Polaris Introduces ‘Three-Quarter Ton’ Ranger XD 1500 Side-by-Side

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

polaris introduces three quarter ton ranger xd 1500 side by side

This isn’t usual fare for news around these parts but the ever-expanding market for UTVs and side-by-sides is notable – especially as they become more like road-going pickup trucks than ever before.

This machine is called the Polaris Ranger XD 1500, part of the Ranger line which is targeted at consumers who primarily use these things for work on their farms or at a jobsite. In contrast, Polaris also has a RZR line for those of us who like outrageous high-speed off-road fun and the General line for customers who want something in between those two extremes.

Powering this new Ranger XD 1500 is a three-cylinder variant of Polaris’ own engine, a mill called the ProStar which replaced the old GM-sourced boat anchor the company used to use in some of its products. Here, the 1.5L engine makes 110 horsepower and roughly a like amount of torque. All of that is funneled through a liquid-cooled CVT which utilizes a belt crafted entirely from steel; it even manages to incorporate a form of hill start assist. So equipped, these things have a 1,500 lb payload and can tow 3,500 pounds, numbers which roughly equal that of a Ford Maverick – except the Mav doesn’t have 15 inches of ground clearance.

But it’s the cabin of the top-tier NorthStar editions which make the point that these rigs are more like an on-road truck than ever before. That waterproof 7-inch touchscreen packs maps and controls galore (and is easy to use in my experience, even with gloves), to say nothing of the unit’s power windows and full HVAC functionality. Even heated seats are available, fer chrissakes, along with a banging JBL stereo. As shown in those photos above, Polaris has been learning from automakers, now incorporating numerous automotive-grade controls and switch placements.

How much do they cost, you ask? A decked-out example like the ones shown here with a fully enclosed climate-controlled cab starts at $44,999. Inversely, an entry-level trim with one row of seats is priced under thirty grand before fees and taxes. That’s a heap o’ beans, but if you’re a Texas rancher with all hands out in a remote part of yer property, it makes sense to provide a machine which keeps them comfortable and improves productivity. Sure, an older Jeep or pickup could do the same but is unlikely to be able to get into – or out of – the type of terrain which the Ranger XD 1500 can handle with ease. Then there’s the moneyed set who simply want the best-of-the-best and get one over on the neighbours, cost be damned. 

All of which is to say these are specialized tools intended for a specific audience – an audience who definitely exists and is willing to spend the cash. They’ll sell every single one of these they can make.

[Images: Polaris]

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3 of 23 comments
  • Conundrum Conundrum on Aug 01, 2023

    So I go to the website where this thing is touted as "extreme" duty, but nowhere is there a description of the chassis or the drivetrain to get the ground clearance with no driveshafts hanging in the breeze, nothing. Nah, everything is breathless lifestyle hype for the over-rich dude who wants a toy and wears a cowboy hat. An Albertan.

    In the obligatory video, Two dingbats who look like 1842 lumberjack refugees from Maine and call themselves "brand ambassadors" perform death-defying tasks I could perform in my Mazda6, like running down a dirt road at 20 mph crowing about comfort and not a single suspension spring deflection is ever seen on a rock because there aren't any fer crissake, the road doesn't even have potholes, and hauling a helicopter on a taxi-way which a John Deere garden tractor could do, or a bulldog for that matter, let alone my car with trailer hitch. It's Pseud City all the way, relentless tripe.

    Yessiree Bob, nothing but fluff. Fluff, fluff and more fluff. Perfect for the urban cowboy with dreams to haul haybales out on the range. A dude-ranch tyro fantasy. A lifestyle. Utter bullsh!te from beginning to end. If you want something real, get a Roxor Mahindra which actually is rugged and not mere pressed tin, and costs much less too, but doesn't have A/C or an app to tell you to change the transmission oil at 6,000 miles.

    Some people will buy anything.

    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Aug 02, 2023

      I see plenty of side-by-sides costing more than my pickup. I believe you are correct. Most of these will be purchased by wannabe outdoorsman or pseudo-lumberjacks. They will be towed behind emissions deleted MaxCumStroke diesels with a tonneau covered bed and ridding on super wide 24 inch wheels.

  • Analoggrotto Analoggrotto on Aug 01, 2023

    Small wrangler pee pee energy.

  • SCE to AUX A question nobody asks is how Tesla sells so many EVs without charge-at-home incentives.Here are some options for you:[list][*]Tesla drivers don't charge at home; they just squat at Superchargers.[/*][*]Tesla drivers are rich, so they just pay for a $2000 charger installation with the loose change in their pocket.[/*][*]Tesla drivers don't actually drive their cars much; they plug into 110V and only manage about 32 miles/day.[/*][/list]
  • SCE to AUX "Despite the EV segment having enjoyed steady growth over the past several years, sales volumes have remained flatter through 2023."Not so. How can EV sales be increasing and flatter at the same time?https://insideevs.com/news/667516/us-electric-car-sales-2023q1/Tesla and H/K/G are all up for EV sales, as are several other brands.
  • ToolGuy Here is an interesting graphic, if you're into that sort of thing.
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