Did the Demo ride yesterday and drove a camo 1000XT. First I should say most of my UTV driving experience is in state of the art modified Long Travel UTV’s. We were at Carnegie Cycle Park and got to do several laps that included a couple jumps, a pretty decent short hill climb I’m really surprised they took people up and some spots where I could stomp on the throttle and open it up for a few seconds, but no 60-70 mph stuff at all.
Couple of interesting things people have been talking about that I really wanted to check on are the heat from the engine and the steering effort required. Well I can tell you that I didn’t remember to check either one, BUT after my hour test session in 100 degree heat neither stuck out as an issue at all, I don’t remember heat from the engine and I don’t remember the steering being difficult at all.
The power and clutching were pure magic for a stock machine, in fact I think the 1000 could get some novice drivers in trouble in 2wd. It was mostly hard pack dirt where we rode, but I could step on the gas and get the rear end sliding with ease in 2wd and found myself steering with the rear end a bunch Very impressive power and rumor has it they could be detuned a bit for the demo rides.
I managed to bottom the suspension off a jump fairly easily, but have no idea what the preload settings were. I wasn’t overly impressed with the suspension in regards to hard charging through whoops and stuff, but you read my background, for a stock UTV I'd say the Commander XT suspension is ahead of everything but the LT RZR S. We didn't get to take out the X, but quality shocks would obviously be a big improvement as well as that sway bar. It is light years ahead of the stock Rhino and Teryx as far as handling goes, but it does still wallow in turns a lot more than the S does. I’m guessing the sway bar on the X would help that and see that it will be a bolt on option from Can Am. It definitely feels a lot more like a sport ride than a utility ride though that's for sure.
I’m a big guy and had plenty of room and I think all day riding comfort is a very fair description. I was really impressed with the seats and seating position. One of the really big things for me between the RZR and other UTV’s is the seating position, I love how you sit in the RZR and I think it’s go kart seating attitude is a huge part of the RZR fun factor. The Commander is not quite as go kart as the RZR, but it’s MUCH more comfortable and much closer to that sporty feel than the Teryx or Rhino. Can Am hit comfort and ergonomics out of the park with the Commander in my opinion, I LOVED it.
They also very clearly raised the bar on fit and finish, the interior feel is at a whole different level as far as UTV’s are concerned, very well done. Only time will tell on the running gear, but I think Can Am’s record is pretty good on that front and they really haven’t reinvented the wheel as far as that goes as almost all of this technology comes directly from their quad line. I did notice the clunk people have talked about when I put it in gear and first took off, but never felt it again and did start and stop several times. I definitely did not like the clunk, but if it’s been the same on Renagades and they have no issues, I can easily learn to live with it.
I was quite pleasantly surprised to get a $500 certificate towards Can AM accessories if I buy a new Can Am between now and November which I just happen to be doing, that was really a nice touch! I’ve been eagerly anticipating getting our XT in the next couple months and I'm afraid spending some time driving one is just going to make that wait much much worse. I was very impressed with the 1000XT overall, it was everything I was hoping for and then some.