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By: CJ Rena Johnson

John Deere

John Deere Gator XUV 825i 4x4

John Deere XUV 825i 4x4
John Deere XUV 825i 4x4

Awesome hill climbs and other obstacles on the test trail.
Awesome hill climbs and other obstacles on the test trail.

John Deere XUV 825i 4x4 Realtree Hardwoods HD Camo
John Deere XUV 825i 4x4 Realtree Hardwoods HD Camo

John Deere met the challenge of Carolina Adventure World in Winnsboro, SC by bringing their 2011 Product Media presentation there to test the limits of all their new side-x-sides. One of my favorite models at this event was the 825i 4x4. The representatives stated it was the “fastest, most powerful Gator yet. ” Of course, that comment “peaked” my interest. Therefore, when the testing began, I headed straight to this machine and strapped myself in for a great test run.

The staff at Carolina Adventure World had laid out a very extensive trail pattern for us to follow. Unlike a lot of testing courses, there was no limit to the full-size obstacles and challenges on this one. We had hill climbs, rock crawling, water crossings, sharp curves, and long straight-of-ways where we could really open up the throttle.

Awesome Power

The 50 HP, 812cc engine left very little to be desired as we took off down the trail. It did not take long at all to find a place to open it up to its top speed of 44 MPH. I was impressed with this speed out of such a workhorse of a machine. Its three cylinder, 4-cycle automatic engine has the most displacement and power in its class. It also has excellent low-end torque that kicked in as we came to the first steep hill climb. It would also come in handy for towing and hauling. The reps later explained how the advanced clutching and use of a tighter belt was part of what provided the faster acceleration, along with the two-range CVT transmission, which also helps with the low-speed towing. One aspect that I appreciated, even though we did not need it at this particular test drive, was the electronic fuel injection which provides better throttle response and starting in cold weather and in higher altitudes.

Rough Terrain

Conquering rough terrain is something you will need to be able to do whether you are working on the farm or cutting it up out on the trail. It is good to know that the 825i provides on-demand 4-wheel drive at the flip of a switch. The 825i also has the option of a lockable rear differential so the rear drive wheels work together for any spots where 4-wheel needs just a little extra boost. The independent double-wishbone long-travel suspension combined with 11-inches of ground clearance made light work of all the obstacles we encountered on this extensive trail system. This combination also makes for a more comfortable ride whether on the trail or on the farm. The full clutch enclosure also allowed us to go through all the water crossings without any problem. The representative said they recommend avoiding water deeper than 22 inches.


One of the most common concerns for side-x-sides is the instability factor. John Deere employs a solid core steel sway bar and double-ball drop-link to help insure more stability, reduce body lean and provide more durability in all areas whether at work or at play. The 825i is wide enough (62 inches), long enough (119 inches) and has a low enough center of gravity, to produce one of the most stable vehicles in its class.


While playing out on the trail on one of the new side-x-sides is an awesome adventure in itself, the workability aspect is still one of the main considerations of most UTV/XUV buyers. Keeping true to the John Deere reputation of top-of-the-line work vehicles, they did not miss the mark on this one, either.

The John Deere 825i 4x4 engine is built with heavy-duty components such as an aluminum head, thrust bearings and a cast block with painted interior. To increase endurance under twisting and turning out on the trail or carrying heavy loads, the 825i frame is hydro-formed and the A-Arms are of cast iron to withstand the jackhammer abuse of the most severe terrain. As added protection, the 825i comes equipped with a full-steel skid plate guard. The body panels are made of scratch resistant engineered polymer. These panels are paintable so the John Deere XUV can keep looking as good as it runs.


What is a work vehicle without great cargo capabilities? John Deere knows this and acts on it with one of the largest cargo boxes in its class at 45 inches in length, 52 inches wide and 12 inches deep with a 1,000 lb capacity. Backing this up is a 1400 lb payload capacity and a 1500 lb towing capacity. The cargo box also has 20 tie-down points to make securing the load easier. You can also quickly convert the cargo area to a flatbed area to haul larger items. The pick-up style tailgate is easy to use without all the latches and guards. The steel-reinforced bed and body guard provide strength and durability for the life of the vehicle. It also has gas-assist to make loading and unloading faster and easier. The cargo bed options include a factory spray-in bed liner and power lift.

