WINNER: Arctic Cat 450
The Cat is a well-deserved winner in this category because of its great engine and even better 4-wheel drive system.
The fact it has incredible ground clearance (11-inches) and is the only 450 in this group with EFI seals the deal.
This particular Arctic Cat has its own unique bodywork compared to the bigger-inch models in Cat’s ATV lineup but remains ergonomically spacious and comfortable for any sized rider.
When you compare the individual features of this ATV – things like electric selectable 4WD, diff-lock, engine braking, single lever brakes, digital gauges and SpeedRacks it makes for a very comprehensive package.
The proof is in the riding here and this is a smooth riding, good handling ATV with really no overt shortcomings anywhere.
Yamaha Kodiak 450 Auto EPS
This is the most recent Yamaha to receive EPS wizardry and what a difference it makes! Although the same 421cc engine is used, there’s a completely new one-piece frame underneath and the front suspension geometry has been tweaked to accommodate the EPS. It all works together very well and the 450’s trademark compact dimensions and reputation for lightness make it a strong contender here.
Polaris Sportsman 400 HO
This is an all-new Polaris model this year but even based on our limited riding experience with it when our winners were selected, our editors saw it as a very strong contender in this segment.
It’s based on the newly renovated McPherson Strut Sportsman Classic platform and features a 455cc engine with All-Wheel Drive and a super-cush independent rear suspension. The whole deal is packaged at an incredibly low price.