POLARIS RZR XP1000 PREMIUM
Now in its seventh year of production, the 2020 Polaris RZR XP 1000 comes in Base, Limited and Premium packages, plus High Lifter and Rocks & Trails editions. The venerable XP1K has a lot more competition in the extreme-performance UTV market every year, but it’s still winning races and championships in the hands of Seth Quintero (Best in the Desert), Kaden Wells (SCORE) and others. The XP 1000 has a lot going for it. We got our hands on the Polaris RZR XP1000 Premium for testing.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2020?
Styling was upgraded across the XP 1000 line in 2019 with the Turbo S front and rear fascias and new LED headlights. The dash was also upgraded with analog/digital instruments and a new dash cubby and center compartment. In 2019, there was a Ride Command edition, which became the Premium for 2020, sort of like the Turbo XP Pro line. The Polaris RZR XP1000 Premium comes with a Ride Command 7-inch digital touchscreen, door lowers and speakers, and Black Onyx or Rust Orange paint. Whereas the 2019 Ride Command had front and rear cameras, the 2020 Premium only has a rear camera, but owners can add the front camera for $100.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The 2020 Polaris RZR XP1000 Premium starts at $18,599, while the RS1 is $14,999. The XP1K Limited with Black Onyx paint, special graphics and door lowers is $19,599, while the XP1K Premium with Ride Command is $20,599. The High Lifter XP1K is $22,299, while the XP1K Trails & Rocks edition is $23,599. Can-Am’s 64-inch Maverick Sport 1000 X xc is $20,199, while the X3 DS Turbo R is $20,999. Kawasaki’s Teryx KRX1000 is $20,499, while the Honda Talon 1000X is $19,999. The Tracker XTR1000 is $17,999, while the Wildcat XX is $18,899. Yamaha’s YXZ1000R Sport Shift starts at $18,999, while the Special Edition is $20,699 and the XT-R is $21,699.
HOW FAST IS THE PROSTAR 999?
Really fast. The 110-horsepower ProStar twin cranks out 71 pound-feet of torque and propels the 1,400-pound machine to 80+ mph in High; it is still screaming at 42 mph in Low. While the 999cc twin with 11.0:1 compression accelerates hard, it doesn’t pin you to the seats like an XP Turbo, S or Pro. It’s fun, predictable power. The agile RZR is a blast to slide.
HOW ABOUT THE DELIVERY & DRIVETRAIN?
Delivery is excellent. The CVT engages quickly and smoothly, and it’s well matched with the EFI throttle map. It will ease over rock obstacles or blast out of the hole, depending on your throttle foot. It powers out of corners smoothly and is fun to drift with the throttle. The On-Demand all-wheel drive reduces pushing going into turns by staying in 2WD, then pulls out of corners in 4WD. The drivetrain isn’t top-shelf like the components on the XP Turbo and Pro, but it gets the job done. Even the RS1 has the front diff, CVT and transmission from the Turbo S.
HOW DOES THE XP1K HANDLE?
It’s very agile at the cost of some stability. The XP1K’s 90-inch wheelbase is the shortest in its class (except the 83-inch RS1), so it turns in quickly and carves corners. It’s very responsive and is fun to flick into and power out of turns. EPS assist is also very good and responsive. Its closest rival in turns is the Yamaha YXZ with a 90.5-inch wheelbase. On the other hand, high-speed stability isn’t as good on the RZR as with the longer Wildcat XX and KRX1000. It bucks and dances around on sand whoops. A rear torsion bar fights body roll in turns but articulates well in rocks.
WHAT ABOUT THE SUSPENSION & WER SHOCKS?
While the XP1K was the industry standard in 2014, it has been surpassed in the suspension department. With 2.0 front Walker Evans Racing needle shocks and 2.5 rear WER piggybacks, the XP1K has 20 inches of usable travel when jumping. While each shock has two springs, the smaller ones are more top-out springs than secondaries, and there are no cross-over rings like on a Talon 1000R, Yamaha or Kawasaki KRX. Racers such as Beau Baron replace the shocks outright, but aftermarket companies such as Shock Therapy have upgrades to make the stock shocks work like magic. Our WERs were all set at nine clicks out; we went to six out in front to prevent nose dive and seven out in back. Cruisers should back out compression for smoother ride quality; each shock has 16-position adjusters with knobs for tool-less tuning.
HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?
They’re strong enough. Dual-puck calipers squeeze 248mm rotors at all four corners, and the 29-inch Bighorns supply plenty of braking traction. Newer Turbos have thicker rotors and three-piston front calipers, so racers will want to upgrade. Also, because the On-Demand AWD doesn’t engage the front diff until the rear wheels spin, it only slows the rears on steep downhills under trailing throttle, as there is no Engine Braking System.
WHAT ARE PREMIUM/RIDE COMMAND BONUSES?
For $1,000 (the difference between the Limited and Premium), Ride Command replaces a lot of accessory equipment. Ride Command’s GPS means not having to buy a GPS unit, mount and antenna. The reverse camera saves money on rear-view and/or side mirrors, unless you need them in your state for street legality. The Ride Command audio system syncs with your phone via Bluetooth, which replaces an aftermarket sound system. Ride Command also syncs with ride-partner phones for the Group Ride feature, which displays where everyone on the ride is on the trail. This replaces car-to-car radios and even clean-air pump systems, since you don’t have to ride in dust. You can also use the rear-view camera while in forward gears, and the optional front camera can be a digital spotter in rock crawling. We’re talking $1,000s in savings. The radio mutes when you receive calls, too.
WHAT ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?
While the ride quality and seats are unchanged, the cabin upgrades are welcome. The new dash with steering-stem instruments is a lot easier to see, and the Ride Command screen is easily read by driver and passenger. The new cubby above the glove box is handy, but the Ride Command screen eliminates the electronics cubby on top of the dash. There is a center storage compartment with a latched lid, which will hold radios if desired. The door lowers are nice and keep roost out of the cab, and the door speakers sound good but will make most door bags obsolete. Not one RZR XP comes with a roof, only the General Deluxe comes with one as standard equipment.
WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
Agility is the RZR XP 1000’s strong point, along with a great normally aspirated engine. It’s a great short-course racer, dune carver and trail mount. It does everything well or very well. The Premium with Ride Command packs a lot of handy features into the package and makes life easier. We’d like to see the Dynamix edition with Fox Live Valve shocks return to the XP1K lineup for on-the-fly shock tuning. Most trail riders will find the RZR shocks adequate, but dune fliers will want more suspension performance.
See what’s new on the 2021 Polaris RZRs here: https://utvactionmag.com/2021-polaris-utvs/
2020 POLARIS RZR XP 1000 PREMIUM
Engine type Liquid cooled, 8-valve, DOHC 4-stroke
Bore x stroke 93mm x 73.5mm (x2)
Compression ratio 11.0:1
Lubrication system Wet sump
Additional cooling Auto fan
Induction 48mm EFI (x2)
Starting procedure Turn ignition switch w/ brake on
Type Paper pleat
Access Toolless, remove bed hatch & undo
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
Fuel capacity 9.5 gal.
Overall length/width/height 119”/64”/73.75”
Ground clearance 13.5”
Claimed dry weight 1,448 lb.
Bed weight limit 300 lb.
Towing limit N/A
Frame Steel round tube
Front Dual A-arm w/prel./comp.-adj. 2.0 shocks/20”
Rear IRS trailing arms w/prel./comp.-adj. 2.5
Front Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Parking Lever on console
Front 29x9R14 Maxxis Bighorn
Rear 29x11R14 Maxxis Bighorn
DC outlet Console
Front 2 LED hi/lo headlights
Rear Dual LED brake/tail lights
Instrumentation Analog Speed/odo/trip/hour/rpm/
Colors Black Pearl, Orange Rust/Black
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price $20,599
Contact Polaris, (800) POLARIS https://rzr.polaris.com