POLARIS 2025 RANGER XP 1000 NORTHSTAR ULTIMATE

UTV ACTION TEST: ONLY THE NORTHSTAR TEXAS EDITION IS BETTER EQUIPPED

Polaris announced its entire 2025 full-sized Ranger line, and the Ranger XP 1000 line received several owner-inspired upgrades that add value at a lower price, something that everyone wants. To showcase the improvements, Polaris held a ride event at the 18,000-acre Ox Ranch outside of Uvaldi, in the Texas hill country. Ox Ranch is a high-end hunting resort with 80 exotic game species, and it has 100s of miles of trails on rocky, extreme terrain. Press and social media influencers were on the first wave, ranchers and farmers were second, and Texas powersports dealers were on the third. All of the 2025 full-sized Rangers were on display except the Crew Waterfowl Edition, and we all drove three-seat Northstar Edition Ultimates.

2025 RANGER XP1000 NORTHSTAR

WHAT’S NEW WITH THE XP 1000 NORTHSTAR ULTIMATE?

Ranger XP 1000 models has received several owner-inspired upgrades to make them more capable, comfortable, and durable at a lower price point. Not only that, Polaris pumped in added value with all XP 1000s getting standard a 4,500-pound winch with synthetic rope and Auto-Stop plus a remote, a new more stylish front fascia with a larger front bumper featuring accessory integration mounts, new 29-inch tires providing more ground clearance, and a new roof with optimized mounting, all protected by a new two-year warranty.

Capability upgrades include revised suspension tuning for greater ride quality and new electronic power steering assist maps with a new return-to-center feature and speed-sensitive assist. The 82-Hp ProStar 1000 engine gets a Generation 2 transmission with slicker shifting, and it has three drive modes – Sport, Standard, and Work – to tune power delivery. Pro Armor X-Terrain 29-inch tires are more aggressive and bump ground clearance to 14 inches. For 2025, Northstar models have a new HVAC unit for more efficiency. Only Northstar Editions have a rear muffler like a RZR 1000; standard XP1Ks have a right-side muffler.

Comfort upgrades include a new interior with a new dash featuring bigger cubbies and more storage. The winch switch was moved to the far left so the driver can stand next to the cab to winch downed trees off of the trail or help a friend get unstuck. Under the XP 1000 bench seat, there is now a place to store a five-gallon bucket, complete with a holding ring embedded in the textured floor. Northstar Editions get a new cabin filter for clean air; a pleated-paper filter rides under the hood with the accessory bus bar and windshield-wiper fluid reservoir. Owners can seal the glass windshield, crack it open, or raise it completely. Premium side windows are hand-cranked, while Ultimate windows are electric with the driver-side door having controls for both sides.

Premium Ranger XP 1000s have new net latches that stow them out of the way of quickly getting in and out of the cab for work or play, and a six-position Polaris Pulse Bus Bar simplifies accessory installation. All Ranger XP1Ks come in Onyx Black, Sunset Red, Blue Slate Metallic Smoke, or Polaris Pursuit Camo for 2025. They also have a battery-charge port and a USB port in the glove box and a new work light covering the bed. Instead of Collections, Polaris now offers Farm/Ranch, Winter, and Trail Packages of accessories.

Northstar Ultimates upgrade to a JBL Trail Pro 2000 audio system and Ride Command + with the largest trail map database of any manufacturer. All of the Northstar Ultimates on our press ride were linked in Group Ride with the leader in green, sweep in red, and the rest in blue icons, and Ride Command also lets the leader send instructions to each unit.

For 2025, Polaris is offering a Ranger Crew XP 1000 Texas Edition with arched A-arms and Texas Edition seats, graphics, and badging for $24,499, plus a Ranger Crew XP 1000 Northstar Texas Edition for $36,999. There will also be Waterfowl Editions with raised intakes for going deeper than the Northstar’s floorboard crossing limit.

2025 RANGER NORTHSTAR EDITION
New 29-inch Pro Armor X-Terrain tires, a new aggressive front fascia with larger bumper to protect a 4,500-pound winch, and a redesigned roof add value to the whole Ranger XP 1000 line.

HOW DOES COST COMPARE?

