Extend your off-road and off-grid adventure for days! By Jeff Henson

If we had to sum up the Xpedition ADV in a phrase, it would be “master of all-terrain.” It goes everywhere with unyielding comfort, ample power and enough space to escape for days.

Polaris had us all doing a double take when they released the Xpedition XP and ADV models. They already have the RZR sport side-by-side lineup, the utility-focused Ranger and the General for everything in between. So, what was this new model that resembled a square-bodied SUV? If you haven’t figured it out yet, the Xpedition is a recreational model designed to explore even further with more fuel range, more off-road capability and cargo space for packing enough adventure gear to last days at a time. 

Our test machine showed up in the mid-level Ultimate trim with optional Polaris accessories, including front and rear A-arm guards, a half windshield, a 40-inch light bar, bumper-mounted driving lights, a roof rack and rock sliders.

There seems to be a misconception that Polaris aimed its new Xpedition ADV model squarely at taking market share away from “overlanding” favorites like the Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco and Toyota 4Runner, but that really isn’t the case. Overlanding is defined as vehicle-supported, self-reliant adventure travel for exploring remote locations while interacting with other cultures. It sees the journey as the purpose, often referring to adventures that can last weeks, months or even longer. In short, you’ve got to be street-legal, which the Xpedition is not. 

Fox Podium QS3 shocks (2.0 front/2.5 rear) have a three-way firmness dial at the top of the shock. We found the middle setting perfect for a blend of fast and technical trails without ever bottoming.
Stepping up to the Ultimate trim includes our favorite GPS navigation system, Ride Command. The Ultimate trim also gets an upgraded JBL stereo with Bluetooth connection, and front and rear cameras.

Yes, you can make a UTV street-legal in some states and towns, but Polaris explicitly says that the Xpedition should not be driven on paved surfaces. Furthermore, many U.S. Forest dirt roads require all vehicles to be street-legal, further limiting travel. And, unlike a true overlanding vehicle, you’ll still be towing the Xpedition to the trailhead. However, if your needs require a purpose-built, extreme off-roading vehicle that can cover a lot of ground quickly, all while losing yourself on primitive trails in the wilderness for days at a time, the Xpedition commands your attention.

The Xpedition’s SUV-style cargo space offers plenty of room for a large cooler, packer crates, camping supplies and tools, with a single latch tailgate and fixed cover to help protect your gear from the elements.


The 114-horsepower ProStar 1000 Gen 2 engine is powerful and gives you three modes of power delivery using a three-way rocker switch on the dash. From idle, power comes on light and easy in Comfort mode, while mashing the throttle in Sport mode results in some serious bow lift. We had a lot of fun in Sport mode in the few areas where the trail ahead opened up, but most of this trail was rugged and bumpy and occasionally forced us to navigate boulder gardens (big rocks!). We spent the majority of our testing in standard mode, which gave us full power when needed, but wasn’t as abrupt when we didn’t.

When top speed is required, the Xpedition gets up to 65 mph quickly. It will easily climb above 70 before the governor kicks in. However, we didn’t want to push our luck on this technical trail.

The Ultimate trim package includes a 7-inch touchscreen with Ride Command, upgraded JBL Bluetooth stereo, front and rear cameras, telescopic/tilt steering wheel and a 900-watt stator charging system.


Polaris claims the Xpedition can clear 200 miles on a full 12.5-gallon tank of 87 octane. You might remember Cain’s first test drive of the Xpedition XP four-door Ultimate model in our September 2023 issue, in which he drove from Mesquite, Nevada, to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. He reported about 110 miles before requiring a fuel stop, which adds up to about 9 mpg. Keep in mind that he was driving the longer-wheelbase model. It was loaded with gear, including a 140-pound rooftop tent, and the trail had a lot of high-speed sections and elevation changes.

Our results with the Xpedition ADV two-door model told a different story. The going was slower with frequent photo stops, and we weren’t carrying nearly as much weight. Our calculations put the smaller ADV at around 15.6 mpg, which adds up to 195 miles on a tank. We’re certain the 200-mile claim is attainable at moderate speeds on a groomed trail.

Our test unit came with two Lock & Ride Max D-rings for strapping down gear in the cargo box. Additional D-rings can be purchased from Polaris for $39.99.


The PVT transmission is very manageable, even in low range when traversing big rocks. Switching power delivery to Comfort mode for more technical terrain alleviates any herky-jerky throttle reaction. As usual with Polaris, the AWD system does not include a fully lockable front differential, but it works. Point it at a 90-degree rock step in AWD, and it climbs straight up. We used all ground clearance in rock gardens, but the Xpedition motored right through without any hangups. Switching between 2WD and AWD is achieved on the fly with a dash-mounted rocker switch and includes terrain-friendly Turf mode.


