We have yet to drive a stock RZR we didn’t like. Since the introduction of the RZR 800 back in 2008, we have been enamored by the RZR’s ability to go fast, turn sharply and stop on a dime. Over the years, the RZR has gotten bigger, faster and stronger. And this year, it’s gotten even better. For 2013, Polaris introduced its baddest RZR to date: the H.O. Jagged X Edition. Is it worth the hype?
To sum it up in one word, yes. We have been driving UTVs since the early Rhino days, and we can tell you right now that if you’re looking for the sportiest UTV out there currently, the Jagged X is your best bet. We spent an entire week in the driver’s seat in the dunes, desert, on the trails and everything in between. So why is it so good for the deserts out west?
Since Jagged X Racing has gotten great results using the four-seat chassis for racing, Polaris decided to take a page out of their book and transform a stock four-seat unit into a bad-to-the-bone two-seater. Using an all-new roll cage, Polaris moved the front seats rearward by 2 inches to provide more cockpit room. Instead of the stock RZR seats, the Jagged X RZR comes with PRP bucket seats, which feature a mesh bottom that allows sand and water to drop out of the bottom of the seat. The buckets have thicker side bolsters and larger frames than the stock seats, so they offer much more support and comfort than the thin stock seats.
Replacing the rear seats is a set of lockable, sealed storage boxes that are on seat bases. You can buy a set of seats to put in the Jagged X RZR or keep the storage boxes. If you buy two extra seats, you’ll need seatbelts as well. The new roll cage is over 3 inches lower than the RZR XP 4s and looks a ton better, thanks to its light blue powdercoat. Our test unit came with a sheet aluminum roof made by Pro Armor. The Jagged X RZR also comes with a set of Pure Polaris doors. The front doors open normally, and the rear doors are suicide style. On the Jagged X Edition, the rear doors only open when the fronts are already open. This ensures the rear doors don’t come open during normal driving. The latches are large plastic grip-style openers that are easily used from inside or outside the cab.
The Jagged X RZR rides on Walker Evans Racing beadlock wheels, but the wheels aren’t actually beadlocked from the factory. They come installed on a normal wheel lip; if you want to beadlock the wheels, just unmount the outside bead of the tire and install the beadlock ring. Polaris says it’s for liability reasons; we think it’s just less expensive to have someone mount the tires on a machine. Walker Evans also supplies the shocks for the RZR Jagged X Edition. The same 2.0 front and 2.5 rear shocks that come on the RZR XP 4 also come on the Jagged X Edition, but they are now a black/blue color scheme to match the car.
Inside the cockpit, the only difference between this and a RZR 4 are the seats, cage and matte-black dash wrap. The rest of the RZR is still an XP 4, right down to the cupholders in the rear plastic that now reside between the storage boxes. It’s not a purpose-designed two-seater, rather it’s a four-seater with two less seats. Some may call this cheap; however, we enjoy retaining the four-seat functions like the cupholder, extra 12-volt outlet and seat bases.
The RZR Jagged X Edition comes with an all-new cage that includes a rear frame support that Polaris says stiffens the chassis over the XP 4. Coupled with the lighter weight of not carrying two more passengers, this really helps the Jagged X Edition soak up the rough stuff when you’ve got the pedal to the floor.
Now, for what you’ve been waiting for, the engine. Polaris wanted to squeeze some extra muscle from the 900 platform, so they enlisted some help from internal and external resources. Polaris engineers went back to the drawing board and installed some peppier camshafts and valve springs for the 900, which really wake the midrange and top-end power up. Polaris enlisted the help of muscle-car-exhaust manufacturer SLP (Starting Line Performance) for a new slip-on system. The new dual-tail-pipe system sounds throatier, adds power and looks better than the stock XP’s exhaust. The result is a deceptive 6 peak horsepower increase, up to 94 horsepower; however, the midrange and top end feel much stronger than the XP 4’s.
THE BIG NEWS
Polaris has made the much larger and heavier Jagged X Edition accelerate to 60 at the same rate as the lightweight two-seater XP 900 while adding increased comfort and stability.
