WINNER: Polaris Sportsman 550 XP EPS
There’s a near-ridiculous list of built in features included with the 550 XP and many of them are integral parts of this 4-wheeler’s design.
Selectable 4WD, a unique IRS suspension and composite, multi-fractional Lock & Ride racks with built in storage top the list.
You could argue the XP’s 14-inch wheels add to the ground clearance and traction and its triple headlight system is a bonus too.
About the only thing we could criticize with this ATV is its weight. After you ride it though you don’t even care.
Polaris has engineered-in incredible suspension calibration and the result is this Sportsman de-wrinkles trails like few others can.
Its 550 SOHC thumper is a strong running torquer and provides plenty of power for towing, lugging or just out-and out-play riding.
Despite its many stellar benefits, probably the best thing about the XP is its 4-wheel drive system.
You can choose between 2WD and 4×4 with the flick of a finger or just leave the Sportsman in AWD all the time and it sorts things out for itself.
Easy to operate, efficiently designed, jammed with features and worthy of this award.
Yamaha Grizzly 550 EPS
One of our all-time faves, the Grizzly is a truly attractive package for off-road riders.
Its compliant suspension never quits even on the roughest trails and a combination of chassis lightness and a strong 558cc single makes it nimble and agile in almost any riding environment.
Yamaha’s electrically activated on-command 4WD is easy to use and is equally effective whether you’re riding in low-speed slogging situations or over high-speed slippery stuff.
EPS is the icing on the cake. The Grizz is good with out it, but its fabulous when added into the mix.
Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
How could we not rate this version of the Polaris Sportsman near the top of the award list?
Yes, you could argue the 500 HO is old technology, but we’d argue back that this tech is still some of the best in the biz.
Its combination of McPherson struts and a rolled double A-arm rear end is still the best in the business and its fully selectable AWD system is one of the most user friendly setups you can buy.
Price? This is the best value in the business. Its easy to pay thousands more and get less in this category than you’re getting with the Sportsman 500 HO.