Can-Am Defender XT Reviews

2019 Can Am Defender XT UTV

The 2019 Can Am Defender XT in hyper Silver

Defender XT Overview

The 2019 Can-Am Defender XT is a three-seat utility vehicle priced at $15,799. You can choose to power this model with the 50 hp HD8 or the 72 hp HD10 engine option. In either case, the Defender XT features a PRO-TORQ transmission with Quick Response System and a drive train with a lockable rear differential and Visco-Lok QE auto-locking front differential. This model also has electronic hill descent control, three driving modes and dynamic power steering. The Defender Xt is designed for work primarily and therefore can haul up to 1,000 lbs in the cargo box and tow up to 2,500 lbs. Other features include:

  • Twin Tube Gas Charged Shocks
  • 10″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • 11″ of ground clearance
  • 27″ Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires
  • 220mm hydraulic disc brakes
  • 650 W Magneto
  • Winch
  • XT Front Bumper
  • Full HMW Skid Plate
  • Full Hard Roof
  • Adjustable Tilt Steering
  • Multifunction digital/Analog Gauge
  • Available in Hyper Silver, Intense Red or Mossy Oak break-Up country Camo

Reviews

The 2019 models have not been out that long so there aren’t too many reviews available and they aren’t any based on long term usage of the vehicle. However, the reviews are pretty positive. The amount of interior storage the ability to remove some of the storage bins impressed the reviewers. The reviews are complimentary as one focuses more on the drivability of the Defender XT and the other comments more on the interior and usability of the vehicle.

UTVDriver.com -Trail riding with the Defender XT in the Black Hills of South Dakota

  • Vehicle had the more powerful HD10 option
  • Smooth, linear power delivery with no noticeable power loss at 6,500 ft.
  • Normal driving mode is most responsive
  • Comfortable seating for larger driver even after many miles
  • Glove box that doubles as removable tool box and other removable storage is a positive
  • Handled a variety of terrain well including uphill, downhill and fallen trees
  • Feels solid

Fisher’s ATV World – Video review of a Defender DPS HD10 which is basically the same as the Defender XT but without a few extras

  • Quiet ride
  • Do not feel heat from the engine
  • Easy in/Easy out
  • Really like the small turning radius
  • Plenty of storage
  • Can haul and tow a lot

ODES Industries Launches 2019 UTV Lineup

ODES Industries 2019 Dominator X2 LT Zeus

The ODES Industries 2019 Dominator X2 LT Zeus features a touchscreen and LED lighting.

ODES Industries, self-described as a value UTV brand, recently announced their 2019 UTV lineup as they push for even more growth. According to company statements ODEs Industries has been growing for the last several years including a doubling of sales from 2016 to 2017. The 2019 lineup includes 10 models including the new XForce 2 and XForce 4 models which feature an enclosed cab. Probably, these models are aimed at heavy duty work applications in challenging weather environments. Prices range across the lineup from $9,795 up to $23,495.

ODES Industries Dominator Models

The Dominator line includes the following models:

  • The entry level Dominator X2 ST Model V1 – MSRP $9,795
  • The Dominator X2 ST Model V2 – MSRP $9,995 (Adds Doors, OTR Tires and Matte Black Wheels)
  • The premium level Dominator X2 LT Model V1 – MSRP $13,095
  • The top level Dominator X2 LT Zeus Model V1 – MSRP $14,795 (Adds 7″ Full Touchscreen LCD, Heated Seats)
ODES Industries 2019 Dominator X2 ST

The 2019 Dominator X2 ST

The Dominator X2 ST versions have the following features:

  • 800cc Engine
  • Digital Dash Display
  • Full Roof
  • Heavy Duty Front Bumper
  • Full LED Lighting
  • Electronic Dump Bed
  • Rearview Mirrors
  • Door Nets
  • Front 3,500 lbs Winch
  • Towing Hitch
  • 14″ Wheels
  • 26″ Tires
  • Lockable Storage Boxes

The Dominator X2 LT models have the following features:

  • 800cc Engine with 1000cc option for Zeus model
  • Long Travel – Vi-LOCK Suspension
  •  Digital Dash Display
  •  Full Windshield
  •  Full Roof
  •  32″ LED Light Bar
  •  Heavy Duty Front Bumper
  •  Heavy Duty Rear Bumper
  •  Full LED Lighting
  •  Electronic Dump Bed
  •  Rearview Mirrors
  •  Metal Frame Doors
  •  Front 3,500 lbs Winch
  •  Rear 3,500 lbs Winch
  •  Towing Hitch
  •  15″ Wheels
  •  29″ Tires
  •  Lockable Storage Boxes
  •  Radiator Guards
  •  A-Arm Guards
  •  Electronic Power Steering
Also, there are three Dominator X4 models which seat six as a result of stadium style seating. These versions are similar to the two-passenger lineup with a Dominator X4 ST V1($11,295), Dominator X4 LT Zeus V1 ($16,495) and Dominator X4 LT V1 ($14,795).

Sport Model

ODES Industries Ravager LT Zeus

A 1000cc engine powers the sporty Ravager LT Zeus from ODES Industries.

