Presented to the manufacturer producing a vehicle best fulfilling the demands of Big Bore Sport Utility Class consumers in the areas of value, quality, features, performance, ride, comfort and handling.
WINNER: Polaris Sportsman 800
The Polaris Sportsman 800 was not difficult for us to crown the winner in this category with its plush riding and well balanced McPherson strut front end and its industry best independent rear suspension.
Our seasoned editors have narrowed the reasons for Polaris’ IRS dominance down to two things: superb spring and shock calibration in the rear and the same results with the Mac struts up front. Add to this an almost magical response from a simple device called an anti-sway bar.
The 800 Sportsman decimated all competitors in our Big Bore Shootout this year and then the same platform did it again in our 450/500 (Meat Market) comparo.
We need to mention the seamless, silky power delivery of its brutally torquey OHV, even firing, EFI parallel twin. This motor is one of our favorites. It spools out smooth, linear throttle response and when called upon, top speeds near 70 mph.
We can’t think of much Polaris could do to improve the Sportsman, but here goes. The Sportsman masks its bulk incredibly well. Having said that, it could lose 50 pounds and the world would be a better place.
We’d also like to see a more organic and less locomotive look for the Sportsman family. While we love to ride them, we don’t particularly like looking at them.
Can-Am’s 650 Outlander is a double-dip for BRP. Think of the Outlander 800 HO, last year’s winner in this category, with about five less ponies.
The 650 is faster than all the competition, save the Outlander 800. That’s double-dipping.
Yamaha re-invented the Grizzly and in so doing landed the best Sport-Ute it has ever built.
The industry’s first use of electronic power steering produces a quantifiable improvement in handling.
The new 700 EFI Grizz leads all single cylinder Big Bores with power and torque so imposing it’ll lift its front wheels by simply stabbing the loud handle… anytime, anywhere.