2022 POLARIS GENERAL XP 1000 TRAILHEAD EDITION REVIEW
PERFORMANCE + UTILITY = FUN
Review by Drew Rohde | Photos by Dusten Ryen & Brian Niles
Video by Brian Niles / Treeline Cinematic
You may be wondering what a 4-wheeler like the Polaris General XP 1000 is doing here on our site…now, we know that we typically spend our time testing and reviewing two-wheeled fun machines, but when Polaris reached out with this opportunity, we couldn’t say no. We were invited to Troy Lee Design’s in Laguna Beach for the unveiling of Polaris’s TLD Edition General XP 1000. Near the end of the event, they asked if we would be inclined to try out the 4-seater for a review, without hesitation we said, “HELL YES!” The only downside was that we were going to have to wait a few months for press vehicles to arrive. Much to our surprise, Polaris was eager for us to get some time on their UTV’s and arranged for us to receive the 2-door 2022 General XP 1000 Trailhead Edition while we waited. Double stoke! So, let’s see what kind of fun this ultimate shuttle rig got us into.
Polaris’s General UTV line blends the best of both worlds, taking suspension performance and design from the RZR SXS (albeit toned down a bit) and utilitarian features from the Ranger UTV.
Performance: Polaris gives the 2022 General XP 1000 a liquid-cooled ProStar 1000 4-stroke engine. The 999cc motor produces a fun and manageable 100-horsepower. The motor is mated to an Automatic PVT transmission that pushes out the power to Polaris’s 3-mode drive system. The three modes of the system are On-Demand, True AWD, 2WD and Versa Trac Turf Mode. The Versa Trac Turf mode allows Polaris’s General XP 1000 to deliver power smoother and lighter on terrain that you don’t want to mess up, like your lawn, turf, or similar surfaces.
Steering is smooth and precise thanks to Polaris’s use of High Output electronic power steering. Meanwhile, the General XP 1000 can be slowed quickly thanks to 4-wheel hydraulic disc brakes that use dual-bore calipers front and rear.
Suspension: Our 2022 Polaris General XP 1000 Trailhead model eats up terrain with 14-inches of useable wheel travel. Walker Evans Velocity Series coil overs on all four corners provide the damping for the high-clearance dual A-Arm long-travel suspension. The Velocity Series shocks offer more controlled resistance than many other coil overs on the market. With the piggyback specifically positioned, these shocks offer higher resistance to bottoming out while allowing for a smoother, more compliant ride in the choppy bumps. The Walker Evans coil overs are re-valvable and re-buildable should you find yourself needing a different tune for the terrain you frequent most.
Wheels: Polaris opted to run 15-inch wheels on the Trailhead Edition wrapped in 30×10-inch Pro Armor Crawler tires with a front and rear specific tread pattern. The Pro Armor tires have an aggressive tread pattern and 8-ply construction making them ideal for our rugged lava rock terrain.
Dimensions: Being a combination of the RZR and Ranger, the General falls right in middle with its size. The 2-seat General XP 1000 Trailhead Edition has a tight wheelbase of just 83-inches long and is only 64-inches wide, perfect for making it through wooded trails or turning around anywhere. The overall length of our General comes in at 118-inches. The rear dump box is rated at carrying up to 600lbs. The General has a hitch tow rating of 1,500-pounds making it versatile on the ranch or on the trail.
Interior: The interior of the 2022 Polaris General XP 1000 is loaded with features. The driver and passenger sit in comfort with bolstered bucket seats, with the driver seat being on a slider for proper reach to the pedals. The instrumentation is clean and simple with dual-sweep analog dials and a 4-inch LCD rider information center. The information center shows all important information such as speedo, tach, odometer, fuel level, etc. Moving to the center of the dash, Polaris equipped their Ride Command 7-inch display. The Ride Command display has a built-in GPS with mapping, can show other Polaris vehicles in your group with Vehicle-to-Vehicle Group Ride, Follow the Leader, and messaging. The display is also connected to both the front and rear-view on-board cameras. The display also offers Bluetooth and USB connectivity, AM/FM, and weather Radio. Being that the General has a radio, it only makes sense that it has a solid system which it does. Our General XP 1000 Trailhead Edition UTV comes standard with a Rockford Fosgate Stage 3 audio system made up of two 6.5-inch speakers up front as well as two 6.5-inch rear speakers powered by a 4-channel amp.
