Can-Am has made their 2022 Maverick X3 lineup the most powerful we’ve ever seen in the industry. The constant improvements to their top-of-the-line sport side-by-sides has finally crossed the 200 HP threshold and given everyone a 4WD diff-locking solution that works.
They’re awesome machines, but they were awesome last year too. So what have they done to make them better for 2022? Let’s take a look at what makes the 2022 Can-Am X3 lineup one of the best team of side-by-sides in history and why nobody’s surprised.
Can-Am has increased the horsepower of the Maverick X3, and now every model (except one) boasts 200 HP. We’ve been creeping closer toward that magical number for years now. The PRO XP got to 181 HP in 2019—the same year that the X3 jumped up from 172 to 195 HP.
200 HP on a stock machine is huge. It’s monumental. It’s amazing… and it’s only 5 HP more than last year’s model. The bump comes from tweaks to the ECU and the clutch.
So while 200 HP represents the peak performance in the industry, it’s only 2.5% better than last year’s model. Riders of those top-end models will hardly notice the difference.
Smart-Lok front differentials are awesome. They give you intelligent front differential locking right when you need it without killing your momentum or compromising handling. Plus, you can choose your terrain so it locks faster when you’re on rocks and a little slower on dirt.
The problem with Smart-Lok is that Can-Am only put it in its most expensive models. That changes for the 2022 X3 lineup. Every Can-Am Maverick X3 has Smart-Lok from the entry-level DS Turbo to the $30k X RS Turbo RR. Nobody gets left behind.
But Smart-Lok is four-year-old technology, and the sentiment following the announcement isn’t a “hell yeah!” and a fist pump. Rather, the community is letting out an exasperated “finally!”
Here’s hoping it makes it into the rest of their side-by-sides soon.
The X3’s less-than-stellar frame has earned it a little bit of a reputation. The machine can fly off a ramp like an F-15, but the cage and chassis handle the landing like a Chevy S10. Gusset kits and shock tower braces are practically a requirement if you want to get rowdy.
Now with 30% thicker cage tubing, we expect the X3 will hit the ground with a little more grace. And while a thicker frame must add more weight, we’re not seeing an increase on the spec sheet. Either way, the Maverick X3 is still a ways off from the RZR PRO XP’s bulky 1,795 lb. dry weight.
One things for certain: a stronger cage is a welcome improvement.
While there’s some argument over how important the 2022 Can-Am X3’s improvements really are, there’s another tweak they made that helps cast the machine in a more positive light—they’ve simplified their lineup and made acquiring top tier performance more affordable.
For 2021, the cheapest X3 you could get with 195 HP and Smart-Lok was the Maverick X3 X DS Turbo RR with a $25,099 MSRP. In 2022, the cheapest is the Maverick X3 DS Turbo RR with an MSRP of $21,999. That’s a few grand less for more power, better clutching, and a stronger cage.
There are other comparisons that make the 2022 models feel like a steal. The 2021 64 in. X MR model has just 120 HP and costs $23,299. The 2022 model costs $25,299 for 200 HP. It’s just $2K more to go from tame performance to stratospheric performance.
That’s $194 per horse in 2021 versus $126 per horse in 2022. We think that’s a damn good deal.
There’s no doubt that Can-Am is the king of performance. And breaking the 200 HP threshold is a cool moment, even if it only means bumping them up by 5 HP. Altogether, it means that if you’re getting a 2022 Can-Am Maverick X3 (apart from the DS Turbo), you’re getting the most powerful factory machine on the planet. Whether these changes are refinements or corrections, you’re getting one awesome lineup.
But what do you wish Can-Am had done instead? On-screen GPS and communication like Ride-Command? Even more power? Or maybe you just want to be surprised. Sound off in the comments!
Side-by-Side or Jeep—Which One's Right For You?
What is the Can-Am Commander's Top Speed?
The SwifTrac Front Differential Is a Game Changer for Can-Am Owners
The First Hybrid UTVs Are Coming from... Segway
How to Install the RIDE System Rear Steering Kit on a Polaris Ranger XP 1000
I need ride command