If we had to pick just one word to sum up the 2017 lineup of Polaris offroad vehicles, it would have to be options. From the new RANGER XP 1000 available in 8 different trim levels to the proven and powerful XP 1000 and its 5 available models, one thing is for sure, Polaris is intent on giving consumers exactly what they’re looking for.
We were introduced to the 2017 Polaris lineup this past week at a private ranch just outside of Great Falls Montana. Our day began with a walk around of the entire lineup with special attention paid to four new releases for 2017; the power upgrade for RANGER XP 1000 models, a newly added GENERAL 4 1000 EPS, the RIDE COMMAND integration on the Limited Edition XP 1000 and lastly the highly anticipated long travel ACE 900 XC.
For starters, the RANGER XP 1000 takes over as the most powerful in class with 80 horsepower thanks to the upgraded ProStar engine. A unique new feature that we found incredibly useful is the 3-mode Throttle Control, designed to give the user advanced throttle control in any given scenario. Work mode for low speed precise control, Performance mode for trail use and higher speeds and Standard mode for a mix of the two. We couldnt tell a huge difference between Standard and Performance, but when set to Work mode, no matter how hard we stepped on the gas pedal, we experience a slow, smooth acceleration that we imagine would be perfect for countless low speed activities around the farm like backing up a trailer or pulling equipment.
We got an up close look at the four Special Edition models available for 2017, including the brand new Northstar HVAC edition complete with industry first heating and air conditioning. At first, all the automotive inspired features like heat and air, a dome light and a premium sealed cab seem a little over the top, but after seeking shelter from the heat and dust inside the climate controlled cab on one of our rides, we can definitely see tremendous opportunity for this machine in the market.
The three other Special Edition models included an EPS Hunter Edition, EPS Ranch Edition and the EPS High Lifter edition. There was also a Ranger Crew XP 1000 EPS that was locked and loaded for a long day of bird hunting with your buddies. The full range of Polaris accessories included a dog kennel, Polaris Northstar cooler, additional storage drawer and a 6 capacity gun rack.
2017 Polaris GENERAL 4 1000
If bringing your friends is a priority but youre not focusing exclusively on work or play, the new GENERAL 4 1000 EPS will more than scratch the itch. After debuting the GENERAL 1000 last winter, our host said they received three primary requests from a future model; turf mode, a camo version and the addition of a back seat. Polaris listened and the 2017 GENERAL 4 1000 EPS delivers on all counts. This is the machine we probably spent the bulk of our time in during the day and for a machine thats not a dedicated sport unit, the GENERAL 4 1000 EPS is loads of fun.
100 horsepower was more than enough to carry three grown men around the ranch, and with plenty of speed. Although the GENERAL 4 1000 EPS is 4 inches longer than the RZR XP 4 1000, its shorter wheelbase allowed us to navigate the many twists and turns with ease. It takes a little more planning for tight turns than a two seat version, but not once did we find ourselves having to back up and make a two point turn. We did manage to get high centered on a unique cattle guard crossing while passing through a barbed wire fence but with a little more speed the next go around, we made it through no problem.
For this type or terrain, the GENERAL 4 1000 EPS is a perfect fit. Plenty of power from the ProStar 1000 engine for the thrill seeker in the bunch with the added bonus of a 600 pound capacity dump bed for carrying a cooler or hauling out a trophy buck. Even our tallest passenger at 62 had zero complaints about the back seat. Read more: Polaris GENERAL 4 Review
Polaris GENERAL 4 1000 EPS
Polaris GENERAL 4 1000 EPS
One of the big announcements at this years Polaris dealer show was the introduction of Polaris Ride Command, an all in one command center functioning from a 7 inch touch display screen in the dash of the Velocity Blue LE model. This technology hub provides much more than just trip data and gives users the ability to connect like never before. To demonstrate the capabilities of the new Ride Command system, we paired up and were given a sheet with a list of 6 waypoints, each one requiring us to utilize a different function (and prove our mastery) of the Ride Command system.
