Kawasaki Mule 4010 Review For 2023 (All The Good & Bad)

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If you haven’t heard, the line of Kawasaki Mules are as durable and reliable as you’ll find in the utility vehicles industry.

While a review of the Mule SX will make those of you who buy into the whole “size doesn’t matter” argument nod your head in agreement, there’s another model that will as well.

That model is the Mule 4010, which is only slightly bigger but also a good bit more powerful than Kawsaki’s smallest utility vehicle.

This model will outwork just about any in its class, but there are both some good and bad  qualities you’ll want to consider before making one your own.

This review of the Mule 4010 will detail all of its strengths and weaknesses, including the following:

  • Build quality
  • Working ability
  • Overall performance
  • Key features and accessories
  • What owners like
  • What owners dislike

About the Kawasaki Mule 4010 Models

The Kawasaki Mule 4010 models are small and compact, meant to be working vehicles and not offering much blend of recreational ability.

If you’re looking for a model that offers more of a mix of recreational appeal plus working ability, check out a review of the Mule Pro MX or the Mule Pro FXT models.

The Mule 4010 models were trimmed from five separate models to three models for 2023.

There are two two-seater models, and one four-seater model available for purchase new this year:

  • Kawasaki Mule 4010 4×4 ($11,499)
  • Kawasaki Mule 4010 4×4 FE ($11,699) fleet edition
  • Kawasaki Mule 4010 Trans 4×4 ($12,799) four seater

The Mule 4010 4×4 and FE models are both two-seaters, with the FE being the “Fleet Edition”.

The Mule 4010 Trans 4×4 is the only four-seater available in the line for this year.

The Fleet Edition is only a couple hundred bucks more expensive than the base model, and offers a few accessories such as:

  • Full-length plastic roof
  • High visibility neon orange seat belts
  • White front plastics
  • Horn
  • Universally keyed ignition

But there are plenty more Kawasaki Mule accessories that can be added to this model.

The Mule 4010 Trans 4×4 offers rear row seating that can be folded upward, with the ability to extend the rear bed over top of the seating once folded up.

Build Quality & Performance


The Mule 4010 models are powered by a 617cc twin-cylinder engine that is known for being nice and quiet.

This engine is loaded with low-end torque, giving this small model some pretty impressive pulling abilities and making it a real workhorse (if you’re allowed to call a Mule that name).

But the power is all focused in these low-range RPM levels, and quickly falls off when the RPMs get up there.

As such, this model can only hit 25 mph and offers little in the way of recreational appeal.

Up until 2021, some Mule 4010 models used a carburetor to provide the fuel delivery, but in 2021 all moved to fuel injection (DFI).

Engine TypeFour-Stroke, OHV
Cylinder ArrangementTwin-Cylinder
Bore x Stroke Ratio76 x 68 mm
Compression Ratio10.3:1
Fuel SystemDFI
Engine CoolingLiquid Cooling
Fuel Capacity6.3 Gallons


Each Mule 4010 model offers selectable 2WD/4WD via a shifter on the dash, along with dual mode rear differential lock for added traction when needed.

The dual mode rear differential lock simply means that you have the option of driving with it locked or unlocked.

Having the option to unlock the rear differential essentially gives you a “turf mode”, which is really beneficial in that you won’t tear up the yard or leave tire marks on the pavement or driveway when turning sharply.

The fully automatic CVT transmission makes for smooth shifts, and drive shafts send power to the Mule’s wheels.

You’ll notice there’s no Park setting within the transmission, which is common among Kawasaki machines as putting a UTV in Park over an extended period will wear on the transmission.

But there’s a parking brake that serves the same purpose as Park and won’t wear on the transmission, which you’ll need to use to prevent the model from rolling when stopped.

This model doesn’t offer an engine braking system, so you’ll need to be aware when heading downhill to prevent free rolling.

Drive SystemSelectable 2WD/4WD w/ rear differential lock
Transmission TypeAutomatic CVT
GearshiftH – L – N – R


The Mule 4010 models are all equipped with a Macpherson Strut style suspension in the front and a DeDion solid axle in the rear.

The suspension is designed to haul heavy loads across standard terrain, so if you’re riding off-road in anything worse than easy terrain, the ride is going to be pretty bumpy.

But throw a heavy load in the rear bed and the suspension will actually smoothen out just a bit so you’re not jolted around quite as much.

The suspension travel is very minimal in all models, and ground clearance is between 6.9 and 7.1 inches depending upon the model.

The lack of ground clearance makes it pretty easy to bottom out in these vehicles, so if you drive rutted paths or trails you’ll need to be careful.

