I must admit that I had some worries when offered to test the Polaris General XP 1000. A side-by-side vehicle categorized as a hybrid between work and touring seemed to me a passive vehicle with little adrenaline. But read below, I was almost stunned after a few kilometers, and above all delighted with the performance of this machine!
As mentioned above, the General is categorized as a 50/50 vehicle designed to share the trail and the work. The main feature of this style of vehicle is the dumping box in the rear. And after several jobs carrying various materials, the box has remained in excellent condition! With a capacity of 600 pounds, it will allow you to accomplish all your work while remaining in perfect condition, thanks to its coating, which is identical to that of the Ranger that we tested earlier in the season.
General XP 1000’s equipment
Without a doubt, the comparison of the General to a luxury truck has never been so true. It must be said that our machine is exceptionally well equipped. The standard equipment is impressive: Rockford Fosgate Stage 1 audio system, polyethylene sports roof, convex central mirror, and a sport front bumper including a 4,500-pound winch. But where it gets even more interesting are all the options installed like the Ride Command System with Rockford Fosgate Stage 4 sound system, 7-inch screen, and side mirrors!
The main characteristics
Let’s start with motorization. For several years, we have found a ProStar 999cc four-stroke DACH engine developing 100 horses. To send the power to the wheels, the machine is equipped with a VersaTrac CVT system allowing three modes to the user: one wheel-drive commonly called Turf mode where only one wheel propels the vehicle, the two-wheel-drive mode, and all-wheel drive.
On the suspension side, there are four Walker Evans shocks with external reservoirs from the Velocity series. These shocks are easily adjustable using a rotary knob allowing 16 different configurations of internal compression strengths. In order to overcome obstacles more efficiently, we find arched lower suspension arms offering a higher ground clearance of 13.5 inches.
To ensure a good bond with the ground, Polaris engineers went with Crawler XG 30 inch Pro Armor tires. Remember that Polaris acquired this company in 2014.
Now, let’s move on to the interior of the cockpit, which is without a doubt a very interesting aspect of the car. The seats are very comfortable and offer excellent ergonomics, the half-doors are easy to use, and the interior handle is well-positioned. The steering wheel is adjustable as standard, with a very efficient power steering that remains precise at low revs. In terms of interaction with the rider, the 7-inch touchscreen with the Ride Command system delivers all the information you want. It includes an interactive map (GPS), complete data such as speed, rpm, temperature, and more. The front and rear cameras allow excellent vision for working very close to obstacles. And the icing on the cake: the Stage 4 Ride Command Audio Kit sound system by Rockford Fosgate, including radio, Bluetooth, and USB connection with four high-performance speakers.
What a pleasant surprise! I’ve been a fan of high performance for years, but like any good columnist, it’s essential to put yourself in the shoes of the people who court this kind of vehicle. And after a few kilometers, we quickly realized that Polaris engineers developed a machine perfectly suited to customers who like comfort and user-friendliness.
Only seconds after I was seated in the vehicle, I understood the meaning of the words comfort and friendliness. The seats are incredibly comfortable, with lumbar supports that do the job well for this vehicle class. The driving position is simply perfect, very slightly arched towards the rear, it offers unexpected ease to use the various options of the dashboard or the touch screen. This position provides excellent visibility both to the front and to the sides of the vehicle. It greatly facilitates entering / exiting the passenger compartment, which is done with ease and without contortion.
Right off the bat, I mentioned to you that the General was fitted with Walker Evans shocks. Although their reputation is well established, there is no doubt about its performance to the General. The combination between flexibility and progressiveness is perfect; the shocks swallow the bumps on the trail. You will understand that we are talking about trail riding here, with relatively normal conditions. I would even add that it remains perfectly stable in a series of small bumps at a good speed without giving any backlash from the rear. The stabilizer bars do an excellent job of keeping the machine always on track. Definitely, the comfort of this vehicle is remarkable, both in terms of ergonomics and suspension.
A 999 cc inline two-cylinder engine powers the General. Polaris tells us about 100 horsepower. For a vast number of side-by-side vehicle enthusiasts, 100 horsepower is more than enough to combine pleasure and performance. The calibration of the clutches is matched to the horsepower advertised; there is no hesitation at all engine speeds, leaving room for excellent acceleration.
Although a panoply of qualities makes this great vehicle shine, there is nevertheless a negative point worth mentioning: the gear shifter. Its action is always nebulous; it is always difficult to know if you are correctly engaged in the right position, especially when moving from forward to reverse. A shifter with positions molded into the frame would be desirable and, above all, much easier to use.
In a few words
What a pleasant surprise! I simply loved my experience with the General XP 1000: comfortable, efficient, economic, and very ergonomic. Using the Ride Command system is simple and very user-friendly. And what about the sound system! So much fun listening to good music while practicing our favorite sport! The fuel consumption is very respectable, giving you a good range of over 200 kilometers on a full tank. And if you’re planning on going for a few days, there’s no shortage of space with the rear dumpster, great for going on a long ride and bringing all the luggage you need.
In closing, a huge thank you to Polaris and the Thibault Marine team from Ste-Agathe-des-Monts for the vehicle loan!