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2021 Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate Review

We put together our 2021 Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate Review on the tight and wooded trails of Pennsylvania’s Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) and we continue to be impressed.

2021 Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate Review

2021 Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate Review

Words & Photos:  Lance Schwartz

MSRP:  $17,499

www.polaris.com

2021 Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate Review

Over the last few years, there are few companies that have pushed the boundaries of what defines the UTV industry more than Polaris.  They’ve been innovative to say the least, offering a plethora of models and a tremendous amount of new technology.  For the last few months, we’ve had the all-new 2021 Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate as part of our demo fleet on the east coast, where the trails are tight and the terrain varies greatly.  We’ve spent a considerable amount of time behind the wheel of literally dozens of RZR models.  That being said, the Trail Ultimate continues to impress, with features that make it both innovative and impressive.

2021 Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate Review

2021 Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate Review

2021 Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate Review Highlights:

  • Full Doors
  • Polaris Ride Command
  • Rockford Fosgate Sound System
  • Fox 2.0 Podium Shocks
  • 75hp
  • 50” wide

Engine:

Powering the Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate is a naturally aspirated 900cc parallel twin cylinder engine.  In this particular tune, the DOHC four-stroke cranks out 75 horsepower, which makes the RZR Trail very responsive and fun to drive.  Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) makes starting in all weather conditions effortless and the modern four-stroke technology is very efficient.  Polaris engineers have also taken into consideration ease of servicing, so filter and oil changes are simple for those who like to maintain their own rig.    

Transmission/Drivetrain:

The Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate features Polaris’ True On-Demand All Wheel Drive system, and this integrates seamlessly to transfer power to the ground.  Also included is VersaTrac Turf Mode.  This feature allows the rear differential to be locked/unlocked electronically.  In the unlocked mode, damage to sensitive turf is minimized and the turning radius can be kept very tight.  When back on the trails, keeping the rear differential locked allows the RZR Trail to have that sporty feel, offering pilots the feel of steering with the throttle as well as excellent forward drive in slippery conditions.  

2021 Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate Review

Suspension:

Bucking up for the RZR Trail Ultimate model provides a ton of upgrades, including Fox Podium 2.0 shocks at all four corners.  The Fox Podium shocks offer a supreme ride and offer adjustability for those that like to tune their ride characteristics to the terrain.  Dual A-arms are also located at all four corners, and on the RZR Trail Ultimate, front and rear stabilizer bars help keep body roll to a minimum and the handling sharp.  

Tires/Wheels/Brakes:  

26” tall, 4 ply Polaris PXT Tires are mounted on 12” cast aluminum wheels on the Ultimate model.  Hydraulic disc brakes are located at all four corners, with the binders featuring dual-bore calipers that deliver excellent braking performance.   

Interior & Exterior:

The Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate has an amazing amount of upgrades.  From the outside, you’ll notice full doors and a poly roof to help keep mud and crud off the occupants.  The Trail Ultimate also features Polaris’ Ride Command system, integrated Rockford Fosgate audio, and a backup camera that all work together in combination with the in-dash display.  Ride Command allows owners to access downloaded maps to plan your ride.  It also allows family/friends to track one another through the Ride Command System.  Bluetooth audio and communication is easily streamed from a smartphone.  Also worth mentioning are comfy seats and a really small, ergonomically designed steering wheel that feels just about perfect.  

Ride Time:

With all of the long-travel UTV’s running around the trails, at first glance, the all-new RZR Trail Ultimate looks incredibly tiny in comparison.  If you’re looking at it solely from that perspective, it certainly is small.  At only 50” wide, it is about as narrow of a trail rated UTV as you’ll find.  However, sitting in the driver’s seat, the tiny RZR Trail Ultimate has pretty much the same interior dimensions, legroom, and interior ergonomics as the 72” wide RZR Turbo S.  This UTV is designed for those that have tight, dense, wooded trails where crisp handling and a tight turning radius are a must, so that’s exactly the type of terrain where we tested our demo machine.  

The amount of technology packed into the Trail Ultimate is impressive.  In addition to the Ride Command and Rockford Fosgate audio that comes standard, there is also a backup camera integrated into the system.  For those not in the know, Ride Command gives users the ability to plan rides, track their location, and keep track of exactly where their riding buddies are located when out on an adventure ride.  The system also integrates with smartphones and connects to the Ride Command app available for Apple and Android devices.  It was great to be able to stream my own tunes with just a few button clicks.  Gone are the days of having to hunt down an audio solution for your UTV.  

