Friday, 26 April 2024 08:55

Polaris unveils XD 'truck'

Written by  Mark Daniel
The Polaris Ranger XD 1500 creates a whole new category of its own: the extreme heavy duty. The Polaris Ranger XD 1500 creates a whole new category of its own: the extreme heavy duty.

Think of a RAM 1500 or a Chevrolet Silverado and compare them to a Ranger or a Hilux: One is obviously a truck, and the other is a ute.

Take the same idea and apply it to sideby- sides, and you will see there are standard machines, then there is the recently released Polaris Ranger XD 1500, which creates a whole new category of its own: the Extreme Heavy Duty.

Along with its XD 1500 NorthStar Edition model, the XD 1500 is equipped with a 3-cylinder ProStar, fuel injected 1500cc engine pushing out 110hp and 142Nm torque, mated with the SteelDrive transmission that, as the name suggests, uses a 100% steel constructed drive belt, that is fully sealed and liquid cooled.

As part of the package, the drive system offers on-demand, true all-wheel drive, 2WD, Turf and Ultra-Turf drive modes, complemented by Comfort, Standard, Sport and Tow/Haul settings. Keeping things in check, drive mode specific functions include engine braking and hill assist – the latter allowing the vehicle to hold its position to enable easier manoeuvring and improved control when stopping or starting-off on slopes or hills.

Equipped with 29-inch diameter tyres on 14-inch rims, the 1500HD delivers 38cm of ground clearance and 30.4cm of suspension travel, centred around a system that uses dual A-arms up front and dual, arched A-arms at the rear. With a dry weight of 1122kg spread over a 241cm wheelbase, the vehicle feels very surefooted laterally, with a feeling of stability, while also delivering 680kg load and 1588kg towing capacity.

During a brief driving session under the shadows of the ever-expanding wind farms to the east of Palmerston North, it certainly appears large, but once on the move, shows no signs of being unwieldy. Indeed, after a brief period, the XD inspires confidence in both its travelling and climbing ability, crossing deep drains and climbing very steep slopes with ease, while always being in control.

As one would expect with 110hp on tap, power was never an issue, even on the steepest, longest climbs, while throttle response at slow speeds was infinitely controllable. Coupled with the silky-smooth power steering, it made new acquaintances feel at home quickly.

In the cabin, increased legroom makes entry and exit easier, as does the new bottom-mounting system for the door nets that previously created a trip hazard. Adjustable seating and a telescopic steering wheel allow users to get comfortable, while the additional bolstering to the side of the seats inspires confidence and a flip-down centre seat gives driver and passenger the obligatory cup holders.

Certainly more expensive than more normal side-by-sides, the XD 1500 certainly makes a lot of sense for those carrying heavy loads or working on terrain that is too much for standard machines.

Given that they are less expensive than many of the higher-specified utes in the marketplace, they certainly warrant a closer look.

www.polarisnewzealand.com

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