Textron Off Road 2018 Wildcat XX Reviews

Textron Off Road 2018 Wildcat XX

The 2018 Wildcat XX from Textron Off Road

Textron Off Road 2018 Wildcat XX

The Wildcat XX has plenty of horsepower but emphasizes the suspension and handling.

Textron Off Road 2018 Wildcat XX

While not fancy, the Wildcat XX cockpit is ergonomic and roomy and includes a customizable dash.

The 2018 Wildcat XX is Textron Off Road’s first totally new UTV for the high-end sport market since they acquired Arctic Cat. The vehicle was developed with input from Robby Gordon, Todd Romano and Speed Energy and is designed to be able to go from showroom to racing without making major changes. The interesting aspect about the Wildcat XX development is that in the middle of ongoing horsepower wars Textron decided to emphasize the suspension and handling of the vehicle rather than the horsepower. The approach is straight out of their partnership with Robby Gordon and is based on the simple idea that after a certain point the limiting factor for driving fast in challenging terrain is the suspension and handling and not the horsepower. However, the Wildcat XX still packs plenty of horsepower.

The 64″ wide Wildcat XX is powered by a 125 hp, 998cc naturally aspirated EFI engine based on Yamaha’s 3-cylinder engine used in the YXZ, and features 18″ of front and rear suspension travel. The suspension is designed to maintain the same track width throughout the travel to improve handling, cornering and stability through corners and rough terrain. The front suspension has dual A-arms with unequal lengths, a sway bar and FOX 2.5 PODIUM QS3 shocks with compression adjustment. The rear suspension has a rear trailing arm, rear sway bar and FOX 2.5 PODIUM QS3 shocks with compression adjustment and bottom-out control. Wildcat XX has 14″ of ground clearance.

Additional features include:

  • 30″ CST Behemoth tires on 15″ aluminum KMC wheels
  • EPS
  • 2WD/4WD with 4WD lock and front locking differential
  • Team Rapid Response clutches and CVT
  • Full doors
  • Intrusion bars
  • Full skidplate
  • Halogen high/low headlights with LED accents
  • Dual LCD gauge
  • Contoured bucket seats
  • 4 gal. glove box
  • 300 lbs cargo box that can fit a 32″ spare
  • Oversized bearings
  • Forged aluminum front knuckle and double shear suspension components
  • Pre-wired for accessories

The Wildcat XX is available in Lime Green, Satin Charcoal Metallic or Horizon Blue (optional) and has an MSRP of $20,499. Turbocharged and 4-seat versions are being planned.

Most of the following test drives were in the rocky desert environs of Barstow, California. In general the reviews are all very positive. The suspension and handling is the standout feature of the vehicle enabling precise, high speed driving through corners and whoops. The steering is precise and there is no shock fade after a hard day of riding.

The power delivery is considered smooth throughout the range and with plenty of low range performance for rock crawling. The power plant while not turbocharged is viewed as more than adequate for all types of driving conditions, though dune riders may be jealous of their turbocharged buddies. The durability of suspension components, modular frame design and easy access to the innards of the vehicle is expected to make servicing and repairs easier.

Other positives noted include nicely thought out pre-wiring for accessors, good doors, durably built and a roomy and ergonomic cockpit. In terms of drawbacks, vehicle entry can be tricky, and some may find the seatbelt positioning uncomfortable and the seats too firm. The look of the vehicle is likely to receive mixed reviews and some may want more steering feel.

Given the pricing and overall tenor of the vehicle reviews, the Wildcat XX is likely to be a success for Textron Off Road.

UTVGuide.net Test Drive  and  Rock Crawling Video

  • No shock fade after extensive hard driving
  • Kickback free steering
  • Steering may be too light for some
  • “…precise control over the vehicle at insane speeds over rough terrain”
  • Seating provides “…more secure feel than a RZR without the detriment to forward visibility that the X3 creates by placing its seats so low.”
  • Rattle free
  • Smooth operating doors and easy to use
  • Large cab with plenty of leg room and comfortable layout
  • Easy access to clutch, engine and electronics for maintenance and repair
  • “The engine is peppy, there is minimal body roll, and the car is incredibly agile.”
  • “Low-speed maneuverability is great…”
  • Quick and precise steering
  • “The car tracks straight, flies flat, and handles like a dream, never feeling tippy or overworked.”
  • Built for durability
  • Plenty fast for most driving but will likely lag behind turbocharged models on dunes

UTV Planet Test Drive

  • “It is leaps and bounds better than any Wildcat machine before it and its better than several other manufacturers machines available today. It’s really impressive.”
  • Plenty of power despite not being turbo-charged
  • Best suspension system of any Wildcat
  • Comfortable large cab and dead pedal placement
  • Angled center console makes for easier gauge access and visuals
  • The Wildcat XX look produces a love or hate reaction
  • “It is the best Wildcat ever produced. It blows every previous Cat away in terms of comfort, ability and durability.”

ATV.com Test Drive

  • Not completely sold on the look
  • Slightly difficult to enter because of angled bodywork
  • Incredibly easy to service from a racing point of view
  • Smooth power delivery through RPM range
  • “Seems to get up on top of the ridges and dance along with control and little effort.”

ATVillustrated.com Test Drive

  • Built like a racing vehicle
  • Roomy and ergonomic cockpit including flat-bottomed steering wheel, non-rattling hand holds and center console and “huge” glove box
  • Sturdy well-operating doors
  • Modular three-section frame for easy repair and servicing
  • Hanging engine on rubber mounts isolates engine from frame impacts
  • Fan fins cast into CVT pulleys improves airflows and minimized belt issues
  • Top speed of 75 mph
  • Can corner at high speeds easily
  • Quick turning but some might want more feel
  • “Floats like a desert car”
  • Responsive CVT
  • “No need for turbo.  It’s not about horsepower, it’s about handling.”
  • “Suspension and handling on the Wildcat XX is phenomenal.”
  • “On the trail the Wildcat XX is VERY, VERY predictable and confidence inspiring.  More so than any performance Side x Side we’ve ever driven.”

Harrison Power Sports – In-depth Vehicle walkthrough video

  • Larger A-arms
  • Double shear mountings for strength and durability
  • Rack and pinion with EPS rather than old Wildcat slide steering
  • All tires are the same size
  • No-tool access to reach belts and battery and remove bed
  • Lot of heat shields
  • Covered alternator
  • Race approved and race ready roll cage
  • Excellent pre-wiring and electronics

Ruthless Motor Sports – Video walk around and pros and cons after driving in Sand Hollow,, UT and Testing Low Range


  • Can’t say enough about the suspension. Very impressive.
  • No fading after 100 miles of different types of riding
  • Tracks through whoops (at 74 mph) and corners
  • Low range is impressive for rock crawling and low speed driving
  • Power steering is on point
  • Well over 100 miles from full tank
  • Felt fast and throttle responsive. Does not need to be a turbo

Didn’t like

  • Tie-rods not good enough structurally for rock crawling
  • Many people sat in the vehicle and didn’t like the seatbelts which sat low and irritated up high
  • Seats are a little bit firm

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