2011 Gator 855D vs. 2011 Ranger 800 XP
My Dad got a Gator diesel 855 on Saturday, and we had a picnic on Monday at my place so he brought it over. We rode all around the trails by the house, and compared his to my 800 Polaris Ranger. Here's what we found.
1. The Ranger is more peppy, which we figured. But I was surprised at how slow the Gator can go and still maintain movement. The Ranger couldn't creep along as slow.
2. The Ranger is nice with the power steering. You can really notice the difference when sitting still or barely moving and trying to turn the wheel. But when you are moving along, it's not that noticeable that the Gator doesn't have power steering.
3. The Gator seemed to handle the mud a little better, but it may be the tire tread type. Neither of us ever got stuck, but a few spots I had the Ranger in 4WD, and the Gator still crawled through in only 2WD with no differential. The height and the width of the tires all matched, only the tread type was different.
4. The Gator seemed to have a smoother ride when in the woods going over bumpy terrain, but it may also be the seats and not just the suspension.
5. I really prefer the Ranger bench seat, and open floor area, where the Gator has the bucket seats, and center console area that your legs knock into every so often.
6. The Gator cargo bed is significantly larger and deeper, and I like that it came with a Rhino Lining spray in liner.
7. I like that the Gator has more undercarriage protection with extra skid plates, and even an exhaust protection plate. I know you can get this for the Ranger, but it's nice that the Gator had them stock from the dealer. Also, the Gator has a front bumper that wraps all the way around the front fender to connect with the floor of the cab area. Nice feature.
Those were the big things that we noticed. If anyone has questions comparing these 2 models, let me know and I'll answer as best as I can. I know that when I got the Ranger a few months ago, the JD Gator was going to be my second choice. Both machines seem well worth the price we paid for them. The Ranger better suited what I needed it for, and the Gator better suits my Dad's needs. No complaints about either machine.