Kawasaki Mule Reviews For 2024 (The Good & Bad)

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If you’re in the market for a UTV and have settled on buying a model with the backing of a big name and many years of credibility, Kawasaki Mules have likely made your list.

While Kawasaki’s line of Mules have been around for many years and earned their reputation as some of the best UTVs for the money in the industry, they don’t come without their own drawbacks and limitations.

In this full review of the Kawasaki Mule models as a whole, we’ll explore both the good and bad with these models as expressed by owners, including detailing the following:

  • Brief comparison of current Mule models and prices
  • Build quality
  • Performance
  • Design and durability
  • What owners love
  • What owners don’t love

Kawasaki Mule Models & Costs

Kawasaki currently offers eleven main Mule models in their 2024 lineup, many of them coming in a variety of different trim levels.

Even some of the highest trim levels don’t include much in the way of accessories, so be sure and check out the eleven most popular Kawasaki Mule accessories for 2024 to help transform your Mule into a stud of a vehicle.

You can see where Kawasaki Mules rank on the list of best used side-by-sides for sale under $5,000 these days.

Two SeatersStarting MSRP
Mule SX$7,799
Mule 4000/4010$10,199
Mule Pro MX$13,999
Three Seaters
Mule Pro FX$14,999
Mule Pro FX 1000$18,299
Mule Pro FXR$17,299
Mule Pro FXR 1000$16,599
2/4 Seaters
Mule 4010 Trans 4×4$12,799
3/6 Seaters
Mule Pro FXT$16,399
Mule Pro FXT 1000$20,299
Mule Pro DXT Diesel$18,999

Standard Mule Models

The standard Kawasaki Mules, including the Mule SX and Mule 4000/4010 models, are Kawasaki’s most compact models and are all two-seaters aside from the Mule 4010 Trans 4×4.

These models are basic and strictly utility-focused, with enough power to perform working tasks and do some casual riding, but offer very little in the way of recreational appeal.

None of them top 25 mph, and most of them offer limited ground clearance and suspension travel so are not ideal for trail riding.

This review of the Mule SX shows it to make an excellent cheap UTV option, but a review of the Mule 4010 proves it to be far and away the more capable working vehicle.

While there are whispers of Kawasaki introducing an electric utility vehicle at some point, that hasn’t happened just yet.

Mule Pro FX/FXT Models

The Mule Pro FX models are the newest line of Mules, and are of the utility/recreational blend that you’ll find in most other UTVs these days.

While they come with more accessories, owners still tend to add any number of these most popular accessories for the Kawasaki Mule Pro FXT to really enhance them.

Aside from the Mule Pro MX two-seater, the rest of the Pro FX models are either three seaters or three-to-six seaters.

The three-to-six seaters offer backrow seating and a smaller cargo bed, but the third row seating folds down and converts to additional cargo bed space when needed (the “T” in FXT stands for “transformer”.)

These models offer much more in the way of performance than the standard models do, with more engine power and off-roading capabilities making them more appealing to drive recreationally.

They reach speeds between 45-50 mph, and are outfitted with more aggressive suspension systems and tires that make them good trail options.

Check out this full review of the Mule Pro MX and full review of the Mule Pro FXT Ranch Edition for more detail.

Kawasaki Mule Review – Build Quality & Performance


Each Mule model is equipped with one of Kawasaki’s signature single-cylinder, V-Twin or three-cylinder engines of various displacements, all of which are liquid-cooled these days.

Kawasaki engines are known for being about as durable and dependable as they come.  If you keep up with the maintenance on them, you’ll rarely have issues and they’ll continue to start right up.

Aside from the Mule SX base model, each of the other Mule models are fuel injected which makes them even more reliable and increases their fuel efficiency.

Engine Pros:

  • High quality, durable and dependable
  • Most are fuel injected
  • Good low-end torque and power

The V-Twin and three-cylinder engines in the Pro FX/FXT models are more well-rounded than the single-cylinder engines that power the standard and Mule Pro MX models.

These bigger engines are still built with a focus on low-end torque and power for the utility-focused Mules, but they offer a good bit more oomph through the upper RPM ranges to give them more top-end speed.

The smaller engines have enough power to get through most terrain and up most hills but may crawl at certain times, while the models with bigger engines can conquer pretty much anything at a good pace.

