2024 POLARIS XPEDITION REVIEW: VIDEO
Only days after Polaris announced the all-new XPEDITION adventure machine, we were able to take a 125-mile test drive from Mesquite, Nevada to the Whitmore Overlook at the North edge of the Grand Canyon. Test driver @cainsappeitite4adventure has been on the trail in several vehicles in the past, so this would be a great trail to compare the machine to others like it. Our test vehicle for the day was the four door 2024 Polaris XPEDITION XP model in Ultimate trim priced at $35,999.
WHAT POWERS IT?
It uses the Gen2 ProStar engine with a twin cylinder, self venting head, capping off 999cc. Power is transferred to all four wheels through a CVT system with a locked, limited slip and turf mode equipped rear end. Up front, the differential is the same as what you would see in the Turbo R or RS1. You can run it open for 2WD action, or torque sensing 4WD. There is not a true on command front differential lock switch like in the Pro R.
Power coming from the engine can be controlled by a three position toggle switch. It’s labeled Sport, Standard and Comfort. This system has been used on the Sportsman ATV, the Ranger, as well as the Pro R. Other manufactures are adopting the technology too. What it does, is manipulate the throttle by wire system. In Standard mode, the machine accelerates as expected so when you press the throttle it goes. When you press the throttle in Sport mode, the throttle input basically gives you more than expected, so the power “feels” sporty. Comfort is like a crawl or work mode so throttle output is mellow. Polaris says, this is a good, cruise or rocky terrain mode, but since it does limit overall power its not necessarily a “rock crawl” mode.
HOW’S THE ACCELERATION?
For a 2000-3000-pound machine its great. It’s better than expected and very exciting to drive. Click it over into Sport mode and the vehicle wakes up and is more of a blast. We would compare it to any other 1000cc normally aspirated rec / ute machine. It’s not the fastest but definitely not the slowest either. It’s right on par with a Kawasaki Teryx KRX10004. It races from corner to corner quickly and offered a fun ride. Without wind noise, in the enclosed HVAC model we tested, you do hear the motor noise and it stands out. According to our DB meter, the top reading at about 7500RPMs we ever saw was 93 db but it averaged 89. That number is lower than many non cab equipped machine. You could easily hold a conversation inside the vehicle as a cruising pace. While accelerating you might need to speak up a bit.
While this machine is not targeted at the high performance RZR buyer, this is still a sport machine and fun to drive down just about any trail. We were able to feel the electronic governor kick in at 70 MPH on a wide, graded road with a slight down hill. Going up that same trail, we maxed out at 50-55MPH. We drove the XPEDITION hard for the 125-mile trip. We were on an off the throttle and pinned at times. That kind of aggressive driving did like to use up fuel. In the end, we made it right to the 90-mile mark before the low fuel light came on. We toned it down after that and were able to get another 20 miles out of that tank before we had to refuel. That being said, Polaris’ claim of a 200 mile range from the 12.5 gallon tank was not reached by us. Sure, if we were at cruising speed like you would be loaded down with more people and gear, you might be able to closer to that 200-mile mark.
WHAT ABOUT THE SUSPENSION?
Here’s another section of the vehicle that was very surprising. The 14 inches of front and 15-inches of rear wheel travel was tuned very well by Polaris and Fox. It’s super plush yet very forgiving. Right at the start of our ride we dropped into a rocky wash and where we would think you would find the limits of the shocks, you didn’t. The long wheelbase of our four door unit would soak up ordinary trail obstacles way better than expected. Small drop offs of around 12-18 inches could be hit at speed with no ill effects. Rock covered trails were also attacked at an aggressive pace and the machine drove through with total control.
If you didn’t know the machine had 2” front and 2.5” shocks out back, you would think they were much larger. They are very forgiving on the hard stuff but plush everywhere else. We ended up cranking the QS3 adjustment to full stiff just to see if we could reduce body roll. It helped, but we liked the plushness of the middle setting better. This vehicle would certainly lend itself to an IQS system or perhaps Live Valve. However, the suspension system works great without any of that extra expense.
