The original Sportsman 500 may have been one of the top three selling ATVs of all time. Polaris still offers the 500, except it’s called the 450 now.
It still uses a derivative of the original SOHC 4-stroke with EFI and although it says 450 on the labels, the engine still displaces 500 cubes. Is this deceptive? Not really. Polaris’ intention is to set a reasonable gap in the marketplace between this model and its big brother, the Sportsman 570.
The fact is, the base model 450 shows up at a very decent $6,299 USD (about $1,700.00 less than the 570) and offers nearly everything the masses want in an ATV. This Utility Edition of the 450, has all the grunt you’ll ever need for ranch, farm and hunting duties and has pulling power up to 1,255-lbs.
Since we’re focusing on the Utility Edition here, you need to know the main differences between it and the baseline 450 are its heavy-duty steel racks and brawny front bumper. The rear rack has unique “work trays” that are super-handy for containing tools and gear you ordinarily wouldn’t strap onto the rack.
The front bumper is a big chunk of protective steel that has an upper part with wings to protect you from hits across the whole front of the ATV and then a lower bumper that serves as a partial skid plate for those impacts from stumps and rocks you’ll contact in the mud or under water.
The Utility Edition 450 has two hitch receivers, one on the front and one on the back. The front receiver, in tandem with the lower bumper, still leaves plenty of room for an optional winch and mount.
The bones of the 450 are everything the 500 was. Yes, Polaris has added new, updated plastic and a better instrument package – and a whole slew of tiny upgrades over the years that have improved it in a hundred ways, but this is still the same, basic vehicle. To thousands of riders out there, that will be good news.
If you’re a first time Polaris shopper looking seriously at any Sportsman 450 rendition, don’t expect a lot of extras and special electronics to be included in the price. Yup, those are steel wheels and the tires just aren’t very aggressive, either. What will win you over is the pure comfort, great ride and combination of power and ease-of-use the 450 affords.
It makes a profound argument for “older is better”.