UTV TEST: 2020 POLARIS RZR PRO XP 4 PREMIUM
A Pro for four By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Polaris debuted the great new RZR Pro XP for 2020, and given the success that the brand has had with four-seat machines, it was only a matter of time. That time has come, and the RZR Pro XP 4 is here. In addition to the base RZR Pro XP 4, the new machine is available as a RZR Pro XP 4 Premium and a RZR Pro XP 4 Ultimate.
Our test unit was a RZR Pro XP 4 Premium. In terms of driveline and suspension performance, there is no difference between the base model and the Premium version. There are some color-accent differences on the suspension parts, and the Premium has painted body panels. All of the Pro XP models have LED lighting, but the Premium and Ultimate have additional LED accent lights. Inside, the Premium gets cool 6-point harness-type seat belts, and the rear passenger area offers fold-flat rear storage. You pull the seat backs out, and the seat bases flip forward to leave the rear area a flat 27.7 x 52.8 x 19.5-inch area with integrated tie-down points.
Like many Polaris four-seat owners, we rarely drive with passengers in the rear seats. We like the way the 4-seater handles in the rough, how it takes steep drops and technical climbs. Most of the time we use the rear-passenger compartment for storage. Polaris just made it easy and official.
POWER AND PLENTY
For the Pro XP series, Polaris jumped its trusty ProStar, turbocharged, 925cc, parallel twin-cylinder, DOHC engine from 168 to 181 horsepower. Corralling the added ponies required engine tuning, a larger water-cooled turbo, and improved heat dissipation and cooling for the engine. The engine shouldn’t boil over when turned off after hard running, thanks to a purge valve at the radiator and at the engine. It doesn’t add performance, but a welcome 12-gallon fuel tank does extend the performance of the thirsty turbocharged engine. While driving hard at speed, our Polaris turbos have gotten worse fuel mileage than our Ford F250 Super Duty V10 gets while towing and carrying a cab-over camper. Trail conditions that limit extended full-throttle running greatly improve the fuel consumption.
To go with the new lights and other electrical features of the Pro XP, and thanks to the many added electrical draws that common accessories add, Polaris upgraded the electrical system to a high-output, 900-Watt charging system with sealed electrical and the Polaris Pulse System. Polaris’ Pulse Electrical System comes stock in the RZR Pro XP. It is an under-hood electrical accessory that provides owners with a seamless way to connect accessories like lights and sound systems to their RZR. There is no need to modify the existing wiring harness. It contains sealed electrical plug points. Remove the covers and you can add plug-in pigtails to connect add-ons. It makes aftermarket parts plug-and-play. Polaris has already created add-ons with the correct plugs that you can purchase through the website or at your dealer.
The transmission was strengthened by a claimed 39 percent to withstand the increased horsepower. Inside the trans, the gears are stronger, and the trans has been tuned to handle the 30-inch tall tires and increased horsepower. It retains a high and low forward gear, neutral, park, and reverse. The CVT has been redesigned with increased ventilation to run much cooler, which aids in belt performance and lifespan. Polaris incorporated roller pucks in the primacy clutch rather than metal sliders. The CVT cover is now easier to remove, and the bolts that hold it on stay connected to the CVT cover.
The RZR Pro XP fully welded one-piece frame utilizes 2-inch-diameter tubing. We saw a bare-rolling chassis on display, and it is impressively beefy seeing it in person. Polaris claims that the roll cage is the strongest one that comes stock on a UTV.
The proven differential out of the RS1 and RZR XP Turbo S line is used for the Pro XP, as well as axles claimed to be eight times stronger. The updated true On-Demand all-wheel/two-wheel drive system is now called “Isolated Xtreme Performance,” and it is claimed to be a three-times-stronger front drive.