Each machine had its own pre-synced cell phone and all the machines were programmed into a group using the Group Ride feature so each one could monitor the other drivers on the pre-programmed course. At any given time we could see all the other members of our party, even while out of sight. This feature comes in incredibly handy in dusty conditions and completely eliminates the need to slow down and wait for your buddy. Other required tasks included utilizing the built in camera feature to record a video from either the front or rear mounted cameras or the roll cage mounted Go Pro that was synced via blue tooth as well as playing a song from our machines smart phone. At one point on our excursion, a text message popped up and after accessing it via the text message feature, we were instructed to change drivers.
Polaris RIDE COMMAND
By the time we were finished Ride Command reported a variety of stats about our specific trip such as ride time, max speed, average speed, elevation and more. The Polaris Ride Command really is a technology hub that provides a whole new level of connectivity between passengers and even multiple vehicles. One of the most useful features of the touch screen is that you dont have to take your gloves off in order for it to work. If youre digging the new Ride Command, there are a couple of ways you can get it. It comes standard on the new Velocity Blue LE model for $20,999, just $1500 more than the base EPS model. If youre not looking to upgrade your vehicle but you still want Ride Command, the full system is available as an accessory option for $2500.
Although we didnt get any seat time in it, we did get to take a look at the new RZR XP 1000 Gold Matte Metallic LE model that is the closest thing to a purpose built rock crawling UTV on the market. Strengthened front half shafts, a specially engineered Xtreme Performance True On-Demand All-Wheel Drive and 55% lower low-range gearing are just a few of the features that show Polaris has the rock crawling crowd on its mind and we cant wait for an opportunity to get behind the wheel (see more at – RZR XP1000 Gold Metallic LE Rock Crawling Review).
Probably the most in demand unit of the entire trip was the all new ACE 900 XC. Fortunately for us we got our name in early and were the first ones to score some seat time in the only demo unit available. The new ACE 900 XC is a completely new vehicle compared to the 900 SP model from a year ago, starting with an all new 78 horsepower ProStar EFI engine (thats a 18 horsepower improvement). Walker Evans compression adjustable needle shocks mated to dual a-arm front and rear suspension provide 12.3 inches of travel in the front and 12.6 inches in the rear.
At 59 inches wide, the new ACE 900 XC is just under a foot wider and the extra width, coupled with a longer wheelbase helps the machine stay planted. Thanks to a power to weight ratio that mimics the RZR S 1000, its easy to break the tires loose almost too easy. The ACE 900 XC is loads of fun and provides a completely new driving experience, even compared to a standard RZR. We could almost compare its quickness and agility to that of an ATV but without the ability to use your weight to maneuver the vehicle.
We couldn’t find anything sizable to jump but we were able to test the suspension on one pretty good G out and the Walker Evans Shocks soaked it up super well. No harsh bounce upon rebounding and we didn’t feel that compressing of the lower back that is sometimes synonymous with hitting a G out at speed.
PolarisACE 900 XC
All in all we are incredibly impressed with the 2017 line of Polaris UTVs. Polaris continues to deliver what the industry is asking for and providing a wide variety of options to meet varying needs and budgets. Our thanks to Polaris for inviting us out and for their hospitality. Keep your eyes peeled for these new machines that will be hitting your dealers. See our full review at: Polaris ACE 900 XC Review
Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) is a global powersports leader with annual 2015 sales of $4.7 billion. Polaris fuels the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts with our RANGER®, RZR® and POLARIS GENERAL side-by-side off-road vehicles; our SPORTSMAN® and POLARIS ACE® all-terrain off-road vehicles; VICTORY® and INDIAN MOTORCYCLE® midsize and heavyweight motorcycles; SLINGSHOT® moto-roadsters; and Polaris RMK®, INDY®, SWITCHBACK® and RUSH® snowmobiles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with parts, garments and accessories sold under multiple recognizable brands, and has a growing presence in adjacent markets globally with products including military and commercial off-road vehicles, quadricycles, and electric vehicles. www.polaris.com.