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Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Northstar Trail Boss
Photo: John Radzwilla

Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss Is An Advanced All-Terrain Workhorse

With advanced technology, enhanced safety features, and rider-focused design, the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss ensures a comfortable and exhilarating riding experience across even the most challenging terrain. 

If a Sherman tank and a Cadillac were to have a baby, I am pretty sure the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss would be the result. In this comprehensive review, we delve into the technical prowess and impressive capabilities of the burly utility terrain vehicle.

In short: Polaris consistently pushes the boundaries of innovation, and the Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss is no exception. This all-terrain workhorse delivers unparalleled performance, versatility, and ruggedness for both recreational enthusiasts and hardworking professionals.

Polaris Ranger XP 1000 North Star Trail Boss Review

Getting the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss In Hand

Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Northstar Trail Boss

When the Trail Boss first arrived from Polaris’ factory in Roseau, Minnesota to our deer lease in Southeastern Oklahoma – Honobia to be exact – I smiled an evil grin.

“Look at you, all loaded down with options, clean and white with your pearl panels and shined black tires,” I thought. “It’s time we put your showroom queen ass to work. Prepare to be humbled,” I chuckled internally as if I was about to crush a competitor in a fitness competition.

For those unfamiliar, the Kiamichi Mountains of Oklahoma are no joke. They are rugged, ascend and descend steeply, and are plagued with erosion from flash floods and heavy springtime downpours. It can be sweltering hot in the summertime. And in the winter, it threatens even the toughest with the most bone-chilling humid cold you can think of.

Sharp rocks jolt from the ground and frequently break off from mountainside cliffs, littering trails with axle-breaking landmines. We won’t even get into the remoteness of the area. Put it this way: when you look at a cellphone coverage map, there are a few places with no service: the Rockies, parts of Alaska, and a small dot in Southeast Oklahoma – the Kiamichis. 

“Welcome to the hurt locker, Polaris. It’s time you earn the name “Trail Boss”.”

Key Specs on the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 North Star Trail Boss

At the heart of the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 North Star Trail Boss lies a robust ProStar 1000 engine. This delivers an impressive 82 horsepower and 62 lb-ft of torque. This powerplant boasts fuel injection and dual overhead cams, ensuring a smooth and efficient power delivery across all terrains. Whether navigating rocky trails or tackling steep inclines, the Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss exhibits exceptional performance that excels even in the most challenging conditions. 

Specifications: Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss

  • Engine: 4-stroke, twin-cylinder, ProStar 1000 engine
  • Horsepower: 82 HP
  • Torque: 62 lb-ft
  • Drive System: High-Performance On-Demand True AWD/2WD/VersaTrac Turf Mode
  • Cargo Box Capacity: 1,000 lb (453.6 kg)
  • Payload Capacity: 1,500 lb (680.4 kg)
  • Towing Capacity: 2,500 lb (1134 kg)
  • Fuel Capacity: 11.5 gal (43.5 L)
  • Dry Weight: 1,635 lb (741.5 kg)

Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss: Engine and Performance

Testing the engine, we put over 180 miles on the machine with 24 hours of total drive time. We traversed rivers where water rushed into the doors and climbed inclines so steep that the trail was dubbed the“Flip It Trail.” Mostly because last year a fellow lease member flipped his quad end-over-end multiple times down the mountain, nearly totaling it. We winched up whole trees and pulled them in reverse uphill. And we ran it in low and high ranging from 1-wheel drive to 4-wheel drive with a simple flip of a toggle switch.

YouTube video

The engine is surprisingly quiet for a UTV. We didn’t break out the decibel meter, but I can say with certainty, that the machine is far quieter than my Polaris Sportsman 550 and therefore assumably a great companion to get to the deer blind in the morning with less detection. 

In only one instance did we get it wedged between rocks and smoked the belt. It happened by accident and I will fall on that sword. With a simple shift to reverse, we threw it into 4-Low and crawled back up the rock face – with our payload of 600lbs of corn, 3 feeder barrels, and multitude of tools and a chainsaw. 

The Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss proved it had balls, but could it deal with the tight turns and extremely technical trails?

Suspension and Handling

The short answer: kind of

Designed to tackle rough terrains with ease, the Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss boasts a high-clearance (11″) arched A-arm suspension system. With 11 inches of ground clearance and 10 inches of wheel travel, this advanced suspension ensures minimal impact on the vehicle’s chassis (trust us, we tried to bottom out) and maximizes rider comfort. Furthermore, the industry-leading dual-rate springs provide a plush ride over various obstacles while maintaining precise handling and stability.

