The 2014 Polaris RZR 800 XC Edition units have arrived at the local NJ dealers so I thought I would head over and check them out. I have been waiting to see them in person and along side the other RZR 800 models as to judge for myself whether they are really worth the $15k price tag compared to the lesser priced Base and LE models. When Polaris first announced the RZR 800 XC I wasn’t sure if I (or anyone else for that matter) would be interested in it, at least not for the price, but as I stood on the dealer lot looking it over for the first time, I can honestly say Polaris has definitely piqued my interest. After kicking the tires I definitely can see what Polaris’s intentions were in releasing this unit, and how they can easily justify the steeper price tag as well. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to test drive the unit today but I will in the near future so be sure to check back for an update on my ride impressions. So for now here are my thoughts on seeing it first hand.
When Polaris first announced the 2014 RZR 800 XC my initial thoughts were that for the $15k price tag it should come with the roof, bumpers and doors right off the showroom floor as well, and I still believe that after seeing it in person. It’s not that the additions offered on the special edition RZR 800 XC model aren’t worth the extra coin over the lesser priced RZR 800 models because in all honesty the addition of the Walker Evans Shocks and PRP Seats alone justify its price tag, but for me those additions just aren’t enough to sway me to spend my money on it just yet since we have so many other options out there for 2014 in the same price range. After all its still a platform that is now 6 years old and I believe for the money the RZR 800 S LE would be the better choice if you ride where there isn’t any width restrictions. The RZR 800 XC lists for almost 4 grand more than the base model RZR 800, and 2 grand more than the RZR 800 LE so for the extra $2k over the LE the consumer does get a pretty well set up machine for the woods right off the showroom floor, I just wished there was more. In comparison the RZR 800 S LE is only $200.00 more though.
As I began to look over the unit it became apparent that Polaris’s fit and finish isn’t on par with some of their competition as well. Everything in the cock pit just seems cheaply built to me. From the dash panel to the pedals and even the steering wheel which doesn’t offer a solid feel, it just seems cheap. Over all the black matte plastics were sharp looking, but there were areas on the hood and fender panels that almost looked like they were worn or faded already. They possibly could have been damaged in shipping but I am not sure if that is the case or if they were manufactured that way. Seeing another unit will tell, but the dealer I was at
only had the one on hand. Those who have be in the seat of the RZR 800 before know that the interior is pretty plain and its no different on the XC. The interiors one saving grace is the PRP seats Polaris threw in the XC. They are extremely comfortable and also include an adjustable slider base. They are much better seats than the stockers on the other 800 models including the S and a great addition to the XC package.
The addition of 26″ Maxxis Big Horn tires on the 14″ Vader wheels are definitely a step up from the other models, and some may like them, but for me they are wasted money as they would be pulled off from day one for a set of beadlocks and Pit Bull tires. What I found interesting was before seeing the XC in person, I couldn’t tell what gave the XC its 55 inch width. I thought it was the Vader wheels and in part it is, but its widest points are actually the fender flares. Without the flares it looks like the width would be around 52 or 53 inches wide. The remaining addition to the XC is the Walker Evans Shocks and I will reserve judgement on them till I test drive the XC in the coming weeks. I will say that even with the shocks set to the least amount of pre load the suspension feels stiff under load and when pushing down on the unit. Not sure if the springs are really stiff or they just need time under load to settle some.
So after seeing the XC in person for the first time I walked away with mixed feelings about it. It comes equipped with better seats, wheels, tires, and what may possibly be the better suspension compared to it’s siblings, but at the same time it seemed it could have had a few more bells and whistles thrown on for the price. I for one would give up the wheels and tires for a pair of full doors, windshield, bumpers and a roof. To me that would really be a special edition 800. Compared with the 2014 S LE they had on the lot it also seemed to come up a bit short on fit and finish. Is it worth the extra money over a base or LE 800, or worth spending the money on over an S? Until I test drive it, I really can’t come to that conclusion. But after seeing it in person I can’t wait to head back and take it for a ride in the woods to test out the Walker Evans shocks. If you’re currently in the market for a RZR 800 and need to keep it under 55 inches wide, or you just want a better suspension and more comfortable seating right off the show room floor, then the RZR 800 XC edition may be just what you’re looking for.