POLARIS RZR TRAIL S 1000 TEST

Trail RZRs get the Turbo S styling and more

POLARIS RZR TRAIL S 1000 TEST

Polaris updated the 50- and 60-inch-wide RZR Trail and Trail S for 2021.5, giving both lines the XP Turbo S’ aggressive styling and roomier and more modern cockpit. The next-generation Trail and Trail S UTVs have a few other upgrades as well, making the trail machines even better for overland adventures and even woods racing. We did our Polaris RZR Trail S 1000 test at ERX Park on its off-road woods loop.

POLARIS RZR TRAIL S 1000 TEST
Polaris reinvented its 50-inch Trail and 60-inch Trail S line of UTVs for 2021.5, giving them styling and cabins from the discontinued XP Turbo S. Only the Trail S Premium and Ultimate (shown) come with the 100-horsepower 1000 ProStar twin for all-out performance on the trail.

 

WHAT’S NEW FOR 2022?

As 2021.5 updates, Trail and Trail S models got the RZR Turbo S styling with aggressive front fascia, hood, doors, fenders and dash, along with a wider cabin for more elbow room. Cabins and beds are protected by new ROPS cages, and the roomier cabins have new ergonomic seats and smaller D-shaped steering wheels moved closer to the driver. The driver’s seat adjusts without tools, while passenger seats require tools for fitment. Both lines come in Sport, Premium and Ultimate trim levels, and all three trim levels include half doors with tubular frames and new rubber seals for a cleaner ride.

Trails have a 75-horsepower 875cc ProStar twin engine, and so does the Trail S Sport. The Trail S Premium and Ultimate sport a 999cc, ProStar, 100-horsepower, DOHC twin, and all come with an engine braking system. Neither the 50-inch nor 60-inch S Sport have electronic power steering, but the Premiums and Ultimates do have variable-assist EPS. Premiums and Ultimates also have blacked-out, 55-watt LED headlights, while Sports have standard 55-watt LEDs. All have the Turbo S LED accents around the grill.

The Ultimate features Polaris’ Ride Command with 7-inch digital touchscreen display with built-in GPS and GPS topographies and trails, Group Ride cell- and non-cell communications, Bluetooth and USB smartphone connectivity, AM/FM/weather radio, in-vehicle comms with optional Sena headsets, and several customizable screens, including a backup camera and audio for the Rockford Fosgate Stage 1 audio system. This is in addition to the 4-inch LCD Rider Information Center with dual-sweep analog speed and rpm dials over the tilt steering wheel. Only the Ultimate gets the Sport poly roof.

Trails have 10 inches of travel all around with ZF Sachs front and ZF Twin-Tube Sachs rear shocks, along with front and rear sway bars. Trail S models have longer A-arms for a 60-inch width with Walker Evans Racing 2.0 piggyback shocks with needle damping control providing 12.25 inches of front and 13.2 inches of rear travel. Front and rear A-arms are connected via dual sway bars to fight body roll. Trails have 26×12-inch Trailmaster A/T tires, while Trail S models sport 27-inch Trailmaster A/Ts.

POLARIS RZR TRAIL S 1000 TEST
The 999cc ProStar inline twin has two 93mm pistons riding on a 73.5mm stroke, two 48mm EFI throttle bodies, 11.0:1 compression and an output of 100 horsepower. It’s only 9 percent lower than an XP1000’s output, but the Trail S carries 12 pounds per horsepower to the XP1K’s 13.27 for better acceleration.

 

HOW DOES COST COMPARE?

The Trail S Sport is $16,699; the Premium is $19,199. The Ultimate is $20,999. The 50-inch Trail Sport is $14,499. The Premium is $16,999, and the Ultimate is $18,999. Can-Am’s 60-inch, 75-horsepower Maverick Sport starts at $15,699. The 100-horsepower Sport DPS starts at $17,999. The Sport X XC starts at $20,599. The Sport X MR starts at $21,499, and the Sport X RC starts at $21,899. Kawasaki’s 60-inch Teryx 800FI is $13,499, and the longer-travel Teryx S LE is $15,799. Arctic Cat hasn’t produced the Wildcat 700 Trail and Sport since 2019.

POLARIS RZR TRAIL S 1000 TEST
Width is still 60 inches, but the new bodywork provides more cabin room and a meaner look to better match the Trail S 1000’s capabilities. Only the Premium and Ultimate have blacked-out headlights, while all three trim levels have the 55-watt LEDs and accent lighting.

 

HOW FAST IS THE PROSTAR 1000?

It packs a punch! The 100-horsepwer ProStar twin has 11.0:1 compression and great throttle response with two 48mm EFI throttle bodies, and it even gets transmission whine like an RZR XP 1000 when you mat the throttle. While the Trail S 1000 has 10 less horsepower than the XP 1000, it’s 137 pounds lighter, so its acceleration feels every bit as potent as the XP1K’s, maybe even better. We didn’t have enough room to top out the S in High, but Low is good for 40 mph.

POLARIS RZR TRAIL S 1000 TEST
The makeover upgrades the ROPS cage to include a gnarly rear bumper and tabs for adding harnesses, making the new Trail S more race-ready. Trail S models have Trailmaster A/T 27x11R12 rear radials that look and perform very much like Maxxis Bighorn 2.0s.

 

WHAT ABOUT THE CVT/AWD DELIVERY?

It’s excellent. Being one of few RZRs to have an engine-braking helix, the Trail S CVT helps set up slides for faster cornering. The CVT spools up quickly for aggressive acceleration, and Polaris’ On-Demand AWD system helps the Trail S snake through tight woods quickly by facilitating drifts. The range selector is slick but could use gates for more positive shifts, and the EBS only slows the rear tires on steep descents.

