Can-Am Outlander vs Polaris Sportsman ATV Comparison | Hunt or Shred

Whether you are looking for an off-road ATV for adventures or something useful for working, both the Can-Am Outlander and Polaris Sportsman can be considered.

The Can-Am Outlander vs. the Polaris Sportsman is a common debate among ATV enthusiasts. The Outlander provides power and stability with excellent durability and high-quality construction. The Sportsman is less flashy and durable but works well for various utility and recreational riding purposes.

There are many factors to consider when deciding which ATV to buy, but the most critical factor is where and how you will use it. Both the Outlander and Sportsman are excellent choices, but they have different use cases. We will explain what they are and how to choose the better option below.

Table of contents


Can-Am Outlander vs. Polaris Sportsman ATV Comparison

No debate about the best ATV can be made without mentioning the Can-Am Outlander and the Polaris Sportsman. These two ATVs provide excellent performance, durability, and safety for riders.

Both Can-Am and Polaris are ranked at the top of the Powersports and ATV industry for a reason. We will explain the features and specifications of each ATV and how they match up.

We can also compare costs. The price of an ATV can vary significantly depending on the specific model and features you choose. The Can-Am Outlander tends to be more expensive than the Polaris Sportsman.

Can-Am Outlander Specs & Features

The Can-Am Outlander is a top-rated line of ATVs with some amazing features. Several models of the Can-Am Outlander are available, each with its own set of features and specifications.

The Outlander is a great all-around vehicle that can be used for just about anything. It features a more powerful engine, more ground clearance, and better handling than the Sportsman.

Here are some common features and specifications of the Can-Am Outlander ATV below.

Powerful Rotax Engine

The Can-Am Outlander has various engine options, including four-stroke and Rotax V-Twin engines. The specific engine size and power output will depend on your chosen model.

It’s available as an 850cc, 1000r, or 650cc model. Nearly every trim level of the Outlander provides maximum power, performance, and overall handling capabilities so tackling tough terrains is not a concern.

Versatile Suspension

The Can-Am Outlander has a suspension system designed to handle rough terrain and provide a smooth ride. The specific suspension components will vary depending on the model but may include adjustable shocks, motion-control damping, and sway bars.

The specific design on most of the trim levels is an arched double A-arm suspension equipped with a 9.2-inch front travel sway bar. This also includes a rear torsional trailing arm independent one too.

This provides better shock absorption and includes oil front and rear shocks. This is why it provides such comfort and stability while riding through trails and off-road.

Durable Tires & Wheels

The Can-Am Outlander is equipped with large, rugged tires designed for off-road use. The specific tire size and type will depend on the model.

The most common tire type used on the Outlander is the ITP† Terracross tires. This ATV uses 26, 27, or 30-inch tires with 14-inch cast aluminum wheels for excellent durability and weather resistance.

Comfort & Convenience

The Can-Am Outlander includes many features to make your ride more comfortable, such as padded seats and handlebars, a digital instrument panel, and a storage compartment. Some models also offer additional features like heated grips and a winch.

Again, the specific features and specifications of the Can-Am Outlander will vary depending on the model you choose. It's a good idea to carefully compare the features and options available on different models to find the one that best meets your needs.

Polaris Sportsman Specs & Features

The Polaris Sportsman is a recreational vehicle that is primarily used for off-road purposes. It has been designed to be lightweight, agile, and versatile.

This ATV has a weight of about 700 pounds which makes it one of the lightest models in its class. It is designed to be agile and versatile so that it can tackle any type of terrain with ease.

Below are some of the most notable features riders and interested buyers can consider when purchasing one of the base models.

On-Demand AWD Capability

The automated on-demand AWD capability of the Polaris Sportsman is an interesting feature, and something riders rave about. It allows for automatic engagement to improve traction, safety, and vehicle control.

When the rear wheels start sliding or lose traction, the front gearcase will automatically engage to keep the vehicle from losing complete control. Once the rear wheels have traction, it will automatically disengage again.

The best thing is it won’t turn off until control is gained. The AWD feature has no time limit or set period, so longer riders through snow and ice are also possible.

Multi-Select EPS

Another awesome feature to boast the vehicle performance and control on this ATV is the multi-select EPS. This electronic power steering lets the driver adjust the amount of steering assistance at any time.

This makes it more responsive, and less assistance is needed as you get more experienced riding the ATV. It’s up to the rider to decide, but it makes it more comfortable while improving the confidence and safety of the driver.

Independent Rear Suspension

The Polaris Sportsman ATV also uses an independent rear suspension. It’s designed so that as the swing arm moves upward, it creates more room for the wheel to move up and downward as it compresses.

This provides a smoother ride than a solid axle would provide. The front has an 8.2-inch sealed MacPherson strut, while the rear has a 9.5-inch sealed dual A-arm. This is a perfect combination for off-road support.

Engine Braking

The engine braking feature on the Polaris Sportsman ATV is designed to control the vehicle's speed. It does so by using a system of gears, belts, and brakes.

It’s known as the EBS and automatically uses the engine's compressions to maintain driving speed. It does not require any user input, so it can adjust based on the driving speed and terrain to stay consistent.

Differences Between The Can-Am Outlander & Polaris Sportsman

The Can-Am Outlander is a more expensive option. Still, it has features not available on the Polaris Sportsman ATV. It’s also got more variety and lots of trim levels available.

