Polaris Industries has introduced a revolutionary new product in the 2014 Polaris Sportsman Ace. This new machine merges the UTV and the ATV into a product that fits into both markets, yet breaks traditions from each. In some ways, it’s a crossover-type vehicle, and takes aspects from both segments to create something that is functional and fun.
The development behind the Sportsman Ace had four primary goals to meet: fun/capable, comfortable, confidence inspiring and competitive. 48″ wide allows it to fit within nearly all the trail width limits. 32 horsepower and all wheel drive is plenty spirited for the trails. Access is a breeze with the low step-in height and the traditional seating…add in the tilt wheel and 4″ of fore/aft seat adjustment and it will accommodate most any rider. Handling combines a nice mix between the UTV and ATV. The safety of the R.O.P.S. frame structure. And of course, price point…the Sportsman Ace falls in with a MSRP of $7499.
I had the opportunity to take the Polaris Sportsman Ace out on the offroad trails of the Hidden Falls Adventure Park outside Marble Falls TX. The park combines rock crawling options for fullsize vehicles with plenty of ATV/UTV designated trails.
The Sportsman Ace feels underpowered when you initially start out, but once you start moving it accelerates nicely. At 850# ready to drive, the Prostar 32hp motor runs smoothly. Suspension is handled by Macpherson struts in the front and upper/lower a-arms in the rear (rear is direct from the RZR 570). The ride was active but smooth…suspension travel is 9.5″ rear and 8.2″ front. Climbing was light since there is little front end weight, but it was surprisingly stable. Steep downhill sections were a breeze. Landing small jumps were uneventful and smooth. The strut front suspension is a little bouncy, but nothing uncontrollable.
This is certainly not a machine for the adrenaline junkie. But will be a great machine for those looking to transition from an ATV into the UTV market. I can definitely see where the ease of ingress/egress will be very hunter friendly. And couples who are looking for something to bomb around camp or enjoy sightseeing the trails, this is the perfect means of doing so without one person being stuck in a passenger seat.