During the last ATV Trail Rider ride , the team had the chance to try the Arctic Cat Alterra 600 TRV 2023. With its aggressive look, well equipped and offering precise driving, we invite you to discover it with us.
Style and design
Observing the 2023 Arctic Cat Alterra 600 TRV, we are first seduced by its appearance evoking robustness. With a tall silhouette and aggressive tires in this LTD version, it seems ready to take on anything. Also, solid bumpers and a winch come standard on the LTD version which will be the one to favor.
Overall, the quality and textures of the plastics as well as the general finish are very successful. On the other hand, we notice that certain components have been reused from previous versions. Although it is a new generation, we are disappointed to see an “old” dial and controls that are starting to date. Despite everything, these components remain effective without having the highest level of aesthetics.
The manufacturer also made a cut by offering halogen headlights instead of opting for LEDs which would have been more current. This would have added to the style while increasing visibility during nighttime hikes. In addition, it should be noted that the bodywork is not wide enough to compensate for the wide tires of our test version (LTD). Thus, it lacks protection against splashes of mud and water which will quickly spray the passengers.
Driving position and rider ergonomics
When you sit down on the Alterra 600, you notice a very high driving position. Certainly, the chassis, suspensions and ground clearance are responsible. The generous dimensions will easily allow weight transfers from left to right. Although the riding position is excellent, we can’t give as much praise to the saddle. The latter will become too hard after only around thirty kilometers. Another aspect to improve is the gear selector which is far away while causing imprecision when choosing the gear.
Ergonomics for the passenger
With our two-seater test version, hence the name “TRV”, the evaluation of passenger comfort seemed essential to us. Thus, we tested this vehicle over a few hundred kilometers with a second occupant. The passenger told us that she really appreciated the seat which offers comfort and stability. The space for the passenger is more than necessary and the vision is excellent considering the height. However, the handles are somewhat difficult to grip and above all, they come into contact with the hips/thighs during bumps. The ergonomics of the seat could be slightly revised to provide more comfort on long journeys.
Engine and transmission
In terms of engine, the Arctic Cat Alterra 600 TRV LTD 2023 offers a 600 cc single-cylinder that develops 45 horsepower. Paired with a CVT transmission, it allows fairly brisk acceleration. As a bonus, the clutch calibration succeeds in positioning the engine at optimal speed.
Point worthy of mention, the manufacturer chose to place the engine very far behind to limit as much as possible the heat emitted towards the occupants. And it’s a success with the completely closed side panels which provide a “cooler” experience.
This ATV does not focus on high performance, but provides power adapted to this market segment. All while giving the pilot a smile with an interesting sound. The engine response is excellent and the transmission allows it to fully exploit its potential. With the switch, you can easily choose between two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. As a bonus on the LTD version, you will even have a locked front differential on request for maximum traction.
On the suspension side, the Alterra 600 offers shock absorbers adjustable only in spring preload. Independent suspension geometries on all four wheels will promote excellent road holding. We quickly notice a calibration that is firmer than soft during the first kilometers. This provides sportier driving while offering increased driving precision. Steering in corners is good and the vehicle provides good aggressiveness. Despite everything, you feel a little high in the curves and comfort takes a bit of a hit. Indeed, this is the price to pay when you have rigid suspensions.
As for technical data, the Alterra 600 provides 8.75 inches of travel at the front and rear. And with its very high chassis, we benefit from excellent ground clearance of 12.25 inches. This is excellent news for those who want to overcome all obstacles or with a rock crawling perspective.
The 2023 Arctic Cat Alterra 600 TRV LTD offers excellent ground feel thanks to precise steering and firm suspension. The power steering is just enough to limit fatigue without blurring the feel of the handlebars. With its stiffer than average shock absorbers, cornering stability is excellent even if you find yourself high off the ground.
This ATV provides good overall performance with mechanics suitable for trail rides at a sustained pace. Bumps are well absorbed and the tires provide excellent bite to tackle all types of terrain.
We appreciate this new generation of Alterra although we would have liked a little more on certain aspects… Like more advanced shock absorbers on the plush version (LTD) as well as a more comfortable saddle. Or, the dial is too minimalist. At this level, there is always the option of obtaining the Garmin screen with integrated GPS. It would have been good to include it in the best version in relation to the requested outlay.
- Successful style and appearance that stands out from the competition.
- The LTD version is well equipped as standard.
- Tires which offer a lot of bite on this version.
- Mechanics well suited for federated trails.
Areas for improvement
- The turning circle is much too wide. This complicates maneuvers when you want to turn or on tight technical trails.
- Lack of protection against splashes. Especially with the wide tires of the LTD version.
- Poor positioning of the battery which is too exposed to debris at the front and without protection. We also notice a lot of very exposed electrical connections and connections.
- Air filter located at the front under the wing and which requires too many components to dismantle to access it.
A brand new eye-catching look, an adapted engine and a beautiful pedigree of characteristics make up the Arctic Cat Alterra 600 TRV LTD 2023. This new generation brings a breath of fresh air that was necessary for this model. However, we remain a little unsatisfied since certain aspects seem to have been deliberately limited for a question of cost… Offered at a retail price of $14,699 + other costs, it is among the most expensive two-seater ATV in our test. Will it be able to carve out a good place for itself in a hyper-competitive market? A comparative article of the different models of medium-displacement two-seater ATV is also available on ATV Trail RIder.
The ATV Trail Rider team thanks Arctic Cat for making the test possible. If you would like more information, visit your dealer or the manufacturer’s website.