Wacky $20,000 2021 Polaris Slingshot Might Not Be the Deathtrap We Think It Is

If you’ve seen a 2021 Polaris Slingshot rolling down the road, you know it is one of the wackiest vehicles around. Despite looking like a blast to drive, the question of safety becomes a serious concern. Since this Polaris falls somewhere in-between a car and a motorcycle, it doesn’t need to have crucial safety elements such as airbags.

If you’re considering one of these three-wheeled vehicles, today we’ll be looking at what safety systems the Slingshot offers, how safe it is, and whether or not it is a worthy buy given its price.

How safe is the 2021 Polaris Slingshot?

An image of a 2021 Polaris Slingshot driving down the road.
2021 Polaris Slingshot | Polaris

As mentioned in the intro, the 2021 Polaris Slingshot is not classified as a car. In fact, you register and insure it as you would a motorcycle. As a result of this classification, the Slingshot does not have to meet many of the car’s crash safety standards. This means that you don’t get any airbags, increasing the likelihood of injury during a crash.

As a result, you’re required to wear safety gear while driving a 2021 Polaris Slingshot. This gear is similar to what you would wear while riding a motorcycle, primarily a helmet. While there is a tiny windshield, this won’t stop any large objects on the road coming your way. Additionally, Polaris recommends that you wear protective equipment such as a riding jacket to cover your torso.

While the lack of safety systems in a 2021 Polaris Slingshot makes it significantly less safe than a full-size car, there is one necessary safety measure in place. In case you manage to roll your Slingshot, Polaris installed structural bars that should stop your helmet from smashing into the ground.

Does the Slingshot offer active safety systems?

An image of a 2021 Polaris Slingshot parked outside.
2021 Polaris Slingshot | Polaris

Despite the lack of critical safety features, the 2021 Polaris Slingshot does offer some safety systems onboard. Since this three-wheeled motorcycle tips the scales at around 1,743 pounds, you don’t need massive brakes to stop it efficiently. Despite this, you get ABS as standard on all Slingshot models. This should make it much harder for novice drivers to lock up the rear wheel.

The 2021 Polaris Slingshot is powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter engine developing 178 hp. Even with this relatively low power output, it can be easy to overwhelm the rear wheel and lose traction. To stop this, Polaris gave the Slingshot traction control. As a result, it should be easier to keep this vehicle in shape during hard driving.

Regardless of these safety systems, it is worth pointing out that there is no way to compare how a Slingshot stacks up to a normal car since there are no official crash tests. Just remember that you’re in an open-top, three-wheeled vehicle with no airbags.

How much does it cost?


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If you’ve decided that the 2021 Polaris Slingshot is for you, then here is how much it costs. The range starts with the base Slingshot S for $19,999. While this is the base model, you still get the same powertrain as all other trim levels, making it just as quick. Adding the Technology Package 1 bumps up the base price to $23,999, but you get an upgraded infotainment system.

For $26,699, you get the Slingshot SL which features upgraded paint colors and a nicer Rockford Fosgate audio system. At the top of the range, you have the R for $31,299 and the R Limited Edition for $32,799. As you’d expect, these range-topping trims offer the nicest features, such as Apple CarPlay, paddle shifters, lighter wheels, and exclusive colors. Regardless of which you go for, they are all bound to provide a unique experience.