recessed towball is set high and is hard to reach, but towing capacity is good at 500kg. Clear indication of range selected and drive mode, fairly easy to hold a constant forward speed.
Gearshift is gated but range selection is very poor – we couldn’t engage low range or park. Heat from the offside engine casing gets uncomfortable.
Unrestricted 26hp in heavy chassis leaves limited room for sparkle, so performance is only average for a 500cc-class petrol. The automatic clutch also needs a fistfull of revs to engage. This doesn’t help driveability in tricky spots and prevented the test Quadzilla from reversing up steep slopes, as its automatic rev limiter cut in before the clutch took up drive fully. The limiter’s over-ride button failed too.
Fuel consumption +
Easily the thirstiest machine in this test at 18.6mpg, using over 70% more fuel than the Honda round the same course.
Disc setup gives average stopping performance, but lever feel is poor. Park brake was not useable on test machine.
Ride, comfort, noise ++
Engine pretty rowdy and vibrates when pulling hard. Feels crude alongside the other petrol quads. But firm suspension has reasonable travel and damping, so ride quality is OK.
Handling, steering +
Already-heavy steering weights up more when cornering under power. Yawning, asymmetric turning circle. But stability is good at speed once a tendency to pull to the right under power has subsided.
Coolant tank level is visible, oil dipstick is below a removable cover. Battery is under the seat and easy to get at.
Weighted score 2.33. A bargain price and lots of kit can’t overcome the Quadzilla’s heavy thirst, so-so build quality and largely poor dynamics. Fine for leisure but not for serious use.