Farm folks rejoice, there is a new Polaris Ranger coming later this summer and by the looks of it, your work is going to get a whole lot easier. This new side-by-side combines many of the work features of a standard pickup truck in a smaller, easy to maneuver package at a starting price of just under $30,000.
The Ranger XD 1500 will be available in Premium, NorthStar Premium and NorthStar Ultimate trims with room for two or four people. Of these we like the mid-trim with its enclosed cabin, 30-inch Kenda tires – with the option to add 32-inch rubber – and a power-tilt bed.
Regardless of which trim you choose, the Ranger XD 1500 comes with a three-cylinder 1500cc engine pushing out 110 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. That beats the pants off competitors like the Can-Am Defender with a maximum of 82 ponies, Honda Pioneer with 72 hp and the paltry 50 hp of the Yamaha Viking.
That’s not to say we expect the Ranger to be a racer, even with 15 inches of ground clearance. Instead, this UTV is meant for pulling out stumps, hauling bales of hay and towing farm equipment. Buyers can drag up to 3,500 pounds behind it, as much as a Jeep Wrangler, and throw 1,500 pounds of payload in the cargo box. There are trims of the Toyota Tacoma that can’t handle as much.
The drive experience of the Ranger XD 1500 is likely pretty good as well with comfort, standard and tow/haul drive modes. There is even a sport mode for lunch-hour shenanigans. Power goes to all four wheels through the segment’s only fully-sealed continuously variable transmission with a steel belt. Side-by-sides are notorious for throwing their rubber belts, and this steel construction is a nice upgrade. It also cuts down on maintenance intervals, keeping the Ranger in the field where it belongs for longer periods of time. Polaris says the Ranger’s service interval is four-to-six times longer than standard full-size UTVs.
Taking a cue from the Xpedition XD, the top two trims of the Ranger XD get a fully-enclosed cabin with full HVAC and power windows. The tippy top NorthStar Ultimate trim goes a bit bigger with heated seats and a 7-inch waterproof touchscreen with the Ride Command infotainment system with navigation, Bluetooth and a backup camera. Standard here is also Ride Command+ featuring connected services to the Polaris app to keep track of location and performance data. Here you’ll also get a JBL Trail Pro 4200 stereo system for rocking out during the workday.
There are over 70 accessories available for the Ranger XD 1500, including the Lock and Ride MAX series, previously only available on Xpedition models. This attachment system allows for myriad ways of securing accessories like a spare tire carrier or a bed extender without using any tools. We haven’t tried it out but it looks pretty easy to use.
Buyers who live in colder climates will appreciate the 84-inch Glacier Pro HD plow. You can get a hydraulic plow lift and angle kit with an in-cab controller for easy road clearing. Again, we haven’t had the chance to sample any of it for ourselves but the idea of controlling the angle and height of the plow from inside the cab seems like a no-brainer.
The 2024 Ranger XD 1500 starts at $29,999 for the Premium model. The NorthStar Premium adds $10,000 to that price while the NorthStar Ultimate can be had for $44,999. Look for it in dealerships later this summer.