The two-passenger Ravager LT Zeus gives ODES Industries a pure sport model in the lineup. A 1000cc engine powers the Ravager which features a Two Brothers Racing Exhaust, 3M graphics kit, Two Brothers/Dyna Jet Juicebox kit, front winch, 29″ OTR Dirt Master tires and 15″ OTR Matte Black wheels. The company revamped the model for 2019. Ravager LT Zeus features include:

  • 7″ Touchscreen LCD Display
  •  Long Travel – Vi-LOCK Suspension
  •  Full Windshield / Roof
  •  32″ LED Light Bar
  •  Two Brothers Racing Exhaus
  •  Passenger Grab Bar
  •  Cargo Bed
  •  Rearview Mirrors
  •  Metal Frame Doors
  •  Front 3500lbs Winch
  •  Rear Towing Hitch
  •  15″ OTR Matte Black Wheels
  •  OTR Dirt Master 29″ Tires
  •  Radiator Guards
  •  A-Arm Guards
  •  Electronic Power Steering
  •  Heavy Duty Front Bumper
  •  3M Graphics Kit
  •  Powder Coated Bars – Yellow or Blue
  •  Two Brothers / Dyna Jet Juicebox Kit

New XForce Models Feature Cabs

ODEs Industries XForce 4

ODES Industries added a cab to their latest offering, the Force 4, which seats six.

Finally, rounding out the lineup are the two newest models from ODES Industries, the XForce 2 priced at $20,995  and the XForce 4 priced at $23,495. The X2 can seat up to three and the X4 up to six. Both feature AC/Heating systems, heated front seats, 10.6″ LCD touch screen and a 1000cc engine. Standard features include new mapping, GoPro integration, front and rear camera options, temperature controls, digital displays, Bluetooth connection for phone and text display and direct screen audio control. The latter feature makes it easier to just ride rather than play with electronics.

  • Integrated Media w/ Bluetooth and USB
  • Onboard GPS Nav with Trail Tracking
  • Front and Rear 640×480 Cameras
  • In Screen Go Pro Integration
  • ODES Ultra LCD Integrated Software
  • Aluminum RollcageAC and Heat System w/ Fan Control
  • Onboard Generator for Power Support
  • Front Glass Window w/ Wiper System
  • Front Window Adjustment, 3 Settings
  • Glass Door Windows w/ Electric up/down
  • Single Row LED Directional Light Bar
  • Full Enclosure System
  • Interior Lighting
  • 3 Captains Chair Seating
  • Heated Driver and Passenger Seats
  • Fold Down Center Seat for Console Storage
  • Folding Aluminum Dump Bed
  • 800LBS Capacity Electric Dump Bed
  • Exterior Rear Working Light
  • Oversized Side Mirrors
  • Aluminum A-Arm Guards
  • 16 Gallon Gas Tank
  • 4500LBS Wireless Winch w/ Nylon Rope
  • Reversible Front to Rear Winch Hitch w/ 2″ Ball
  • Winch wire quick disconnects
  • Snorkeled CVT Air Intake System
  • Exterior Panel Light and Bed Controls
  • LED Front and Rear Lights
  • OTR Dirt Master Tires 28×10-14
  • OTR Steel Wheels
  • Interstate Battery
  • Royal Purple Ice Coolant
  • Stage 4 Made in USA Kevlar CVT Belt
  • Double Wishbone Independent Suspension
  • Ground Clearance of 327mm
  • Aluminum Box 1076x1561x260

Learn more:  Odesindustries.com

SVR’s Take:

ODES Industries is another value brand that appears to be having success offering solid features at a reasonable price. These brands typically have a starting price point in the $9,000 to $10,000 range for their entry level UTV, although some start even lower with fewer features. According to ODES Industries website, they source parts from around the world and partially assemble vehicles in Asia. The remaining assembly appears to be in the US. The company moved assembly from California to Dallas, TX in 2016.

Polaris Reveals 2019 Model Year Side-by-Sides

Polaris Industries revealed their 2019 model year side-by-side lineup last week with improvements across a host models. In the Ranger product line Ride Command technology will now be available for select Ranger XP 1000 models as a factory-installed package. The Range XP 1000 and Ranger Crew XP 1000 models now include a 20th anniversary edition and the new High Lifter Edition.

2019 model year RZRs feature aggressive styling and performance upgrades across the product lineup. Ride Command will be available in all RZR XP 1000 colors and the RZR XP 1000 Dynamix vehicles. The trail-ready RZR S4 1000 is now powered by a 100 hp engine.

The General lineup has been updated with performance and technology upgrades, as well as new colors and graphics. The following are more specific features for select models.

2019 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS High Lifter Edition

The 2019 model year Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS High Lifter Edition with redesigned half doors and improved driveline strength.

