2016 Honda Pioneer 1000 & Pioneer 1000-5 First Look Hot
Honda has taken it up a notch with the introduction of what is now its flagship side-by-side, the Pioneer 1000. Yes, we said “1000,” and yes, we said “Honda”! This does not seem to be a pure sport side-by-side, but it fits more in the recreation/utility segment. With the 1000 class motor, the Pioneer will dominate this class. There is much to talk about when it comes to this new Pioneer, so here is what you will want to know.
The Pioneer comes in two configurations, the 1000 with room for three, and the 1000-5 which has room for 5. The Pioneer 1000-5 sports Honda’s flip-up rear seat setup, where the bed converts to seats. This is the same setup that can be seen on the Pioneer 700-4. The Pioneer 1000 comes in a standard and an EPS version. The Pioneer 1000-5 comes in a standard and a deluxe version.
Pioneer 1000 EPS
Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe
Engine & Transmission
If power is what you want, then this is your engine. This is a brand new inline, twin-cylinder, Unicam engine which pumps out 999 cc’s of power. We haven’t seen any horsepower numbers yet, but obviously it will be substantial. Mated with this powerhouse engine is an industry-first six-speed fully automatic dual-clutch hydraulic transmission. There is no CVT transmission here like the ones found on all the other fully-automatic ATV and side-by-sides out there. The dual-clutch is the part to make a note of. This means that the next gear is already engaged, so once the transmission decides to shift, it moves to the next gear quickly. This dual-clutch technology can be found on ATVs we have tested, and the actual shift takes place instantly. Within this transmission are two gearing ranges: high and low. Essentially the Pioneer has 12 forward gears.
The non-EPS version comes has a fully-automatic mode, while the EPS versions come with paddle-shifters and three drive modes: standard, sport, and manual. Standard and sport modes optimize shift points for fully-automatic driving, while manual mode allows you to run the gears using the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The idea of paddle-shifters on a side-by-side is pretty awesome, making us feel as though we are kids in the proverbial candy store. No matter what amount of control you desire, the Pioneer 1000 EPS versions give you the choice.
All versions of the Pioneer 1000 have a little more than 10.5 inches of travel up front and 10 inches of travel in the rear, and they sport an independent suspension on all four corners. From what we can see from the details, the shocks are not adjustable, with the exception of the 1000-5 deluxe version where the rear auto-levels. All of these facts lead to placing the Pioneer 1000 in the recreation/utility segment rather than the pure sport segment. This is plenty of comfortable travel for exploring and working, but not for carving dunes or extreme rock crawling.
The 4-wheel drive system has 4 modes: 2-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive, turf mode, and 4-wheel drive with diff-lock. You choose your mode with a large shift lever mounted in the dashboard. Three of these modes are obvious, while the turf mode unlocks the front and rear diffs for maximum turning radius along with gentleness on dedicated surfaces. So the Pioneer can tip-toe around your yard, and pound gnarly trails with the flip of a switch.
Interior & Exterior
The bodywork is bold and crisp, giving the Pioneer 1000 and 1000-5 a rugged look. The base models have gray doors, while the EPS models have color matching doors offering a sportier look. The interior is laid out for easy use, and a comfortable ride. There is a contoured bench seat for the 3 adults in the front to enjoy when out on the job or trail. Another small yet huge addition is that of tilt-steering. From the pictures it appears the dashboard even has different color accents for a more “finished look” on the higher-end models such as the deluxe. The deluxe also has an LED instrument cluster.
The Pioneer 1000 can haul up to 1000 lbs and tow 2000 lbs with its powerful engine. It comes with 27-inch tires and 12-inch wheels on all models, except the 1000-5 deluxe showing off 14-inch wheels. The Pioneer family is built right here in the U.S.
The tires are the largest ever offered on a Honda side-by-side at 27-inches, and this gives substantial ground-clearance.
Cost & Availability
Honda hasn't released what the MSRP is as of yet. It will also be available in the fall
What We Think
Firstly, we love the fact Honda has brought to the market such a powerful side-by-side in the Pioneer 1000. Honda fans everywhere are jumping up and down over the choice to buy a Honda with just as much power as anything out there in the market. Honda makes a quality product, and clearly has listened to what customers want when it comes to a side-by-side. In fact, this is now the most powerful side-by-side in the recreation/utility segment, and it will get the job done along with allowing for some serious fun to boot. What is also crystal clear is the fact that Honda is now lined up for a pure sport version of its Pioneer family. With some suspension adjustments and the 1000 engine, the Pioneer could be competitive in the pure sport segment. Hold on tight because Honda has come to play!