Polaris UTV Product Reviews

Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo Review

Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo Review

Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo
Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo in Glamis

By Seth Fargher

It can be a real challenge to give meaningful feedback on a vehicle or product if you’re 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, I’ll 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.

Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo
The RZR XP 4 Turbo is built upon a 117-inch wheelbase and 13.5-inches of ground clearance.

My assumptions couldn’t have been further from the truth and it didn’t 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 didn’t notice a tremendous difference while just casually duning.

Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo

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.

Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo

We couldn’t 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. I’ve ridden in sand long enough that I have a pretty good idea when I’m 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.
Internal bypass technology uses 5 progressive zones to stiffen as the shock absorbs small to large hits. Combine that with 3 zones of rebound damping to minimize pitching and harsh top out to give you an ultra plush ride and better handling over a wider range of terrain at any speed.

Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo

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 you’re 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, we’d recommend ditching the stock knobbies regardless.

Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo

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.

Desert Trak Paddles by Fullerton Sand Sports
Desert Trak Tires by Fullerton Sand Sports mounted on Method Beadlock Wheels

The only other additions to the vehicle were a few goodies from Polaris’ own accessories line which we have to admit, don’t 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 we’re 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.

Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo

No two dune jumps are the same and I’ve 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.

Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo

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, that’s 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.

Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo

So what’s the verdict? Two seats or four? That’s 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 I’m 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.

Engineered from the ground up with industry-leading durability, suspension, agility, and
performance, there are no tradeoffs or compromises when sharing the turbocharged thrill
ride in the all-new 144 HP RZR XP® 4 Turbo EPS.

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Manufacturer Info:

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.

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