I am considering buying a new Defender Max XT10 or Ranger Crew. Most of the comparisons were done prior to 2018 which is when the Ranger made several changes to their vehicle. I have read much about Polaris reliability problems and fit and finish of their SxS. Other than the one guy who has posted about his horrible experience with his Defender, most seem to like the Defender. I am hearing good things about the post 2018 Ranger too.
1) Did Polaris fix most of their problems with the changes made in the 2018/beyond models?
2) I will be backing or pushing a Wakeboard boat up a slight/short incline into my Garage. Do you see any issues with the Defender over the more powerful of the Crew?
3) I will mostly be hauling gear/kids back and forth to the Lake with a sharp turn and steep downhill to the boat. I will occasionally be hauling to the desert to motorcycle ride and want the give the wife and kids something to play with while we are blasting across the desert on the bikes. How does the handling, slow speed and downhill decent compare between the two. Also, does the 1" ground clearance make a huge difference?
4) l like that the Ranger repositioned the air intake to the front to prevent issues. How does the Defender compare?
5) Is noise and heat an issue with the Defender compared to the other Can Am's? How does it compare to the Ranger Crew?
6) Any other thought or advice would be appreciated!!
1. I think polaris changed a lot of stuff that was problematic on the 900s on the new 1000s. With that said, just because they changed it doesn't mean they fixed the issues. The 1000s are pretty new and not tested.
2. I see no problems with the defender moving your boat. They have good torque and are geared well.
3. I have not drove a new style Polaris 1000 but have drove a lot of 900s. The defender and ranger 900 handle similarly. The defender has better and more predictable engine braking over the 900 ranger. The 1" ground clearance is not going to make a difference.
4. This maybe a downfall of the defender. The engine air intake is located right behind the cab under the bed. Clutch intake is on the side of the cab. That one guy on this forum had trouble with this. My defender had almost 12000 miles and that is all down dusty dry dirt roads or moving cattle. I blew the air filter out every 700 to 1000 miles and changed oil every 1000 miles plus greased everything. Never had any problems other than one shock under warranty and a broke sway bar mount.
5. Noise and heat are not an issue. Definitely vastly improved over other can ams. I would say it is very similar to the ranger.
I work on a lot of polaris rangers. The motor is solid in them. Transmission, not so much. Have rebuilt a few of them because they use cheap bearings or the turf mode comes apart. The axles in the front diff develop a lot of slop and eventually you need to rebuild front diff. Fuel pumps are not good on them. U joints in the propshaft dont last long. Bushings are junk, bearings are junk. Also voltage regulators can be a problem on them.
One thing you need to watch on the defender is the antifreeze bleed screws. After about 6000 miles they seem to loosen and leak a little. Not a big deal just tighten them. On my lower mileage defender it has needed a fuel pump at 7400 miles and the crankcase vent hose was to close to the exhaust and got a hole in it.
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