No doubt the 610 is a major upgrade from the old 500 series, but the 3010 has a motor with a good bit more displacement and power over the 610, 401cc single cylindervs. 617cc V-twin. You go up in size and weight also with the 3010 over the 610, but if you don't need the smaller vehicle, I say go with the 3010. It seems that there are more accessories for the 3010 over the 610 as well. Try looking at www.uvcountry.com for ideas on accessories or the different thigns you can do with the 3000 series. I am not endorsing purchasing anything from them, but you can get an idea of all the things you can do with the 3010.
They are rock solid vehicles, and other than a governed 25 mph top speed and limited suspension travel, the only major complaint for serious off-roading I personally have, is the lack of a lockable front differential.
My 3010 Mule is a reliable workhorse. Its four years old and other than maintenance, I've had zero downtime. As a hunting vehicle I'd rate it as decent, as a farm, ranch, or construction work vehicle, excellent. Lack of articulation in its suspension system is its most serious failing, crossing ditches, crawling over logs and such are not easily within its capability. If needing a UTV that will handle more of the rough stuff, you might want to consider a Yamaha Rhino. I was amazed how much better a Rhino performs off-road than my Mule. Rhino's are louder, vibrate quite a bit due to single cylinder engine, have a much smaller bed so they won't hold as much gear.
Main reason for the differences demented listed are the Rhino is ATV based and the Mule is not. I would describe the Mule as a work vehicle with some recreational abilities, and the Rhino as a recreation vehicle with some work abilities. The off road ride and acceleration of the Rhino is surprising if you are accustomed to the Mule as I was until I sold the Mule and bought a Rhino.
Still I wish Yamaha would incorporate some of the Mule features, like under hood storage, & an unlocking rear end.
Markc, If Yamaha did what you suggest plus add another cyllinder, then it'd be the perfect sideXside. I'm waiting to see about the new Kawasaki Teryx. It may incorporate the best of the Mule and the Rhino.
demented, while I am very happy with my Rhino, if I had $ for a new SideXSide right now, I would take a serious look at the new Teryx. V-twin power, and hopefully the same reliability the Mule's have had for many years, but with the acceleration and suspension they don't have. I bet it is going to be one very nice, and well selling machine.
Now on the other hand if you see that THING Honda just came out with for their new SideXSide, argghhh! Wow, what were they thinking?
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