Four-seat UTVs are all the rage. Everywhere we go, around half of the UTVs we see are four-seat models. Even for those without family, the extra wheelbase adds stability for high-speed tracking in the desert or dunes and low-speed prowess when rock crawling. The four-seat 2017 Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo is the horsepower king of all production four-seat UTVs. At 168 horsepower, the XP 4 Turbo has 65 percent more power than the 110-horsepower Maverick Max Turbos. We got a chance to drive the XP 4 Turbo at Camp RZR Glamis, so strap in and hang on!
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2017?
A boost increase bumps output to 168 horsepower and 114 foot-pounds of torque. The 925cc ProStar twin gets a new head gasket to deal with the added pressures. Compression is still 9.0:1, but the Turbo gets several cooling and durability upgrades. The front frame is changed to accept a wider, 20-percent-larger radiator, and the new intercooler radiator is lower and wider to get more cool air to the engine radiator. The front fascia has a 40-percent-larger grill, and a new, brushless, variable-speed fan draws more cooling air through both. Large bed-rail intakes have dual-sided frog skin-covered intake ports that feed a new clutch cover. A new larger belt and clutch with revised springs, weights, helix and a stainless-steel shaft transfer the added power to new, stronger rear axles and high-performance on-demand front diff.
Steering is upgraded with a new 1.5-turn (lock-to-lock) steering rack with a new EPS assist map, and the upper link rods are upgraded with larger-diameter tubing instead of a solid bar for strength and lightness. The Fox 2.5 piggyback front and 3.0 remote-reservoir rear IBP shocks were re-tuned for a smoother ride and more top-out control at the end of the rebound stroke. There are 24-position compression adjusters and dual-rate springs without adjustable cross-over rings. There is also a new ignition switch with a fourth key position for powering accessories.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The 2017 RZR XP-4 Turbo EPS is $27,499. The standard XP 4 1000 EPS is $22,299, while the High Lifter Edition is $25,699. Can-Am’s 2017 Maverick Max 1000 DPS starts at $19,599, and Turbo Maverick Maxs are $22,499, $25,199 (X ds), and $26,099 (X rs). The two-seat Maverick X3 Turbo starts at $20,999 and jumps to $26,899 for the X rs. Arctic Cat’s non-Turbo Wildcat 4X RG Pro EPS is $21,499.
HOW FAST IS THE TURBO PROSTAR 925?
Impressively fast. The Turbo spools up quickly, so there is very little turbo lag, and it really starts pulling hard at and above 5000 rpm. Below 5000, an XP 1000 makes more power and torque. It pulls insanely hard to 8000 rpm and 80 mph, where it hits the governor. Weight is 196 pounds over the two-seat XP Turbo, so with only the driver in the XP 4, it’ll accelerate as hard as the two-seater with two passengers.
WHAT ABOUT THE CVT/AWD DELIVERY?
Also impressive. The new CVT is matched well with the throttle response for quick launches, but Maverick X3s are a little quicker out of the hole. The new clutch puts massive power to the ground efficiently, and the transmission now has a gear-driven reverse for better durability. The On-Demand all-wheel-drive front diff has more slip than the XP Gold LE tested last month, as it needs more slip for the new 1.5-turn steering rack.
HOW AGILE IS THE XP 4’S HANDLING?
It’s agile for a four-seater. The AWD system lets the XP 4 turn in with less push than other 4WD systems, and the 1.5-turn steering rack and re-tuned EPS eases turn-in and enhances overall turning. Front and rear torsion bars fight body roll in corners, and the AWD engages to pull the XP 4 out of drifts. The wheelbase is 27 inches longer than the XP Turbo’s and 15 inches longer than an X3’s, so it’s not as quick to pivot in turns, but it also has much more stability than either the XP Turbo or 64-inch X3s.
HOW ABOUT THE HIGH-END IBP SUSPENSION?
It’s awesome. Polaris and Fox re-tuned the Internal ByPass shocks, which have five compression zones to deliver a smooth ride over dune chop and trail junk, yet they firm up for bottoming resistance on big hits and dune jumps. The 2.5-inch front piggyback and 3.0-inch rear remote-reservoir shocks have 24-position compression adjusters that are set at 12 clicks out. We went to 6 out in front and 8 out in the rear for faster dune speeds without bottoming on G-outs and landings. Travel is still 16 inches in the front and 18 inches in the rear.
HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?
Super strong. Whereas the XP 4 1000 has dual-piston hydraulic calipers on all four corners, Turbos have three-piston front calipers with new stronger front rotors, twin-piston rear calipers and 248mm discs. Braking power and feel at the pedal are impressive. They aren’t backed up by EBS or Active Descent Control, though.
WHERE IS THE XP TURBO HAPPIEST?
Anywhere it can stretch its legs. Dunes and desert become a blur, but the XP 4 Turbo is also happy picking its way over rocks. The extra wheelbase is an advantage in both worlds, especially in desert whoops, and throttle mapping always makes it feel right at home, no matter the situation. Also, we never got the XP 4 Turbo to overheat, even during a grueling photo shoot in 100-degree heat.
WHAT ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?
It’s an off-road limo. Curved doors offer more elbowroom, and the front seats are on adjustable sliders. The steering wheel is comfortable yet firm and has 10 inches of tilt range. The 1.5 steering box and EPS greatly reduce steering effort and hand-over-hand movement. The passenger T-bar is adjustable and grippy, and the redesigned glovebox latch is more positive. Under-dash LED lighting is handy at night, and Turbos have an all-digital instrument readout with backlight. Only the rear shoulder belts have the adjustable top mount for less neck chafing, and rear passengers have a cab-length grab bar behind the front seats.
WHAT’S OUR FINAL ANSWER?
Polaris did a great job on the 2017 RZR XP 4 Turbo; it’s a rocket in the dunes and wide-open spaces. It has great power, torque, suspension, handling, brakes and creature comforts. Even if you don’t have a family to fill the four seats, there are many who prefer the stability of the extra wheelbase, and it’s only $2500 more than the XP Turbo and $5200 more than the XP 4 1000. With an aftermarket turbo kit costing $5000-plus, it’s better to get all of Polaris’ 2017 upgrades to the cooling system, drivetrain, brakes and especially the high-end Fox IBP shocks.
2017 POLARIS RZR XP 4 TURBO EPS
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC, 4-stroke twin
Bore x stroke 93mm x 68mm (x2)
Compression ratio 9.0:1
Lubrication system Wet sump
Additional cooling Auto fan
Induction Turbocharged, 48mm EFI (x2)
Starting procedure Turn ignition switch
Type Paper pleat
Access Tool-less, undo 4 clasps
Transmission Dual-range CVT w/ reverse
Reverse procedure Move range selector to “R”
Drive system Selectable 2WD/4WD w/ auto diff-lock
Final drives Shafts
Fuel capacity 9.5 gal.
Overall length/width/height 146”/64”/73.75”
Ground clearance 13.5”
Claimed dry weight 1,691 lb.
Bed weight limit 300 lb.
Towing limit N/A
Frame Steel round tube
Front Dual A-arm w/ prel./comp.-adj.
Fox IBP shocks/16”
Rear IRS trailing arms w/ prel./comp.-adj.
Fox IBP shocks/18”
Front Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Parking Lever on console
Front AT 29×9-14 Maxxis Bighorn
Rear AT 29×11-14 Maxxis Bighorn
DC outlet Console
Front 2 LED hi/lo headlights
Rear Dual LED brake/tail lights
Colors Cruiser Black, Ti Matte Metallic
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price $27,499
Contact Polaris, (800) POLARIS