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Rock Crawler UTV Comparison

Rock Crawler UTV Comparison:  Polaris RZR XP 1000 Rocks and Trails VS Can-Am Maverick Sport X RC

Words: Lance Schwartz // Photos/Video:  Lance Schwartz & Lauren Schwartz

Rock Crawler UTV Comparison

MSRP:

Polaris RZR XP 1000 Rocks and Trails – $23,599

Can-Am Maverick Sport X RC – $21,499

A few short years ago, if rock crawling in a UTV was your thing, you were stuck building one on your own.  While scouring the web to source parts and bludgeoning your credit card seems like a great time, walking into a dealership and buying a purpose built crawler with a warranty is certainly less hassle.  Both of these factory crawlers are excellent.  But…each of them has their own unique personality and meets the needs of the crawler fans differently.   

Rock Crawler UTV Comparison

Rock Crawler UTV Comparison

Engines:

Both machines rock 1000cc class engines.  The Polaris uses a 999cc, DOHC parallel twin ProStar power plant generating 110HP.  The Can-Am utilizes a 976cc Rotax V-twin that outputs 100HP.  Both twin cylinders utilize electronic fuel injection.  The Can-Am takes it a step further in automation by using their proprietary Intelligent Throttle Control (iTC).  The Can-Am features both Eco and Sport modes, giving the pilot the opportunity to select the mode of choice via a dash mounted button.  

Transmissions:

Both crawlers feature similar continuously variable transmissions (CVT).  These belt driven transmissions perform well and are very easy to service when a new CVT belt is eventually needed..  Over the years, both Can-Am and Polaris have increased the amount of  intake and exhaust airflow to help keep the CVT belts cool.  This contributes considerably to their longevity.  Four wheel drive is handled a bit differently by each manufacturer.  Polaris uses Xtreme Performance True On-Demand Close Ratio AWD/2WD with Enhanced Low Gear Throttle Driveability.  With the flip of the 4wd switch, the Polaris is able to detect slippage and transfer power to the wheels requiring traction.  It’s seamless and works really well!  The Can-Am uses a lockable front differential with exclusive Smart-Lok* technology. If you get into a nasty situation, a toggle switch locks the front differential.  As an alternative, Smart-Lok offers rock and trail modes to manage locking/unlocking the front differential automatically.  Rock mode is more aggressive than trail mode, and each is designed for optimal performance in their own unique type of terrain.  

Rock Crawler UTV Comparison

Suspensions:

The Can-Am Maverick Sport X RC uses an arched A-arm at all four corners.  Hanging those arms are Fox 2.5 Podium shocks with QS3 compression adjustment.  The Can-Am has 14.75” of travel at all four corners, offering plenty of travel while also offering up 15” of ground clearance.  The Polaris RZR has arched dual a-arms up front with Walker Evans shocks that generate 16” of wheel travel.  Out back, the Polaris opts for trailing arms with arched radius arms, providing 18” of rear travel.  The long travel trailing arms hang a bit lower and limit the RZR to 14.5” of ground clearance.  Both machines also feature Electric Power Steering (EPS).  The Polaris uses an awesome cast aluminum 14” beadlock wheel wrapped with 30” Pro Armor Crawler XG tires.  The Can-Am also uses 30” tires, but the Maxxis Liberty rubber is wrapped around 14” non-beadlock cast aluminum wheels.  

Dimensions:  

Dimensionally, these two machines are REALLY close to one another.  Both are 64” wide, but at 122”, the Can-Am is 2” longer than the Polaris with an overall length of 120”.  The Can-Am also has a slightly larger wheelbase, checking in at 90.6” compared to the RZR’s 90”.  Bone stock with no aftermarket roof, each machine is exactly 74.25” tall.  The Can-Am has a  20lb heavier dry weight than the Polaris, which weighs 1573lbs.  It’s worth noting that the Can-Am Maverick Sport X RC has a standard hitch and a 1500lb tow capacity, which bests the RZR with no hitch and no tow rating.  

