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Written By: 
John Arens

Bigger is better!   It’s a common belief in North America, and from our cars to cake, we’re always looking to supersize.  Polaris broke the traditional ATV mold recently when they introduced the 2020 SPORTSMAN XP 1000 S and SCRAMBLER XP 1000 S, two models that definitely fit the bigger is better mentality, and in this case, they really are. 


You don’t just slap on a longer set of suspension arms and bigger tires without effecting every other part of a vehicles handling, performance, and overall reliability.  To make sure the new models could withstand the higher loads, Polaris engineers designed a completely new chassis.  One look shows it is far more robust than any Sportsman or Scrambler chassis before.  Main chassis members are larger diameter tubing, there is additional gusseting at stress points, and it’s approximately 4 inches longer than any other Polaris ATV.  The most noticeable difference though is the added width.

Added chassis width on any vehicle means increased stability but there are many secondary benefits as well.  Longer A-Arms mean greatly increased wheel travel, less wheel scrub, and easier suspension tuning.  There is one drawback, however, particularly for riders on tight trails, and that is the trees are a whole lot closer to your wheels.  You’ll need to pick your lines carefully.  Many states also specify the maximum legal trail limit for an ATV to be 50 inches, and this makes the two new models technically illegal in those areas.  This would not be the first time Polaris has petitioned individual states for a variance or change in their regulations, and that may be the plan in this case as well.  For all others, it is going to be happy riding whenever and wherever they go!  Key features of both models are:


  • All new chassis with claimed 31% increase in strength
  • Arc style, hi-clearance A-arms for added ground clearance
  • 89hp ProStar engine
  • Upgraded transmission – 25% stronger
  • Front Differential and Half-Shafts from the RZR XP1000 Side x Side
  • 12.5" of front travel and 14" of rear travel, 14.5” of Ground Clearance
  • Walker Evans 3-way adjustable premium shocks
  • 27" Duro Powergrip II tires on 12” aluminum wheels
  • Fully-integrated 11-inch ProArmor lightbar
  • 3-inch riser block and custom performance-bend handlebars
  • Selectable Performance and Standard throttle mode



  • All new chassis with claimed 31% increase in strength
  • Arc style A-arms for added ground clearance
  • 89hp ProStar engine
  • Upgraded transmission – 25% stronger
  • Front Differential and Half-Shafts from the Ranger XP®1000
  • 11.6" of front travel and 14" of rear travel, 14.5” ground clearance
  • Walker Evans 2" shocks with dual coil springs and compression adjustment
  • 27" Duro Powergrip V2 tires on 14” aluminum wheels
  • Cargo racks front and rear.  Front capacity - 200 lb., rear rack capacity - 300 lb.
  • 2-inch receiver hitch rated for 1750lbs towing
  • 3,500 lb. Polaris Winch
  • Upgraded front and rear bumpers



Both the Scrambler XP 1000 S and Sportsman XP 1000 S are powered by the same 89 hp, 952cc ProStar Twin mated to the Polaris PVT (CVT) style transmission.  There are few differences between the engine and transmission packages, but one is the Sportsman gets engine assisted braking.   The other major difference is in power delivery options.  Reflecting it’s working capabilities, the Sportsman offers three drive modes, Standard, Work, or Performance.  The Scrambler comes with either Standard or Performance mode, and selecting your preferred power setting is done with a dash mounted switch.  Both models get upgraded axles and differentials to handle the extra power.  At the rear of each machine is a massive, central exhaust.    


While the two models share a nearly identical engine and chassis package, the bodywork of each reflects their intended use.  The Scrambler presents a no-nonsense, menacing look that promises performance, and the Sportsman offers a sporty look but also the three features a utility machine needs; front and rear racks for hauling, a hitch for towing a load, and extended fender coverage to keep away mud and splashing water.   Both models come with 27” tires and Walker Evans shocks for a supple ride.

From the seat, both models feel big.  The wheels seem impossibly far from the chassis, and it’s almost like you are sitting atop a Side x Side with handlebars.  Speaking of handlebars, the Scrambler gets a unique, 3-inch riser straight from the Polaris snowmobile lineup that allows you to pivot the bars into what feels most comfortable.   It’s actually easy to get comfortable on both machines.  There is plenty of room, the controls are in the right place, and the seat is soft enough to be considered plush, but firm enough to allow you to shift position.


If the ride came closing to matching the looks of the Scrambler and Sportsman 1000, we would be in for a thrill!   Our testing grounds would be the Nevada desert and the terrain was a mix of wide trails, twisting turns, hills, and plenty of rocks.  It was perfect for these two machines. 

Firing both machines up brings a throaty rumble from the 1-liter engine, and the new exhaust leaves little doubt it means business.  Like the Scrambler 1000 of years past, the 2020 Scrambler XP 1000 accelerates smoothly off the bottom, but it never runs out of power.  And if Standard mode seems fast, flip the button to Performance and get ready for launch.   We LOVE the instant acceleration of the Sportsman engine in Performance mode, but for tight trails or darting between trees we would stick with Standard mode.  It’s plenty fast enough for most riding.  Racing across the Nevada desert gave us immense appreciation for the wider, longer chassis, and it never felt unstable.   Even though the Scrambler is a big machine with enormous power, it somehow feels easy to ride and confidence inspiring.  A big part of that is due to the suspension.

