POLARIS RZR XP 4 1000
When we get a Polaris, Can-Am or Arctic Cat UTV to test from the manufacturer, it’s a brand-new machine off of the assembly line and prepped by a local dealer. We then put as many miles on the machine as we can in the time allotted before having to return it. Sometimes we do demo-ride tests on machines with many miles on them, and the 2020 Sky Blue Polaris RZR XP 4 1000 EPS we drove at last month’s Rock Pirates Polaris Adventures Premium Outfitter had 3000 hard miles on it. We hammered it some more for this test.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2020?
For 2020, the RZR XP 4 1000 comes in Base, Premium and Limited Edition packages. All models still have WER 2.0 front and 2.5 rear needle shocks and EPS. The Premium adds Ride Command with the 7-inch interactive screen, LED headlights and accent lights, and door lowers. The new Limited comes in Onyx Black with premium painted panels; door lowers; LED head, eyebrow and accent lights; and special LE graphics.
In 2019, all RZR XPs got a new, more-aggressive front and rear fascia and grill, with Turbos and Special Editions getting LED eyebrows and 1000s getting highlight inserts. They also got the new dash from the Turbo S with new center storage bins on top and bottom, with the top bin replacing the Turbo S Ride Command screen, plus a new cubbyhole with rubberized mesh above the adjustable T-bar and large glove box.
The XP 4 also got the same analog/digital instrument panel as the Turbo S, but it doesn’t tilt with the steering wheel like the RZR RS1 unit does. Large analog needles on each side indicate speed and rpm, while the center LCD readout can be set to show engine temperature or other parameters with red or blue backlighting. Rear seats get the T-Rail-adjustable top seatbelt mount, and only the driver’s seat has fore/aft adjustment via a slider frame.
Polaris Adventure XP 4 1000s also get accessory lower-door insert kits with tubular frames (#2879942, $849.99) for more comfort and confidence. They also get GPS tracker units being rental UTVs.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The 2020 RZR XP 4 1000 EPS is $21,499, up $1000 from 2019. The new XP 4 Premium is $23,899, and the new Limited Edition is $22,499. The RZR S 4 1000 goes for $19,599, and the RZR XP 4 Turbo is $23,699. Can-Am’s 60-inch 2020 Maverick Max Sport 1000 DPS is $19,599, and the base Maverick X3 Max Turbo is $21,999. The Maverick Max X3 X ds Turbo R is $23,699, and the Max X3 X rs Turbo R is $25,199. The new Honda Talon 1000X-4 is $21,999, while the X-4 Live Valve is $23,999. The Polaris General 4 starts at $21,799 and jumps to $24,999 for the General XP 4 Deluxe with Ride Command.
HOW FAST IS THE PROSTAR 1000?
It packs a punch! The 110-horsepower ProStar twin has 11.0:1 compression and great throttle response with two 48mm EFI throttle bodies. It even feels fast at 12,000-plus-feet elevation. It’ll propel the 1,659-pound machine up to 78 mph in High range, and we got it up to 35 in Low. It doesn’t pin you to the seat like a RZR XP 4 Turbo, but Polaris outfitters don’t rent Turbos, as many customers are novice UTV drivers.
WHAT ABOUT THE CVT/AWD DELIVERY?
It’s predictable for novices yet quick for more experienced drivers. Even with 3000 miles on our XP 4, the clutches and belt engaged smoothly with no surprises. The CVT and EFI throttle map are well matched, too. The On-Demand front diff also engages smoothly and quickly when needed for extra climbing traction or pulling the car out of a drift. The XP 4 doesn’t have any sort of engine-braking system or ADC, though, and compression braking only slows the rear wheels, as the fronts freewheel.
HOW DOES THE XP 4 HANDLE?
Like an off-road limousine. The four-seat RZR has a 117-inch wheelbase, so it’s very stable and predictable on rocky USFS roads and trails. On-Demand AWD lets it turn into corners in 2WD without the dreaded 4×4 push, and then it pulls you out of the drift with 4WD. Its relatively short wheelbase for a four-seater makes it great on mountain switchbacks. A Can-Am Maverick X3 Max WB is 135 inches, and the Defender Max is 116 inches. A Honda Talon 1000X-4 has a 116.4-inch wheelbase. Desert racers like the XP 4 better than a two-seat XP1K in whoops, too.