2019 Ranger XP 1000 EPS High Lifter Edition – $19,999 MSRP                                    2019 RANGER CREW XP 1000 EPS High Lifter Edition – 21,499 MSRP

  • Redesigned factory-installed half doors with new one-inch water drains
  • 82 hp engine
  • 11″ of suspension travel
  • 20% increase in overall driveline strength
  • New geared reverse transmission
  • 28″ Outlaw tires
  • 13.5″ of ground clearance
  • Crew version has 6-passenger capacity

2019 Ranger XP 1000 EPS RIDE COMMAND – $17,999 MSRP                                    2019 Ranger XP 1000 EPS NorthStar Edition RIDE COMMAND – $25,999 MSRP

  • Ride Command technology is now available as a factory-installed package
  • Seven-inch glove-touch display features built-in navigation and front and rear cameras.
  • System provides vehicle diagnostics, allows smartphone connectivity and factory-installed in-dash speakers.
  • Topographical map allows consumers to better navigate trail overlays and drop waypoints to remember key locations
  • Interactive interface gives every type of rider the freedom to stay connected while hunting, working on their ranch, or trail riding.

2019 Ranger XP 1000 EPS and Ranger XP 1000 EPS NorthStar Edition models

  • Available in four new color options including Steel Blue, Pearl White, Magnetic Gray and Polaris Pursuit® Camo.
Polaris 2019 Ranger XP 1000 EPS 20th anniversary

The 2019 Ranger XP 1000 EPS 20th Anniversary edition with two-tone maroon and tan colors and embroidered seats.

2019 Ranger XP1000 EPS 20th Anniversary Limited Edition – $16,799 MSRP            2019 Ranger CREW XP 1000 EPS 20th Anniversary Limited Edition – $17,799

  • Two-tone maroon and tan color option
  • Custom embroidered seats
  • Limited production quantities
Polaris 2019 RZR S4 1000 EPS

The 2019 model year RZR S4 1000 EPS now features 100 hp.

Polaris 2019 RZR XP 1000

The 2019 RZR XP 1000 has new styling and LED lighting.

2019 RZR Xtreme Performance Lineup – Starting at $17,999 MSRP

  • Styling features a more aggressive cut with a chiseled muscular stance
  • LED accent lights
  • Brand-new LED headlights
  • Premium digital instrumentation
  • More storage
  • DYNAMIX active suspension and Ride Command technology now available on RZR XP 1000 models
  • Horsepower boost to 100 hp for the 2019 RZR S4 1000

2019 General – Starting at $16,299 MSRP

  • New colors and graphics
  • Factory-installed bronze wheels on the Ride Command edition

Learn more:  Polaris.com

Does Future Mobility Include LSVs?

GEM has been the market leader in LSVs for many years.

The falling cost of batteries and rise of autonomous driving technology has launched a new stage in the development of mobility technologies. These advances may be bad news for LSVs. For decades small-task oriented vehicles, and in particular by golf cars, have dominated the EV market in terms of production volume. Long before Tesla, golf car manufacturers produced hundreds of thousands of electric golf cars annually. Primarily for these vehicles were for golf courses, but for personal transportation as well. In addition, the large volume of used electric golf cars coming off of golf courses each year were finding their way into the personal transportation and utility markets. In smaller volumes they produced electric powered burden carriers and general utility vehicles for use in enclosed spaces such as factories and warehouses.

Speed and pricing hurt LSV adoption

Federal regulations in the late nineties lead to the development of Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs), originally referred to as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs). The LSV classification created the opportunity to move small EVs out of gated and golf communities and relatively confined driving environments and onto public roads in large numbers. Unfortunately, for LSV manufacturers, the widespread adoption of LSVs for personal transportation has never occurred. In theory, LSVs would be a good choice as a second vehicle. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase and operate and suitable for the short trips typical of many drivers. In practice, they are relatively expensive for their limited functionality, and to many they look like a glorified golf car.

With a 25 mph top speed, LSVs are too slow for real life driving where speeds are often 30-45 mph. Federal authorities, already concerned about LSV safety, are unwilling to compromise on safety requirements for higher speed Medium Speed Vehicles. The additional safety requirements for MSVs would make these vehicles relatively expensive compared to fully highway capable vehicles.

Pricing has always been an issue with LSVs, which typically cost around $10,000 on the low end. They find themselves competing against new, used and refurbished golf cars that can cost thousands of dollars less or comparably priced, but heavily customized golf cars. On the other end of the spectrum, the lowest priced highway capable vehicles available do not cost that much more and offer far greater functionality. As a result, the LSV market has never “taken off”. SVR’s research has shown that LSVs for personal use have only gained traction where local laws restrict the use of golf cars on public roads. The trend has been for local governments to allow more golf cars, modified golf cars and even UTVs on local roads.

Where LSV have found some success is on college and corporate campuses. In these environments the LSV safety features are worth the additional expense in the context of insurance and liability. The slower speed is another plus where administrators do not want employees speeding across pedestrian filled campus grounds. The utility LSV has proven to provide plenty of functionality and mobility in these confined environments at a reduced cost compared to pick-up trucks which they often replace. In addition, electric LSVs fit well into sustainability and green initiatives on these campuses.

Electric bikes and scooters offer an alternative

New battery and autonomous driving technologies are unlikely to change the fate of LSVs, and likely will make it worse. Batteries are becoming small enough, powerful enough and cheap enough to create new competitors to LSVs. Namely, a rash of electric bicycles and electric scooters have been entering the market. While costing thousands of dollars, electric bicycles have the potential to chip away at some of the LSV market. Have a short commute on local roads and don’t need to carry much with you. Why not use an electric bike? Need a quick way around urban areas and don’t want to worry about parking? How about an electric scooter.