Polaris did invest in a much stronger A-arm set up on all four corners. The system is way beefier than a Ranger or General, in fact the entire chassis is. The 2024 Polaris XPEDITION ROPS has a larger version of a Pro Fit cage. The shape is the same, but it has more material and more flat areas which also lends itself to better windows sealing.
HOW DOES IT HANDLE?
It’s a marshmallow to drive. Our test vehicle was the 2024 Polaris XPEDITION XP, full cab equipped, Northstar edition plus it had an accessory roof rack and rooftop tent that together weigh about 150 pounds. The sway was managed by two beefy sway bars that did a great job keeping all four tires planted on the ground. Once you get used to the body roll and how to set up for corners you could actually wheel the 5-seater like some sport machines. It doesn’t corner or slide as good as a General but when the trail turned rough or rocky, the XPEDITION would outshine a General. We can’t say it dances over the bumps or rocks, because it really feels like the tires stay firmly on the ground. Those Pro Armor tires set at 14 psi front and 18 psi out back took a beating. We weren’t nice to them what so ever, and they clawed over everything. We thought this vehicle was going to need a 10-ply tire but it did just fine with the 30-inch 8-plys. Although we didn’t try it, we think you could fit a 32-inch tire under the machine without any rubbing. Although we didn’t scrape unexpectedly anywhere, a little more ground clearance would be welcome. We only encountered one, short, off camber trail and at slow speed the vehicle was stabile and sure footed.
HOW ARE THE BRAKES?
Polaris uses two piston calipers and the rotors float on the the same five lug unitized wheel hub as on the Turbo R and Pro R in the rear. Up front however, the hubs have the Pro R, five lug pattern but are not a unitized hub. We drove the 2024 Polaris XPEDITION as aggressively as we could and never suffered brake fade or had issue with the braking performance. The stock brakes slow the big machine down very well. As for engine braking, we can’t feel much deceleration when you let off the throttle in high range. Also in low, the clutches would freewheel unless you tapped the throttle slightly so engine braking is not noticeable.
WHAT’S THE INTERIOR LIKE?
The 5-seat ADV model Is roomy enough to sleep in. While Polaris touts its pass-through cargo area and fold down seats allow you to haul large items in the four door ADV model we would rather forgo the $2000 roof top tent investment and sleep inside the machine. If you also remove the front seats (which require tools) a pair of six foot tall people could actually lay flat and sleep inside the machine.
Up front, the floor board is incredibly roomy. The driver’s side dead pedal is very far forward and there is tons of room for the passenger to position their feet on side foot rests or stretch out in the middle of the floor board. Our driver is six feet tall and he had 6 inches of room to spare before his knees hit the dash. It has a lot more room than a General or older RZR. The doors open a close nicely and they don’t rattle when you go down the trail. Since the seats are bolted in they don’t rattle either. We only had one mysterious clunk sometimes when we tapped the brakes and turned the steering wheel. We checked everything and couldn’t find anything loose or saw anything to worry about. That steering in the 2024 Polaris XPEDITION was super light and the ratio was perfect for this type of machine.
Forward of the steering wheel and under the hood, you will find a big bus bar ready to accept more accessories and there’s a gromet to route your wires through and connect them to the switch panel.
The switches and gauges are well laid out and there are plenty of cubby holes and boxes for smaller items. For larger items there is a glove box and a locking center console. That center console also has a USB and 12v charging outputs available as well as guide groove to pass cords through. The steering wheel is the same shape and look as the high end RZR, however it is plastic without a rubber overlay. Under the dash in the center of the cockpit, you will find a giant 10” JBL sub woofer as well as speakers on and under the dash. The Audio is outstanding in the XPEDITION. Polaris tells us it’s tuned primarily for the occupants inside the car not for blaring outside when parked at camp or trail side. Either way it sounded great to us.
