2017 Can-Am Defender HD5 Preview

Lucas Cooney
by Lucas Cooney
Fast Facts

Engine: 427cc Rotax Single Cylinder

Power: 38 hp
Ground Clearance: 10.5"
MSRP: $9,999
New engine option brings value to Defender lineup

If you like the looks and capability of the Can-Am Defender line of Utility UTVs but were hoping for a more affordable option, you are in luck. BRP has introduced the newest member of the Defender family – the Can-Am Defender HD5.

Featuring a new 427cc Rotax single-cylinder engine that produces a claimed 38 horsepower, the HD5 is the third engine option for the Defender, joining the HD10 and HD8.

It comes available in two different packages – the base Defender HD5 and the Defender DPS HD5. Best of all, the MSRP comes in at $9,999. For comparison, the base Defender HD8 retails for $10,999 and the base Defender HD10 carries a price tag of $13,799.

“The 2017 Can-Am Defender HD5 side-by-side vehicle provides full-size functionality and unmatched versatility at an attractive price point,” says Marc-André Dubois, Global Marketing Director, Can-Am Off-Road. “This addition of the handy Defender HD5 packages helps us expand the Defender family lineup to meet market demand and also grow the Can-Am footprint in the highly popular utility-recreation segment of the industry.”

Defender HD5 Features
2017 Can-Am Defender HD5 Engine

The new HD5 engine is maintenance free for one year, or up to 1,865 miles or 200 running hours. It comes mated to a belt-driven CVT that comes standard with Park, Reverse, Neutral, High and Low ranges. Can-Am’s Electronic Belt Drive Protection is designed to monitor the CVT belt and alert the driver when to be in low gear.

BRP built the Defender HD5 around a low-alloy steel chassis. Controlling the ride is a double A-arm front suspension and Torsional Trailing A-arm (TTA-HD) rear suspension. Twin-tube, gas-charged shocks offer up 10.0 inches of suspension travel at all four corners. Available ground clearance is 10.5 inches – a half inch less than the Defender HD8 and HD10.

Connecting the Defender HD5 to the ground are 25-inch Maxxis tires wrapped around 12-inch steel wheels, while selectable 2WD / 4WD Visco-Lok auto-locking front differential allow the driver to control how the machine will deal with the terrain ahead.

2017 Can-Am Defender HD5 Rear

Built to get work done, the Defender HD5 can tow up to 1,500 pounds and offers a payload capacity of 1,200 pounds, including up to 600 pounds in the rear cargo bed. Those numbers are down slightly from the larger Defenders (2,000-pound towing capacity, 1,500-pound payload capacity, 1,000-pound cargo bed capacity), though it does share the same massive 10.6-gallon fuel tank.

Other features include a open dash configuration, truck-inspired VERSA-PRO bench seat (room for three adults), under-seat storage, under-dash storage and water-resistant toolbox mounted in the dash.

The Defender HD5 is available in green.

Defender DPS HD5
Can-Am Defender DPS HD5 Camo

For buyers looking for more features, the Can-Am offers the Defender DPS HD5 package for $11,399 ($12,199 for water-dipped Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo). As expected, this package is built on the addition of Dynamic Power Steering (DPS). However, it also includes Auto-locking Visco-Lok QE front differential, which provides faster engagement of the front differential and boasts the ability to lock up to 100% with no rev or speed limiter.

The Defender DPS HD5 also comes with upgraded 12-inch aluminum wheels and more on-board storage space.

Lucas Cooney
Lucas Cooney

I have been working exclusively in digital media since 1997. I started out with TSN.ca, spending nearly nine years creating and editing content on Canada's leading sports website. I left to join VerticalScope, Inc., one of the world's largest online publishers, to start a number of powersports publications. While at VerticalScope, I've helped create and oversee content for a wide variety of different publications, including ATV.com, Off-Road.com, ArcheryTalk.com, Tractor.com, RVGuide.com, and many more.

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