By Colin J. Cleary
Photos by Wayne Davis Photography
Recently I had the opportunity to get a sneak peak at the all-new Polaris Ranger XP 1000 and let me tell you, this thing is Working Ranch-worthy. The first thing my hosts at Polaris said is that they went out and talked with farmers and ranchers and shaped this vehicle around feedback they got from them (100 innovations to be exact), and I tip my hat to them for that.
When I was test driving the new XP 1000 Ranger, I put it through what I call the “ranch test”; climbing hills, going over rocky terrain, and luckily they even had a trailer with a round bale on it to demonstrate towing. With the powerful ProStar 1000 engine, Polaris tuned it to crank out a whopping 82 horsepower. They gained this through an all new clutch and redesigned driveline. This large-ratio clutch provides a low-speed drivability and has the strongest belt ever offered on a Ranger. Redesigned under-hood air intakes and a new clutch cover provide increased air flow for a much cooler and longer lasting belt life.
While I was maneuvering through the woods I couldn’t help but notice how quiet the Ranger was. You can carry on a conversation with the passenger while having the engine at a higher RPM with no problem at all. It maintained its quietness even when pulling the trailer with a full-size round bale on it… the new XP 1000 is rated to tow 2500 lbs. The new Ranger boasts 11 inches of suspension travel, which is a 10% increase from the previous model, and on top of that the new 27 inch tires with cast aluminum rims provide an even taller stance as well, 13 inches to be exact. That’s 8.3% of an increase in ground clearance and let’s face it, that’s important when you’re out checking the herd having to bounce over debris or go through mud.
One glance at the exterior and you will notice a redesigned look, which is inspired by full-size pickup trucks and yet still catches the essence of Ranger. Larger headlights add optimal lighting for those late night herd checks. The massive bumper and all new full-body skid plate provide even more protection, which is a must in the ranching community. Now, on to the cargo box; how does 11.5 % more volume sound? Seems like I never have enough room to carry my fencing supplies. The box features new welded steel corners for increased strength. Polaris also added eight stake pockets and reinforced D-rings in the bed to help stabilize and secure the load.
Another feature I appreciated and think would be utilized on the ranch is the three-mode throttle control. The three options are performance, standard and work for excellent control of the vehicle depending on the task at hand. The throttle response for the three settings was shocking; for towing you would get a nice gentle take off, standard is the same as your typical ranger and performance is perfect for when the neighbor calls and says your cattle are out and you need to handle it right away…safely of course.
Now, move into the interior; the room in the new XP 1000 is awesome. With 5” of more clearance, getting in and out of the vehicle is fast and more comfortable. The right hand seat folds up with enough room to hold a five-gallon bucket or put that calf in or faithful cattle dog and not have to worry about them bouncing out of the box. Plus, the unit features double glove boxes, a massive 3.4 gallon in-dash tray, six cup holders, which include cutouts for mugs, and a handy spot to set your cell phone.
Polaris knows accessories and they have 100’s of Polaris engineered options for just about anything you can dream of. New to the XP 1000 is the Polaris Pulse electrical system, which allows for plug and play installation of Polaris accessories.
Standard with a one-year warranty, the all new Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS was designed with the rancher in mind. For more information check them out online at www.polaris.com or at your local Polaris dealer.