UTV Product Reviews

Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ 1000 Review

Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ 1000 H2 Review

Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ 1000 H2

I had the opportunity to ride the 2009 Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ at the press intro in South Dakota. Arctic Cat had three 2009 Prowler 1000’s available for us to play with, along with two 2009 Prowler 700s and a 2009 Prowler 550 Flatbed.

2009 Arctic Cat Press Intro


Without a doubt, the engine of the new Prowler 1000 XTZ is the one thing that has everyone talking. In the competitive side x side market, having the most powerful engine is incredibly important. The engine alone will be enough for the Prowler to appeal to a whole new set of customers that desire high horsepower (like those that ride in the dunes, desert and mud).

The 2009 Prowler XTZ has a 950cc v-twin hemi that puts down serious torque which completely blows away other sport side x side vehicles that are currently available by Yamaha, Polaris and Kawasaki. We had the Prowler XTZ over 65 mph and it still had more in it.  If you are interested in the fastest production UTV on the market, the XTZ is the current winner. Arctic Cat does not limit the speed or rpm on the Prowler 1000.

Top speed on an Arctic Cat Prowler is incredible
The view of the Prowler 1000 from other UTVs.  The Prowler 1000 is the current king of the hill for top speed out of a factory side x side.

Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ – High speed run video

The units we were driving were Arctic Cat’s prototypes, and they still had a bit of clutch tuning to do.  Against a Prowler 700, the XTZ was faster off the line, but at about 15mph, it took off.  With the clutching work that Arctic Cat will be doing for the production units, I have no doubt that it will be even better off the line.

Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ vs. Prowler 700 XTX – Short drag race video

And for those that worry about first-year issues with a new off-road vehicle, the engine in the new Prowler also finds a home in Arctic Cat’s Thundercat ATV.  The good news here is the Thundercat used this engine in their 2008 model, so it has had a bit of time to work out any kinks.

Prowler 1000 top speed is well over 65mph
I had the Prowler 1000 up to 65 mph before lifting.  The Prowler’s don’t come with any sort of speed limiter, so I can easily believe that it will hit 75 mph, if not more. But with a stock roll cage and a shoulder harness, 65 mph was fast enough for me.

Seat Height and Ground Clearance:

One of my biggest complaints with the Prowler 700 has been the high center of gravity.  Arctic Cat has addressed some of this with the new Prowler 100. The Prowler 1000 XTZ has a seat height that is advertised at 2 1/2″ lower that the Prowler 700 XTX. This is a direct result of lowering the ride height.  Now you have about 10″ of ground clearance.

Prowler 700 vs. Prowler 550 vs. Prowler 1000
Left to right: Prowler 700, Prowler 550, Prowler 1000

Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 Ground Clearance = 10" Prowler 700 Ground Clearance = 12" Nerf Bars hang below the skid plate
Ground Clearance – Prowler 1000 = 10″, Prowler 700 = 12″

Prowler 1000 Seat Height Prowler 700 Seat Height
Seat Height – Prowler 1000 = 34.5″, Prowler 700 = 36″ (not completely accurate because of uneven ground, but this will give you an idea).

While the lower overall vehicle height achieved a lower center of gravity, I think more work is needed to really address this issue.

Suspension and Handling:

  Prowler 1000 - Rear A-Arm and Shock Front A-arm and shock

The Prowler 1000 has a different suspension from the Prowler 700.  The front/lower a-arms are the only common a-arm between the two models.  Plus the frame is different as well.  This means long travel kits will need to be engineered from scratch on the 1000.

Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ
Running over some small whoops – Run #1

Run #2

In stock form, the lower ground clearance definitely helped the tippy feeling that I feel in the Prowler 700.  I felt the rear shocks needed some more work, but after talking with the folks from Arctic Cat, they acknowledged that they are still working on dialing in the shocks. Hopefully we’ll see some improvement in the production models.


Leg protection – And with the lawsuit happy society we live in, it surprises me that Arctic Cat did not follow suit with other side x side manufacturers and include some sort of leg protection via a net or door. If I owned a Prowler, I would look into aftermarket half doors.

