|Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo Review
By Seth Fargher
It can be a real challenge to give meaningful feedback on a vehicle or product if youre less than impressed with its performance. As I strapped myself into the new Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo EPS a few weeks ago at Camp RZR, Ill admit that was weighing on my mind. Not that I expected it to disappoint, but mostly because I had spent a good bit of time in the two seat version and had an absolute blast. I figured at best the four seater would feel a bit sluggish and down on power while not being quite as nimble as the 2 seat version.
My assumptions couldnt have been further from the truth and it didnt take long to figure that out either. From the moment we left camp and I pressed the gas any doubts about the machine feeling down on power were extinguished. The RZR XP 4 Turbo is an exceptional dune vehicle with more than enough power to give you and three of your buddies a wild ride through the sand. The 144 HP ProStar engine accelerates every bit as quickly as the two seat version and aside from the longer wheel base, I didnt notice a tremendous difference while just casually duning.
To be fair I was riding solo at first, but even when I had a passenger riding shotgun, the power and acceleration felt right on par with the 2 seat version. Of course, if your three biggest friends jump in, the extra 400 to 600 lbs is going to impact the performance but from machine to machine, simply jumping in the RZR XP 4 Turbo and hitting the sand, it performed every bit as well as the 2 seat version.
We couldnt have picked a better morning for a ride because the dunes were virtually untouched after high winds the night before had completely smoothed them over. The only bumps present were small G-outs at the bottom of dune faces and the FOX Internal Bypass Shocks ate those up no problem. Ive ridden in sand long enough that I have a pretty good idea when Im going to feel a harsh hit in my spine and there were several times where I was expecting that jarring sensation but it never came.
The FOX Internal Bypass Shocks feature a large 3″ body in the rear and 2.5″ body in the front.
As we cruised through the small dunes towards Osborne Overlook we found a few spots with clean untracked sand that provided the opportunity to pitch the machine sideways. The XP 4 Turbo will let you get as crazy as you want to be but is pretty forgiving. Whether youre cruising sand highway out to Oldsmobile Hill or chasing a friend through the smaller dunes, the EPS makes steering a cinch and keeps you in control of that longer wheelbase. I had no problem pitching it sideways in either 2 or 4 wheel drive and the machine will track wherever you point it. That may have been due in part to the DESERT-TRAK tires we were using but for any serious duner, wed recommend ditching the stock knobbies regardless.
Fullerton Sand Sports set us up with a complete set of custom grooved DESERT-TRAK tires on Method beadlock wheels to play around on and we think this is a great tire choice for this machine. We have no doubt that the RZR XP 4 Turbo would turn a bigger paddle but as the weight of the occupants increases, the smaller blades of the DESERT-TRAK will ensure plenty of grip and allow the tire to spin when necessary. The stiff center ridge provides great support down the middle of the tire and is an optimal choice if you have to drive on pavement or gravel to reach the dunes.
The only other additions to the vehicle were a few goodies from Polaris own accessories line which we have to admit, dont look at all like they came from a factory accessories catalog. Our test RZR XP 4 Turbo included an aluminum roof, bright red rear bumper as well as an RZR XPIntrusion Bar up front. The combination of these three products make the vehicle look like it just came from an up fitter rather than the dealer; and were not complaining about that. For anyone looking to retain the use of the stock cage we would recommend the intrusion bar for a little extra support and protection and regardless of where you ride, the aluminum roof provides excellent shade from the sun and protection from the elements, plus it look really good.
No two dune jumps are the same and Ive seen plenty of four seaters stick their noses in the sand off of big dune jumps but the RZR XP 4 Turbo felt completely comfortable in the air. We found a couple of jumps, neither of which had square lips but momentum proved to be more than enough to carry us off the jump and fly level through the air. For kicks I jumped in a two seat XP 1000 and every time I hit the same jump, it carried the nose high and the rear of the car landed first.
One place the RZR XP 4 Turbo really shines is in the whoops and with a 117 inch wheelbase, it comes as no surprise. For you number crunchers, thats 27 inches longer than the 2 seat version and those 27 little inches make a big difference. I did however notice the car handled better through the whoops with a passenger. On my first run it started to get a little dicey and the rear end began to dance at around 45-50 MPH. Once I pushed closer to the 55-60 MPH range, it calmed down and tracked well. With a passenger, I was able to hit the gas pedal and it stayed firmly planted at any speed.
So whats the verdict? Two seats or four? Thats really going to depend on your driving style and just how necessary having the extra carrying capacity would be. For me? Well if I had been one of those four lucky individuals to win an RZR XP Turbo on the closing night of Camp RZR, I think I would have gone with the 4 seat option. The extra carrying capacity is a luxury if I want to take more than one person into the dunes and even if Im driving alone or carrying a single passenger, I found the longer wheelbase enhanced the overall duning experience. When driving by yourself or with another passenger, you can barely (if at all) notice the extra 196 pounds.
The RZR XP 4 Turbo EPS retails for $27,499 U.S. is offered in Graphite Crystal and Spectra Orange.
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