2011 Arctic Cat Prowler HDX 700 Review
One hard-working Cat
Story by Rick Sosebee, Photography by Rick Sosebee & Arctic Cat, Jul. 07, 2011
Our greatest goal today seems to be work related. Many will wake up and head off to the office but for the ones whose office involves livestock, produce or hunting the day begins before the sun comes up and ends as the sun sets. Getting the dayís chores finished can also be very hard or very easy depending on the tools of the perspective trades.
For many years now the people who work their land have depended on the side-by side-for light jobs around the land they keep. For 2011 there is yet another choice for the pennywise labor minded. Arctic Cat revealed its Prowler HDX 700 to the media just a few months back and we had a chance to get in sit down and ride like the wind.
Working class UTVs have been on or around farms and jobsites for years but now they are getting more and more work specific. The Prowler HDX 700 is no different. Building the rugged strength into a UTV means it can take what a hard working professional can dish out. Traveling the small hills of east Texas we found out just what this machine was all about so now we can share the facts with you.
This machine is new for the 2011 model year and it is a great weapon of choice for the discriminating worker. Letís look into what propels the beast through the pasture first. The powerplant in this wagon is 695cc of fuel injection fed vigor. The single overhead cam and liquid cooling are two more features for the engine.
Arctic Cat boasts that this single cylinder thumper puts out enough grunt to haul loads estimated in the 1,500 lb range. Thatís got to mean a lot to the rancher who puts in fence posts or hauls heavy gravel. The bed is where 1000 lbs of that payload is carried and if you get to a spot where you need a flatbed instead of the traditional sided version, no problem. Just remove the sides to convert the bed for a wide-open pallet-hauling machine.
Suspension has also been specifically set up to handle the rugged terrain while fully loaded. Now we can tell you it isnít going to ride great when itís loaded down, but it will get the work done. The Fox FLOAT air assisted coil over shocks help to balance the cargo. Depending on the amount of load you toss over into the bed of this Cat, you can add or remove air from the shocks with the touch of a button. With dual A-arm independent front and rear suspension the handling of the HDX 700 is also great for the jobsite and getting around or over things in the right of way is easy with a center ground clearance of ten inches. Bringing the huge worker to a stop is left up to the dual piston hydraulic front and rear brakes.
The rugged chassis of the Prowler HDX 700 has a tough-as-nails appearance. This framework has worked for the ďBest Heavy duty ROV in classĒ for 2011 so the platform is a keeper. If you sit behind the steering wheel youíll notice the spacious 40/20/40 sculpted seating that is comfortable for three riders. One huge advantage to the comfort of a work machine is seating. While we would all like to think of ourselves as average the facts prove there are many different sized riders in the world so Arctic Cat made sure each one could fit behind the wheel by installing five-position adjustable tilt steering. This will also make entry and exit of the cab much easier. Arctic Cat outfitted the HDX 700 with power steering as well, so when the beast is loaded it should be easy to control.
Digital/analog instrumentation on the dash gives the driver everything he needs to keep the progress moving in the right direction. Just to the left of the steering wheel is the gear shifter. The HDX 700 has high, low, reverse and park in its arsenal of selections. The belt driven transmission uses a heavy-duty belt that is just a bit tougher than the average Prowler. The final features we noticed were the extra storage compartments located on the driver and passenger sides just in front of the rear wheels that allow you to carry smaller items safely inside.
So what would we say about the Arctic Cat Prowler HDX700? Riding the working version of the Prowler let us temporarily separate fun from work. The HDX 700 can be a fun ride when the workday is through but it is definitely set up to get a mission accomplished.
The cab of this machine is comfortable and with the spacious 40/20/40 slab to sit on it means those smelly coworkers will be right beside you comfortably in the cab as well. We found the power steering on this Prowler works as it should, but it is a bit twitchy right off the bottom. It seems to feel like an old dot matrix printer at times with the jittery twitch. However, itís a whole lot better than not having it at all.
When we talk about power for the 700 models you know itís going to be good enough to do any work we would need done. When loaded, though, one has to be concerned that the CVT can hold it together, though. This model will haul a lot of stuff at 1,500 lbs, but weíd begin to worry about getting it up any slight or even steep inclines when itís fully loaded. But once you unload the machine it is as fun as any similar displacement UTV.
The fact that you can really boogy down the trails and cross small streams in a single bound makes the end of the workday something to look forward to. We would add this to our crew anytime given the financial opportunity. The dual two-inch receiver style hitches are on the machine in front and rear for hauling a small trailer or pulling the overzealous rider out of the county retention pond. These are always a plus as towing a trailer is always an option.
Overall Arctic Cat has a well-defined, purpose-built machine in the HDX 700 that obviously has already made somebody happy because it was voted best heavy ROV in its class and weíre sure there will be even more happy customers to come.
2012 Arctic Cat ATV and UTV Early Release Models Unveiled
2011 Arctic Cat ATV and Prowler Lineup Preview
2010 Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ 1000 H2 EFI Review
2008 Arctic Cat Prowler 650 XT Review