POLARIS GENERAL 1000 PREMIUM

— UTV Test —

Polaris rocked the UTV world in 2016 with the new General, which combined the sporty performance and suspension of the RZR S 1000 with the comfort and utility of the Ranger XP, but with RZR bucket seats instead of a bench seat. It was an instant hit, and the long-travel HCR General (UTV Action, August 2016) quickly became our favorite rock-crawling ride for Moab. We compared the impressive General Ride Command to a RZR S in October 2017; it beat the RZR in price, cabin comfort, stability and smooth delivery. For this test, we took a 2019 General 1000 Premium on a Polaris Adventure in Sedona, Arizona.

Polaris is offering the General 1000 in five versions, from Base to the Hunter and Ride Command Editions. We chose the Premium for this Polaris red-rock adventure, and it was a great mount for the mountains, desert trails and rock formations.

WHAT COMES ON THE PREMIUM?

The 2019 Premium comes with automotive Havasu Red paint, a 4500-pound winch and Sport low-profile front bumper. It also sports ZF Sachs preload-adjustable shocks, while the Deluxe also gets Fox 2.0 Podium QS3 piggyback shocks, an MTX premium sound bar and sport poly roof.

On the Sedona ATV General we tested, accessories include a Lock & Ride half windscreen ($209.99), Sport poly roof ($309.99), and Sedona Rock-a-Billy 30x10R14 tires on the OEM aluminum wheels. Generals come with 27-inch Maxxis Coronado rubber.

Front travel is 12.25 inches, but the ZF Sachs shocks don’t have external reservoirs or compression adjusters on the Premium. We like the Fox QS3 Podiums on the Deluxe better. Front and rear sway bars fight body roll, and width is 62.5 inches.

HOW DOES COST COMPARE?

The base General MSRP is $16,799, the Premium version is $18,299, the Deluxe goes for $20,799, and the Hunter Edition is $19,499, while the Ride Command Limited Edition is $21,999. The RZR S 1000 is $17,999. Can-Am’s 85-Hp Commander 1000 DPS is $14,599, XTs go for $16,899 to $16,999, and the top-shelf Limited is $20,299. Textron wants $16,299 for its Havoc 1000 EPS, and the 72-horsepower Can-Am Defender HD10 DPS is $15,399 to $16,299, while XT HD10s fetch $18,099 to $23,899.

Rear travel is 13.2 inches, and the General will tow 1500 pounds and carry another 600 pounds in the dumping bed with a one-latch tailgate. The rear-view mirror is standard, but the poly sport roof is not. Sedona 30-inch tires raise ground clearance to 13.5 inches.

HOW FAST IS THE GENERAL?

Fast enough to be fun. Although the General has much longer intake tracts and different EFI and CVT tuning than the RZR S 1000, it’s still quick from corner to corner. The 999cc ProStar twin has plenty of power and torque to turn the much taller Sedona Rock-a-Billy tires, which give a softer side and more ground clearance than the 27-inch stock tires. Low range is great for tight, technical trail and is good for 37 mph, and we got more than 60 mph in high.

Bucket seats from RZRs provide plenty of comfort and security to the General, and the center console has a large storage bin not found on RZRs. We also like the sculpted range selector, passenger hand-hold and the cup holders.

WHAT ABOUT THE DELIVERY?

It’s five-star. The EFI map and CVT are well-matched, so the General is very controllable and confidence-inspiring when rock-crawling and on tight trails. The On-Demand all-wheel-drive system is great for drifting into turns, then the front diff engages to pull out of slides with four-wheel drive. Generals also have the Versa-Trak rear diff, which unlocks for really tight switchbacks and treading lightly. The General does a great job of combining sport power with Ranger user-friendliness, and the EBS system provides plenty of engine braking on red-rock formations and hardpack hills. On loose, rocky hills, EBS only slows the rear wheels, so it tends to slide and step out the rear end.

Two 93mm pistons ride on a 73.5mm stroke for a displacement of 999cc, and two 48mm EFI throttle bodies feed the ProStar twin with an output of 100 horsepower. The CVT has an EBS helix, and long ducts route CVT intake to under the hood. It shares the airbox with the RZR S, but its intake is also under the hood, which cuts noise and throttle response.

HOW DOES IT HANDLE?

It’s smooth and steady. The General has a 2-inch-longer wheelbase than the RZR S, so it is a bit more stable and predictable. The 62.5-inch width is 2.5 inches wider than the RZR S for more spirited turning, but it also weighs 256 pounds more than the S, so it has more body roll, despite front and rear sway bars. It is a blast on tight, twisty trails and is also very stable on fast, rough straights.

HOW ABOUT THE SACHS SUSPENSION?

It doesn’t inflict corporal punishment. The ZF Sachs shocks are only preload adjustable, but the damping and spring rates are well matched for the rough Arizona desert terrain. With 12.25 inches of front and 13.2 inches of rear travel, the General is sporty in rough terrain, and the ride is aided by the Sedona Rock-a-Billy 30-inch tires.

