|2014 Four-Seat UTV Review
By Katelyn Crowley
The UTV industry is a competitive one, pushing manufactures to create more capable vehicles to satisfy enthusiasts. While two seats are enough for most, top manufacturers have created new four seat models that allow a family to ride in comfort. Polaris, Arctic Cat and Can-Am have all stretched their popular two-seat models and focused on the dune and desert market with plush suspension and big bore power. Meanwhile, Kawasaki took a different route and packed four seats into a smaller chassis that is geared towards trail riding.
Back in 2010, Polaris started the sport four-seat trend with the introduction of the RZR 4 800. Polaris saw a market for a multi-passenger sport vehicle at a significantly lower price than an expensive sand car.
The RZR 4 did so well that Polaris set the bar even higher when they introduced the RZR XP 4 900 in 2012. With the instant success of the RZR XP 900 and the popularity of RZR 4, it was a natural progression to develop an extreme-performance four-seat vehicle.
It was only a matter of time for the other manufacturers to jump in on the success of this market segment. For 2013/2014 model years, not only has Polaris raised the bar on the RZR XP 4 900, but Can-Am and Arctic Cat have jumped in as well. Kawasaki has refined their Teryx4 for 2014 as well.
Polaris RZR XP 4 1000
The Polaris RZR XP 4 1000 is equipped with a 107 horsepower ProStar engine with a true 999 ccs of displacement, 3-link Trailing Arm independent Rear Suspension with exclusive Walker Evans position-sensitive, anti bottoming needle shocks, the first-OEM offered 29 inch Maxxis Bighorn tires, high-strength tubular chassis and high performance on demand all-wheel drive system. The ProStar engine makes this the fastest accelerating four-seater on the market. However the RZR XP 4 1000 offers more than speed, the industry-exclusive Walker Evan shocks on all four corners makes almost any terrain seem smooth. Coupled with this vehicles longer wheel base and 13.5 inch ground clearance and Maxxis bighorn tires, it is one of the smoothest and fastest four seats in the market.
Arctic Cat Wildcat 4 1000
The Polaris RZR XP 4 1000 isnt the only powerful UTV on the market however, Arctic Cats Wildcat 4 1000 is a pure sport UTV equipped with impressive features. A completely new drive clutch system answers consumers plea for improved acceleration while still putting the torque and horsepower of the 951cc v-twin engine to the ground where it matters. The Wildcat 4 1000 also includes a sway bar to work harmoniously with the new Podium X FOX shocks, creating an unbeatable rider and driver experience. The Full Perimeter Exoskeleton frame was stretched 29-inches to accommodate four riders with plenty of leg room. The Wildcat 4, with improved acceleration, impressive suspension and many comforts for riders inside, is one of the top competitors in the four-seat UTV market.
Can-Am Maverick MAX
Enthusiasts got their first look at Can-Ams entry in the four-seat market at the 2012 Sand Sports Super Show. While the Maverick MAX 1000R would not be available for another year, Can-Am wanted to give the market a taste of what they had coming. The Maverick MAX features a Rotax powered 101-horsepower v-twin engine and FOX 2.5 podium performance shocks. The two-seat Maverick wheelbase was extended 29.5 inches to create the MAX and offers plenty of room and comfort for any rider. In addition Can-Am added stadium-style rear seats. The rear seats are 3.5 inches higher than those in the front, making visibility greatly improved. While the RZR and Wildcat models use trailing arm rear suspension, Can-Am took a different route. Their compact Torsional Trailing A-arms (TTA) independent rear suspension improves traction while also reducing unsprung weight and eliminating bump steer for extremely predictable handling.
Kawasakis Teryx 4 may not offer the speed that the other three UTVs offer, however, Kawasaki has created a unique four-seat UTV that offers something different. With a much shorter wheelbase (85.7 inches) the Teryx 4 can reach places larger UTVs simply cant, while still leaving ample leg room for riders. This wheelbase allows for a 16.7-foot radius turning radius, which comes in handy in tight situations. The new 783cc v-twin engine offers 10% more torque, and 8% more power for steep hills. With FOX Podium coil-over shocks, the Teyrx 4 can tackle a widely varied terrain in comfort. Although different from other four-seat UTVs, the Teryx 4 can navigate and maneuver through areas others cant and is a great option for trail riders.
With the increased popularity of UTVs, manufactures have been forced to vary their designs to create improved vehicles. The rise in competition between the leading manufactures has lead to the development of impressive UTVs in power, suspension, design and ability in a variety of terrain. With the consumers thirst for new and exciting models, manufactures continue to push the limits in pursuit of the ultimate UTV.
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