I remember my first rip in the Polaris General at its initial intro in New Mexico. Polaris touted it as the perfect blend of everything good about the RZR and everything good about the Ranger mushed into one perfect package. Spot on analogy.
We recently got our hands on a 2020 Polaris GENERAL XP 4 1000 Deluxe and, out of all the vehicles I’ve had a chance to evaluate so far this season (KRX1000, RZR Pro XP and Pro XP 4, Defender 6×6, Maverick XXC, and more), I’m crushing hard on the General 4. Let me explain why I think this is the best side-x-side of the season.
I love taking my 3 daughters with me off-road and they love it too. To facilitate that passion we need something that fits all of us and the General does just that. Seating is more than comfortable and spacious. There’s plenty of legroom up front and legroom is comfortable enough in the backseat for two adults and more than ample for a couple of pre-teens.
This particular model is also equipped with a Rockford Fosgate Audio System that absolutely cranks out the tunes. If you’re like me and can actually tolerate your kids’ music, this system puts a checkmark in the bonus column for you with your kids. Really, your choice of music doesn’t matter; the truth is this system kicks butt and driver and passengers will all agree. Big win here.
It’s ample. The initial punch of the go-pedal smushes all passengers into their backrests and delivers the arm-stretching torque we complained was absent in the KRX.
The General’s 100 horsepower 999cc ProStar parallel twin delivers the jam we’d expect from a pure sport side-x-side. Its power band is buttery smooth from first engagement through mid-range, right up to its top-end. We’d never complain about more horsepower, but in this package, I’m pretty darn satisfied for the time being.
Simply impressive. The General 4 features long travel, high clearance, dual A-Arms with sway bars front and back, delivering 14-inches of travel from the Walker Evans Velocity Needle shocks, which are just flat-out, top drawer! I found the sweet spot to be 6 clicks from full soft out back and 3 clicks from full soft out front.
I had a chance to put this General to the test on several occasions. Typically before we get to our local trail system we hit up about a 5 mile feeder trail that has just about every kind of terrain imaginable from steep hill climbs, deep mud holes, rocky descents and more.
One of the best sections of this trail for testing suspension is about a 200-foot stutter bump straightaway. On my first run in the General 4 I saw it ahead of me and tensed up a bit as I stomped on the gas, but then quickly remembered my passengers.
Honestly, the General rode so smoothly over this section of trail I could’ve been sipping a hot chocolate with the lid off and feel like I wouldn’t have spilled a drop. When we stopped, they were all laughing and happy. Comment of the day, “I thought we were toast when we hit those bumps, but I didn’t even feel them!” Like I said, simply impressive.
I’d love to see Polaris integrate a DYNAMIX option on the General and the larger Ride Command display would definitely be welcome. I also have to wonder if Polaris will drop a turbo into the General at some point. I gotta think this project has probably already been given the green light somewhere in Roseau, Minnesota.