New Model Preview – Ready to Rock

New Model Preview – Ready to Rock Polaris has enjoyed spectacular success with their off-road lineup. It seems every year new model announcements introduce a flood of new ATVs and Side x Sides and over time the total number of machines in the Polaris stable has grown to well over 100. For 2017, Polaris is concentrating less on all-new machines and more on quality and refinement, with a good dose of technology backing it up.


The 2017 Polaris ATV lineup saw the introduction of new models at both ends of the spectrum. At the top end is the new Sportsman XP 1000. It comes with new styling, more features, and greater usability than any Sportsman before it, while at the opposite end of the line are a couple models that get right to the heart of what built the Sportsman line; their ability to work all day and come back for more.

The Sportsman XP 1000 represents everything Polaris has learned after decades of making the most popular ATV lineup in the sport. The Sportsman ATVs do practically everything well, and they are easy on the rider with reliable CVT transmissions, smooth running engines, and a silky smooth ride. Polaris also developed massive storage on their ATVs which only increased their usability, making them even more popular with buyers. The Sportsman XP 1000 builds on all those good traits and ratchets it up a notch. Key features of the Sportsman XP 1000 models are:

  • 90hp EFI equipped engine with 3 mode throttle control

  • Sport inspired chassis for better handling

  • High Clearance A-arms.

  • New body styling with narrower knee area and new storage areas

  • Redesigned center instrument cluster

  • LED lighting

  • Electronic Power Steering

  • Packages begin at msrp $11,999 2017.polaris.sportsman-xp1000.close-up.ground-clearance.jpg

There are three versions of the Sportsman XP 1000 and they are all powered by an incredibly powerful 90hp engine. To help manage engine power, the XP 1000 comes with a new 3-mode throttle control switch which moderates power delivery. In work mode it’s very smooth, but with plenty of grunt for jobs like pushing snow or pulling a trailer. Standard mode is slightly more aggressive with power delivery, and Hi-Performance mode effectively releases the beast. This really opens up the engine and lets it run. You won’t use this setting for work, but you’ll definitely use it for play. We like the high clearance A-arms that make clearing obstacles on the trail easy as well and the new chassis is very comfortable to sit on and ride all day, but we’re not exactly in love with the new seat foam which is much softer and you quickly sink through. The Electronic Power Steering works very well as always, but we wish at higher speed it would reduce input to give better feel of the terrain. With the performance the XP 1000 is capable of, you need to have excellent feel for the trail and what the tires are doing. Polaris did a great job with the new storage on the XP 1000, and the new bodywork offers better sight lines over the hood for more view of any trail obstacles. As always, the Sportsman suspension is incredibly smooth on the trail. Overall, the Sportsman XP 1000 is a fantastic ATV that does practically everything well.


If your ATV riding is primarily to get a job done, Polaris offers a couple models that could be considered a “back to basics” movement that really gets to why utility ATVs were developed in the first place. The Sportsman 450 H.O. and Sportsman 570 EPS are the two founding members of the Utility Edition ATV lineup, and both are made for hard labor. Steel racks are standard on both models, as are receiver hitches at both ends. Plastic styling is right from the Sportsman family and it is protected by steel bumpers. 6.5 gallons of storage can hide plenty of tools. Highlights of the two models are:

  • Sportsman 570 EPS Utility Edition Maroon Metallic

  • 44 HP ProStar 570 Engine with EFI

  • Variable Low Speed Limiter (Set 7-14 mph for spraying, mowing or other work). Lower gear ratio for hard work or towing.

  • Steel Racks front and rear with Heavy Duty Dual Rear Work Trays. Steel front bumper.

  • 12V power pig tail pre-wired onto rear of chassis for powering towed implement. Switch is on center dash pod.

  • Heavy Duty 6-Ply Tires

  • Front & Rear Receiver Hitch. Rear hitch is designed for clevis style tools as well. 2017.polaris.sportsman.close-up.powercord-rear-accessory.jpg

  • MSRP: $7,999

  • Sportsman 450 H.O. Utility Edition Maroon Metallic

  • 33 HP ProStar engine with EFI

  • Steel Racks front and rear with Heavy Duty Dual Rear Work Trays. Steel front bumper.

  • 12V power pig tail pre-wired onto rear of chassis for powering towed implement. Switch is on center dash pod.

