Kawasaki Mule SX Review: Unveiling the Compact Workhorse

The Kawasaki Mule SX stands as a notable entry in the utility vehicle market, succeeding the much-loved Mule 610 with its introduction back in 2016. Recognized for its small footprint and durable design, this UTV is engineered to cater to your on and off-road needs. Whether you’re tackling daily chores on the farm, adventuring through the trails, or simply in need of a reliable workhorse, the Mule SX offers a blend of functionality and practicality.

A Kawasaki Mule SX parked in a rugged terrain, surrounded by tall grass and rocky terrain, with a clear blue sky in the background

With an emphasis on utility over sport, the Mule SX focuses on the essentials that make a utility vehicle worth the investment. It’s known for ease of use, with features such as a bench seat for two and a compact, yet robust, 401cc engine designed to move you and your cargo efficiently through a variety of tasks. When considering a UTV, comfort and safety often top the list of necessities — something the Mule SX doesn’t overlook, as it provides a stable, accessible ride with the durability Kawasaki is known for.

Key Takeaways

  • The Kawasaki Mule SX is a practical and versatile UTV platform.
  • Essential features and durable design cater to a variety of utility tasks.
  • Offers stability and accessibility, prioritizing safety and user comfort.

Key Features and Design

Your adventure companion, the Kawasaki Mule SX, is designed to suit both your work and play needs with a fusion of rugged functionality and compact convenience.

Overall Design and Aesthetics

The Mule SX boasts a robust design tailored to both utility and comfort. With a wheelbase of 70 inches, you have a vehicle that’s apt for stability yet remains agile. The Mule’s dimensions—width: 52.6 inches, length: 106.7 inches, and height: 73.4 inches—make it a compact utility vehicle that can navigate through narrower paths with ease.

Colors play a part in the aesthetics, and the Mule SX is available in a variety of hues including Timberline Green and Dark Royal Red, giving you the option to choose one that suits your style or stands out in the environment you typically traverse.

Unique Selling Points

  • Compact Design: The Mule SX’s small footprint makes it an excellent choice for tight spaces without sacrificing cargo capacity.
  • Rugged Construction: Its sturdy build quality means the Mule can handle tough tasks and rough terrain.
  • Versatility: Ideal for a range of activities, this vehicle’s design caters both for those of you needing a reliable workhorse or a trail companion.

Remember, the Mule SX isn’t just about getting the job done; it’s about doing it with a reliable and aesthetically pleasing machine that reflects your needs and style.


In exploring the capabilities of the Kawasaki Mule SX, you’ll find that its engine, transmission, and handling are fine-tuned to provide a solid balance of power and maneuverability for various off-road conditions.

Engine Specifications

The heart of the Mule SX is a 401cc single-cylinder, 4-stroke engine that’s designed to deliver dependable low-end power. In terms of specifics, this sturdy engine can produce a max power output of about 26 horsepower. Whether you’re tackling mud, sand, or steep inclines, the torque of this engine ensures you have the strength to power through.

Transmission and Drivetrain

Your Mule SX utilizes a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which provides a smooth transition through power outputs to maintain efficiency and control. This utility vehicle can switch between 2WD and 4WD modes, allowing you to customize the drive to match the terrain—select 2WD for general, lighter tasks or switch to 4WD for more challenging environments.

Handling and Suspension

When it comes to handling, you’ll appreciate the Mule SX’s agility. The front suspension is a MacPherson strut type, offering durability and comfort, while the rear features a swingarm setup. This combination allows the vehicle to tackle various terrains with ease. The suspension system works in tandem with the drivetrain to ensure that even on rough paths, your ride remains as stable and controlled as possible.

The Mule SX also carries a substantial fuel capacity, which means more time riding and less time refueling, enabling you to stay focused on the task or trail ahead.

