Polaris has just made one of its biggest unveilings in years, announcing a new line of side-by-sides, the Polaris Xpedition.
Slated for retail debut in 2024, the new vehicle promises to take riders on more adventures than ever before. On your first look at this machine, you may think it looks like Jeep’s younger cousin.
To be honest, you wouldn’t really be wrong. This SxS is massive, especially the flagship model, the Polaris Xpedition ADV.
When building this machine, it really looks like Polaris made efforts to build off the platform built by the Polaris General to make this new machine more functional for adventure-seekers.
Polaris also unveiled this machine’s Xpedition XP version, which has the same chassis suspension and powertrain as the ADV model but has a shorter wheelbase.
Both the Xpedition XP & ADV models come with 3 different trim options. The base “premium” edition, the upgraded “Ultimate” edition equipped with Polaris Ride Command along with a variety of other additions, and the “Northstar” edition. The Northstar edition fully encloses the cab on the XP model and encloses everything, even the cargo bed, on the ADV. We’ve never seen this style of cargo cover in the power sports industry before. The closest thing you could relate the body of the Northstar ADV to would be a Jeep.
If Polaris was trying to hammer any feature home during the unveiling, it was definitely the volume and customizability of the storage space available. All models of the Xpedition have lock and ride max with what looks to be a mounting track, that will ultimately give riders more options for how they want to configure their storage space. It will be interesting to see how a track system holds up in the mud, or even hours of built-up dirt and dust from the trail.
The Xpedition features a flat roof to store kayaks, pop-up tents, and more on the ride to your destination, assuming you’re equipped with the right accessories.
Polaris will manufacture both 2 and 5-seat options for the Xpedition. On the 5-seat, you can fold the rear seats down to provide more storage space. They also have hard backing, so you won’t have to worry about scratching or tearing the fabric.
Power and Fuel Range
With a machine that dives so heavily into the adventure realm, you obviously won’t get the same power you would with something like the 181 horsepower (HP) Pro XP. However, when you build upon the General platform by adding an engine from one of the new RZR’s, you do see an increase in HP from 100 to 114. This won’t be a machine to win a race, or go mudding in. Heck, with a carpeted roof, you probably don’t want to get it too dirty anyways. With high clearance a-arms coming stock, ground clearance is 14 inches, providing room to climb over some pretty significant obstacles.
One area where these machines thrive is the fuel range which spans over 200 miles (or over 321 km). Although this will also depend on the terrain you’re riding, this should be more than enough for a deep drive into the bush. It also has a 2,000 lb towing capacity, so you could theoretically pack all your camping gear while towing a decently-sized boat.
Polaris emphasized the comfortability of this machine as well. Internally, the design team coined it as a machine to take on the “72-hour adventure.” When you look at some of the design elements in the interior of this machine, you can tell how much focus they put into making that adventure a comfortable one. The seats are lower from what you would typically see in the interior of a Polaris SxS and have added 6 inches of adjustment room. They also included a telescoping steering wheel, you’ll be able to move it up and down and also bring it in closer or push it further. As expected, the fully enclosed Northstar options come with heat and air conditioning.
With so many features, this machine will cost you. Even the least expensive model of the Xpedition (The 2-seater XP) is $35,999 CAD. Meanwhile, the Expedition ADV 5 Northstar is $54,999 CAD.
Things We Noticed
Going back to the Pro R, Polaris changed their wheels to feature a 5/156, or 5 stud, bolt-pattern. On the Xpedition, that pattern will continue. Based on the trend, we wouldn’t be shocked to see other Polaris machines coming out with 5/156 bolt-patterns in the near future.
While this machine might not meet the needs of extreme off-roaders, it doesn’t need to. This machine is built for people who love to escape from home into the depths of the wilderness for days. It still does enough to get through shallow mud and has enough HP to get over steep hills.
A Discussion With A Rider
Although this unveiling doesn’t seem revolutionary like the RZR Ranger unveiling back in 2007, Polaris has taken another step forward into the demographic of weekend adventurers they have been trying to capture for years.
Some of those adventurers are families. As a father, our outside Sales Associate and UTV Racing friend, Mark Meyer, also sees a lot of value in the Xpedition as a family machine “My biggest anticipation for the new release was the seating configuration. I’m so happy to see that they went with a 5-seater in the back.”
Mark added that he wishes there would have been room for one more, “I would have been even more excited to see them figure out a way to make a really comfortable 6-seater for the bigger families. Especially with the goal of this being an adventure machine, (there’s) even more reason to have even more room to get more people out on that adventure.”
In the enclosed Northstar trims of this vehicle, you should be able to have a conversation talking at a normal level, which just further adds to the luxury. There may not be as much noise coming from the engine and the tires, with the noise being something more similar to what you’d get in a regular vehicle. As riders know, there isn’t a machine out that doesn’t totally drown out conversation.
For a longtime offroader like Mark, he can appreciate the thought that went into this new machine. Even down to the name, the Xpedition, which is a callback to a quad from Polaris that shared the same name over 20 years ago.
Over those decades, these machines have done nothing but grow in size, power, and popularity. These machines are even getting close to being road legal, and with the Xpedition ADV Northstar, it seems to have gotten a touch closer once again. However, as Mark says, “it boils down to where you’re located. In some places in the States… you can very easily get these things plated whereas in Canada… it’s just not going to happen.”
As a racer and a family man, Mark loves how they created a sporty machine that has all the Northstar comforts. “We haven’t seen a General that comes from the factory with those Northstar comforts, which means all we have is the Ranger platforms which originated from full on utility reasons. The handling, the characteristics are just not as sporty as the General which was built off the RZR’s frame and platform.”
However this does come with its drawbacks. When you think about all the gear people will bring into the Xpedition, it’s apparent that this machine is going to be heavy. This could create concern when you consider who may be driving the Xpedition and where they will be driving it. Mark says “if all goes according to plan and they get a new segment of people coming in and driving these machines. [he’s] really curious to see how it’s going to work out for them,” especially when you consider how powerful this machine is.”
One might wonder what this unveiling means for the General. After all, it seems to take a lot of what the General does, and do it better. Mark believes that there will still be a large customer base for the General, with the Xpedition maybe being a little too nice for some environments. “All those folks that are doing swamp riding, mud riding, even just the nature of the wet trails in western Canada, I don’t necessarily think [the Xpedition] will fit in that well over there. It’s just going to be a lot of electronics that can get damaged and just cleaning that thing out after a gnarly mud ride, I think people would really get frustrated.”
Mark does believe that this machine will be a massive success for Polaris. Now, he’s mostly left wondering one thing. Who’s next? “Is CFMoto at a point where they jump in front and try to capture this audience before someone like Can-Am?”
“I’m eating my popcorn, anxious to see who’s going to be the next one that wants to tap into this idea and see if they can better it. My anticipation is that it’s either going to be Can-Am or CFMoto.”
If you want to learn more about the Polaris Xpedition, CLICK HERE
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