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Exploring Gaspésie: The Commander 700 cc—An Unexpected Choice that Impresses!

Unintentionally, this year during my Gaspésie tour, my Maverick Sport XRC decided not to join the journey, just three days before our departure. A major issue forced me to abandon the idea of using my own vehicle.

Fortunately, thanks to Bernier Sport, my dealership, I was able to borrow a Commander XT 2023 with a 700 cc engine for the duration of my trip. Needless to say, I didn’t expect performance on par with my Maverick Sport, but the Commander still performed admirably and pleasantly surprised me.


The Rotax 700 cc

Most Commander models offer two engine options: a 52 hp 700 cc single-cylinder engine or a 100 hp 1000R twin-cylinder engine. In my case, the vehicle I had was equipped with a 700 cc engine. This engine is remarkably quiet, and to further reduce noise and potentially heat, a rubber material has been added to the rear of the seats, covering the wall.

However, it’s worth acknowledging that in mountainous terrain like Gaspésie, the 52 hp can be somewhat limiting. Uphill, the vehicle did its best but reached the top somewhat out of breath, typically around 45 or 50 km/h. However, on flat and well-maintained trails, its performance was perfectly suited to our trail needs.

Suspension and Tires

The suspension with its stabilizer bar ensures excellent comfort on various terrains whether it’s mud, rocks, water, or rough trails. The XPS Trail King tires, specifically designed for this vehicle, stand out for their impressive performance. They are quality base tires, as I didn’t experience any punctures throughout my journeys, demonstrating their durability.

A break in the wind farm.

Driving, Interior, and Storage

The driving experience and interior are virtually identical to those of the Mavericks Sports lineup, which quickly put me at ease. You’ll find two storage compartments, one on the driver’s side and the other on the passenger’s side, with the latter offering ample space. The Commander features a “big dial,” particularly appreciated for an entry-level vehicle in the side-by-side category. Additionally, it boasts a spacious utility box for transporting all your necessities. However, given the heavy rain during my week, a protective cover would have been a welcome addition, although sometimes not everything is feasible!

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The Commander in action

In conclusion, I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the Commander 700 cc during my Gaspésie tour. I had some reservations about its ability to handle the demanding ascents of the region with its 52 hp engine. However, it rose to the challenge admirably. I recommend this vehicle to those not seeking the ultimate performance. For thrill seekers, the 1000R option is worth considering.

Through the trails of Gaspésie

To sum it up, if you’re in the market for this type of utility vehicle, the Commander is perfect. You have the choice between the 700 cc or 1000R engine, depending on your performance preferences, and you’ll have a vehicle that offers excellent value for your money.


I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my dealer, Bernier Sport, who generously lent me this vehicle, preventing the cancellation of my eagerly anticipated tour, which I was guiding for other participants. If you’re in the Quebec region, I highly encourage you to visit Laurier Station. Trust me; it’s well worth the visit!

See you soon!

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