One of the things I liked best about the cargo box is the exclusive Quick-Clamp system, which makes adding the attachments so quick and easy.


Honda’s Big Red, Kawasaki’s Mule 4010 4x4, Yamaha’s Rhino 700 and Polaris Ranger 800 are some of the top competitors to the John Deere 825i.

A few of the similarities are that all five of these models include automatic transmissions with liquid-cooled engines, spark-arresting mufflers, electronic fuel-injected fuel pumps and all are four-wheel or all-wheel drive.

Some of the most significant differences include such aspects as John Deere is the only one in this grouping that has 3 cylinders, the others have either one or two. The engine displacement of the John Deere 825i is 812cc. The Rhino has a 686cc engine. The Ranger’s cubic centimeters total 760. The Big Red’s displacement is 675cc and the Mule’s is 617cc.

The fuel capacity for the John Deere is 5.3 gallons, the Big Red fuel capacity is 7.9 gallons, the Mule’s capacity is 6.2 gallons, the Rhino’s capacity is 7.9 gallons and the Ranger is 9 gallons. The front suspension of each of these models varies as follows: John Deere 8 inches, Rhino 7.3 inches, Ranger 9.6 inches, Big Red 5.9 inches and the Mule with 3.9 inches. The rear suspension travel is 9 inches on the John Deere, 7.3 inches on the Rhino, 9 inches on the Ranger, 7.1 inches on the Big Red and 2.8 inches on the Mule. The turning radius of the John Deere 825i is right in the center of its competitors at 12.4 feet, with the Big Red topping the list with 13.8 feet and the Mule coming in with just 11.2 feet. The ground clearance varies as well with the John Deere having 11 inches of clearance, the Rhino with 12.1 inches, the Ranger with 12 inches, the Big Red with 10.3 inches and the Mule with only 6.9 inches. The overall dimensions of the 5 models are John Deere with 119 inches in length, 62 inches wide, 75 inches high and with a 79 inch wheelbase. The Rhino is 113.6 inches in length, 56.6 inches wide, 73 inches high and with a 75.2 inches wheelbase. The Ranger is 114 inches in length, 60 inches wide, 76 inches tall and with a wheelbase of 76 inches. The Honda Big Red is 114.7 inches in length, 64 inches wide, 76.9 inches tall and with a wheelbase 75.7 inches. The Mule comes in with 118.3 inches in length, 62 inches wide, 75.8 inches high and with a wheelbase of 73.6 inches.

Media Ride in Winnsboro SC at Carolina Adventure World.

As a final consideration, let us look at the cargo boxes of each model. The John Deere 825i has cargo box dimensions of 45 inches long, 52 inches wide and 12 inches deep. The Polaris Ranger cargo box dimensions are 36.5 inches long, 54 inches wide and 11.5 inches deep. Honda’s Big Red cargo box dimensions are 33 inches long, 53 inches wide, 12 inches deep. The Kawasaki Mule cargo box dimensions are 46.3 inches long, 51.6 inches wide and 11.3 inches deep.


I believe the John Deere 825i is one of the best choices on the market for anyone looking for a good crossover vehicle they can use on the farm and out on the trail. I often say that I would recommend a certain vehicle if you plan to do a bit more work than play or another one if you plan to play more than work. However, I have to say the John Deere XUV 825i 4x4 is also an excellent choice for anyone who does more of either one than the other.