Polaris built the Pro XP line to handle hard and abusive driving while being comfortable and smooth. This 64-inch-wide machine has a whopping 125-inch wheelbase—8 inches longer than a RZR Turbo S 4 but 10 inches shorter than a Can-Am X3 Max. Compared to other 64-inch RZR models, the Pro XP has an inch more front travel at 17 inches and 2 more inches of rear travel at 20 inches. Building on what Polaris learned from the excellent and robust Turbo S line, all of the suspension arms are stronger. Both front and rear systems utilize stabilizer bars.
The RZR Pro XP 4 base model and our Premium test unit are fitted with Walker Evan needle shocks that have 2-inch bodies in the front and 2.5-inch bodies in the rear. Spring preload and the compression damping (16-position compression) are adjustable. We found that the ride was more compliant that any previous stock RZR with Walker shocks. We had plenty of control for hard driving, but had the ride comfort that makes long rides pleasant. The Ultimate version has the computerized Dynamix package with computer-controlled Fox Live Valve shocks.
The RZR XP Pro 4 cockpit gives the driver a more connected feel than any previous Polaris RZR. The seating position is lower, and the seats are all-new without the flexy feeling of previous models. Our Premium edition has six-point harnesses that use a waist and a thigh belt to secure you without the need for a center strap between the legs. Plus, the steering wheel tilts, and on the Premium and Ultimate models it telescopes. The cockpit claims 6 inches more legroom, 4 inches more width at the shoulders, and there are more than three storage locations. The reach to any of the switch panels is shorter.
The new seats have airflow channels designed into them, and they have tilt adjustability that requires tools. The downside to the comfort, room and low seating is that the over-the-hood vision is more limited than previous RZRs.
TIME TO RIDE
We love the power delivery of the well-tuned ProStar turbo-inducted engine. It is welcome in the dunes, and with the stock Maxxis Carnivore tires we had ample traction and acceleration for the sand and big dunes. Once we were on more technical desert trails (yes, we have tight and technical trails) we questioned whether we needed that much power. It is tuned to work best in the 20–50-mph range. When you hit the throttle you know it because things get blurry. We had our Turbo S along in the dunes and the desert, and it felt muted in comparison at speed. When the going was slow with tricky traction, the Turbo S 4 was more controllable and easier to drive. The Pro XP 4 would light the tires with tiny throttle applications. It was pronounced enough that we were happy for the long-wheelbase machine during technical climbs.
Polaris designed the Pro XP 4 to have agile cornering and a sharp-turning radius, and despite the long wheelbase, we found that to be true.
Across whoops, over jumps, through rocks and threading sand washes, cornering, and general stability are impressive. The low center of gravity and lower seating let us feel comfortable during hard cornering, and it kept the inside wheels planted. The triple-bore front brakes and dual-bore rears are strong and don’t fade.
The tall doors and low seating position provide a safe feeling. Our trust in the stronger and larger-tube-diameter roll cage added to that feeling. Polaris included an easy-adjust passenger grab handle, and the interior has a substantial feel. You can tell that human interface took up a good part of the R&D time. While the foot compartment is longer than other RZR models, it didn’t feel as wide.
For now, the Pro XP line doesn’t replace other Polaris RZR models. We can only assume there will be a 72-inch version, and then there may be a reduction in models. The Pro XP is an attractive model, and that goes double for the four-seat Pro XP 4 with its ample and comfortable room for four. The base suspension is a nice step forward, and the whole car has a solidity to it that is very comforting. Go to www.polaris.com for more information.
SPECS: 2020 POLARIS RZR PRO XP 4 PREMIUM
Engine Twin-cylinder, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, turbo induction
Fuel system EFI
Fuel capacity 12 gal.
Transmission Automatic CVT
Final drive Shaft
Front High-clearance Dual A-arm with 2.0 Walker Evans needle shocks/17.0”
Rear Trailing arm & high-clearance radius rods with 2.5 Walker Evans needle shocks/ 20.0”
Front Dual hydraulic discs
Rear Dual hydraulic discs
Ground clearance 14.5”
Dry weight 2026 lb.
Payload capacity 900 lb.
Cargo bed capacity 300 lb.
Towing capacity N/A
Colors Indy Red, Cruiser Black, White Lightning