2019 Textron Prowler Pro XT Review
Coming out of the company that gave us the incredible Wildcat XX, we recently had the chance to drive the new 2019 Textron Prowler Pro XT, the brand’s latest Utility UTV offering. This would not be just any event, though, as we ran the hills around Paso Robles, Calif. that is the desired setting for this new machine.
The whisper quiet 812cc inline triple gets your attention quickly for not getting your attention. If that makes sense. It is pretty subtle when idling to the point of becoming unnoticed. This electronically fuel injected engine also idles with little vibration. Sitting down in the cab and having a good conversation with your passengers is also possible. Although the incantation of the engine does grow with more speed, it is still an acceptable working level that impresses.
Looking around in the cab of the 2019 Textron Prowler Pro XT, you may first notice, as we did, the different coloration between the top of the dash and the lower half. This color difference from black to grey at the bottom not only allowed me to identify the placement of switches, switch blanks or pre-cut switch spaces and the twin 12V power outlets, but was also a nice breakup from a traditional all black cab dash. The digital readout is also directed appropriately to get your attention should you need to know the vitals of the machine as it is being driven.
The steering is of the tilting variety and the gear selection knob is located right on the steering wheel column. With a large round knob, it allowed us to easily place the CVT transmission into its range of P-N-H-L-R. This makes the vehicle more like a traditional automotive shifting scenario in a pick-up truck or automobile that shifts from the column. The only issue we found with this shifting mechanism is it was sometime tough to get out of the Park gear once you put the machine in Park on a steep grade. A little rocking in the seat gave us the relief we needed to get into gear and we were able to drive away down the trail again. I’d say most transmissions could get locked in that situation anyway, but it is worth noting as it seemed just a tad difficult.
Staying in the cab, we came to appreciate the convenient switches for things like 2WD/4WD, light controls for high, low and off as well as the unlocking rear differential switch. This machine incorporates this switch to unlock the rear wheels for those sensitive lawns or terrain that needs a little more care. It will also eliminate the screeching of tires when turning around on the pavement. It is a great feature that not many offer in a stock machine. Lastly, you might notice some small cubbies at the bottom of the dash for stowing smaller items, but something that may not get your attention is the incredible space for storage behind the middle and passenger seating. It goes all the way across the complete seating area, but it is only accessible from the passenger side. If you simply spin a small t-nut then pull the top of the upper seat forward, you will find this compartment. You can even remove the lower portions of the seats and store then in this spot so that you have major storage space on the right side of the vehicle. You can fit a full-sized rifle behind the seat in a case as well. It is a pretty impressive use of space that also doubles as a noise filter for the engine to cab space between. It is truly a great idea and one that we have seen in only one other vehicle.
Getting to our ride in the 2019 Textron Prowler Pro XT, we spent a full day riding the incredible landscape most would call wine country of northern San Luis Obispo county. We had a chance to ride with one of the largest outfitters in the area and use their property to test this rig. I want to say this was over 60,000 acres and man as we felt the warmth of the sun rising in 70-degree temperatures it was sure nice to see in the early morning. This test area had many steep climbs as well as descents and trails for what seemed like miles.
The Prowler Pro does have many unique features and of course the quiet aspect is in the forefront, which is very important to hunters and anyone spending a long day on the job as a matter of fact. The embossed low floor with a great pass through design also comes in handy when getting in and out of the machine on a job or after a tiring day running the hills. The front to rear opening style doors are easily opened with a press of the front of door mounted latch. You read that correctly, you press the latch in to open the door and it is seemingly easier than pulling on a latch. I am not sure why just yet, but it is. The front of the door opens rearward and although I can see this potentially getting torn off, it does seem to give the rider much more room or egress to get inside comfortably.
2019 Textron Prowler Pro XT Ride Impressions
Driving the Prowler Pro XT is not unlike other UTVs in the market as it is easy to drive and at least in the Power Steering equipped model the steering effort is very comfortable. Having driven the non-EPS Prowler, which has a slightly heavier steering effort, I do prefer the power steering model.
The power delivery is very linear and gives the driver power to tackle most all obstacles. It seems to need a little help on steep grades, but does fine for most conditions. In low gear the engine could pull a freight train it seems and has every bit of the power you need for a good day’s haul. This machine is no speed demon, but that’s not an advantage on any job site we’ve been on. Actually, you can control the speed via the dash in case you have any lead footed employees on the job. That’s pretty cool in itself.
Did we mention the 2019 Textron Prowler Pro XT is rated to tow 2000 lbs? The bed is also capable of carrying 1000 lbs. Speaking of the bed, it seems very robust and the tailgate is also not a lightweight. The steel surrounded by Poly of some kind makes it feel like a quality piece. Lifting the bed gives the owner full access to service items deemed most important by our industry and more. In fact, two small service panels are also easily removed from the forward rear wheel wells to access even more of the engine not to mention there is an oil filter access panel under the center seat! Great ideas for those do-it-yourselfers!
Overall, I think the 2019 Textron Prowler Pro XT is a good machine and priced so that many will be able to not only enjoy the outdoors, but also be able to conquer that Honey Do list that’s getting out of control.
More by Rick Sosebee