WINNER: Polaris Ranger 400
The concept of a lighter, slightly smaller Ranger is fresh thinking in an industry that continues to add more features, more weight and more dimensions.
For one thing, the Ranger 400 lacks none of the 4×4 goodies found on its bigger siblings and its strut front end and IRS back end deliver an incredibly cushy ride.
The same hi-low range, true 4×4 Polaris setup is included and its carbureted 455cc mill is a perfect match to its weight.
For utility use and work around the ranch, we found the 400 every bit as useful as bigger models and the benefit of smaller dimensions really paid off when we got it out on the trails.
This UTV fits into tight spots you’d never dream of attempting with a full sized SxS.
The Ranger 400 is fast and nimble and comes with a price tag that’ll take you back about ten years.
There’s really nothing it doesn’t do well and it’s become our favorite ride both for work duties or when we want to go for a mud-slogging, hill climbing rip-up-the-dirt ride in the outback.
Arctic Cat XT 550
Cat reduced its number of Prowler models offered this year but kept the 550 in the lineup. Good on them because this is one of the best deals in the business.
The fully equipped XT550 offers all the great 4WD features you need and maximum levels of cargo capacity both in its cargo bed and up front.
Its torquey 545cc engine has EFI and classy items like aluminum wheels and digital instrumentation put it in line with much more expensive offerings. A great buy and full value for the money.
Polaris Ranger 500 EFI
This all-new and very logical extension of the Ranger 400 phenomenon features downsized dimensions and a hefty 498cc mill with EFI.
All the great mobility benefits of the smaller, lighter Ranger platform are included here and, with so much power on tap, it will out-pull and out-cargo many bigger UTVs.
This engine-chassis combination puts the 500 in the hot-rod category for performance and handling and adds tremendous bang-for-the-bucks. It even fits in the box of a full-sized pickup.