It’s always interesting to be able to get our hands on vehicles other than the ones from the major manufacturers that we already know. There is no question here of diminishing some new players in the game, quite the opposite! You know the expression, “the sun shines for everyone”, it also applies to newcomers.
Well, let’s see… ARGO is not a newcomer in the market! In fact, this statement is undoubtedly true, as it is known for its amphibious vehicles that need no introduction. However, its quad division is only a few years old.
We had the chance to get our hands on the 2022 ARGO XPLORER XR 570 LE model through the Zone Récréatif Joliette dealer in Notre-Dame-des-Prairies. Well-established dealer in Lanaudière, he kindly agreed to our request, because we wanted to test a vehicle that is little known and not very present in our trails.
First of all, we have to be honest and tell you the real facts about ARGO’s quad division. ARGO vehicles are designed in Taiwan by TGB and imported to North America.
That being said, ARGO does benefit from a partnership with a well known and well established manufacturer in the world. While it may be somewhat unknown here, the situation is quite different on the other continent.
Therefore, we were excited to be able to test a quad that very few media had been able to try. However, we weren’t completely unfamiliar with it, as you will agree, a quad is a quad and they have many common characteristics.
Our test model
The 2022 ARGO XPLORER XR 570 LE we’re testing is a single-seat quad. However, you could own the model designed to carry a passenger with the XRT version. It is surprisingly imposing for a vehicle that we could call entry-level. Its dimensions could mislead us about its real displacement, it’s so colossal. I was expecting a more minimalist size overall and I was happy with this first experience.
My surprise was unequivocal: “WOW, a full size quad! I don’t know why I had such preconceived notions and expected to be confronted with a medium sized quad. Maybe being aware of where it was coming from, my mind had been conditioned to expect a smaller vehicle.
All in all, this “blind date” was already a precursor of what was to come. I quickly loaded my new toy in my trailer and moved to a playground where I could evaluate its full potential.
In no time, I was on my way to one of my favorite places to play with motorized vehicles. My journalistic privileges give me the opportunity to have access to the Off Road Festival facilities in Sainte-Béatrix when I request it. All I have to do is make a phone call and that’s it.
So I had everything I needed to spend hours and hours burning gas in an environment that had everything an enthusiast like me could want. Whether it was a short track designed for jumps and aerobatics, a rock crawling area or a long track to push my vehicle to the limit, I had it all in one place.
So it was under these circumstances that I was able to get to the bottom of the 562cc engine. I must admit that I quickly reached the limit of its 42 horsepower. I was not gentle with the throttle and Benjamin, the sales manager of Zone Récréatif Joliette, had given me carte blanche.
This single-cylinder engine with electronic injection guarantees performance, torque and low emissions. This four-stroke engine features four-valve technology and a dual-fan oil and liquid cooling system.
While not a powerhouse, I was surprised by its acceleration and allowed myself some driving treats by doing repeated donuts and roaring the engine to its maximum.
I noticed a significant presence of the engine brake. This advantage is very appreciable when riding down a steep hill and it preserves the life of the brake pads.
The centrally positioned rear muffler not only earns our admiration, it also enhances our rides with its soft sound of a very appreciable level.
We liked the gear selector next to the gas cap, and it was simple to choose between low, high, neutral, reverse and park. It is very easy to shift the clutch arm according to the desired gear. When done, it is locked in place and a force is required to operate the lever for a new selection. The selector position indicator is displayed on the digital display screen for quick and easy reading.
For its part, the CVT works in tandem with the engine for crisp, smooth acceleration.
After analysis, I came to the conclusion that the choice of tires should be revised by the designers. On this point, I would like to explain that the 26″ Maxxis Big Horn tires are not suitable for this size. A smaller diameter would be more appropriate and the engine, as well as the clutch, would be less stressed.
Nevertheless, these 26-inch Maxxis Big Horn tires need no introduction, as they are a regular feature on the landscape. Even if they are not unanimous, a large majority loves them, because they have excellent traction on all types of terrain.
To my surprise, the ARGO XPLORER XR 570 LE has power steering by the name of “LE”. Moreover, two levels of intensity are available in the settings for adjustment according to preference or playground.
Still, even at the minimum setting, this quad is made for easy control and handling. I personally prefer less assistance to get a better feel of the terrain and obstacles. However, I am aware that some people will prefer to have more assistance on long trips to reduce the fatigue factor. It’s up to the driver and this selection is done in seconds in the settings parameters on the digital dial.
The ergonomics are really great and the seat offers excellent comfort. There are two lockable storage compartments on each front mudguard and an accessory outlet for charging your phone or other tech items. At this level, storage space is really lacking and to carry a few tools or equipment, an additional trunk on the luggage rack will have to be considered. On that note, the sturdy steel racks can carry a combined weight of 265 pounds, so carrying our gear was pretty easy.
The 4-wheel suspension is nothing revolutionary, but the shocks are adjustable in compression. We kept the same adjustments as when we took possession of it, because they were already exactly adapted to my driving style. Landings during a jump were very smooth with good responsiveness.
We didn’t get a chance to tow anything, but it was nice to see the 2 inch hitch as you would see it on a truck. Every ARGO XPLORER quad has this hitch standard, and it comes with an anti-vibration locking bolt that helps eliminate shaking noises when in use. It offers a towing capacity of up to 569 kg (1,255 lbs).
Ground clearance is very impressive for a quad in this class. It offers 12.6 inches to face all kinds of obstacles that can be found on our road. This is beyond our expectations and at no time did the chassis come into contact with a rock or any other obstruction.
In conclusion, it goes without saying that the ARGO XPLORER XR 570 LE is a great discovery in itself and an alternative to the more popular brands. It will be a very well equipped entry-level quad for both beginners and novices.
We would like to thank once again the Zone Récréatif Joliette dealer who allowed us to do this test.