|Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ Review
By: Joseph Joey D. DiGiovanniUTVUnderground.com
The 2011 Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ is arguably the most powerful UTV to ever hit the UTV market. When Arctic Cat introduced the 2010 Prowler 1000 XTZ it quickly became one of the most popular UTVs for performance minded individuals. With tops speeds reaching the high 70 MPH range the Prowler XTZ was the fastest UTV to hit the market.
For 2011 Arctic Cat chose to build upon this winning platform of power and performance retaining the 951cc SOHC 4 stroke, 4 valve, V-Twin Liquid Cooled H2 engine with EFI. Arctic Cat prides itself on putting power where it matters, to the ground! As power hungry enthusiasts we love when manufacturers have this mind set. To compliment this monster power mill is the Duramatic Transmission with Low, High, Neutral, and Reverse. This years model has increased engine breaking which really helps when on a downhill slope. Not having to ride the breaks is great when trying to navigate rough and rocky downhill terrain. A front locking 4WD differential with an all in one 2WD/4WD/Diff Lock Rocker Switch button for quick engagement shifting and rear mounted sway-bar for improved trail riding round out the Prowler XTZ power train.
New for 2011 is the Variable Assist Electronic Power Steering (EPS). Arctic Cats Variable Assist EPS allows steering assistance to the XTZ before it even starts to move at idle. We find this extremely helpful when moving the vehicle at slow speeds, for example when moving in/out of the garage, off/on the trailer, or just turning around on a tight trail. The EPS is also a tremendous help to the driver when in 4WD, especially when the differential lock is engaged. It takes away the fear of the wheel ripping out of your hand by reducing the torque necessary to steer the XTZ when changing direction with a full load in the bed or when traversing over tough terrain like rocks or deep mud. I feared a feeling of the vehicle being loose with the EPS when moving at high speeds and while you still get a feeling of lightness due to the shorter wheelbase of the UTV, the handling was still very responsive and over steer wasnt a problem.
The stance and suspension were race-bred and performance calibrated with what Arctic Cat calls Ride-In. Ride-In is described by Arctic Cat as having roughly 2 inches of squat (depending on driver/passenger size) while providing 10 inches of ground clearance and 10 inches of suspension/wheel travel. I will attest that the Arctic Cat does have a rather sporty feel to it, especially at high speeds and when cornering under power. I really enjoyed the pull it had when coming out of a turn and off the line and because of the power and stance sliding in and out of corners was exceptionally fun and sturdy. I never had the feeling of being too top heavy or the feeling of bicycling the UTV when turning hard through a corner. One area of the suspension we were slightly disappointed in was the gas-charged Ryde FX monotube coil over shocks. While Arctic Cat claims them to be the best, and they may be, I just think that with this type of power and aggression an adjustable compression/rebound coil over shock is necessary. With all of the different terrain enthusiasts will be taking the XTZ through I feel the ability to adjust to your personal ride comfort is a huge benefit.
Another new for 2011 feature is the ROPS compliant Baja-inspired round tube roll cage. One of the biggest complaints we heard over the last year with the Prowler lineup was the use of the square tube roll cage. It made it hard for aftermarket accessories to adapt to the cage style and it also wasnt the most appealing in the style department. Arctic Cat took note and introduced their new style round tube canopy for 2011 and it not only gave the Prowler a more appealing look but it also now gives the Prowler the aggressive cage design enthusiasts and XTZ lovers wanted. In addition to the round tubing design the Prowler also comes standard with a very useable convex rear view mirror. I found it very useful while on our adventure to the Grand Canyon, I took pleasure in watching all of our friends eating our DUST! HA HA
Interior creature comforts also took a turn for the better in 2011. A digital gauge redesign was implemented and includes a new seat belt indicator light to remind you of always keeping safety first when operating the Prowler XTZ. A new race-inspired steering wheel was also applied to the 2011 XTZ and works in conjunction with the 5-Position Tilt Steering set up which is lever actuated and makes for an easier entry and departure from the vehicle. A console-mounted automotive style parking brake was also added and is a huge improvement over the 2010 model. Arctic Cat also took notice to what was being labeled as a sensitive throttle in 2010. So for 2011 they designed the Prowler with a new foot throttle that has a lighter actuator spring. This reduces the jerky feeling you get when applying pressure onto the throttle.
Storage is not a problem with the XTZ with plenty of cargo space both in the bed and under the hood. The XTZ has 1,500-lb towing capacity and a 600-lb payload capacity for the bed. The under hood storage box is rated for 25-lbs and is large enough to hold a backpack which we found really useful on our trip in the XTZ. The XTZ sports an 8.2 gallon fuel tank which provided surprisingly good fuel economy even when driving the vehicle like we had stolen it across the Arizona/Nevada deserts. The rear bed cargo box also comes with bed rails which give you some convenient locations to place your tie down hooks.
The Prowler 1000 XTZ will be available from Arctic Cat in 2 paint options for 2011. White Metallic or Viper Blue Metallic is the options and personally I love the White! Gone is the hood scoop that was featured in the 2010 lineup which I am a bit torn on. We lost the scoop to make room for the under hood storage so I can accept that change. One of my favorite additions to the Prowler 1000 XTZ lineup is the 26 Maxxis Bighorn Tires. Wrapped around the 14 inch aluminum wheels the Bighorns are some of the most reliable and popular tire options in all of the UTV market. Front and rear hydraulic disc brakes help bring the kitty to a halt.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the performance, handling, and overall comfort of the Arctic Cat prowler 1000 XTZ. It has all a performance minded UTV enthusiast can ask for and is primed for some very exciting aftermarket modifications.
Arctic Cat Inc.
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