The 2025 Ranger XP 1000 Premium starts at $20,999 and goes to $21,399 for Polaris Pursuit Camo. The XP1K Northstar Edition starts at $27,999 for the Premium trim and goes to $28,599 for Camo. The Northstar Edition Ultimate starts at $32,999 and goes to $33,599 for Camo. Polaris is the only manufacturer to unveil all of its full-sized 2025 recreation-utility models; Can-Am’s 2024 Defender HD10 Limited starts at $29,899 and compares most closely to the Northstar Premium. Kawasaki’s new 2024 Ridge Ranch Edition is $23,999, while the Ridge HVAC is $29,999. The 2024 116-Hp Ridge XR HVAC is $31,999, and the 2025 Ridge XR and XR Deluxe MSRPs haven’t been announced at press time. These are the only OEM UTVs to come with standard enclosed cabins with heat and air conditioning.

2025 RANGER NORTHSTAR EDITION
The ProStar 999cc inline twin makes 82 horsepower with two 93mm high-compression pistons riding on a 73.5mm stroke, and the engine spins a heavy-duty alternator and new high-volume air-conditioner unit.

HOW DOES THE NORTHSTAR ULTIMATE  PERFORM?

First, the slickness of the Gen 2 transmission jumps out at you the first time you put it in gear; it’s the smoothest range selector we’ve ever experienced. You still have to come to a stop to engage Low range, but it’s buttery smooth. The CVT clutches spool up quickly with smooth engagement as well, and then the power and torque of the 82-Hp ProStrar twin takes over. Sport drive mode delivers the hardest hit of acceleration, while Work mode smoothes everything out for maximum traction in slick conditions. Top speed in High is limited to 62 mph, and we got up to 32 mph in Low. Mat the throttle pedal at a cruising speed, and it climbs up to speed impressively.

The Ranger XP 1000 is very agile with an 81-inch wheelbase and a 13.3-foot turning radius. Polaris’s On-Demand AWD keeps the front diff disengaged until the rear tires spin faster than the fronts, so there is no hint of pushing going into turns, and the front tires pull you out of corners. The new Pro Armor X-Terrain 29×9-14 front and 29×11-14 rear tires upgrade handling with more acceleration, braking, and turning traction, yet we could set up drifts into and out of turns with the throttle, especially in Sport mode. It feels very planted always, and is super stable at cruising speeds.

Suspension travel is 11 inches front and rear, and the preload-adjustable shocks are tuned stiffly for handling heavy loads in the 1000-pound capacity bed. Front and rear anti-sway bars aid handling by keeping body roll to a minimum in corners. We slammed several G-outs hard and never bottomed out either end. Brakes are also strong and have good feel at the pedal. It’s also easy to get out of park on steep inclines. Ranger XPs don’t have an engine-braking helix, so only the rear tires get any compression braking on steep hills. We keep a trailing throttle on loose, steep hills to keep the CVT hooked up.

2025 RANGER NORTHSTAR EDITION
 The three-person Ranger XP 1000 has four cup holders and a new dash with more storage capacity, and the Northstar Ultimate adds HVAC/heat and a JBL Trail Pro 2000 audio system for working or playing in style and comfort.

NEWFOUND CAPACITY FOR WORK

Rangers have always provided a good work platform for ranchers, farmers, and job sites, and the 2025 Ranger XP 1000s get’er done even better. The bucket holder under the passenger seat is useful, as are the storage bins under the center seat and adjustable driver’s seat. The new dash holds more as well, and the left-side winch switch adds control with a better sight-line. The winch has auto-stop and automatically lifts and drops the blade when changing gears. The Northstar’s bed work light and cabin light are also handy, and the Ultimate’s reverse camera eases backing up and hooking up a trailer. HVAC and heat take extreme heat or cold out of the equation and boost worker output.

The center-tailgate latch handle and either side bed releases are sturdy and easy to use. Gas struts help tilt the bed to dump up to 1,000 pounds of cargo. Towing is 2,500 pounds with a 2-inch receiver. Ranger XP 1000s have a 11.5-gallon fuel tank for those long days on the ranch, and EFI cranks up the motor instantly in extreme cold. Door latch releases outside and inside ease jumping in and out of the cab, but there are no limiters on how wide they open. After parking on a steep hill, both doors folded all the way back, and the right door had to be slammed really hard  after that.

