REVIEW: Can-am Maverick Sport XXC

REVIEW: Can-am Maverick Sport XXC

August 4, 2021 0 By Marc A Quessy

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I’m not the typical “reviewer” type, I RIDE and I ride / drive hard!  Once in a blue moon I get a unit to review that is just the perfect fit for me.  Such is the case with the Maverick Sport XXC from Can-Am.  I had a Maverick Sport DPS loaned to me for a year and I still think to this day 3 years later that the Sport is the best sporty trail UTV out there but that’s until Can-Am treated my with this thing!  The Maverick Sport XXC!

I can hear good ole uncle Bob say:  “It’s the same gosh darned UTV with different paint Marc!”

Well, hummm yes and no.  Yes because it’s the same body, same interior, same engine, same tune so…  What is the big deal about the XXC trim?

Don’t want to read? check out the video:

Two MAJOR things makes the XXC radically stand out from the Sport DPS:


The DPS is a 60 inch wide unit with non ajustable shocks and preload adjustments.  It’s suspension is actually very good with uncommon trails manners for that segment and I loved EVERY minute I was behind the wheel of that little gem of a UTV… Buuuut, the XXC is sitting at 64 inches with arched A-Arms and Fox QS3 ajustable shocks.  These might seem like subtle differences from de basic sport but it makes a huge difference in the way the XXC handles.

The ride has more “presence” you can better feel what happening with the tires front and back, front end feel goes from good to awesome.  I kid you not!  This is THE best handling UTV with A-Arm type suspension I have ever sampled.  Compared to my old 2015 Maverick Xrs with huge Fox podium fully ajustable shocks that I thought at the time was a great handling package the XXC just blows it away!  Slow or fast, the feedback is there for you to ajust your driving accordingly.

Easy to ajust from soft, medium to hard, this generation of Fox QS3 shocks never bottomed out even when pushed very hard and are a extremely easy to ajust.  This thing is almost perfect.  I get to try pretty much anything available on the market and in the trail specific machines the Maverick Sport XXC is the top dog in handling and suspension.

Note: The tuning on the power steering is about the best I ever sampled on any brand UTV.  The absolute best front end feedback I have tested to date.  Better than the mighty X3!

2- Smart-lok front differential

I always hated the front Can-Am diffs for their 3 wheel drive visco-muck hit and miss.  I’ve lost numerous mud drags and mud bog competition because of this feature.  If you’re a trail rider, visco-lok works fine for most of you but when things get serious and the front diff won’t lock it get tiring real fast.  My OG Maverick  XRS had the Q-lok quick locking visco-lok system.  It was better but you could never know when it would lock or not making rock crawling a hazardous affair sometimes.  With deep sticky mud, cross your fingers friends, been there, done that.

Introducing Smart-Lok!  Oh hell yeah!  Being a professional ATV / UTV mechanic, I kind of yawned when Can-Am introduced Smart-Lok a little more than a year ago.  Electronics and gears don’t mix is what I’ve thought.  Well, mea culpa, I was DEAD WRONG!

I never imagined that Can-Am would give us mortals a front end that is so potent in all conditions.  The electronically controlled locking front diff is just that: Smart!  Locks hard when in a straight line and let’s the front diff gears send power to BOTH wheels by introducing slippage when the steering is turned sharply.  To understand this, enable Smar-Lok on pavement or really hard packed road and ride in a tight circle at slow speed.  On a regular locked front diff, you would be jerked around in the cabin with the front drivetrain straining to extremes to a point you can damage components.  With Smart-Lok, no jerks and you can actually hold on to the steering wheel without issue.

I went rock crawling in tight trails for a good hour with two buddies driving late gen premium UTVs and I was the only one actually making it look easy.  Not because I’m a seasoned driver, Smart-Lok did all the work for me.  I could continue to write and rave about Smart-Lok but the most conclusive thing here is: Go drive a Smart-Lok equipped Can-Am.  You’ll get it right away.

The only thing you’ll notice is a slight buzz in the steering and a little vibration on the floor pan when riding at speed with Smart-Lok enabled. Noticeable, not annoying.

Simply said, Smart-Lok is the absolute best front locking differential system I have sampled since the dawn of ATVing in the 80’s.  Try it, you’ll get it!

Likes and Dislikes

I already mentioned that I loved my long term Maverick Sport DPS so the basics remain the same on the XXC and I won’t bore you with details.  The XXC stands out and reigns supreme in the Trail Sport category.  But, it ain’t perfect either.  The cabin gets real hot in hot summer weather and unbearable so if you have a full windshield installed (the half windshield from Can-Am for protection against debris and wind on colder days).

The whole package is so good except a few nags that it just begs for more power.  That’s the only thing I’ve found missing, 10-20 horses. Finally there’s a price to pay for all that technological goodness and it ain’t cheap.  Almost 25 grand and you get the Maverick Sport XXC in your driveway.  If you are a wise shopper, you will notice that the entry level Maverick X3 with the 120hp turbocharged mill is prices at 23 299$ cad. but, it’s a very different animal and it won’t have Smart-Lok.

Final words

In all my +30 years in the business, the Maverick Sport XXC is the shizzle to the nizzle.  The absolute best trail UTV in the business.  Mark my words!  You can’t go wrong with choosing this unit if you are a trail rider that appreciates a machine that can take a beating, ride smooth on fire roads at speed and rock crawl to your hearts content.  Perfection would be to have 120 hp on tap but the 1000cc V-Twin is dead reliable in this tune, easy to service and very peppy where it counts, in the midrange for trail use.

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