  • Front & Rear Receiver Hitch. Rear hitch is designed for clevis style tools as well.

  • MSRP: $6,299

We like the idea of including both the Sportsman 570 EPS and the 450 H.O. in the lineup. There are a lot of owners around the country that just need a reliable, quality machine to get the job done, and these two models should easily exceed that goal for decades. After all they’ve got decades of Polaris ATV experience behind them. Just don’t be surprised to see a few show up on the trail!


If you need more power than a 1000cc engine from your utility vehicle, you don’t need a Ranger, you need a tractor. For 2017 Polaris is equipping many Rangers with an 80hp, 1000cc ProStar engine and they all have unique features.

The Ranger XP 1000 EPS is the “no-frills” Ranger if it can be called that. It’s really the do-it-all machine ready for more work than you are and it can haul 1000lbs. in the bed with another 2000 lbs. hooked behind, all while seating three and providing the smoothest ride in the category. Quick Specs are:

  • 60 inches for wide supreme stability

  • 12 inches of ground clearance

  • 80hp engine with Three Mode Throttle control

  • Drive modes either 4wd, 2wd, or Turf Mode single rear drive

  • Built in accessory compatibility

The Ranger XP 1000 Ranch Edition is designed for life on the farm. Polaris engineers went out and worked with ranchers and the first thing they noticed is they overload the machines at practically every opportunity, almost as a challenge! A better shock was needed for the extra load. Nivomat shocks can manage that thanks to a self-leveling sensor inside the shock. As soon as you begin moving, the shocks sense the extra load and automatically adjust themselves. Other features unique to the Ranch Edition include:

  • Heavy duty axles, bearings and suspension bushings

  • Full underbody skid plates

  • A 4500 winch for getting out of trouble, or anything else out of trouble.

  • 6 ply Maxxis Ceros tires with great tread pattern

  • Full steel bumper front and rear

  • In-cab gun rack

  • Job specific accessories such as a fence post caddy and a wire reel holder

  • Rear power lead for powering towed accessories. Switch is in the cab.

The Polaris Ranger XP 1000 NorthStar Edition makes life in cold climates bearable thanks to a very nice, fully lined cab that rivals the interior of some road vehicles. Winter doesn’t last forever though, and eventually you’ll need another first from Polaris: factory air conditioning! The NorthStar Edition is really about climate control and it comes with everything needed to keep you comfortable, at least between jobs.

The Ranger models are very, very good at pretty much every situation, but we were anxious to try the new 3-Mode Throttle control system. With a switch on the dash, you can control power delivery. Low power mode makes the Ranger as easy to control as a good horse with absolutely no jerky, abrupt power delivery. This will be perfect for jobs that require precise speed such as spraying, fertilizing, or even towing a mower.

Standard mode lets the engine perform like any other Ranger, but in Hi-Performance mode, the engine’s true nature comes out and it instantly thinks it’s a RZR. It makes the Ranger a lot of fun, but it also is the root of a problem. The RZR chassis was designed for performance and the Ranger was not. More precisely, the steering is WAY, WAY too slow and can’t keep up with the engine. Now you can power yourself right into trouble a LOT quicker, and you won’t be able to steer quickly enough to get yourself out of it. You DON’T want this to happen when working along a ledge, or practically anywhere. Leave it in Standard mode and tape over the switch. 2017.polaris.general4eps.grey.right.parked.on-dirt-road.jpg


Built on the highly impressive General model (See our full review in this issue), the General 4 EPS delivers on what customers and dealers have been asking for, which is a General for the family. The General 4 is not just a stretched machine, though. Polaris tuned the Walker Evans shocks for the added chassis length and load, and there is a large dump box in the rear capable of toting 600lbs. of whatever you want to strap in it. We like how Polaris really improved the rear seating as well. In many 4 seat machines, the rear passenger’s knees are pressed against the front seat. Unless you’re extremely tall, that won’t be a problem in the General 4. The extra knee room is a welcome feature as are the stylish side doors which keep out pretty much anything tossed up by the tires. The standard General is a great machine that justifies its price through versatility and it has brought new enthusiasts to the sport. The General 4 is equally well designed and built, and will bring in even more. msrp:$20,999


Polaris really started the high-performance movement in Side x Sides with the introduction of the RZR nearly a decade ago. Model development since then has been amazing, and every year new RZRs get more powerful and more capable. For 2017 Polaris chose to build some cool technology and features into an existing model, to introduce a rock crawling RZR, and to upgrade their 60” RZR 570.

