Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 EPS LE Review Hot
Sportsman XP 1000 LE Review- Fast Furious & Sportsman
There are so many things beyond just the power of an ATV which make an ATV special, but power seems to be what is on most riders minds when looking at an ATV today. The idea that you can own the biggest and best seems to drive us to buy the highest powered machines available. Monstrous power by itself can do more harm than good, similar to strapping a jet engine on a bicycle. Nobody wins in that scenario! Power must be merged with an ATV that has the ride, suspension, and other refinements to make that ATV a pleasure to own and ride. Power must be pounded into the ATV in such a way that it is able to be harnessed and controlled, while at the same time being able to be unleashed like a savage dog when called upon to do so. Well for all you must-have-power buffs out there, there is the Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 complete with the most powerful engine Polaris has a ever fitted to a utility ATV producing 88 horsepower. The story about this ATV is that there is so much more that makes this Sportsmans special than just the engine, and it is a pleasure to climb aboard to conquer the trails. The Titanium Matte Metallic LE edition is also attention-getting with its color combination and little details that make it stand out.
Limited Edition actually means the Sportsman is bathed in premium features that are for the most part only available as aftermarket accessories.
How about a 952cc twin ProStar engine kicking out 88 horsepower to get the blood pumping.
Calling The Power Hungry
Alright, let’s get right to the power part of the Sportsman equation, because anyone interested in this Sportsman wants to bring the power. The engine is a ProStar 1000 SOHC twin cylinder power plant, and it produces 88 horsepower, which in 2015 made it is most powerful utility ATV engine available. With that much power available, there is little doubt the Sportsman XP 1000 will win most drag races and outperform most if not all other ATVs on the market. You can wheelie, you can jump, and you can have plenty of power left after doing any of these things. You might say you can have your power “cake” and eat it to. The story though is how this level of power is applied and works with the ATV as a whole. Yes, it will glue your ears to the side of your face when you push the throttle all the way forward, but all the other times the power is very, very refined and manageable. Yes, the power is manageable, and this is classic Sportsman. Most riders out on the trail, want to be able to easily control the power their ATV has rather than wrestle with it like trying to ride a rhinoceros. The Sportsman XP 1000 is excellent at keeping the power on tap and perfectly mated to your thumb like two dancers stepping out a tango. The ATV responds perfectly to however your thumb leads. On the trail this was evident every time I used the throttle. Whether climbing steep hills, accelerating through turns, or opening the beast up in the straights, the Sportsman’s power was applied in exactly the way I wanted and not in a way that was unexpected. All the 88 horsepower was fun to use, and easy to control.
The ride is extremely comfortable and, with a few adjustment of the FOX Podium X shocks, can be sporty or plush.
Riding The Beast
When choosing an ATV for hitting the trails along with doing utility “stuff” I look for something that is comfortable and pleasurable to ride, has plenty of power, is dependable, and easy to move into and enjoy on the trails. The Sportsman XP 1000 has all of those things with the power being the icing on the cake. The suspension on this ATV is sublime, which makes riding it a pleasure. The majority of time spent on the trails was on really rocky terrain, making the performance of the suspension quite noticeable in the area of comfort. The XP 1000 comes set up with a dual a-arm suspension up front with 9-inches of travel, and dual a-arm rolled suspension in the rear with 10.25-inches of travel. I was glad to have all that travel because on the really rough terrain the suspension soaked most all of it up. My Limited Edition model came complete with FOX shocks with piggy-back reservoirs and adjustable knobs on all four wheels to adjust the ride with a simple turn. That made it easy to get a plush ride on the rough terrain, and then stiffen the road for moments of Jr-high tomfoolery on the straights and turns. The XP 1000 suspension can easily be adjusted for any terrain from the mundane to the extreme with a few clicks.
Front suspension has 9 inches of travel with dual a-arms.
Rear suspension has 10.25 inches of travel with rolled independent suspension with dual a-arms.
The suspension is not where the list of features stops, though it does give the XP 1000 11.5-inches of ground clearance. It has a fully-automatic CVT transmission with a high and low range and excellent belt engagement. There is so much giving the Sportsman off-road trail eating prowess. It comes with EPS, EBS, Active Descent Control (ADC), and high performance true AWD. The power steering makes steering a breeze and soaks up the hits to the front wheels, and the EBS works better than ever to let you decelerate without being thrown over the handlebars. It also handles most declines with ease. ADC can be turned on for the really steep descents to make the ATV walk down hills like an elderly lady going to the store. I put the ADC to work down a serious decline, and I was amazed at how it performed so well. Finally, despite its fancy name, the AWD works great as it engages when you need it and then turns itself off when you don’t. It is not noticeable and it works very well. The XP 1000 took me up and over some rough and rutted terrain like a surefooted mountain goat. As far as off-road capability goes, the XP 1000 tackles all of it with ease. Just point it in a direction and go. The brakes on the Sportsman are 4-wheel hydraulic disc controlled with a single handbrake and they have confidence-inspiring stopping power. This ATV can also be put to work towing 1500 lbs , and it can haul 360 lbs combined on the front and rear racks. The XP 1000 can do all a person would expect from a utility ATV.
The left heated-grip handlebar controls lights plus the winch, along with the single brake lever.
The right heated-grip handlebar controls the AWD, ADC, and, of course, hosts the 88-horsepower heated thumb throttle.
This brings us to how the XP 1000 feels from a ergonomics standpoint. The driver position is comfortable and makes you feel like you are in command of the ATV. The seat is cushy, and on the LE addition, textured in a way that looks sharp. The seat gets narrower the more towards the front of the ATV that you go, which causes me to tend to slide forward at times and puts pressure on my knees as my feet are planted on the raised foot pegs in the footwells. Now I am 5.6 and I believe if I where taller this would not be an issue. Having said that, I wish I wasn’t sliding forward. All the controls are positioned in a natural feeling place, and within easy reach. The instrument cluster presents everything in any easy to understand way, with the Polaris Interactive Display which I will dive into below. There is weather resistant storage under the rear rack big enough to hold a few items and bottled water. On the LE model there is a front storage compartment that will hold quite a bit. The XP 1000 is simply to jump aboard and get going without much thought involved. It is comfortable and well laid out.
The LE includes the grill guard, hand guards, front storage, winch, color-matched suspension components, premium wheels, heated grips & thumb-throttle, PID (see below), and premium paint job.
There is also the cross-stitched two-tone seat that is comfortable for a day's ride. It looks good.
Having a LE model brings several more items to the machine than the standard XP 1000. It starts with the Titanium Matte Metallic paint combination, which makes a statement. From there you get a 2500 LB. Polaris HD winch, front storage compartment, front grill guard, heated handgrips, heated thumb-throttle, and custom textured seat. All of these items are covered by the warranty and requires no installation time, making the $2000 price increase most likely worth it for most people. It is nice to have an option to buy a model off the showroom floor that has most items you could want to add already on it. Just throw it on the trailer and drive away. The real WOW factor though is the Polaris Interactive Display that comes complete with a touchscreen, GPS, bluetooth, compass, sat nav (yes sat nav on an ATV) along with all the normal functions of an instrument cluster like speed, tripmeters, gears, and more. Sat nav allows you to see where you are at, mark waypoints, create routes, and look at maps. It also will sink with our phone via bluetooth, and sink routes and waypoints using the RiderX app from Polaris. That is an outstanding feature. For me, having all these added features makes the Sportsman XP 1000 worth the additional $2000 price tag.
Say hello to the Polaris Interactive Display.
Polaris has developed a piece of technology which will make the off-road experience better…or mostly better. This display is a touchscreen that monitors all the typical machine specs such as MPH, tachometer, tripmeters, gear, fuel, and others you expect. That is the end the expectation though. It is a sat nav system that includes mapping, waypoints, and routing capability. Then throw in a complete GPS system with a compass and clock. It will also communicate via bluetooth with your smartphone and transfer those routes and waypoints back and forth through the Polaris RiderX app. That means you can share routes and download routes from the app to your PID. It will even show you incoming calls and txts, which is the part I can do without!This is the only system likes it kind that can be bought directly from an ATV manufacturer, and come already built into your ATV or side-by-side. Be looking for the Polaris Interactive Display to be available on many of Polaris models in the coming years.
Bringing It Together
If I had a choose one all around big-bore ATV with all the power I could get, then the XP 1000 would be it. I struggle to find anything I just don’t like or would change significantly. I ask myself who is it that will buy the Sportsman XP 1000. This ATV is all Sportsman in that it rides great, looks good, has everything a utility ATV rider can ask for, will work for you and will take you any where you want to go. So will a Sportsman 850…do all of these things also with 10 less horsepower, for $2000 less than a base XP 1000. This brings us then to two different people, those that want the biggest and the best in an ATV category and those that want the extra performance. If you want to biggest and the best just to have it then the XP 1000 is for you, and even more so the LE version. You will not be disappointed and you will love it. If it is truly for performance, and to you that means a utility ATV for some reason, than you will love the Sportsman XP 1000 also. I would suggest the LE to get the upgraded FOX shocks for a truly sport-like ride capability when you want it. I like the thought of buying an ATV with everything I could really want already strapped onto it, and the geek in me loves the fact the Polaris Interactive Display has built in sat nav and can talk to a trail mapping app. The fact is, if you want gobs of manageable power on a comfortable and capable ATV, then you want an XP 1000. If you want all of this and to make a statement when you go ride with your buddies, then the XP 1000 LE is for you and will cost you $13,999
Be watching for our VIDEO review in the coming weeks and subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notified when we release it!