Side-by-side ATVs have taken the industry by storm. It used to be that just a few vehicles that were designed for straight utility work, mostly around the farm. Yamaha changed things with the Rhino, a vehicle that had utility aspects still in its bloodline, but with a sportier attitude. Polaris blew things out of the water when they released the RZR offshoot of the popular Ranger line. Soon utility took a backseat to fun.

As the industry grew, so did engine size, top speed, and price tag. With MSRPs reaching those of cars, where did that leave the entry-level guys, or the folks looking for a fun trail machine that wasn’t all engine and horsepower? Enter the Polaris RZR 570.

The RZR 570 is a fun, sporty machine with plenty of pep and features that any rider can enjoy. I cut my ATV teeth riding sport quads. I know what it is like to have the need for speed, but I also know what it is like to enjoy a nice, spirited trail ride. In fact, that is something I really enjoy these days. The Polaris RZR 570 fits that need, and I can take a passenger. Couldn’t do that on my Banshee.

The RZR 570 can handle just about any terrain you’d find on the trail.
The RZR 570 can handle just about any terrain you’d find on the trail.

The nitty

The Polaris RZR 570 features a 567cc ProStar dual-overhead cam, single-cylinder engine that pushes out around 45 horsepower. It’ll go from zero to 35 mph in just four seconds, but you won’t get much faster than that, at least in stock trim. Polaris sets the speed limiter at 40, or so I was told, which feels a lot faster than that in the light chassis. Where I was riding, there wasn’t any call to go faster than 40. For comparison sake, my Banshee, when it was stock, put out 47 horsepower and would reach pretty high speeds. But, I couldn’t take a passenger, or haul any cargo—and I would get pretty beat up after a long ride.

Getting beat up isn’t part of the plan in the RZR 570. For suspension, there are nine inches in the front and 9.5 in the rear for wheel travel. The ride is pretty smooth. Don’t expect to have the same sort of plush suspension ride as a high-end desert racer. It is firm and forgiving, with pretty precise handling. The RZR 570 comes in a standard model, an EPS model with electronic power steering, and the LE model, which bundles a few other features with some popular upgrades.

There’s 10.5 inches of ground clearance, 740 pounds of cargo capacity and 1,500 pounds of towing capacity with the 1.25-inch receiver hitch. The gas tank will hold 7.25 gallons of gas and you can run all day on that and then some thanks to the design of the engine and the electronic fuel injection system. Oh, and lest we not forget, there is that on-demand all-wheel drive to get you out of tricky situations.

The gritty

Of course, you’re not reading this to just so I can regurgitate specs from the Polaris website, right? You want to know how the machine handles and whether you want one!

I got to take the 570 for a spin in Central Texas. We were there to try out the new Polaris Sportsman ACE, and you already know what I think of that machine. A lot of the features of the ACE came from the RZR 570, and that’s easy to see. The 570 is just fun to drive. The engine isn’t too big to beat you up. You’re not going to be able to easily get in over your head driving it. Of course, you need to take things easy if you’re a beginner, but the 570 is a great machine for new riders to start on.

There is enough cargo room for a cooler or a few essentials. You’ll have a hard time maxing out the carrying capacity of the cargo area. There is a 1.25-inch receiver hitch, too.
There is enough cargo room for a cooler or a few essentials. You’ll have a hard time maxing out the carrying capacity of the cargo area. There is a 1.25-inch receiver hitch, too.

Handling is pretty good and predictable. My machine was not EPS-equipped, as the base model doesn’t have it. If I were buying one, I’d opt for EPS every time. Polaris does such a great job with power steering, it’s worth it to get it. Still, on the rocky terrain of Texas, the RZR was always controllable and predictable with steering.

The seats are very comfortable. I’m not what you’d call a small guy. Even so, I was comfortable riding the RZR with a passenger even though the machine is a narrow and trail-friendly 50 inches wide.

If I had to get picky about anything, it would be the noise. The RZR 570 isn’t loud by any means. You can communicate with your passenger. But I’d recommend that they toss in the huge silencers they run on the Ranger models, so you can really enjoy the time with your passenger.

The bottom line

The Polaris RZR 570 is a fun trail-oriented machine that is a great way to enjoy a ride with a passenger, while still being peppy enough to have the little-kid-in-you fun. My machine didn’t have EPS, but where I was at, I didn’t need it. On my home range in Michigan, I’d want it just for those times when I’m sure there is going to be that occasional fallen tree over the trail that can jerk the wheel out of my hands.

I didn’t get into the maintenance side of things at all with my time on the RZR. From my inspections of the machine, that it would be a snap. One thing I’ve noticed about Polaris is that they tend to take working on the machine into consideration when they design them. Every Polaris I’ve used or owned has been pretty easy to work on and maintain. From what I’ve seen on the RZR, it’s no different.

Sure, there are faster machines out there with more suspension travel and other goodies, but those goodies come with a higher price tag. The RZR 570 starts out just over $10,000 at $10,299 MSRP. That’s not cheap, I know, but compared to other offerings, that’s a lot of smiles-to-dollars in this day and age. The 570 is a fun, nimble trail machine that can offer you a reliable bit of fun you can share with a family member or friend. Sounds good to me, too!

Images courtesy Derrek Sigler

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