UTV TEST: 2022 POLARIS RZR PRO XP 4 ULTIMATE
Fast fun with computers By the staff of Dirt Wheels
It is hard to believe that the RZR Pro XP 4 has been around less than two years. They seem to be everywhere, and with good reason. The basic platform and frame construction are on point and extremely robust. In the case of the RZR Pro XP 4, the cab can seat four in comfort, or the rear seats convert to a platform to securely carry equipment without eating up bed space or locating the load too far back behind the rear wheels.
Our test unit is a RZR Pro XP 4 Ultimate. In terms of driveline, there is no difference between the three levels of standard equipment for the Pro XP 4, but the Ultimate is literally loaded with tech and electronics!
Among the most important features are Ride Command and Dynamix Active Suspension 2.0. Ride Command is GPS integrated into a 7-inch glove-touch display, but the screen is also the communications and connectivity center. One screen is the Dynamix 2.0 Visualizer that shows exactly what the suspension settings are in real time. There is also digital Instrumentation, GPS, Group Ride (cell-based or GPS-based), topographic mapping, Bluetooth & USB smartphone connectivity, AM/FM & weather radio, and it is in-vehicle communications capable with optional Sena headsets.
Both the suspension and Ride Command are interconnected. Dynamix requires the GPS for calibration, and the display screen is required to show what the suspension is doing.
Dynamix has electronically adjustable Fox Live Valve shocks. Buttons on the steering wheel allow selecting Comfort, Sport and Firm general settings.
The steering wheel also has a red button that jumps the suspension to full stiff. The firm setting is about 60-percent damping. When the car leaves the ground, the suspension goes full stiff or to 100 percent on the display screen. When turning (over 20 mph), Dynamix has always stiffened the outside shocks. Unlike earlier Dynamix versions, the Pro XP Ultimate also softens the inside shocks to help keep the car level.
AND MORE FEATURES
The Ultimate has always come with a sound system, but our 2022 Ultimate came with a Rockford Fosgate Stage 2 system that includes two tweeters, two front and two rear speakers, and an external 400-watt amp. The Ultimate also has premium painted body panels. We are quite impressed with the paint. We got in a sticky spot, and we scratched up some of the unpainted plastic body parts, but we barely marred the paint surface. That paint is pretty and tough.
LED accent lights and LED headlights are standard as well. Almost all RZR models have a tilt wheel, but only Pro XP Ultimate models have a telescoping wheel as well. That wheel is connected to high-assist electronic power steering with a quick-turn steering rack. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is. The high-assist steering is light with good feel, and when you switch to another car without the quick-turn rack, you feel like your arms are permanently crossed trying to turn the steering farther.
All four seats have six-point harness-type seat belts, but the front seats have retractable shoulder belts. We love those!
POWER AND PLENTY
For the Pro XP series, Polaris upped the ProStar, turbocharged, 925cc, parallel twin-cylinder DOHC engine from 168 to 181 horsepower. Handling the added power required engine tuning, a larger liquid-cooled turbo, and improved heat dissipation and cooling for the engine. There are two separate cooling systems. The front radiator is for the intercooler, and the larger radiator behind it cools the turbo and the engine. The engine shouldn’t boil over when turned off after hard running, thanks to a new purge valve at the engine that joins one at the radiator. It doesn’t add performance, but a 13-gallon fuel tank (XP 4 only) does extend the range of the thirsty turbocharged engine. Trail driving conditions improve the fuel consumption compared to high-speed, deep-throttle running.
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. There are two independent 450-watt systems. If you lose one, you can still proceed on the other. Polaris’ Pulse electrical system comes stock in the RZR Pro XP. It is an under-hood electrical accessory that provides owners an effortless way to connect accessories to their machine. The Pulse 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.
When Polaris designed the Pro XP, the transmission was strengthened to handle the increased horsepower. The gears are stronger, and the trans has been tuned to handle the 30-inch-tall tires. It employs a high and low forward gear, neutral, park and reverse. The CVT was redesigned for the original Pro XP with increased ventilation. Polaris incorporated roller pucks in the primary clutch rather than metal sliders. The CVT cover is easy to remove, and the bolts that secure it stay connected to the CVT cover. Polaris doesn’t list specific changes, but claims that the clutching undergoes continuous improvement and refinement.
The fully welded one-piece frame utilizes 2-inch-diameter tubing. The proven front 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 than pre-Pro XP models. 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. Dynamix 2.0 raises that capability to amazing levels. The Pro XPs remain 64 inches wide, and the XP 4 has a 125-inch wheelbase—8 inches longer than a RZR Turbo S 4, but 10 inches shorter than a Can-Am X3 Max. All the suspension arms are strong, and the inside of the rear trailing arms has been stiffened for 2022 to make the arms even stronger. Both front and rear suspensions have stabilizer bars.