Utility and Functionality

The Kawasaki Mule SX is parked in a rugged outdoor setting, surrounded by tools and equipment. Its sturdy frame and practical design are highlighted, showcasing its utility and functionality

Your Kawasaki Mule SX is engineered for practicality and hard work, equipped to tackle demanding tasks with a focus on cargo management and towing capabilities.

Cargo and Towing

Your Mule SX’s cargo bed is designed for efficiency and durability, perfect for hauling supplies across a farm or job site. Here’s what you need to know about its cargo and towing:

  • Cargo Bed Capacity: Your Mule SX can handle a substantial load in its cargo bed, ideal for moving tools, feed, or equipment.
  • Towing Capacity: Equipped with a robust towing hitch, your Mule SX can pull a significant weight, making it a reliable workhorse for towing duties.

Seating and Storage

For comfort and storage, your Mule SX doesn’t fall short. Take a look at what it offers:

  • Seats: The seating in your Mule SX is designed for comfort, ensuring that you can work for hours without unnecessary fatigue.
  • Storage: Additional storage compartments allow you to keep tools and personal items secure and within reach.

You’ll also find a fuel gauge and an hour meter on the dashboard, keeping you informed on fuel levels and machine use, facilitating efficient task management and maintenance planning.

Comfort and Accessibility

The Kawasaki Mule SX sits parked on a flat, gravel surface, surrounded by wide, open spaces and easy access for loading and unloading

When considering the Kawasaki Mule SX for your off-road adventures or work tasks, you’ll want to know just how comfortable it is for long periods of use and how easily you can access its features and accessories.

Seating Comfort

Your Kawasaki Mule SX comes with bench seating that offers basic comfort for your ride. While it isn’t plush, it provides a stable platform that can support you during a long day’s work. If comfort is a high priority, you may consider adding aftermarket seat cushions or covers to enhance your riding experience.

Ease of Access

Getting in and out of your Mule SX is quite uncomplicated thanks to its well-designed cabin. You’ll find your reach to the steering wheel and controls is natural, and your line of sight to the dashboard is clear. The accessibility of added accessories like a roof or windshield may vary based on the model and the aftermarket products you choose, but typically they are designed for convenience and easy handling.

Safety and Durability

The Kawasaki Mule SX is parked in a rugged, outdoor setting. Its sturdy frame and safety features are highlighted, with a focus on its durability

When you’re considering the Kawasaki Mule SX, you’ll find that it’s designed with your protection and the vehicle’s longevity in mind. Let’s explore the specific safety features and the robust build quality that contribute to its dependable nature.

Safety Features

Your Kawasaki Mule SX comes equipped with essential safety components that aim to protect you during your ventures. Brakes are a critical part of this safety profile, and the Mule SX features drum brakes, widely appreciated for their durability and reliability in various conditions.

  • Seatbelts: A standard feature to keep you secured in your seat.
  • Speed limiter: To prevent overspeeding and maintain control.
  • Headlights and taillights: For visibility during low-light conditions.

Build Quality and Reliability

The build quality of your Mule SX reflects Kawasaki’s commitment to durability and reliability. It’s crafted to endure the wear and tear of off-road use and continue performing when you need it most.

  • Frame: A robust and sturdy frame supports the overall structure.
  • Engine: Known for a reliable 401cc engine that delivers consistent power output.
  • Parts: Components are designed for longevity, ensuring that replacement due to wear is minimized.

Kawasaki’s reputation for producing dependable vehicles is evident in the construction and materials used in the Mule SX, which results in a machine that you can count on for the long haul.

Specifications and Pricing

The Kawasaki Mule SX is parked in a rugged outdoor setting, surrounded by dirt and rocks. Its sleek design and powerful features are highlighted in the scene

Kawasaki’s Mule SX lineup offers you a range of options, tailoring to both your practical needs and budget considerations. Let’s look at the important details like dimensions, capacities, and pricing, that’ll guide your choice.