Miscellaneous: No UTV would be complete without a winch for which the Trailhead Edition comes standard with a Polaris HD 4500 LB synthetic line winch. The winch uses a synthetic rope with an aluminum fairlead and rubber isolator. A Low-Profile front bumper helps keep the front end safe and has a Pro Armor High Output 11-inch LED lightbar mounted to it. The General comes spec’d with a Profit Sport roof; however, it lacks a much-needed windshield for cold winter driving. Last but not least, is the adventure bed rack that can be used to mount necessary trail tools too.
Within just a few moments of getting behind the wheel of the Polaris General we were pushing hard and grinning ear to ear. We made a couple of adjustments to the suspension, adding compression and stiffness to the shocks, especially up front to help reduce the body roll under hard braking, acceleration, and cornering but soon after were pleased and didn’t do much tinkering after that.
Our testers all agreed that the Polaris General is soft and plush, which could be a great thing, or something that you work to tune out. The soft nature of the suspension combined with the short wheelbase did lead to one unfortunate event early on, but after we stiffened the ride up and learned the limitations of gravity, we were fine.
The terrain here in Central Oregon is a great blend for testing as we’ve got a bit of everything when it comes to terrain. As a volcanic, high desert region in the Pacific Northwest we were able to drift smooth logging roads before venturing into narrow wooded trails just as easily as we could haul ass in wide open desert sand or whooped out OHV trails. One area the soft suspension really excelled was the endless lava rock fields we have. On more than once occasion we’d round a corner going way too fast and be surprised with knee-high lava rocks. Despite our puckered rear ends, the 2022 Polaris General XP 1000 soaked up the hits with ease and kept us cruising ahead.
Every time we took the General UTV out we’d be laughing because of the fun and disbelief in how well this vehicle handled whoops and rocky terrain. Compared to the RZR, it’s a bit slower, not quite as peppy, or radical when it comes to all-out thrashing, but we’d wager that MOST drivers aren’t pushing hard enough to where they’d notice much of a difference. A good drive in the General could easily keep up with a beginner in an RZR. The benefit of the General UTV however, is that we’ve got a full functional tilt bed and tow hitch for our mountain biking and trail building needs.
When we weren’t hauling ass around the local OHV areas, we loaded up the bike rack and tools and could be found shuttling our favorite downhill trails and doing trail maintenance in hard to access areas. The 2022 Polaris General XP 1000 Trailhead Edition felt equally at home at slower speeds, hauling stuff around and crawling over downed trees as it did ripping trails. In fact, we almost think it does better here as the soft suspension makes for great traction and a smooth ride.
The Wolf’s Last Word
The 2022 Polaris General XP 1000 Trailhead Edition is a special edition UTV that comes with a light bar, bed rack, winch, and custom embossed graphics. Overall, it’s a spectacular vehicle with creature comforts and interior that make us jealous our daily driver isn’t this fancy. The map, Polaris group ride features, cameras and sound system all make for an incredibly fun and special experience. That’s not to say it’s perfect as the short wheelbase of the 2-seater combined with the soft suspension could require a bit more suspension tuning for super aggressive drivers who are regularly cornering sharply at high speeds.
We now have the 4-seater and while we originally knew we wanted the bigger General for driving more friends around, the advantages of the 2-seater are noted. The shortness makes it easier to store, super easy to turn around on almost any trail or position and is a blast in tighter terrain. Of course, the flip side is, less friends and a little less stability as speed. The power delivery on the General XP 1000 is smooth and easy for all drivers, albeit not as peppy as an RZR, it’s also more forgiving.
If you are looking for a UTV that will give you the ability to do some practical work around the homestead, haul ass on the trails, and do some shuttling at your favorite trails, the 2022 Polaris General XP 1000 Trailhead Edition is a pretty sweet machine. We do think the 4-seater is the way to go but we’ll just have to wait for the long-term review on that one before we make our final decision.
Price: Starting at $28,399
Handles better than expected
Snappy and fun in the tight stuff
Infotainment system is dialed
Capable and tough
Body Roll at speed
Soft suspension not for everyone
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