After a year of being cooped up from pandemic worries, consumers have turned out in record numbers to engage in outdoor activities. That's evident in the UTV and ATV world.
During this time, Polaris Off-Road has been busy working on introducing a slew of new additions and enhancements to their lineup of UTVs and ATVs. And, although farmers and ranchers continue to be steadfast users of the vehicles, "72% of our customers are new, from first-time riders to women," said the division's president Steve Menneto.
RANGER SP 570
Kicking off the recent ride-and-drive introduction -- where riders were able to put the vehicles through their paces -- is the all-new workhorse Ranger SP 570. At a 56-inch width, it features a 30% larger cargo box, an extra inch for a total of 11 inches of ground clearance, added storage and a host of accessory options.
Available in two-seat and crew (four-seat) configurations, it comes with a 44 hp ProStar 570 engine and 1,500 pounds of towing capacity. Plus, it offers a new single-handle tailgate that allows quick access for loading and dumping.
"We've made it quieter, pushed the dash forward for extra knee room and have new seating positions," said Chris Hurd, Ranger director of product planning. That's an instant, noticeable creature comfort for taller riders and simply makes getting in and out of the vehicle a snap.
In addition, the clutch system has been upsized and retuned to provide strength and improved low-speed drivability. Maintenance-free suspension bushings and wheel bearings now come standard on every model, too.
Polaris offers 40 new accessories for the Ranger SP 570, from a JBL audio system, backup camera, Lock and Ride storage to transport gear, and new Ride Command technology for GPS mapping.
If you're looking for the top of the Ranger class, check out the four-seater NorthStar Edition with a fully loaded cab, doors that seal, a heater and a standard 3,500-pound winch.
The Ranger SP 570 starts at $10,499, and the Ranger Crew SP 570 NorthStar Edition starts at $19,499.
GENERAL XP 1000
The all-new limited-edition General XP 1000 Trailhead comes in two- and four-seater models with bucket seats designed for performance and comfort. "It's built to handle longer, more adventurous hauls with riders and all their gear," said Chris Judson, vice president of Ranger, General and ATV.
It features Ride Command with Group Ride that allows riders to explore separately while keeping track of others in their pack. Atop a 600-pound dumping cargo box is a gear-ready rack to secure an additional 50 pounds of supplies. It even comes equipped with a Rockford Fosgate audio system and bumper-mounted lightbar.
The General side-by-side also gets a host of enhancements. Up front, most models receive a winch upgrade with Auto-Stop and synthetic rope. Models with Ride Command will also benefit from the new Plow Mode, which automatically lowers and raises a plow when the vehicle shifts from park to low or reverse.
The 2022 General XP 1000 Trailhead Edition starts at $26,699, the four-seater at $28,899.
RZR PRO XP
If you have a need for speed, then get behind the wheel of a RZR Pro XP and RZR Pro XP Premium and Ultimate side-by-side. For 2022, the RZR Pro XP Sport will replace the RZR XP Turbo with added power and styling.
The Sport provides 181 hp and 2 inches of increased suspension travel with a more refined cockpit and stronger transmission. When I punched the accelerator, it felt as if the front wheels lifted off the ground.
As RZR Vice President Reid Wilson puts it, "We're providing a more powerful, turbocharged entry point to the multiterrain lineup, and that's something we know customers will appreciate."
RZR 200 EFI
Designed for the next generation of off-roaders, the new 185 cc RZR 200 EFI provides a host of benchmarks for safety with Ride Control and Helmet Aware technology. Speed is preset at 15 mph but can be increased to 29 mph.
The compact side-by-side offers riders ages 10 and up an introduction to riding and features passenger seating so kids can share the fun. Pricing starts at $5,899.
SPORTSMAN RIDE COMMAND
Two new limited-edition models feature the Ride Command technology. The new Sportsman 570 Ride Command and Sportsman XP 1000 Ride Command "provide riders with confidence and the capability to stay connected," Judson said.
New for 2022 on all Sportsman models with electronic power steering, you can select between three levels of steering assistance. I found significant differences among the three settings that would be useful depending on riding conditions.
Prices for the new Ride Command editions start at $10,899.
In addition to the new models and enhancements to the 2022 vehicle lineup, Polaris has partnered with Rhino-Rack on a new line of premium storage accessories for Rangers and Generals.
Orders for the new 2022 vehicles are underway, but be patient. Polaris, like many companies, is experiencing supply chain issues. Getting parts has been one of their biggest challenges and has delayed delivery on many of their vehicles.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
-- Polaris Off-Road: www.polaris.com
Editor's Note/Spoiler Alert: Few details are available, but we got a sneak peek at a new side-by-side Ranger EV that's all-electric. More to come once it's introduced.
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