  • Type: 4-cycle gasoline with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Valve: Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC)
  • Horsepower: 50 (37 kw) @ 6000 rpm
  • Displacement: 812 cc
  • Maximum torque, ft – lb: 47 (64) @ 3200 rpm
  • Ignition Type: Solid State 12V
  • Lubrication: Full Pressure
  • Oil Filter: Screw on Filter
  • Cooling System: Liquid
  • Muffler: Spark-arresting
  • Battery: 340CCA
  • Alternator: 75 amp @6000 rpm, regulated
  • Headlights: Two 27 watt halogen
John Deere 825i Cup Holders
John Deere 825i Cup Holders

Fuel System

  • Capacity: 5.3 gallons (20.1 liters)
  • Consumption (half load at avg. speed) U.S. gal/hr: 0.7 (2.65)
  • Fuel Pump: Electric


  • System Type: On-demand true four-wheel drive
  • Front Differential: Auto-locking (on/off rocker switch)
  • Rear Differential: Positive locking, mechanically actuated


  • Type: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
  • Drive Belt: Spun top cog, 31 mm wide
  • Ground Speed, mph: Hi Forward (0-44), Lo Forward (0-27), Reverse (0-32)
  • Transaxle: Two speed, oil bath
  • Gear Selection: Forward (hi-lo) Neutral, Reverse
  • Overall Reduction Ratio: Low (86.8488:1), High (42.1430:1), Reverse (75.9333:1)
  • Brakes: Front/rear hydraulic disk
  • Park Brake: driveline mechanical disk, hand operated
  • Bearings: Sealed, double-row ball
  • Axle: 27 mm dia. forged CV-Shaft with Double Offset Joint

Suspension and Steering

  • Suspension, Front: Fully Independent Dual A-Arm with adjustable coils
  • Front Suspension, Travel: 8 inches (203 mm)
  • Suspension, Rear: Fully Independent Dual A-Arm with adjustable coils and sway bar
  • Rear Suspension, Travel: 9 inches (229 mm)
  • Steering: Rack and Pinion
  • Turning Radius: 12.4 feet (3.8 meters)


  • Front: Standard 2-inch receiver
  • Rear: Standard 2-inch receiver

Occupant Protective Systems

  • Tubular Overhead Structure: 1.75 inch (44.4mm) Steel Tube
  • Passenger Grab Handles: Front OPS post, front dash
  • Seat Belts: 3-point

Ground Pressure (Max.)

  • With 200 lb Operator: 14 psi (0.98 kg/cm2)
  • Fully Loaded Vehicle: 14 psi (0.98 kg/cm2)

Ground Clearance

  • Ground Clearance: 11 inches (267 mm)
  • Under Foot Platform: 12.25 inches (311 mm)


  • Length: 119 inches (3021 mm)
  • Width:  62 inches (1574 mm)
  • Wheelbase: 79 inches (2007 mm)
  • Height: 75 inches (1903 mm)
  • Weight (including fuel/fluids): 1640 lbs (744 kg)
  • Seating Capacity: 2
  • Seat Type: Professional high back, bucket (tilt forward)
  • Towing Capacity: 1500 lbs (680 kg)
  • Payload Capacity: 1400 lbs (635 kg)
  • Sound Rating (at operator’s ear): 89.4 dB(A)
John Deere Warn Winch System
John Deere Warn Winch System

Cargo Box

  • Material: Polypropylene side panels and tailgate, steel floor and load guard
  • Dimensions: 45L x 52W x 12D (in), 1143L x 1320W x 304.8D (mm)
  • Volume: 16.4 cu. Ft (0.46 m3)
  • Weight Capacity: 1000 lb (454 kg)
  • Dump: Manual with lift assist shock (factory installed power lift option)
  • Tailgate:  Hinged at bottom, removable


  • Front: 26x9-12 Ancla M-T (Extreme Terrain) 25x9-12 Terrahawk AT (All Terrain)
  • Rear: 26x11-12 Ancla M-T (Extreme Terrain) 25x9-12 Terrahawk AT (All Terrain)
  • Available Tread: Ancla M-T (Extreme Terrain), Terrahawk AT (All Terrain) Maxxis BigHorn
  • Types: 2.0 Radials (Extreme Terrain) Front: 27x9-14, Rear: 27x11-14

Color Options

  • John Deere Green and Yellow
  • Olive and Black

Pricing for the John Deere XUV 825i 4x4 starts at $11,199.00 (USD)

For more information about the John Deere XUVs please go to their official website at

Remember anytime you are out on the trail, to always TREAD LIGHTLY and leave the trail better than you found it.

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