Roll cage is now ROPS certified, but I am still not a big fan of the Arctic Cat roll cage design. I would like to see a more traditional tube cage. I typically upgrade cages in all the UTVs that I own, so this isn’t a huge deal for me.

Restraints – Arctic Cat has stepped up and moved away from a lap belt only and now provides a lap and shoulder belt. Much better that the lap belt on other Prowlers.

I always upgrade to 4 or 5 point harnesses, and if you want to blaze down a trail at 75 mph, you should think hard about doing the same.

Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ is equipped with shoulder belts Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 - Seat Belt
You can see the prototypes we were driving now have shoulder belts. The Prowler 1000 is the only Prowler model to have the shoulder belt for 2009.

All in all, if I am going to feel safe in a vehicle that is capable of doing 75mph, I will make sure I have 4 or 5 point harnesses, some sort of leg protection and a roll cage I can believe in.  That being said, I typically replace all of these items will all the UTVs I own anyways.

Engine Cooling:

Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 - Radiator and Oil Cooler Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ - Radiator and Oil Cooler

The radiator and oil cooler on the Prowler 1000 are larger than the Prowler 700, but it seemed like the fan was on a lot.  It did not overheat, but with how much the fan was running, I would have to assume that the cooling capacity might be a bit low.

Ergonomics & Storage:

Steering Wheel – Larger steering wheel is nice, but unlike the Prowler 700, the Prowler 1000 does not have tilt steering.

Under hood storage – Lift the hood on any Prowler XTZ and you will find a storage compartment that can hold 25lbs of hunting supplies, tools, and can double as a cooler to store ice.

Glove Box
Glove Box – The glove box is a bit small, and does not stay in place very well.

Rear view mirror

New hand operated emergency brake

Prowler 1000 Steps - Nerf Bars Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 - Nerf Bar Step
Side steps – Nice for getting in the Prowler, but they do hang up on obstacles on tight trails.

Tires & Wheels:

26x11x14 Maxxis RAZR Tire on Alloy Wheel Maxxis RAZR Tire on Arctic Cat Prowler 1000
26 x 11 x 14 Maxxis RAZR is on the rear of the Prowler 1000. 26 x 9 x 14 is on the front.

Arctic Cat has chosen to go with a Maxxis RAZR tire. This tire choice seems better suited for ATV use.  I think a Maxxis Bighorn or a Goodyear MTR would have been a better choice.


Arctic Cat Prowler Hitch

The Prowler’s hitch is 2″ which is nice, but it is not strong enough to handle a heavy trailer even though the towing capacity is rated at 1500 lbs. This photo is of a 2008 Prowler 700, but no changes have been made for the Prowler 1000.


Side-by-side Comparison: Rhino vs. RZR vs. Prowler
The Prowler is much bigger than a Yamaha Rhino or a Rhino RZR

The Prowler 1000 is 60 inches wide, 75 inches tall, 118.5 inches long.

The Prowler is deceivingly big. Taller, wider and longer that a Polaris Ranger, it is a big vehicle.

Stock width of 60″ will make long travel a bit interesting. If you went with a typical +6″ long travel kit that you see on Rhinos, you’d be sitting at 6 feet wide! I think that a +3″ or maybe a +4″ a-arm is the most I would consider for recreational use.


Let’s face it.  To date, the Prowler hasn’t come close to the popularity of the Rhino or RZR, and that directly translates to how much effort the aftermarket manufacturers will put into it.

Now the Prowler 1000 changes things a bit, and I expect that more manufacturers will jump into long travel kits and other accessories.

On the engine side of things, there are already shops out there making performance parts for the Thundercat 1000 ATV, so this should help quite a bit.


The heart of the new Prowler XTZ 1000 is a fuel-injected , 90-degree twin cylinder, hemispherical combustion chamber, single overhead cam (SOHC), with four valves per cylinder. Displacement is 950 cc, which makes it the current king of UTV engines. The engine gurus at Arctic Cat developed it for maximum torque with  two valves per cam lobe and forked rocker arms. Arctic Cat claims 188 ft. lb. at the crankshaft. and a rumored 70+ horsepower. The 90-degree angle of the cylinders is an ideal balance to minimize vibration since each cylinder offsets the other. Parallel twin designs like what you find in the Polaris RZR need extra counter-balancing for their twin cylinder 760cc.