The Scrambler XP 1000 S suspension is fairly plush from the factory, but with 14” of wheel travel you can really dial in the shocks.  It handles small bumps and choppy sections easily, but for larger jumps we added some compression and it soaked up big hits just as well.  Not that we’re usually airing out a very large utility-based machine, but the Scrambler 1000 S suspension makes it possible. 


Riding the Sportsman presented a bit of a dilemma.  With essentially the same base chassis and engine package it offered incredible performance as well.  We truly appreciate the Sportsman’s three engine power delivery modes, and in Performance mode there is little difference between the two machines.  The added adjustability of the Scrambler suspension presents some extra value, but to many users that will be offset by the ability to carry and tow a load with the Sportsman.  On the trail we found ourselves thinking the Sportsman might actually fit most riders best for those reasons, and we would be incredibly happy to have it, with no second guessing.   With the Sportsman XP 1000’s performance and added working capabilities is there any reason to pick the Scrambler?  That will come down to the end user.  There is one area that definitely puts the Sportsman at a disadvantage though; weight. 

The Sportsman XP 1000 S is in serious need of a diet.  Somehow it weighs nearly 90 pounds more than the Scrambler, and that can be felt on the trail.  Surely racks and a hitch cannot account for the added heft, and at a whopping 970 pounds it is approaching the weight of some Side x Sides.  Polaris needs to take a serious look at the weight of many of their ATVs, but none more than this.  Why give up performance so easily?  Overall though, here are our thoughts on both the Scrambler XP 1000 S, and the Sportsman XP 1000 S: 

  • These machines are FAST!!!  They’re definitely thrill machines, and likely faster than they feel, especially considering they are still 870+ pound utility-based ATVs. 
  • They NEVER run out of power!  The Polaris ProStar Engine is extremely potent yet incredibly well-mannered, and the clutching transmits that performance to the wheels extremely effectively.  We doubt you can stall one.
  • They handle incredibly well thanks to the extra length and width!  Better than some sport ATVs!
  • The Polaris EPS (Electronic Power Steering) is arguably the best in the industry with a perfect balance of assist and feedback resistance.  After hours riding the desert rocks, ruts, and roots, my arms still felt great!  The EPS isolated my body from the abuse of the terrain and kept my wheels aiming exactly where I wanted them!
  • The Walker Evans shocks do a great job of controlling the vehicle and hiding its weight.  Keeping an 89hp ATV under control over the desert bumps is no simple task, yet the Walker Evans shocks do it admirably.
  • They’re not for everybody.  We’ve all got that one friend that shouldn’t ride this.  Don’t let them.  These machines demand respect and skill.  If you respect it and use its performance wisely and responsibly it will reward you with the ride of your life.


The 2020 Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 S and Scrambler XP 1000 S are far different than any other ATV in the Polaris lineup.  They’re bigger, faster, and more capable than any Polaris before.  Take your pick because they are both thrill machines.  Maybe bigger really is better sometimes!

2020 POLARIS SCRAMBLER XP 1000 S and SPORTSMAN XP 1000 S Specifications


Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 S

Polaris Scrambler XP 1000 S


952cc ProStar Twin

952cc ProStar Twin

Fuel System

Electronic Fuel Injection

Electronic Fuel Injection


Automatic PVT P/R/N/L/H; Shaft

Automatic PVT P/R/N/L/H; Shaft

Drive System

True On-Demand AWD/2WD

True On-Demand AWD/2WD

Engine Braking


Not Equipped

Front Suspension

Arched High Clearance Dual A-Arm 11.6 in (29.5 cm) Travel

Arched High Clearance Dual A-Arm 12.5 in (29.2 cm) Travel

Rear Suspension

Dual A-Arm Rolled IRS, 14 in (35.6 cm) Travel

Dual A-Arm Rolled IRS, 14 in (35.6 cm) Travel

Front/Rear Brakes

Single Lever 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc with Hydraulic Rear Foot Brake

Single Lever 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc with Hydraulic Rear Foot Brake

Front Tires

27 x 9 Duro PowerGrip V2

27 x 9 Duro PowerGrip II

Rear Tires

27 x 11 Duro PowerGrip V2

27 x 9 Duro PowerGrip II


14 in. Aluminum

12 in. Aluminum


57.4 inches (145.8 cm)

57.4 inches (145.8 cm)

Dry Weight

970 lbs. (440 kg)

881 lbs. (400kg)

L x W x H

83.25in x 55in x 49in

82.5in x 55in x 49.5in

Grnd Clearance

14.5 in

14.5 in

Rack Capcty  F/R

  200 lb. / 300 lb.

25 lb. / 50 lb.


2” Receiver, 1,750 lb. capacity


Cargo System

4-gal (15 L) Front Dry Storage, 2-gal (8 L) Rear Storage

Lock & Ride 1 Gal (4L) Rear Storage


Triple 50w High Beam, Dual 50w Low Beam Headlights

1,890 lumens Pro Armor Light Bar; Dual 65W High Beams; Dual 50w Low Beam Headlight

Electronic Power Steering






  2020-polaris-scrambler_xp_1000-atv-nevada-test-tiexera-f.jpg 2020-polaris-sportsman_xp_1000-atv-nevada-front-shocks-i.jpg

If you are in the market to buy a new 2020 Polaris Sportsman Xp1000 ATV or 2020 Polaris Scrambler XP 1000 for sale we can assist you in finding the right dealer for your new Polaris ATV Purchase. 

Common things people search for online when looking to buy a new Polaris ATV. 

Polaris ATV Dealer near me.

2020 Polaris Sportsman 1000 for sale. 


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