2022 CFMOTO UFORCE 600 Full reviewDecember 20, 2021
Ahhh CFMOTO. Seems like every time I’m on power sports social media pages, groups or videos, this brand will pop up with either the raging fans or naysayers saying all kinds of stuff. Truth, false and or totally made-up crap. It’s funny how we humans can be so opposed on the web…
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Let’s start with my take on CFMOTO’s Utility/Work UTVs. It all started with the UForce 800/500. Well, that’s when things started to get serious in 2013. These units sat virtually unchanged since and I truly did not like them. Hated the seats, hated the dash, the looks, etc. You know where I’m going with this right? They were the last remnant of the second-gen CFMOTO UTV and they were showing their age, A LOT!… ***mumbling*** even when they were brand new… ***end of mumbling***
The late 2018 arrival of the UFORCE 1000 was a game-changer for CFMOTO. Finally, they came up with a full-sized large displacement utility UTV that was not only good to look at but was able to perform at the level of the established main players of the industry (see review here). The UFORCE 1000 was the beginning of CFMOTO’s third generation UTVs. Well built, handles great, decent power and most of all, it can take a beating and handle reasonable neglect. The Uforce 800/500 weren’t up to the market standard anymore.
So, in late summer we were privileged to get our grubby hands on this preproduction UFORCE 600 to do with as we please (read beat the living crap out of it). Here’s what I thought about it.
First and foremost: FINALLY! The old, smaller displacement units are getting the boot and the total overhaul I was asking for the last 4 years. About time CFMOTO! Now, let’s get to what you want to know:
The 40 hp 580cc single cylinder engine is one of its best and worst features. For its displacement, it will keep up with the mighty Ranger’s 570 all day long but there is a cost to that. It’s noisy and prone to vibrations at certain high RPM. It’s not a deal breaker but it needs to be said. Under normal day-to-day operations, the precise fuelling and the dual throttle mapping makes it quite liveable compared to the 500 cc class mill it replaces. (Remember that this is a preproduction unit and this might have been ironed out but the time they reach the showroom floor)
A pretty peppy motor for its size and the 1300 something pounds it must move around.
Now, this is more like it. Pretty much standard fare here. Park, reverse, neutral, low and high gear. The dash mounted truck”esque” gear selector is smooth and easy to use. Combined with the CVTECH CVT drive system and a fully lockable front differential for the “real” 4X4 makes the UFORCE 600 a worthy offroader.
The CVT is tuned to minimize belt wear to handle the whopping and class-leading 2000 lbs max towing capacity. If you look at the video in this article, you will see that we loaded and towed to the maximum that the UFORCE 600 can handle (Jason probably went a little overboard here). The caveat to that is an abrupt cvt engagement in “normal” mode but almost disappears in “Eco” mode. (I’m told by cfmoto that the button will be changed for Regular and work mode on the production units). Still, I have to point it out.
Suspension is pretty basic stuff with non-adjustable shocks and basic spring preload adjusters. No front sway bar makes the front suspension more adapted for rough terrain without too much compromise on lateral stability beefy a beefy sway bar out back to compensate. Steering is handled by a no frills speed sensitive electronic power steering rack and pinion. Same in the no frills department with the brakes with 4-wheel disc brakes and single pot calipers.
Steering input and feedback is on par with the competition with great front and feel from the Bruiser XT radials from Arisun. Radials, you need radials on these utvs, trust me on this. Even with the rock-hard rubber compound, it makes the difference between going straight at speed and the sloppy feel of a bias ply tire. The brakes, what brakes? Seriously, we did not notice them and that’s a good thing for a work-oriented machine. What I like the most of this category is the whole handling package. You “feel” what’s going on with the machine and the surface it’s rolling on. Polaris and subsequently Can-Am mastered handling and the UFORCE 600 is very, very close in this department.
The suspension package has one clear advantage in the small displacement utility UTV segment. It does not sag a lot when the max payload is reached. Same when towing a very heavy load with a few hundred pounds on the hitch. I like this, a lot!
Finally! (yeah, I know, I use the word “finally” a lot, OK?) an entry level UTV that looks the part at CFMOTO. Heavily inspired by its older brother the UFORCE 1000, the 600 still has a look of it can call its own. Yeah I know, it’s a Utility machine but hey, look at it, that front fascia really looks the part, don’t it? Oh and get this: the whole hood and fenders lifts up and forward just like a big rig to expose all the components and BOTH side of the radiator for easy cleaning! Why has nobody thought of that before?
Second best feature: Headlights! CFMOTO was infamous for weak lighting in the past. Just like the Z950 sport and the UFORCE 1000, the 600 got some mean headlight that are better than certain cars. I kid you not!
To sum it up, it looks good, has great lighting and had all the features expected. It’s well assembled and seems tough enough to withstand abuse and neglect. Oh and did I mention that the graphics don’t look cheesy like the models it replaces? I like this a lot!
This is a 2 seater and a quarter OK? Don’t even think of sitting three small adults side by side. With burly guys like Jason and I, no way, no how. The seats are OK, decently comfortable and only the driver’s seat is adjustable. Seat to pedal and steering geometry is better than the old too. The most important criterion is “feel” Does it feel good to drive? Yup, it does, but CFMOTO still has a little homework to do here. Competition is stiff in this segment of the UTV world and working on seat comfort and angle with some side bolstering and maybe an adjustable incline would make this unit stand out. I’m not saying it’s not comfortable, I’m just wishing for more… 2–3 inches more cab length to make room for more adjustability would be awesome, wouldn’t it?
I got to say that I like the digital instrument cluster. It’s very bright and the info is easy to read and it’s simple to use. There is also a brightness adjustment that is not buried under a ton of menus to minimize glare for those night rides. Switches are now easy to read and use without that plasticky feel and gone is that awful cheap automotive steering column of the previous models. Amen to that!
If you are in the market for a more budget friendly utility UTV that can compete against what the current market offers well, look no further and give the UFORCE 600 a try. It’s powerful enough, ticks all the necessary boxes on our checklist as a capable Utility UTV and it looks the part to boot.
Except for the engine being on the noisy side of things under load/hard acceleration the 2022 UFORCE 600 is a worthy contender. For the price they are asking with the inclusion of a winch with a wireless control, a roof, side mirrors and half doors (production models will have doors installed stock), the closest competitors will be at least two grand more expensive, food for thought here.
For a tick under $14,000, you are getting a pretty good deal on a ready to use/work package out of the crate. Go take a peek at them at your local CFMOTO dealer and tell me if you think I’m wrong here.
- The power of the 580cc engine
- The looks
- Radial tires
- Included winch with wireless remote
- Included roof
- Class leading payload and towing capacity
- Awesome headlights
- Great handling
- Flip up front end
We don’t like
- Engine noise under hard acceleration/heavy load
- Abrupt CVT engagement
- Cheap tires