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Comparing the RTV1120D utility vehicle to the John Deere® Gator XUV865M


Thinking about a new utility vehicle?

For most of us considering the purchase of a new utility vehicle, the Kubota name will come immediately to mind. And that’s not an idle boast – Kubota RTVs have been the best-selling diesel utility vehicles in North America since 2004, according to Power Products North American Utility Vehicle Marketing Reports. So, clearly, a lot of folks are choosing Kubota.

But we aren’t the only utility vehicle on the market. There are numerous available options for consumers, which is a good thing. Choice results in competition, and competition leads to excellence. But with all the RTVs buzzing around out there, why is it that consumers prefer Kubota? (At least, over the past 15 years.) The answer is a two-parter: features, and performance.

An overview of our X Series.

Kubota's RTV-X series is setting new standards of comfort for utility vehicles. But that doesn’t stop these vehicles from being exceptionally powerful, with plenty of cargo capacity and impressive towing capacity. Whether you’re looking for power or comfort, the RTV-X Series is the option for you.

A simple comparison shows the Kubota advantage.

Let’s do a side-by-side of the important features you probably want from your vehicle. To do this, let’s take a look at our RTVX1120, America’s best-selling diesel utility vehicle, and the John Deere® Gator, XUV865M. They’re similar in a number of ways, but they also have a number of important differences.

About the RTV1120

This model is a step up in power, comfort, convenience and style – with a rugged 24.8HP Kubota D1105 3-cylinder diesel engine, exclusive Variable Hydro Transmission (VHT-X), blue-tinted halogen headlights and more. Available in Orange or Realtree AP Camo. This guy was born to work.

About the Gator.

John Deere introduced the Gator 4x4 lineup in 2007, designed for both recreational and commercial use. They run on either gasoline or diesel. Their XUV865M is one of their newer utility vehicle models.

Here are a few things to consider before you buy:

Both the Kubota and the John Deere run on a 4-cycle diesel engine, but the Kubota provides 1123 cc of displacement, while the Gator offers only 854.

The Gator’s engine provides 22.8 horsepower. The Kubota powers 24.8 horsepower. Advantage, Kubota.

The Gator provides 36.9 ft/lbs of torque. The Kubota works much harder, delivering 51.4 ft/lbs.

The Gator has a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with clutch enclosure. The Kubota features an advanced Variable Hydro-VHT Plus transmission. No belts!

The Gator’s steering is Electric Power Steering (EPS), while the Kubota delivers Hydrostatic Power Steering with a manual tilt feature.

The Kubota’s fuel tank is 7.9 gallons. The Gator’s is just 7. Meaning, the Kubota lets you work longer without refueling!

Our payload capacity is 1510 lbs, versus 1400 for the Gator.

The Kubota is a heavier machine, at 2016 lbs, versus the Gator at 1650. You’ll appreciate the additional weight and the stability it provides.

Our brakes are sealed hydraulic Multi-wet discs with dynamic transmission braking, while the Gator’s are not sealed discs and engine braking above 3 mph.

So, after all that, do you still need a reason to choose Kubota?

Barry Ashenhurst, writing for, had this to say:

“We like Kubota gear. It’s solid, well-engineered and well made. What you see is what you get with this brand, which never disappoints us with sloppy assembly or inadequate performance. It’s not the fastest utility vehicle in the shed, true, but the people who buy it are notorious sticklers for reliability, value for money, and care nothing for top speed.

You get what you pay for in this business and Kubota offers a lot for the money. A hydrostatic transmission and hydrostatic power steering for example, along with a highly rigid steel frame, under-seat storage, independent suspension front and rear and heavy-duty skid plates.”

Thanks, Barry, we couldn’t agree more.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about Kubota’s mid-sized to full-sized utility vehicles, contact your authorized Kubota dealer. They’re ready to help you find the machine that best suits your needs.

Get to know Kubota:

“For Earth, For Life” is much more than Kubota's brand statement. It's a mission we dedicate ourselves as a global company. We are committed to engineering excellence so that our customers can focus on planting, feeding, building and caring for our world. We welcome you to explore and learn more about Kubota