More fun and more work in a fancier package? That’s what Kawasaki is promising with its new Ridge series of UTVs. They deliver an available full cab with power windows, long-travel suspension, and a cargo box that can handle half a ton. This all comes in a package meant to deliver a car-like premium experience.
The Kawasaki Ridge and high-performance Ridge XR models start with a new ladder frame. It uses high-strength steel in high-load areas like the suspension mounting points, but Kawasaki says the frame has enough built-in flex to help boost ride comfort.
There’s room in the cab for three-wide seating. Kawasaki says there is plenty of space between the dash and seats to ensure that passengers can get in and slide across to make it to that middle seat.
Full Cab With Power Windows
Doors are standard, as is a plastic roof. The cab gets details like floor lighting, backlit switches, and other touches Kawasaki says make it more like a premium automotive experience inside. Kawasaki’s renderings show two-tone seats that would look right at home in any modern pickup. It has an automotive-style ignition key, as well, to keep the automotive comparisons going.
Kawasaki Ridge HVAC and Ridge Limited models get a full cab, including a glass windshield up front and power windows in the side doors. The rear window is also glass, and Kawasaki says sealing is excellent thanks to designing the cab along with the rest of the UTV and not later.
Those two trim grades get full heat, ventilation, and AC for their cabs. The AC system blows through multiple vents and has adjustable fan speed and even recirculation to help keep the windows clear.
Kawasaki 92-HP 999cc 4-Cylinder
A 999cc four-cylinder engine is standard. It makes 92 horsepower and 66 pound-feet of torque. Kawasaki says it is “remarkably quiet” thanks to its design as well as rubber mounts, and the company says that conversations inside the cab are possible. It has work, sport, and normal engine control modes that change responses for the task at hand.
4×4 with rear differential locking is standard. The Kawasaki Ridge has 2WD, 4WD, and 4WD Lock modes. The driver can shift between drive modes on the fly, giving you more control and avoiding extra stops to shift.
When it’s time for rough riding, the Kawasaki Ridge has 12.7 inches of suspension travel at both ends, plus 27-inch tires on 13-inch wheels. Limited and Ranch models get 13.6 inches of ground clearance, with the rest slightly higher at 14. The shocks have a five-way adjustable preload.
Kawasaki Ridge: Half-Ton Cargo Bed
Come work time, the Ridge has a bed that measures 35 inches by 49 inches and is 12.8 inches deep. The Ridge can hold 1,000 pounds in the tilting cargo box and has four tie-down hooks. It can tow up to 2,000 pounds on its standard 2-inch receiver, as well.
There are three covered storage compartments in the dash, a passenger-side glove box, and another lidded compartment above that. The passenger seats hide more storage space and can be flipped up to hold larger items in the cab with you.
A 7.0-inch dash screen shows multiple customizable gauges. It automatically adjusts for brightness and links to your smartphone to use the Kawasaki Rideology app.
The Limited grade adds an 8.0-inch Garmin Tread off-road nav system to the center console. It adds group ride capability as well as trail navigation.
High-Performance Kawasaki Ridge XR
Then there’s the Ridge XR, Kawasaki’s high-performance version of the Ridge. It has a different and new 999cc engine that makes 116 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque.
XR gets taller tires, as well — 30-inch tall rubber on the 14-inch wheels boosts capability and adds half an inch to the ground clearance. The extra power and bigger tires don’t hurt cargo hauling. XR has the same 1,000-pound cargo capacity as the standard model.
2024 Kawasaki Ridge Pricing & Availability
The 2024 Kawasaki Ridge is hitting retailers now, with the $23,999 winch-equipped Ridge Ranch Edition on sale first. HVAC and Limited models ($29,999 and $33,499, respectively) arrive in the spring, with the base model coming in the fall as a 2025 model year.
The XR HVAC arrives in the spring, with base and Deluxe models in the fall. All Ridge XR prices are still to be announced.