SHOOTOUT: Polaris Ace 570 vs. Sportsman 570

The UTV market has exploded in popularity over the past few years, and Polaris is at the top of the manufacturing list. Their RZR lineup started a performance sensation, and other UTV manufacturers are fighting to produce machines just as impressive. While the multi-passenger UTV market is booming, new smaller-width regulations of trails are requiring off-roaders to purchase machines that are smaller. Polaris decided to renovate the market with the impressive single-seat 4×4 UTV.

The first model of the Ace sported a 327cc engine, which was capable but sluggish and left the rider wanting more power. For 2015, Polaris answered those prayers with the 570cc Sportsman Ace. That got us here at Dirt Wheels thinking, why not put the 570 Ace up against its closest ATV counterpart, the Sportsman 570? Well, of course we had to give it a shot!

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PUTTING DOWN THE POWER
Both Polaris machines have the exact same 567cc, dual-overheadcam, single-cylinder, four-stroke powerplant. There is more than enough power to enjoy, but we noticed that the Ace had more difficulty getting going. The throttle pedal is a bit difficult to push down, and it takes longer for the engine to put out its power. The Sportsman however, did not have that issue. Once you stab the throttle, the ATV got moving quickly, and in 2×4, you can easily get the rear wheels spinning. The extra 152 pounds of weight that the Ace carries with it is a contributing factor to its slightly sluggish feel, but in no way does it take the fun out of the ride.

Going fast is always a blast, but being able to slow your machine down is very important. We rode both machines on the same tight trails, steep hills, sharp turns and wideopen runs. We wished that the brake ratio on the Ace was a bit more front heavy, but the machine rarely locked the rear tires. The Sportsman’s rear foot brake is one to stay away from, unless you like sliding sideways down a hill, but the multi-brake hand brake is strong and smooth. One concern we had was with the engine braking on both machines. The Ace’s engine brake would practically disappear in high gear, leaving the machine to coast down hills, but was just right in the low gear setting. The Sportsman’s engine brake in high was a bit too strong, which would end up locking the rear tires, allowing you to slide when you need to be pointing straight. Sometimes you would have to play with the throttle to release the engine braking and allow you to coast down hills easier.

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HOW DO THEY HANDLE?
The Ace was modeled closely after the Sportsman ATV in many ways. Both machines have MacPherson struts in the front, with 8.2 inches of travel and dual-A-arm independent rear suspension with 9.5 inches of travel. The width of the machines is the same as well. The major differences between the Ace and the Sportsman are the fact that you are sitting lower to the ground, with a roll cage, steering wheel, and foot pedals to operate the Ace. Unlike an ATV, you cannot stand up in an Ace when going over rough or tight terrain, which means you have to keep your speeds slower.

In order to accommodate a UTV seat and operating setup, the Ace is longer than the Sportsman. This changed the handling characteristics that were borrowed from the Sportsman. The wheelbase of the Ace is 11 inches longer at 61.5 inches. The longer wheelbase of the Ace hinders ground clearance slightly and the turning radius is not as tight, but in some situations the ride is smoother. If you are a fan of rough and technical riding, the Sportsman is easily the wiser choice if you want a better ride and ground clearance. Both machines have a very impressive 4×4 system, and climbing rough hills can be a breeze. The steering is light on both machines, but a bit more so on the Ace. When you engage the 4×4 system, the steering tightens up, but not enough to make operating either machine difficult.

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THE DETAILS
Deciding which machine to buy between the two depends on what you want to use it for. If you want a vehicle that is small but useful in a working environment, then the Ace is the top choice. It’s easy to climb in and out of and has better storage options. The Ace has a small bed in the rear that can hold up to 240 pounds, and ours came with a Lock & Ride cargo box that can be easily removed. It has a front rack like the Sportsman that holds up to 120 pounds, where the Sportsman can only hold up to 90 pounds. The rear rack of the Sportsman can only hold up to 180 pounds before handling is greatly affected. If you plan to tow with either machine, the Ace can tow 275 pounds more than the Sportsman at a rate of 1500 pounds. Each machine has storage under the front cargo rack, and the Ace has a cup holder. Both Polaris machines start with an automotive-style turnkey ignition. They each have a righthand shifting mechanism for their CVT transmissions, which are easy and smooth to operate. The instrumentation setup is very similar with a speedo, tachometer, trip meter, gear indicator and more on both vehicles.

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FINAL THOUGHTS
The Polaris Ace 570 and Sportsman 570 are both very impressive 4×4 machines. The Ace can be taken through a lot of the same terrain that the Sportsman can, but with a roll cage and steering wheel. While the Sportsman may be quicker through the tight stuff and gives you more visibility of the terrain you’re riding, the Ace can carry more weight to your favorite recreational spots or even on the job. Starting at $8499, the Polaris Ace 570 will get you out on the trail for a good time in a machine that beginner riders can enjoy. The Sportsman 570 will be right alongside of the Ace at a nicer starting price of $6499. Deciding between an ATV and a single-seat UTV may be difficult, but if you focus on what you plan to use it for, the decision should be easy.

2015 POLARIS SPORTSMAN 570 – 2015 POLARIS  ACE 570
Engine………………………567cc DOHC, 4-stroke, ……….. 567cc DOHC, 4-stroke,
single cylinder single cylinder
Fuel system……………….EFI……………………………………….. EFI
Fuel capacity……………4.5gal…………………………………… 5.25gal
Starting system………… Electric………………………………… Electric
Final drive………………..Auto PVT……………………………… Auto PVT
Suspension/wheel travel:
Front………………………..MacPherson strut/8.2”…………. MacPherson strut/8.2”
Rear………………………..Double A-arm/9.5”………………. Double A-arm/9.5”
Tires:
Front………………………..25×8-12…………………………………. 25×8-12
Rear………………………..25×10-12……………………………….. 25×10-12
Brakes:
Front………………………..Hydraulic disc…………………….. Hydraulic disc
Rear………………………..Hydraulic disc…………………….. Hydraulic disc
Wheelbase……………….. 50.5”…………………………………….. 61.5”
Length/width/height…83”/48”/48”……………………………. 90”/48”/68”
Ground clearance…….11”……………………………………….. 10.25”
Seat height……………….33.75”…………………………………… N/A
Total rack capacity….. 90 lb. (f)/180 lb, (r)………………… 120 lb. (f)/240 lb. (r)
Towing capacity……….1225 lb…………………………………. 1500 lb.
Curb weight…………….. 702 lb…………………………………… 854 lb.
Colors………………………..Sage Green, Pursuit Camo,… Voodoo Blue,
Indy Red, Bright White White Lightning
Price………………………….$6499……………………………………. $8499

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