4010 4×44010 Trans4x4
Turning Radius11.2 ft12.8 ft
Wheelbase73.6 in73.6 in
Max Ground Clearance6.9 in7.1 in
Front SuspensionMacpherson StrutMacpherson Strut
Rear SuspensionDeDion solid axleDeDion solid axle
Front Travel3.9 in3.9 in
Rear Travel2.8 in2.8 in

Tires & Brakes

The 23-inch Duro stock tires in both front and back offer good stability and traction for the type of terrain they’re meant for, which is flatter and easier.

If you get them off-road in soft terrain like mud or sand, they’ll run into problems with traction, especially on steep inclines.

The hydraulic drum brakes are solid, able to stop the Mule quickly even with a heavy load in the rear bed.

Front Tires23 x 11-10 Duro
Rear Tires23 x 11-10 Duro
WheelsStamped steel
Front Brake TypeDrum
Rear Brake TypeDrum

Dimensions & Capacities

The Mule 4010 is right behind the Mule SX as one of the most compact UTVs you’ll find.

But this makes them a great fit for tight trails or wooded areas, as long as you don’t mind the bumpy ride.

This small size also makes them incredibly easy to handle and control, with inclusion of power steering making the steering so light you can finger steer.

While these models are compact, there is enough room in the cab so that your legs aren’t cramped in the front or back seats and you’re not shoulder to shoulder with your passengers.

And their impressive low-end torque means their towing capacity is solid as 1,200 lbs, so you can easily pull downed trees or trailers full of gravel, bricks, etc.

The oversized rear cargo bed also gives you the option to haul up to 800 lbs.

4010 4×44010 Trans4x4
Length116.7 in128.5 in
Width62 in58.5 in
Height75.8 in75.8 in
Curb Weight1,448 lbs1,588 lbs
Towing Capacity 1,200 lbs1,200 lbs
Cargo Bed Capacity800 lbs800/400 lbs

Features & Accessories

When it comes to features and accessories, the Mule 4010 is about as basic as it gets.

But there are a few things to highlight:

  • The dash is very basic with no digital display, speedometer gauge, or anything of the sort.
  • All that you’ll find on the dash are four separate warning lights for various engine-related components, a digital hour meter in the center dash, and above that a simple fuel gauge.
  • There is a good-sized storage cubby under the front hood.
  • If you install a windshield for your Mule, you’ll want to b e sure it’s one of the lower-hinged windshields that flips up from the bottom or it’ll be tough to access and open the front hood.
  • The rear dump bed is longer and spacier than most, and makes use of old-school over-center latches that help ensure the bed doesn’t to up when it shouldn’t.

What Owners Like:

  • Built with high-quality parts and components that you’ll rarely need to repair.
  • Even the plastics are tough enough to withstand most abuse and potential scratching.
  • Good storage space with a cubby under the front hood that’s sealed and waterproof.
  • Twin glove compartments on either side are unique and convenient.
  • Twin cup holders on the dash for your drinks.
  • Good leg room and overall cab space for a compact model.
  • The engine is as bulletproof as they come, offering excellent low-end torque for working.
  • You can put these models in “turf mode”, so no tire marks or tearing up the grass.
  • Rear cargo bed is one of the biggest in the industry.
  • Mule 4010 Trans models offer fold-up rear seating and extendable beds.
  • Diamond plated, powder-coated steel cargo bed holds up very well and doesn’t bubble or crack like some models with plastic bed liners.
  • Reasonably priced for a Kawasaki machine.

What Owners Dislike

  • Can only hit 25 mph and offer very limited recreational appeal.
  • Suspension makes for a bumpy and jolting ride when off-road without a load in the rear cargo bed.
  • Will run out of traction in steep, soft terrain.
  • Seat belt safety feature won’t enable the Mule to go over 6 mph without the driver’s belt buckled, making stop-and-go working tasks inconvenient.
  • The rear cargo bed holds up to 400 or 800 lbs, but the gas assist isn’t much of an actual assist with heavy loads so you’ll have a hard time tilting the bed up on your own.
  • Lack of ground clearance leads to frequent bottoming out or getting stuck on rutted paths.
  • Ignition coils in these models are known to fail more often than maybe they should.
  • Chattering noise from the front differential is common and you’ll need to take some troubleshooting steps when this happens.

For more on these drawbacks and how to overcome them, read up on this guide to the Mule 4010’s most common problems.

Final Word

The Mule 4010 models very simple, basic machines that will just get the job done.

They’re not going to offer much in the way of fun when driving them, but they’ll rarely let you down while working.

For competitive models that will offer a little more fun, check out a review of the CFMoto UForce 600 or a rundown on the Honda Pioneer 520 before you hit the road.