There are electric bike and scooter sharing programs either already operating or in pilot programs in major cities. These options aren’t ideal in bad weather or for multiple passengers, but they can potentially reduce LSV usage. In fact, they may even provide competition to golf cars and Personal Transportation Vehicles (PTVs) within gated communities.

Autonomous vehicles take a new direction

May Mobility self-driving GEM

GEM configured by May Mobility for self-driving.

Similarly autonomous driving technology may very well reduce the potential footprint for LSVs. Google has used some LSVs for the testing of their autonomous driving technology.  You could argue from a standpoint of safety that the more controlled environment of gated communities could be a good entry point for the technology. But it appears the major players are starting with highway capable vehicles. There have been some instances of LSVs with the technology being tested for limited use scenarios such as shuttle runs. Currently, the relative expense of the autonomous driving technology compared to the cost of an LSV is likely too high. The economics favor installation on premium vehicles or rental/sharing fleets with the flexibility for high volume usage.

Nuro autonomous vehicle

This Fall Kroger will be using passengerless autonomous vehicles from startup Nuro to deliver groceries to customers.

Starship Technologies Delivery Robot

Starship Technologies is rolling out a robotic delivery service on college and corporate campuses this year.

Even in the commercial use of LSVs or their slightly faster cousins in Europe for tasks like urban delivery, autonomous driving technology may undercut the application of these vehicles. There are a number of startups developing autonomous delivery vehicles for operation on streets. However, they are passenger less or even smaller and slower for use on sidewalks. The last vestige for the LSV may remain the college or corporate campus, but even the autonomous shuttle could cut into some of that usage. We may be witnessing the highpoint for the use of LSVs right now.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

 

 

Textron Launches Prowler Pro UTVs

2019 Textron Off road Prowler Pro

The new 2019 Prowler Pro from Textron Off Road with a 50 hp gas engine.

Textron Off Road recently announced the addition of the Prowler Pro and Prowler Pro XT to their UTV lineup. Targeted at farmers and hunters the Prowler Pro is powered by a 50 hp, 812cc EFI gas engine. Designed to be a “whisper-quiet”, the engine is paired with vibration reducing mounts and a muffler with rubber isolator. The vehicle features a drive-by-wire throttle and CVT drive system that is programmed to compensate for unintended “foot bounce” on rough terrain. Additional key features include:

  • 3 passenger capacity
  • 2/4WD with selectable locking rear differential
  • Double A-arm suspension with gas charged twin tube shocks
  • 10″/9.5″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 10.75″ of ground clearance
  • 26″ Pro terrain tires
  • Dual piston front calipers and single piston rear calipers
  • 1,000 lb. cargo dump box
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity
  • Tilt steering
  • Customizable speed control
  • Removable passenger seats
  • Behind-seat storage
  • Dual high/low beam halogen headlights and LED taillights
  • Digital gauge
  • ROPS

The Prowler Pro comes standard rack-and-pinion steering and 12-inch steel wheels in Marsh Green for $11,399. The Prowler Pro XT comes in Dynamic Charcoal or Fire Red and includes electronic power steering and 14-inch machined aluminum wheels for $12,999. All vehicles are sold with a 12-month warranty and will be available in dealerships in May.

Learn more:  Textronoffroad.com

SVR’s Take:  After purchasing Arctic Cat Textron first consolidated and pared down their lineup of vehicles across a number of brands and product lineups and put them under the Textron Off Road macro brand. Since then they have launched a number of new models and are building out their vehicle offerings across a number of segments including performance, sport, crossover and work utility. Textron looks like it could become a major competitor to the traditional powersports companies in the market. The company has significant financial and manufacturing resources as well as engineering expertise to draw upon from its other high tech businesses. One of the keys to success will be building out a dealer network to have the geographical reach and proper distribution channels to reach all the customer segments they are targeting.  Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR Reviews

Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR

New for 2018 is the Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR shown here in Atomic Silver.

One of the key additions to Kawasaki’s 2018 utility vehicle lineup is the new Mule Pro-FXR. The Pro-FXR builds on their successful Pro-FX and Pro-FXT models with new styling highlights and recreational features. In the styling department the Mule Pro-FXR features a “truck like appearance” with painted bodywork, low-profile LED inner and halogen outer headlights, front and rear bumpers and contoured two-tone seats. For recreational riding the FXR is shorter than the other Pro Mules (about 12″ shorter than the FX) and sports a shorter turning radius (14.0 ft. compared to 16.0 ft. for the FX) and higher ground clearance (about 0.5″). Pricing for the Mule Pro-FXR starts at $14,999. Other key features of the 2018 Mule Pro-FXR include:

  • 812cc, DOHC, 3-cylinder engine with EFI
  • 2WD/4WD/4WD with rear differential lock
  • Engine braking
  • EPS
  • 10.8″ of ground clearance
  • 1,000 lb. steel cargo bed
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity

Below are highlights from reviews of the Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR by trade publications and enthusiasts.

