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What To Expect From The 2020 Polaris Ranger Lineup

Sep 1st 2019

Sadly, 2019 was the last year for the Polaris Ranger 900. But thankfully for all of us powersports lovers, Polaris’ 2020 series of Ranger vehicles ended up being one for the record books. In place of the Polaris Ranger 900, the 2020 Polaris Ranger and 2020 Polaris Ranger 1000 left riders satisfied. So if you’re unsure whether the 2020 Polaris Ranger is right for you, or if you're just interested in the 2020 lineup of Polaris Ranger UTVs, you’ve come to the right place!

What Did Polaris Change In The 2020 Polaris Ranger?

In terms of differences between model years, the 2020 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 is the same as the 2019 edition, coming stock with an 82hp twin cam engine. The 2020 Polaris Ranger 1000 (which replaced the Ranger 900) comes with a first-of-its-kind single cam motor capable of generating 61-62 horsepower.

With this 61-62hp motor and 55 pound-feet of low end torque, the cutting-edge SOHC engine in the 2020 Polaris Ranger 1000 has a configuration that makes it a complete torque monster. For Polaris to have actually released torque specs for their 2020 Ranger lineup is a huge deal. If the company boasts about their products publicly, you know that there must be something there worth bragging about. You can have a vehicle with ample amounts of horsepower on the lower end, but horsepower doesn’t necessarily put you back in your seat, torque does. Horsepower is basically how fast you hit the wall. Torque, on the other hand, is how far you take the wall with you. Besides, with something like a Gilomen tune or a SuperATV ECU tuner to open up your 2020 Ranger, you can unleash up to 20 more ponies from your engine without breaking a sweat. 

The 2020 lineup of Polaris Ranger UTVs have two different cams, single and dual overhead cams. Polaris also made clutch improvements, and did away with the reverse chain -- which is now now gear driven. The 1000cc Ranger initially came out at $13,000, and the 2020 Ranger 1000 XP started at $16,900. This, however, was only the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), and a good dealer or private seller will likely be offering a significantly cheaper price for 2020 Polaris Ranger today. 

Other than price, the biggest change that Polaris made to the 2020 Polaris Ranger 1000 XP is the dual overhead cams -- which gives riders more power up top and less torque down low. Conversely, the non-XP 2020 Polaris Ranger editions have more torque at 3000 RPM. Compared to the 2017 Polaris Ranger 1000 XP -- which had a single chain drive for reverse and a not-so-good stock clutch -- the entire driveline of the 2020 Polaris Ranger is much better (plus, they also have more power at lower RPMs).

Between the extra comfort of the Polaris Ranger 1000, the fact that the Polaris Ranger 900 is no longer in production, and the tendency of most riders to want as much power as possible, many would-be owners chose the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 as their new toy back in 2020. While the standard Polaris Ranger is more economical than the Ranger XP 1000, a lot of side-by-side owners still prefer the XP Ranger due to the better dash and instrument panel. Further, the location of the muffler on the Polaris Ranger 1000 wasn't thought out very well. You can easily put a hole in it or knock it off when reversing or backing up to attach your utility trailer. So if you do have the 1000 edition of the Polaris Ranger, you better be careful when hooking it up to a pull-behind trailer.

Changes In Special-Edition 2020 Polaris Rangers

The 2020 Polaris Ranger Highlifter edition also came with a few updates over the previous year's version. The 2020 Ranger HL comes with the Turbo S gear-driven reverse -- which is also found on the 2019 Highlifter and Back Country editions -- as well as new plow mode like the Ride Command Ranger editions. 

The 2020 Ranger Vs. The 2021 Ranger

When you compare the 2020 Polaris Ranger with the 2021 Polaris Ranger, a few key differences will become easy to see. You’ll notice that the 2021 edition of the Polaris Ranger has a beefier frame and front differential. Additionally, Polaris also enhanced the secondary clutch on their 2021 Ranger editions, and ditched those garbage one-way bearings in the primary clutch. In this way, the updated two-way clutch bearings now eliminate hard shifting issues, giving riders a silky smooth shifting action!

Final Thoughts On The 2020 Polaris Ranger

Yes, 2020 was set to be a great year for the UTV community. With significant changes to their 2020 lineup, Polaris refurbished much more than the body style. And due to relatively reduced prices, Polaris brought their UTVs to a larger segment and went head to head against other low-cost side-by-sides like the Can-Am Defender. But unlike BRP and their Can-Am Defenders, Polaris machines won't have differentials that are weak and easy to break,  their clutches won’t be garbage, and the heat from the motor won’t burn your buns and cook your behind like a well-done slab of meat!