HOW DOES THE TRAIL S HANDLE?

It’s one of the most agile UTVs. With a wheelbase of 79 inches, it’s 11 inches shorter than an XP1K and 7.7 inches shorter than a Yamaha RMAX. On-Demand AWD and EBS set up drifts, and the Trail S has plenty of power to drift out of corners in 4WD. It’s a blast to derby through tight woods, yet it’s stable on faster rough sections. Front and rear sway bars fight body roll in turns, even off-camber ones. It’s a great trail machine at all speeds.

 

POLARIS RZR TRAIL S 1000 TEST
Ultimate Trails come with a poly sport roof (a $349.99 option on Sports and Premiums) and Ride Command with Group Ride, a back-up camera, thousands of miles of trails already installed, and much more. Only Ultimates get the unlocking Versa-Trak rear diff for tackling really tight trails or treading lightly on turf.

 

HOW ABOUT THE WER SUSPENSION?

It’s RS1/XP1K-grade! With 12.25 inches of front and 13.2 inches of rear travel, the Trail S has more than the CFMoto Zorce 950 and Maverick Sport 1000R but not the Sport X XC, which has 14.75 inches. The Walker Evans Racing 2.0 needle shocks are plush on roots and ruts but firm up for bottoming resistance on bigger G-outs and have 16-position compression adjustments. Spring and damping rates are well-tuned, but the shocks only have single-rate springs. There is room on the WERs for dual-rate spring kits for improved ride quality. While a little over a foot of travel isn’t ideal for gobbling big whoops, the lower ride height makes it great for attacking corners.

The control center is vastly improved, whether cruising on autopilot or kicking in the afterburner. Color-matched bucket seats are great with gripper covers, excellent shape for comfort and security, and ample base padding.

 

HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?

They’re trail-worthy! Dual-piston hydraulic calipers are on all four corners, and they squeeze perforated rotors that are the same as Generals. The brakes haul the Trail S down from speed quickly with little pedal pressure, and they’re backed up by EBS. There is also Park in the transmission for parking on inclines.

The new dash has four storage compartments, a 12-volt DC port and new battery-tender plug, plus five pre-cut blanks for adding accessory switches.

 

WHERE IS THE TRAIL S HAPPIEST?

Ripping from turn to turn. It’s an excellent woods weapon and is very nimble on tight trails. Its short wheelbase and engine braking slowing only the rear tires make it easy to bend around downhill switchbacks. Front and rear sway bars fight body roll and keep the Trail S tracking on ERX’s off-camber trails. The power delivery is great for accelerating between 20 and 45 mph.

WHAT ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?

It’s much improved over past Trails. The new cabin has more elbow and leg room, and the more modern dash from the Turbo S has a netted cubby above the adjustable passenger T-bar, a large glove box below it, and two center storage bins with lids. Seats are comfortable and secure with side bolsters, and the new seating ergonomics are comfy while not hampering your view of the trail. Doors are XP-grade with steel frames and a new rubber seal along the bottom. The smaller D-shaped steering wheel has excellent over-molding with thumb nubs, and it’s closer to the driver. Both seats are adjustable, but the passenger seat requires tools. Our only complaint is the lack of T-Rail adjustable shoulder belts.

WHAT’S OUR FINAL ANSWER?

The 2021.5/2022 RZR Trail S 1000 is a huge improvement over the 2021 version. The upgraded styling and especially the cockpit from the discontinued XP Turbo S greatly improve creature comforts, offering more elbow room, better driver ergonomics and much more storage with a top cubby for our devices. Power, delivery, handling, agility, brakes and overall performance are all excellent. EBS adds to performance and versatility, but the Trail S did gain 88 pounds in the makeover. The Ultimate’s Ride Command even raises and lowers the volume of the Rockford Fosgate audio system with faster and lower trail speeds. It also saves money by running on 87-octane gas.

SPECS:

2022 POLARIS RZR TRAIL 1000 S

ENGINE/TRANSMISSION

Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC

4-stroke twin

Displacement 999cc

Bore x stroke 93mm x 64.4mm (x2)

Compression ratio 11.0:1

Lubrication system Wet sump

Additional cooling Auto fan

Induction 48mm EFI (x2)

Starting/back-up Electric/none

Starting procedure Turn ignition switch

Air filter:

  Type Paper pleat

  Access Tool-less, undo four 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 79.0”

Overall length/width/height 110.9”/60”/69.3”

Ground clearance 12.5”

Claimed dry weight 1,323 lb., Ultimate 1,360 lb.

Bed weight limit 300 lb.

Hitch 1.25” receiver

Towing limit 1,500 lb.

ROLLING CHASSIS

Frame Steel round tube

Suspension/wheel travel:

  Front Dual A-arm w/ prel./comp.-adj. 2.0

WER shocks/12.25”

  Rear Dual A-arm w/ prel./comp.-adj. 2.0 WER

shocks/13.2”

Brakes/actuation:

  Front Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

  Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

Parking Lever on console

Tires:

  Front AT 27x9R12 Trailmaster A/T

  Rear AT 27x11R12 Trailmaster A/T

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 Premium Polaris Blue, Ultimate Ghost Grey

Minimum recommended operator age 16

Suggested retail price Premium, $17,999;

Ultimate, $19,999

Contact Polaris, (800) POLARIS

See details on more 2022 Polaris UTVs here: 2022 POLARIS RZR PRO R AND RZR TURBO R – UTV Action Magazine

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