2016 Polaris RZR XP 1000 EPS test

HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
Polaris isn’t exactly giving RZRs away. In fact, it’s the most expensive non-turbo liter-class UTV with electronic power steering. The 2016 RZR XP 1000 EPS is $20,299. Yamaha’s YXZ1000R starts at $19,799. The Can-Am Maverick DPS is $17,449. Arctic Cat’s base Wildcat X costs $17,499.

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WHAT’S NEW?
A new, more comfortable seat back angle that brings the driver closer to the steering wheel and reduces arm fatigue, adjustable seat belt sliders and new colors—Titanium Matte Metallic and Electric Blue Metallic.

The 999cc, eight-valve, double-overhead-cam, inline twin revs freely and makes 110 horsepower.
The 999cc, eight-valve, double-overhead-cam, inline twin revs freely and makes 110 horsepower.

WHAT POWERS IT?
A 110-horsepower, 999cc, eight valve, double-overhead-cam, inline twin. The Maverick 1000 puts out 101 horsepower. Arctic Cat’s Wildcat X 1000 has just over 90 horsepower.

WHAT KIND OF TRANSMISSION DOES IT HAVE?
A belt-type, fully automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT). Polaris added a new ducted cover, a better belt and other changes in 2015 to extend belt life. The RZR XP 1000’s transmission has no engine braking feature, so it freewheels in extended off-throttle situations.

WHAT’S THE 4WD SYSTEM LIKE?
It’s the same system other Polaris machines use—selectable 2WD/4WD with an automatic-locking front differential. You select front differential lock mode on most vehicles. The Polaris does it for you when the speed sensing front differential detects loss of traction, and the RZR XP 1000 has Polaris’ quickest version of the system. It works very well.

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HOW FAST IS IT?
It’s a beast. You need some room to truly turn the RZR loose, and when you do, it’s a beautiful thing. Once you feel the way the 1000 accelerates, you’ll wonder how people even hang onto the RZR XP Turbo, which has 34 more horsepower! For most UTVers, the XP 1000 is fast enough, and the simpler non-turbo engine has fewer components to fail. The Wildcat and the non-turbo Maverick are no match for the Polaris in a drag race.

HOW IS THE POWER DELIVERY?
Responsive and strong without being hard to control on challenging, technical terrain. From racers to casual riders, everyone seems to like the way Polaris tuned the engine and clutching. It feels fast, and the throttle response is crisp and solid at any speed. The CVT delivers a feel much like a manual transmission that’s always in the right gear. Low range is good for 40 mph, which is ideal for aggressive driving in tight conditions, and it’s easier on the belt.

Up front, Walker Evans 2.0 piggyback needle shocks offer adjustable spring preload and compression damping and 16 inches of travel.
Up front, Walker Evans 2.0 piggyback needle shocks offer adjustable spring preload and compression damping and 16 inches of travel.

WHAT KIND OF SUSPENSION DOES IT HAVE?
Double A-arms and Walker Evans piggyback reservoir, spring preload and compression-adjustable shocks up front with 16 inches of travel. In the rear, remote-reservoir Walker Evans spring preload- and compression adjustable shocks and three-link trailing arms with a sway bar give 18 inches of travel.

The rear, remote reservoir Walker Evans 2.5 shocks provide 18 inches of travel. The rear sway bar reduces body roll, but there’s room for improvement.
The rear, remote reservoir Walker Evans 2.5 shocks provide 18 inches of travel. The rear sway bar reduces body roll, but there’s room for improvement.

HOW DOES THE SUSPENSION WORK?
It’s one of the best all-around stock setups. The suspension is slightly firm at very low speeds, but you can cruise the RZR in comfort, and it’s able to track through desert whoops at speed as straight as a rifle bullet. There’s really nothing the suspension doesn’t do well. The Walker Evans needle shocks have very good bottoming resistance because the needle system firms the final bit of travel, so jump landings, surprise G-outs, and big bumps don’t slam the suspension to its stops.

The RZR’s responsive power can turn almost any feature on the trail into an opportunity for fun.
The RZR’s responsive power can turn almost any feature on the trail into an opportunity for fun.