Rock Crawler UTV Comparison

Included Rock Crawling Accessories:

Both the Can-Am and the Polaris use factory 4500lb winches.  Both machines also utilize factory front bumpers, but the Can-Am is the only machine that comes with a standard rear bumper.  Plenty of skid protection is present on both machines.  The Can-Am has a plethora of Ultra High Molecular Weight (UHMW) skid plates, including on the rock sliders.  The Polaris has some plastic skids and opts for steel rock sliders instead.  

Rock Crawler UTV Comparison

Ride Time:

We’ll get right to the point…both of these machines are excellent rock crawlers and super fun on the trails.  That being said, our time spent with each machine has given us a clearer picture of the areas in which they excel.

The Can-Am Maverick Sport X RC worked really well in the rocks.  The Smart-Lok makes short work of managing the front drive characteristics when 2wd isn’t sufficient.  Low gear is fairly low, and teamed with the 30” Maxxis Liberty tires, it crawled well.  The Maverick had the best skid protection of the two machines.  The UHMW plastic rock sliders were especially appreciated.  Visibility out of the Maverick is a little less than the RZR.  On the flip side, the Maverick provides a tad better splash protection.  On tight trails, even though the Maverick is a tad longer, it felt more dialed and more planted on the tight trails at speed.  The Fox shocks were awesome!  Even though on paper they have less travel, they were more comfortable at speed and after a long high-speed run, the temperature of the Fox shocks were significantly cooler than the RZR’s Walker Evans shocks.  If I had to choose which machine I was going to take on an overlanding ride with high-speed, gnarly switchbacks, and some crawling, I’d choose the Can-Am Maverick Sport X RC.

The Polaris RZR XP 1000 Trails and Rocks Edition is a stellar rock crawler.  Of both machines, this one was a bit easier to crawl with.  This is due to a few simple reasons.  First, low gear is exceptionally low and the fuel mapping to control that slow-speed crawl is spot on.  The visibility of the left front wheel from the drivers seat is outstanding.  If you need to put that tire on a rock, you can do it with little effort.  The gated shifter allows the transmission to be shifted from reverse to high/low and vice versa without accidentally getting stuck in park or neutral.  On the trails, the RZR was good…just not quite as dialed as the Can-Am.  While the Walker Evans shocks felt soft and offered great articulation in slow speed crawling, they tended to heat up and show signs of fading after alot of high-speed action.

At the end of the day, either the Polaris RZR XP 1000 Trails and Rocks Edition or the Can-Am Maverick Sport X RC would make a great all around trail machine and rock crawler.  Foreseeing the amount of technology that has been engineered into these machines would never have crossed my mind a few years ago.  I honestly think the DNA that you see in both of these purpose built trail and rock crawlers will evolve and become more commonplace as time moves forward.  Big tires, long travel, high comfort, and exceptional build quality are here to stay.  I’m excited to see what the future holds for the UTV industry!

 

