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Best Recreational Class Side-x-Side of 2011

The Polaris Ranger XP 800
Written By: 
John Arens

2011.polaris.ranger-xp800.front-right.red_.riding.on-trail.jpgWe’ve called the Polaris Ranger XP 800 your best dog, best shotgun, best pickup, and best hunting camp all rolled into one. Out of all the Side x Sides on the market today, it would be the one that fits the needs of the average hunter, homeowner, and hard working recreational rider perfectly. It’s not the fastest, lightest, or most powerful, but it is certainly one of the absolute best and we count on one every day.

All full-sized Rangers share a common chassis platform featuring IRS, adjustable front A-arms, a tough dump box, and even a central tow hook and tie down points. The XP delivers a ride smoother than any other Side x Side and is a joy to drive. Ergonomics inside the cab are well suited to workers and weekend warriors, with a comfy bench seat for three, good leg room and splash protection, massive storage, both on the dash and under the seat, and tilt steering. Even with the engine under the seat, it’s possible to have a normal conversation.

The Ranger XP 800 is powered by a liquid cooled, 760cc High Output, EFI equipped, twin cylinder engine capable of towing 2000 pounds. It’s capable of hard work all week, but plenty of recreation on the weekend. Cast aluminum wheels look great but are also extremely strong, and the stock tires ride well and clean out quickly even in heavy mud. To make handling even better, the Ranger XP 800 can be had with Electronic Power Steering. Our biggest complaint with the Ranger is that it’s a pain to reach the oil filter and then refill the oil through the dip stick tube. Thankfully, the air filter is under the rear dump box. For most riders, the Ranger bridges the gap between work and weekend recreation perfectly. It’s never let us down and the Polaris Ranger XP 800 is our pick for the best Work and Recreation Class Side x Side of 2011.

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