FULL REVIEW: 2018 RZR XP TURBO EPS DYNAMIX EDITION SxS. NEAR PERFECTION.August 30, 2018
If one day someone told me that a side-by-side would ever be kind of a little trophy truck to ride in trails and off-road, I would have been pretty skeptical. If, in addition, it had been predicted that machines with more than 150 horsepower with suspension of more than 15 inches would be the norm, I would have laughed out loud. But the height of impossibility in my 50-year-old brain, it would be an electronically controlled suspension with ajustements being made at 200 times per second … Are you kidding me? That’s exactly what I would have said!
Well, it seems that this day has arrived boy and girls! Take the RZR XP1000 Turbo, one of the world’s most performance oriented side-by-side, and give a top of the line suspension that adjusts itself and, finally, Ride Command technology: an engine management system / GPS / onboard cameras for reverse and forward vision / media management / locating your friends / hands-free phone / GoPro management … Wheeeee! I’m winded! Mix it all up and I give you the Polaris RZR XP1000 Turbo Dynamix Edition.
Holy cr*p! They did it! And IT WORKS!
But does it really work? In a word, YES! But that would only make your mouth water without being able to feel anything wouldn’t you say? It was absolutely necessary that I put my grubby little hands on this beast, whatever the cost.
This is where Mike Barbour, the owner of Moto Gatineau comes into play. He just let us pick up his own Dynamix just to satisfy our curiosity. We rode it before he did!, Jump in the Pick-up, trailer on and we are heading for the Club Quad Outaouais trails, in the province of Quebec.
The latest generation of the 925 cc turbocharged ProStar parallel twin is simply breathtaking! A real monster with 114 lb-ft of torque! I kid you not, this engine is stellar both in performance and technology.
The power is felt from 3000 rpm and come in hard at 5000 rpm. Accelerations with the pedal on the floor are insane! This thing is not for novice or inexperienced drivers! ! Even the Can-Am Maverick X3 Turbo R does not have as much power in the midrange!
It’s only around 7500 rpm that the power drops and when you get there, you will have easily exceeded 100 kph. I love this engine, it makes mechanic’s heart hum. An impeccable mapping with no dead spots through the rev range. It sounds like magic created by Polaris’ engineers. At trail speed, it’s astoundingly silent. But put you foot to the floor and you’ll get a ferocious and very intoxicating roar, without being unpleasant after several minutes.
My biggest disappointment on the auditory side is the turbo. We don’t hear it at all. I even wondered if there was actually a turbocharger on our test unit. Yes, it is there, bolted to the exhaust manifold, but I can’t hear it at all.
One point I noticed: the gas consumption. If you ride in the federated trails, it’s not worse than a non-turbo XP 1000. But when you play hard, the huge 35,9 liters fuel tank quickly dry out. A jerrycan would be a good idea for long distance travel, just in case your right foot gets heavy. Walking back for gas is no fun!
CVT / TRANSMISSION / DRIVETRAIN
About the CVT, the calibration is right on with a good initial engagement and a consistent under full accelaration. I would have liked it a bit more aggressive with a steeper helix, but it’s quite okay. This CVT isn’t noisy when it is warmed up but when cold, you can hear it moan a little. The case’s ventilation seems to me to be well designed, to avoid belt overheating when the clutch is heavily solicited. On the transmission side, like other models of the RZR family, I am a little disappointed. The gear shift lever is sloppy and imprecise, especially when you have to maneuver and select the reverse gear, then switch to HIGH and return to reverse. It’s an exercise of patience trust me. You have to count the clicks mentally or look at the dashboard to see witch ratio has been selected. I find it quite obsolete on a machine in this price range. For the rest, everything works great. No more annoying mechanical noises when releasing the throttle pedal and then reapplying slightly, as it was the case with the first generation RZR XP1000.
No 4×4 here, ladies and gentlemen! This is an integral traction system. In the case of the Dynamix, this is one of its strengths. When cornering, the front differential will be engaged as soon as the system perceives a loss of grip out back and its operation is almost imperceptible. Differentials are now factory reinforced and work almost silently.
Now I’m impressed! Not bad at all, but I’m wondering when there will be a lockable mode on the front? Please? Now that Can-Am has done it, I expect the same thing from Polaris and in the near future.
STEERING / SUSPENSION / BRAKES
We will spend a little more time here than the usual since the great novelty of this model is the Dynamix active suspension.
But what is a Dynamix suspension? The easy answer is that it is an active, computer-controlled suspension that will automatically adjust to the different types of terrain and conditions. The driver has only one thing to do: choose one of three modes via a selector on the dashboard (Hard, Sport or Comfort mode).
Developed by the American firm Fox, which is one of the largest suppliers of off-road shock absorbers in the world, this system is one of the most sophisticated on the planet. The central computer is constantly listening for the following variants at a rate of 200 times per second:
- Throttle position
- Brake pedal
- Steering wheel position
- Vehicle orientation
What does that mean for you? Stability like you’ve never imagined possible offroad. No, this is no joke, it really works! Accelerate from a stop and the rear suspension will stiffen to help put the power to the ground. Then, brake hard at high speed and the front shocks will stiffen to eliminate nose dive. It’s very impressive and at first use quite disconcerting when you expect nosedive or body rool and… nothing happens.