Dimensions and Capacities

  • Length: The Mule SX models typically showcase a compact stance, making them suitable for tight trails.
  • Width: At around 52.6 inches, these vehicles are narrow enough to navigate through most gates and confined spaces.
  • Height: The average height keeps a low profile while still comfortably accommodating passengers.
  • Ground Clearance: Expect ground clearances that allow for a smooth ride over rough terrain. However, specific figures can vary between models.
  • Fuel Capacity: With a 4.2-gallon fuel tank, you can count on extended excursions without frequent refueling stops.

Cost and Value

  • MSRP: Starting at $6,799, the Mule SX offers an affordable entry point into the utility vehicle market.
  • Fuel Injection: Higher trims such as the 4×4 FI model, priced at $8,199, come fuel injected, enhancing performance.
  • Affordability: Kawasaki provides you with a balanced mix of functionality and affordability, ensuring you get good value for your money.
  • Prices: Depending on the model and features, prices range from about $10,999 to $13,999. The base model is the most cost-effective, while the 4×4 XC SE sits at the higher end, offering more premium features.

Comparative Analysis

A Kawasaki Mule SX parked on a rugged trail, surrounded by rolling hills and dense forestry. The sun is setting, casting a warm glow over the scene

In this section, you’ll find a focused look at how the Kawasaki Mule SX stands up against its competitors, particularly alongside models like the Honda brand and the Mule 610, among other UTVs.

Competitor Comparison

When comparing the Kawasaki Mule SX to its UTV peers, several key differentiators are worth noting. Among them is the engine size. The Mule SX features a 401cc single-cylinder engine that delivers approximately 26 horsepower, which is quite efficient for low-end power and torque. This is particularly advantageous when tackling challenges such as mud, sand, and hills.

In comparison, the Honda Pioneer, for instance, comes with a 475cc engine available in their base model Pioneer 500, offering a smooth ride and good handling. However, the Honda might provide a different balance of power and efficiency, depending on the model.

If you’re considering the older Kawasaki Mule 610, you’ll find that it comes with a smaller engine than the newer Mule SX, and older models may not have the same technological enhancements of the more current Mule SX models.

Here is how the Mule SX stacks up against some common competitors in a concise table format:

FeatureKawasaki Mule SXHonda Pioneer SeriesKawasaki Mule 610
Engine Size401cc475cc (Pioneer 500)Smaller than Mule SX
Horsepower~26 hpVaries by modelLess than Mule SX
Towing CapacityComparable to peersGenerally higherSlightly less
Seating CapacityUp to 2Up to 2 for base modelUp to 2
Four-Wheel DriveNot standard on baseStandardAvailable
Terrain HandlingGood low-end powerSmooth ride and handleBasic
PriceStarts at $6,799Starts higherGenerally lower

Remember, each UTV has its strengths, and the right one for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Consider what terrain you’ll be navigating, the importance of towing capacity, and the value you place on engine size and power when making your choice.

Owner Experiences

In this section, you’ll discover what owners truly think about the Kawasaki Mule SX through their shared experiences and reviews.

User Reviews and Testimonials

When you’re considering the Mule SX, it’s the real-world insights from owners like you that can be the most illuminating.

  • Dependability: An owner recounted nearly two decades of reliable service from their Kawasaki Mule 3010, a predecessor to the SX model, emphasizing its dependability with tasks like hauling firewood and maintaining food plots. Even after all these years, the Mule continues to perform for their sister.
  • Performance: The Mule SX boasts a 401cc engine that captures owners’ appreciation for its torque and power, particularly noted for handling challenging terrains such as mud, sand, and steep inclines. However, some mention that the base SX model might struggle on steep, soft terrain without 4WD.
  • Usability: Owners find the SX model to be a robust workhorse capable of the dual roles of work and play. Its utility in tasks like hay hauling is complemented by its easy handling of multiple passengers, showcasing versatility.
  • Customization: The availability of accessories and models with slight elevations, like the XC with increased ground clearance, is a clear plus in reviews. This adaptability means you can modify the Mule SX to better suit your specific requirements or to enhance your experience.