Prowler 1000 Engine - 950cc, EFI, SOHC 4-stroke, 4-valve, V-Twin, liquid-cooled engine.

Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ 1000 - Engine: EFI, 951cc, v-twin cylinder Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ 1000 - Engine: EFI, 951cc, v-twin cylinder V-Twin Engine - 951cc

The cylinder head design on the H2 engine (Prowler 1000) is the same as the H1 (Prowler 700).

Header on front cylinder – Heat protection will change of production units

The tailpipe on the exhaust is much smaller that either of the two header pipes.  The headers on the XTZ are huge, so I think that all that will be needed is either a dual or single slip-on pipe.

2009 Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 Air Intake
The intake looks pretty restrictive and it has a pre-filter with a tube that looks like it is about 2 1/2″ diameter.  I am sure there are some gains to be had by openening up the intake.

Engine Features:

  • Engine – 950cc, EFI, SOHC 4-stroke, 4-valve, V-Twin, liquid-cooled engine.

  • H2 Hemi Power – The “H” stands for Hemi. The hemispherical-shaped heads create more complete, more efficient combustion for performance-winning power.

  • Arctic Cat-Built – An Arctic Cat produced performance engine built in the state-of-the-art St. Cloud manufacturing facility.

  • EFI – Electronic Fuel Injection aids in perfect starting no matter what altitude or temperature changes.

  • Cooling – Liquid cooling system with high-capacity radiator and thermostatically-controlled cooling fan provides consistent engine operating temperatures.

  • The Duramatic Automatic Transmission has a long-life maintenance-free belt that withstands the harshest of conditions.

Other New Stuff:

The XTZ 1000 sports an all new chassis.  A-arms from the Prowler 700 will not bolt up to the Prowler 1000.

Air intake system has been rerouted and re-engineered to the forward compartment which helps keep noise levels down, and helps keep the filter cleaner. Arctic Cat also added a pre-filter.

Parking brake is now operated by a hand lever instead of foot pedal.

Axle half shafts are larger.

New clutch calibration – different rollers and weights for increased acceleration.

Brand new outboard-mounted rear disk brakes provide positive stopping performance while the hand-operated parking brake located on the center console keeps you planted while parked.

To handle the 1000 H2’s enormous power output, Arctic Cat has engineered a rear differential to deliver maximum power to the tires with minimum driveline wear. Arctic Cat integrated what it refers to as a “spike load dampener”  into the rear differential. Essentially what that does is limit the amount of torque put on the rear axle by allowing the differential to slip at peak torque output rather than disintegrating.

The Prowler XTZ has a front locking 4wd differential with a new, all-in-one 2wd/4wd/Diff Lock rocker switch button for quick engagement shifting and rear mounted swaybar for improved trail driving.

Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 Cartoon

Additional Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ 1000 Photos:


Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 - Nerf Bar Step 2009 Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ 1000 H2 - Dump Bed Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ Bed

Glove Box  

 Prowler - Digital Instrument Pod Tools under passenger seat

Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ

More Info – Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ 1000 information and photos

Side x Side Action Magazine - Issue 19 - Arctic Cat Prowler 1000
That’s me on the cover of Side x Side Action Magazine (Issue 19 – Jan 2008).

Manufacturer Info:

Arctic Cat Inc.
601 Brooks Avenue South
Thief River Falls, MN 56701

Website:  www.arcticcat.com

Phone: 218-681-8558

About Arctic Cat:
Arctic Cat Inc., based in Thief River Falls, Minn., designs, engineers, manufactures and markets all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles under the Arctic Cat® brand name, as well as related parts, garments and accessories. Its common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol “ACAT.” More information about Arctic Cat and its products is available on the Internet atwww.arctic-cat.com

All photos used with permission.

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