Finding something new once again with Ranger Utility vehicles.
Polaris is well known for quickly making changes and for trying to stay ahead of what people seem to want in a SXS. The Ranger line, XP 900 specifically, according to Polaris, has been the best-selling utility work and play ride in the off-road industry for over 12 years now. It would be hard to argue with them on that. We have seen the Ranger go from 700 to 800 to the ever popular 900 model and as with the silence of all of these models comes the next farewell in the heritage of displacement growth.
In model year 2020 the Ranger XP 900 is now replaced by the Ranger 1000 and we will say so long to that 900cc model line. This should not get you down however because this Polaris Ranger 1000 is packed with incredible updates and the price is something that has us all turning our heads. If you thought you may never be able to afford a 1000cc UTE, then hold on a minute as this Ranger 1000 now starts at $12,999. It seems like everyone is reducing prices to capture that “on the fence” customer and Polaris will bring many to the fold with 2020 pricing as well.
Starting with the front of the new Ranger 1000 you will notice the completely new look of this vehicle. The headlight design as well as the entire front facia give’s up a sleeker and more futuristic design. The center grill of this Ranger 1000 is removable to allow for easy access to clean the radiator area which will make those who ride in a lot of mud or through fields of high grass very happy. Being able to easily service your machine is crucial for a DIY utility SXS owner and it is a welcomed feature for sure. The air filter box also received some changes and is now easier to service, as complete removal and replacement of the filter takes less than a minute.
In 2018 Polaris launched a feature that became a favorite of ours immediately and it was such a simple yet useful feature at that. Over the last year or two we found out just how easy it is to wire in accessories with the Polaris Pulse Buss Bar and the 2020 Ranger 1000 gets this as a standard option as well. The only difference in this Ranger 1000 is that there are only three ports for accessories, but you can install the 6-port buss bar if you choose to add even more bells or whistles down the road. Not only is the buss bar prewired but the Ranger 1000 comes ready for a winch as well with all of the initial hard wires already installed.
One of the key differences with the Ranger 1000 is the engine and its design for what Polaris calls the working class. As it was explained to us, the engine from the cylinders down is the same as the other 1000cc engines in the family but the new Ranger 1000 gets a single overhead cam design and the power is delivered a little lower in the rpm range. The peak torque of this mill has been moved down 3000 RPM and Polaris believes this will help the working capacity as well as the overall performance for those who use the machine to make their livelihood. This Ranger is also capable of handling a bit higher towing capacity. The new 2020 Polaris Ranger 1000 will now tow an incredible 2500lbs over a majority rule of 2000lbs in 2019. This does bring about the question of being able to stop such a massive load. After asking the same question from several directions, we had been reassured that the brakes on this Ranger were upgraded or improved to exceed what is currently on the XP 1000 line and stopping the towable limit is not an issue.
Polaris has always worked hard to provide what their research determines to be a need in the market place. Pricing for the SXS market has been long accused of getting out of hand for the average consumer. Polaris wants everyone to be in their machines and model year 2020 is no different so as we mentioned earlier, with the pricing plans starting at $12,999 we figure most everyone can get in on the action. There are three total trim levels within the Ranger 1000 line and the pricing structure reflects basic wheel and tire upgrades along with bumper enhancements and seating styling. The base comes with steel wheels, does not have the full front bumper, or custom seating with extra padding nor does it have a seat slider on the driver seat. The upgrade from base is the EPS model with custom wheels and colorations varying from Solar Red, Sage Green, Tan and Camo. For model year 2020 you can get the Camo version with EPS now where you had to add it as an accessory in the 900 models. The top of the line Ranger 1000 is only $14,999.
As for the ride, after approximately 4 hours of seat time we found out that the Ranger 1000 is quiet, as expected, stout and quickly grabs your attention along the low to mid RPM range. The EPS version we drove was smooth while still giving us a good feel for the trails. Whether you are in turf mode, 2WD or full 4WD the steering seemed to have a very light feeling and never felt heavy even in tight back to back turns on the trails during the day. The new style driver seat is also a huge improvement with the seat being planted very firmly in place. If you recall the previous year driver seating was very loose feeling and seemed to feel as if it were not locked down very well. Getting into and out of the Ranger is also easier as the egress has been enlarged a bit for those who work the rig more than trail ride. Polaris has long built specialized machines to fit the ever-changing customer and maybe that’s why they hold such a big piece of the proverbial pie in this space.