TESTED | POLARIS RANGER 570 HD EPS ADC | Launch Report | Tested
Are mid-size side-by-sides really all you need? We put the Polaris Ranger 570 HD EPS ADC to the test and it doesn’t disappoint.
Polaris have been making side-by-side vehicles for a little over 20 years now but it has only been the last decade that Aussie farmers have seriously consider running a side-by-side over an All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) for their daily duties. With this new-found infatuation, the search for the ultimate farmers-hand was born.
Side-by-sides of all capacities have been released in the last decade and Aussie farmers can’t get enough. As such a diverse country and with such diverse terrain, no one capacity or model was going to suit all Aussie farms. From flat dairy farms in the south east of Australia to the mountainous sheep farms through the Great Divide and the wild cattle farms in the north, no soil is the same. With such an assorted mix of agriculture, side-by-sides have become area-specific.
Our family cattle farm is called Kiah-Lee (no, not Minogue) and is nestled in the Bannaby district of NSW, about three hours south west of Sydney. It’s hilly, rocky and rough. Growing up we used horseback, dirtbikes and eventually ATVs to muster. We started in sheep before switching to cattle when the wool price dropped and the wild dog problem became a serious issue. About ten years ago we realised the mid-cap side-by-side is easier, safer and more versatile than the aforementioned farming tools making it the perfect tool for the work we do and the terrain we operate on and this Polaris Ranger 570 feels like it was purpose built for Kiah-Lee.
WHY WE LIKED IT
CENTRE OF GRAVITY Being so hilly and rough, a 1000cc machine is often wasted where we are. We need enough grunt to get through gullies towing a trailer but we rarely hit top speed. The Ranger runs a 567cc, liquid-cooled engine that sits over the rear wheels and low in the chassis meaning the centre of gravity is closer to the ground which helped when traversing off-camber roads. Polaris claim the engine puts out 44hp which we found sufficient for towing a box trailer with about 500kg of gear. You can tow up to 680kg.
TOP-SPEED We got the Ranger 570 onto a decent stretch of road and managed to wind it up to about 80km/h before deciding that felt fast enough and jumping on the brakes. The engine is torquey without feeling slow. It doesn’t rev loudly without going anywhere. Throttle response is good, there’s a little bit of freeplay that just takes time to adjust but I’d rather that than a touchy throttle that makes for a jerky ride in the paddocks when your foot bounces on and off the throttle.
CRAWLING While top-speed and acceleration were impressive for a mid-cap, the Ranger’s crawling speed was even better. In low range it’s as slow as a baby learning to walk and in high it is perfect for mustering behind cattle without needing to touch the brake or accelerator.
LOADED UP The Polaris Ranger 570 comes in at 499kg (dry) so the power-to-weight ratio is spot-on. At no point on the trails we were driving on did we think it needed more grunt or top speed.
The tipper tray allows you to carry 227kg and we had it loaded up with fencing gear, salt licks, firewood and all sorts different farming equipment and we struggled to fill the tray with more gear than it could take. We didn’t need to use low range when loaded up and we rarely needed to use the Active Descent Control (ADC) because the engine produced enough engine braking.
FUEL ECONOMY A 34-litre fuel tank is conveniently placed under the seat and with that much fuel we went days without needing to fill up. Being under the seat also ensures the weight is as low as the engine. The benefit of a mid-sized 570 like the Ranger is that the fuel economy is much better than anything 800cc and over, well at least that has been our experience, and you don’t sacrifice too much in grunt.
SHIFTING It sounds strange to say it but one of the best parts of the Ranger 570 EPS ADC is the shifter which locates high, low, reverse, park and neutral. It’s easily located at a good height next to the steering wheel and smoothly and lightly transitions through the gears. You won’t struggle to find the gate for drive, reverse or park and we rarely hit a false neutral. Sometimes when shifting into reverse we would find park instead. You could move the shifter with one finger! The dash displays which gear you are in so there’s no guessing.
DRIVE MODES The Ranger 570 EPS ADC offers four different drive modes: turf, two-wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive and ADC. In turf mode the rear differential is unlocked so the inside rear wheel doesn’t tear up your precious lawn!
