Can-Am vs. Polaris ATV | Hunt or Shred

No debate about the best ATV can be made without mentioning Can-Am and Polaris. They both rank at the top of the industry each year, and we’ll explain why.

Can-Am vs. Polaris ATVs is a challenging debate to settle, but we prefer Can-Am for rugged off-road riding because of its improved durability. Polaris is better for riders looking for a utility ATV for farms, hunting, and other work-related tasks. We rank the Renegade 1000R as the best ATV.

Comparing these two ATV brands is not easy, but we have tested various models in the past to provide the most in-depth and honest review for each. Keep reading to determine the winner between Can-Am and Polaris.

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Can-Am vs. Polaris ATV

Can-Am and Polaris ATVs are highly rated and often considered the top two brands in the industry. Both brands have a detailed history of innovation, bringing new off-road driving capabilities to their customers.

This guide will explain key differences between the two companies based on ATV features, available models, company history, and much more.


Can-Am was founded in 1972, focusing on motorcycles, motocross dirtbikes, and snowmobiles. It was in 1998 that Can-Am started manufacturing high-quality ATVs for a new mark.

Can-Am ATVs have been designed for ease of use and are ideal for the off-road enthusiast. They have a high ground clearance, a low center of gravity to make them more stable and durable, and an easy-to-use throttle.

These machines are costly, but they always satisfy with plenty of features and performance capabilities. When discussing successful off-road racing achievements, we would also rank Can-Am as the better brand.


Polaris was originally founded in 1954 with newly discovered snowmobiles. Fast forward 70 years later, and they have only expanded their product line to include many options, including a long list of ATVs.

The Polaris ATV is an off-road vehicle that can be used for any terrain, whether you are looking to take on the sand dunes or looking to go on a hunting trip.

It has a powerful engine with a low center of gravity, and its suspension system allows it to absorb bumps without getting too much air in its tires.

Its design also makes it easy for people with shorter arms and legs to reach the pedals and handlebars without having too much difficulty. We will look further at the key features and the ten different Polaris ATV models below.

Can-Am ATV Features

Nearly all Can-Am ATVs, regardless of size, include some of the same features. For example, the Rotax V-twin engine is standard in all models, with slight changes in the size and horsepower provided.

LinQ Storage System

The LinQ storage system is a unique Can-Am ATV feature that can be adjusted and changed based on rider preferences. All ATVs come with either a LinQ storage box or bag and can be removed to extend rack space when needed.

This allows riders to have enough storage space for riding while keeping the option open to reduce vehicle weight for better speed and performance.

High-Powered Rotax V-Twin Engine

All Can-Am ATVs also have a rugged and high-powered Rotax V-twin engine to provide top-notch speed, acceleration, and horsepower.

Overall, we would grade this engine and the average horsepower in a Can-Am ATV better than what Polaris can provide. It’s also better suited for more rugged terrain types.

FOX Racing Shocks

A majority of Can-Am ATV models are built with preload-adjustable FOX racing shocks. This calibrates the vehicle for improved responses when traction is limited.

Riders will notice improved handling at all speeds, including fast driving while turning or absorbing bumps off-road. These shocks are built to keep the ATV stable in these less-than-ideal conditions.

Intelligent Throttle Control

The larger Can-Am ATVs need more features to help with the increased speed and horsepower. One feature that works great is the Intelligent Throttle Control (ITC).

This feature will create a more direct delivery of power from the Rotax engine to the rest of the ATV. This allows for improved responsiveness and vehicle control.

Polaris ATV Features

Polaris ATVs have similar qualities but ride differently and provide a different experience. This is possible because of the array of features these advanced machines can offer.

Robust Towing Capacity

Polaris ATVs are known for their robust strength and towing capacities. They are suitable for a wide range of terrain, perfect for getting you around the forest, and known for their efficiency and reliability.

They tend to have a wider wheelbase and more stable frame, making it easy to tow higher capacities. This is also why we prefer these ATVs for working tasks.


Polaris has started to equip many of its vehicles, including ATVs, with a RIDE COMMANd display system. This display allows riders to plan better, turn on GPS tracking, record the ride, and much more.

This technology continues to improve and offers tons of awesome features like route planning, group ride, integrated cameras, audio, and much more.

ProStar Twin Engine

The ProStar Twin Engine includes two cylinders and a single crankshaft. It has an automatic decompression system that allows the engine to adjust its compression ratio depending on its load.

The twin-cylinder design also enables smoother operation at lower revolutions per minute (RPM). The result is increased efficiency, reduced noise, and improved fuel economy.

Multi Select Electric Power Steering

Lastly, we cannot discuss a Polaris ATV without mentioning the highly advanced Multi Select electric power steering (EPS). Because of this feature, Polaris has even expanded its ATV lineup to add more options with this included.

Can-Am ATV Models

The Can-Am lineup is impressive, and all adult-sized ATVs are categorized into five model types. This includes the Outlander, Outlander 450, Outlander 570, Renegade, and DS.

The sheer number of available ATV models Can-Am offers is unmatched. This is the only ATV brand with this level of selection.


The Can-Am Outlander is one of the most popular ATVs and includes many different models worth considering. The Outlanders are also known for hunting and trail riding with excellent performance features.

  • Outlander
  • Outlander DPS
  • Outlander XT
  • Outlander Hunting Edition 850
  • Outlander XT-P
  • Outlander X XC
  • Outlander X MR 850
  • Outlander X MR 1000R
  • Outlander Max DPS
  • Outlander MX XT
  • Outlander MX XT-P
  • Outlander Max Limited
  • Outlander Max 6x6 DPS 650
  • Outlander Max 6x6 XT 1000

Outlander 450/570

The Can-Am Outlander 450/570 is a solid performance ATV with strength and style. It is equipped with a versatile storage system that Can-Am is known for and a list of different models worth listing.

