This summer, I had the chance to try the Arctic Cat ATVs, and now, I have the pleasure of giving you my review of the Alterra 700. This single-seater surprised me and didn’t leave me indifferent! Here is my analysis of it.
First observation, the clutch lever is of a smoothness that I have rarely seen on quads. It moves with disconcerting ease. Precise shifting isn’t always very easy initially, as there is a lack of reference points. However, once you get used to the Alterra 700, it becomes easier and smoother to select the right driving mode.
The controls station has a classic Arctic Cat display; it’s simple and efficient. The brake is located on the left-hand side. On the right-hand side, a small controller that looks like a bicycle lever is used to engage the four-wheel drive. It works well, even if it’s not common in the industry! The foot brake is on the right-hand side. The latter is a little high, and the footwell is a bit low, making it accessible when sitting on the vehicle.
On the other hand, current ergonomics do not allow you to press the brake with ease when standing. It’s challenging to pivot because the footwell is too low. It’s a detail that won’t affect many people, but I’m unfortunately one of those who enjoy riding standing up.
Driving the Alterra 700
The Alterra 700 is easy to handle. The Alterra driving is very precise, and that’s exactly what I’m looking for in a utility vehicle.
I must admit that the smooth-riding and comfort of this vehicle won me over. It’s easy to control and comfortable for long rides, which I didn’t expect from a work machine.
As for the suspension of the Alterra 700, it handles the trail well. It seemed softer than the Kodiak’s yet at the same time stiffer than the Yamaha Grizzly’s. It offers a good compromise. The travel of this suspension is exceptionally long compared to direct competition. With 10 inches of travel, I must say that the Alterra handles holes very well. The vehicle is comfortable and offers good stability on the trail.
With 11 inches of ground clearance, the ATV is high enough to avoid obstacles. This is a necessary feature for a utility vehicle, and here the job has been very well completed!
However, this ATV has a slight tendency to dive at higher speeds. Without being uncontrollable or excessive, it’s an aspect of the vehicle’s behaviour that should be kept in mind, especially if you want to negotiate curves aggressively. That said, this vehicle is fun to drive and easily handles our trails’ curves and hazards with flexibility. You can reduce diving by increasing the preload on the springs.
An important aspect is the ability to transport the necessities: tools, telecommunications, water, food, etc. Unfortunately, the Alterra 700 offers only a small trunk in the back. There’s a lack of storage space on this vehicle when it comes out of the factory. On the plus side, people who work with their vehicles will love the Alterra’s all-metal luggage racks. It’s straightforward to tie bags and accessories to it. Personally speaking, I think this vehicle could be inspired a bit by the competition and offer a trunk integrated into the front fender. The TRV’s central trunk would be an interesting option. However, if it results in the loss of quick access to the air filter, I prefer to do without it.
In terms of accessories, a wide variety of boxes, baskets, bags, and luggage rack extensions are available — all at a reasonable price. I am also astonished by the diversity on offer. I invite you to consult the accessory section on the manufacturer’s website. I’ll still give you an overview here below.
In terms of performance, the engine under trial on our machine is Textron’s 695CC single-cylinder engine. It has also been improved since the 2019 models. We have a simple and easy-to-maintain engine. As with all large-volume single-cylinder engines, this one offers good torque. However, like most vehicles in this class, it has less horsepower than American twin-cylinder engines.
Accelerations from stop to trail cruising speed are very enjoyable. High-speed recoveries are not spectacular, but they are still decent. Remember, this is a utility vehicle. As far as driving is concerned, you won’t break any speed records. However, I can’t complain because it reaches the same speed as the other vehicles in the category. Overall, it has enough power to be enjoyable and is very capable on the trail.
Let’s get to work!
As far as the work is concerned, I don’t have many complaints about this vehicle: the original tires are not perfect with a 4-ply construction. On the other hand, their traction surprised me: it’s superior to the AT tires found everywhere in the category. Even though the vehicle does not have the same towing capabilities as some vehicles in this class, it’s more than enough to tow firewood trailers or your moose in the fall. So, I have no difficulty recommending this vehicle to anyone who wants to move loaded trailers and work. The number of accessories available shows that the Alterra 700 is an excellent choice. Especially, if we want a vehicle adapted to our needs.
Maintenance of the Alterra 700
I notice one very important thing: the easy access to get to the oil filter. It may seem trivial, but a vehicle designed for ease of maintenance is a definite advantage for the quad rider wishing to perform maintenance on his vehicle. I have to say that if the access is easy, it’s easier to motivate oneself to perform this task. Although it may seem insignificant, it’s incredibly important for the life of your vehicle.
Also, the air filter is under the seat and is quite easy to access. This makes it easy to clean or replace.
It’s, however, a little more challenging to reach the oil probe. It’ll require the removal of a panel along with the footsteps. The addition of a small quick-access hatch would significantly improve this aspect.
In general, the vehicle is good in terms of ease of maintenance. I must mention the impressive tool bag that this vehicle is equipped with. I’ve never seen so many tools on a factory vehicle; hats off to Arctic-Cat!
Overall, the Alterra 700 offers good value. It may not be the most impressive ATV on the market, but its affordability is compelling. This machine is sure to make an interesting place in the equation for the consumer who wants to get more value for his money. It’s an excellent all-around vehicle. I loved riding this ATV for long periods.
I must thank the people at Arctic Cat for the trial of this vehicle.
This frame surprised me, and that’s why I invite you to try the Alterra experience. Comfort, driving precision, and performance will, perhaps, charm you!
Two quad riders happy with their Alterra experience.
To learn more about this model, visit the manufacturer's website by clicking here...