In 2WD the rear diff is locked and power is delivered to both wheels. To help fuel economy we spent most of our time in 2WD and despite being hilly and wet, we rarely needed 4WD. Speaking of 4WD, the Ranger is a true, on demand, all-wheel-drive which delivers power to all four wheels when needed. We used this mode to get through one muddy creek where the 570 bellied-out and it pulled through no problem.
Finally there’s ADC. The ADC uses a sprag clutch in the driveline to actively hold the Ranger back using the engine when descending a hill. The natural engine braking was good enough for the steepest of hills but with ADC activated it actually brought the Ranger to a complete stop without touching the brake! For a hilly property like ours, this safety feature is essential. The last thing we need a freewheeling SXS! The ADC mode would be best used when towing heavy loads down steep hills.
DOORS These metal doors are not standard but they are excellent. The clever lever at the front of the door allows you to open it with one finger and the door opens from the front so getting to a gate doesn’t require going around the door. They kept the cold and water out and provided a padded spot to rest my arm.
WINDSCREEN The windscreen is also aftermarket. It can be opened via two latches at the bottom. This is great for fresh air or shooting out of. But we liked it most because it kept the cold wind off our face.
DAY MAKER Another non-standard part we loved was the rear light. It allowed us to work in the dark, casting light at least four metres from the Ranger.
WHAT YOU’D EXPECT
BRAKES Hydraulic brakes on all four wheels are excellent. Not touchy but still strong allowing you to ride them everywhere. There’s a park mode to hold the ranger and a handbrake as back-up or for when you’re quickly getting in and out to open a gate. You’ve got to reach a fair way down to get to the handbrake though.
SUSPENSION Sachs gear front and rear handles the bumps and it is incredibly smooth. Much more comfortable than any ATV and it will absorb everything from cricket balls to bowling balls.
CHASSIS A steel frame makes up the chassis and it never buckled no matter how many rocks we hit. A solid set of MacPherson struts also failed to buckle while the dual A-arms on the rear felt tough too.
EPS Electronic Power Steering nowadays is almost a must on any vehicle. It’s not expensive and it makes all the difference. Light as a feather on this machine.
COCKPIT The dash setup was convenient and easy to reach. The steering wheel comfortable and adjustable. I am 188cm tall and had no issues with space and did not feel cramped. Others using the vehicle were half my size and also found the controls comfortable and easy to reach. The bench seat was comfortable for working all-day. There were plenty of compartments for storage including a water bottle holder.
FRONT BAR The Ranger comes standard with a bottom metal bar but we had a full coverage bar that wrapped around the lights. It allowed us to bump gates that flung back in the wind without worrying about scratching the colour.
REAR RACK The unit we tested had a rear rack that allowed us to tie things off to and then lower to act as a second shelf. It could also be turned around and attached to the back to act as a rack to stop things falling out.
WE’D LIKE TO SEE
WIPER The model we tested did not have a wiper on the windscreen. We loved how solid the windscreen felt and how easy it was to lift up but we’d like a wiper so we can see when it gets dirty. Polaris do offer the wiper as an accessory too.
HORN For moving cattle we’d like to see a horn fitted. The Ranger 570 is so quiet the cattle hardly noticed we were there!
CLEARANCE This is a tough one because with more clearance comes less stability but we did belly-out, once. With 230mm of travel at the front and 250mm out the back and a ground clearance of 250mm we’d like to see that a little taller, if we didn’t lose stability that is.
THAT’S A WRAP!
The Polaris Ranger 570 HD EPS ADC is an excellent piece of kit and with a super-torquey engine that is slow enough to muster and fast enough to chase pigs, for the hilly, slow terrain we were on, there’s not much more we need. It felt incredibly stable and the ADC meant the Ranger could never get away from us. From the tipper tray, stable chassis, plush suspension, ADC, comfortable cockpit and forward opening, after-market doors, the Ranger is one of the most practical side-by-sides for any hard-going farm that puts mid-cap work horses at the top of the pile.
For more information on the Polaris Ranger 570 HD EPS click here.