2020 Polaris RZR PRO XP 4 Review
All-new from the ground up, is this new RZR still challenging for the best all-around family 4-seater?
Story & Photos: Casey Cordeiro
Sometimes when manufacturers say “all-new” about their latest vehicles. It’s a bit of marketing fluff. You know this, we know this, they know this. So, it’s truly surprising when a vehicle comes around that is “all-new” from the ground up. Let’s just get this out of the way right from the start – the 2020 Polaris RZR PRO XP lineup is truly “all-new” from the ground up, and that is a wonderful thing. Let’s dive in and see what the PRO XP 4 is all about…
2020 Polaris RZR PRO XP 4 Review
To get you started, let’s go over some of the most important features of this new RZR PRO XP 4:
- NEW one-piece frame that is no longer bolted together. From the driver’s seat, it feels more rigid.
- More power – same ProStar twin cylinder turbo engine layout, but it has 181 horsepower now. Engine internals have been beefed up to handle the extra power.
- Better clutching – all-new primary clutch ditches the problem-child bearings that can wear out. We have tested this new PRO XP clutch over 1000 miles now and it is superior in every way compared to past generations. Oh yeah, we are still on the original belt, too.
- The best Polaris drivetrain – the massive Turbo S front differential is present on the PRO XP lineup. No more rattles are heard from the carrier bearing in the middle of this 4-seater (yes!!) either. Upgraded axles and driveline components are found at all 4 corners.
- More refined – there has never been a RZR this refined. It doesn’t squeak. The seat sliders work every time. And, the bolts really do stay tight.
- Interior – it’s the most automotive style interior in the industry with great plastics, much better layout than before with plenty of room for accessory switches, and more. Plenty of room for all 4 passengers. Polaris still has some work to do on quality, though (more on that later…)
- Full doors for front and rear passengers – finally!
- Great visibility out the front and sides for all passengers, especially the driver.
- Maintenance is easier than ever with a complete cargo bed tray that removes with 4 bolts. The CVT belt cover retains the screws when you take it off, too. Last but not least, the plastic covers behind the rear seats come off for easy access to the front of the engine.
- PRO XP 4 has an ingenious fold flat seating system in the rear that allows you to have an incredible amount of storage capacity. If you want an adventure machine, this is a phenomenal option!
- Full under belly skid plates are found from the factory.
- In a nutshell… the RZR PRO XP has a bit of everything mixed in – a bit of YXZ1000R visibility and handling meet Maverick X3 seating position meets almost Talon refinement. Could this make the RZR PRO the best UTV out there?
ALSO SEE: 2020 Polaris RZR PRO XP 4 Specifications
The PRO XP lineup, which currently measures out to be 64” wide and is available in either 2- or 4-seat vehicles, is the so-called “third generation” of RZR. The aforementioned features are the highlights of this new PRO XP 4 that we are reviewing.
Some people will say that the incremental jump to 181 horsepower isn’t enough to really “feel” while out on the trail, especially when we say that it’s competing with the 195 horsepower Maverick X3 lineup. From our seat-of-the-pants testing over the past 1000 miles, I can clearly say that this PRO XP 4 has plenty of power for 4 people and all of our stuff inside. The sound is still intoxicating from this RZR ProStar engine, and it has no hint of turbo lag. The power is linear and smooth if you want it to be, yet it hits hard if you really get on the throttle. Speaking of the throttle, the throttle-by-wire system has no lag to it, and this is something we really appreciate. Does it need more power? Those who really want to give it “the beans” will surely want a bigger HP number under their right foot, but, in reality, there is no need to have more power. This thing flat out rips!
As I mentioned in the highlights, the driveline has all been upgraded with bigger axles, reimagined CV joints, and more refinement than ever. I’m continually impressed that even after 1000 miles in this RZR PRO XP 4, the driveline is all quiet and tight. In past RZRs, you would hear the carrier bearings start to wear and make more noise, and you’d hear the differentials make noise as well. The new PRO XP is truly an upgrade with no differential or driveline noise.
One thing that I still don’t like is how you can’t put the machine in 4wd at speed. That is just silly since the front differential is auto locking anyways. Every other manufacturer allows you to put the machine in and out of 4wd at speed, so I hope Polaris makes this change in the future.
