2013 Can-Am Maverick Review: First Ride

Seth Fargher
by Seth Fargher
First impressions of BRP's game changer

Editor’s Note: ATV.com contributor Seth Fargher worked with Can-Am as it gathered promotional photos and videos for the new Maverick. He’s the one you can see driving in most of the photos in this article, as well as the articles from most other publications. These are his impressions from putting the Maverick through its paces. ATV.com will have a complete review of the Maverick from another of our contributors in the coming weeks.

Since its release to the public just weeks ago at the Sand Sport Super Show, the Can-Am Maverick has been creating quite a buzz. My social media channels have been flooded with images, articles and plenty of opinions about this innovative new side-by-side.

2013 Can-Am Maverick 1000R X rs Action 01

With more than 100 horsepower on tap, excitement has been building for the new Can-Am Maverick 1000.

Over the last few months I have had the privilege of working with Can-Am as it has put together its promotional materials leading up to the release of the Maverick. I had several opportunities to drive the machine for photography and film crews in a variety of locations. While this certainly wasn’t an all out test, it provided some unique opportunities to put the machine through its paces and see how it performed.

2013 Can-Am Maverick 1000R X rs Cockpit

Anybody familiar with the Can-Am Commander will feel at home in the Maverick’s cockpit.

Back in July I traveled to Oregon for the first segment of film and photos taking place at the Oregon Dunes. There were several units available, including two base models, a Maverick X and a parts and accessories unit equipped with genuine Can-Am accessories.

Upon climbing in, the first thing you’ll notice is that Can-Am retained the use of the Commander cockpit. I’ve always felt the Commander has one of the more comfortable and stylish cockpits on the market so I was pleased with that from the get go. The ease of adjusting the seat much like an automobile, with no tools required, helps taller riders like myself make adjustments easier.

From the driver’s seat, although it may look and feel like a Commander, a quick push of the start button reveals that this really is an all-new beast. The dual exhaust provides a deep throaty sound that screams high performance. What’s impressive is the inclusion of a catalytic converter on this closed loop exhaust system. Most of the time emissions control spells less horsepower, but no such sacrifice is made with the Maverick.

2013 Can-Am Maverick 1000R Action 04

Press down on the throttle and the Maverick feels like no other UTV in the industry.

Even just tooling around on the short access road out to the dunes I could feel the difference in horsepower and acceleration. Stabbing the throttle with your foot, the Maverick lurches forward immediately thanks to the 54mm throttle body, dual fuel injectors and the intelligent throttle control (iTC).

Without question, the biggest news surrounding the Maverick is the improvement in horsepower. It’s not just a minor improvement over the Commander or a little bit quicker; it’s dramatic and it’s immediate. Without a doubt the Maverick is the most powerful and hardest pulling side by side on the market.

2013 Can-Am Maverick 1000R Action 03

We’ve never felt anything pulll like the Maverick.

I’ve had a couple of opportunities to drive the Polaris XP 900 in the dunes and was very impressed with its performance. Following the Maverick shoot, I got back into an XP and it just wasn’t the same. I noticed the difference in acceleration immediately. Once I got out and opened it up, the power just wasn’t there. Even with paddle tires, the XP didn’t seem to pull nearly as hard or as long as the Maverick.

2013 Can-Am Maverick 1000R Shock Rear

The Maverick’s suspension soaked up whoops without protest.

Driving for photos and film gives you a unique opportunity to test a vehicle. If it doesn’t perform well, you’ll know. After 30 or so passes through a whoop section I can say with confidence, the Maverick eats whoops alive. Thanks to the new Torsional Trailing A-arm (TTA) IRS system complete with 14 inches of suspension travel, we could easily blitz through whoops without ever losing control or being rattled to death. The mere fact that we could make 30 or more high speed passes through a whoop section without getting nauseous or beat up proves to me that whoops are no issue for the Maverick’s suspension. Landing from jumps is smooth as well and the Maverick carries itself well in the air. We got a little sideways a few times, but part of that comes with jumping uneven dune faces.

Steering was precise and controlled. When driving through whoops we could easily dart from side to side without over steering or feeling out of control. When carving dune faces, the balance of weight keeps the front end light and there was no threat of pushing in turns. And of course there’s always a little bit of extra power to break the back end loose and steer with the rear without ever feeling out of control. The front end stays planted and responds immediately.

2013 Can-Am Maverick 1000R Action 01

While it’s power really shines in the desert, the Maverick holds its own in the woods…just stay clear of trails with a 50-inch width restriction.

While the Maverick isn’t specifically targeted at hardcore trail enthusiasts, we did spend a couple of days shooting in some deep wooded trails. Obviously these aren’t the type of trails with a 50” width restriction, but they definitely weren’t fire roads either. The Maverick was quite at home and when driving on dirt as opposed to sand – you can really feel the improvement in acceleration. There were a number of switchback turns that required hard steering and we had no problem navigating them regardless of how fast we were going.

2013 Can-Am Maverick 1000R Action 02

Our early impressions of the Can-Am Maverick are very positive. We can’t wait to stretch its ample legs again soon.

Despite not getting to give the Maverick a complete shake down, the testing we did coupled with the increase in horsepower was enough to convince me that the Maverick is a game changer. We put the Maverick through the paces and it performed exceptionally well.

Can’t enough of the new Maverick? Then check out CanAmMaverick.org for all the latest news and info on the industry’s first 100-horsepower UTV.

Related Reading


2013 Can-Am Maverick 1000R Preview – Video

2011 Can-Am Commander 1000 XT Review

2011 Polaris Ranger RZR XP 900 Review – Video

2012 Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000i Review – Video

Seth Fargher
Seth Fargher

Growing up in Oregon, most of Seth's involvement in the powersports world was limited to what he saw in magazines and videos. Following a brief stint in the corporate world, Seth took a flying leap (literally) and moved to California to pursue a career in freestyle motocross. Though short lived, the opportunity immersed him in the industry and is now a well-established off-road writer.

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