John Deere claims its XUV 865R Gator is the most comfortable cross-over utility vehicle ever produced by the company. Powered by the same 23hp diesel engine as its established twin, the XUV 865M, the key difference is that the newcomer benefits from a ‘luxurious’ cab. But is it really a step up from a more typical diesel UTV comfort wise?

Let us start with that simple question. Is the XUV 865R the most comfortable Gator ever produced by John Deere? In a nutshell, yes, and here is why. For a start, the diesel engine’s noise and vibration is really well masked from the operator by the ‘automotive’ style cab. Although a ‘proper’ cab is offered on the less expensive XUV 865M, with the same wind down door windows and opening front screen as fitted to its more expensive sibling, the latter has upgrades such as a thick roof lining, covered ‘A’ pillars and soft fabric covered seats. This may not sound like a big deal, but it all adds up.

This is further helped by the standard heater and air-conditioning. It proved easy to get the in-cab temperature right, the cooling and ventilation system effectively keeping the screen and side windows mist free in damp and dreary conditions. Early morning runs to check around ewes and lambs proved cosy and condensation free. When left standing in warm sun, the cab could be quickly cooled by the air conditioning. Just opening the door windows was equally effective, but in really hot weather there is little doubting the aircon will be up to the job.

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