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Can-am Defender vs Polaris Ranger


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  • 4 months later...
On ‎11‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 5:31 PM, Dragoon said:
  • +1 - Defender fit and finish
  • +1 - Defender ingress and egress
  • +1 - Defender side nets
  • +1 - Defender egonomics, flip up seats and storage
  • -2 - Defender electronic throttle at slow speeds

My humble opinion regarding my previous two machines, 2017 Polaris Ranger 900 EPS and a 2017 Polaris Ranger 1000 Northstar Edition with Polaris Glacier poly plow..

Polaris Pro's...Quite a bit of accessories available, Cab fit is tight and seems to keep the dust out better than the HD-10 cab.  Seems to have more pep than the HD-10.  Year end rebates attractive. Easier to remove doors. Steers easier than Can Am. Color matched panels on doors look classier than mismatch on Can Am.

Polaris Con's...Noisier than Can Am, feels unstable at highway speeds, frame rusts quickly at open tube in front of rear wheels on Rangers. Fit and finish not as precise. Not comfortable for feet under the seat (heels hit the seat support).  Non cab versions have open holes all over under the dash and in cold weather, the air freezes your lower parts. The hinged type windows on the doors are terribly inconvenient. No wheel well liners like Can Am. Shift patterns not as positive when engaging gears.

Can Am Pro's...Factory heater is more useful than the Polaris.  (Polaris roasts your upper body and freezes your feet).  At 65 MPH, the steering seems very stable.  Oil change is on cool side of motor, On Cab model, flip out windshield with wiper, rear slider, winch, are standard features. Box is heavier duty construction as well as tailgate.  Seems to have more torque than the Polaris.  Tighter turning radius.  Larger diameter tires standard. More room in cab. Flip up seats and fold down center seat/arm rest is convenient.  Storage areas are convenient.  Power windows nice feature on cab model (however my driver's side is slow and labors to go up).

Can Am Con.s... The standard battery is weak.  The Can Am plow mount is harder to connect and disconnect than Polaris and the mount is far from the blade, under the machine. Clutch engaging is noisier than Polaris but not as jerky.  Heater seems to take up more cab space than Polaris (more of an issue for passenger). No AC option.

Summary:  The Can Am quality and value for what I wanted (Cab), was a better fit for me.  I would not object to buying Polaris again but here is what I priced.  2019 Polaris Ranger Northstar with Heat/AC at $25k MSRP plus flip out windshield, rear sliding window, and winch vs the HD10 Cab at $23,799 MSRP with those features but no AC. Keep in mind that the Polaris Ranger 1000 had a model change in 2018 that improved some of the shortcomings of the 2017.

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After having my Defender a few months, I can honestly say the Polaris Ranger does drive smoother, but other then that the Defender has been one awesome machine. It's been a huge help around the property and great for cruising the neighborhood with the family.

 

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Great review, @Jerry!

The fit and finish of the Defender Lone Star was really the deciding factor for me. I mainly use my machine to haul the family and work around 5 acres so a more luxurious and automotive quality machine is what I wanted.

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  • 7 months later...

2011 Polaris 800XP Crew - Engine welded itself together after 44 hours.  100% total.

2019 Can-Am Defender HD10 - 60 hours and it has not welded itself together.  
 

Joking aside, the XP800 debacle stung but Polaris DID give me a new machine (that I didn’t keep) and I’d certainly consider an XP1000 NorthStar.  I’m sticking with Can-Am.  

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  • 1 year later...

I just traded a 2020 Polaris Ranger Northstar for a 2021 Can Am Defender Limited.  Both machines work well, but the main differences I've noticed so far in mechanical function are that the Polaris has more power and feels significantly quicker.  The Can Am feels a little slow in comparison.  But the clutching and transmission shifting/linkage is much better on the Can Am.  And pretty much everything else is better on the Can Am.  The cab interior in particular is much better on the Can Am, and the HVAC system on the Can Am is better. 

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I’ve had both too.  Went from a Polaris 800 Crew to a Can-Am XT Cab (HD10).  Can Am service and warranty sucks, and the window switches are junk, but overall it is a better machine than the Polaris. I work my machines, so I get things to break and it’s perfectly OK - I expect it.  Prices are identical. We lost our Can Am dealership in Colorado Springs so now I have to go to Denver for parts.  I liked the Polaris 4x4 and Lockers on the fly (full stop only for Can Am) but the Can Am appears to be a more robust machine.  The Can Am viscous couple front axle - even without lockers - is FAR superior.  Good luck! -Mark

Edited by Mark in Colorado
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  • 3 months later...

To compare units I think one needs to factor in the Dealership.   I love my Defender but my Dealership is so bad I would go to the Ranger next after thoroughly checking out quality of Dealer service.

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18 hours ago, Comalian said:

To compare units I think one needs to factor in the Dealership.   I love my Defender but my Dealership is so bad I would go to the Ranger next after thoroughly checking out quality of Dealer service.

That is very true! A good dealer can make your life a lot easier if you're really hard on your vehicle or if you get unlucky and have to take it in for repairs.

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  • 4 months later...

I recently purchased a 2022 Can Am Defender Max Lonestar (2 weeks ago!)

I did my research then visited several dealerships.  Fortunately in the Phoenix area, there are several dealers who have Polaris,Can Am, CF Moto and others all at the same place.  I decided to compare the Polaris Ranger Crew Texas Edition to the Can Am Max Lonestar.

Polaris Pro:  Has a slight more "sporty" or aggressive look.  Tires were 1" taller.  Being a Polaris you know they have history backing them

Can Am Pro: slightly more cab interior room when seated for me.  I liked the dashboard layout a little better.  Flip up seats, storage and lack of tall center tunnel or hump like the polaris.  Bed had a much higher load weight capacity.  When viewed from behind, the Defender had a sway bar about twice as thick as the Polaris.  Same for rear seat passenger handrails.  The Defender has rear seat handrails hat were more comfortable and went all the way across the back of the front seats, making hanging on to them more comfortable for guests.

Big one:  the Can Am Defender was $1000 less that the Polaris.  That helped, especially since I had already decided on the Can Am at that point.

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If you’re ever on Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico, you’ll be happy to know that the “official vehicles” (because they don’t allow regular cars) are the gas powered Bad Boy Buggy and non other than the Can-Am Defender Max!  They’re everywhere, and in all states of disrepair - broken axles and tie rods, broken A-arms, smashed frames, rusty… the roads on the island are quite rough and put these machines to the test as they are used for taxis, and family cars all day long, every day.  By comparison, mine is a garage queen.  The thing we all immediately noticed about these Can-Am‘s Is that they are so much quieter than ours. How is that?  They run HD8 mostly, but there are a smattering of HD10 and HD5 machines.  Seems like when they break badly enough, they’re left on the side of the road to get pilfered for spares.  It’s the most Can-Am Defenders I’ve ever seen in one place. -Mark

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