I'm looking at a 2012 Prowler 700 w/power steering and a 2012 Ranger 800 w/o. Both are equipped about the same (window, etc) and roughly same mileage. I'll be using this around the acreage, food plot, and to plow snow. Any suggestions?
I have not seen either machine so my recommendation is only based on history and past experience. I am aware that Kymco makes many of the Artic Cat machines and as a Kymco ownwer I am impressed with their build quality. From years back experience and from current friends and neighbors experiences the Polaris would be a second choice. They sell a lot of machinery but also have had their share of issues. In todays market you can get a bad one of anything and for the most part these machines are well built and tested and with care will run for a long time. I can't say I am impressed with the Polaris build quality when you get down and inside their equipment. I compared them to the Kymco I bought and and found any number of cut corners and what I might call poor craftsmanship. Now also keep in mind that I am a highly skilled tool maker so I am very fussy about how machinery is made and assembled. In my many years of atv/utv experience I find the Polaris build quality to be the lesser of all the major brands, but then again their are millions of them out there so someone is having good luck with them.
Thank you very much. I've heard so much about the Ranger that I didn't know what to think. On one hand I get 100cc more power with the Ranger. The Cat gives more storage and power steering. Being my first UTV I'm a little lost..
The newer Prowler 700's have the 700 twin that is shared with the Wildcat. It actually has more power than the Polaris 800 twin. The model you're looking at has the 700 single which has quite a bit less power. I'd probably still choose the Prowler to get the power steering. The 700H1 still has ample power, comparable to the Yamaha 700 single that's in the Viking. It probably isn't quite as fast as the Polaris but for what you are going to use it for, top speed doesn't appear to be that important.
I had to look it up myself before I replied. I thought the 2012 models had the twin but they were still using the single. The 1000cc twin was available then. The 700 twin ups the power from about 45 hp to over 60. The Polaris 800 twin makes 53 hp. The one advantage the Ranger has is that you can put 3 in it, only 2 in the Prowler. Unless at least one of you is pretty small, 3 is pretty cramped though. Kinda like cramming 3 people in the backseat of a compact car.
It depends on how important power steering is to you. Give both of them a good test ride and see if it makes a difference. Steering effort varies a lot from utv to utv. Some have pretty light steering without power steering and some require a bit more effort.
Drive both and drive the new Kymco. You might be impressed with what you get with a new Kymco for the money. I'm a diehard Arctic Cat guy, will never buy another Polaris, but thats me. Also , hp isn't everything, I'll take reliable over hp.