Which high-performance side-by-side is best for you? Is it the new 2021 Polaris General – Pursuit edition or a new Polaris RZR? Here is my take on this question after testing the machines at a recent Polaris event. The final decision comes down to crazy-fast fun or fun+utility. Let me explain.
Polaris first introduced the General lineup around five years ago (the 2016 model year). Polaris already has two very popular side-by-side lineups – the Polaris Ranger utility machines and the RZR performance machines. The General is meant to combine the utility of the Ranger and the performance of the RZR.
The latest General XP 1000 is the more high-performance version and it offers 100 horsepower, 14 inches of suspension travel, and 13.5 inches of ground clearance. The new Pursuit Edition rides on 30-inch all-terrain tires. These are impressive off-road specs for any side-by-side, but the General’s suspension design is bit different from that of the RZR because it also needs to haul and tow more weight.
The General XP 1000 two-door is rated at a total of 1,100 lbs of payload (600 lbs of payload in the rear tilt bed). It is also rated to tow up to 1,500 lbs using its 2-inch hitch receiver. These weight specs are not nearly as high as the Ranger’s – but it’s way more than the RZR. For example, the RZR cargo area is rated at a maximum of 300 lbs.
While I love the ultra-high performance of the turbocharged RZR Pro XP or the Turbo S with their optional DYNAMIX active suspension systems, my skill level and availability of wide-open terrain usually do allow me to explore their limits. The General fits what I need and can use in a better way. General’s optional Walker Evans shocks offer great adjustability and compliant performance. The General can also do some work when needed. For these reasons, I would chose the General XP 1000.
The General 1000 starts at the $15,999. The General XP 1000 starts at $22,999. I would choose the more expensive XP model for the adjustable high-performance shocks and all the other equipment and accessories that come with it.
While the RZR Trail 570 base model starts at a much more affordable $10,599. The RZR Trail S 1000 starts at $16,999. The 181-horsepower RZR Pro XP starts at a comparable $22,999. However, the Pro XP has over 20 inches of suspension travel and 14.5 inches of ground clearance (with 30-inch tires).