Kawasaki Unveils the New Ridge UTV, Elevating the Premium Utility Segment
Jan 26, 2024
The much-anticipated launch of the 2024-’25 Kawasaki Ridge marks a significant milestone in the utility terrain vehicle (UTV) market. Kawasaki's latest innovation is poised to redefine the premium UTV class, directly competing with leading models like the Polaris Xpedition and Ranger XD. Designed for the discerning off-road enthusiast, the Kawasaki Ridge blends top-of-the-line features with luxury, targeting users who demand excellence in both work and recreational pursuits.
Engineered for Excellence: The Kawasaki Ridge
The heart of the Ridge lies in its robust inline 4-cylinder engine, a powerhouse with 999cc displacement and DOHC technology. This engine, featuring a 4-valve-per-cylinder configuration and dimensions of 73.4 x 59.0mm, delivers a potent 92 hp and 65.6 ft-lbs of torque. This power spectrum makes the Ridge versatile for various applications, from heavy-duty work to spirited off-road adventures.
Kawasaki engineers have emphasized smooth, linear power delivery and exceptional quietness, enhancing the in-cab conversation experience. The engine's rubber mounts play a pivotal role in reducing vibrations, ensuring a comfortable ride even in challenging environments. Enhanced with a snorkel-style intake and a high-performance Donaldson air filter, the engine is safeguarded against dust and water ingress, reinforcing its reliability.
The Ridge's exterior, with painted fenders and sophisticated all-LED lighting, exudes a car-like quality. The engine's performance is optimized through 29mm intake valves and 24mm exhaust valves, ensuring efficiency across various rpm ranges. The rear-facing exhaust ports aid in heat management and bolster low-end performance, reflecting Kawasaki's commitment to detail.
A smooth, continuously variable transmission (CVT) complements the engine, providing seamless response and mimicking the characteristics of a CVT and centrifugal clutch for enhanced low-speed control. The inclusion of an 1120W generator adds practicality, powering heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and various accessories.
Versatile Riding Modes and Selectable 4WD
The Ridge offers three distinct ride modes: Work, Normal, and Sport. Each mode is tailored to different driving needs, from gentle, controlled pace in Work mode to dynamic, responsive throttle in Sport mode. The Normal mode strikes a balance, offering smooth engine response from the outset.
The electrically selectable 4WD and rear differential lock allow riders to adeptly navigate tough terrain. With options like 4WD Mode for enhanced traction and 4WD + Differential Lock for maximum grip, the Ridge seamlessly adapts to varying conditions.
Robust and Comfort-Driven Design
Kawasaki's commitment to durability and comfort is evident in the Ridge's wide-body chassis. Constructed from high-strength steel square tubes in a ladder-type configuration, the chassis is both sturdy and designed for comfort. It accommodates long-travel suspension and a full cab without unnecessarily extending the vehicle's length, offering a balanced mix of spaciousness and maneuverability.
The Ridge stands out with a 14-inch ground clearance (13.6 inches on Limited and Ranch models), large-diameter 27-inch tires, and 14-inch aluminum wheels. These features not only enhance off-road capability but also ensure a smooth ride over rough terrain.
Utility is a key focus, with a cargo bed designed for easy loading and a generous 1,000 lbs. capacity. The gas-assisted tilting cargo bed and single-latch tailgate system simplify access and usage. The Ridge also boasts a 2,000 lbs. towing capacity, making it a formidable workhorse.
The Ridge's premium exterior is complemented by an equally luxurious interior. The spacious cab seats three comfortably, with contoured seating and ample legroom. The driver's seat is adjustable, and tilt steering adds to the car-like feel. EPS (Electric Power Steering) is standard, enhancing the driving experience.
High-grade materials and details like floor lighting, backlit switches, and an automotive-style ignition key add to the premium ambiance. The Ridge HVAC and Limited models feature a full cab with HVAC, glass windshield, power windows, and more, offering comfort in extreme weather conditions.
A 7-inch TFT LCD screen and Bluetooth connectivity add a modern touch, allowing for easy navigation and smartphone integration. Storage solutions are thoughtfully designed, with multiple compartments and cup holders for convenience.
Accessorize Your Adventure
The Ridge comes ready for customization, with a range of electronic accessories and pre-wiring for easy installation. Models like the Ridge Ranch and Limited include standard winches and an 8” Garmin Tread off-road navigation system, enhancing the off-road experience.
Choose Your Ridge
Available in four trim levels, the Ridge caters to various preferences and needs. The base model starts at $23,999