Where the Ranger fell short was on turning radius (14 ft) and vehicle width (62.5″). There were a few places where we got stuck because it was too wide and reversing out of the tight trails in K-turn fashion, nearly proved catastrophic on the steep mountainsides. The machine is a bit top heavy and nearly rolled in one instance. But again, I will fall on that sword. The Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss is a side-by-side UTV. By nature, they are not the nimblest and we utilized this thing way past what it was designed for. But hey… what kind of a review would this be if we didn’t push the limits?

Versatility and Payload Capacity for the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss

Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Northstar Trail Boss
Photo: John Radzwilla

One of the Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss’s standout features is its impressive payload capacity (1500 lb) and towing capability. With a massive 1,000-pound cargo box capacity and a towing capacity of up to 2,500 pounds, this utility vehicle proves to be an ideal partner for work-related tasks and recreational adventures alike. Whether hauling heavy loads at the deer lease or towing trailers around camp, the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss rises to the occasion without compromise.

When I say we loaded the Ranger down – we loaded it down! Surpassing the suggested payload max of 1,000lbs, we rachet-strapped bags of corn and equipment down in a sight that can only be described as a more redneck version of the Beverly Hillbillies moving into 90210. 

The Ranger rocked and squatted under the weight, but never winced. It hauled it like a champ.  

Durability and Chassis

Constructed with a sturdy one-piece frame, the Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss boasts exceptional durability to withstand harsh conditions. The high-strength steel frame not only ensures a solid foundation but also contributes to the vehicle’s overall safety. With its ability to endure the demands of daily work duties or rigorous off-road trails, the Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss epitomizes reliability and longevity. 

Even its pretty white pearl panels held up. We ran it through brush, sandwiched it between trees, and literally ran trees over like a WW2 tank. We squared up on those that stood in our way and methodically pushed them over. It was impressive to say the least. And, it was maybe too much fun if we are being honest. 

Comfort and Convenience

deer feeder
Photo: John Radzwilla

Polaris carefully considered the rider’s comfort and convenience in the design of the Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss. Equipped with adjustable seats, tilt steering, and ample legroom, riders can customize their riding position for a fatigue-free experience during extended journeys.

Furthermore, the Trail Boss offers integrated storage solutions, including dash-mounted glove boxes, in-dash storage, and four cup holders, allowing for easy access to essential items while on the go. Our test model also boasted air conditioning and heat. Some would laugh at this, but trust us, after a long day of back-breaking work in the summer months, the AC was a more-than-welcomed option. 

Advanced Technology in the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss

The Polaris Ranger XP 1000 North Star Trail Boss embraces modern technology to enhance the riding experience. Equipped with a digital instrumentation cluster, riders can access important vehicle information, including speed, fuel level, and trip data, at a glance. Additionally, the vehicle’s Polaris Pulse Electrical System allows seamless integration of various accessories and ensures reliable power distribution throughout the vehicle.

So here comes our one and only complaint on the tech side: the radio Bluetooth did not work well. It would skip, lag, and fail to pair at times. We call this a “first-world problem.”

Enhanced Safety Features

Safety is a top priority for Polaris, and the Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss comes equipped with a range of safety features to protect both riders and passengers. The industry-leading three-point seatbelts, automotive-style paint, and full-body skid plate provide additional peace of mind during off-road adventures. Moreover, the large halogen headlights and LED taillights ensure excellent visibility, enhancing safety during nighttime excursions, or low-light conditions.

If you made it this far through this review, you should realize at this point that safety certainly came second during our testing and evaluation, but not for the Ranger. I’m sure these features saved us a few times and we didn’t even realize it. This is exactly how safety features should function. 

Final Thoughts on the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Trail Boss

In conclusion, the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 North Star Trail Boss proves to be an outstanding all-terrain workhorse that excels in performance, versatility, and technical innovation. The “showroom queen” proved us wrong and impressed us thoroughly.  Its powerful engine, robust suspension, and impressive payload capacity make it an ideal companion for both work and play.

We tried to break it – trust me – in the most professional and mature ways of course. All kidding aside, the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 North Star Trail Boss earned its name – “Trail Boss”. My expectations of the machine were far exceeded and the addition of the Ranger to the lease falls firmly in the asset column. 

Now that the hard work is done, it’s time to test its ability to haul out dead deer. That’s a sword I better not have to fall on this season though… 

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