2025 RANGER NORTHSTAR EDITION
Windshield wiper fluid and coolant reservoirs flank the under-hood intakes for the CVT clutch and air-box intake ducts. Access to the six-position bus bar and cabin filter is quick and easy.

ULTIMATE CABIN COMFORT

The new steering wheel is stylish and very sturdy, and the over-molding is comfortable and texturized for grip with wet gloves. The bench seat is well padded and comfortable, and the shoulder belts don’t chafe necks. Foot controls are also sturdy and easy to manipulate. The new EPS steering assist is also excellent, no matter what the Ranger’s speed is. The new dash and range selector are especially useful, as are large storage bins on the inner door liners. The doors and windows are well sealed, and the new cabin filter and Pro-Shield enclosed cab do a great job of keeping dust outside. The HVAC and heat controls have variable temperature and fan-speed controls, and the new HVAC unit kept occupants nice and chilled on the 90+ degree and muggy Texas day. We didn’t get a chance to test the heater, but the roof and sides of the cab have insulation to keep out noise and extreme temps. There are four adjustable vents for passengers plus two defroster vents for the tilt glass windshield. All in all, it delivers an ultimately comfortable ride to go with the smooth delivery and suspension ride quality.

CONCLUSIONS

All of the owner-inspired upgrades to the 2025 Ranger XP 1000 Northstar add up to a lot of bang-for-the-buck value packed into a refined and capable recreation-utility machine. It has agile yet totally-predictable handling at any speed and the hauling and towing capacity for heavy lifting with strong power and brakes. Shocks are tuned for handling heavy loads and still be fun on technical trails. Power can be tuned for work or play, and the machine is exceptional at both. HVAC/heat climate control adds worker productivity on the job and the fun factor on hot or cold play-days. Polaris did a great job of enhancing capability and comfort, and the new two-year warranty will surely add to Ranger durability as well. Everybody wants more for less, and Polaris delivers with the 2025 Ranger XP 1000 Northstar Edition Ultimate.

2025 RANGER XP1K NORTHSTAR

SPECS: POLARIS 2025 RANGER XP 1000 NORTHSTAR ULTIMATE

 

Engine type…Liquid/oil-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC, 4-stroke I-Twin

Displacement…999cc

Bore x stroke…93.0mm x 73.5mm (x2)

Compression ratio…10.4:1

Lubrication system…Dry sump

Induction…46mm Mikuni EFI

Starting/back-up…Electric push-button/none

Starting procedure…Turn ignition key w/brake on

Airfilter:

Type…Pleated paper

Transmission…Dual-range Gen 2 CVT w/rev.

Drive system…1WD/2WD/4WD w/diff-lock

Final drive…Shafts

Fuel capacity…11.5 gals

Wheelbase…81”

Overall length/width/height…120”/65”/79”

Ground clearance…14”

Claimed curb weight…1,913 lbs

Bed capacity…1,000 lbs (CA 600 lbs.)

Towing capacity…2,500 lbs

Frame…Round tube steel

Suspension/wheel travel:

Front…Dual A-arms w/preload-adj. HPG shocks/11”

Rear…Dual A-arms arms w/preload-adj. HPG shocks/11”

Brakes:

Front…Twin-piston hydraulic discs

Rear…One-piston hydraulic discs

Parking…In transmission

Tires:

Front…29×9-14 Pro Armor X-Terrain

Rear…29×11-14 Pro Armor X-Terrain

DC Outlet…Dash

Lighting:

Front…High/low LED headlights

Rear…Dual LED brake/tail-lights

Instrumentation…Multi-function digital w/bar-style tach, CVT temp and fuel; digi speedo; drive mode, gear, Eco, clock, odo, hour; icons for seat-belt, oil, engine check, water temp, neutral, reverse, park, EPS & CVT belt

Colors…Onyx Black, Sunset Red, Blue Slate Metallic Smoke, Polaris Pursuit Camo

Minimum recommended operator age…16

Suggested retail prices…$32,999, Camo $33,599

Contact…www.polaris.com

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