Finding that one important tool that is crucial to your Hobby farm, Ranch or Hunting season can be a task. With this in mind we spent some time in the 2017 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 to give you an idea of how the Utility Side-by-Side handles towing and hauling as well as comfort for those long days under the steering wheel.
Seating Capacity: 3
Engine: 999cc Twin
Power: 80 hp
Bed Capacity: 1,000 lbs
Towing Capacity: 2,000 lbs
We also discovered a couple of items that maybe we would change, but rest assured the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 could be the one vehicle suited for many jobs. Even a subtle trail cruise in the cool of the evening, after the work had been completed, was pleasantly surprising.
Our testing ground was in the mountains with rugged rocky trails as well as muddy bottoms and creek crossings. This Polaris Ranger XP 1000 not only gave us plenty of comfort in the cab, but you can actually carry on a conversation without yelling to the passenger right beside you. The cab of our Ranger test machine is roomy and provides bolstered seating for some added support. The seats seem tough and resistant to scratches or tears with enough padding to make a day on the trail relaxing. Sliding from the driver side to the passenger side is a non-issue and the flooring in the cab between seat positions is low in the center as well to make moving around in the cab easier. Under the steering wheel the driver has ample reach for dash-mounted controls like the switches for 2WD/4WD and others. The easy to read digital/analog gauge provides you with important information as well.
Our particular Ranger was very comfortable on the rougher trails and easy to guide with the provided power steering. At some points during our rides, when the speed began to pick up just a bit, we did notice it might be a little too plush. Steering effort is light and you can feel the trail under the wheels fairly well, yet we did notice the steering rotation from full lock to full lock took several turns of the wheel. This is most likely to ensure drivers do not turn too quickly when working the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS if they are fully loaded to the UTV’s 2,000-pound towing capacity or stuff the bed with 1,000 pounds of cargo.
As for storage in the cab, we feel the Polaris Ranger may have a slight edge on the competition here with a large glovebox, a large storage tray under the passenger side seating as well as small cubbies along the bottom of the dash. These cubbies are not extremely shallow, but do not have any netting or covers to keep stored items in place and on rougher trails most items would not stay in these spots. The cab structure is ready for all of Polaris’ accessories and its branded components will simply snap into place. This is an advantage for Polaris, but we would say getting aftermarket products to fit the extruded tubing could be an issue or at least limit the choices. You do also have a spot for your bottle of water and it does hold the container well on rougher trails.
The power of the Polaris ProStar 999cc mill is a very bright spot on this vehicle. Speaking from a horsepower point of view, this is easily one of the hottest engines in the market place of Utility vehicles. Being fuel injected and quite peppy, it had no problem during all-out trail riding, hauling or towing a loaded trailer. The fuel injected inline Twin also received something unique for the 2017 model year in that it has three modes of throttle control. Many manufacturers are now building in “throttle by wire” and this allows the computer to more accurately control from the point of driver input to the rear wheels. These modes are Performance, where full energy is released from the motor, to Standard and finally Work mode. We found that in the work mode when towing our trailer we had plenty of torque plus a smooth throttle response that made our towing feel much more controllable. There wasn’t the snappy feel of boosted power and we feel that most people who buy this machine for work will really appreciate the more linear response. In Standard mode the throttle was a bit more responsive yet still tame in comparison to the Performance mode.
Our Polaris Ranger XP 1000 did like to sag more than we had anticipated in the rear once we attached a loaded trailer to the receiver hitch. After turning the preload collars up tighter we could correct some of that, but it still seemed to droop a bit more than expected. This did not dramatically affect our trail ride or test route when hauling and the suspension never bottomed out, but losing ground clearance was noticeable. Obviously we know it should drop a little, but when compared to a couple of others in the same segment the Polaris suspension sagged a little more.
The bed of the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS is very wide at 54 inches, but length is where you might need a tad more to safely carry a full pallet as the bed is only 36.5 inches deep front to rear before the tailgate is dropped for added length. It’s worth mentioning that the tailgate is not approved to support extreme weights. With just a simple pull on the bed latch you can raise the bed and reveal incredible spacing to manage any repairs or service you may need to do to the engine. This powerplant is readily available under the bed box and sits conveniently behind the cab structure to further help reduce in cab noise.
Overall the Polaris Ranger is quite the working and trail adventure machine. For hard work and family time on the farm this vehicle provides value to its owners in many ways. And since Polaris recently came to market with a newer version of the Ranger XP 1000 for 2018, this 2017 model has been discounted to $13,999.