- 2022 Polaris RZR Pro XP (starting at $21,999)
- An industry leader in multiple categories
- Pro: The Polaris RZR Pro XP is an incredible amount of fun for the money.
- Con: As per the nature of the segment, there is an enormous amount of plastic which is undeniably practical but gives the buggy a sense of cheapness.
The 2022 Polaris UTV line is full of machines that force dirt in your teeth and a smile on your lips. The line stretches from purpose-built workhorses like the Polaris Ranger to the off-road commander, the Polaris General. Out on the far reaches of the lineup exists a flaming eagle, a roaring terror so powerful that its raw potential can never be denied, and its capacity for fun is nearly unquenchable. I am talking, of course, about the 2022 Polaris RZR Pro XP. The following gushing session is our official 2022 Polaris Pro XP review.
Ok, I am getting a little carried away with hyperbole. Still, all excitement aside, Polaris’s newest and sportiest offering is littered with new tech, gobs of power, and endless adventure potential.
Our Polaris RZR Pro XP review got a taste of all three trim levels
I spent a few days in Elk River, MN, at ERX motorsports park running wild with the entire 2022 Polaris UTV and ATV lines. Polaris used the off-road facility to debut a slew of new versions of familiar machines, including a quick demonstration of its all-new electric Ranger, a collaboration between Zero and Polaris. Of all the machines I tested that week, the 2022 Polaris RZR Pro XP was certainly the stand-out.
The new RZR Pro XP offering comes in a variety of flavors. From bottom to top, the trim levels go, the RZR Pro XP Sport (starting at $21,999), the RZR Pro XP Premium (starting at $27,299), and at the top RZR mountain is the Ultimate trim (starting at $29,499). Some several optional extras and features differentiate the three trims.
While going through my 2022 Polaris RZR Pro XP review, I got to rip through ERX motorsports park on each trim level. All three trims have a trail-crushing 181-hp. To put that into perspective, that is the same amount of power as the previous generation Mini Countryman S, which weighs over 3,000 lbs at its heaviest. The RZR Pro XP has the same power but only weighs just shy of 1,800 lbs. The power to weight ratio is bananas.
The 2022 Polaris RZR Pro XP review shows an aggressive little buggy
Powersports equipment has never really been on the shortlist of the best-looking automobiles ever made. Museum curators often put together exhibitions based on the art of cars and motorcycles. Hell, even pickup trucks can be beautiful. But, whether for pure practicality or a lack of care from the customers, UTVs and other such power sports equipment are simply never beautiful things.
This can be seen as a con, but I don’t think it is. The appeal of these machines is that they are brutally practical and intensely purpose-built, leaving little room for cute designs. The 2022 RZR line is no different. It’s clear to any who rides one of these machines that the development teams spent all their time making these buggies as efficient and powerful as possible. Besides, if you’re doing it right, you’ll never see the bodywork through all the mud anyhow.
Is the 2022 RZR Pro XP comfortable?
Comfort is relative. Obviously, comparing a side by side’s comfort to any road vehicle is asinine. That being said, nothing about the RZR screams luxury or comfort in the way we are used to. However, considering how hard I was riding my main tester – Ultimate trim – I can say I never once considered my comfort. This isn’t because the interior is forgettable; it’s just that it never seemed to matter. Even after two long and dusty days of hard riding, the seats, harness seat belt, driving position, or anything else non-performance-oriented ever crossed my mind outside of how much I loved the adjustability of the steering wheel.
Although all that plastic can be a bit of a turn-off, the cabin is laid out beautifully. For something this intense, the driving position matters a great deal. Once you are strapped into the five-point harness, there isn’t a ton of mobility. Thankfully, everything is easily adjustable and reachable from the driver’s seat.
How can something without a windshield have so much tech?