The reviews are generally positive for the Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR.   This isn’t a high performance trail riding UTV, but a solid performer with a good sized engine, smooth riding suspension, smaller size and tighter turning radius than the Mule Pro-FX and a comfortable cabin. Some of the common comments from across the reviews include:

  • Quiet
  • Smooth ride
  • Handles tougher trail conditions well

ATV.com – Kawasaki sponsored test drive event at Hearst Ranch in California. Rugged and rocky terrain.

  • More of a trail machine without sacrificing too much of the work capabilities
  • Hybrid of the Mule Pro-FX and Teryx
  • Foot shorter than Pro-FX but with same passenger, cargo and towing capacity
  • Wheelbase is more than a foot shorter producing a tighter turning radius
  • Quieter than other Mules. Can hold a conversation on the trail.
  • Shocks smoothed out the bumps on rougher trail sections
  • Not peppy or as responsive as a Teryx but plenty of power delivered smoothly
  • Good stability down hills
  • Good choice for trail riders looking more for comfort and features over performance

Totallandscapecare.com – Kawasaki sponsored test drive event at Hearst Ranch in California.

  • Noticeable truck-like and upscale styling
  • Comfortable cabin and driving experience with contoured seating, padded steering, spacious cabin and speed sensitive power steering
  • Smooth ride
  • Vehicle handles steep drops smoothly thanks to the CVT transmission and engine braking
  • Rubber mounted engine is quiet

NLGhostWolf – Consumer review – Trail riding in Newfoundland, Canada

  • Quiet
  • Very smooth suspension
  • Loves the persimmon red color
  • Very impressed with the vehicle

Consumer Review – Riding on Ozark Mountain logging roads with some snow on the ground

  • Tougher and rides better than a Polaris Ranger
  • No wheel slippage up the hill
  • “Very happy with this Mule”
  • Had a Mule 4010 but a rougher ride

Dealer Walkaround and Review – Mainland Cycle Center of Texas

  • Shorter wheelbase
  • Cargo bed a little shorter
  • Smaller size but many of the same features we like on the Mule Pro-FX
  • 46 mph top speed
  • Fully independent suspension
  • New 27” Duro Power Grip tires
  • Same 812 cc motor that we really like; really smooth
  • Quiet in the cabin
  • New front facia and bumper with aluminum inserts
  • Better feedback from suspension than Mule Pro-FX, less floaty
  • Easy opening doors rather than nets
  • Contoured bench seats are more comfortable
  • Steel bottom 1,000 lb. cargo bed
  • Easy assisted bed dump
  • Stainless steel exhaust
  • Rear differential is overbuilt
  • 3 yr warranty
  • New glove box door is easier to open
  • Plenty of cabin storage
  • Hard top is standard
  • Built-in under driver seat storage
  • Nice tight turning radius
  • Good ground clearance
  • Sporty machine for both work and trail riding

 

2018 Honda Pioneer 500 Reviews

2018 Honda Pioneer 500 utility vehicle

The 2018 Honda Pioneer 500 is Honda’s entry level utility vehicle.

The 2018 Honda Pioneer 500 is the same as the 2017 version which was updated from the previous model. Priced at $8,999, this entry level Honda utility vehicle is powered by a 475cc liquid cooled, single cylinder four-stroke engine with electronic fuel injection. This two-seater is only 50″ wide, making many trails accessible, and fits in a full-sized pickup’s bed. The Pioneer 500 features selectable 2WD/4WD and a five-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode with paddle shifters and the automatic mode. Switching between modes can be done on the fly. Other key specifications include:

  • Front and rear independent double-wishbone suspensions
  • 5.9″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • 8.5″ of ground clearance
  • 24″ tires
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • 1,000 lbs towing capacity
  • 450 lbs rear rack capacity
  • Low doors with safety nets

The Honda Pioneer is available in Red or Olive, or for in Honda Phantom Camo for an additional $600.

The following are highlights from several different reviews of the 2018 Honda Pioneer 500. The reviews are fairly consistent with the general view that the Honda Pioneer 500 is a nicely priced small UTV that is good for the trail and doing smaller size chores around the farm, ranch or work site. The ability to switch between manual and automatic transmission modes and the performance of the transmission are the favorite feature. The engine size is appropriate and peppy enough. The clever door latch system and handling are other well-liked features. The main negative is that the ride can be harsh and the vehicle could use slightly more suspension travel or better shocks.

World-of-ATVs.com Honda Pioneer 500 Review

  • Manual transmission mode gives the vehicle an edge
  • Good for trails and chores around the farm or ranch
  • “Pioneer 500 represents the best bang for the buck…” in its class
  • Requires less maintenance than most machines
  • Sporty feel for recreation and capabilities for utility use
  • Reports by some owners:  Too noisy, harsh ride and lacks a fully locking front differential

Dirtywheelsmag.com – Tested mostly on trails made for quads. Tested 2017 version which is the same as the 2018.

