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Honda Pioneer 500
The Pioneer 500 is built to be compact, affordable, and fun, says Lee Edmunds, Honda marketing manager. The 500 is a narrower, scaled-down version of the Pioneer 700, introduced last year. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price on this model is at the low end of the side-by-side category at $8,499. That’s $1,500 lower than the Pioneer 700.
The new 500 is just 50 inches wide. Two adults fit snuggly side-by-side, and the nimble machine is just about unstoppable in deep woods, shallow creeks, bumpy trails, and rocky hillsides. An added bonus from the narrow width: the 500 will load in the back of a standard size pickup bed.
The flat rear carrier on the Pioneer 500 does not have a mounted rear box. However, two sizes of cargo carriers are available as accessories from Honda. It would also be easy to build a box from metal or wood and attach to the lattice bars of the carrier frame. Four hay bales fit easily on the carrier, as do several feedbags. Total carrying capacity is 450 pounds.
The Pioneer 500 has a 1.25-inch square rear receiver slot to attach a hitch accessory. This makes it easy to pull a wood splitter or cargo trailer to the deep woods for work. Maximum towing capacity is 1,000 pounds. Other accessories for the 500 include toppers, windshields, winches, heavy-duty lights, and snow plows.
Outside rear mirrors on the Pioneer 500 are an optional accessory, and well worth the investment if the machine is used in tight quarters or on roads or trails with other vehicles.
A unique feature of the five- gear machine is the paddle shifters mounted just under the handgrip areas on the steering wheel. Pull the right paddle to shift up, and the left to shift down. It's very natural and intuitive after just a few minutes of driving.
Honda takes another step into the utility vehicle market with the introduction of the Pioneer 500.