While the RZR S is slightly narrower and has a shorter wheelbase for more agility, the General 1000 still turns well with front and rear sway bars. It’s a predictable slider on faster USFS trails and is very stable at speed.

HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?

Army strong, sir! Like the RZR S, Generals sport four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes with dual-piston front and rear calipers. They even hauled the 30-inch Sedonas down from speed quickly and efficiently, and they’re backed by the excellent EBS engine braking. We also liked the brakes and 30x10R14 Rock-a-Billy tires for setting up drifts on fast USFS roads.

WHAT ABOUT ROCKS, MUD AND SNOW?

They pose no threat to the General. The Premium is sure-footed on Sedona’s red-rock formations and is a great rock-crawling mount. The ride could be smoother on rock-infested desert trails, as the Fox QS3s on the Deluxe work better. The General has great protection from flung mud, and the half doors provide confidence and comfort. The taller Sedona tires also add ground clearance for deep mud ruts. We originally tested the General in the snow in New Mexico’s Coronado National Forest (that’s where Maxxis got the name for the OEM tires), and the Sedona ATV’s accessory half windscreen would’ve been great for cutting down the wind blast.

The General has a much nicer and easier-to-read instrument pod than the RZR S 1000, and the 4WD/2WD/1WD switch unlocks the rear diff for tight mountain switchbacks. The winch control is in the center, next to blanks for accessory switches.

WHAT ABOUT CREATURE COMFORTS?

It’s better than three hots and a cot. The General combines the comfort and utility of the Ranger XP 1000 cabin with the sporty bucket seats of a RZR S 1000. They’re super comfortable and secure, and the T-Rail adjustable top mounts for the shoulder belts are a greatly appreciated new addition. The sporty steering wheel has great feel and doesn’t flex, and the analog/digital instruments tilt with the wheel. The dash is great with blanks for switches and a GPS or audio unit, a large glove box, and cubbyhole. The passenger grip on the console allows different holds, but we prefer the RZR adjustable T-bar. The curved doors provide a lot of elbow room and keep debris out of the cabin. Long CVT and engine intake ducts tone down intake noise, and the muffler is pretty quiet. Our test unit had 2400 miles on it at the end of the test, and our only complaint was that the tilting bed rattles on rough trail.

WHAT’S OUR FINAL ANSWER?

We’re still impressed with the General’s capabilities and comfort, and it was a perfect mount for adventuring into Sedona’s red-rock formations to see the cliff dwellings, petroglyphs and natural beauty. The low Low range, engine-braking and excellent throttle map and CVT tuning make it a sure-footed rock crawler, and it’s great on mountain trails and switchbacks. It’s super stable at higher speeds and on rough trail, and the cabin comfort can’t be beat. Special thanks go out to Sedona ATVs ([928] 204-000), and every General in their fleet was rented out the day we rode.

SPECS:

2019 POLARIS GENERAL 1000 EPS PREMIUM 4X4

ENGINE/TRANSMISSION

Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC 4-stroke twin

Displacement 999cc

Bore x stroke 93mm x 73.5mm (x2)

Compression ratio 11:1

Lubrication system Wet sump

Additional cooling Auto fan

Carburetion 48mm EFI (x2)

Starting/back-up Electric/none

Starting procedure Turn ignition switch

Air filter:

Type Paper pleat

Access Tool-less; lift bed, undo two straps

Transmission Dual-range CVT w/ rev. & EBS

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 81.0”

Overall length/width/height 118.2”/62.5”/73.8”

Ground clearance 12.0”

Claimed dry weight 1,430–1,544 lb.

Bed weight limit 600 lb.

Hitch 2” receiver

Towing limit 1,500 lb.

ROLLING CHASSIS

Frame Steel round/square tube

Suspension/wheel travel:

  Front Dual A-arm w/ prel-adj. shocks/12.25”

  Rear IRS Dual A-arms w/ prel-adj. shocks/13.2”

Brakes/actuation:

  Front Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

  Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

Parking Mode in transmission

Tires:

  Front 27×9-14 Maxxis Coronado

  Rear 27×11-14 Maxxis Coronado

ELECTRICAL

DC outlet Console & dash

Lighting:

  Front 2 LED hi/lo headlights

  Rear Dual LED brake/taillights

DETAILS

Instrumentation Speed/odo/trip/hour/rpm/fuel/gear/

clock/2WD-4WD

Colors White Lightning (B), Havasu Red Pearl (P),

Ti Metallic, Orange Rust (D), Black Pearl (LE)

Minimum recommended operator age 16

Suggested retail price Base, $16,799,

Premium, $18,299; Deluxe, $20,799;

Ltd, $19,499; Ride Command, $21,999

Contact Polaris, (800) POLARIS

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