But we can also look at some of the key differences in the design of the ATVs. The most notable differences are the engine sizes, power outputs, suspension types, handling capabilities, and vehicle size.

You can expect to see a more refined ATV when shopping for a Can-Am Outlander than a Polaris Sportsman. But this does not mean both don’t have something to offer.

Engine Size & Power

The Can-Am Outlander and the Polaris Sportsman both offer a range of engine options, so it's important to compare the specific models you're interested in.

In general, the Can-Am Outlander has a reputation for strong performance and smooth power delivery, while the Polaris Sportsman is known for its reliability and durability.

Suspension & Handling

Both the Can-Am Outlander and the Polaris Sportsman have suspension systems designed to handle rough terrain and provide a smooth ride.

However, the Outlander's suspension is generally considered to be more advanced, with features like adjustable shocks and motion-control damping.

The Sportsman can provide enough support for solid performance, but it’s not quite as durable as the Outlander’s suspension system.

Size & Riding Comfort

Both ATVs offer features to make your ride more comfortable, such as padded seats and handlebars. However, when it comes to size and capacity, there is a big difference between the two.

The Can-Am Outlander has a reputation for being more refined and offering more high-end features, while the Polaris Sportsman is known for its ruggedness and durability.

There are some high-end Polaris Sportsman trim levels available that are massive and quite overwhelming in size, power, and cargo space. But the budget gets larger too, so it depends on the buyer to determine what suits them best.

Can-Am Outlander Models & Pricing

The Can-Am Outlander is typically a more expensive option than the Polaris Sportsman ATV, but it offers much better performance.

It is also heavier than the Sportsman ATV, making driving difficult in certain areas. Below we have listed all available Can-Am Outlander models and trim levels.

Can-Am Model Price Weight Engine Size Tire Size
Outlander $10,399 817 lbs. 850cc 26 Inch
Outlander DPS $11,399 817 lbs. 850cc 26 Inch
Outlander XT $12,499 817 lbs. / 895 lbs. 850cc / 1000R 26 Inch
Outlander Hunting 850 $13,049 817 lbs. 850cc 26 Inch
Outlander XT-P $14,199 869 lbs. / 954 lbs. 850cc / 1000R 26 Inch
Outlander X XC $15,899 895 lbs. 1000R 26 Inch
Outlander X MR 850 $13,699 951 lbs. 850cc 30 Inch
Outlander X MR 1000R $15,499 1014 lbs. 1000R 30 Inch
Outlander Max DPS $12,599 869 lbs. 850cc 26 Inch
Outlander Max XT $13,699 869 lbs. / 954 lbs. 850cc / 1000R 26 Inch
Outlander Max XT-P $15,399 869 lbs. / 954 lbs. 850cc / 1000R 26 Inch
Outlander Max Limited $16,499 954 lbs. 1000R 27 Inch
Outlander Max 6x6 DPS 650 $15,099 1100 lbs. 650cc 26 Inch
Outlander Max 6x6 XT 1000 $17,599 1170 lbs. 1000R 26 Inch

There is also a long list of Can-Am Outlander 450-570 models worth mentioning. This includes some of the following models.

  • Outlander 450 / 570
  • Outlander DPS 450 / 570
  • Outlander XT 570
  • Outlander Hunting Edition 450 / 570
  • And many more

Polaris Sportsman Models & Pricing

The Polaris Sportsman ATV models are some of the most popular ATVs in the United States. They are known for their versatility and ruggedness.

One of the great things about their catalog is the lower-priced options for new riders. For example, the Sportsman 570 is an affordable, entry-level ATV with a 570cc engine capable of handling various terrain types.

Below is a complete list of every Sportsman model available today.

Polaris Model Price Weight Engine Size Tire Size
Sportsman 450 H.0. $6,999 698 lbs. 499cc 25 Inch
Sportsman 570 $7,999 701 lbs. 567cc 25 Inch
Sportsman 850 $10,699 767 lbs. 850cc 26 Inch
Sportsman XP 1000 $15,499 871 lbs. 952cc 27 Inch
Sportsman Touring 570 $9,499 731 lbs. 567cc 25 Inch
Sportsman Touring 850 $13,599 804 lbs. 850cc 26 Inch
Sportsman Touring XP 1000 Trail $15,599 911 lbs. 952cc 27 Inch
Sportsman XP 1000 S $17,799 970 lbs. 952cc 27 Inch
Sportsman 6x6 570 $13,499 1075 lbs. 567cc 26 Inch
Sportsman 110 $3,599 289 lbs. 112cc 18 & 19 Inch

Key Takeaways

  • The Can-Am Outlander is easily the most advanced and versatile ATV available today. It’s available in 30 trim levels with budget 450/570 options or larger and more expensive options for experienced riders.
  • The Polaris Sportsman is a close second when deciding on the best ATV as it boasts some cool features like multi-select EPS, engine braking, and on-demand AWD.
  • For a budget 450 ATV, we prefer the Polaris Sportsman. But we would prefer the Can-Am Outlander for something bigger with an 850cc or larger engine.

Recommended Articles




29 years old. I'm from Texas. I've been riding ATV's for the last couple years here in TX. I'm learning a lot about this hobby right along side you.

Read More About Author Name