2016 Kawasaki Mule PRO FX UTV Review

This Kawasaki UTV is a compact yet powerful Mule for the ranch or trail

With the release of the highly acclaimed 2016 Mule Pro FXT Kawasaki has launched into the next generation of the hard working Mule. As it started many years ago from a simple sketch on a piece of paper the true Utility, multi-use segment has been good to this company. With the model year 2016 rolling in Kawasaki has now introduced the 2016 Kawasaki Mule Pro-FX line, which takes the same proven frame and slims the seating to three passengers. Our brief ride in the hill country of Pasa Robles California gave us a chance to get a little more familiar with this rig.

As we gazed into the interior we noticed the same long bench style seat and backrest for its occupants. Sitting in the drivers position you also have a steering wheel that gives up a range of 40-degrees, up and down, via the tilt steering column. Unfortunately this is only available on the EPS model and not the base Mule. The parking brake lever is located well within reach just to the left of the steering wheel while the gear selector is on the right. Kawasaki’s digital dash is very familiar and has transcended through several models of Kawasaki machines. The illuminated dash has indicators for 2WD or 4WD as well as how much fuel is left in the 7.9 gallon fuel tank among other things. The cab of MULE PRO-FX is very spacious and embossed for extra grip for the trail or job site that gets muddy. Also helping the driver stay in control is the wide perforated brake pedal, which gives you grip in the muddy or wet conditions. Kawasaki has incorporated plenty of storage in the Mule Pro-FX as well for those who bring more than just tools to the job or woods.

Using the 812cc dual overhead cam triple cylinder power plant from the Pro-FXT this Pro-FX Mule is bound to have a slight performance advantage. This would likely be due to its lighter overall weight. The Mule Pro-FX weighs about 75 pounds less than its counter part with 6-passenger capability. This engine is fuel injected and liquid cooled, which is standard for most of today’s legitimate products and has the grunt of a manly team of horses. Kawasaki’s styling was finished in a way to keep the rugged look of this machine classy while catching the eye of a more conservative working audience. Kawasaki wanted to create an instant bond with those looking for reliability and function as well as a rugged yet dependable platform for work. The gas burning power plant is geared for towing by pumping out 48ft pounds of torque to the wheels. This engine breathes through its 34mm throttle body to bring the inline 3-cylinder to life at any altitude or weather condition.

Our 2016 Kawasaki MULE Pro-FX is comfortable as well as a natural worker. As with most new machines we will have our preferences for some improvement and on this machine it might include more bolstering in the seating to give the feeling of a more planted ride in off camber terrain. The power delivery is very linear as well as effective yet it seems to have reached its peak by half to three quarter throttle so this might be an additional request. Overall the newest MULE from Kawasaki has many great features and is sure to be a very useful tool for any consumer who might be looking.

Hits: Misses:
Seats Three Comfortably Seat bolstering
Power Steering (as tested) Could use more response from idle and on top end from engine
Rugged steel bed for hauling
Spec Chart: 2016 Kawasaki Mule Pro FX EPS 4x4 (as Tested)
2016 Kawasaki MULE PRO-FX Base Model: $11,999
2016 Kawasaki MULE PRO-FX EPS: $12,999
2016 Kawasaki MULE PRO-FX EPS Camo: $14,199
2016 Kawasaki MULE PRO-FX EPS LE: $14,199
Engine Type: 812cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 3-cylinder
Bore x stroke: 72.0 x 65.5mm
Fuel system: Fuel Injection (DFI), 34mm throttle body
Starting system: Electric
Drive system: Shaft, selectable 4-wheel drive with dual-mode rear differential
Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with high and low range, forward, neutral and reverse
Suspension (Type/Travel)
Front: Double wishbone/8.7 in
Rear: Double wishbone/8.5/8.7 in
Front: AT25 x 8-12 Maxxis MU19
Rear: AT25 x 10-12 Maxxis MU20
Front: Dual hydraulic 212mm discs w/two piston calipers
Rear: Dual Hydraulic 212mm discs w/single piston calipers and Mechanical parking brake
Wheelbase: 92.3”
Claimed wet weight: 1803.7 lb.
Ground clearance: 10.4”
Length/width/height: 133.3”x64.0”x77.4”
Fuel capacity: 7.9 gal
Load Capacity
Towing capacity: 2000 lb.
Cargo Bed Capacity: 1000 lb
**Electrical **
Lighting: (2) 55/60W sealed-beam headlights, (2) LED auxiliary lights
Instrumentation: Multi-function display includes digital speedometer, fuel gauge, odometer, hour meter, clock, dual trip meters, 2WD/4WD indicator, water temperature warning indicator, oil pressure warning indicator, fuel injection warning indicator, CVT warning indicator, neutral, reverse and parking indicators, seatbelt reminder lamps
Colors: Realtree Xtra; Dark Royal Red; Timberline Green