The RZR Pro XP 4 Sport and Premium are fitted with Walker Evan needle shocks that have 2-inch bodies in the front and 2.5-inch bodies in the rear. The XP Ultimates have 2.5-inch Fox Live Valve shocks with spring preload and that electronic “smart” shock damping. Shock settings change hundreds of times a second in response to inputs from steering, throttle, GPS, a gyro and an accelerometer. We found the ride amazingly compliant, but with the instant ability to make general changes and, of course, that red button for full damping with a touch. We had ample suspension control for hard driving, but had the ride comfort that makes long rides pleasant.
Like many Polaris four-seat owners, we mostly ride with one or two people in the car, but we did drive with the RZR fully loaded with four people. Handling and ride quality were excellent. We like how the long wheelbase responds in the rough, and how it tackles drops and techy climbs so calmly.
The RZR XP Pro 4 cockpit provides the driver a connected feel. The seating position is low, and without the flexy feeling of previous models. The cockpit has great legroom. All controls and switches are easy to reach and use.
The seats have tilt adjustability, but that requires tools. The downside of the low seating is limited over-the-hood vision.
TIME TO RIP
In large part we are ultra-impressed with the RZR Pro XP 4 Ultimate. It is not the fastest of all sport UTVs, but it is fast with a very satisfying response to throttle inputs. Polaris designed the drive package to work best in the 20–50-mph range, and for the vast percentage of owners and off-road conditions, that is a perfect zone. You can use the powerful response to almost steer the Pro XP with the throttle. Hit the throttle in that speed range and you feel a satisfactory push back into the seat. Acceleration remains impressive over 50 mph as well.
Being a long, robust chassis with fantastic suspension lets the car be calm and collected at speed and in the rough. If you roll deep, sharp whoops or cross abrupt terrain changes, you feel the skid plates touch. We encountered some trails with hard, sharp whoops that were too rough and twisty to get on top of the bumps with speed. We bumped the skids often but without issue. We never experienced that with our RZR XP Turbo S4.
Even with the longish wheelbase, expect agile cornering and an impressive turning radius.
Across whoops, jumps, rocks and carving washes, cornering and stability were impressive. The low center of gravity and seating left us feeling confident during hard cornering, and it kept the inside wheels planted. The Pro XP often feels wider than a 64-inch machine in turns, and that is explained by the Dynamix 2.0 stiffening the outer shocks and softening the inside shocks to keep the car planted.
Stopping power is equal to the power with triple-bore front brakes and dual-bore rears. They are strong and don’t fade.
With full half doors, the low seating position and six-point seat belts, the Pro XP gives the driver and passengers a safe feeling. Polaris included an easy-adjust passenger grab handle, and most of us hate being passengers, so when we did ride shotgun, the handle got a workout. You can tell that human engineering was a large part of the Pro XP’s design time. We relish the leg extension, but the foot compartment doesn’t feel as wide as a RZR XP.
Driving the Pro XP 4 Ultimate adds entire layers to the driving experience. For those who want it, there is the sound system, but navigating with the GPS or communicating with a group ride via text is a whole other level to riding with friends. Then there is the Dynamix suspension. While enjoying sporty driving, your fun goes up as you learn to let your right thumb stay busy. Busy selecting the suspension levels, but even more punching that red button to “cush” out big impacts.
For years the Pro XP line didn’t replace other Polaris RZR models, but now all the turbocharged RZR XPs, including the Turbo S, have been supplanted by RZR Pro XP models, and now Polaris’ highest performance models—the RZR Turbo R, which shares the engine and drive train with our test Ultimate, and the four-cylinder Pro R are based on the Pro XP platform. As we drove our RZR Pro XP Ultimate, we kept rediscovering the versatility of the 64-inch platform. It doesn’t suffer much at speed or in the sand, but is a solid partner for less open riding. Despite being a longer machine, the Pro XP 4 is a weapon for technical and even tight trails. We didn’t really expect that, but it is more than apparent why Polaris holds fast to 64-inch (and 50- and 60-inch) sport machines. They do have concrete advantages. And, as far as four-seat 64-inch machines go, the RZR Pro XP 4 Ultimate is exceptional. Go to www.polaris.com for more information.
2022 POLARIS RZR PRO XP 4 ULTIMATE
Engine Twin-cylinder, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, turbo induction
Fuel system EFI
Fuel capacity 13 gal.
Transmission Automatic CVT
Final drive Shaft
Front High-clearance dual A-Arm with stabilizer bar and Fox 2.5 Podium Live Valve shocks with Bottom-Out Control/17.0”
Rear Trailing arm & high-clearance radius rods with Fox 2.5 Podium Live Valve shocks with Bottom-Out Control/20.0”
Front Dual hydraulic discs
Rear Dual hydraulic discs
Ground clearance 14.5”
Dry weight 2066 lb.
Payload capacity 900 lb.
Cargo bed capacity 300 lb.
Towing capacity N/A
Colors Super Graphite, Army Green