Awarded to the manufacturer producing a vehicle best fulfilling the demands of the UTV marketplace
WINNER: Arctic Cat Prowler
Talk about hitting the nail on the head! This time Arctic Cat has literally drilled the market with its first UTV.
The Prowler is the first side-by-side to accurately bridge the gap between sport and utility with a full-sized, full featured and stylish UTV while building in functionality on a ji-normous scale.
We’re impressed with the Prowler’s performance. Its domestically-built 650 Hemi 4-valve single is identical to the H-1 engine used in Arctic Cat’s 4×4 ATV models. In this application it delivers a lusty exhaust note, urgent acceleration and impressive top end speed.
There can be no denying the Prowler uses Yamaha Rhino styling cues and we like that a lot. The Rhino is the UTV of choice for those who look to sport more than utility.
However, sitting next to one another, the Prowler towers over the Rhino and displays a profile that’s longer, wider, taller and bigger in every way. With the Prowler there’s more interior room, more cargo room, more ground clearance and more storage.
Simply put, there’s more of everything here. The Prowler gives off a supremely “sporty” aura and refuses to disappoint when it’s wicked up and thrown sideways.
Rangers are so popular Polaris claims they lead all UTVs in 4×4 sales. We won’t disagree. The 500 Ranger with EFI is a step in the right direction producing great power, seamless torque and cold weather and high altitude performance that’s second only to the Ranger 700 EFI.
The 500 EFI lacks nothing when it comes to utility versatility. Tons of cargo capacity and the advantage of three person seating is a Ranger bonus. On the down-side, the Ranger could use more sport-sizzle in response to the Prowler and the Rhino.
Yamaha sells Rhinos in scary volumes. What’s most interesting is how these sales are skewed to the performance crowd. The Rhino is light, lithe and tight and produces “let-er-rip” sensations when driven hard.
The 450 version of the Rhino is incredibly price efficient, putting it in reach of a wider audience than the 660. While its cargo capacity is small, its image is big. We’d love to see more top speed with the 450. It’s governed at a snail-like 40-44 mph.
Tell us who you think should have won. Cast your vote below!