(even in four-wheel drive), so it tends
to slide a bit more.
On the rougher trails, our riders
preferred the comfort of the Yamaha
over the others. It felt a bit cramped
in the Honda and very busy in the
Polaris. The cockpit of the Yamaha
is a lot more laid-back than the others, and you feel much lower to the
ground. The Polaris has a bench seat
and a very perpendicular backrest
that doesn’t bother you on short rides,
but is not as comfortable on long ones.
In the choppy bumps, the Ranger
tends to wander and skip around,
while the other two machines drive
straight and go where you point them.
To find the limits of all three
machines, we took them into a deep
canyon full of boulders, downed
trees and even deeper rain ruts. We
scraped the skid plates, bashed the
bumpers and used every bit of low-end four-wheel drive they had. The
Yamaha and Honda do have locking
differentials, while the Polaris has a
slip-sensing all-wheel-drive system.
All three performed perfectly and
never left us stranded. Furthermore,
the Ranger has an unlocking rear
differential that comes in handy for
not marking up driveways or ripping
up sensitive soil you may need to
After our initial 85-mile run, we
topped off the machines to see if any
drank more fuel than the others. The
Honda used the least at 5. 2 gallons.
The Yamaha drank the second most
at 5. 4, and the Ranger used the most
at 5. 5 gallons. Being separated by
only a quart is not much of a differ-
ence. Each machine would be able to
travel at least 150 miles on one tank of
gas. The Viking has the largest capac-
ity at 9. 7 gallons. The Ranger holds an
even 9 gallons, and the Pioneer’s gas
tank is slightly smaller at 8. 2.
EASIEST TO USE
We like the Ranger platform. The
bench seat is easy to get in and out of.
We like the light power steering and
multiple cargo pockets all around the
dash. The engine is buttery smooth
and whisper-quiet. Another plus is
the Turf mode/unlocking rear differ-
ential that we use a lot. Most of our
We tried to get these machines stuck. We took them through terrain you wouldn’t
want to walk over. Not one of them got stuck or held up.