Wider stance and more ground clearance help the newest General take charge
From the very first time we sat in the original Polaris General in 2016, there was a feeling of respect and maybe even a little man crush on this middle of the Polaris family machine. The Polaris Ranger, a working man’s tool, and the Polaris RZR, the go-fast trail rage machine had been blended together to hatch a rig for those who need a little of each machine in one package. This is the Polaris General. How can that get any better you might ask? Well we had a chance to answer that question during the 2021 Polaris press intro in Wyoming, Minn. just a few weeks ago. The latest edition of the family is the 2021 Polaris General XP 1000 Deluxe and the updates really give this off-road vehicle a boost in performance and looks.
Suspension Travel: 14"
Shocks: Walker Evans Velocity
Tires: 30" Pro Armor Crawler XG
Having only a full day to try out the 2021 Polaris model line, it was clear that we needed to focus on only a few of the machines on hand. The 2021 Polaris General XP 1000 Deluxe was one of those and as we slipped beneath the steering wheel it was clear that our feelings for the General had not changed.
The cab really pulls you in and gives a very secure feeling with almost shoulder high doors (even though they are considered half doors) and fully bolstered high back seating. Even for larger drivers, there is plenty of room between the pilot and the tilt steering wheel. Polaris is great at building a very user friendly as well as interactive cab space and the controls to this 2021 Polaris General XP 1000 Deluxe are right within anyone’s reach.
As we turned the key, the ProStar 999cc mill sprang to life and we were treated to the all too familiar throaty twin cylinder soun. This engine has 100 crank horsepower and as you get the throttle pedal down and the RPMs up, it really gets your attention. The Polaris testing grounds in Wyoming were perfect for allowing the high displacement mill to really stretch its legs, giving us all a real-world example of its performance capability. It seems to have no problem getting the over 1,700-pound rig moving even though it is just over 200 lbs heavier than other General models.
The changes to the new Polaris General XP 1000 Deluxe that make it different from its siblings are mainly in the suspension and overall stance. This Deluxe General is 64 inches wide, which is a full 1.5 inches wider than the other models of General and it also gets an additional 1.5 inches more ground clearance at 13.5. Polaris also includes high clearance A-arms on the General XP 1000 Deluxe to give the machine ample room to clear any trail obstacles. We did not find many massive trail obstacles such as rocks or stumps, but a few downed trees along the trail attracted our attention and getting over them seemed to be a non-issue. The ability to launch this rig over the downed trees had to be partially attributed to the massive 30-inch Pro Armor Crawler XG tires. These 30-inch treads are mounted to 15-inch wheels and if you look closely you will notice the pattern for the front tire is different from the rear. Polaris says this gives the General XP 1000 Deluxe a unique and better handling characteristic that makes the package perform at its best in any condition.
As we made our rip around the many trails at the Polaris testing facility it was clear that the suspension could use some adjustment for our particular riding style, but it is also understood that the factory shock settings are for the general consumer. The Walker Evans Velocity shocks did perform quite well in spite of our desire to tune a little. These compression and preload adjustable piggyback shocks are also new as well as different from the base General’s ZF Sachs twin tube dampener’s with preload only and FOX Podium 2.0 QS3 shocks used on other models. This Walker Evans Internal bypass shock is acclaimed to give the 2021 Polaris General XP 1000 Deluxe better bottoming resistance and overall high-speed performance. When we first drove the General way back in 2016, the FOX QS3 simple adjustment system seemed to be ample for anyone needing that extra fine tune and this shock is still available on other General models.
There was a short section of really rough high-speed trail that allowed us to press the up to 14 inches of overall suspension travel. The Walker Evans suspension gave up plenty of cushion for those deep ruts and deeper mudholes, but with the trail laying right next to a deep pond, we didn’t want to test the CVT snorkel’s so we dropped out of the gas towards the end. The Polaris General XP 1000 Deluxe handled that short rip really well with the Walker Evans Velocity shocks soaked up the hits. In the tighter woods the General Deluxe handled predictably and cornering was confidence inspiring with limited body roll or any feeling of uncertainty while wheeling the rig.
During our ride we had a few opportunities to just stand back and get a look at the new Polaris General XP 1000 Deluxe. This machine has a very bold presence and the redesigned fender flares add to that stance that I like. This machine comes with several other key features as well like the Polaris Pro HD 4500-pound winch and long-distance LED headlights. The sporty front bumper is just enough to shield the nose of the General but appears to be stout enough to take on a rear bumper or two in friendly competition.
Although we only had a couple of hours in the latest upgrade in the Polaris General family, it left a great impression. From the attractive look to the larger 30-inch tires as well as the impressive power this will make anyone proud to lay claim to it. There is even a new hunting edition of this General called the Pursuit Edition. It comes with many great additional features geared to those who shop at the outdoor grocery store.
The bottom line is that the new 2021 Polaris General XP 1000 Deluxe is an impressive addition to the family and one General fans should go and take a look at.