Engine Cons:

  • Offer very limited top-end speed
  • Single-cylinder engines may run out of steam in steep/soft terrain


Aside from a couple of the standard models, most of the Mules offer selectable 4WD via a switch on the dash.

And all Mule models offer dual-locking rear differential, which comes in handy in different situations.

You can lock the rear wheels for added traction when working or off-road riding, or unlock the rear wheels to put the vehicle in “turf mode” so your wheels don’t spin and leave marks on the driveway or tear up the grass when turning.

Drivetrain Pros:

  • Selectable 4WD in most models
  • Dual locking rear differential offers added traction and “turf mode”
  • Automatic CVT tranny

Each model is also equipped with an automatic CVT transmission and drive belt that sends power to the wheels.

The gear settings are High and Low, along with Neutral and Reverse.  There is no Park setting in Kawasaki Mules which can be a nuisance but which also benefits the transmission long-term.

You’ll have to use the parking brake to keep these vehicles from rolling when stopped, but the lack of a Park setting doesn’t put as much pressure on the tranny and prolongs its lifespan.

Drivetrain Cons:

  • Lack of a Park setting
  • Drive belts require maintenance/replacement every so often


The Pro FX/FXT models feature more aggressive double-wishbone suspensions in the front and rear, which do a good job of soaking up bumps and holes to offer a smoother, more comfortable ride in rough terrain.

Ground clearance and suspension travel is also much more impressive in the Pro models, adding to their off-road capabilities.

And the Pro models all come with coil springs with adjustable preload settings, so you can find the perfect setting for your riding style and liking, and even add a bit more ground clearance if needed.

Suspension Pros:

  • Double wishbone offers comfortable ride in most terrains
  • Enough ground clearance so you won’t often bottom out on trails
  • Adjustable preload settings

The standard Mule models feature a Machpherson strut style front suspension and a rear swingarm style suspension.

These suspension set-ups offer a smooth ride when driving them how and where they were meant to be driven, but can be uncomfortable and bumpy if riding harsher terrain at speed.

They’re also not adjustable.

Suspension Cons:

  • Set-up on standard models can be uncomfortable driving off-road
  • Ground clearance as minimal as 6.1 inches in standard models
  • Non-adjustable on standard models

Design & Durability

Kawasaki Mules do a good job of making a basic build style look modern and rugged, with appealing plastics and color combos giving them an attractive overall look.

Most models only come in one or two color options – but the colors vary a good bit by model, ranging from shades of green, red and gray to black, white, and blue.

Design & Durability Pros:

  • All parts and components are high-quality and built to last
  • Plastics stand up well to scratching
  • Many different models and trim levels to choose from

Kawasaki Mules have a reputation for being durable and built to last, so their parts and components are all high quality and hold up well over time to the abuse of working and off-road riding.

Of the eleven main Mule models, most offer multiple trim levels.  The base models don’t offer much in the way of included accessories, but the different trim levels do.

Design & Durability Cons:

  • More basic looking than many competitive models
  • Not many accessories included standard
  • More accessories = more $$$

What Owners Love

  • Standard models make for great entry-level UTVs and are priced reasonably
  • Most models feature a steel, full-length skid plate that protects the underside
  • Electronic Power Steering included in most of Pro models
  • Plenty of storage space in most models
  • The Pro models are equipped with steel cargo beds rather than plastic
  • The FXT models offer convertible rear seats for added seating or an extended bed
  • Most models offer an ignition cut-out feature that prevents driving with parking brake on
  • Three year warranty from Kawasaki is the best in the industry

What Owners Don’t Love

  • Some of the slowest models in the industry, with limited recreational appeal
  • Seat belt safety feature won’t enable the Mule to get out of limp mode if the driver’s belt is not buckled
  • No Park setting in the transmission means these vehicles can roll if not using the parking brake when stopped
  • The engine braking system tends to cut out if you don’t keep slight pressure on the gas, leading to some free rolling down hills
  • The dump bed lift-assist is more of a help to keep the bed upright than help with the actual lifting
  • Base models are more basic than those of most competitors and lack many accessories

Final Thoughts

Kawasaki Mules consist of so many models and trims that there is something for everyone.

And while these models offer less recreational appeal and are more basic than many competitive models, it’s hard to find another utility vehicle on the same levels as these as far as durability and dependability goes.

For a look at some of the Kawasaki Mules’ main competitors, check out the following before you go: