2019 Maverick Sport Review- Tackling The Wider Trails
2019 Maverick Sport Review- Tackling The Wider Trails
There is just something about the smell of fresh pine trees. Do you feel the same way?! The smell never gets old, and your body just feels fresher after being amongst the trees for days at a time. I’m not sure if Can-Am was whisking us away to some wild British Columbia, Canada location to clear our minds so we could write better things about the all-new Maverick Sport, of if their PR team really just likes combining awesome wilderness among the trees with the adrenaline-filled adventure of driving side-by-sides. Either way, they did a great job…
Landing in Kamloops, BC, Canada, the Cedar and Doug Fir trees filled the air alongside a whisk of fire smoke smell. Yes, BC was infiltrated with fire smoke this year after so many devastating fires ripped through the area. We got to see a little bit of it, but the area is so beautiful and the people are so welcoming that they will bound together to make it all come back to normal. After a drive along the lakes up to the Sicamous area, we arrived at the Carl Kuster Mountain Park (https://www.carlkuster.com/), which would serve as our base station for the 2 days of riding. Check out their website because this place has it all! You can rent the loft, get ride training in either the summer or snow seasons, and get professional guiding all around this area, which averages 60 feet of snowfall a year (yep, you read that right!).
The first day was filled with a trail ride where Josh and I were able to swing a leg over several all-new 2019 Outlander ATV models – be sure to catch Josh’s Outlander review here https://www.atvescape.com/atvescape-reviews/atv-reviews/2019-atv-reviews/1634-2019-can-am-outlander-850-video-review! Amongst the ATV action, this quietly awesome UTV was in the mix, better known as the all-new Maverick Sport.
Based off of the highly lauded Maverick Trail that was released in late 2017, the Maverick Sport is a 60” wide trail UTV that takes all of the great features in the Trail and utilizes them in this slightly wider package.
The Maverick Sport might be built off of a similar platform as the Trail, but several key items have changed. Obviously with the widening of the vehicle, the front and rear A-arm suspension has been widened to make the machine 60” wide. The front and rear sway bars are present on the Sport, keeping everything planted and under control in the corners. Instead of standard issue shocks, the Sport comes with upgraded Fox shocks on all 4 corners.
Maverick Sport Models (not including the Maverick Sport MAX):
- Maverick Sport - base model (MSRP $14,699)
- 75 horsepower, Visco-Lok auto-locking front differential, 976cc v-twin EFI-controlled engine, Maxxis Bighorn 27” tires, 60” width, Fox 2.0 podium shocks, electronic hill descent control, 12” cast aluminum wheels
- Maverick Sport DPS 1000 (MSRP $16,499)
- Over the base model, the Maverick Sport DPS adds Dynamic Power Steering (DPS), a Visco-Lok QE auto-locking front differential, sport/eco modes, ergoprint seats with color accent, unique Can-Am LED signature front lighting, and painted color options
- Maverick Sport DPS 1000R (MSRP $17,999)
- Includes all of the same features as the DPS 1000 model, except the 1000R has 100 horsepower instead of 75 horsepower.
- Maverick Sport X rc (MSRP $21,299)
- Adds rock crawling specific features
- Maverick Sport X mr (MSRP $20,999)
- Adds mud bogging specific features
For this particular review, Josh and I drove the base Maverick Sport and the Maverick Sport DPS models (DPS models in both the 1000 and 1000R configuration). Key specs for all of the models are listed above, so let’s get into how these machines drive out on the trail…
As I mentioned earlier, the Maverick Sport is based on the trail model, with only the widened a-arms, Fox shocks, and increase in interior room being the biggest differences. The latter of those difference may be the most significant upgrade for many of you, especially if you thought the 50” wide Trail model felt tight in the cabin. The Sport has 2.5” more width added to both sides, totalling more than 5” wider in the cabin overall. The gain in interior room is thanks to a bulge in the doors right where your shoulder sits, perfect for those looking for that bit of extra stretching space. If you thought the Trail was tight, get ready to be pleased in the Sport. My 6’3” frame fit in the Sport without any issues, and I love how I have plenty of room in regards to the pedal, seat, steering wheel spacing. I found myself actually easily sliding the driver seat forward one click so I was a bit closer to the wheel because there was so much room inside. The steering wheel is infinitely adjustable so you can dial in the driver’s position further.
Like the Trail, the interior of the Sport has plenty of storage in the form of both driver and passenger weather sealed storage boxes. The instrument cluster is mounted to the steering column, making it easy to see in all conditions and steering angles. We wish the cluster gave us a bit more information, like engine temperature and such. After taking a close look at the Maverick Sport X rc rock crawler, there is a different digital dash in that machine that looks to be upgraded over the standard Sport unit. We look forward to seeing what information this dash gives and hope that Can-Am upgrades the lesser units in the future with this digital dash. Can-Am has always made some of the best seats in the industry, and they did it again with the Maverick Sport as they coddle you from bum to top. Plus, they are ready for 4-point harnesses right from the factory.
The capacities of the Maverick Sport are all pretty impressive for this category of UTV. First, the machine weighs 1377 lb, which is the heaviest in the Sport/Rec category by about 100 pounds. However, the machine feels better built than the competition in every way. The rear cargo area can hold a hefty 300 lbs of gear and with a 2” receiver in the back right from the factory, the Sport can tow up to 1500 lbs. With 10 gallons of fuel, we found that the fuel mileage seemed to be good throughout our testing. Look towards the back of the magazine for more on the long-term reviews and our demo Maverick Sport that we’ll have as a long term review.
Like the Trail, the Maverick Sport comes with all of the essential features that you’d expect in a trail UTV, including: a choice between 2 Rotax 976cc V-twin liquid cooled engines (1000 has 75 horsepower, and the 1000R has 100 horsepower), Intelligent Throttle Control (iTC) with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), a CVT transmission that high airflow ventilation that is tuned for quick responses at all RPMs, selectable 2WD/4WD with Visco-Lok auto-locking front differential (QE version on the 1000R models), electronic hill descent control, dynamic power steering on DPS models, double a-arm front suspension with Fox 2.0 Podium shocks and 11.5” of travel, TTA rear suspension with Fox 2.0 Podium shocks and 12” of travel, and front and rear brakes in the form of dual 220 mm ventilated discs with hydraulic twin piston calipers.
Enough about specs though, we all want to experience how this thing drives, right?!
As I stated before, the Maverick Sport is very familiar when you hop into the driver’s seat. The only noticeable change to this model is the wider profile of the doors, which is a very welcomed addition over the Trail. If you don’t specifically need a 50” machine, the wider interior volume is reason enough to buy the Sport model instead. Starting the engine reveals a very poignant exhaust note – this V-twin means business! And that’s true for both engine options. I really like the gated shifter in this UTV because you also have a firm grasp on what gear you are in. All of the interior controls are in the place that you want them, with plenty more accessory switch spots conveniently located on the dash should you want to add items to the Sport. The interior is completed with convenient storage options, and I found the driver’s compartment to be super handy when I wanted to stash my wallet or sunglasses while out on the trail. Our test team found that the passenger side glove box, which opens vertically like the driver’s side, houses multiple jackets, supplies, cameras, and pretty much anything else you want to fit in there. It’s impressive! And, best of all, we were bounding through the water and couldn’t get the storage areas to leak, so that was a great.
I hopped in the 1000 DPS model (75 horsepower) first and drove a good portion of the day in that machine. While I thought the horsepower rating being lower would be a hindrance on steep climbs and wide open logging roads, I was surprised at how much get up and go this engine had. It was flickable at any speed and could really get down into the low RPM, torquey-area of the V-twin engine to crawl up some pretty steep climbs. Like other Rotax engines in the Can-Am lineup, this one grunts down low with a steady wave of torque. The revs build linearly up through the middle range, which handles the meat of the power with exceptionally smooth delivery. Credit the electronic throttle-by-wire system for this as well – little foot jirations on the accelerator aren’t felt when you hit rocks and big bumps in the trail. The power builds well all the way to the top where it signs off.
The power of the engine is transferred with ease through the CVT transmission. I was able to crawl up steep climbs at 3-4 mph with ease and didn’t feel like the machine needed a lower gear set in L. H offered up plenty of speed for us. For the most part, the 4WD system performs flawlessly. Yes, you’ll notice that this machine has the Visco-Lok front differential, which is supposed to auto lock when you need it. This system has received a lot of flack because it doesn’t truly lock when you need it, but we only feel that this is a relevant argument when you take this vehicle rock climbing. If you’re going to do that, then Can-Am tailor made the X rc version of the Maverick Sport for you with a Smart Lok front differential. For us, we are fine sticking with the regular Maverick Sport for 99% of our driving. Plus, I’m not sure what secret sauce Can-Am put into the Maverick Trail and Sport Dynamic Power Steering (DPS) systems, but it is perfectly weighted and still allows just enough feedback from the trail. I’d rank it better than the Tri-Mode unit found on the X3 lineup, too, if I’m being completely honest. Basically, you can expect all day comfort behind the wheel of the Maverick Sport, not only because of this DPS system, but because of the entire interior layout. Would I recommend getting the DPS unit of the Maverick Sport? Absolutely, no questions asked.
When we look at the handling of this machine, the first thing I look at is how low everything is mounted in the chassis. Not only is the engine/transmission combo mounted low and protected by the full length skid plates, but the interior is all low slung on the inside. This proved our initial thoughts about this machine being a riot to drive on the trails correctly. It weaves around trees with ease, stays flat in the corners with the front/rear sway bars, and puts the power to the ground effectively. The only negative thing you’ll notice is that the wheelbase is a bit long for super tight trails. It’s a hindrance when you’re tackling logs and other obstacles that are right at corners, especially if it sharp. But, for 99% of the time, I appreciated the long wheelbase because of the great stability that it provides the machine. Would I change it? I don’t think so. If I was going to change it, I would put the rear wheels and shocks more forward in the chassis so there was a little extra protection behind the shocks on this vehicle, but those cumulative changes would net less interior space. So, I’ll happily take the vehicle as it is because it is great almost everywhere.
We were also able to get into a race track style course where we were able to test the Sport out at high speeds. This scenario enabled us to realize the flat cornering dynamics of this machine – it doesn’t feel tippy unless you really push it into off camber corners, but it still drives through the corner really well. The only negative is something that I mentioned earlier, where the shocks blow through the travel with no compression adjustment. I’d like to see at least 3-clicker adjustable Fox QS3 shocks on future editions of the Sport, like the Sport MAX has in stock form.
Obviously, you can see that we were all very impressed with the driving prowess of the new Maverick Sport. And the good news is that the interior features and other engineering goodies didn’t disappoint either. Yes, there are a few setbacks that Can-Am can improve over time, but the overall package of the Maverick Sport is stellar. Really.
Our test team is looking forward to logging some serious miles behind the wheel of this machine as we go on some long distance adventures in the coming months. Stay glued to our long term reviews section in the back of the magazine for more details on how this machine performs over time. Until then, check it out at your local dealer. You definitely won’t be disappointed if you buy a Maverick Sport!
Watch Our Maverick Trail Video Review