Earlier this year we had an opportunity to spend a few days riding the 2017 Polaris General Deluxe – a UTV that can serve you well on the jobsite or the trails.
Seating Capacity: 2
Engine: 999cc Twin
Power: 100 hp
Bed Capacity: 600 lbs
Towing Capacity: 1,500 lbs
If you think for a second that you cannot have fun in the cab of a UTV on the job, then just maybe you haven’t discovered the challenges of life through the windshield of a Polaris General. After a week’s worth of running around the farm we had plenty of insight on just what the Polaris General was capable of.
Our setting for the 2017 Polaris General Deluxe test was the mountainous ridges of Northern Georgia, which offered up a variety of rocks, roots, ups and downs, along with a little mud and some creek crossing. The weather was partially cloudy on most days, but the rain held off for the most part. Some of the tasks we wanted to venture into were obviously cab comfort during a day of beating the fence posts, real life work including towing as well as loading the cargo box for a drive around the hills there. Let’s take a look at how it all shook out.
When the Polaris General was introduced it was hailed as a cross between the RZR and Ranger lines in Polaris’s arsenal. This tweener was to cut a separate piece of the proverbial pie in our industry today, giving the cruiser and work crowd something to call their own. The engine is the same ProStar platform as the two combined segments and just tuned a little differently for that milder crowd. Do not let that discourage you, though, as it has plenty of power and grunt for its target audience. In fact, we found that the General can at some points be very aggressive if pressed and this wasn’t always appropriate for the situation. Climbing out of a gully at the bottom of what was literally a marshy wash area on the edge of a small lake was a perfect example. This machine has a temper and when pressed it can really get those wheels spinning. For our trailer of gear, well it got covered front to back in the slick stuff, but the Polaris General was on a mission to get us out of that situation. With that said, the power feel, delivery and capability is very sufficient.
Inside the cab you will feel swarmed by comfy fully bolstered seating and it really makes the driver and passenger feel at home with a sense of safety and confidence even after several days of riding. The high back seats are not only mounted a tad higher in the cab for easier entry and exit, but also provide a drop angle towards the rear of the machine that gives you a very comfortable seated position. This takes weight and stress off your lower legs so comfort is what you get.
Everything from the center console-mounted shifter to the switches on the dash are not only easily reached from a belted in position, but they are also easily viewed from the same position. There is a glove box and center console storage area as well as small cubbies that are built to hold items like your cell phone or keys. I did find that after a few days of riding (our test machine was not brand new), the rubber inserts that are in these small cubbies began to find their way out. Although they are made to be removable (due to Velcro on the bottom of them) once sediment or mud found the underside they seemed to be like unruly children that wouldn’t stay in their seats. Not a game ender, but annoying nonetheless.
During our ride we did ford a deep creek several times in different locations and the floors remained manageable with limited loss of footing. It did help that we removed the floor drains and it also seemed to clean itself out once we got the nasty red clay inside the cab. Those little twist-in plugs do make it easy for cleaning out of that area and it’s another grand detail that Polaris is known for.
The suspension on the 2017 Polaris General Deluxe is a step above the base model in the sense that the shocks are a touch better performing and are bit easier to adjust than some in the same segment. The FOX Podium 2.0 QS3 shocks are made with a large dial for simple adjustments so an inexperienced driver can choose quickly just how they want the ride to feel. Although we love easy adjustments, it sometimes limits the creativity when dialing in the ride for certain situations. However, we do understand both Polaris’ and FOX’s concept here. We had many three-quarter throttle moments in the cab of this machine and with that said the shocks having three basic settings will quickly help you decide just how soft or hard you want the ride to be. Our choice was right in the center. This seemed to fit the variety of terrain and obstacles we faced during our test.
Riding in the 2017 Polaris General Deluxe, you do feel confident in what you might encounter and as we said previously it does seem to grow on you with every hour or mile that passes. The Polaris power steering on the General is also well suited for technical trails and times when being precise really counts. We found not only do the power, suspension and those incredibly grippy GBC Dirt Commander tires really round out this vehicle, but this deluxe version also came with a sound system. The MTX sound bar across the upper roll structure was well received when we were loading the trailer or just sitting around at the barn. There is even a winch included on this model which we did not use one time. Its good insurance, but with the motto “when in doubt, throttle out” in our minds we could get through those sour patches of trail easily. Other items in the deluxe package include the front bumper, which someone might or might not have scrubbed on something stronger than itself at one time or another.
One last item we almost forgot to mention is the bed of this machine. The General’s bed is a dumping bed with several places along the bed rail for the Polaris lock and ride accessories. The bed seemed pretty tough during our testing and the build quality also held up well to the brick and steel that had been thrown inside on the jobsites. Popping up the bed exposes an engine that seems easy to service, provided you do not need any electronic repair requiring it to be hooked to the computer.
Our time in the 2017 Polaris General Deluxe was well worth the ride and if we were looking to find a very universal machine to fill our need for power and use, this would be a great choice.