FINALLY! A sports suspension that will not confuse the owner of a side by side and need him to get training to adjust it properly!
Even better, in cornering, the front and rear dampers that are on the outside the bend will firm up to minimize body roll, providing better traction and lessening the possibilities of a rollover. The same thing will happen if you feel a little braver and let the RZR catch some air. The dampers automatically go to max hard settings for maximum resistance to bottom out when landing.
My skepticism was at its peak when Polaris announced its Dynamix system last year. I was expecting more of a gadget than anything else. Was I ever surprised to find out that it actually works better than Polaris advertised. And I really meant what I said earlier: a sport suspension that will not require the owner to go through an advanced class to adjust it properly.
On the power steering side, it’s even better with the Dynamix suspension. We can feel what is happening with the front end all the time. The non-adjustable electrical assistance is perfectly calibrated, to the point where you don’t know it’s working but it’s there allright. It’s the same for the brakes. The XP 1000 Turbo was already equipped with some of the best brakes in the industry with three-piston calipers on the front and double pistons on the rear but, with the Dynamix suspension, I’m sure that the braking distances will be shortened and that the control of the SxS in emergency braking situation will be improved.
TIRES / WHEELS
Our test model was equipped with some really nice 14-inch aluminum wheels, painted black, with 29-inch Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires. The finish of those wheels is great so you won’t feel the need to look for aftermarket wheels; they are in fact very good looking. On the other hand, the Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 are quickly overwhelmed with the raw performance of the RZR. In just a few miles of slightly snowy federated trails and on a small closed circuit for acceleration testing, the Bighorn 2.0 already showed alarming signs of wear in the rear.
A slightly more efficient tire with better stiffer sidewalls is to be considered quickly after the purchase. Maxxis Carnivore or Liberty would be a better fit here.
BODY / FINISH
This is typically RZR here, high riding cab and the signature Polaris look. When will there be complete makeover? It’s getting old a little, is it not? For the asking price of 32,500$, even with a near perfect finish, this excellent machine does not stand out at all from the crowd, especially if you’re with a bunch of RZRs.
Painted surfaces, on the other hand, are of better quality than I have seen in the past at Polaris. I am not a fan of those half-doors, though. They seem to have been added in a hurry, with the pipe that holds the hinges, leaving a huge empty space that kinda looks like it’s unfinished.
The platform is mature and it shows. All panels are securely in place and solidly attached.
No noises or creaks anywhere. It’s very good on that side of things. A strong point is lighting! Wow! The headlights are excellent. Sometimes LED headlights look good but are too cold in the light spectrum (bluish light) and at night especially if it rains you can’t see anything. It’s not the case here. Very good!
ERGONOMICS / INTERIOR
Again, it’s typically RZR. We were three guys over 6 feet tall and 200+ pounds with our winter clothing during the test. The interior space is acceptable and the seats are super comfortable. Nothing bad to say on that point. The disappointing side of the interior is that it’s still a “dated” interior that, compared to the excellent Polaris General, does not once again, justify the asking price. There is a small glove compartment and a space in the console to store some items, but it’ way too small in my opinion.
The big savior inside the Dynamix is the Polaris 7-inch Ride Command multifunction display. Everything I could have ever wanted in an information center in my pick-up truck is right here, but with even more gizmos. Starting from a complete tachometer, speedometer and all the other engine parameters seen in real time, it’s already a lot. But, being able to make a basic diagnosic of engine ECU fault codes (the so-called “check engine”) at the touch of a button and reset the service notification is even better.
The Ride Command system is even more than that! The 7-inch LED display is just great. This one reacts even with winter gloves on and in cold weather. It’is also easy to read in broad daylight. This system is truly a revolution in the business by offering you a lot of information and functions at your fingertips.
Our test unit was equipped with a very practical reverse camera. A front camera is also available as an option to see obstacles when crossing rocks, etc. The Ride Command system can also control GoPro sction cameras with just a few clicks. Connectivity maniacs will also be pampered with support for smartphones via Bluetooth.
A GPS system is part of Ride Command and, according to some of our sources, it will soon be compatible with TrakMaps and QuadGen trail maps. It would be even better, but it remains to be confirmed. One of its interesting features is the localization system for your friends who, with the addition of a free app on their smartphone, will be displayed in your GPS in real time.
The RZR XP1000 Turbo is already one of the best high-performance side bu sides on the market. But the addition of the Dynamix active suspension system and the Ride Command multifunction display makes it exceptional. So, just add a well deserved cosmetic redesign and this high-performance machine would be the absolute best in the high-performance segment.
- Dynamix active suspension
- Ride Command
- Monster engine
- The most efficient super sport side by side as a whole currently on the market
- Indiscernible look of other models in the RZR range
- Flimsy doors
- Tires overwhelmed by performance
- imprecise gear selector