We spent the entire day Wednesday in central Pennsylvania looking over a portion of Polaris' 2014 lineup of side-by-sides and ATVs. Okay, not really looking but riding and driving. We did look at them but that was only until Polaris handed us the keys to drive them.
And man did we like what we rode.
The fact is Polaris has a solid lineup of dirt vehicles from its Rangers to its RZRs to its Sportsman. Each vehicle may not have absolutely all the best features in their class, but many times they do and overall, each vehicle is usually the complete package.
You can throw the new Polaris Ranger 570 EPS and Sportsman 570 EPS into that statement. While we did get some seat time on the new Ranger Crew 900 EPS and a Scrambler as well as the new RZR 1000, we did try to focus on the new 570s. Our testing ground on Wednesday was the Rock Run Recreation Area in Patton, PA, which offered some formidable challenges for the 570s. Rock Run comes by its name honestly. There were plenty of rocks littering the trails.
After a full day of riding the two 570s, here are some stand out features, most specifically on the side-by-side, although the vehicles share many common components like the powerplant and EPS (on select models).
1. They offer a dirt enthusiasts a more affordable entry-level model for those on a budget yet want a current year model mid-sized two passenger UTV that is more refined along with some bells and whistles, most notably electronic power steering and increased horsepower.
2. Speaking of horsepower, a fairly new ProStar 570 powerplant delivering 40 hp (which is 25 percent more compared to the Polaris 500 powerplant) offers impressive power and acceleration for a small single-cylinder engine. The engine is located more rearward for a quieter cab environment.
3. A larger stator than previous small motors delivers 29 percent more juice, which enables more extensive electrical component operation, including an EPS package on the LE models.
4. The proven MacPherson front suspension and Polaris independent rear suspension provide an exceptional ride off road and acceptable ground clearance for work and play.
5. And speaking of work, a fully functional rear dumping cargo box with gas assist rams on the Ranger 570 has a cargo box with a capacity rated at 500 lbs., as well as a 1000-pound total payload capacity for the machine along with a 1,250-pound towing capacity.
We've really barely scratched the surface on these two vehicles but we promise a more thorough review soon on www.dirttoysmag.com.