In August, 2016 Can-Am introduced their new Maverick X3, the latest salvo in the battle for supremacy in the sport/high performance recreational side-by-side market. Continuing the horsepower wars, this latest model is powered by a 154 hp, three-cyclinder, 900cc, turbocharged Rotax ACE engine with EFI. It delivers 113 lb-ft. of torque at 7,000 rpm and propels the X3 from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds according to Can-Am. Another key feature of the lineup is the large amount of suspension travel, from 20″ to 24″ depending on the model. Besides the base model X3, there is Maverick X3 X ds and the top-of-the-line Maverick X3 X rs designed for dune riding. The MSRPs are $22,999, $24,999 and $26,999 respectively.
Not surprisingly I was able to find a number of expert reviews of the new Maverick X3. They were uniformly very positive about the vehicle and believed it has set a new standard in the industry. Some of the common positive impressions across the reviews include:
- Powerful engine
- Great suspension
- Good handling
- Comfortable and adjustable seating
- Good cockpit ergonomics
The following are some of the key impressions from the reviews. Some of the reviews were based on a limited test run at a dealer event, while others were based on a lengthier one or two day events with many hours of riding.
UTV Underground – Based on short ride at dealer event on demo track
- Comfortable and highly adjustable seats with both fore and aft adjustment and the ability to lower the seat another two inches
- Excessive chassis roll but still feels planted in the corners
- Handles very deep and rough terrain better than any factory side-by-side
UTVguide.net – Extended test of the Maverick X3 X rs at UTV Invasion event in Idaho.
- Low seats and plenty of legroom but shorter drivers may have issue with over-the-hood visibility
- Comfortable seats, good pedal position but somewhat long steering wheel reach
- 4-point harness would be better
- Rear rack would need accessories to add storage but inside storage good
- Slight delay as turbo spins up but powerful when it does
- The torque is silky-smooth, allowing you to drive hard with your right foot while still maintaining traction easily under hard cornering loads.
- Lots of power
- The steering feel produces zero feedback through the wheel
- Steering is neutral with only some understeer
- The suspension is great providing a solid ride under even extreme conditions
- “We have officially entered a new era of suspension performance with the X3, as the X rs packs as much usable wheel travel as the Commander and original Maverick COMBINED.”
UTVGuide.net – Tested all three Maverick X3 models in Mexico over two days.
- Quick ratio steering and Dynamic Power Steering great
- “I found myself using the power often during the next two days to lighten the front end instead of stabbing the brakes for an obstacle. … Anywhere from 30 MPH to 70 MPH acceleration is violent and addictive.”
- CVT worked well in transferring power
- CVT and engine intakes are behind the driver’s head which may be annoying after several hours because of the noise.
- The front differential lock is not good for rock crawling.
- “Can-Am has raised the bar in the sport UTV market segment, especially when you look at the Maverick X3 X rs. Factory long travel with 22/24 inches of travel is amazing in a 102-inch wheelbase for the desert. And although the horsepower comparison between the RZR XP Turbo at 144 HP and the Maverick X3 Turbo at 154 HP isn’t all that much on paper, when you get behind the wheel of the X3 you can feel the difference and it is exhilarating.”
ATV.com – Short test run at dealer event.
- Standing on the gas pedal gives a thrilling response
- “This rig just seems to soak up the impacts one right after the other”
- Braking seemed a little soft but more than adequate
- “The suspension of the new Maverick X rs Turbo R is unlike anything else offered on a factory UTV.”
- “On the few slick, flat surface corners we experienced, the Maverick likes to stay semi-flat, but you definitely feel the flexing of the super long travel of the suspension.”
Gearopen.com – Tested all three Maverick X3 models in Mexico over two days
- Good power transfer
- The power literally puts you back in your seat if you stab the throttle pedal hard.
- Very well balanced suspension.
- Can easily adjust to the three compression settings on the shocks.
- “It was the Maverick X3 X RS that really stood out as a game changer. This is the first factory long travel UTV that measures 72 inches wide.”
- Like with the other X3’s, the car feels planted, tracks straight and is ultra plush.
- Good steering wheel feel
- Predicatable cornering
- Good rock crawler
- “Vehicle feels solid, it’s fast and it feels glued to the ground”
Rockymountainatvmc.com – Tested all three Maverick X3 models in Mexico over two days
- “Simply put, the turbocharged engine is perfectly suited to the demands of sport UTV driving. It produces instantaneous boost off idle, equating to an absurdly wide powerband…”
- “The X3 pulls hard at any speed, with no lag or flat spots through its rpm range”
- “It’s the X3’s handling that really triggers elevated levels of euphoria.”
- Handles rough terrain very well and the driver feels in control.
- The vehicle has some chassis roll.
- The CVT is noisy in the cabin and you will need to replace the transmission belts occasionally.
- It can handle many types of terrain very wel.l
- “If you’ve never driven a side-by-side that’s truly “wowed” you, then test drive Can-Am’s latest Maverick.”
Ridenow TV video – The 2017 Can-Am Maverick X3 review was the topic of this week’s RideNow TV episode. We had an exclusive opportunity to have first dibs at test riding the Maverick X3 before they were available to the public and we had an absolute blast! Every single one of us was extremely impressed at the over all package delivered by Can-Am.
- Comfortable and adjustable seat
- Smaller steering wheel
- Fastest side by side
- Good throttle response – immediate
- Sleeker looking than previous Mavericks
- Low center of gravity
- Great suspension
- Good through the whoops and smooth as butter,
- Couldn’t bottom out the suspension
Ridenow TV Walkaround video – Vehicle walkaround and interviews with Can-Am engineers and off-road racers who have test driven the new Maverick X3
- Trailing arm suspension a big improvement nearly like a trophy truck
- Excellent driver comfort and ergonomics
- Different and cool body lines
- Longer wheelbase and rear placed engine allows you to lower seat, also dropped the cage
- Designed to be close to a race vehicle right out of the box
- Used a new high strength alloy to make a lighter but more rigid frame to handle the high horsepower.
- Other parts beefier as well
- 3 models for different riding condition including 72″ wide version for dune riding
- As a racer great out of the box, could race with little changes
- Handling matches the increased power
- In its own class as a side by side
- Near ready race car
- Great lines
- Race ready
Off-Road Racer BJ Baldwin
- Really comfortable to drive
- Goes through obstacles really well
- Ride really well, much better than other UTVs when going from a trophy truck
- Even at really fast speeds it still handles well
- Ergonomics are good as well
- Did a really good job