One category of models we have not awarded a Best in Class award for in the past is the multi-passenger, 4 seat Side x Side. The problem is, both the Polaris RZR-4 XP900 and the Kawasaki Teryx4 750 4x4 were designed for vastly different riding conditions and intended users. Both offer some outstanding features, but it really comes down to where you ride and what you need it to do. So which is best in Class? That depends on you.
Having sold over 500,000 Gator utility vehicles, John Deere’s Gator is the best-selling UTV ever built. Successful products must continually evolve to survive though, and with their 825i XUV, Deere is taking the Gator lineup in a whole new direction.
When Can-Am introduced their Commander Side x Side, it set a new standard for performance, refinement, and handling. With a limited number of Side x Sides on the market at the time, the Commander was widely considered a hi-performance machine, but since then there have been many other models introduced including several dedicated solely to going fast.
When an athlete excels at many facets of their sport, often they’ll be called a “natural.” In the Side x Side world, the one model that is a true superstar at its position and can be called a “natural” is the Polaris Ranger XP 800. Like recent baseball Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, it’s not the lightest, fastest, or most powerful, but as a package it’s outstanding and a true all-star.
Arctic Cat’s Prowler 700 HDX is Cat’s do-it-all machine for the hard working and hard playing crowd. Like the Prowler 700 XTX, the heavy duty HDX comes with an extremely smooth running, 695cc, liquid cooled, SOHC, 4-stroke, 4-valve engine. Electronic Fuel Injection insures excellent starts and crisp throttle response at any temperature or elevation and the engine is both quick and powerful. It’s a blast to drive. While the motor is nearly identical on both machines, the chassis, suspension, and bodywork are worlds apart.
Hi-performance Side x Sides are all about a perfect balance between power, suspension and handling. In the right combination, they’ll give you an exhilarating rush like nothing else. The machine that exemplifies that magic formula better than any other is the 2012 Polaris RZR XP 900.
If we could only pick one machine for everything from weekend trail rides to work around the yard or farm, it would be the Can-Am Outlander MAX 650. It’s off-road perfection on four wheels. What makes the Outlander 650 Max special is that it does so many things so well. Can-Am bumped up the power on the 650cc, liquid cooled, EFI equipped engine this year and it completely changed the feel.
When it comes time to hit the dunes or trails, we’re looking for power in a great handling package and that means the Yamaha Raptor 700R. It’s been the perfect power and play machine since it was first introduced, and for this year Yamaha gave the mighty Raptor 700 a round of updates. Just to make sure you didn’t miss anything, they also bestowed the “R” designation to its name as well, but what it all means is the best machine in the class just got better.
There has never been a better model for budding sport riders than Yamaha’s beloved Raptor 250. It’s sporty, it handles excellent, it’s as reliable as your favorite dog, and it looks great. Even today, despite its size (and ours) we still have a blast out playing on the Raptor 250. With every ride, the Raptor 250 becomes our personal time machine and it reminds us of what we loved about riding in the first place.
If you’re chasing checkered flags or just want to smoke your buddies, you can do no better than with the Yamaha YFZ 450R. The YFZ has been winning championships since it was first introduced and it’s never slowed down.