The back seat is just as roomy as the front. Unfortunately, there are no air ducts or vents in the back portion of the cab so it does get a little warmer in the back, but it’s still more temperature controlled than outside. We can imagine, people will probably tint the windows especially if they use their machine on open trails away from trees and shade. A glass enclosed vehicle gets warm on a bright day no matter what the temperature is outside. We already wish the windshield had a strip of tint along the top 20-percent of it.
If you have been waiting to get a heat and air equipped, side by side, then there is no question, this is your best choice. Is your riding partner telling you they don’t want to ride in the dust or “its too hot, its too cold”? This will change their mind in a minute. The cab is not impervious to dust, after a long group ride, we did start to see dirt settling on the interior panels of the machine. We even had a few drips of water sneak through the top seal of the windshield. But we had no reason to complain since we were completely dry, and some of our group got soaked and were covered in dirt in their open cab machines.
Is it better than a general? The interior, power and suspension are, so, yes it’s better. The General does have one offering that’s $5000 less than the XPEDIITON but it is bare bones basic and is the polar opposite of what is available for the XPEDITION.
We would take this machine on any of our usual trail rides and have a blast. We would probably keep it out of the dunes, out of ride areas with big whoops and definitely not take it on gnarly hill climbs. Thankfully, the Ride Command equipped XPEDITION have a back up camera, it is hard to see out of when backing up. However, don’t let the boxy outward appearance fool you, this is a sporty machine capable or trail riding with the best of them.
Would we choose this over a SUV such as a Jeep, 4Runner or Bronco? Of course. This machine will leave them literally in the dust. Over rough terrain, you could cover a lot more ground in a day or weekend than you could ever in a highway machine. Plus the XPEDITION is about a foot narrower and three feet shorter than those 4-door counterparts so, the amount of places you can fit in and go through are endless.
Whether you want heat and A/C or a fully enclosed cargo area like the ADV version offered, the XPEDITION is a high end machine that offers a high end, clean and comfortable driving experience whether you ride alone and want to trail ride with your buddies for the day, or camp out of a machine for a weekend or longer. It can handle it and more. We can’t wait to see how people customize and use the XPEDITION to travel on extensive expeditions or just to cruise are their local ride area. Either way, we know they will be doing it in cool (or warm) comfort. Furthermore we can’t wait to get out on some camping trips of our own in a ADV model this summer and let you know what we think of it.
Engine…1000cc, Gen 2 ProStar, 2 Cylinder
Final Drive… 4WD, 2WD, Turf mode
Fuel Capacity…12.5 gal
Suspension/ Wheel travel
Front…Dual A-arms w/ 2”, Fox QS3’s/ 14”
Rear…Dual A-arms w/2.5”, Fox QS3’s/ 15”
Brakes…Hydraulic disc f/r
Tires…30×10-15 Pro Armor Crawler XP
Length/ Width…2 door;122.5”X 64”x74.9” , 4-door;152.5”x64”x74.9”
Wheelbase…2 door 87.5”/ 4-door 117”
Curb Weight…Base XP; 2041lb, Northstar ADV 5; 2790lb
Colors…Green, grey, blue, orange
2024 Polaris XPEDITION Models & Prices
XPEDITION 1000 XP Premium…$28,999
XPEDITION 1000 XP Ultimate…$31,999
XPEDITION 1000 XP Northstar…$38,999
XPEDITION 1000 XP 5 Premium…$32,999
XPEDITION 1000 XP 5 Ultimate…$35,999
XPEDITION 1000 XP 5 Northstar…$43,999
XPEDITION 1000 ADV Premium…$29,999
XPEDITION 1000 ADV Ultimate…$32,999
XPEDITION 1000 ADV Northstar…$39,999
XPEDITION 1000 ADV 5 Premium…$33,999
XPEDITION 1000 ADV 5 Ultimate…$36,999
XPEDITION 1000 ADV 5 Northstar…$44,999