When you are driving in low-range 4WD, the Polaris has lower gearing.
The Pioneer 1000 is fine driving aggressively, but sliding turns is not its favorite
The Honda has a nice interior with paddle shifters that work well, and we used
them a lot.
roll back before you get the power on
and the clutch engaged. We simply
learned to left-foot the brake when
starting on a hill.
In many of the trail situations we
encountered, the Honda has all the
power that the tires and terrain can
use, but rarely more than you can
effectively use. When the terrain
opens a little, the pace is brisk. When
it comes to the General, though,
Polaris gave it a full-sport motor. The
clutching and response are more
abrupt, and there is power to spin
the tires. When there is room to mash
the throttle, the General is the clear
horsepower leader. It is a thrill ride.
Get farther into the throttle and
both machines accelerate briskly. The
Honda’s DCT is an all-gear unit with
two clutches. One clutch manages the
even-numbered gears, and the other
clutch the odd-numbered gears. As
one gear runs out, the next gear has
already started to engage. When you
simply stand on the throttle in auto
mode, the Pioneer picks up each gear
with a shift you feel, satisfying acceleration all the way through the speed
range. Switch to the sport setting and
it carries more rpm before shifting,
and acceleration is quicker with a
We were surprised at how often
we found ourselves using the paddle
shifters. It is fun to have perfect control
of when the next gear engages for
rock crawling and faster driving as
well. For work or casual driving the
auto setting is very nice. If you are
cruising along easily and the terrain
transitions much steeper, mashing
the throttle will have a small delay
while the transmission reacts. Even
if you are in automatic, you can use
the paddle to grant a quicker, more
immediate downshift, and we did use
that feature often.
Honda’s DCT offers great engine
braking for technical descents as well.
On a downhill, twisty road or two-track, though, it automatically downshifts to help slow the machine. We
switched to manual for long, easy
descents so we could upshift to ease
the engine braking and make the
drive smoother. We are fans of the
DCT, and especially so with the paddle shifters.
It is safe to say that few companies
have the CVT experience that Polaris
does, and it shows with the General.
Compared to the Honda, the CVT
clutching is jumpier, but compared
to any high-power sport UTV it is per-