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Short term test of the RANGER XP 1000 NorthStar Ultimate

Last November and December, thanks to Polaris Inc. I had the opportunity to do a short term test of the RANGER XP 1000 NorthStar Ultimate. In this article, I will share with you its characteristics, my observations about it, but also the positive and negative points I could find.

Engine, transmission and power steering

First of all, the Ranger XP is equipped with a 4-stroke, 999cc, twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine with electronic fuel injection, developing 82 hp, a high-performance VersaTrac drive system on demand and a PVT automatic H/L/N/R/P transmission. It also features electronic power steering.

Storage Space

Its cab comes standard with easy-access storage, including a box under the driver’s seat, as well as two easy-access gloveboxes. This vehicle also has six oversized cup holders for cups or cell phones and two bottle holders.

Driving comfort

Even though the Ranger XP’s steering wheel is tiltable and the new contoured seats are adjustable, I didn’t like them at all. The driving position is still very uncomfortable as we sit too upright. I understand that this is a utility and work vehicle, but if the owner wants to use it from time to time for trail riding, I think the driving position should be rethought.

Pro Shield Cab System

The cab’s waterproofing provides good protection from the elements.

LED headlights and lights

The LED headlights up front provide improved illumination when the weather gets darker. However, the night light switch is not conveniently located. To change the intensity of the headlights, you have to take your eyes off the road to find the switch. Also, this utility is equipped with dual LED taillights.

Driving modes

Three driving modes are available: Performance, Work and Standard.


Pro Armor X-Terrain PR 8 29″ tires mounted on 14″ aluminum wheels.


An integral skid plate covers the underside of the vehicle, providing up to 14″ of ground clearance.

Winch with synthetic rope and 4500 lb automatic stop

The 4500 lb winch is strong enough to pull and unhook the 1937 lb. vehicle and can also be used to remove tree stumps and any other task that requires such a device.

A detachable remote control with remote start battery comes with the Ranger XP. It is very convenient to use without being in the cabin. The synthetic rope seems to be pretty sturdy too.


Half-ton bed capacity

Measuring 36.75 x 54.25 x 12.5 inches (L x W x H), the rear case has a carrying capacity of 1000lb. Its four standard attachment points on the bottom ensure that the load stays securely in place.

Pro Shield Folding Windshield

The windshield folds up and is easy to open. It is equipped with a wiper. However, the rear window is removable and can be removed completely.

Doors with electric windows

Accessing the interior of the vehicle to take a seat is easy thanks to the doors opening towards the rear. It reminds us a little of the old fashioned suicide doors. Getting out of the vehicle is just as easy and convenient. In addition, the doors are equipped with power windows, with a seal all around that is efficient.

Ride Command

A 7-inch infotainment system, standard in-dash charging port, integrated speakers, front and rear cameras, snowplow mode, group ride, GPS navigation, Bluetooth, AM/FM radio including a sub-woofer under the passenger seat. This audio system could make our ears bleed…

Gauges, dials and cockpit

Multiple technologies: dual-scan analog gauges with 4-inch LCD driver information center: user-selectable blue/red backlighting and brightness, programmable service intervals, speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip meter, clock, hour meter, speedometer, fuel gauge, coolant temperature, voltmeter, service indicator and codes, seatbelt reminder, DC outlet, dome light and center rearview mirror

Heating and air conditioning

The Ranger XP is equipped with a very efficient heating system. The heat diffusers are directional, which is convenient. It also has air conditioning, but considering the winter temperature, I did not test it.


Front suspension: A-arm with 10″ (25.4 cm) of travel.

Rear suspension: Independent double wishbone with 10″ of travel.

Optional Snow Blade

The vehicle was supplied with a snow blade. I really appreciated this option, especially since the quick release system is well designed. We can angle the blade several degrees when scraping. I had a lot of fun clearing snow from my yard during the first flakes of winter.

Positive points

  • Radio
  • Power of the engine
  • Handling
  • The electric windows
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • The front and rear windows open. The rear window is detachable, but must be stored somewhere. The front one is mounted on a hinge and opens from the top, so it can stay on the vehicle and be closed when you want
  • Removable control lever for the winch
  • The 29 inch tires
  • 14 inches ground clearance
  • Well thought out snow blade attachment system. The blade is easy to install and remove (about 30 seconds)
  • Anchors in the bottom of the body
  • he display of the vehicle’s gauges that can be viewed on the radio screen
  • The backlighting colour of the dashboard can be changed
  • Adjustable steering wheel
  • Easily accessible window washer tank on the front right side
  • 3-seater seat
  • Suicide style door opening

Negative points

  • No side mirrors
  • Driving position not suitable for tall people
  • Rear window should have a wiper to see what is going on behind in the central mirror
  • When backing up at night, you can’t see anything. Moreover, the screen of the rear camera reflects in the rear window, so it’s worse. By adding a led bar at the back, it could be efficient
  • The light intensity switch (high-low) is badly located
  • The seats do not offer a great driving position. They are not adapted for long trips.
  • Backlighting on the radio buttons should be thought for the evening.
  • Oil gauge badly placed in the engine compartment.
  • Passenger seat without adjustment
  • The gear lever does not lock. For safety, this lever should not move when the vehicle is stopped.


All in all, I liked the vehicle in general. The Ranger XP is perfect for mule work on the land or working at the cottage and for hunting. It is a good utility machine. Having tried it on the trail, it’s not designed for the long-distance rider. The vehicle starts at an MSRP of $36,099, so it must be needed at that price.

For more informations about this vehicule, visit Polaris website. 

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