Honda and Polaris are two of today’s top companies in powersports. Through the years they have each manufactured quality UTV’s and other equipment that have set standards for vehicles all across the globe.
When it comes to working class UTV’s, professionals want a strong and dependable machine with high tow capacities and weight baring limits so that they can get the job done. These two companies have produced two of the top working class UTV’s in the world that have proved their worth for years running, the Pioneer and the Ranger.
We are going to put these two leaders in production head to head to see what makes each UTV the top of their game. Who is better? While we will give you all the information you need, the decision is yours.
After the creation of their first 98cc motorcycle back in 1948 in Japan, Honda’s equipment became widely known throughout the country. After evolving to building racing type equipment and winning events across the globe their popularity grew enormously. Today, Honda is one of the biggest names in powersports with top quality equipment and an amazing track record.
The Pioneer is Honda’s top model UTV. They designed this model with 5 different sub-models so that you can choose whether you want a machine for work or play. From small to big, these sub-models will give you the option of the number of passengers you want, and the strength and power you desire.
The 500 is the smallest sub-model of the Pioneer. It is only 50 inches wide and seats two so you can fit on any trail. In fact, it is so small that you are able to load it up into any full-sized pickup truck! But don’t let the size fool you, the Pioneer 500 still packs enough power to manage any terrain or obstacle that comes its way.
- 475cc liquid cooled 4-stroke engine
- Electronic Fuel Injection
- 36mm throttle body
- 5 speed automatic transmission
- 5.9 inches of travel
- 1,000-pound towing capacity
- 8.5- inch ground clearance
- 4.1-gallon fuel capacity with 1.1-gallon reserve
MSRP: $9,199.00 USD
A little bit stronger than the 500, this Pioneer is not too big and not to small. They also offer the 700 in a four-seater edition which is perfect if you are looking to take along some extra friends. If you want to keep it a two-seater, you can look forward to having a nice dumping cargo bed on the back. This is super handy for any kind of work project.
- 675cc liquid cooled four- stroke engine
- 40mm throttle body
- Automatic transmission
- 170mm- disk brakes
- 10.7- inch ground clearance
- 1,000- pound cargo bed capacity
- 1,500- pound towing capacity
- 7.9- gallon fuel tank with 1.2-gallon reserve
700 MSRP: $10,999.00 USD
700-4 MSRP: $12,399.00 USD
The biggest of the bunch, this Pioneer is the strongest and most powerful of them all. With a third seat and the option of a 5- seater sub-model, the Pioneer 1000 was made for everyone to enjoy. It features the industry’s first brake-traction control system and showcases Honda’s exclusive 4WD system. Larger tires and a higher ground clearance means that the 1000 is capable of taking you places that the other models cant.
- 999cc liquid cooled Unicam 4- stroke engine
- 44mm throttle body
- PGM-FI Fuel Injection
- Dual hydraulic disk brakes
- 1,000-pound cargo bed capacity
- 2,000-pound towing capacity
- 12.7- inch ground clearance
- 7.9-gallon fuel tank with 1.7- gallon reserve
1000 MSRP: $15,899.00 USD
1000-5 MSRP: $17,299.00 USD
When Polaris first started in 1954, their specialty was snow mobiles. After being bough out by Textron in 1968, Polaris bought themselves back in 1980. Through the years they have achieved world fame and in 2007 they released their first side by side vehicle, the RZR. Since 2007 the RZR has become one of the top models of side by sides in the world and has since made other side by sides like the Ranger. The Ranger offers a 2-seater, 3-seater, crew, special edition, and a youth model. This side by side was truly build for everyone to enjoy.
The 570 is a comfortable 2- seater side by side that was made to be a true workhorse. For a small side by side, the 44 horsepower ProStar 570 engine is sure to impress with its capabilities. Polaris has been known to offer higher ground clearance on all of their vehicles so you can go just about anywhere to complete your work. The 570’s hefty towing capacities will be enough to haul any piece of equipment anywhere you need it to go. The full size edition allows you to add 2 more friends to your adventure to help get the job done faster.
- 567 cc liquid cooling 4-stroke engine
- 44- horsepower
- Automatic transmission
- 500- pound cargo bed capacity
- 1,500- pound hitch towing capacity
- 1,000- pound payload capacity
- 10- inch ground clearance
- Hydraulic disk brakes
- Lock & Ride Cargo system
- Stamped Steel Wheels
- Dual A- Arm suspension 9 & 10- inch suspension
570 MSRP: $10,199.00 USD
570 Full Size MSRP: $10,499.00 USD
Ranger XP 1000
As a class leader in hauling and comfort that is incomparable, the XP1000 is a top choice among the working class. The power this side by side has and its strength are some of the highest numbers on the market today, which makes the Ranger XP 1000 the perfect vehicle for all of your needs. Higher ground clearance than the 570 means you can go practically wherever you want, and the ability to seat a third passenger will allow you to have more “hands on deck” for your projects. Polaris also offers the 1000 in a crew addition so you can add even more friends and family to your adventure at a 5-seater capacity.
