TONY’S TRAIL RIDES WITH IRON HILL POWERSPORTS AND KQ98: POLARIS RANGER 1000XP NORTHSTAR EDITION
Written by Tony Schultz on November 3, 2021
When UTVs first hit the scene they were made to be the workhorse that ATVs were sometimes not enough for. UTVs have now morphed over the years to be the ride that most people choose as their ride of choice for work and play. This week we test drove the Polaris Ranger 1000XP with the Northstar Edition package. The Ranger is one of the first UTVs that was developed early on and has become one of the premiere rides on the market. It has even spawned three offshoots in the Polaris RZR and the Polaris General and the short lived ACE. The Ranger has become so synonymous with UTV driving that most people call whatever brand they are a driving a “ranger”. It was a bit of a change of pace this weekend as I was doing more work than play with my current ride. The other three test drives I was on the trails and getting in a good amount of miles cruising across the countryside or opening up the throttle. This test ride got back to basics and shows you that you can have a ride that is good for getting as much work done as you can just have fun. The Ranger with the Northstar Edition is considered “the king of comfort” with it’s fully enclosed cab that comes with heat, A/C, and a windshield wiper with washer fluid. It has a 4500lb winch with wireless remote control so you can stand at a safe distance while operating it. It truly feels like you are riding in a special vehicle when you’re traveling along the trails or county roads. However, this is still a machine with work at it’s core. The large dump box with hydraulic assist is made to carry plenty of equipment or dirt and rocks to help you get work done on the homestead. The Ranger has 2500lbs of towing capacity and 1275lbs of bed capacity. When I took it for a test drive I went both on a few county roads and on private property trails that are maintained mostly by the local snowmobile club. Even though it’s more for work the ride is very comfortable and the shocks really decrease the feeling of bumps and you don’t bounce around in the cab. The engine and transmission give a smooth ride and the power is felt when you push the accelerator to the floor. Yes, we tested out the heat and it’s just like what you have in your car. It worked well and I could imagine myself with a plow on the front of it pushing piles of snow out of the way as I stayed toasty warm and dry inside the cab. I know people that own a Ranger just like this one and they love to drive it on group rides to other towns just like you would do on a day of snowmobiling. Poker runs and trail rides are the norm with ATVs and UTVs in a lot of small town areas as well as a way to get around town more easily. If you’re looking for more of a workhorse than a speed machine the Ranger is exactly what you need no matter the engine size. However, if you want to have a bit of comfort then upgrading to the Northstar Edition or the Unlimited Edition will give you everything you need to be happy with your purchase. It’s up to you what other amenities you add to help you get work done or to look flashier on the trail rides. The Ranger is a great machine to ride and will fit in nicely with the other equipment at your home that use to keep the place looking good.