When Polaris first introduced the RZR in 2008, the recreational UTV and Side x Side industry was changed forever. As if that wasn't enough, Polaris introduced the RZR S in 2009, which was leaps and bounds ahead of the competition with a high output factory long travel equipped sporty side x side. For 2010, Polaris has gone above and beyond once again with the release of their all-new RZR 4 Robby Gordon Edition.
So, if you're like us you're probably wondering some of the following whether you own an existing UTV or not:
- Does the engine have enough power?
- Does the extra wheelbase cause you to high center or hang up more?
- Can you really fit 4 people comfortably for an entire day's ride?
- How is the turning radius?
- How well does it fit in tight woods trails?
- How well does it rock crawl?
- How does it do in the sand?
So, to begin, let's jump right to the things we love about the new RZR 4 Robby Gordon Edition:
- Similar fit, finish, and comfort level of the existing RZR and RZR S
- Tilt Steering Wheel
- Digital Dash
- High & Low Beam Lights
- Simple 1-position On-Demand AWD System
- Comfortable bucket seats front and rear
- 4 cup holders
- 12v power sockets front and rear
- RZR S Suspension with heavier duty Fox Podium X 2.0 shocks
Here's what we'd like to see updated for next year's models of not only the RZR 4 but also the regular RZR and RZR S:
- Parking brake
- 6 tie down points in the bed
- Integrated hard sided lockable glove box
And, specifically for the RZR 4, we'd like to see Polaris utilize the additional space under the rear driver's side seat for added storage, because you can never have enough space to store stuff when out riding the trails. And, last but not least on the RZR 4, we'd like to see a quicker steering ratio and power steering due to the extra length and additional weight on the front end.
But, we know what you're really wondering is how it drove out on the trails, right? But, before we jump in with our full test, we're happy to say the new Polaris RZR 4 Robby Gordon Edition is an all around amazing sport side x side. As you can probably imagine, the extra size has its limiting factors, but it also has some very beneficial factors, as well. So, to begin our test, we headed out to the Brimstone Recreation area in Huntsville, TN to test its prowess in tight woods trails.
Part of what we were wondering is how many times we'd have to do 3-point turns to make it through the trees. We were wondering if we'd get hung up making hard off-camber turns by catching trees on the roll cage. We also wanted to see just how often we'd get hung up on steep water breaks and big rocks. And, finally we wanted to get the feedback of other riders on the trails with us that had other brands and models of UTVs for some honest comparison feedback.
In the end, we were pleasantly surprised with the way the RZR 4 handled tight woods trails. We had folks with existing RZR's, RZR S's, Rangers, Prowlers, and Rhinos drive and ride in it, and their responses were all very similar.
The engine is peppy when compared to non-RZR machines, and although not as fast as the RZR or RZR S, it seemed to have plenty of power to everyone that drove it. And, for those power hungry folks, there are plenty of options to increase the power of the High Output (H.O.) 760cc engine ranging from turbos to all sorts of bolt-on parts that can fit within your budget.
It didn't get hung up on the tall and steep water breaks like everyone expected. Although you could feel it drag the undercarriage at times, there always seemed to be tires on the ground that were able to pull you through without getting hung up. The positive attribute to the extra wheelbase is that it rides very smooth, soaking up the bumps at both high and low speeds with little to no feedback through the steering wheel. When compared to the other 2-seat UTVs, some even mentioned it was possible to get hung up easier on the steep faced water breaks in their shorter wheelbase UTVs because their tires would be off the ground more.
Although we didn't test it with 4 adults in the tight woods, we did put 3 adults in to drive it. Three of them currently drove Rhino 450's, and they were pleasantly surprised at how well it rode, how comfortable the back seat was, and how much quicker it was when compared to the Rhino 450. Upon initial inspection we originally thought the rear seats would only be comfortable for small adults or children. But, after spending hours in the back seat, it's truly as comfortable as the front seats with a nice grab bar running the entire width of the RZR 4.
Our initial assumption was that we were going to have to constantly stop and make 3-point turns to make it through the tight woods trails. But, to our surprise, we only had to do this a couple of times in a full day's ride. And, for comparison sake, the one guy with a Ranger XP had to do it in the same places we did. But, you will find yourself working the steering wheel more because of the added weight of the machine and what appears to be the same steering box ratio as a regular RZR. We'd like to see a quicker steering box ratio and power steering on next year's models to make weaving your way through the woods a much more enjoyable experience.
Overall Tight Woods Impression
The astounding response we received from everyone that rode or drove the RZR 4 was "Wow, I didn't expect that!" I think what we all realized is that our assumptions were nearly all wrong and that Polaris has really done their homework with the new RZR 4 Robby Gordon Edition. It's obviously not as nimble as a 2-seat UTV or ATV in the tight woods, but for most people wanting to take their families out trail riding, the positives far outweigh the few times you'll have to back up or slow down to weave your way through the trees.