gave both the Polaris and the Can-Am
Turbos fits was an easy cruise for the
four-seater. Rocks that high-centered
the two-seaters also stopped the
four-seaters, but they reached the
sticking point more easily.
Any time we are dealing with
extreme climbs or drops, we feel more
in control in a long-wheelbase car.
The staff speedsters who originally
moaned when they found that our 2017
Polaris XP Turbo was going to be a
four-seater have changed their tunes
after hitting our normal test loops with
the longer machines.
Again, there is little difference in
suspension feel when the machine
gets the added seats in the same
wheelbase as a two-seater. As a gen-
eral rule, the longer-wheelbase cars
get through the rough better. Single
bumps that would kick up the rear of
a shorter car are taken with a more
level attitude. Naturally, there are other
factors like suspension travel and the
actual suspension geometry, but lon-
ger machines feel like they have better
suspension than a shorter machine
with the same suspension.
The massively long Can-Am X3 Max
feels like the rear passengers could
take notes or sip espresso while hammering through the rough. We’ve had
the same experience with shorter-trav-el machines like the Textron Off-Road
Stampede and the Polaris General.
Whether you are hunting, camping
EAST VS. WEST
or just working with your UTV, some
utility is a necessity. Depending on the
use you intend, you should look care-
fully at all the numbers before making
a choice. For example, the two Teryx
models have the same load rating
that combines passengers, cargo and
added accessory weight. But, where
the Teryx can carry 600 pounds in the
bed, the Teryx4’s smaller bed is rated
for 249 pounds. Also, many of the sport
UTVs have no towing capacity at all.
The Polaris General line is the only
one we have noticed that has greater
load capacity for the four-seater, with
the bed capacity and towing being the
same. If you aren’t using the back seats,
you can safely carry cargo there that
amounts to the weight of two adults.
As we touched briefly earlier, it doesn’t matter how well the
long-wheelbase machines ride if
they are stuck between trees. Long
machines may have trouble with the
steep approach angles of mud holes
and stream banks. Any reduced ground
clearance can be a factor as well.
When we hear about owners shortening the trailing arms for the woods, the
Can-Am Max may have issues. In the
west, the longer cars work extremely
well, hold value and are easy to resell.
When climbs are extreme and technical, everyone
felt more confidence in the longer machine. The
front wheels stay on the ground for better control.
We expected the longer cars to be hampered in turns, but
the times that a four-seater made a two-point turn, 90
percent of the time the shorter cars had to do the same.