TEST: POLARIS RZR 570

HOW MUCH LIKE THE ORIGINAL RZR IS THE 2017 RZR 570?

The platform is similar to that of the original ground-breaking 2008 RZR 800, the first 50-inch-wide sport UTV, though Polaris has poured a lot of new technology into the 2017 570 in those nine years.

The 2017 RZR 570 has the performance, convenience and 50-inch trail access that helped the first RZR revolutionize off-road riding, with less weight and nine years more refinement, all for nearly the same price.

 

HOW DOES COST COMPARE?

Our RZR 570 test machine, the base model, goes for $10,299; that’s only 300 bucks more than what the first RZR 800 cost back in 2008! $12,299 gets you the RZR 570 EPS, which has power steering, Silver Pearl-painted bodywork, two-tone seats and sweet cast-aluminum wheels. The wider, longer-travel RZR S 570 EPS is $12,999. Honda’s Pioneer 500 starts at $8999. The new automatic Pioneer 500 is $8,999. The CFMoto Trail 500 is $8799. Arctic Cat’s base Wildcat Trail is $11,999, but it’s powered by a DOHC, eight-valve twin with more than 60 horsepower.

The 567cc, double-overhead-cam, four-valve single is smooth, powerful, quiet and light. No wonder Polaris puts it in so many UTVs and ATVs. The access panel in the bed makes the air filter and oil fill easy to get to.

 

WHAT MAKES THE POWER?

A 567cc, single-cylinder, double-overhead-cam, four-valve engine with 45 horsepower.

WHAT KIND OF TRANSMISSION DOES IT HAVE?

A fully automatic, belt-type CVT with high, low, neutral and reverse ranges. The range selector is a little stiff, but other than that, it makes driving as easy as the automatic-transmission family car. There’s no automatic engine braking feature, but the 570 won’t freewheel unless you purposely let the engine settle at idle before heading downhill.

Yep, that’s a front sway bar and double-A-arm suspension. Polaris didn’t skimp on the lowest-priced RZR.

 

WHAT KIND OF 4WD SYSTEM DOES IT HAVE?

The 570 may be the least expensive RZR in the lineup, but it gets the same system as the most expensive Polaris models: selectable 2WD/4WD with a speed-sensing, automatic-locking front differential. It even comes with the quicker-locking differential Polaris came up with a few years back.

HOW FAST IS IT?

As fast as most drivers will want to go. Forty-five horses may not sound like a lot at a time when 168-horsepower RZRs are roosting around, but the 570 weighs less than 1000 pounds dry, so those 45 horsepower are a lot more exciting on the trail than they sound on a spec sheet. Polaris did a great job tuning the engine and the CVT clutching, so you get the feeling of a healthy engine that’s always pulling well in the right gear. The 570 scoots to 35 mph in low and gets to its top speed of 55 surprisingly quickly, even with two people aboard. When the push-rod, four-valve, 760cc 800 twin was still around, Polaris used to brag that the 570 was within three-tenths of its zero-to-35-mph time.

More A-arms and another sway bar, as well as a trailer-hitch receiver and a big bed! We love the muffler’s tone. It’s hushed yet healthy.

 

WHAT KIND OF SUSPENSION DOES IT HAVE?

Double A-arms front and rear with preload-adjustable, low-pressure gas ZF Sachs shocks. There are 9 inches of travel up front and 9.5 in the rear, and front and rear sway bars keep the trail-width machine cornering flat.

HOW DOES THE SUSPENSION WORK?

It’s a little bouncy for a single 300-pound rider but very comfortable for two. The good news is that extra firmness lets an aggressive driver push the machine harder than if it were set up plush for the driver alone. Our test machine came with the shocks on the firmest of the five available settings. The 570 doesn’t flatten whoops like a long-travel machine, but it takes holes and even big G-outs pretty well in stride.

Light weight, a low stance, front and rear sway bars and slightly firm suspension give the 570 crisp, easy handling RZR XP 1000 drivers can only dream of.

 

HOW DOES IT HANDLE?

It’s agile and light on its knobby feet. Light weight, a low stance and slightly firm suspension give the 570 crisp, easy handling that RZR XP 1000 drivers can only dream of, and the four-wheel disc brakes are excellent. The 570 is reassuringly stable, though the relatively short wheelbase and short travel limit your whoop-flattening capabilities. Even without power steering, this thing is a blast in the woods, and it goes places wider machines simply can’t.

HOW IS IT FOR WATER AND MUD?

It’s fine within its limits. The engine and transmission intakes are high enough for anything you’re likely to get into, but the 10.5 inches of ground clearance don’t leave much room for error on rutted trails. Splash protection is good, but nothing compared to what the Ranger offers.

Grown men fit in the compact cabin, and the seats are comfy.

 

HOW IS IT ON HILLS?

The 570 is an impressive climber, but the unique 4WD system only applies engine braking to the rear wheels, which can cause the rear end to step out on slick, steep descents.

HOW ARE THE DETAILS?

Darn good for just over 10 grand. The seats are comfortable, and the cabin has enough room for two grown men, though it’s not nearly as roomy and luxurious as the latest XP 1000-based interiors on larger RZR models. The bed is bigger than the 1000s! The 570 also has a 1.25-inch hitch receiver, which adds a lot of useful utility value to this UTV. The familiar RZR T-bar passenger hand grip works well, as always. The floor has handy drains to ease cleaning. The smooth, quiet, powerful engine makes the 570 a joy to drive, and the cabin noise level is so low it’s easy to talk to your riding buddy. The 570 fits easily in the bed of most full-size pickups, which saves the cost and hassle of a trailer. We’ve even put one in the bed of a mini truck, but we don’t recommend it.

Gripes? Not many. The ride could be more refined, but Elka, Works Performance, Race Tech and others have high-performance shocks when you’re ready.

We’d prefer doors to the 570’s nets, but that’s part of how Polaris sells this RZR for about the same price the machine cost in 2008. On the good side, the nets don’t crowd the small cabin or bounce sound around like doors would. Again, there are several aftermarket sources, including your Polaris dealer, who would love to sell you some doors.

The coolant recovery tank and the radiator are under the hood. Polaris has a cool storage bin and a waterproof case that fit nicely in the unused space.

 

WHAT’S OUR FINAL ANSWER?

The original RZR revolutionized off-roading because it was so much darn fun, and the 2017 RZR 570 has all the performance and convenience of the original design with less weight and nine years more refinement, all for nearly the same price. That’s an awful lot of fun per dollar.