The base 2017 Can-Am X3 may still be available at your Can-Am dealer and perhaps for a reduced price now. Last year’s model X3 has a turbocharged 154-horsepower engine, 20 inches of suspension travel at both ends and most of the other choice items you only find on high-end models. We put one to the test to see what it’s capable of.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The base 2017 X3 is $22,999. The 2017 X3 X ds is $24,999, and the 2017 X3 X rs is $26,699. The base 2018 X3 is $19,999. The 2018 X3 Turbo R is $22,999. The 2018 X3 X ds Turbo R is $24,999, and the 2018 X3 X rs is $26,899. Polaris’ 2017 RZR XP Turbo is $24,999.
WHAT SEPARATES THE BASE X3 FROM THE MORE EXPENSIVE X3 MODELS?
All 2017 Maverick X3s make 154 horsepower. The recently unveiled 2018 base X3 makes 120 horsepower, and the 2018 X3 Turbo R models crank out a staggering 172 horsepower.
Base 2017 and 2018 X3s and the 2018 X3 Turbo R are 64 inches wide and have 20 inches of travel front and rear. Fox 2.5 QS3 piggyback reservoir shocks offer compression damping and spring preload adjustment. These models have 28-inch tires on non-beadlock aluminum wheels.
The X3 X ds is also 64 inches wide with 20 inches of travel front and rear. It has fully adjustable Fox 2.5 Podium RC2 piggyback reservoir shocks. The X3 X ds has 29-inch tires on beadlock wheels.
The X3 X rs is 72 inches wide with 22 inches of front suspension travel and 24 inches of rear travel, and it has fully adjustable Fox 2.5 Podium RC2 piggyback front and 3.0 remote reservoir rear shocks. The X3 X rs has 30-inch tires on beadlock wheels.
WHAT POWERS IT?
A turbocharged, intercooled, three-cylinder, 900cc, double-overhead-cam, 12-valve engine with1 54 horsepower—the very same engine that powers the top-of-the-line X3 X rs. The base model is 115 pounds lighter than the X3 X rs, which gives it an edge in acceleration in situations where the X rs’ suspension isn’t a factor.
WHAT KIND OF TRANSMISSION DOES IT HAVE?
A fully automatic, dual-range, belt-type CVT. The X3’s entire transmission was designed around the high-horsepower engine. We did hundreds of miles of challenging high- and low-speed driving in X3s that already had lots of hours on them and never had a problem. The range selector is well designed too; it has a smooth, positive feel.
WHAT KIND OF 4WD SYSTEM DOES IT HAVE?
Selectable 2WD/4WD with an automatic-locking front differential. Can-Am’s Visco-Lok has no speed or rev limiter, so you can get maximum traction at full throttle. Some systems activate speed or rev limiters in front differential-lock mode.
HOW FAST IS IT?
Unbelievably fast. We put a lot of time in the X3, and we got used to the power, but it still never stopped amazing us. With this thing, you always have rocket-like acceleration at the ready, even in deep sand. The base X3 is the lightest of the X3 models, so it can out-accelerate the heavier, more expensive models in places where the other machines’ suspension doesn’t give them an edge. For a machine so powerful, the X3 is surprisingly easy to control in technical terrain too. With a switch on the dash, you can swap to the Eco throttle curve to smooth the power delivery for extra sketchy conditions. Drivers who don’t need all the X3’s performance can use the standard key rather than the performance key.
HOW DOES THE SUSPENSION WORK?
It’s excellent. You don’t get the travel or adjustability the more expensive X3 models offer, but the base model’s suspension is so good you’ll only miss the difference if you have the opportunity to test them back to back. In terms of overall ride smoothness, whoop-handling ability, and bottoming resistance on big bumps and G-outs, the base X3’s suspension is among the best available. The 20 inches of travel consume small and large bumps without feeling harsh, and the machine stays composed, even in chewed-up terrain at high speeds. The stock shock settings work well, and you don’t need to be a suspension expert to use the Fox QS3 shocks’ simple, three-position compression-damping adjusters.
HOW DOES IT HANDLE?
It feels like what it is—a true, high-performance off-road vehicle. It’s agile, stable and so well balanced, it has no odd habits that make you want to back out of the throttle. The X3’s long, 102-inch wheelbase keeps it calm and composed in high-speed sections, and the Can-Am also corners quickly and easily. Front and rear sway bars help the machine stay flat in hard turns, and there’s plenty of power to steer with the throttle if you like.
HOW ARE THE DETAILS?
Some are missing; most are incredible. Like most base models, the X3 comes without a roof, door inserts and sweet extras like beadlock wheels. The X3’s nicest details are the kind you can’t just add on. The layout of the cabin and the seats are outstanding, and the seat adjusters work smoothly and easily, though mud can foul them. In addition to moving forward and back, you can also adjust the seat height. The range selector has smooth, positive action. The instruments are big and easy to read.
WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
Can-Am’s base Maverick X3 has the power and suspension you normally only find on high-end models, with outstanding handling and a comfortable, sophisticated interior that makes this machine a real pleasure to drive.
CAN-AM MAVERICK X3
Engine type Turbocharged, liquid-cooled, DOHC,
12-valve, inline triple
Bore x stroke 74mm x 67.9mm (3)
Compression ratio 9.1:1
Lubrication system Wet sump
Induction 46mm EFI
Starting/back-up Electric push-button/none
Starting procedure In any range, brake engaged
Type Paper pleat
Transmission Dual-range CVT
Drive system Selectable 2WD/4WD w/ automatic front
Final drive f/r Shaft/gear
Fuel capacity 10.5 gal.
Overall length/width/height 131”/64”/66”
Ground clearance 14”
Dry weight 1470 lb
Rear Rack capacity 200 lb
Storage capacity 2.5 gal.
Frame Dual-Phase 980 steel tube
Front Dual A-arms & shocks w/ adj. compression,
Rear Trailing arms & shocks w/ adj. compression,
Front Twin-piston hydraulic 262mm discs
Rear Twin-piston hydraulic 248mm discs
Front 28×9-14 Maxxis Bighorn 2.0
Rear 28×11-14 Maxxis Bighorn 2.0
DC outlet Auto-style waterproof plug
Front LED headlights
Rear LED tail/brake lights
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price $22,999
Contact .Bombardier, (877)4-MY-RIDE or www.brp.com