Polaris wanted the farmers to test-drive the two-person Sportsman 500 X2 and for good reason. Most of the drivers liked the vehicle with its longer wheelbase and box that makes into a passenger seat. Its final score was nearly identical to the score for the Sportsman XP.

“I really liked the Sportsman X2,” Shirley Hodgen said. “I rode around with [my husband] Abe and did the whole course. It was comfortable to ride and it was fun. I also like that Polaris has two rear lights, backup lights and reflector tape. So if one or more of the lights go out, you still have the reflector tape.”

Several drivers made note of the superior engine braking when they pushed the special active descent control (ADC) button. The button activates the ADC that slows the vehicle for a safe descent on a hill. This feature also is on the new XP model. “It was unsurpassed in engine braking,” Abe Hodgen said. “And maintenance like checking the oil was good.”

Jeff Ryan thought the gearshift lever on the right was awkward for shifting and throttling. “You have to take your hand off the throttle, put the vehicle in gear and then put your hand back on the throttle,” he explained.

He also found the longer wheelbase and wide turning radius a negative for his use on the farm. “I use the ATV like a cutting horse for sorting cows so I need it to be really agile.” (The vehicle is equipped with a turf mode that will reduce the turning radius.)

Other drivers thought the box would be handy for hauling rocks, tools and other cargo. And when someone needs to ride along, it is easy to change the box into a passenger seat.

VERDICT

Although most farmers occasionally take a passenger on an ATV, most ATVs are not built for that purpose. The Sportsman X2 solves the problem. The X2 handles two people safely while also performing solidly as a utility vehicle.