SETTING THE STAGE
The 2017 Maverick X3 shocked the
industry when it was released with
20 inches of front- and rear-wheel
travel and a triple-cylinder four-stroke
engine that boasts 154-horsepower.
On top of that, they also introduced
the X3 X rs that is 72 inches wide,
while the X3 X ds and XP Turbo are
only 64 inches wide. Polaris couldn’t
let Can-Am take all the glory, so they
upped the power output of their parallel twin-cylinder four-stroke engine to
168 horsepower. They also quickened
the steering, strengthened the 18-inch
travel rear suspension and added a
few more needed improvements to
keep up with the brand-new Maverick.
We decided to test the 2017 Polaris
RZR XP Turbo against the Can-Am
Maverick X3 X ds due to their similar
width, suspension and price point.
To truly test these machines, we took
them out to multiple types of terrain,
including dunes, desert, rocky trails
and anything that would give these
powerhouse performance machines a
run for their money.
PUTTING DOWN POWER
There are many elements to supplying power to the tires of a UTV.
You start with the engine, move to
the transmission and end with the
final drive system. The Polaris XP
Turbo has a turbo-inducted, 925cc,
DOHC, parallel twin-cylinder engine
that is liquid-cooled and electronically
fuel-injected. A continuously variable
transmission (CVT) helps push 168
horsepower to the On-Demand all-wheel-drive system.
The front suspension of the X3 X
ds has 20 inches of travel with the
aid of compression- and rebound-adjustable Fox shocks.
The front suspension of the XP Turbo
has 16 inches of travel through a dual-A-arm design and compression-adjust-able Fox shocks.
The Can-Am Maverick X3 holds a
900cc, turbo-inducted, triple-cylinder,
four-stroke engine that is liquid-cooled
and electronically fuel-injected. The X3
also utilizes a CV-style transmission
that is paired with a 4x4 system that
Can-Am calls their Visco-Lok X, which
has an automatically locking front
differential (in theory) just like the XP
We drag-raced these powermonger
turbo UTVs in the sand dunes and in
the desert. We took them rock crawling, swimming in mud and up tricky
hill-climbs. Each vehicle provided different results, and the choice between
which engine and drive system is better
couldn’t be more unclear at times. The
Can-Am can’t crawl over big boulders.
The front differential doesn’t work as
well as the Polaris’. We would get
hung up on rocks with the X3, push the
skinny pedal and struggle to get over
the obstacles. We ended up hitting
things faster than we normally would
to let the Can-Am bounce over. The
XP Turbo would cruise right through
the same sections where the Maverick
struggled without spinning tires as
much. The same goes for climbing
hills. The RZR power is strong on the
bottom end of the power range and
grew stronger through the midrange
with the signature high-rpm turbo rush
before it signs off. This fact made it
easier to ascend mountains because
it was in the right range of power at
all times. The X3 likes to be revved up
higher, like most triple-cylinder engines
do, to get the most out of their power.