Honda Pioneer 520 Reviews And Problem [2024]

The Honda Pioneer 520 is a compact, utility-focused vehicle renowned for its reliability and durability. Here’s an overview of its key features and aspects based on various reviews:

Honda Pioneer 520 Reviews

Design and Model Comparison: Like the Pioneer 500, the Pioneer 520 is simple. Its rear cargo bed with gas-assisted dumping and somewhat stronger engine than the 500 set it apart. It’s strong and reliable for property and utility work.

Engine and Performance: The Pioneer 520’s 518 cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine has great low-end torque for dirt, sand, and trails. Though not meant for great speed, it can reach 40 mph.​

Transmission & Drivetrain: It has a 5-speed automatic and manual transmission with 2WD and 4WD modes. The transmission is unusual in its automotive form, not using a drive belt, however shifts are not as smooth as in CVT transmissions.

Suspension and Comfort: The standard shocks are commonly criticised for a jolting ride on tough terrain. Its 8.5-inch ground clearance and tiny factory tyres may make off-roading uncomfortable.

Size and Capacity: The Pioneer 520 fits in full-sized pickup vehicles and narrow trails due to its small design. The compactness makes the cabin uncomfortable for bigger riders. It can pull 1,000 pounds and carry 450 lbs in the cargo bed.

Owner’s View: Owners like its low-end power, easy-to-use cargo bed, small size, and build quality. Its slowness, little storage capacity, lack of power steering, and standard suspension make it rough.

Price: At $9,499, the Pioneer 520 is a terrific bargain due to its dependable drivetrain and comfortable seating for two people.​

The Honda Pioneer 520 Reviews

Honda Pioneer 520 Specs

Specification Honda Pioneer 520 Details
Engine 518 cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled
Power Slightly more powerful than Pioneer 500
Top Speed Approximately 40 mph
Transmission 5-Speed with Reverse, Automatic and Manual modes
Drivetrain Selectable 2WD/4WD, no locking differential
Suspension Independent double wishbone, limited travel
Ground Clearance 8.5 inches
Tires 24-inch front and rear
Brakes Hydraulic disc brakes on all four wheels
Dimensions (LxWxH) 105 x 50 x 71.2 inches
Curb Weight 1,058 lbs
Towing Capacity 1,000 lbs
Cargo Bed Capacity 450 lbs
Special Features Gas-assisted cargo bed, no need for drive belt maintenance, compact size
Price (Starting) Around $9,499


Honda Pioneer 520 Top Speed

The top speed of the Honda Pioneer 520 is approximately 40 mph. This moderate speed is in line with its design as a utility-focused vehicle, prioritizing low-end power and torque over high-speed performance​.

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Honda Pioneer 520 Problems

According to some owners, the gearbox can be rough or unrefined, especially in new models for the first few hundred miles.

Manual Mode Shifting: In manual mode, some users have experienced less-than-smooth transitions when using the paddle shifters.

Automatic Transmission Response: In automatic mode, the transmission sometimes exhibits delayed or hesitant shifts, especially when transitioning between gears.

Power loss problems: A filthy air filter, low oil levels, a malfunctioning ignition system, and a clogged muffler/catalytic converter might cause the Pioneer 520 to lose power when accelerating. Similarly, a worn drive belt or clutch might reduce power.

Always ride safely and get your UTV checked if power drops. That said, here are some frequent power loss reasons and solutions:

Fuel system issues: like clogged fuel filters or a weak fuel pump can potentially cause power loss. As such, inspect the fuel system and repair any damaged parts.

Electrical issues: Like any utility vehicle, the Honda Pioneer 520 might have electrical troubles. These difficulties can vary in frequency and severity depending on maintenance, usage, and environment. An alternator, dead battery, starting, and wiring issues might occur when utilizing this utility vehicle. Flickering lights and instrument panel difficulties have also been noted by several owners.

Solutions and Maintenance Tips

Allowing a suitable transmission break-in period can help with hard shifting, especially in new units. under the first miles, drive the car under different situations without overworking it. This phase lets transmission parts wear in and adapt, smoothing operation.

Inspection and Replacement: Check transmission fluid levels and quality regularly. Dirty or low transmission fluid might cause shifting troubles. Replace fluids according to Honda’s maintenance plan using approved kinds.

If shifting problems persist: check the clutch for wear or faulty adjustment. Misengaged or disengaged clutches can create shifting issues. Replace clutch parts as needed.


yet the Honda Pioneer 520 is sturdy, it may have shifting faults like any mechanical device. Maintenance, break-in, and care can decrease these issues and smooth the ride. If issues persist, get expert help to preserve vehicle health and performance.

FAQs Section

1. What are the common issues with the Honda Pioneer 520’s transmission?

Common issues with the transmission of the Honda Pioneer 520 include harsh shifting in new units, less smooth transitions in manual mode using paddle shifters, and occasional hesitancy in automatic transmission mode. These issues often improve with regular use and proper maintenance.

2. Can the Honda Pioneer 520’s suspension be improved for a smoother ride?

Yes, the suspension of the Honda Pioneer 520 can be improved for a smoother ride. Upgrading the stock shocks to higher-quality aftermarket options and installing larger tires are popular modifications that can enhance the suspension’s performance, especially on rough terrains.

3. What is the towing capacity of the Honda Pioneer 520?

The Honda Pioneer 520 has a towing capacity of 1,000 lbs. This makes it suitable for various utility tasks, including towing small trailers or equipment essential for property work or outdoor activities.

4. Is the Honda Pioneer 520 suitable for taller riders?

The compact size of the Honda Pioneer 520 can make the cabin space feel somewhat cramped, especially for taller riders. While it is manageable, taller individuals might find the legroom limited, and seating may be snug for two larger riders.

5. How does the Honda Pioneer 520 perform in off-road conditions?

The Honda Pioneer 520 performs well in various off-road conditions due to its reliable low-end torque and 4WD capability. However, its limited suspension travel and ground clearance can restrict its performance in more challenging off-road situations. Upgrades to suspension and tires can improve its off-road capabilities.

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