Global brands remain world leaders by listening to customer comments on product improvements, whilst adding modern technical advances.  Polaris’s new Ranger UTV (utility task vehicle) has certainly combined engineering excellence and user recommendations to keep it firmly at the head of this important sector.

Technical machinery editor Graeme Russell reviews how Polaris Off-Road Vehicles EMEA have made their best-selling Ranger vehicle even better. Available for the first time for the British farming press to test drive over challenging conditions at the 4,000-acre Graythwaite Estate, Cumbria. Every imaginable work day condition was recreated to trial the new model’s pedigree. Driving through deep rutted lanes, steep stony inclines and wet boggy marshland, the press had a field day!

Vice President and General Manager of Polaris Off-Road Vehicles EMEA – Rodrigo Lourenco – was present to launch the new Ranger Diesel, supported by technical engineers from its Polish manufacturing base. “We have upgraded almost every aspect of the existing Ranger Diesel model so that it’s tougher, more reliable and can tackle anything thrown its way. Now is your chance to see if the years of research and development worldwide satisfy your critical eye,” commented Mr. Lourenco at the launch.

The first notable difference is that the Ranger sits higher on its wheels with an extra 20% of ground clearance allowing 27.9 cm of suspension travel. A new one-piece chassis provides additional strength whilst improving the ride. The ‘carry all’ cargo tipping box has a carrying capacity of 430 kg payload and able to take a Euro sized pallet. Box sides have been increased in height to add additional load security.

Aggressive styling incorporates a modern look, which is carried through to the cab where extra legroom allows passengers to get in and out of the vehicle more easily. Exterior lights and indicators are incorporated into the bonnet design providing protection from inquisitive stock or overhanging branches. If good looks sell then this modern looking Ranger certainly should sell well!

It takes a brave decision to replace the world’s most popular UTV with a new model and with 1.1 million sales worldwide since its launch 20 years ago, this new Ranger has to meet every expectation in Europe/Middle East/African markets as well as retain its 80% share of the home American sector.

To help steer its way to successful world sales Polaris has revamped steering and suspension geometry. The turning radius has become 13% tighter and the electrically powered assisted steering: 19% quicker so drivers can operate longer with less fatigue. Driving the new Ranger through the Lake District‘s hills in challenging conditions using the engine braking system (EBS) with active control ADC, one felt safe and confident to take the next challenge on steep inclines with or without a load.

Under the bonnet a new three cylinder Kubota engine provides 24.8 hp with 55.2 Nm of torque. A revised torque curve is a noticeable improvement as is a top road speed of 40 mph. In pulling terms, an on-demand all-wheel drive (AWD) system automatically engages all four wheels when more forward traction is required, reverting back to two-wheel drive as traction improves. With 1,134 kg of towing capacity and 720 kg payload capacity, power transfer to forward motion is smooth and capable. To help power this improvement, a larger 55% CVT belt drive is incorporated, as is a new P 90 X centrifugal clutch design, which reduces gearing by 25%. Engine service intervals are increased to 200 hours to help reduce operating costs. 

Technically all new diesel-powered Polaris Ranger models have the same engine and drive performance, but customers can choose up to 1,400 cab combinations and 200 accessories to satisfy personal preference. For those who want luxury and comfort the Ranger Pro shield cab system offers three times better dust sealing than competitive models.  Add to this, front and rear opening windows, glass doors, a heater-blower hot air system and Blue-tooth radio connection, operators can fiddle with controls all day long! A new 140 amp charging system provides readily available power for additional lighting and accessories. An integrated wiring harness makes connection easy with Polaris standard plug and play electric connections.

If there is a UTV that has been designed to ‘fit all’ working conditions worldwide, then this Polaris Ranger Diesel must be it. For British farmers, the Lake District’s Graythwaite Estate provided the challenging conditions found on farms throughout the UK and the Ranger delivered. Polaris promised that this new Ranger is the perfect farm vehicle for ride, comfort, handling and manoeuvrability and under critical eyes they have
built a winner.

The Ranger Diesel is priced from £12,999.00 ex vat.

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