Best Crossover Class Side-x-Side of 2011

Best Crossover Class Side-x-Side of 2011

2011.can-am.commander1000xt.front-right.yellow.riding.through-mud.jpgWhen the CAN-AM Commander was released, it offered a level of performance, refinement, and handling that set a new standard for Side x Side excellence. That has not changed, but the Commander is also a “crossover model” because it has the ability to perform work tasks extremely well thanks to a rear dump box and a sturdy hitch. All five Commander models share a common chassis with dual A-arms at the front and CAN-AM’s TTI trailing arms in the rear, the difference being how each model is outfitted. Engine choices are an 800cc or 1000cc liquid cooled, SOHC Rotax V-Twin EFI engine. We really like the flat, automotive style air filter under the front hood and we’re especially fond of the 1000 XT package which offers the benefit of stylish, cast aluminum wheels, 26” Maxxis Bighorn tires, and a 4000lb winch.

The performance from each model is excellent, and you’ll quickly forget about the garden tools in the back. The ride is smooth and well controlled, especially with the X-package’s front sway bar, and a stab at the throttle gets an instant, eyes-wide-open response. Both the driver and passenger are treated to superb ergonomics with comfortable seats and three point restraints. Also, we really like the side nets which easily clip in place with a very secure, automotive style seat belt latch. The gauges pivot with the steering wheel, all controls are within easy reach of the driver, and a beefy tube structure keeps the occupants well protected inside the vehicle. We even rolled one and came out unscathed – although our passenger didn’t want any more rides.

Regardless of the model, all the Commanders offer excellent power, superb handling, and are the perfect mix of performance, suspension, and rugged, yet refined good looks. Without a doubt, the CAN-AM COMMANDER is the Best Crossover Class Side x Side of 2011.

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January 19, 2012

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