Each review provides a glimpse into the wide array of functionalities the Kawasaki Mule SX serves. Whether it’s about making hard labor easier or adapting the vehicle for personal use, user reviews provide a wealth of information on what to expect from the Mule SX.

Additional Details

In this section, you’ll discover specifics about the Kawasaki Mule SX’s lighting and electrical features, along with the warranty and support options provided by the manufacturer.

Lighting and Electrical

Your Kawasaki Mule SX ensures that visibility is never an issue, even when working late or navigating in low-light conditions. The vehicle comes equipped with halogen headlights to light up the path ahead effectively. For some models, you might find LED headlights available, delivering a brighter and more energy-efficient lighting solution.

  • Lights: Halogen headlights standard, LED options on select models
  • Electrical: Dependable electrical system designed to handle additional accessories

Warranty and Support

When you purchase a Kawasaki Mule SX, you’re backed by a robust warranty program. Typically, Kawasaki offers a limited warranty that covers your vehicle for a specified period post-purchase, assuring you of support in the unlikely event of a defect.

  • Warranty: Limited warranty (check specific terms based on your model and purchase date)
  • Support: Access to a network of authorized service centers and customer service teams


Key Features

  • Engine Performance: Your Kawasaki Mule SX is equipped with a 401cc single-cylinder engine, commendable for its low-end torque and approximately 26 horsepower output. It performs admirably across various terrains.
  • Versatility: Whether tackling mud, sand, or steep inclines, this model demonstrates versatility. However, take note that the base SX model may struggle on steep, soft terrain without 4WD.


The Kawasaki Mule SX stands as a dependable utility vehicle. With its strength in hauling and general farm work, it has proven to be a reliable workhorse. If you value consistency and durability in your off-road tasks, your Mule SX is an ample choice. Keeping in mind its capabilities and limitations will help you maximize its potential.

Final Thoughts

While it might not be the flashiest option, the Mule SX’s straightforward, rugged design is tailored for practicality. If your priorities include a steadfast vehicle for your outdoor work or mild adventures, the Mule SX caters to such needs. Should you expect to navigate particularly challenging terrains, consider your options carefully in terms of models and their 4WD capabilities. Your satisfaction with the Mule SX will largely depend on aligning its features with your specific utility requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating through the terrain of information on the Kawasaki Mule SX can be challenging. Below you’ll find concise answers to some of the most common questions that potential buyers and owners often ask.

What are some known issues with the Kawasaki Mule SX?

The Kawasaki Mule SX may encounter difficulties in steep, soft terrain due to the base model’s lack of 4WD. The rear-wheel-drive may limit its capabilities in challenging off-road conditions.

How does the Kawasaki Mule SX perform based on user reviews?

User reviews generally note the Mule SX as being a reliable workhorse, notably useful for tasks like hauling trailers of firewood and gardening. Its low-end power and torque are praised for handling mud, sand, and hills effectively.

What is the average price range for a new Kawasaki Mule SX?

Prices for a new Kawasaki Mule SX typically start at around $6,799 for the base trim. Upgraded models with features like 4WD and FI can raise the price to approximately $8,199 and higher.

Are there any reliable pre-owned Kawasaki Mule SX 4x4s for sale?

While specific listings vary, the Mule SX is known for its durability. With a history of long-term use in user reviews, it’s likely that you can find dependable pre-owned Mule SX 4x4s on the market.

How does the Kawasaki Mule SX compare in terms of reliability to other vehicles in its class?

The Kawasaki Mule SX is frequently described as very dependable, with a reputation for longevity and durability, aligning it favorably with other utility vehicles in its class.

What is the top speed of the Kawasaki Mule SX?

The top speed of the Kawasaki Mule SX is not typically highlighted in reviews, as it is designed more for utility and off-road capability rather than high speed.


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