Last fall, I was invited to a one-day test ride of several Arctic Cat 2023 quad lineup models.
I was able to put some miles on several models of the Arctic Cat Alterra 600 family. Even though these tests were short, I still had the time to take some notes. Here are my observations on each of the models I tried.
Alterra 600 EPS
As a first model, I opted for the basic one, the Alterra 600 EPS. Without going into details, I must admit that I was impressed by the choice of materials and the quality of the assembly. Even for an entry-level model, Arctic Cat did not cut corners.
This model has a nice look even if it remains sober. No frills, but the essentials are there. The front of the vehicle is very well done. The front bumper and the protection around the headlights give it a lot of character. I like it!
This model comes standard with tubular luggage racks in the front and rear. This provides a lot of options for bringing luggage or tools with you on rides or for doing work in the woods.
The driving position is comfortable. You feel confident right away. The engine offers interesting bursts of power for its displacement. It remains predictable and is always ready to give a little more when you press the gas pedal. Keep in mind that we have 45hp.
The ride is very precise and particularly pleasant. This is something I really appreciated about the previous generation Alterra 700. So, we don’t lose anything in this respect.
Moreover, the suspension does a good job of absorbing small bumps with ease. On the other hand, the front end of the vehicle tends to dive into tight corners if you try to negotiate them too quickly. So, you must keep a little discomfort in very tight turns. Of course, we’re talking about a base model here.
I believe the Alterra 600 EPS is very well suited for riders new to the sport or who ride more conservatively.
Alterra 600 LTD
As the name suggests, this model is better equipped. Immediately noticeable is the 3500 lb Warn winch up front, a wider bumper, more ground clearance, 26-inch tires mounted on nice aluminum rims and more visually appealing racks.
At first glance, the handling on the trail is very similar to that of the 600 EPS. However, this model allows you to lock the front differential. This maximizes torque at all four wheels. Traction is then optimized, no matter what type of terrain you ride on. For many quad riders, this feature is a must. The Alterra 600 LTD is a must-have!
Alterra 600 Black Hill Edition
This package is designed for those who push themselves and their vehicles to the limit. So, Arctic Cat has equipped this model with 28-inch tires, overall bumpers in the front as well as in the back and an adjustable handlebar riser.
If you pay attention to the handlebars, you’ll notice that Arctic Cat has equipped this model with straight handlebars instead of conventional ATV handlebars. Also, to allow the Alterra 600 Black Hill Edition to negotiate even more difficult terrain, its suspension arms are curved to provide more clearance under the vehicle.
Finally, the Alterra 600 Black Hills Edition’s improved suspension offers a smoother ride and easier steering. I noticed the difference immediately. Thanks to a more efficient set of shocks.
This was definitely an ATV that I greatly appreciated!
Alterra 600 TRV
I managed to save myself a few minutes with the 2-seater version. As I expected, this version provides a little more stability. This is due to its larger wheelbase. For long rides, even if you don’t have a passenger, I think you’ll appreciate the increased comfort and ease of driving that the 2-seater version offers.
What I Didn’t Get to Try
With the new design of the Alterra 600, Arctic Cat wanted to address the problem of heat emanating from the engine of the old version that the driver could feel while driving. On hot July days, long rides could become less enjoyable because of the heat from the engine rising to the rider. On the Alterra 600s, Arctic Cat changed the orientation of the engine and modified the path of the exhaust so that the heat would dissipate towards the rear of the vehicle.
The context of this test did not allow me to validate this. Indeed, the short distances driven combined with the mercury just above freezing point made this part of my points impossible to validate. I hope to be able to do it again this summer.
I would also like to be able to test the TRV with a passenger and of course, push my testing of this ATV family further.
I would like to thank Arctic Cat for the great opportunity they offered me.
For more information on the Arctic Cat ATV line, I invite you to consult your dealer!
Have a great season!