- 999cc liquid cooled 4- stroke twin cylinder DOHC engine
- Electronic Fuel Injection
- 82- horsepower
- Automatic transmission
- 1,000- pound cargo box capacity
- 2,500- pound hitch towing capacity
- 13-inch ground clearance
- 11.5- gallon fuel capacity
- 1,500- pound payload capacity
- 4- wheel hydraulic disk brakes
- Lock & Ride cargo system
- 4- inch LCD display with cupholders
- Polaris Pulse Electrical System
- Aluminum Black Xcelerator wheels
- Dual A-Arm 11-inch suspension
1000 MSRP: $16,899.00 USD
1000 Crew MSRP: $18,099.00
Polaris offers their rangers in a series of special edition models. These models are the North Star, the Texas, and the High Lifter editions.
Each edition features its own special qualities added to the Ranger 1000.
Ranger 1000 North Star Edition
The Ranger 1000 North Star Edition comes in both 2-seater and Crew-4 seater and it’s feature is its completely climate controlled cab. You will be fully enclosed and have the option to tilt or remove your windows if you want for that open cab feel. You will have full poly doors, heat and defrost capabilities, and extra comfortable seats in this Ranger,
1000 MSRP: $23,999.00 USD
1000 Crew MSRP: $26,299.00 USD
Ranger 1000 Texas Edition
Everything is bigger in Texas, as they say. The same goes for the Ranger 1000 Texas edition. BIGGER ground clearance (13 inches), BIGGER suspension (11 inches), BIGGER horsepower (82), BIGGER tires. If you want BIG, the Texas is your model. Not only is it all around a beefier model, it is available in a Crew 4-Seater as well so you can all enjoy your super tough edition Ranger.
1000 MSRP: $18,899.00 USD
1000 Crew MSRP: $20,299.00 USD
Ranger 1000 High Lifter Edition
What does the High Lifter Edition have that the rest don’t? Well… height! This model was built for the deepest mud pits and you will not be disappointed. The 28-inch Outlaw tires and 13.5- inch ground clearance will give you the traction and the height you need to navigate through the nastiest terrain. A 20 percent increase in overall driveline strength will allow you to have the most robust durability. And don’t worry, the skid plates will protect every inch of your underneath and the drainage system will make sure that it is easy to keep your prized possession clean as a whistle. Want to take more people? Opt for the crew edition and travel with up to 5!
1000 MSRP: $20,599.00 USD
1000 Crew MSRP: $22,099.00 USD
This model really sets Polaris apart from other companies because it is the only class leader that offers a youth model. If your little one enjoys riding around with you and dreams of having their own side by side one day…well…why wait! Polaris went out of their way to make a side by side that is specifically for them! You won’t have to worry about your child taking off because with the Speed-Limiting and Geo-Fencing technology you will have full control over how fast and how far your child is travelling.
Keep them safe with the protective cage, interlocking seatbelt system, safety nets, and it even comes with 2 helmets. Your kid will be able to ride along with you with their own 8 inches of ground clearance and they won’t be struggling to keep up either with a 150cc engine. The adjustable steering wheel will allow them to grow with their machine, so they will love it for many years.
MSRP: $5,499.00 USD
Both Honda and Pioneer have shown us some great models that suit just about everyone. Each company provides options with seating capacities that accommodate small or large loads and have amazing towing capacities for the toughest jobs.
If you are thinking of passenger comfort and space, Honda would be the better option. If you want the toughest vehicle on the market, Pioneer has that category in the bag. If you want the best machine you can buy on a budget, I would look toward Honda. If you want a machine that has enough ground clearance for even the rockiest terrains, Pioneer would be your best choice.
Each company has their strong and weak points with their vehicles. All in all, I think that both companies have excelled in their side by side manufacturing and make it hard for someone to decide which is truly better.
If you were to try to choose the better brand for yourself, you would really have to dig into the specs and decide which vehicle offers more that is personally important to you. Of course, the type of work you are looking to complete is the most important consideration when making your choice. If you are choosing a model for leisure, make a choice based on how fast, powerful, and capable the vehicle is.
You can’t go wrong with your choice either way, and hopefully this article will help your choice come more naturally. When you put Honda and Pioneer side by side, the competition is hard.
As always, have fun and be safe!