The RZR S 570 has always been a great machine. It’s affordable, fun, sporty and it absolutely loves the trails. When it comes time for a little high speed dune action, it’s equally capable and we’ve had a blast on one. For 2017 Polaris is giving the RZR S 570 a little more comfort by adding Electronic Power Steering.

Rock crawling is a precision sport, and those that do it spend more time customizing their machines than they do prowling around a quarry or rocky hillside. Polaris just made the whole activity easier by introducing the RZR XP 1000 EPS LE. The name is long, but so is the list of features:

  • 110hp ProStar 1000 H.O. engine

  • High Clearance suspension

  • Gated shifter for quick, positive shifts, and High-Torque low speed gearing

  • High strength axles

  • Cut resistant Pro Armor Crawler XG tires on Bead Lock wheels

  • 6 click harnesses for the driver and passenger

  • Walker Evans shocks and suspension tuned for rock crawling

  • Msrp: $23,999  2017.polaris.rzr-xp1000eps.close-up.gps-display.jpg


It wasn’t many years ago the Polaris slogan was “The Way Out.” What it meant was that on a Polaris, you could escape the workday world and enjoy outdoor recreation without the strings of everyday life pulling at you. It made a lot of sense, and the Polaris ATVs and Side x Sides really made your escape possible. With that thought in mind, we were a little bit taken aback by the technology being introduced on the 2017 RZR XP 1000 EPS LE model. Now you can get a RZR with both front and rear cameras that point down at the trail and display the image on a large, dash mounted monitor, presumably to see any close obstacle. It’s not just a monitor though, and the entire system links in with the Polaris RIDE COMMAND app that can track numerous vehicles on the trail, pinpoint their location, display maps, control your GoPro camera, and even monitor your phone, both taking and sending voice and text messages, all while getting away from it all as part of “The Way Out.” It’s a lot of technology on what is really a big dirt toy. To be fair, it’s a very cool system and we love rolling down the trail as Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty” spills through the speakers. Controlling your GoPro camera is nice too, but we really don’t care who is calling when we’re out riding. If you’re bleeding, go to the hospital. If you need bail money, well, see you tomorrow. Our advice: The real way out is to go riding, find a new trail with the GPS, and leave the phone turned off. 2017.polaris.ace570.silver.front-right.riding.through-water.jpg


Polaris ventured deep into new territory when they released the single seat ACE. The sport had not seen a similar single seat machine from a major manufacturer in more than two decades. As usual, Polaris loves to maximize their investment by building many models off one main platform, and within a couple years, there were several different ACE models. Their growth was not always painless, and upgrades were made along the way, the most noticeable being the switch to an actual A-arm style front end for MUCH better suspension performance. You could hardly make a bigger improvement to the ACE chassis. When equipped with the MacPherson strut suspension, charging through ruts with the ACE gives all the directional control of a football spiked in the end zone.

For 2017 there are four distinct ACE models and they are:

  • ACE 500

  • ACE 570

  • ACE 570SP

  • ACE 900XC


We had a chance to spend some quality time in the ACE 570SP, and although it shares almost every part with the ACE 570, it feels like an entirely different machine thanks to the dual A-Arm front suspension. On the trail the 570 engine gives excellent power to the small chassis, and it feels compact but far more controlled. Now we could charge into whoops and ruts, and although the chassis would bounce around, it was a blast. This is what the ACE platform promised! Electronic Power Steering is standard on the 570SP, although we’re not even sure a chassis of this size would need it. Still, it’s a welcome feature and it does take any kickback out of the steering system. With dual A-arms, the steering radius was improved too and it carves a noticeably tighter turn.

The ACE 900XC is designed to be right at home on the Grand National Cross Country circuit. It’s 59 inches wide for greatly increased stability, with 13 inches of ground travel. Walker Evans fully adjustable shocks let you dial in the suspension (over 12” of travel front and rear) and with a 78 hp, 900cc engine, the 900XC gets it up to speed in a hurry! Once again, dual A-arms have completely transformed the handling. EPS makes it easy to drive all day and we believe the 27” GBC Dirt Commander tires will be a good fit for this machine. The ACE 900XC is ready to run, and to win races.

October 18, 2016

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