BATTLE-PROVEN RZR S 4

LONG-TERM TEST: RZR S 4 1,500 miles later... 

By the staff of Dirt Wheels

The vast majority of the miles on our RZR Turbo S 4 were amassed on desert and mountain trails. A slightly lower low range would be welcome here.

BATTLE-PROVEN RZR S 4

Polaris introduced the four-seat RZR S at the Sand Show in Orange County in 2018. In addition to a few complete cars, including ours, Polaris had a bare rolling chassis on display. Of course, we had already tested and spent time in the two-seat RZR S. Its 72-inch track width, amazing computerized

Dynamix suspension, long travel, and 32-inch tires on 15-inch wheels were impressive. For us, though, the RZR S two-seater squatted under acceleration, and the rear end would break loose and slip suddenly. We expected that the longer wheelbase of the four-seater would help, and it did.

At that time the Dynamix system that used electronically adjustable Fox shocks were constantly improving. With the RZR Turbo S 4, everything seemed to come together with the Dynamix Fox Live Valve shock settings and the RZR Turbo S chassis.

We spent time at Glamis, St. Anthony, Little Sahara, and Sand Hollow. These Sand Sport SxS paddles and light DWT spun rims worked great at Glamis.

BATTLE-PROVEN RZR S 4

GETTING STARTED

Since we received the S 4, it has been a favorite. The initial break-in and photos were conducted in the desert near Olancha, where we had a mixture of sand and rocky desert. From there we hit local trails before attending Camp RZR at Glamis/Imperial Sand Dunes. We had the opportunity to test some 32-inch sand paddles on light, spun 15-inch wheels, and used the RZR S to get around for different photoshoots. Over the weekend we put around 125 miles on the car! That is a lot of dune running.

We were impressed with the chassis and engine performance. After all, the RZR S four-seater weighs in just under 2,000 pounds with an empty tank, so ready-to-roll curb weight is over that. In spite of the weight, we love the ride and the handling. The suspension is calibrated so that we ran the suspension set on Comfort for rocks, roads, and relatively smooth running.

We upped the setting to Sport for the rough or while in the sand. When you jump the car, it automatically bumps the suspension to full stiff, but we don’t actually drive it set on Firm unless we were at speed in deep whoops or when slowly rock crawling.

Our machine was also subjected to a lot of dust and silt. The air-filtering system keeps all of this out of the engine with the stock or the Uni Filter.

BATTLE-PROVEN RZR S 4

MINI CHANGES

While the S was relatively new, it was one of the very few machines that came stock with 15-inch wheels with 32-inch tires. There was a rush to build tires of that size, and we gave the lug nuts a thrashing by testing different tire and wheel combos.

Many aftermarket wheels have more offset than stock, and a few sets widened the car to as much as 77 inches! With other UTVs, adding that much offset caused the cars to bump-steer. The suspension is so beefy on the S, however, we didn’t really notice any added bump-steer. Faced with a multi-day outing to the desert, we added a Slasher LED light bar that was as wide as the stock aluminum roof.

At the same time, we mounted Sector Seven by Pro Moto Billet LED lighted mirrors. The set costs a pricey $799.95 with a universal clamp. The build and performance of the mirrors take the pain out of the price. All of the parts are whittled from billet aluminum, and that includes the clamp. There is even a passage machined into the clamp to run the wiring through. Ultra-clear and bright convex mirror glass provide stunning vision to the rear.

On the front side of the mirrors, LED lights shine forward and to the sides. We easily navigated dunes at night with nothing but mirrors and stock headlights.

The mirrors stay adjusted and make driving a pleasure day or night. After over a year with far too much time parked outdoors, the anodizing is a little lighter on top. Otherwise, the mirrors and lights work like new. The clamp was the only option available when we got ours, but now there is an even cleaner mounting to the roll-cage bolts. That setup is another $50 more than ours.

We greatly appreciated our Tusk cargo box. That was especially true for events like Camp RZR where we left the car parked for extended periods.

THERE’S MORE

With more multi-day trips planned, we got a Tusk seat cargo rack kit that includes a new seat base for $219.99. You pop out a rear seat and replace it with an aluminum plate mounted to a stock Polaris seat base.

There are multiple slots and openings in the plate to use for tie-down points. Cargo seat racks are side-specific, and we have two to replace the entire rear seat. We carry a heavy tool bag, camera cases, an Assault soft cooler bag, and a spare tire/wheel combo in the rear-seat area.

We used the heck out of these Tusk cargo platforms. For most of the machine’s life, it had only two or three seats in it instead of four, so we could store tools, spares, and cameras.

BATTLE-PROVEN RZR S 4

For items that are lighter, we mounted a $379.95 Tusk UTV cargo box from Rocky Mountain
(www.rockymountainatvmc.com) that fits 2014–2019 Polaris RZRs. Four thumbscrews that hand-tighten attach the box to the bed. The box is lockable, and the mounting hardware is inside the box, so we felt safe putting valuables inside when we parked the machine.