Can-Am Maverick Sport XRC
SPECS:
ENGINE & DRIVETRAIN
Type: 1000cc: 100 hp, Rotax® 976 cc, V-twin
Cooling: Liquid
Fuel Delivery System: Intelligent Throttle Control (iTC™) with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
Drive System Type: Lockable front differential with Smart-Lok. Four-mode traction system including 2wd, 4wd with diff lock, 4wd rock, and 4wd trail.
Transmision: Quick Response System (QRS) CVT with high airflow ventilation & Electronic Drive Belt Protection Extra-L / H / N / R / P
Drivetrain: Lockable front differential with exclusive Smart-Lok* technology. True 4 modes traction system: 2WD / 4WD with front diff. lock / 4WD ROCK / 4WD TRAIL
Driving Assistance: Electronic Hill Descent Control
SPORT / ECO™ modes
Power Steering: Dynamic Power Steering (DPS)
SUSPENSION
Front Suspension: Arched double A-arm with sway bar / 14.75 in. (37.5 cm) travel
Front Shocks: Fox 2.5 Podium Piggyback with QS3 compression adjustment
Rear Suspension: Arched TTA-T with sway bar / 14.75 in. (37.5 cm) travel
Rear Shocks: Fox 2.5 Podium Piggyback with QS3 compression adjustment
BRAKES
Front Brakes: Dual 220 mm ventilated disc brakes with hydraulic twin-piston calipers
Rear Brakes: Dual 220 mm ventilated disc brakes with hydraulic twin-piston calipers
TIRES / WHEELS
Front Tires: Maxxis Liberty, 30 x 10 x 14 in. (76.2 x 25.4 x 35.6 cm)
Rear Tires: Maxxis Liberty, 30 x 10 x 14 in. (76.2 x 25.4 x 35.6 cm)
Wheels: Cast Aluminum 14-in. (35.6 cm)
DIMENSIONS
Overall Vehicle Size (L x W x H): 122 x 64 x 74.25 in (309.8 x 162.6 x 188.6 cm)
Wheelbase: 90.6 in. (230.1 cm)
Ground Clearance: 15 in. (38.1 cm)
Dry Weight (pounds/kg): 1000cc: 1,593 lb (722.6 kg)
Cargo Box Capacity: 300 lb (136 kg)
Storage Capacity:
Total: 5.3 gal (20.2 L)
Glove Box: 4.1 gal (15.6 L)
Driver storage: 0.4 gal (1.5 L)
Center console and Cup holders: 0.8 gal (3.1 L)
Towing Capacity: 1500lb (680kg)
Fuel Capacity: 10 gal (38L)
FEATURES
Gauge: Multifunction digital: Speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip and hour meters, fuel, gear position, SPORT / ECO modes, seat belt, diagnostics, clock
Instrumentation: Lighter type DC outlet in console (20-A)
Magneto: 650-W
Lighting: Two 55 W reflectors with unique Can-Am LED signature and LED tail lights with halo glow effect
Winch: 4,500lb winch utilizing synthetic rope
Steering Wheel: Adjustable tilt steering
Protection: Integrated front steel bumper, rear sport bumper, half doors, mud guards, front tow hook
Hitch Type: 2-in hitch receiver
UHMWPE rock sliders HMWPE skid plates
WARRANTY:
Factory: 6-months limited warranty
Extended: Up to 30 months B.E.S.T. coverage

 

Polaris RZR XP1000 Trails and Rocks Edition
SPECS:
ENGINE & DRIVETRAIN
Type: 1000cc: 110 hp, 4-Stroke ProStar 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: Xtreme Performance True On-Demand Close Ratio AWD/2WD with Enhanced Low Gear Throttle Driveability
Power Steering: Electronic Power Steering (EPS)
SUSPENSION
Front Suspension: High Clearance Lower Control Arms, Dual A-Arm and 20.5 in (52.07 cm) Usable Travel, 16 in (40.6 cm) of Wheel Travel
Front Shocks: 2 in Walker Evans Needle with 16-Position Adjustable Clickers
Rear Suspension: High Clearance Radius Rods, Trailing Arm with Stabilizer Bar and 20.5 in (52.07 cm) Usable Travel, 18 in (45.7 cm) of Wheel Travel
Rear Shocks: 2.5 in Walker Evans Needle with 16-Position Adjustable Clickers
BRAKES
Front Brakes: Hydraulic Disc with Dual-Bore Calipers
Rear Brakes: Hydraulic Disc with Dual-Bore Calipers
TIRES / WHEELS
Front Tires: 30 X 10 -14; Pro Armor Crawler XG
Rear Tires: 30 X 10 -14; Pro Armor Crawler XG
Wheels: Cast Aluminum Beadlock
DIMENSIONS
Overall Vehicle Size (L x W x H): 120 x 64 x 74.25 in (304.8 x 162.6 x 188.6 cm)
Wheelbase: 90 in. (228.6 cm)
Ground Clearance: 14.5 in. (36.8 cm)
Dry Weight (pounds/kg): 1,573 lb (715 kg)
Cargo Box Capacity: 300 lb (136 kg)
Towing Capacity: N/A
Fuel Capacity: 9.5 gal (35.9L)
FEATURES
Instrumentation: 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 White LED Low/High w/ Accent Lights & Red LED Tail / Brake Lights
Winch: 4,500lb Polaris winch
Steering Wheel: Adjustable tilt steering
Protection: Front Bumper, Rock Sliders
WARRANTY:
Factory: 6-months limited warranty

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