Farm buggy test: John Deere Gator 855D

John Deere Gator XUV 855D

Engine 854cc Yanmar
Power 25hp
Transmission 2/4wd, 2Fx1R CVT
Hill climb time 2:57.6*
Towing capacity 680kg
Payload 635kg
Load bay capacity (DxLxW) 30x113x130
Suspension Fully independent double A-arms, adjustable coils front and rear
Ground clearance 267mm
Weight 773kg
Price £12,739 (updated model)

*Set distance hill climb under load

LIKES

  • Load bay lashing points and tailgate
  • Performance under load
  • Off-road ability
  • Compact/agile runaround

GRIPES

  • Loud
  • Space/legroom
  • Price
  • Cleanability

Load bay

Rails running along the top of the thick plastic load bay make ideal lashing points, as do four hooks on the inside of the bay.

Lights are cage-protected and positioned on the back of the load bay where they are least likely to get crunched. The tailgate has a pickup style latch and, handily, there’s a ruler marked on the tailgate for any rough-and-ready measuring.

Score: 9/10


Driving

The Gator delivers weighty but easy-to-control and responsive steering, even with a heavy load in the back. However, the driving position is pretty cramped and the engine chatters loudly (even at idle).

It finished a respectable second in the up-hill dash, but it’s off-road where the Gator really bosses things. Nobbly tyres helped with traction.

Score: 8/10


Controls

It’s standard Gator fare in the cab with simple controls and switches. Transmission levers stand above a central tunnel between the driver and passenger.

Our test machine wasn’t fitted with an instrument cluster, but Deere has since given the Gator a facelift, adding gauges as well as a bigger alternator and fuel tank.

Surprisingly, the plastics had a cheap, flimsy feel to them – not what you’d expect from the Green Giant.

Score: 6/10

  •  John Deere Gator XUV 855D
  •  John Deere Gator XUV 855D
  •  John Deere Gator XUV 855D
  •  John Deere Gator XUV 855D
  •  John Deere Gator XUV 855D


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