HOW DOES IT HANDLE?
The RZR’s handling is hard to fault, and its competition is just now finding the kind of versatility and balance that makes it work so well in such a wide variety of conditions. The 1000 is impressively agile in corners and rock steady in punishing whoops. It jumps and slides so predictably it makes everyone feel like a talented driver. There’s some body roll, which is no crime for a vehicle with so much suspension travel, but you can drive the Polaris almost anywhere and come away stunned with how well it works.

WHERE DOES IT WORK BEST?
The desert and the dunes. The XP 1000 is more than 5 feet wide and almost 10 feet long, so tight trails frustrate this machine. Open terrain is where the Polaris comes into its own. That’s where you get to enjoy the rush of power and feel the suspension absorb bumps and provide jump landings that are so soft they’re almost hard to believe.

A new, more comfortable seat back angle brings the driver closer to the steering wheel and reduces arm fatigue. The driver and passenger seats slide to adjust.
A new, more comfortable seat back angle brings the driver closer to the steering wheel and reduces arm fatigue. The driver and passenger seats slide to adjust.

HOW ARE THE DETAILS?
Most are remarkably good. The doors work well but let splash through the open areas, and like other sport UTVs, the bodywork sacrifices splash protection for style. The transmission range selector works well, but it could be better. The RZR seats are comfortable, have convenient slide adjusters and offer good support, and the cabin is roomy and comfortable. There’s a phone holder in the dash and a good-sized glovebox. The LED interior lighting and the clean-out drains in the floor are handy. The stock lights are great. Getting to the oil-fill cap and the air filter is simple with the access panel in the bed. The RZR runs on 87-octane regular gas, unlike some machines that recommend premium.

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WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
The Polaris RZR XP is a strong performer in every area a sport UTV should be, but performance alone hasn’t made it the most popular sport UTV. It has the performance racers crave, but you don’t have to be a racer to enjoy it, so it works well for a wide range of UTVers.

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SPECS
POLARIS RZR XP 1000 EPS
ENGINE/TRANSMISSION
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC 4-stroke twin
Displacement ……………………………………….. 999cc
Bore x stroke …………………… 93mm x 73.5mm (x2)
Compression ratio …………………………………….11:1
Lubrication system …………………………….Wet sump
Additional cooling ………………………………….Auto fan
Carburetion ……………………………….. 48mm EFI (x2)
Starting/back-up ……………………………. Electric/none
Starting procedure ………………….Turn ignition switch
Air filter:
Type …………………………………………… Paper pleat
Access ……………………….. Tool-less, undo 5 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
DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES/WEIGHTS
Fuel capacity ………………………………………. 9.5 gal.
Wheelbase ……………………………………………..90.0”
Overall length/width/height ……….. 119.4”/64”/73.75”
Ground clearance ……………………………………..13.5”
Dry weight ……………………………………….. 1,369 lb.
Bed weight limit……………………………………. 300 lb.
Hitch ………………………………………………………..No
Towing limit……………………………………………… N/A
ROLLING CHASSIS
Frame ……………………………………. Steel round tube
Suspension/wheel travel:
Front ……Dual A-arm w/ prel./comp.-adj. shocks/16”
Rear …………. IRS trailing-arms w/ prel./comp./.-adj.
shocks/18”
Brakes/actuation:
Front …………………… Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Rear …………………… Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Parking ……………………………………Lever on console
Tires:
Front …………………….. AT 29×9-14 Maxxis Bighorn
Rear ……………………. AT 29×11-14 Maxxis Bighorn
ELECTRICAL
DC outlet …………………………………………… Console
Lighting:
Front ………………………………. 2 LED hi/lo headlights
Rear …………………………… Dual LED brake/tail lights
DETAILS
Instrumentation ….Speed/odo/trip/hour/rpm/fuel/gear/
clock/2WD-4WD
Colors Titanium Matte Metallic, Electric Blue Metallic
Minimum recommended operator age ……………….16
Suggested retail price …………………………..$20,299
Contact ………………………….Polaris, (800) POLARIS

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