  • Peppy engine
  • Clever door latch system opens doors and folds back safety nets at the same time
  • Nimble handling and crisp steering
  • Increased suspension travel could improve ride
  • “Trail pace that will out-pace the suspension”
  • Comfortable cabin

MrTruck.com

  • Like the door and net latch system
  • Power steering and fulling locking front differential would have been nice
  • Like the paddle shifters and the versatility of the automatic and manual modes
  • Better down hill control with the manual shifting
  • Gas and brake pedals are far enough apart unlike other UTVs
  • Like the lack of center console that can get in the way of your legs
  • 50″ width provides more trail access
  • Not as much wheel travel as my ATVs
  • Great emergency brake
  • Like roll cage for when carrying kids
  • Simple design with crankshafts going directly to drive shafts

 

2018 Yamaha Wolverine X4 Reviews

2018 Yamaha Wolverine X4

The new 2018 Yamaha Wolverine X4, a 4-passenger UTV designed to be more compact and nimble for recreational use.

Yamaha introduced the model year 2018 Wolverine X4 last year. The recreational utility vehicle features a new 847cc, twin-cylinder engine and stowaway full-size rear seats for flexible cargo space. To improve efficiency, the engine features a dry-sump design for a more compact layout, and an offset cylinder block to reduce friction loss, while rubber engine-mounts and a geared counterbalancer are designed to greatly reduce vibration at idle and throughout the RPM range, as well as reduce noise. The X4 also includes the new Yamaha Chip Controlled-Throttle (YCC-T®), a drive-by-wire system providing precise throttle control, and a key controlled speed system for restricting the vehicle’s top speed to 25 mph. The dimensions (59.8″ wide and 82.7″ wheelbase) of the new Wolverine X4 are purposely on the compact end of the scale to provide a more nimble vehicle for more technical trail riding. Other key features and specs include:

  • Ultramatic V-belt transmission with all-wheel engine braking
  • Yamaha On-Command 3-way locking differential; 2WD, 4WD, full diff-lock 4WD
  • 8.7″/8.9″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 10.7″ of ground clearance
  • Rear self-leveling shocks
  • 26″ Maxxis tires
  • Electronic power steering
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • 600 lb. cargo bed capacity
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity
  • Full underbody skid plates
  • Fully enclosed doors
  • Wide fenders
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Two 12V DC outlets
  • Four pre-wired accessory switches
  • MSRP $15,999 in Graphite

Model variations include the Wolverine X4 in:

  • Yamaha Blue with overfenders and cast aluminum wheels (MSRP $16,499)
  • Realtree Xtra camo with overfenders and cast aluminum wheels (MSRP $16,899)
  • Matte Silver and Matte Carbon Special Edition (SE) models with overfenders, painted bodywork, color-matched interior and shock springs, and cast aluminum wheels (MSRP $17,249)

According to Yamaha managers they are trying to deliver a 4-seat UTV with some of the handling and size characteristics of a two seater and a high degree of versatility. They believe this segment of the market is currently underserved.

Below are highlights from various reviews of the Yamaha Wolverine X4. Similar competitive vehicles would be the Kawasaki Teryx4 and the Honda Pioneer 1000-5. The reviews are mostly positive. Some of the common positive aspects across the reviewers include:

  • Quiet cabin
  • Comfortable seating front and rear with enough legroom for most riders
  • Good and smooth power from the new engine
  • Smooth transmission
  • Handles well
  • Self-leveling suspension works well
  • Light and precise power steering but still provides enough feel
  • Good sight lines for front and rear passengers

Negative comments include:

  • Driver legroom may be insufficient for taller riders
  • Rear leg position is slightly compromised by engine hump
  • Cargo bed can fit small to medium size coolers/boxes but is not designed for loose material and is limited with four passengers
  • Ingress and egress is a little tricky

UTVDriver.com – Yamaha sponsored test drive at the Brushy Mountain Motorsports Park in Taylorsville, NC. Tight trail conditions.

  • Comfortable seats and ergonomic cockpit
  • Open sightlines
  • More comfortable redesigned seat belt and retractor system
  • Quiet cabin
  • “peppy yet smooth” acceleration and predictable takeoff
  • Good CVT system with no belt concerns no matter the obstacle
  • Top speed in low range of 29 and low 50’s in high gear
  • Non-dump cargo bed is not made for loose material like gravel but can carry small to medium size gear
  • X4 handling “really shines”
  • Very precise and predictable in corners
  • Light steering
  • Smooth gated shifter
  • Self-leveling shocks worked “great” and provided greater than expected comfort in the back seats
  • Comfortable back seats with well-placed angled footrests and grab handles

UTVGiude.net – Yamaha sponsored test drive at the Brushy Mountain Motorsports Park in Taylorsville, NC. Tight trail conditions.

  • Comfortable seats for someone 6` 1″
  • Self-leveling suspension handled a range of different load conditions, from one to four passengers, well
  • Ultramatic CVT worked well even on tight trails, hills, low speeds and in High gear
  • “Wolverine X4 is probably the quietest on the market”
  • Performed well in east coast trail conditions for which it is designed

UTVsportsmag.com – Yamaha sponsored test drive at the Brushy Mountain Motorsports Park in Taylorsville, NC. Tight trail conditions.

