Polaris’ first modern electric UTV is here, and it’s looking to shake things up. We got our first good look at the brand new 2023 Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic, and it’s pretty impressive.
From their very first word on their newest EV Ranger, Polaris has said that they didn’t just want to make a great electric UTV—they want to make the best Ranger they could.
With all the specs and features laid out to bare, did they meet that goal?
Let’s find out.
The key specs of the Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic are quite impressive—make no bones about it. But so are the specs of the Ranger XP 1000. Let’s put them head-to-head and see who comes out on top.
|Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic Premium||Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Premium|
|Horsepower||110 HP||82 HP|
|Torque||140 lb-ft||62 lb-ft|
|Dry weight||1,730 lb||1,625 lb|
|Hitch Towing Rating||2,500 lb||2,500 lb|
|Payload Capacity||1,500 lb||1,500 lb|
|Box Capacity||1,250 lb||1,000 lb|
|Front Tires||29 x 9-14; Pro Armor X-Terrain||27 x 9-14; Pro Armor X-Terrain|
|Rear Tires||29 x 11-14; Pro Armor X-Terrain||27 x 11-14; Pro Armor X-Terrain|
|Wheelbase||81 in.||81 in.|
|Ground Clearance||14 in.||13 in.|
|Overall size (LxWxH)||120 x 62.5 x 78 in.||120 x 62.5 x 77 in.|
On paper, the Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic Premium is almost exactly a Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Premium with boosted horsepower and torque. In fact, that horsepower and torque beats out any other utility side-by-side in the industry.
With larger tires and only a small increase in weight (which, without the need for gas and engine oil, should be pretty close to the curb weight), Polaris’ new electric Ranger is nothing if not a premium piece of equipment. It’ll almost certainly make it onto our list of the best electric UTVs when it releases in summer 2022.
Of course, hot new tech comes at a hot new cost too. In this case, the starting price is about $6,000 more than the XP 1000.
Is it really worth the extra price? Let’s take a closer look at some of the deal breakers and deal makers that the Ranger XP Kinetic brings to the table.
There are lots of pros of owning an electric UTV. You’ve already seen the impressive performance of the Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic in the specs, but that doesn’t give you a complete picture of why it’s so damn cool.
Let’s break it down.
Electric motors deliver all your torque almost instantly. There’s no more waiting for the right RPM or for the centrifugal clutch to spin up. Hit the pedal and you start moving right away.
Anybody who’s ever tried lining up a hitch on a hill knows how challenging it can be to make precise movements. With an electric motor, your acceleration is perfectly linear and predictable. The result is ultra-responsive movement even at very low speeds.
No oil, no filters, no gas, no spark plugs—no problem! Seriously, when you don’t have an engine to keep greased and tuned, you end up spending less on maintenance.
A lot of folks like the roar of an engine, but I think everybody can agree that it’d be nice not to get hoarse just carrying a conversation with your passenger. Plus, it’s huge priority for hunters. Hunting with a quiet UTV that also happens to be one of the most backwoods capable is a win-win.
The most obvious difference is that you don’t have to worry about gas. Not only do you not have to trailer your ride to the gas station every week, but generally speaking, electric is cheaper per mile than gas. Sounds like a good deal to us.
Of course, if a Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic only had pros, it would only exist in your dreams. Here are the downsides ditching the gas-guzzling alternative
The currently unsolved problem of all electric vehicles is range. The Ranger XP Kinetic certainly has a perfectly usable range for a UTV—45 miles for the Premium trim and 80 miles for the Ultimate trim—but it falls short for any sort of all-day trail-riding adventure.
And with Polaris saying it will take 5 hours to fully charge with a 240 volt connector, you’d need to plan your weekend around your battery—no packing extra fuel or making a quick fuel stop for this machine.
There’s a whole lot to love about the Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic and we didn’t even dive into the expertise that Zero Motorcycles brings to Polaris.
More importantly, this is the most competitive, mainstream EV to be released so far. And with companies like Nikola, Segway, and Can-Am all committed to making the EV future a reality, the Kinetic is just the first of many.
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The only con is the range and how long it takes to charge? What about how it does in mud or water? We all know what people like to do with these machines and can probably agree that the tech is just not there yet to go all electric. I would like to see how this does with a lot of common accessories that people install like sound bar, light bars, portals, bigger wheels and tires etc. and then do a comparison with the Ranger XP 1000.
Hey Tom, thanks for tuning in! All we know about mud and water is that they say water fording height is equal to the floor boards. Unfortunately, we don’t know what that means in practice just yet. And obviously, we can’t have much to say about performance with added accessories, since they are not released. We do say in here that we think it falls short for any sort of all-day trail riding adventure and that you’d need to plan your weekend around your battery, but we’ll be interested to see as time passes and these machines get out into the hands of customers.
Electrics are actually AMAZING in Mud and water. In fact, MUCH better than ICE-powered machines since their powertrains can be 100% sealed with only the output shaft connecting the sealed space with the exterior. If you worry about water short circuiting the electric wires, all EVs I’ve seen have fully sealed electrical systems as well, with no exposed wire anywhere, so you could submerge them in salt water and they would not mind (the exception may or may not be the charge port, which needs to be mechanically sealed). You can look for videos online of cars (mostly Teslas) driving in water – even salt water – deep enough that their hoods are underwater. I’ve not gone that deep myself but have crossed two feet of water in my car multiple times and never had an issue (not bad for a sports car). That, plus the finer control over torque should make the Ranger XP an amazing machine for water and mud unless it has serious design flaws.
If it’s like a Zero motorcycle, which I’m pretty sure it will be, 12v accessories run off of the 12v battery, not the monolith so there shouldn’t be a noticeable impact on range. You can also see that they’re using a J1772 connector (Level 2 AC charger) which are commonly available for EVs in the wild. So, you could charge up at 6kW when you’re out and about by trailering it to a nearby charger while you grab a bite. It’s hard to understand the difference unless you ride one. With the motorcycle, it’s just ready to go and when you twist the throttle, there’s no hitch, no lurch, no hesitation, it just goes. If you want to go all out from the line, it does it just by twisting the throttle. If you want to creep along, barely moving, but at a precisely constant rate, it does that too. I suspect it’s better armored against the elements than the ICE version because you can seal in a motor, but not a combustion engine. Diesel submarines run on batteries when they’re submerged after all. My advice is, if you don’t want to buy one, definitely don’t test ride it because it will likely be very hard to say no after you have.
Thanks for the insight, Brett!
I am very interested in this model and have been waiting months for the release. I live in NorCal, where wildfires are a very serious issue. I have 2-3 feet of dry grass over 21 acres for about 8 months of the year. So my question is…isn’t another ‘pro’, no, or at least lesser fire danger from an EV compared to ICE??? It seems like common sense to me, but I am having trouble finding reliable confirmation. What do you guys think???
Hey RK! Yeah, this is a touchy thing to confirm. I would think not carrying gas would solve the issues Polaris machines have had with this, but this isn’t something we can really guarantee either. I definitely feel it has to be safer, but to what degree, I can’t confirm. Thanks for checking in with us!