2021 Polaris Ranger 1000 Premium – The Polaris Ranger 900 may be the most popular UTV of all time. Polaris sold so many that when they jumped to the Ranger 1000 XP, they put the 900 in the lineup as a lower cost alternative. The machine’s continued strong sales made it clear that the company needed to keep the machine in the area, but the 900 was in desperate need of an update, especially when the 1000 XP had a major overhaul that took it to the top of the class. The answer is the 2021 Ranger 1000, one of the smoothest UTVs we’ve driven.
When Polaris launched the Ranger 1000, it caused a lot of confusion about what was going on in Minnesota. They had the Ranger 1000 XP, but now there was a new Ranger 1000 with less horsepower, a lower price and not as many differences as before? We asked a Polaris representative and he described it as a truck. You have one version of the truck with a basic configuration and a smaller engine, then you have the same truck that comes with more features, a bigger engine and a higher price. There is demand for both types of trucks, and there is equal demand for the two versions of the Ranger.
2021 Polaris Ranger 1000 Premium
The two Rangers share the same frame, have the same bodywork and the same suspension design. In fact, most of the machine is the same as its big brother. But the engine is different. A Polaris representative added that they planned to see how they could keep the components of the 900 engine but ended up building a completely new engine. The Ranger 1000, like the XP version, is a twin to the 999cc Prostar, but the interior is different. The main thing you’ll notice is that the 1000 makes 61 horsepower compared to the XP’s 82 horsepower. The presentation is also very different. While the XP offers a quick power curve that makes it fun to follow and work, the Ranger 1000 feels almost electric. It is very smooth with power delivery and is ideal for work around the farm or property, while still perfectly suited for commuting routes.
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Another thing about the difference between the two machines that will surprise you. Anyone who has ever ridden a Ranger 1000 XP knows how quiet it is. It is so famous for how quiet it is that some manufacturers use it as a benchmark for how quiet they try to make their machines. The only one we’ve known that came close was the Yamaha Wolverine X4, that is, until now. The Ranger 1000 is better than the XP in being a quieter riding machine. You can start the next journey and have a pleasant conversation with your passengers without trying to compete with the sound of the machine.
To test the machine, we decided to find as many situations as possible to test it in the exact setting where you would find it. We headed to the farm and started working to get things started. We loaded feed bags and started herding the animals. We didn’t come as close as we would have liked to meet the Ranger’s 1,000-pound bed capacity. What we loaded did not charge the machine in any way. As we said before, the machine is also very quiet, so no collisions are caused. We hooked the trailer to the machine’s 2-inch receiver and pulled a small tractor that brought us up to a 2,500-pound towing capacity with the trailer counted as well. The added weight of the tongue had us holding the spanner diameter for the rear shocks, but a few clicks and we were all good. You feel the weight behind you as you try to steer, but it handled it without worrying us. A word to the wise, don’t tell the farmer that you want to see how the machine does normal farm work. In the end, we got a good idea of how well the Ranger 1000 could handle the job, the farmer got a free day’s work for us and we slept very well when we got home.
Later, we went on a trip together and checked out several hunting season areas. We had a chainsaw and other gear that we threw on the bed to clear the brush but ended up using it to clear the path from the fallen tree. Now, we’ve used several different Ranger 1000 models, and one came with a Polaris Pro 4, 500 winch. If you buy a Ranger, make sure you get one of these. The pro model comes with a synthetic string and they have a quick return function that returns the string very quickly after you are done with it. We removed the tree without any problems, and the wireless remote is a big help too.
Along the way, we discovered that if you want a little extra speed, you’ll find yourself wanting the XP model. The Ranger 1000’s high power range feels almost tamed. It doesn’t cut or anything, it just reaches its limit, and the machine is so smooth that when you pull, you’ll run out. It is our side that likes speed and going fast in the lane. We know that there will be those who are attracted to the low price and feel of the machine but you will find yourself wanting more horsepower when you thought you would be happy with what the machine has to offer. That’s a small group of you, but you’re out there. We get it.
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One very interesting feature, and this is the same with XP, too. If you plan or need to use a machine to plow snow, you are in for a treat. The Polaris plow system attaches right to the frame and can be driven up to. From there, farming is so easy that it’s fun. You’ll be amazed at how much snow you can push, and the stock 26-inch Polaris PXT tires are very basic but get excellent traction.
If you don’t need the added horsepower and/or the XP 1000 package offerings, the Ranger 1000 is a great machine. It is much better than the 900 it replaces and suits its intended audience perfectly. It’s such a smooth machine that you’ll find yourself really enjoying it and using it more than you intended. If you’re looking for a new Ranger, ask yourself what you need, because the answer may be the 2021 Polaris Ranger 1000.
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Raven Média is the publisher of ATV Trail Rider, Planete Quad, Le Monde du VTT, Passion Motoneige and Custom Tour magazines. In addition to our powersport magazines, we also publish bilingual versions of the ATV/UTV Reference Guide.
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In response to Canada’s Bill C-18, Meta now prohibits sharing Canadian journalistic content on its website. To stay informed about our latest publications, we recommend you subscribe to our newsletters on our web pages. The Premium 1000 is a mid-range Ranger, but capable of operating in a variety of environments. Cody Hooper
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Years ago, mid-level UTVs—like the Polaris Ranger 1000 Premium in this review—were designed to drive like a dump truck; their speeds slightly higher than a normal person could walk. They were basically an old man’s UTV, built for retired guys who needed a machine with a small bed and not a lot of power for projects around the house.
Today, Polaris’ Ranger is known for its ultra-smooth ride, quick handling and great value. At $16,399, the Ranger 1000 Premium is a fantastic buy, proving that work-oriented UTVs can be comfortable but also fun to drive. I picked up a new Polaris Ranger in the summer of 2021, and immediately put it to work around our property, which is what the 1000 is meant for. If you have a few acres of land, a small deer rental or farm, this is the perfect UTV.
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With a towing capacity of 2,500 pounds, the Ranger 1000 makes quick work of moving a small trailer. Cody Hooper
The Ranger has a large bed that has a 1,000-pound capacity, although California models are only rated for 600 pounds. Towing capacity is 2,500 pounds, making it the perfect tool for towing small and medium-sized trailers. With AWD engaged, the Ranger pulled our 18-footer uphill
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