  • Outlander DPS 450/570
  • Outlander XT 570
  • Outlander Hunting Edition 450/570
  • Outlander MR 570
  • Outlander X MR 570
  • Outlander Max 450/570
  • Outlander Max DPS
  • Outlander Max XT 570
  • Outlander Max 6x6 DPS 450

These ATVs are highly graded for trail riding, light work tasks, and hunting. This is typically the preferred Can-Am ATV for avid hunters because of the large, durable tires and heavy-duty winch attachment.


The Renegade is an easy ATV to love, and many of the models are known for their impressive handling and power. Below we have listed all of the available options for this model.

  • Renegade 70 EFI
  • Renegade 110 EFI
  • Renegade X XC 110 EFI
  • Renegade
  • Renegade X XC
  • Renegade X MR 650
  • Renegade X MR 1000R


The Can-Am DS 250 is a youth ATV; we rank this above any youth options Polaris offers. This is specially made for younger riders with a double A-arm front suspension for improved riding balance.

The 249.4cc 4-stroke single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine also provides plenty of power and performance.

Polaris ATV Models

Polaris has a long list of available ATV models worth checking out too. We will look at each one below and explain some key features and how it ranks compared to other Polaris or Can-Am models.

Sportsman 450 H.O.

The Sportsman 450 H.O. is a compact ATV for recreational and youth riding. It’s low-cost and serves as a nice entry-level machine for beginners.

Despite the small size, it also works great for light towing with solid storage capacity.

Sportsman 570

The Polaris Sportsman 570 has a lighter, more aerodynamic design with an aluminum body that dents and scratches can damage. It also has a narrower wheelbase and narrower track width than other models.

This is also one of the best-selling Polaris ATVs. It includes 4WD and an independent rear suspension for more riding stability.

Sportsman 850

The Polaris Sportsman 850 ATV has been designed to give you the power you need to get through any terrain. This includes 11.5 inches of ground clearance, all-wheel drive, and an impressive 78 horsepower.

It’s also available in several trims, including the Sportsman 850 Premium and Sportsman 850 Ultimate Trail.

Sportsman XP 1000

The Sportsman XP 1000 ATV is a powerful and versatile machine that anyone can use. It is a great option for those who love to ride on the trails but want more power and speed.

It has a powerful 4-stroke engine that provides excellent power and torque, giving you more control on the trail.

Sportsman Touring 570

The Sportsman Touring 570 ATV is an easy-to-ride option for newer ATV riders. The seat height is adjustable to ensure that riders can find their perfect riding position.

Its features include an electric start system, reverse gear, and front and rear hydraulic disc brakes for increased safety when riding on rough terrain or in wet conditions.

Sportsman Touring 850

The Sportsman Touring 850 ATV is a great option for anyone looking to get into the world of off-road riding. This machine has been designed with simplicity and efficiency in mind, making it easy to ride and transport.

It also has a lot of features that make it easy for riders to navigate their way through the terrain.

Sportsman Touring XP 1000 Trail

The Touring XP 1000 Trail ATV is the perfect machine for exploring their outdoor environment. It is light, easy to maneuver through different terrains, and has excellent stability at higher speeds.

The engine is robust and durable, and the bike can easily take on any terrain. The brakes are also very responsive and easy to use.

Scrambler 850

The Polaris Scrambler 850 ATV is an excellent choice for outdoor adventure. It has great features like a low center of gravity, customizable body panels, and high ground clearance.

It also handles well with a slimmer body width, 11.5 inches of ground clearance, and 78 horsepower.

Scrambler XP 1000 S

This ATV has plenty of power with an 89 HP ProStar Engine and Walker Evans shocks installed. This ATV handles well off-road because of the 14.5-inch ground clearance too.

Overall, riders can expect excellent lighting and performance for nighttime riding, work, and adventure too.

Sportsman XP 1000 S

The Sportsman XP 1000 S is one of the best ATVs this brand can offer. It has an improved chassis design, more strength, and much more efficient transmission.

The design includes a 55-inch wide stance and heavy-duty 27-inch tires. This allows for more driving balance and better grip in slippery or muddy conditions.

Can-Am vs. Polaris ATV: Which Is More Durable?

Both machines are very durable, but they have different strengths and weaknesses. The Polaris ATV is heavier but has a better suspension system, making it more comfortable on rough terrain.

However, Can-Am ranks ahead of Polaris in ATV durability. It has a higher weight capacity and can carry more cargo than the Polaris ATV too.

But it’s worth noting the durability and strength of an individual ATV can vary based on the exact model. In general, Cam-Am ranks higher in durability, though.

If you were to compare the two largest and highest-performing ATVs from each brand, the differences would be marginal. This is especially true when discussing durability too.

Key Takeaways

  • Can-Am ATVs are the better choice for riders searching for a rugged and durable off-road machine with excellent handling capabilities.
  • We prefer the Polaris ATV lineup for a utility ATV better suited for towing, hauling, and other work-related tasks.
  • If we were to pick the best ATV between Can-Am and Polaris, it would be the Can-Am Renegade 1000R because of the power and performance it can provide.




41 years old. I'm a freelance writer that specializes in informational blog posts. All my articles are detail oriented and well researched. I'm a huge Arizona Cardinals fan!

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