Polaris UTV Product Reviews

Polaris RZR XP 1000 First Ride Review

Polaris RZR XP 1000 First Ride Review

Polaris RZR XP 1000
Polaris RZR XP 1000s on display at DuneFest 2013

By Jon Crowley,UTVGuide.net

The new XP 1000 is the RZR many enthusiasts have been waiting for Polaris to produce. With a 107 horsepower from a 999cc engine, 18 inches of wheel travel in the rear, 16 inches in the front, 13.5 inches of ground clearance, longer wheelbase, more cab room and beefy rear axles, this RZR delivers on the spec sheet.

One day after Polaris unveiled the new  RZR XP 1000 to Polaris dealers in Washington D.C., enthusiasts attendingDuneFest 2013 in the Winchester Bay Dunes were able to catch a glimpse of the biggest and baddest Side-by-Side of the RZR family.

I was lucky enough to have DuneFest on my calendar and was eager to catch my first glimpse of the XP 1000 after the semi rolled onto the sand on Tuesday.  Unfortunately for me, the Polaris crew had a lot to do in order to have a dozen new RZR’s prepped and booth area setup before DuneFest officially started on Thursday.

Polaris RZR XP 1000s on display at DuneFest 2013

Once Wednesday rolled around, they had the vehicles ready to go and by the afternoon they were starting to break a few units in.  I hooked up with Nolan once they were ready to select a course for their demo rides and eagerly jumped into the passenger seat of the XP 1000.

First thing I noticed were the factory doors.  These units had the optional bottom panel so the area was closed in up to about chest height once you were seated.  The latch for the door is on the inside.  Not completely obvious at first, but you get used to it real quick and it lends itself to a cleaner exterior.

The seats in the XP 1000 are all new as well.  They feature improved bolstering that definitely make you feel more contained in the seat. But the best news for taller riders is the increased legroom in the cab. This was probably my biggest complaint with the RZR XP 900, and the extra room, while not suitable for a 6′ 8″ basketball player, is much more comfortable for my 6′ 1″ frame.

Although the cab is all-new, it still has that RZR feel to it. And once the engine started, I heard the familiar rumble of the ProStar engine.  I would have to say that the exhaust note seemed a little more hushed than the XP 900, but there is no science to back that up.

Now these demo units were all set up with 29″ Maxxis Bighorn tires on 14″ wheels, and I was a little concerned about how the XP 1000 would handle  the dunes with large tires and a lot more rotating mass. My concerns were unfounded when Nolan jumped into the throttle and blasted through a narrow, curvy trail filled with whoops. Wow!  This thing was fast and the suspension was working well.

Polaris RZR XP 1000 ReviewA bit farther south, we ran into some really cool rollers.  These were like huge whoops that were spaced out.  The were created by the wind instead of vehicles, and they were big fun.  Nolan hammered through them at nearly top speed and I held tight onto the grab bar for all that it was worth. The suspension was set on the soft side for two guys and this type of terrain, but I was amazed at what we were able to do. Other than a few bottom-outs that could be easily fixed with a few more clicks of compression, we never got out of shape, and never slowed down.  Very impressive for a two-seat UTV.

We continued on through the dunes for a while before heading back to the main vendor area at DuneFest. Big thanks to Nolan for giving me a chance to ride shotgun. I am not a great passenger, but I knew that he had plenty of seat-time in the new XP 1000 and just had to trust his experience with the machine.

The next day, I was able to get behind the wheel of the XP 1000 for the first time.  I had Lisa from Polaris in the right seat and we hooked up with two other XP 1000s for a tour of the Winchester Bay dunes. As a driver with a lot of seat-time in the RZR XP 900, the XP 1000 felt real comfortable.

Polaris RZR XP 1000 ReviewPolaris RZR XP 1000 ReviewPolaris RZR XP 1000 Review

We toured the dunes and I got a good feel of what the XP 1000 could do from a new perspective. The power was smooth through the power band, and we were able to roll up to some steep hill climbs and easily get over the top without much of a running start. Doing this with 29″ Bighorns in the sand is pretty impressive.

Like the XP 900, the suspension felt better the harder I pushed the car. But the XP 1000 can go even further and faster through the rough stuff.

The next day, I caught up with RJ Anderson as he rode his XP 1000 for a video shoot with Mad Media. Fullerton Sand Sports had mounted up a set of paddle tires on STI wheels and the car looked really good in sand trim. RJ has a ton of seat time in the new XP 1000, especially with the video work onXP1K. It was big fun to watch RJ haul through the dunes, launch of jumps and huck it into the corners.  The kid can drive and the XP 1000 looked even more impressive with a professional driver behind the wheel.

Polaris RZR XP 1000Polaris RZR XP 1000Polaris RZR XP 1000Polaris RZR XP 1000

I am eagerly awaiting the chance to get behind the wheel of the XP 1000 and next week that will happen.  I will be attending the Polaris press event and then we may just head to the dunes for a little night ride after that.

The 2014 RZR XP 1000 starts at $19,999 USD,  and there a a ton of PURE Polaris accessories that can easily push you up to $25,000 in a heartbeat, so this isn’t a cheap UTV by any means. But, in my opinion, enthusiasts are going to eat them up. Thanks for pushing the bar higher once again Polaris.

Check out other “First Reactions” of the XP 1000 at DuneFest in this video:


  • 107 Horsepower on 87 octane.
  • Big rear axles and CVs
  • 2.5″ shocks in the rear with remote reservoirs up where they can get good airflow
  • Suspension – 18″ rear & 16″ front soaks up big hits
  • EPS – Power steering
  • More legroom
  • 29″ tires and clutch tuned for the big tires
  • Big brakes
  • Doors are lightweight, but work well and feel solid
  • Full tubular chassis
  • Quiet engine and exhaust


  • Lower radius arm looks weak and exposed for rock crawling
  • Almost 200 lbs. heavier than the RZR XP 900
  • Glove box – Door will not stay shut.

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Manufacturer Info:

Polaris is a recognized leader in the powersports industry with annual 2012 sales of $3.2 billion. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® and RZR® side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and small 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 brands. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the global on-road small 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 and KLIM branded apparel and Polaris accessories and parts.

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

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