Summer, heat, midday thunderstorms and a lot of biting insects. Not the best conditions for working outdoors, but sometimes there’s just no choice: you have to get out of the cozy house and get busy. For example, clearing the wooded paths that lead up to this very house, and the John Deere Gator XUV835R Signature Edition has proven to be an invaluable companion in combining utility with the ultimate in luxury,” says Chris Norman, rancher from Minnesota.
John Deere Gator XUV835R.
Yes, it’s hard to believe for those who’ve lived in the era of cars without air conditioning (or even having to turn on the cabin heater in summer to keep the engine from overheating), but the Gator, a utilitarian two-seat buggy, not only has an enclosed cab, but it also has standard air conditioning (along with other luxury options). John Deere has built an impressive power-assisted steering system, an electrically locking rear differential, heavy-duty underbody guards, and something many utilitarian all-terrain vehicles lack: an electrically folding body.
Here you have a utility vehicle, a kind of forest pickup, with a great big body that just incites you to put more branches in it. And when you bring them to dump them in the proper place, it turns out that the gas strut is not enough for tipping the body, and you have to carry everything on your back again.
The Gator is another matter. The load of firewood hinted that we would have to unload it manually, because it was too heavy and it required an individual approach. But to my pleasant surprise, a push on the rocker in the cabin was enough for the body to lift with the same ease with which more than once (just for fun) it was lifted empty. As soon as the firewood was landed in the right place, pushing on the opposite side of the swing lowered the body, and it was possible to go back to loading. I didn’t even have to get out of the cab!
One of the angry dudes in the back was clearly intent on smashing the rear window of the cab, if only to make one mistake and brake sharply. And the glass looks, it must be said, badly underpriced, so I wouldn’t want it at all. Fortunately, the trail was pretty level, and the lumber was lying still. Just in case, you can order the rear window grill – John Deere has it right in their custom equipment catalog.
John Deere Gator XUV835R on the move
The Gator has excellent roadholding, is smooth and maneuverable. Its turning radius is exceptional and the electric power steering makes it light and comfortable in the woods and on the farm. Ground clearance is always enough, as well as the traction, thanks to the standard Maxxis Bighorn, switchable locking rear differential and electronic activation of all-wheel drive. With a load, of course, a drive is not so smooth, shock absorbers start to jump merrily, and brakes start to act somewhere on the verge of “oops”. Because of high closed cabin the all-terrain vehicle has high center of gravity, so when driving on hills there is a chance to roll (or so it seems).
Some might think an electric tipper body isn’t a luxury, and for those skeptics, John Deere has a nice list of other luxe features. The top-of-the-line Signature Edition 835R has a 5.5-inch touch-screen infotainment center, seven-speaker sound system, and even faux-leather seat trim. Inside the cabin Gator seems a first-class American pickup truck, with this semi-military simplicity of design, sand-colored hard plastic and inserts of “luxury” like leather stitching of steering wheel and handrails.
The stereo is better here than in many cars. The interface is simple and convenient, the phone is connected at once and since then is immediately identified when you get into the cabin and turn on the ignition, and the thing itself even turns on the music from the same place where playback stopped the last time. It seems like a small thing, but if you often get out of the cab and get back in, this small thing makes a big difference. Navigating the touch screen to switch music sources, adjust the equalizer, or flip through contacts is intuitive and simple.
The Achilles’ heel of the Gator’s fancy acoustics turned out to be the constant hum in the cabin when the engine is running. The cabin works like a giant resonator, amplifying and deepening the vibration of the engine and transmission, and although the rear wall and ceiling are finished with soundproofing, it doesn’t help much. Because of the hum of the engine sometimes it is impossible to talk on the phone, and you have to muffle or call back later. If John Deere has put in this model car-type cab with music and navigation, then you expect to hear the music, but not the engine.
But it’s a hell of a lot easier to live with an air conditioner. Even 28 degrees in the warmed up damp forest is very hot and stuffy, but the conditioner always manages, even despite the fact that because of the size of the windows the cabin looks more like a hothouse. Being able to rest without leaving the cabin in the house allows you to stay in line longer and get more done during the hottest times of the year.
Another benefit of an enclosed cab opened up when a big hornet’s nest turned up in one of the piles of branches on the trail. In a normal open buggy (even in spite of all those half-doors and windshield) would have been very unpleasant, but in the Gator (which, fortunately, was quite near) managed to hide, getting away with only a couple of bites. And when it’s not too hot outside and there is no striped threat, you can lift the windshield, open the back – and arrange yourself a great blowout on the fly.
The market for utilitarian all-terrain vehicles is full of budget and at the same time stuffed machines for everyday work without much damage to the budget. The Gator XUV835 Signature Edition is not like that. At first it seemed incomprehensible – neither a winch, nor a rear grill in the stock car, but a rear camera and a subwoofer. Only then you understand that Gator is not a truck for a building site or even for transportation of firewood, and nobody planned to make it the fastest, the strongest or the most universal. But it copes with any real work in the woods, if you do not need to chase poachers on ATVs, and despite the rumble in the cabin and weak brakes (obvious flaws for such an expensive ATV), it really is a luxury option for those who live and work in the woods. If you don’t mind splurging and treating yourself to the ultimate level of luxury, the Gator Signature Edition will give you the pleasure of driving a luxury pickup while withstanding the rigors of a rugged utility all-terrain vehicle.
John Deere Gator XUV835R Price
As for price, the John Deere Gator XUV835R Signature Edition 2022 costs a whopping $36,499, which is enough for a pickup truck three times the size and cubic capacity. But if you need a working all-terrain vehicle for that kind of money for a farm or other job, and not something like a Toyota Tacoma, then don’t wait, it’s time to buy the Gator Signature Edition 2022.
From the Editor:
By the way, it became known that in 2023 the price of the Gator Signature Edition 2023 will go up in price by about 3 thousand and approach 40 thousand.
|Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price:||$27,499 to $38,000, depending on equipment|
|Engine:||4-stroke liquid-cooled gas engine|
|Transmission:||High/low/reverse automatic variator|
|Steering:||Electronic Power Steering|
|Transmission:||Choice of 2WD/4WD, locking rear differential.|
|Front suspension:||Fully independent double A-arm with adjustable coils; 7.9 inches (200.7 mm) of travel|
|Rear suspension:||Fully independent double A-qrm with adjustable coils and anti-roll bar; 9.1 in (231.14 mm) of travel|
|Brakes:||Hydraulic disc with dual-piston calipers|
|Wheels:||Maxxis Big Horn Radial tires on 12-inch Alloy or 12-inch steel rims.|
|Width:||69.4 inches (with doors)|
|Height:||78.25 inches (with roof)|
|Body capacity:||1,000 pounds|
|Towing capacity:||2,000 pounds|
|Ground clearance:||11.2 inches|
|Declared wet weight:||2,241 lbs.|
|Fuel tank capacity:||11.2 US gallons.|
|Oil capacity/type:||2.3 quarts, 10W-30|
|Spark plugs:||Part No. MIU12783, from manufacturer|
|Break-in period:||8 hours|
|Warranty:||12 months/1000 hours|
|Availability:||In stock at John Deere dealers|