Eventually, we noticed that the box would work loose. We couldn’t tighten the thumbscrews enough with our hands. We considered replacing the hardware with bolts that we could get tighter, but we opted to put a ratchet strap over the top. It never came loose again, and we could still remove the box without tools.

Our Sector Seven LED lighted mirrors made a huge difference in how relaxing and easy it is to drive the car. You’ll praise the mirror side in the day and the lighted side at night.

We don’t know why we waited so long to install a Rugged Radios 660 in-car intercom. Just a small hand-held radio that connects to it for car-to-car communications. While it didn’t want a permanent install since we frequently drive other cars.

We opted to mount it to the passenger grab bar with heavy-duty zip-ties. We power it with a 12-volt outlet adapter. We did the install in minutes, and we can move the whole setup to another car in just a few minutes.

Having the intercom makes driving with passengers so much better. It truly is a must, unless you always drive alone. Ours has seen a fair amount of exposure to weather, and it has proven flawless and always works perfectly.

This is around 1,000 miles at St. Anthony in Idaho. We were testing CST Sandblast tires on Tusk beadlock rims. They are exceptional performers for the money.

BATTLE-PROVEN RZR S 4

HOW HAS IT HELD UP?

We have done all of our own maintenance on the Turbo S. We have changed the oil and filter five times. It is a little bit of a challenge to get to the filter, but the job is otherwise easy. We use Maxima oil and stock filters. We have also cleaned and changed the air filter. We have used stock filters and a reusable oiled foam filter from Uni Filter. Both worked fine, but we trust the Uni more if the conditions are wet. We have had so many sets of tires on the car that we can’t really comment on tire life, but the car is not tough on tires.

We are still on the stock belt despite driving the car hard in the desert and dunes and doing a lot of slow, technical climbing. The low range could be a little lower for our tastes, but we haven’t had any trouble. Every aspect of the car still feels tight and new. We haven’t changed any axles, axle boots or other suspension parts. We are using the stock harnesses and the stock seats. We will admit that there are more supportive seats available, but most hurt legroom, so we haven’t changed them.

The rear trailing arms get blasted by the front tires, so the paint on the trailing arms has taken a beating, but otherwise, the car still looks great after washing. There is plenty of evidence that the skid plate has had a rough life, but, again, no problems and no real damage underneath. We did find that using the Firm suspension setting while rock crawling helps the clearance.

We are a little embarrassed that we didn’t install the Rugged Radios 660 intercom earlier. It made a huge difference in how enjoyable driving with passengers is.

BATTLE-PROVEN RZR S 4

WHAT WOULD WE CHANGE?

Door bags or some padding on the inside of the doors would be welcome. Tall drivers bruise their knees on the inner-door structure. We often wore a left knee pad swiped from our quad gear bag for long drives in the rough. A door bag would solve that and add handy storage. For cold weather, a glass windshield would be nice. Otherwise, we are happy with our Turbo S just as it sits.

Even when we could bump this much dust out of the stock paper air filter, none of the dirt made it into the engine. The Uni filter needed to be cleaned more often but saved us money.

BATTLE-PROVEN RZR S 4

WRAPPING UP

Surely it is pretty obvious that we have loved this Turbo S four-seater. We frequently had drivers with a lot of experience in high-end sports machinery grow completely enamored with it after just a short drive in it.

We also had folks that thought they were die-hard two-seat fans change their opinions. On the day we shot photos at the 1,500-mile mark, we had an almost new RZR Pro XP along. We were plenty happy to drive the Pro XP, but equally content to pilot our more experienced unit. It has been astonishingly tough and truly feels like new.

This is how good the car still looks at 1,500 miles after a bath. Except for the paint being blasted off the trailing arms, the finishes all look very good. It feels new as well.

SPECS:

 POLARIS RZR XP 4 TURBO S

BATTLE-PROVEN RZR S 4

Engine Type ProStar Turbo H.O.; 4-stroke DOHC twin-cylinder

Displacement 925cc

Fuel system EFI

Fuel Capacity 9.5 gal.

Starting system Electric

Final drive Shaft

Suspension/wheel travel:

Front High-clearance dual A-arm with stabilizer bar, 2.5” Fox Podium Internal Bypass shocks with Live Valve (electronically controlled damping)/19”

Rear Trailing arm with stabilizer bar, 3” Fox Podium Internal Bypass shocks with Live Valve (electronically controlled damping)/21”

Tires:

Front ITP Coyote (8-ply rated), 32×10-15  Rear ITP Coyote (8-ply rated), 32×10-15

Brakes:

Front Dual hydraulic disc with triple-bore front calipers

Rear Dual hydraulic disc with dual-bore rear calipers

Wheelbase 117.0”

Length/width/height 149”/72”/76.5”

Ground clearance 16.0”

Curb weight 1989 lb.

Colors Indy Red, Polaris Blue

MSRP $30,499

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