|Polaris GENERAL 4 Review
The Polaris GENERAL has intrigued me ever since it was first released last winter. I love high performance machines as much as the next guy but the utilitarian capabilities of the GENERAL are worth a lot in my opinion. With the addition of theGENERAL 4 1000 for 2017, an already great machine got even better.
Initially, the GENERAL 4 1000 doesnt feel too terribly different than the RZR XP 4 1000. Although it features a shorter wheelbase (113 inches), the overall length is 4 inches longer thanks to the inclusion of a dump bed. If youre of the mindset that anything with a dump bed must be considered a utility machine, you had better think again.
The 100 horsepower ProStar engine is much more indicative of a sport machine than utility. In fact, during our test we were able to jump between a RZR XP 1000, GENERAL 4 1000 and the new Ranger XP 1000 and the performance gap (speaking only of power and acceleration) is infinitely greater between the RANGER and the GENERAL than the GENERAL and the RZR XP 1000. The GENERAL 4 1000 had zero issues carrying three full grown men along with some camera equipment around our proving grounds, a picturesque ranch in Montana. It has enough get up and go to quench the thirst of a thrill seeker but enough low end grunt to take on virtually any task around the farm. In fact, its 65 ft pounds of torque is greater than the Ranger XP 1000s 61 ft pounds; further illustrating this machines ability to satisfy both sport and utility audiences.
If the GENERAL 4 1000 has a natural habitat, the area where we were riding in Montana has got to be it. The beautiful private ranch was nestled right at the timberline, where rolling grass covered hills met rugged, mountainous terrain. From high speed access roads, to rough mountain trails with some sizable creek crossings, the GENERAL 4 1000 was right at home everywhere we went.
Comfortable is a word that kept coming to mind throughout the entire course of our ride. From the cockpit to the controls to the suspension, the GENERAL 4 is a tight and composed machine in any terrain. The dual a-arm suspension utilizes Walker Evans Racing shocks with integrated front and rear sway bars to provide 12.25 inches of front travel and 13.2 inches in the rear.
Many of the trails were littered with sharp rocks and we cruised through a number of dry creek beds but the GENERAL resisted bottoming and soaked up any rough terrain without issue. We also ran across several small ditches designed to help with run-off. They make for fun little jumps for the front passengers but because theyre so short (and because of the longer wheelbase), the front end was coming back down as the backend was going up, making for a sort of catapult-like feeling for the person in the backseat. The good news is, the landing was plush and didnt bottom out. We suspect big air probably isnt at the forefront of most GENERAL 4 owners minds but we were pleased with the performance of the suspension everywhere we went.
Ground clearance was also impressive, thanks in part to the 27 inch 8 ply GBC Dirt Commander tires. At 12 inches the GENERAL 4 1000 is slightly less than the RZR XP 4 1000 but that didnt really seem to matter where we were driving. The only issue we had at one point was while crossing a unique, elevated cattle guard. Because of the longer wheel base, we managed to get high centered and just didnt quite have the reach for the front tires to grab dirt on the other side. On our second attempt, with a little more momentum, we made it over no problem.
While work wasnt heavy on our minds, the GENERAL 4 1000 is certainly capable of tackling most any task thanks to its 600 pound capacity dump bed. Though not as big as the 1000 pound capacity bed on the Ranger, it still includes the useful dump feature and is capable of towing up to 1500 pounds thanks to a standard 2 inch receiver. Utility minded buyers will also appreciate the addition of turf mode on the 2017 model GENERAL and GENERAL 4. The close ratio AWD system provides instantaneous engagement of the front wheels when the vehicle senses the need for more traction and reverts back to 2WD automatically.
Gone are the days of sacrificing comfort for performance as OEMs are paying much more attention to details that will enhance the user experience and Polaris is no different. When it was originally released last year, the GENERAL received a newly designed cab which included new bucket seats, a useful center console for storage and a tilting steering wheel with digital instrumentation display. Passengers in the GENERAL 4 1000 will enjoy the same creature comforts, along with enough leg room to not feel like theyre riding in the back seat of a UTV. Another nice touch were two strips of padding on the back of the front seats that aline perfectly with the rear passengers knees. Even our tallest driver at 62 said he felt quite comfortable in the backseat.
If youre looking for an all around vehicle, youll be hard pressed to beat the GENERAL 4 1000. With seating for four, the ability to pack a cooler or haul camping gear and enough power to go anywhere and thrill yourself and a few passengers, the GENERAL 4 1000 is vying for the title of ultimate adventure vehicle.
Polaris GENERAL 4 1000 EPS Features:
Polaris is a recognized leader in the powersports industry with annual 2014 sales of $4.5 billion. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road consumer and military vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® and RZR® side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles. Polaris is among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles and has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with the Victory® and Indian Motorcycle® and Slingshot® brands. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the global Work and Transportation vehicle industry with Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), Goupil Industrie SA, Aixam Mega S.A.S., and internally developed vehicles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Polaris Engineered Parts, Accessories and Apparel, Klim branded apparel and ORV accessories under the Kolpin®, Cycle Country® and Pro Armor®brands.
Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PII, and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index.
Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at www.polaris.com.