Kubota XG850 Sidekick Review

FUSE

Member

Equipment
B3350-B2650-Z125s-KX008-Bobcat MT100-Case/Davis TF310
May 24, 2017
77
8
8
North Dakota
Since there really isn't a lot of real world information on the Kubota Sidekick, I figured I would give a review on ours.

Its a 2018 Kubota Sidekick with the full hard cab, heat, tracks, winch, etc. Basically loaded to the nines as far as sidekicks go. The tracks were off our RTV X1100C, and fit perfectly.

What I like:
-Initial quality; it seems to be better built than most other side by sides out there at the moment, I have had a couple rangers and they were problem childs. Good power and ergonomics, but problematic drivetrain (axles, CV joints, wheel bearings). Also, the little things Kubota does - design of the engine air intake, the location of the radiators, prefilters and screens being used, design of their clutching apparatus, etc. help further distance it from the competition in this category. Oh and the 2 year/ 1000hr warranty

-Low end power; this thing is an absolute beast below 20mph, with the way the clutching is set up it does a good job getting the power to the ground in the low RPM range, mash the go pedal and it goes right to 42 mph then starts bouncing off the governor.

-Available accessories; the list is crazy what you can add to it, almost as extensive as the Polaris Ranger Line

-Ride; This surprised me the most, the ride is smooth, predictable, and composed, given the suspension travel specs, this is one area the sidekick surprised me

-The headlights; Ok, so ours was equipped with the optional LED headlights (total of 4x LED headlights up front) and they are BRIGHT! I normally add light bars to my past side by sides but for now I am holding off, they are that good

-The 4wd Setup; Still the good ol' manual lever with manual rear diff locker. Identical setup to the Diesel X series, Simple but a reliable and solid setup.

What I don't Like:

-The gas pedal; It is at an ackward position, making you basically step down on instead of into the gas pedal, paired with its focus on the low end clutching/gearing, things can get jumpy at low speeds. HOWEVER a fellow member brought to my attention that Kubota offers a replacement pedal now, so it is nice to see them listening to their customers as I know this pedal thing was a common complaint

-The 42 mph governor; they should have pushed it back to something like 50 IMO, the sidekick just wants to keep going at 42, but Kubota says NO

-The ergonomics; This is one area they are VERY behind everyone on, the interior needs to be revamped to get with the times. It is a simple but crude layout, and while some may enjoy the simplicity, a few more storage bins and cubbies would be a welcome update (take a note out of BRP and Polaris page)

-The CAB; ooooook, this is a love / hate thing. The biggest complaint with the cab is the seals and noise....we had all kinds of air gaps around the doors and especially the roofline. Dealer adjusted as best they could but ultimately it needs improvement on Kubota's end of things. Basically we concluded the seals weren't thick enough. I ordered different seals via the interweb and eventually redid most of them, it was weird how they would do so many things right with the cab, then totally crap the bed on other things. Also the noise level is up there compared to the competition, but with some of the seal work I added sound deadening matts throughout the cab and that helped out with that. We were offered a heck of the deal on the cab, and it is nice to have, REALLY nice now that its winter we have been using it for ice fishing - but it has its shortcomings. I would compare it to the older Ranger 800 cabs that Polaris used to sell....decent but they do leave room for improvement. The heater works well, keeps us nice and warm and comfy but the windshield wiper apparatus partially blocks the defrosters so a small center portion of the windshield is prone to fogging. With the heater you lose the glove box, further diminishing your already poor storage options. The cab isn't a total let down, it keeps you dry and warm. The doors and hinges are of nice quality (just that the seals suck) and the windows are nice and big, ours manually crank down easily. I won't own another side by side without a cab, and while this particular offering from Kubota is far from perfect, as long as one is aware of the issues I mentioned, you wont be disappointed.

IN SUMMARY:
For what it is - a utility side by side - its pretty nice. I feel maybe the biggest "problem" with the current sidekick is also its biggest perk. They based it off their HD X series diesel chassis, which I feel sort of limited them with what they could do with the machine, but its not necessarily a bad thing....what I mean is so while you do sacrifice ergonomics and some of the creature comforts / refinement that is being offered by the competition, you gain rock solid build quality that is wrapped up in a simple but effective heavy duty package which should provide many trouble free hours/miles of use.
 
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SidecarFlip

Banned

Equipment
M9000HDCC3, M9000HD, Kubota GS850 Sidekick
Oct 28, 2018
7,198
528
83
USA
My wife sure likes hers. No complaints other than it took 5 months to get a payment book:D
 

SidecarFlip

Banned

Equipment
M9000HDCC3, M9000HD, Kubota GS850 Sidekick
Oct 28, 2018
7,198
528
83
USA
No tracks here, just tires. None needed but a nice to have option. No doors or heater either/ One thing I don't like is in warm weather the radiator electric fan blows the hot air into the cab area. Other than that small complaint, it's just fine with us. Been using it for farm chores all winter. Hope it's as trouble free as our quad was and lasts as long too. Quad was a '94.
 

FUSE

Member

Equipment
B3350-B2650-Z125s-KX008-Bobcat MT100-Case/Davis TF310
May 24, 2017
77
8
8
North Dakota
I think you should consider about an awesome snow plow blade for that.
Funny you mention that, i just recently bolted on a KFI plow mount to it as i still had a 6ft KFI plow left over from my Ranger 900....the guy who bought the ranger didnt want it .....but with the 2 B50 cab tractors - 1 with a pusher and 1 with a front blower, as well as the X100C with a blower, not sure how much the plow will actually get used.
BUT the mount was cheap enough that at least i can put the unused plow back on something! If its anything like the x110c was with the tracks on, it will be a small bulldozer should it get put to use!
 

man00

Member
Jul 3, 2013
197
10
18
okla
Had ours for about five months, sadly we not used it as much as I thought we would. I can't say much bad about it other than what has been already mention.
I do not like how jumpy it is right off idle. Some feel like that may get better with time..Ours mainly just stays in our shop with battery tender on it. If it doesn't get used more than I will trade or sale it off later..But we both like it I feel like it is a solid made machine.