The cab is spacious, with plenty of room for stretching knees, elbows and legs. There’s lots of headroom for taller riders, too. The driver’s seat is adjustable, while the passenger seat is fixed for maximum legroom. Both doors have grab handles, and the passenger seat includes a matching inner grab handle, allowing a more relaxed feel with your elbows bent at your sides. The seats are bolstered and double-stitched, offer above-par comfort, and allow easy entry and exit. Tilt steering is standard on most side-by-sides, but stepping up to the Ultimate Xpedition trim level gets you telescopic adjustability, too. All controls are within easy reach, and there are three cubbies for cameras and loose items, a glove box, and a lockable center console box. I also appreciated the side steps between the seat and door, allowing convenient access to the optional roof rack.

The lack of a dumping bed makes maintenance access more difficult, so Polaris integrated an access panel in the box floor for easier access to the engine compartment.


At just over 16 feet, the turning radius is exceptional. I spent far less time messing with three-point turns when changing directions, and weaving around rocks and uneven terrain are nearly effortless. Even in the most technical situations, the Xpedition has a nimble feel. On our vehicle scale, with all fluids and a full fuel tank, it weighs 2,392 pounds, but it drives so much lighter.

Ground clearance is optimal at 14 inches. I scraped the skid plate a few times, but only while navigating extensive boulder gardens we wouldn’t attempt with just any side-by-side. There is some body roll, but the front and rear sway bars pick it up well before it becomes unnerving. Our next test will include driving with the rooftop tent installed, so we’ll see if changing the center of gravity amplifies body roll in the corners. 

The tire choice is excellent! The 8-ply-rated Pro Armor Crawler XP radials proved bulletproof in jagged rocks with plenty of sidewall protection, but without presenting the rigid ride often associated with stiffer sidewalls. With air pressure set to factory specs, traction remained optimal in the rocks, sand and mud.


Suspension is the Xpedition’s best feature! The Fox Performance Series QS3 shocks come with position-sensitive spiral technology, which uses grooves cut into the shock body to allow oil to flow around the shock piston. Fox tells us this enhances shock tuning and refines the action from fully extended to the end of shock travel. The name might sound like marketing hype, but the difference is very noticeable in a vehicle designed for trail recreation.

Washboard roads and rock-laden trails are no match for this suspension. There’s no chatter or annoying vibration, just plush comfort at any speed. In the big rocks and hard-edged ruts, the shocks provide a soft cushion that buffers abrupt hits. On groomed trails with minimal cargo, the soft suspension does feel slightly disconnected from the surface, but it just takes a little time to get used to. I was able to remedy it by turning the three-way shock adjusters up to the firmest setting. Each shock must be set manually with a dial at the top of the shock reservoir. On a side note, you must be cautious when adjusting the rear passenger shock on the trail; you have to reach behind the hot exhaust system for access.

With softer suspension, we tend to expect a lot of body roll. The Xpedition does have some when initiating turns at speed, but front and rear sway bars are quick to add support as the vehicle begins to lean, even with a full load in the bed.

According to Polaris, the Xpedition does not come with engine braking. However, we did detect some usable braking from the belt drive as long as we kept the throttle slightly engaged, especially with the transmission in low range.


The Ultimate trim does include a 7-inch touchscreen display with Ride Command, our favorite GPS system. We’ve said it multiple times—nothing will help you find more trails to explore like Ride Command. 

Front and rear cameras are included and are mounted in a way that you can see obstacles just ahead of the tires, whether moving forward or in reverse. The Ultimate-model JBL stereo sound is upgraded from what comes in the Premium trim and sounds excellent when stopped or moving. Phone connectivity lets you stream your favorite playlists, take and make calls, download your contact list, and see text messages.

A 12-volt power receptacle and a dual-USB port can be found in the center console glove box, as well as a single USB in the dash glove box. There’s also a convenient battery charging port in the front grill, which doubles as a 12-volt accessory port with direct access to the battery. This is also where you would plug the extension cord in for the LED light strip that is integrated into Polaris’ optional rooftop tent. 


The true purpose of the Polaris Xpedition is found in the word “eXpedition,” which is defined as a journey with a purpose. If you’re looking for an off-road vehicle that can tackle extreme terrain while leading you to rugged backcountry camping, finding a less traveled spot on the backside of a lake to kayak and fish, or exploring and camping on all 2000-plus miles of Utah’s Paiute trail system, the Polaris Xpedition covers all bases.

At just over 16 feet, the turning radius is exceptional. We spent far less time messing with three-point turns when changing directions, and wiggling through technical spots was much easier.

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