  • “Quietest UTV on the market in our minds, bar none.”
  • Torquey new engine
  • Smooth transmission with centrifugal clutch that removes belt lag
  • “really great” engine braking
  • Comfortable seats but footwell area cramped for 6` 3″ driver.
  • Good sight lines
  • Back seats are adjustable for more cargo space or legroom and slightly rasied for stadium-style view
  • Impressed with backseat legroom
  • Interior door handles keep them free of mud and debris
  • “…the X4 goes where you want it to go, even with 4 people aboard.”
  • No pushing in corners
  • Great feedback from power steering and nice ‘feel’
  • Ingress and egress for front and back seats is a “challenge”
  • Limited storage area with four passengers
  • Front seats could sit higher for more legroom

ATV.com – Yamaha sponsored test drive at the Brushy Mountain Motorsports Park in Taylorsville, NC. Tight trail conditions.

  • Comfortable seats
  • New engine with more power throughout RPM range
  • Really smooth throughout the throttle pedal range
  • Torquey response
  • Quiet cabin
  • Easy to shift
  • Handling gives confidence in many trail conditions
  • Self-leveling suspension provides a nice ride
  • Comfortable back seats with ample room and raised position gives good sight lines

Enthusiast Video and Review – jay_man81 – Local dealer demo event. Walk around video and separate ride video.

Walk around video

  • Most comfortable front seats in a UTV that I’ve ridden in
  • Door latch piece makes ingress difficult
  • Shoulder bolster and padded grips in back seats are nice but engine hump moves your legs slightly to the side
  • Nice and comfortable adjustable steering wheel and good cockpit ergonomics
  • Like the parking brake and switch blanks
  • Glovebox has no rubber seal to keep water out
  • One lever auto-style tailgate latch is better than previous tailgate latches
  • Easily accessible air filter
  • Better comfort than my Honda Pioneer 1000 but less power

Drive video

  • Quiet even in low and can converse in the cabin
  • Smooth power delivery
  • Soaks up the bumps and stays planted
  • Seat belt cutting into my neck a little bit
  • Power steering “spot on”. Light but gives enough trail feel
  • 0 – 30 in 5.58 seconds
  • Power in between Pioneer 500 and 1000-5.
  • Good enough power to put a grin on your face
  • Cannot feel any engine heat in the cabin
  • “Quite an impressive machine”

Capital Powersports in North Carolina – Video with comments from customers taking demo drives

  • Handles well
  • Adjustable seats
  • Bigger steering wheel is comfortable
  • Rear seats fold-up
  • Good on the trail
  • Comfortable seats
  • Smooth suspension on all sorts of terrain
  • Good engine braking
  • Good power at higher speeds but some hesitation at lower speeds

Polaris RZR XP Turbo S Reviews

Polaris RZR SP Turbo S

The RZR XP Turbo S has 25″ of usable front and rear suspension travel.

Polaris introduced their new, top-of-the-line RZR, the 72-inch RZR XP Turbo S in March. The RZR XP Turbo S was completely “redesigned and reengineered” with a reinforced chassis, stronger axels and other strengthened components. Like other high performance RZRs this model is powered by a 168 hp ProStar turbo H.O. engine. Rather than bump up the horsepower, Polaris beefed up almost every other aspect of the vehicle. The XP Turbo S features 32″ ITP Coyote tires 16″ of ground clearance and 25% more assist in power steering. This model also has the Dynamix Active Suspension system, 19″ or 21″ of wheel travel depending on settings and 25″ of what Polaris refers to as useable travel to the skid plate. The drive system is the new Isolated Xtreme Performance True On-Demand AWD/2WD with greater front drive impact strength, improved throttle control and a redesigned clutch box “..for better air flow and decreased belt temperatures.”

Other key specs and features of the RZR XP Turbo S include:

  • 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc with Triple-Bore Front and Dual-Bore Rear Calipers
  • EPS
  • 2.5″/3″ FOX Podium Internal Bypass Shocks with Live Valve
  • Premium Sparco Steering Wheel
  • Bolstered Bucket Seats with 4-point Harness
  • Aluminum Roof
  • Bowed 1/4 Doors
  • Front Blacked Out White LED Low/High w/ Accent Lights & Rear Red LED Tail / Brake / Accent Lights
  • Rear Wired Camera
  • RIDE COMMAND™ 7” Glove-Touch Display with DYNAMIX Visualizer
  • Built-In GPS
  • Bluetooth & USB Smartphone Connectivity
  • GoPro® Control
  • In-Vehicle Communications Capable
  • Ride Command App Integration

The RZR XP Turbo S is available in Indy Red or Polaris Blue and has an MSRP of $27,499.

Below are highlights from reviews of the RZR XP Turbo S from a Polaris arranged test drive event in the desert near Las Vegas, NV. Not surprising for a high end vehicle, the reviews in general are predominantly positive. The Dynamix Active suspension with the new FOX shocks is a big hit. Reviewers are amazed at how the vehicle handles rough terrain and can corner. Reviewers noted the difficulty of the trails on which they drove the vehicles and on several occasions the vehicles easily handled terrain where the driver thought they had pushed the envelope too far. The new steering wheel is also widely praised. While the turbo provides the same horsepower as the previous RZR Turbo model, reviewers found the power output to be more than adequate and good throughout the throttle range. On the negative side, seat comfort could be an issue, one reviewer wants full doors and one wants a lower low range for rock crawling. The 4-point harness is welcomed but can take some adjusting.

