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Test Drive: 2024 Polaris RZR XP Ultimate

Words: Mike W

Photos: The Brand Amp

Being from California, testing a new RZR is typically done at local sand dunes or a dry lake bed area with rocky trails. So when Polaris invited me to Colorado Springs, CO, to test out their new 2024 Polaris RZR XP Ultimate, I readily jumped at the chance! The new 2024 RZR XP inspires riders to escape outdoors and create memories with their friends and family. 

The weather and terrain were way different than what I was used to in Cali, so I was looking forward to the adventure and experience. When I arrived in Colorado, it was just after a rain storm, so the weather was a bit gloomy and cold, but the clouds were clearing, which made for some fabulous views. The next day, we headed to the Great Outdoor Adventures in the Pike National Forest to pick up our RZRs and meet the tour guides.

Taking The Scenic Route

The area was beautiful, with tons of trees and dirt roads connected to all the trails. We started the trip at about 8,000 ft. elevation on a backcountry road, then broke off onto a smaller path, where all the fun began. I had recently driven the Polaris PRO, which is 6″ wider, so I had to figure out my exact footprint for getting through the rutted areas. The XP is definitely narrower, which helped me trek the smaller trails easily and made driving more fun. 

Before we knew it, we hit massive water puddles left from the rain the day before. At first, I would swerve out of the puddles to try and stay clean, but it was messing up my lines for driving as we entered an area with some awesome big berms on the turns.

The full doors kept the water out through the muddy puddles, allowing me to go carving down the trails, where I felt the new engine’s smooth power. In fact, it was perfect for plowing through the trails, with its smooth power more than delivering when you needed it most, which was to get out of mud or power out of a turn (but not too aggressively to make you want to slide out of control). 

The RZR XP chassis is now stronger than ever, providing trail agility and rugged durability in rough conditions like muddy terrain coupled with forest obstacles like rocks, tree debris, etc. It showcases a new, aggressive style, with integrated doors, LED accent lights and an upgraded level of fit and finish, delivering a premium experience I definitely witnessed on the trip.

Power and Prowess 

The trip took us through various terrains to test the suspension to use 4L and 4H, and it took everything we threw at it. The entire time, we were slowly climbing higher in elevation and eventually stopped for lunch at the top of a peak that was at 14,500 ft, with an awesome view of the forest. I noticed responsive acceleration thanks to an all-new ProStar1000 Gen 2, 114-hp engine that helped provide traction through technical terrain via Polaris’ fast, engaging, on-demand All Wheel Drive system.

While driving, I didn’t really notice that we had made such a massive climb in elevation and it didn’t affect the RZR one bit, which was great for powering through the trails. We also were able to test out the Ride Command feature. Since I had never been to this area before, the feature definitely came in handy as I had to keep track of where I was going and where the rest of the group was. Luckily, I received prompts from our tour guide about switching to 4L for an upcoming rocky climb area ahead of us. The New body styling also improved line of sight over the hood, allowing me to easily pick my line during technical riding, like through the rocky climb.

New Upgrades

The XP Ultimate also had new amenities like waterproof compartments to store items, an added rack and ice chest on the back, an adjustable steering column, and a comfy harness to keep you safe. I came to shred and only brought along a little stuff, but it’s a nice feature if you plan to use the RZR for a family trip. 

With more than 60 all-new accessories, the RZR XP offers engineered customization options for riders who like to navigate the trail or get off the beaten path. Plus, Pro Armor will be the only aftermarket brand with a full range of launch-ready accessories like cages, doors, storage, seats, bumpers and more


I was thrilled with the new RZR’s smooth mid-range power and great handing suspensions once it had the perfect little bubble of damping that didn’t bottom out throughout the trip. On the final stretch back to camp, there was a medium-sized creek where we could power through and make a good splash while also cleaning our rides from the muddy imprints of the forest. The experience was a blast, and I can’t wait to play in terrain like this. Sand is fun, but these trails definitely test you!

The RZR XP is available in two and four-seat configurations in three trims: Sport, Premium and Ultimate.

RZR XP 1000 Sport: Starting at $20,999US MSRP, riders can get into the RZRXP 1000 Sport, featuring in-mold color, 29″ Trailmaster X/T, color-matched seats and springs, LED headlights, illuminated in-cab switches, and a new digital display.

RZR XP 1000 Premium: TheRZR XP 1000 Premium starts at $22,999 US MSRP, and includes a painted body with premium graphics, 30″ TrailmasterX/T 2.0, a color-matched dash, seats and springs, PMX head unit, a Rockford Fosgate®Stage 1 Audio, a poly roof and four-point harnesses.

RZR XP 1000 Ultimate: Rounding out the lineup is the RZR XP 1000 Ultimate, starting at t$25,999 US MSRP. Available with a premium painted body and two premium color and graphics options, RZR XP 1000 Ultimate offers Polaris’ industry-leading 7″ touchscreen display powered by RIDE COMMAND, a Rockford Fosgate®Stage 2 Audio, 900W operating system, along with front and rear LED accent lighting.


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