— Testing a trail width RZR starting at $12,999 —
Trail-width UTVs may be a new thing to some manufacturers but not for Polaris. Polaris started the 50-inch UTV trend and the whole sport UTV sensation with the RZR 800 ten years ago. Let’s see what the latest 50-inch RZR, the RZR 900 EPS, is like.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE
The RZR 900 starts at $12,999. Our test machine, the RZR 900 EPS, is $14,799. Can-Am’s Maverick Trails start at $10,999 for the base 800. The Trail 1000 is $12,999. The Trail 800 DPS is $12,999, and the 1000 DPS is $14,799 or $14,899 in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo. The RZR 570 is $10,299, and the 570 EPS is $12,299. Textron Wildcat Trail 700s start at $12,499. The Wildcat Trail 700 LTD is $13,499. The Honda Pioneer 500 is $8999 or $9599 in Honda Phantom Camo.
WHAT DO YOU GET WITH THE EPS MODEL?
More than power steering. The RZR 900 EPS also comes with cast-aluminum wheels, a faster-engaging 4WD system, and White Lightning or Titanium Metallic painted bodywork.
WHAT POWERS IT?
An 875cc, double-overhead-cam, eight-valve inline twin with 75 horsepower.
WHAT KIND OF TRANSMISSION DOES IT HAVE?
A fully automatic, belt-type, dual-range continuously variable transmission. Low range is good for 40 mph. That lets you use low for most tight trails, which is easier on the drive belt. The range selector’s feel isn’t as smooth or positive as some, but it works. Unlike many larger UTVs, the RZR 900 has automatic engine braking to help slow the machine in extended off-throttle situations, but it only acts on the rear wheels.
WHAT KIND OF 4WD SYSTEM DOES IT USE?
Selectable 2WD/4WD with an automatic-locking front differential. The Polaris system remains in 2WD until the speed-sensing front differential detects rear-wheel slip, so there’s no extra steering effort until the system goes into 4WD.
HOW FAST IS IT?
It hauls! Seventy-five horsepower may not sound like a lot when there are 172-horsepower UTVs out there, but the 900’s 75 horses move the RZR’s mere 1176 pounds effortlessly. The Polaris pulls as hard as some larger machines.
HOW IS THE POWER DELIVERY?
Aggressive but manageable. The RZR’s engine and clutch tuning give the machine fun, instant response when you want it, so you can rocket from turn to turn on tight trails and powerslide around flat, loose turns. The RZR’s power delivery is a little abrupt for difficult, technical obstacles like rock steps and slick, muddy off-camber trails, but if you adjust your pedal foot to the power, the Polaris behaves itself.
WHAT KIND OF SUSPENSION DOES IT HAVE?
Front and rear double A-arms with non-reservoir, preload-adjustable shocks. Front travel is 10 inches. Rear suspension travel is 10.5 inches. Front and rear sway bars keep the 900 flat during hard cornering.
HOW DOES THE SUSPENSION WORK?
The RZR’s ride is fairly firm, which is to be expected on a vehicle with 10 inches of travel, but it’s surprisingly compliant and comfortable on small impacts. The slightly firm settings let you push the RZR on bumpy trails, and it will handle G-outs and even some decent-sized jumps without bottoming.
HOW DOES IT HANDLE?
Its agility and easy handling make drivers of larger, wider UTVs jealous. As with any 50-inch-wide UTV, the RZR 900 hasn’t got the goof-proof stability wider vehicles have, but it corners like a mosquito. Front and rear sway bars, light weight and good weight distribution give the 900 a flat, sure feel in slow and fast turns, and it can slide controllably on low-traction surfaces.
HOW IS IT IN UGLY TERRAIN?
On many tough trails, the 900 is as capable as larger, more powerful machines. Not only that, but the 50-inch 900 can access many trails wider UTVs can’t. The 900’s short wheelbase lets it avoid obstacles easily and makes its 11 inches of ground clearance feel like more, because it’s harder to high-center in rugged terrain and rocks than longer vehicles.
With its strong power, capable 4WD system, and high-engine and transmission intakes, the RZR is completely at home in water and mud. Splash protection for the occupants isn’t great, as on most sport UTVs, but wet conditions won’t stop the RZR if the driver wants to continue.
Ample power and traction let the 900 tackle tall, technical hills, but getting back down calls for more concentration than the climb. The 900 has automatic engine braking to help slow the machine in off-throttle situations, but it only acts on the rear wheels, which can make the rear end slip sideways in slick conditions. Fortunately, the strong four-wheel disc brakes make it easy to keep downhill speeds in check.
HOW ARE THE DETAILS AND COMFORT?
There’s a lot to like, and very little to complain about. The RZR’s seats and cabin are very much like the very comfortable RZR XP 1000’s, except the quarter-doors don’t bow out to offer extra elbowroom and let roost from the front wheels in the cab occasionally. It is nice to have doors rather than nets, though, and they open and close easily. The seating position and front-end design provide good forward visibility, even on steep climbs. Having the instruments at the center of the dash rather than right in front of the wheel is dated, but the display offers plenty of info. The RZR’s air filter and oil filler are easy to reach—under a hatch in the bed. The closable clean-out drains in the floor are handy, and the 1.25-inch hitch receiver is a useful extra you don’t get on some larger sport machines.
WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
Today’s RZR 900 has evolved to offer far better performance, handling and comfort than Polaris’ original trail-width UTV, and it also shows how good the original concept was.
POLARIS RZR 900 EPS
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC 4-stroke
Bore x stroke 93mm x 64.4mm (x2)
Compression ratio 10.6:1
Lubrication system Wet sump
Additional cooling Auto fan
Induction 46mm EFI throttle body
Starting procedure Turn ignition switch
Type Paper pleat
Access Tool-less, remove engine panel & undo
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
Fuel capacity 9.5 gal.
Overall length/width/height 105”/50”/69.5”
Ground clearance 11”
Claimed dry weight 1,176 lb.
Bed weight limit 300 lb.
Hitch 1.25” receiver
Towing limit 1500 lb.
Frame Steel round tube
Front Dual A-arm w/ preload-adjustable shocks/10”
Rear Dual A-arm w/ preload-adjustable shocks/10”
Front Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Parking Lever on console
Front AT 26×8-12 PXT
Rear AT 26×9-12 PXT
DC Outlet Console
Front 2 LED 55/60W hi/lo headlights
Rear Dual LED brake/taillights
Colors White Lightning, Titanium Metallic
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price $14,799
Contact Polaris, (800) POLARIS
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