UTVGuide.net – Las Vegas test drive first ride review

  • Feels sturdy and stout
  • Designed for 32″ tires
  • Can adjust suspension from the cab
  • Good visibility from the cockpit
  • Improved CVT cooling and stronger front differential
  • Liked the LED accent lights
  • Liked the new Sparco steering wheel
  • Not enough legroom
  • “Low range is too high for technical rock crawling.”
  • Too much seat movement in rough terrain
  • Hard to adjust harness
  • Usable travel is the distance from the bottom of the tires while at full droop to the skid plate.

UTVDriver.com – Las Vegas test drive first ride review

  • New Sparco steering wheel much better
  • EPS system works well similar to other RZRs
  • 32″ tires are “hook up well” and are smoother over obstacles than 29″ Bighorns
  • “Tires track and slide predictably” but wear relatively quickly in the rear in 2WD
  • Felt quick despite width and long travel
  • Punchy throughout throttle positions and a top speed of 85 mph
  • CVT belt appears more durable
  • Handles big bumps really well
  • Can drive with confidence with stronger suspension components
  • Would have liked full doors

Forbes.com – Las Vegas test drive  – This reviewer’s perspective is from a rider less experienced with high-end side-by-sides than the typical reviewers.

  • “…no flexing, clanking or rattling on the roughest of trails.”
  • Harness is “fiddly”
  • Soaks up the bumps
  • Provides a controlled and stable ride
  • “Ridiculously fast”

Dirt Trax Video  – Specs Review and some commentary

  • Best Polaris EPS system of any RZR to date
  • Balanced through the corners

SXSBlog.com – Full video review. Includes an informative discussion with Polaris technical about how the Dynamix system works.  This accompanying article provides an in-depth technical review.

  • Like the RIDE Command touchscreen
  • Linear power and well-tuned – more driveable
  • Impressive ride on very difficult terrain
  • Can really take a hit
  • “Dynamix system is real”
  • Longer throttle to control compared to X3
  • “Wow. that is super impressive…70 mph through those whoops”
  • “Tough and works really well”
  • Handles really well through corners

Brandon Pierce – Las Vegas test drive video

  • Love the steering wheel
  • Like the comfort setting on the suspension
  • Feels fast
  • This is a “beast”

Brandon Pierce – Polaris Marketing Spokesman Vehicle Walkaround & Main Points

  • Completely redesigned from old turbo model -not just larger tires and long travel kit
  • 168 hp turbo is the same but top speed increased to 85 mph and throttle mapping more aggressive for 32″ tires
  • Toughest machine – 32″ tires, which requires redesigned chassis and other components – control arms, tire rods, spherical, knuckles, trailing arms, radius rods, axles; larger and stronger front drive; improved clutch box and belt cooling
  • Higher ground clearance but same center of gravity as previous RZR Turbo
  • Most capable suspension – Smart travel with Dynamix Active suspension, usable travel and improved FOX Live Valve internal bypass shocks shocks
  • Most evolved cockpit – new Sparco wheel, new seats, 4-point harness, new driving position in relation to wheel and maintained sight lines; Ride Command with rear view camera;
  • Lower profile ROPS with more welds and generally beefier
  • Aluminum roof

Polaris Tailors UTVs for Police, Fire & Rescue

Ranger Law Enforcement

A Polaris UTV up-fitted for law enforcement use.

Polaris Ranger Fire UTV

A Polaris Ranger up-fitted for fire operations.

Another Polaris UTV with an alternative fire operations kit.

Polaris Ranger

A Polaris UTV up-fitted for rescue operations.

The Government and Defense division of Polaris Industries recently launched a line-up of Ranger UTVs specifically tailored for law enforcement, fire and rescue operations. The vehicles take a Ranger UTV and add a pre-set package of options for each type of operation. Additional customization is available as well. Polaris is using experienced third-party up-fitters Action Fleet, RKO Enterprises and Federal Signal to put the packages together.

The law enforcement UTVs include sirens, horns, PA system and emergency lighting from Federal Signal, the same as a typical squad car. Base vehicles include the Ranger XP 1000 Northstar HVAC Edition, Ranger Crew Diesel, General 1000 EPS, Ranger 570 and RZR S 900.

Firefighting units include a capable pump, hose and reel, a combination tank for water and a compressed air foam suppression system and the ability draft from a water source. There are flexible mounting options and a firefighting and rescue combo kit is available as well. Rescue units include a rear attendant seat and a stokes rescue basket. Rescue personnel can select between the full-length or break-apart basket for shorter overall length when not in use. Base vehicles include the Ranger Crew XP 900, General 4 1000 EPS, Ranger XP 900 and RZR XP 1000 for the most challenging terrain.

Learn more:  Businesswire.com

SVR’s Take – This approach of providing pre-set packages for specific end-use applications while still allowing additional customization is becoming more popular in the commercial UTV market. Club Car has successfully taken this approach to sell their utility vehicles to specific market verticals with their Fit-to Task series.  While Polaris is targeting police and fire and rescue applications the Club Car vehicles are targeting a range of facility management applications. ACE mini-trucks has taken a similar approach.