There are 3 models in the PRO XP 4 lineup – base, Premium, and Ultimate. The base and Premium models come with non-electronically adjustable suspension, but the Ultimate version comes with Dynamix active suspension system that is co-developed by Fox and Polaris. These Fox shocks give you 3 different modes of suspension adjustment that are selectable from the driver’s seat – Comfort, Sport, and Firm. The great news is that Polaris’ latest adjustments to this Dynamix system have truly made all 3 modes usable. Firm used to be basically unusable. With this latest system, it is pretty amazing how far the Dynamix system has come in an effort to give the driver ultimate control and confidence of the vehicle. Taking on big G-outs, long whoop sections, or just choppy terrain is easily accomplished with 1, or 4, people strapped in the vehicle. The steering wheel controls allow you to change the shock settings on the fly, and you also have access to the red button. This Dynamix red button is utilized when you see an obstacle coming that needs full stiff suspension to tackle. Simply press and hold the button to activate the shocks to be in full stiff mode, giving you bump absorption and incredible control over the vehicle. If you thought the previous Dynamix system was useful, this is the real deal, and it is incredible!
All of these good things highlight the latest Dynamix system. However, I still wish it came with a true dual rate spring setup that included crossovers for ultimate adjustability.
Putting a different spin on tire choices compared to past RZR vehicles, the PRO XP has 30” Maxxis Carnivore meats mounted on 14”, non-beadlock aluminum wheels. Not putting beadlocks on a machine of this caliber is a mistake, but Polaris did get the tire choice right. Some of you will contradict that statement and ask why 32” tires aren’t included from the factory, but the 30” tire size offers great rollover on obstacles, great traction with an open tread pattern, and predictable handling with a flatter top profile of tire that doesn’t bite too much when the backend comes out. This tire makes the PRO XP 4 a very predictable handler, and the light weight of this tire/wheel setup allows the PRO XP 4 to have less unsprung weight.
As far as the brakes, there is no issue stopping this 2026 lb vehicle. Yes, it is heavy overall, but it handles its weight very well and stops very well.
INTERIOR & EXTERIOR
The exterior of the RZR PRO XP 4 has been elongated in several ways. The wheelbase has gotten longer and now totals 125”. From behind the wheel, I was surprised to find that pushing this machine in tight, technical terrain is actually still very easy. The quick lock-to-lock steering is, dare I say, the best of the sport UTV world. It is weighted so well with great on-center feel, and it enables the machine to blitz between tight corners. When the speeds increase, quick adjustments are easily made with little flicks of the steering wheel. When you couple the quick steering with suspension controls at your finger tips, this RZR is a blast to drive!
The positive driver feeling is expanded when you’re snugly tightened in the all-new driver’s seat. In fact, all of the seats are new, and I can finally stop complaining about the driver’s seat slider. The latest rendition is on par with others in the industry, finally. The steering wheel adjustment up & down, in & out is stellar, and this really completes the driver’s seating position. Look for more manufacturers to do this in the future, and great job to Polaris for innovating.
Again, comfort of the seats is very good, but still not quite the best in the industry. Lower lateral seat support is great, but its the upper shoulder support is lacking a bit. I do wish the engineers left the seat belt to only 4-points instead of the 6-points. But, overall, the entire passenger area is more comfortable in this RZR for both front seat and rear seat passengers than ever before. Hard edges are still found in this RZR, and that isn’t always the best, but rear seat passengers will have plenty of room. I’m 6’3” and have plenty of leg room in the back with a great, stadium-style view over the front seats.
The dashboard is very automotive style with a very well laid out design. The controls are all easy to get to. If you’re into mounting accessories, you will LOVE the Polaris Pulse bar in the interior for easy accessory hook up – that is one of the best features of this vehicle. The accessory position on the ignition switch allows you to use the full Ride Command system, Rockford Fosgate stereo, and all of the accessories on the Pulse Bar as you’re sitting at camp or at your favorite hangout spot with family and friends.
Overall, there is no better factory integration of a GPS system into a vehicle than Ride Command. The 7” glove touch screen reacts quickly to your adjustments, and the screen’s different views allows you to easily see the machine’s different built in features.
Last but not least, if you like long overnight trips, this 4-seater needs to be on your shopping list. First and foremost, the rear cargo bed storage is great and has virtually the same amount of storage as previous RZR models, and the bed now comes completely off with 4 fasteners. The rear seats also fold completely flat, giving you seemingly unlimited storage space in the back seats. I see many buyers completely ditching the rear seats and utilizing the space for all of their storage needs. This is truly one fo the best features of this vehicle.
Circling all the way back around to what I originally said in this article, this 2020 Polaris RZR PRO XP 4 is truly an “all-new” vehicle that takes a RZR to the next level and has innovations sprinkled throughout the entire vehicle. I haven’t raved about a RZR in a while, but this PRO XP 4 deserves a lot of praise. Yes, there are still some downfalls and imperfections to this vehicle, but the sum of the parts make it a great option if you’re looking for this kind of UTV. It comes at a steep asking price at $32,299 MSRP, but I can positively say that it is well worth the money. Your local Polaris dealer should have them in stock, now.