The sum of its parts is quite incredible. The RZR XP Jagged X Edition pulls hard off the line and handles rough terrain with authority. We turned the compression clickers in five clicks from stock with the best results—any more than that and it would slow the rebound too much and make the shocks pack up. For super-spirited driving, we would still revalve the shocks, but the extra wheelbase over the standard two-seat model makes an insane difference. This vehicle was such a big hit, Polaris outsold its 1000-unit limited production run overnight after its release. Now that’s what we call demand!
In the sand, the Jagged X Edition really comes into its own. The extra wheelbase over the standard two-seater makes it pivot more slowly, increasing the predictability of its handling and making it feel more like a larger sand car than a UTV. It still turns on a dime and will spin 360s with ease, but the overall feel is more comfortable and manageable than the smaller XP 900. The rear-suspension action also feels smoother to the occupants because the wheels are positioned so much further back. In whoops and jumps, it smooths out the feel of the RZR by almost entirely eliminating the bucking action the smaller chassis exhibits.
MORE SEAT TIME
We also took the Jagged X RZR to the Arizona desert to test it in the rocky, sandy, desolate terrain that Jagged X wins its races in. It crawls over rocks with aplomb, handles deep sand washes like a champ, and tackles desert whoops like a champ. We weren’t afraid to keep the Jagged X RZR pinned over deep whoops, and it only starts bottoming when you reach speeds over 50 mph in the deep, nasty stuff. The first part on the frame to drag is the rear-cab-frame support, which is a thick steel panel welded to the roll cage that acts as a rear-mounted skid pan. It dragged in a ton of rocks in our testing, but nothing malfunctioned. The most damage we accumulated was one punctured tire and some scratched paint on the bottom of the skid pan.
As far as comfort is concerned, the PRP seats in the RZR Jagged X Edition are the best stock seats to ever appear in a UTV. The driver’s seat slides for a total adjustment of 4 inches. We found ourselves keeping the seat in the second position back; it offered a little more legroom without stretching our arms out to reach the wheel. The RZR feels more planted than the stock two-seat unit. When you’re cornering, you sit back in the seat and let the suspension do the work, rather than driving it like a go-kart.
Despite what it seems to be, the Jagged X RZR is in a completely different class than the stock two-seater. We thought it would just feel like a four-seater minus two seats, but it’s more than that. The stock EPS system helps eliminate kickback, the shocks are tuned well for high-speed driving, and the extra storage is a huge plus. We found ourselves using the storage to carry food, drinks, extra jackets, gear, tools and whatever else we could fit in it. In fact, we went on a ride with a few other RZRs and carried everyone’s gear. It was the perfect long-distance car; we could strap a gas can and spare tire in the bed, and put all of our delicate gear in the storage boxes. Everyone wanted to ride in the Jagged X RZR, because every passenger that stepped out of it raved about how comfortable and fun it was.
The seats, doors, extra wheelbase, roof and shocks on the RZR XP Jagged X made it a winner in our book. It’s like Polaris took a RZR and put all of our favorite accessories on one but for less than the price that we could buy one and modify it to this level. Polaris hit a home run here.
2013 POLARIS RZR XP 900 H.O. JAGGED X
Engine High-output, liquid-cooled parallel twin, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4 valves/cylinder
Bore x stroke 93.0mm x 64.4mm
Compression ratio 10.5:1
Carburetion EFI, 2 x 46mm throttle
Transmission 2-speed CVT w/
reverse & centrifugal clutch
Final drive Shaft (4WD)
Front Double A-arm w/ preload &
Walker Evans shocks (13.5″)
Rear 3-link trailing arm w/
preload & compression-adjustable
Walker Evans shocks (14.0″)
Front Dual-hydraulic disc w/
Rear Dual-hydraulic disc w/
Front 26×9-12 Maxxis Bighorn
Rear 26×11-12 Maxxis Bighorn
Fuel capacity 7.25 gal.
Bed capacity 300 lb.
Ground clearance 12.5″
Dry weight 1529 lb.