With a flick of the key, the parallel twin cylinder pops to life thanks to standard Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI).  Driving is simple, with the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and Electronic Power Steering (EPS).  Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned verteran, the RZR Trail is a fun machine to explore the trails.  

Out on the trails, power is very sufficient.  The 900cc engine is responsive and reacts very well to throttle input.  What I noticed most as I got into the tight trees was how fast the steering ratio is.  The Trail Ultimate only requires two full turns to go from lock-to-lock.  The quick steering along with the narrow width and front and rear sway bars makes ripping through tight, twisty trails both fun and effortless.  That being said, with a powerful engine and narrow width, you need to be careful not to push too hard or you’ll find yourself bicycling on two wheels.  

I found the 26” Polaris PXT tires to work well for a stock tire.  Those tires help to provide 11” of ground clearance.  A larger tire would certainly add to the amount of ground clearance, but then the added height and increase in center of gravity would certainly negatively affect the handling.   It’s one of those situations where you need to give something up to gain something.  

One of the great things about the RZR Trail Ultimate evolving from the RZR ecosystem is the amount of accessories that are available across the model offerings.  Many of the accessories that work in/on a RZR that costs nearly twice as much will work with the RZR trail as well.  

If your favorite riding spot consists of tight, twisty trails where a wide, long-travel UTV struggles to fit, the 2021 Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate is worth a look.  The sporty feel, plethora of tech, and standard RIde Command make it a perfect choice for off-road adventures with a group of friends.  

2021 Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate Review

SPECS:

ENGINE & DRIVETRAIN

  • Type:  75 hp, 4-Stroke DOHC Twin Cylinder
  • Cooling:  Liquid
  • Fuel Delivery System:  Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
  • Drive System Type:  Automatic PVT P-R/N/L/H (Gated Shifter) with Reduced L Gear
  • Drivetrain: True On-Demand Close Ratio AWD/2WD 
  • Power Steering:  Electronic Power Steering (EPS)

SUSPENSION

  • Front Suspension:  Dual A-Arm with stabilizer and 10 in (25.4 cm) wheel travel
  • Front Shocks:  Fox Podium 2.0
  • Rear Suspension:  Dual A-Arm with stabilizer and 10 in (25.4 cm) wheel travel
  • Rear Shocks:  Fox Podium 2.0

BRAKES

  • Front Brakes:  Hydraulic Disc with Dual-Bore Calipers  
  • Rear Brakes:  Hydraulic Disc with Dual-Bore Calipers

TIRES / WHEELS

  • Front Tires: 26x8x12; Polaris PXT by Carlisle
  • Rear Tires:  26x8x12; Polaris PXT by Carlisle
  • Wheels:  Cast Aluminum

DIMENSIONS

  • Overall Vehicle Size (L x W x H):  110.9 x 50 x 67.9 in (282 x 127 x 172 cm)
  • Wheelbase:  79 in. (200.7 cm)
  • Ground Clearance:  11 in. (27.9 cm)
  • Dry Weight (pounds/kg): 1,297 lb (588 kg)
  • Cargo Box Capacity:  300 lb (136 kg) 
  • Towing Capacity:  1500 lb (680 kg)
  • Fuel Capacity:  9.5 gal (35.9L)

FEATURES

  • RIDE COMMAND® 7” Glove-Touch Display: Digital Instrumentation, Built-In GPS, Group ride (cell and non-cell communications), Topographic Mapping, Bluetooth & USB Smartphone Connectivity, AM/FM & Weather Radio Capable, In-Vehicle Communications Capable With Optional Sena Headsets, Rockford Fosgate Stage 1 Audio, Dual-sweep Analog Dials w/ 4″ LCD Rider Information Center: User Selectable Blue/Red Backlighting & Brightness, Programmable Service Intervals, Speedometer, Tachometer, Odometer, Tripmeter, Clock, Hour Meter, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, Coolant Temperature, Voltmeter, Service Indicator and Codes, Seat Belt Reminder Light, Gear Indicator, DC Outlet
  • Lighting:  Front Blacked Out Signature White LED Low/High with Accent Lights & Red LED Tail / Brake LightsLightsWinch:  4,500lb Polaris winch

WARRANTY:

  • Factory:  6-months limited warranty

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