HOW ABOUT THE WALKER EVANS SUSPENSION?
It works well after 3000 miles, but the technology is dated. The A-arm and trailing-arm bushings were loose, but it tracked well and the Walker Evans shocks delivered a good ride over the rocky mountain trails. The 2.0 front and 2.5 rear WER needle shocks have 16-position compression damping adjustments, and ours were backed all the way out for a plush ride on chop. Tapered aluminum needles inside the shock bodies provide extra bottoming resistance, but RZR shocks do not have true dual-rate springs with adjustable crossover rings like Maverick Max X3s and many two-seat sport 1000 UTVs. The top springs are short “tender” or top-out springs that are coil-bound at ride height. Longer aftermarket top springs provide a plusher ride.
HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?
Strong enough for any adventure. The XP 4 1000 has twin-piston hydraulic calipers squeezing 248mm rotors at all four corners, but the XP 4 Turbo has triple-piston front calipers.
WHERE IS THE XP 4 HAPPIEST?
Seeking adventure at any speed. The XP 4 is much more stable over rough terrain than the XP1K and carries more people. Many people prefer the longer wheelbase for rock crawling, too, as its wheelbase and weight give it better traction on really steep rock faces. The XP 4 1000 is also way easier to drive in muddy, slick conditions than RZR Turbos.
WHAT ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?
It’s limo-like. We prefer the XP 4’s ride to that of the XP 1000 Premium we tested in our August 2020 issue, as the suspension is fully broken in for ride quality, and the longer wheelbase adds control and comfort. The accessory door lowers on our Rock Pirates unit come standard on the LE and Premium, but the roof doesn’t. The doors and roof added greatly to comfort on the adventure, and the XP 4 has plenty of rear-seat leg and elbow room for full-sized adults. We wish the front seats got the same T-Rail-adjustable seat belts that the rear seats have, though. Engine and CVT noise in the cabin was minimal, and there were few vibrations or rattles with our test unit. Overall, ride quality and cabin comfort are way better in the RZR XP 4 than in the Talon 1000X-4.
WHAT’S OUR FINAL ANSWER?
We had a blast in the southwest Colorado Rockies in the Rock Pirates RZR XP 4 1000. It does everything well and delivers a sporty yet secure ride over hideous terrain while letting you take in the beautiful sights. Cabin comfort is great in all four seats, and the new-for-2019 dash from the Turbo S provides more storage than before. The XP 4 1000 has plenty of power that is totally controllable, and the suspension, handling and brakes add control to the adventure. While the newer Honda Talon 1000X-4 doesn’t have a CVT belt to wear out and replace, we prefer the ride quality and cabin comfort of the RZR XP 4. If you’re looking to get your family into a UTV, check out www.adventures.polaris.com for an outfitter near you and take a test drive.
See what’s new on the 2021 Polaris UTVs here: https://utvactionmag.com/2021-polaris-utvs-2/
2020 POLARIS RZR XP 4 1000 EPS
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC
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
Type Paper pleat
Access Tool-less, undo 4 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
Fuel capacity 9.5 gal.
Overall length/width/height 146”/64”/73.75”
Ground clearance 14.0”
Claimed dry weight 1,659 lb.
Bed weight limit 300 lb.
Towing limit N/A
Frame Steel round tube
Front Dual A-arm w/ prel./comp.-adj. 2.0 WER
Rear IRS Trailing-arms w/ prel./comp.-adj. 2.5 WER
Front Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Parking Lever on console
Front AT 29×9-14 Maxxis Bighorn
Rear AT 29×11-14 Maxxis Bighorn
DC outlet Console
Front 2 LED hi/lo headlights
Rear Dual LED brake/taillights
Colors White Lightning, Sky Blue
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price $21,499
Contact Polaris, (800) POLARIS, https://rzr.polaris.com/en-us/rzr-xp-4-1000-eps/