In this day and age when it feels like everything new seems to come with a roll cage and bucket seats, it’s exciting to see two OEMs appeasing thrill seekers with a propensity for high horsepower without the confines of a cockpit. At over 680 pounds each, it’s difficult to classify the Can-Am Renegade 1000 and Polaris Scrambler 1000 as purely Sport models, but there is no denying they were developed them with performance in mind.

Discuss this at our Can-Am Maverick Forum

The Renegade has been part of the Can-Am lineup since the 2007 model year. Its original competitor was the Kawasaki KFX700, but that disappeared in 2010. Polaris came to market in 2013 with the Scrambler 850, aimed directly at the Renegade 800R, and one year later took on the Renegade 1000 with the Scrambler 1000 XP.

Heavyweight Sport-Utility Specs Comparison
  Polaris Scrambler 1000 Can-Am Renegade 1000
Price $13,299 $11,049 ($13,549 for X xc model)
Wheelbase 53.0 in 51.0 in
Width 48.6 in 46.0 in
Dry Weight 767 lbs 687 lbs
Front Tires Carlisle 489 II, 26×8-14 ITP Holeshot, 25×8-12, 6 Ply
Rear Tires Carlisle 489 II, 26-10-14 ITP Holeshot, 25×10-12, 6 Ply
Ground Clearance 11.5 in 10.5 in
Fuel Capacity 5.25 gal 5.4 gal
Horsepower 89 82
Engine 952cc Twin 776cc Twin
Fuel System Electronic fuel injection Electronic fuel injection
Seat Height 35.0 in 34.5 in
Suspension Front and rear dual A-arm with Fox Podium X 2.0 shocks Dual A-arm front/Tortional trailing arm rear with Fox HPG shocks
Suspension Travel Front / Rear 9 in / 10.25 in 9 in / 9.5 in
Brakes Single Lever 4-wheel hydraulic Disc with Hydraulic rear foot break Dual Hydraulic Disc with Independent front and rear brake controls
Lighting LED Halogen
Instrumentation Digital guage, Speedometer, Odometer, Tachometer, Two Tripmeters, Hour Meter, Clock, Service Time, Diagnostic Indicator, Gear Indicator, Fuel Guage, Hi-Temp/Low-Batt Lights, DC Outlet Digital guage, Speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip and hour meters, fuel, gear indicator, 4×4 indicator, diagnostics, clock, auto shutoff
Towing Capacity 1,500 lbs 1,300 lbs
Driveline/Differential Shaft drive PVT with on demand AWD / 2WD Shaft Drive CVT with selectable 2WD / 4WD with limited slip differential and differential lock
Rack Capacity 25 lb / 50 lb N/A
Power Steering Standard Available on X xc model only

For two competing vehicles from two opposing brands, the machines share a number of unique characteristics.  For starters both feature dual A-arm front suspension providing 9.0 inches of travel with the Scrambler offering 10.25 inches in the rear over the Renegade’s 9.5.  Fuel capacity is nearly identical with 5.4 gallons for the Renegade and 5.25 gallons for the Scrambler.

Read our review of the 2014 Polaris Scrambler 1000 XP

Both machines feature dual hydraulic disc brakes and the more Sport-oriented riders will appreciate the selectable 2WD/4WD transmission. Digital displays come standard on both models while the Scrambler features LED headlights and the Renegade uses halogen lamps.

In the motor department, both feature fuel injected single overhead cam Twin cylinder engines that crank out some big numbers.  The Scrambler is at a slight advantage with 89 horsepower, seven ponies more than the Renegade’s 82. That’s no real surprise, however, since the Scrambler was designed specifically to compete with the Renegade which was already in production. It will be interesting to see if Can-Am increases the horsepower in the near future.

2014 Can-Am Renegade 1000Seen here in its base trim, the Can-Am Renegade 1000 was been unchallenged in the heavyweight Sport-Utility segment before Polaris unleashed the new Scrambler.

Weight is a big factor that can affect the performance of the vehicle and this is probably the Achilles heel of the Scrambler.  At 767 pounds it weighs 80 pounds more than the Renegade; a considerable difference for a vehicle that’s meant to be a direct competitor.

Read our comparison of the 2014 Polaris RZR 800 vs. Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail

To help control that much weight traveling at speed down a trail, Polaris gave the Scrambler a larger footprint with a two-inch longer wheelbase and over 2.5-inch wider stance.  It also offers an extra inch of ground clearance, due in part to the larger 26-inch tires over the Renegade’s 25-inch meats. Polaris’ 14-inch wheels may be partly to blame for the added weight, but certainly aren’t the only cause.

As for capacities, the Scrambler can tow an impressive 1,500 pounds, compared to 1,300 for the Renegade. As well, the Scrambler’s front and rear racks can carry a combined 75 pounds, while the Renegade doesn’t come with any racks.

2014 Polaris Scrambler 1000 XP EPS BeautyThe Polaris Scrambler 1000 XP boasts more towing capacity, as well as front and rear racks for extra storage possibilities.

At $13,299, the Scrambler is a hefty $2,250 more than the base Renegade 1000; however, electronic power steering and Fox Podium 2.0 shocks are standard issue on the Polaris.  The base model Renegade has no power steering and comes standard with Fox’s HPG (High Pressure Gas) shocks, but the Renegade 1000 X xc ($13,549) includes the same Fox Podium 2.0 Shocks as well as Can-Am’s Tri-Mode Dynamic power steering. The jump to the X xc model also includes beadlock wheels, which the Scrambler does without.

Read our preview of the 2015 Can-Am ATV and UTV Lineup

If you add up the costs of EPS, comparable shocks and beadlock wheels, the price jump to the Renegade 1000 X xc from the base Renegade 1000 is worthwhile. That being said, it’s nice to have options for those people on a budget and BRP has done well by offering two Renegade models at different price points.

2014 Can-Am Renegade 1000 X xcCan-Am’s X xc package for the Renegade 1000 includes Tri-Mode Dynamic Power Steering, Fox Podium 2.0 shocks and beadlock wheels with color-matching rings.

Regardless of which vehicle you choose, we’re just glad to see OEMs continue to bring new levels of innovation to the sport.  Competition between manufacturers ultimately means more options for the consumer, which gives every rider the opportunity to find something that suits their specific style. Now we’ll just have to wait and see if any other manufacturers decide to throw their hat in the big bore Sport Utility ring!

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