2021 POLARIS RANGER XP 1000 TRAIL BOSS
In the world of recreation utility UTVs, few machines are close to the Polaris Ranger XP 1000’s power, suspension, comfort and refinement. How do you make a machine more appealing that already has all the important bases for recreation utility UTVs covered? You could make it tougher-looking, make it more capable in challenging terrain, or make the machine itself more durable. Polaris did all three to the Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss. The 2021 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss is available in three- and six-seat versions, as well as Northstar models with heat and air conditioning. We test the open-cab three-seat model here.
WHAT MAKES IT A TRAIL BOSS?
The Ranger Trail Boss is built on the same platform as other Ranger XP 1000s, but there are some important differences. The Trail Boss rolls on 29-inch Maxxis tires rather than 27s, which bumps its ground clearance from 13 inches to 14 inches. So the larger tires won’t cause clearance problems, the Trail Boss has 10 inches of front and rear suspension travel rather than 11. Arched A-arms provide more ground clearance, and engine braking and active descent control limit speed on steep downhills. Self-leveling rear suspension keeps ground clearance and handling consistent, even with heavy cargo loads. LED headlights improve night visibility. Less important but no less noticeable is the Ghost White painted bodywork, a color available only on the Trail Boss.
The Trail Boss also gets all the durability upgrades added to 2021 Ranger XP 1000s, including upgraded clutching for 50-percent-more durability. The new 6000-mile clutch-service interval is three times longer than for 2020 models. Front-drive strength is increased by 30 percent on Ranger 1000 and XP 1000 models for improved durability. The chassis has been redesigned around the new isolated front drive, making it 15-percent stronger, and suspension durability has been increased by 50 percent. All 2021 Ranger 1000 and XP 1000 models now include a battery charging port easily accessible in the dash.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss starts at $18,999. The Northstar Edition Trail boss is $28,499. The base Ranger XP 1000, the Ranger XP 1000 Premium is $16,999. The six-seat Ranger Crew XP 1000 Trail Boss is $20,499, and the Ranger Crew XP 1000 Northstar Edition Trail Boss is $31,199. Honda’s Pioneer 1000 Deluxe is $16,899. Can-Am’s Defender HD10 DPS is $16,399.
WHAT POWERS IT?
A 999cc, double-overhead-cam, eight-valve inline twin with 82 horsepower. Versions of this well-proven engine also power the RZR sport UTVs, though the Ranger’s is tuned for smooth, strong low and midrange power rather than instant response and big high-rpm power.
WHAT KIND OF TRANSMISSION DOES IT HAVE?
A fully automatic, dual-range, belt-type continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Ranger XP 1000’s transmission has always been sturdy, and upgrades for 2021 make it more durable. The dash-mounted range selector has a smooth, solid action.
WHAT TYPE OF 4WD SYSTEM DOES IT HAVE?
Like most recreation utility machines, the Ranger has selectable 2WD/4WD with a locking front differential. The front differential locks automatically as needed in 4WD. The rear differential locks for more traction and unlocks for turf or tight turns with the flip of a switch.
HOW POWERFUL IS IT?
It pulls like a boss. The Trail Boss can accelerate like a sport UTV if you feel like it, but the 1000’s generous reserve power is really there to help with heavy hauling and towing, and to make high-speed cruising smooth and quiet.
HOW IS THE POWER DELIVERY?
You decide. As on all Ranger XP 1000s, a switch on the dash lets you choose between performance, standard or work throttle-control modes with a switch on the dash. All settings offer refined throttle response, but you’ll feel the difference. Work mode provides the smoothest, most manageable throttle progression. Standard is also smooth, but with more power on tap, a good choice for all-around trail and work use. Performance mode gives you solid throttle response and all the 1000’s power.
WHAT KIND OF SUSPENSION DOES IT HAVE?
Double A-arms front and rear. There are spring preload-adjustable shocks up front and Nivomat self-leveling rear shocks. Front and rear travel is 10 inches, and front and rear sway bars reduce body roll.
HOW DOES THE SUSPENSION WORK?
Ten inches of suspension travel gives the Ranger an impressively plush ride at all speeds and very good bottoming resistance for big bumps. The self-leveling rear suspension doesn’t just keep ride height consistent; it provides a smooth ride whether the Trail Boss is loaded or unloaded. Conventional suspension systems tend to compromise load handling or comfort, because a single spring rate has to favor one or the other.
HOW DOES IT HANDLE?
The Trail Boss has easy, predictable handling, and it’s very stable. This machine’s 62.5-inch width and front and rear sway bars give it a calm, planted feel when cornering or negotiating uneven terrain. Well-tuned suspension with plenty of travel keeps ruts and holes from unsettling the Ranger even when you’re hurrying down the trail.
HOW DOES IT DO ON HILLS AND CHALLENGING TERRAIN?
The Trail Boss builds on the Ranger XP 1000’s already-impressive off-road capability. With 14 inches of ground clearance, big 29-inch tires that help smooth holes and ruts, arched A-arms, and active descent control that applies engine braking to all wheels, it makes dealing with difficult terrain easy.
HOW ARE ITS WORK CREDENTIALS?
Class-leading. The Trail Boss can tow 2500 pounds and haul 1000 pounds of cargo in its tilting bed. The self-leveling rear suspension means you don’t have to adjust the suspension to restore proper ride height, ground clearance, and ride quality when adding or removing heavy cargo.
HOW ARE THE DETAILS?
Luxurious and automotive-like. The Trail Boss is impressively roomy and quiet. Big, clear instruments are easy to read, and dual glove boxes and extra compartments keep what you need within reach. The deeply padded seats will impress you even if you’re used to a cushy late-model truck. Power steering with just the right balance of feel and assist give the Trail Boss a sure, easy-handling feel at low and high speeds. We’d like to see doors rather than door nets on a high-end model like the Trail Boss, but Polaris offers them as an accessory if you want them.
WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
The new Polaris Trail Boss gives you all the Ranger XP 1000’s impressive power, luxury and hauling capacity, and adds extra capability for rugged terrain.
2021 POLARIS RANGER XP 1000 TRAIL BOSS
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC inline
Bore x stroke 93mmx73.5mm (2)
Compression ratio 10.5:1
Lubrication system Wet sump
Induction EFI 48mm throttle body
Starting procedure In any range, brake engaged
Type Paper mesh/screen
Transmission Dual-range CVT
Drive system 2WD/4WD w/locking diffs
Final drive: f/r Shaft/shaft
Fuel capacity 11.5 gal.
Overall length/width/height 120”/62.5”/78”
Ground clearance 14”
Dry weight 1607 lb.
Bed capacity 1000 lb.
Hitch 2-inch receiver
Towing capacity 2500 lb.
Frame Round steel tube
Front Dual A-arms & preload-adj. shocks/10”
Rear Dual A-arms & self-leveling Nivomat/10”
Front Hydraulic discs
Rear Hydraulic discs
Front 29×9-14 Maxxis MU511
Rear 29×11-14 Maxxis MU521
DC outlet Auto-style waterproof plug
Front 55W low/60W high headlights
Rear LED tail lights
Colors Ghost White
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price $18,999
See UTV Action’s report on the 2021 Polaris UTV lineup here: https://utvactionmag.com/2021-polaris-utvs-2/
Contact .Polaris, www.polaris.com