For over a decade, the Commander product line had been rolling its bump. However, recently, a major overhaul was in order. The last few years have been very busy for the sports/utility vehicle category. The competition is fierce, and Can-Am had no choice but to up its game with a completely redesigned Commander.
Finding the perfect solution at a competitive price requires a back-and-forth exchange, especially between the marketing and design teams. One of the main strategies used by BRP consists of reusing several components on multiple different product lines, like the digital screens for example, which can be found on the Ski-Doo, Spyder snowmobiles, side-by-side vehicles, etc.
Creating a vehicle that can provide a good drive and comfort on the trail, while putting on a respectable performance during big jobs, poses certain constraints. We firmly believe that the new Commander 2022 will fulfill these two aspects brilliantly!
What is New!
The developers focused mainly on three different factors. The repositioning of the engine is definitely a remarkable improvement. Several positive aspects result from this change, including the sound quality inside the cabin. The air intake system is now located on the left side of the vehicle, behind the driver, whereas it was previously located on the hood. This change reduces the perception of engine sounds from the intake for better sound comfort. The engine being further away from the cabin should reduce the temperature felt by the occupants, especially under hot summer temperatures. This is a significant advantage that we will certainly have the opportunity to test next summer.
An engine placed at a further distance, like on the new Commander 2021, also means significant ease for maintenance and repairs. The clutch compartment is much easier to access and very well ventilated. Regarding reliability, the engineers have equipped the vehicle with an electronic belt protection device that prevents the engine from overheating and increases reliability.
Thanks to its positioning, the engine is much easier to access. You only need a few seconds to disassemble the tipper and have full access to the various components of the 1000 CC engine.
Synonymous with efficiency and firmness, it is impossible to ignore the large accessorization capacity available for the Commander XT. About 150 available accessories allow you to combine usefulness and fun, go along with your hikes or work tasks! It’s efficient, fast and secure!
Standard Equipment of the XT Version
The purchase of a new vehicle certainly represents a big investment in itself, but the addition of accessories can quickly make the bill grow larger. Fortunately, the XT version is delivered with a bunch of almost essential equipment to enhance your experience. Your new vehicle will come standard with a solid front bumper, a high-performance 4,500-pound winch with synthetic cable, and a roof. We added solid doors, signature LED lights, a steering wheel, and an adjustable driver’s seat. Can-Am mentions an overall width of 64 inches, 15 inches of suspension travel with a ground clearance of 13 inches, which is widened thanks to curved suspension arms.
This large 976 CC Rotax V-twin engine offers excellent performance. Its maximum power of 100 horsepower at 7,250 rpm is more than enough to provide a lot of pleasure to passengers during hikes, but also in a working situation. While the torque level data is not disclosed, we can bet it gives you an impressive amount! Recognizing its power, engineers continue to trust the QRS-X clutches, with a huge high-flow ventilation duct to cool the belt well. This beautiful engine transmission combination gives you a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds.
Tipper – Ingenious and Stylish
Nothing extraordinary in a cargo box, you might think. However, watch out for the small details that have been added to the Commander XT 2021. First of all, we cannot ignore the overall finish of the body, worthy of luxury trucks only! With stylish lines that blend brilliantly alongside the rest of the vehicle, so much so that the huge box at the rear goes unnoticed at first glance! Let’s not forget about the huge handle that opens the tailgate, sporting the big BRP badge. It is very solid and offers a good grip for the user. With meticulous attention to detail, the designers added an extension to secure the load when the tailgate is open. Stored permanently in the tailgate, you can simply unfold the extension and hook each side to the anchors provided for this purpose. You get even more space, and most importantly, more security!
That’s not all. As you know, the little details often make the difference, and this new vehicle makes no exception. The two body side panels of the vehicle are removable, allowing you to store, among other things, the spare belt and some small items such as puncture repair kits, ropes, or other things. Three litres of capacity in all!
Special mention – Door!
Moulded in one piece and curved outwards, these half-doors offer perfect protection against splashing water, mud, or snow from the front wheels. The whole door is provided with resistant rubberized insulation, which perfectly matches the bond between the door and the frame. The entire door is moulded in a single, very rigid piece, to which the hinges, opening mechanism and handles are attached. This concept offers foolproof durability and reduces the number of parts. To hide the mechanism, there is a door cover painted in the colours of the vehicle. Ergonomics have not been neglected as the handles are of good sizes, well-positioned, and easy to access, especially from the inside.
Tires by XPS!
Standard 14-inch rims featuring a new XPS Trail King tire manufactured directly for BRP to match their own specifications. Hard to guess the future of these tires. The marketing team was not very talkative on the subject. However, their performance on spring snow seemed very interesting, and a long-term test will allow us to better assess their performance, especially in dirt or mud conditions.
Recently, BRP has extended the use of multiple parts to all of its products. Just think of the digital screens, which are found on the Spyder, snowmobile and others, QRS clutch pulleys, etc. This brings a familiar feeling to the interior cabin that looks a lot like the Maverick Sport model. The adjustable steering wheel has a 7.6-inch digital screen attached, providing excellent visibility from any adjustment position.
Although the conditions during Spring did not allow us to push the vehicle to its maximum, it was still possible to make some nice observations. One of the main aspects that came forth very quickly was the sound quality of the interior. Repositioning the air intake behind the driver greatly diminished the hum that came from the front hood on earlier versions. It is now possible to have a reasonable conversation with your passenger even when accelerating.
The few kilometres we travelled with this model allowed us to appreciate the performance of the suspension. The long 90.6-inch wheelbase offers good road handling for a work-leisure vehicle, and the two stabilizer bars keep the chassis on the axis when taking turns, allowing for the suspension to work perfectly.
On the performance side, we can easily say that the combination of the two-cylinder V 1000R with the variable transmission is really on point. No hesitation when accelerating or picking up pace, the 100 horses are very well exploited. Like most vehicles equipped with a variable clutch, you will certainly have a little adjustment period to get used to travelling at very low speeds, especially before moving in the trailer.
The interior ergonomics are flawless. It should be mentioned that this DNA from the Maverick Sport has already rolled its bump for a few years. The seats provide good lumbar support while maintaining the easy access. The interior space between the pilot and the door leaves good room for the movement of arms, and the interior finish of the door was well thought out to avoid hitting the elbow in very bumpy conditions.
Small inconvenience, the space between the two passengers is relatively tight, so if there are two fairly large people, your elbows may touch under certain conditions.
In conclusion, we firmly believe that this new Commander will meet a great success in the leisure-work vehicle category. Without a doubt, the arrangement of the 150 LinQ accessories available for this series is a very important asset when deciding on your future purchase. And let’s not forget the quality of finish and manufacture of Can-Am, flawless as always.
Thanks to Can-Am Marketing for allowing us to be the first to try out this completely redesigned 2021 Commander XT!