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We take a spin in Polaris’ top-end workhorse, the Ranger Crew XP 1000 EPS Northstar and it doesn’t disappoint.

You know the saying “working hard or hardly working?” Well that just about sums up the Ranger Crew XP 1000 EPS Northstar we briefly tested. This thing will work harder than any other SXS you’ve tested but you’ll feel as though you’ve hardly worked a minute all day, such is the comfort. We only got a few short days with this beast for a quick spin around our cattle farm and here is what we thought.

Comfort – This is the Northstars best attribute. It runs the up-spec seats with premium embroidered cut and sew material, doors with crank windows, fixed glass windshield with wiper, rear glass panel, dome light, rear view mirror, heat, AC, defrost and loads more. In other words, you’re sitting in a top-of-the-line ute without the price tag or complexities that come with a full-blown car. The AC was excellent in the cold conditions we tested it in and I can imagine the cooling in summer would see no one willing to get out and open a gate.

The seats are more comfortable than the standard Ranger seats on the base-spec machines and also seem more durable. If you thought you could spend all day in the standard Ranger than you could spend all day and night in the Northstar.

It still runs the standard Sachs suspension but for agricultural work that is fine. We wouldn’t recommend punting through the scrub with no care for the vehicle as the ground clearance of 33cm and the length of 386cm aren’t ideal when hitting holes, climbing rocks or flying through gullies but for all the work we did it was perfect. If you want to chase pigs through the scrub with five other mates, look at the General 4 1000.

The electronic power steering is as good as it is on every other Polaris model. You can turn it with one finger it is that light and just because this vehicle is one of the heaviest in the Polaris range at just over a tonne, that doesn’t affect the weight of the steering.

Dimensions – This beast is 386cm long, 165cm wide and 198cm high so if you plan on using it for tight bush work you may want to consider the three-seat option. This model has Turf mode so you can perform a u-turn without cutting up the lawn but that u-turn will be slightly wider. It also has AWD and 2WD. It is far easier to manoeuvre than a dual cab ute, like a million times easier. Opening the doors and jumping in and out to get to gates is much easier and while it has more ground clearance than most utes it is not as high up to the seat so you don’t need a lift. But despite this it allows more space to get in and out than a ute. You won’t bang your head or knees!

It can tow nearly 1200kg which is about the most any SXS will tow and can carry 454kg in the dump box. I’d love to see a SXS that can match the capacity of a dual cab ute in this department but I suspect that will bump the dry weight up from just over a tonne to over two tonne. I’d rather sacrifice some carrying capacity than the ability correct a roll over or pull it out of mud if you get it bogged.

Motor – The Ranger 100 runs the tried and tested 999cc, four-Stroke, twin cylinder, DOHC engine and it is a ripper. With a vehicle this big, the 1000 is a much smarter choice over the 570. The 570 is great but if I’m going to carry five other people and work gear I would want the bigger engine.

As for how it performs, it is super torquey. We had no issues loading the tray up and filling the cab with humans and driving through mud, sand and up or down hills. We hardly noticed the extra weight. It is also a crawler. We could comfortably muster behind cattle at walking speed without it getting away from us.


The is the ducks nuts when it comes to agricultural side-by-sides. If you need to transport workers around the farm or work site and you operate in weather with extreme conditions the Northstar would best suit you. It ticks just about every box from comfort to practicality and performance. It comes loaded with features and if you’re comparing it to a dual cab ute don’t forget the Northstar is easier to work on, far more lightweight, is easier to manoeuvre and get in and out of, can carry six people, is more robust bashing through paddocks not to mention much more comfortable and you don’t have to worry about damaging or scratching it. In fact the only thing a dual cab ute does better than the Northstar is that is can be registered.

Stay tuned as we get to test this model again but for several months and give you a more detailed report.