mance models, the difference is roughly 16-percent more for the four-seat
versions. Polaris’ popular General is
approximately the same. The four-door
is $3200, or 15-percent more.
Price is one thing, but price and
value are not necessarily absolute. If
you have three or four people in the
family, the price difference is a bargain
compared to buying two two-seaters.
With two machines, you are looking at
a 100-percent price jump even before
you take into account upkeep and tires
on a second machine. (Not that we
discourage folks from owning more
than one machine—live the dream).
For some riders, the local terrain is
just not friendly to extended wheelbase
machines, but for this performance
section, we will assume that the long
cars do fit your trails; they for sure do
here in the west. In terms of engine
performance, none of the available
machines we know of have a more
powerful engine to accompany the
added passenger room, but all weigh
a bit more. Kawasaki managed the
weight increase the best of our sample machines with a mere 32-pound
weight penalty for the added seating.
The Polaris XP line does a pretty
good job as well, gaining only 196
pounds compared to 231 for the
Wildcat and 243 for the Can-Am
X3. The Pioneer’s added cage, bed
underpinnings and other changes
add 254 pounds, and the General
with the addition of a longer frame,
two bucket seats and two full, large
doors with inner door panels for the
Polaris General 4 bump the weight 366
pounds. We ran identical 2017 Polaris
Turbos up the famed Oldsmobile hill
at the Glamis Dunes. The two-seater
peaked at 46 mph on the climb, while
the heavier Turbo 4 reached 40 mph.
For all of these machines, the acceleration difference is the same as having an extra passenger in the machine.
Not bad, but certainly something you
If you fill every seat with a full-sized
adult, you will feel a difference in the
handling. There is a reason, though,
that many top desert UTV racers
begin with a long-wheelbase four-seat
chassis and convert it to two or even
a single seat for racing. The longer
wheelbase creates a car that has very
calm-handling character that stays
more stable through the rough. When
trails get rough and ledge-filled, a long
car can have ground-clearance issues,
but more often it will stretch between
high spots. One rock waterfall that
The longer the machine—and the
Can-Am X3 Max is a monster—the
more likely that single sharp obstacle
will have you dragging bottom.
Both the Can-Am (a long-wheelbase two-seater) and the
Polaris XP popped wheels up and danced here. Our Turbo 4
drove through like it was no big deal.
Ugly descending is also more relaxed in a longer machine.
The same is true of drops where there are fewer times that
the long machine has only two wheels touching.