2016 Polaris General Preview

Lucas Cooney
by Lucas Cooney
Part Ranger and Part RZR, the General is all about versatility

Not exactly a pure Sport UTV or a work-specific Utility UTV, the new Polaris General fits somewhere in the middle between Polaris’ RZR and Ranger families. This is a Sport-Utility hybrid with a distinct focus on versatility.

“Today is a great day at Polaris! Once again, we are launching a game-changing new product,” said Tim Blinkhorn, GM, Ranger & Polaris General. “This vehicle is the most versatile side-by-side ever built, made for those who want to battle it all.”

Discuss this at our Polaris General Forum

At the heart of the Polaris General is a 100-horsepower ProStar 1000 engine. Polaris boasts the engine accelerates from 0-40 mph in 3.6 seconds. According to Polaris, this is achieved thanks it “best-in-class power-to-weight ratio.”

2016 Polaris General Speed

When you want to rip up the trails, the General will get you up to speed in a hurry.

When it’s time to get the work done, the General offers a payload of 1,100 pounds and a 600-pound dump box.

Step inside the General to experience an all-new cabin, which features factory-installed half-doors with armrests, dual bolstered bucket seats (adjustable for the driver), and thin-film technology under the seat to keep it dry in wet conditions. A new customizable instrumentation cluster tilts with the steering wheel and includes a combination of digital and analog gauges. A total of 23 liters of integrated storage is found in the cab with a combination of enclosed and in-dash storage. The center console acts as both an armrest and additional storage space and contains a 12V outlet and two cup holders. Finally, dual removable floor drains allow for simple cleaning of the cabin.

2016 Polaris General Cab

Polaris designed a brand new cabin for the General.

The Polaris General rides on an 81-inch wheelbase, which is paired with what Polaris calls a performance-oriented suspension that provides 12.25 inches of travel up front and 13.2 inches out back. Front and rear sway bars are designed to keep the ride level and reduce body roll. Polaris notes that ground clearance is also best-in-class, with 12 inches unloaded and 7.4 inches when loaded with 600 lbs in the dumping bed. A full-body skid plate helps protect the vehicle from trail debris.

2016 Polaris General Rear Shock

The General boasts 12 inches of unloaded ground clearance along with class-leading suspension travel.

As for the powertrain, the Polaris General features a High-Performance, Close Ratio All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system.

“When needed, all four wheels will engage almost instantly for more forward traction and will revert back to 2WD when it is no longer needed,” Polaris says in a release.

The vehicle also features an Engine Braking System (EBS) for more control when trailering up to 1,500 lbs and on descents. Electronic power steering comes standard on the General.

Three General Models
2016 Polaris General Red

The Polaris General will be available in three different iterations. The base model is available with in-mold plastic in Indy Red.

The Polaris General Velocity Blue will include automotive-style paint; Sport Low Profile Front Bumper and Polaris HD 4500 lb winch, and 14-inch Matte Black cast aluminum wheels paired with eight-ply, 27-inch GBC Dirt Commander Tires.

2016 Polaris General Working-1

The Polaris General Deluxe Orange Burst will have all the features included on the Velocity Blue model along with adjustable Fox Podium X 2.0 QS3 Shocks and the addition of a Polaris General Pro-Fit Lock & Ride Sport Roof, rear-view mirror and MTX Premium Soundbar featuring eight-speakers delivering 100 watts of audio through six performance three-inch speakers and two one-inch tweeters with Bluetooth connectivity.

The Competition

Up until now, Polaris has left the Sport-Utility market to the other manufacturers, preferring to focus on Pure Sport and Pure Utility UTVs. The most obvious competitors of the General are the Can-Am Commander and Yamaha Wolverine R-Spec.

The Wolverine shares more in common with the General visually and both have the same 81-inch wheelbase. However, the Wolverine is down almost 300cc in displacement and carries 300 pounds less in its tilt-less bed. It will also likely cost thousands less than the General.

2016 Polaris General Profile

The Commander can match the General in displacement and bed capacity (also without tilt feature), but it trails by about 15 horsepower and sits has a five-inch shorter footprint. The General name also seems to be a shot across the bow of Can-Am’s Commander.

It will be interesting to see in person how the Polaris General matches up with its competition.


To help consumers take their Generals to the next level, Polaris is offering more than 30 brand new Polaris Engineered Accessories and more than 90 common fit items. The cab frame features profile tubing providing a 360-degree sealing surface that accepts the Polaris Pro-Fit Lock & Ride Technology. Windshields, roofs, doors and rear panels follow the shape of the vehicle, locking directly into the cab frame’s precision contours. The vehicle also accepts the Glacier Plow Systems, a full line of protection, several LED lighting options and Lock & Ride storage Accessories. A heater kit and windshield wiper kit provide additional all-weather options.

2016 Polaris General Cab

The Velocity Blue and Deluxe Orange Burst models will be available at Polaris dealerships starting in December. The Indy Red will be available in March 2016.

2016 Polaris General Specs
Engine:4-Stroke Twin Cylinder, 999cc
Induction:Electronic Fuel Injection
Transmission:Automatic PVT P/R/N/L/H; Shaft
Drive System:High Performance On-Demand AWD/2WD
Engine Braking:Standard
Front Suspension:Dual A-Arm with Stabilizer Bar 12.25″

(31.1 cm) Travel
Rear Suspension:Dual A-Arm with Stabilizer Bar, IRS 13.2″

(33.5 cm) Travel
Front/Rear Brakes:4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc with Dual-Bore Front Calipers
Front Tires:Red – 27 x 9-12; Blue/Orange – 27 x 9-14
Rear Tires:Red – 27 x 11-12; Blue/Orange – 27 x 11-14
Dry Weight:Red – 1,430 lb; Blue – 1,491 lb; Orange – 1,544
Length/Width/Height:116.4 x 62.5 x 73.8 in
Wheelbase:81 in
Ground Clearance:12 in
Bed Capacity:600 pounds
Towing Capacity:1500 pounds
Payload Capacity:1100 pounds
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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