The RZR Pro XP line has far more screens and tech than you might think. For such a rugged and relatively simple machine, the Pro XP is pretty smart. Since we had a crew out there riding together in the woods, we got to check out Polaris’ Ride Command software. This feature allows riders to communicate with each other, locate other riders on GPS, and navigate vehicle settings through the 7-inch, glove-friendly screen. This feature is only available on the Premium and Ultimate trims.
Probably the handiest tech is the Dynamix 2.0 system. With this system, the driver can adjust shocks on the fly with instant results. Depending on what terrain you are driving through, you can use the buttons on the steering wheel to stiffen or soften the suspension. My 2022 Polaris RZR Pro XP review didn’t require much suspension adjustment, but the feature is handy nonetheless.
How do these dune jumpers handle though?
This is without a doubt the most impressive aspect of the 2022 Polaris RZR Pro XP review. I have driven the smaller RZR Trail S, and it cornered on a dime. However, these bigger, more powerful RZR Pro XPs still feel like they are glued to the trail (unless you give some beans in the corner and get it wiggly). Even the four-seater versions felt nimble and cunning enough to get around tight corners.
They are all a true treat to drive. Slamming through tight wooded corners can be done with minimal effort and only a little bit of clinching. Although they are all clearing 17 inches off the ground, the Ultimate trim gets an added handling boost from the Fox 2.5 podium Live Valve shocks up front. These up-market shocks use electronic dampening to keep from bottoming out when you are really pushing the limits.
There’s more power here than the East Coast could use
The Pro XP has a turbocharged 925cc, four-stroke engine with dual overhead cams and twin cylinders. It’s the same electronic fuel injected 181-horsepower motor and automatic on-demand all-wheel drive transmission that Polaris has had so much success with over the last decade.
Most of the 64” category competition are at or near 900cc to 925cc and 180 to 195 horsepower – but Polaris is clearly far less concerned about leading in power specs and more focused on making a more driveable machine.
The power available in these machines is super useable. Since we were running through wooded trails and tight cornered dirt tracks, I rarely got the opportunity to get my foot on the floor. However, all that power never comes off as twitchy or overwhelming. In fact, the throttle pedal felt more like a safety net than anything. If I came in wide on a corner, no problem, just mash the throttle and flick the back end. If I found myself getting a little too wiggly, I’d briefly lift, correct, and pop the throttle, and the RZR straightened right out.
Are Polaris RZRs safe?
The 2022 Polaris RZR Pro XP is what it is. UTVs have certain hazards that cars and trucks simply don’t. For instance, there is no windshield and only half doors. Although there are clear dangers there, the five-point harness, fitted seats, and tall half doors do give you a sense of security. Obviously, Polaris has wrapped the driver and passengers in a tubular steel roll cage that can stand up to any reasonable off-road catastrophe.
What are the maintenance costs for the 2022 Polaris RZR Pro XP?
With the model being freshly released, there isn’t much information about maintenance costs. However, there has been talk of clutch issues and commonly upgraded parts like springs and such on some older models.
As far as maintenance costs aside from anything breaking, CMX Warehouse estimates a level three full service for the RZR to cost $699 (+ parts). This maintenance covers everything changing the engine oil, filters, and inspections to lubing the chain and fresh spark plugs. Also, all RZRs come with a six-month factory warranty with unlimited miles.
MotorBiscuit gives the 2022 Polaris Pro XP review an expert rating of 8.4/10
We gave the 2022 Polaris RZR Pro XP a rating of 8.4/10. Rating something like the RZR is tough because it doesn’t exactly fall perfectly into any one category. There is no nice way to put it; it’s expensive. Sure, it can technically do work around the farm, but all your stuff will go flying when you fail to restrain yourself. But there is a little bed, and it can still do everything a hunting buggy does.
That being said, these things are toys. They are extremely fun, unstoppable, and make all drivers feel like a professional. But, all that joy comes at a cost. Starting a $21,999 and topping at nearly $30,000 makes pulling the trigger pretty tough. If you have the money and the space to ride one of these things properly, there is little else on the market so capable, thrilling, and unendingly fun as the 2022 Polaris RZR Pro XP.