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Forget Car Camping, Welcome to UTV Camping: 2024 Polaris XPEDITION Review

Explore more with the 2024 Polaris XPEDITION sport side-by-side off-road vehicle, which features a heated and cooled enclosed cab, the capacity to accommodate personalities that tend to overpack for a trip in the backcountry, and the chops to demolish hostile terrain.

2024 polaris xpedition adv 5 northstar outfitted with roofrack, rooftop tent(Photo/Derek Mau)
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Comfort is king, especially when traveling long distances. Polaris introduces an all-new UTV that offers a reprieve from the harsh elements and the performance capabilities to navigate the wilderness while carrying a full complement of gear for a multiday trip.

The 2024 Polaris XPEDITION offers 114 horsepower, 14 inches of ground clearance, and a suspension setup built around Fox Podium QS3 shocks that inspire confidence across a wide range of off-road terrain.

An invitation from Polaris to experience the new 2024 XPEDITION put me behind the wheel for a full day of adventure on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It encompassed 110 miles and many hours of gravel, sand, mud, rock crawling, a few thunderstorms, and all the other things the desert could throw at us.

In short: Get ready to buzz the trails and traverse adverse terrain with loads of power in a lightweight nimble machine. The all-new 2024 Polaris XPEDITION UTV can transport up to five people comfortably — AC and heat comfort — has a range of over 200 miles, and has numerous accessories to adapt to any number of overland and adventure sports activities. Extended middle-of-nowhere outdoor adventure is what this machine is all about, but it does come with a big sticker price.

2024 Polaris XPEDITION ADV

Specs

  • Engine 999 cc liquid cooled ProStar 1000 Gen 2
  • Horsepower 114
  • Torque N/A
  • Transmission Automatic PVT
  • Drive system type On-Demand True AWD/2WD/VersaTrac Turf Mode
  • Fuel capacity 12.5 gals. (47.3 L)
  • Bed box dimensions (L x W x H) 36.2 x 47.25 x 13.38 in.
  • Box capacity 600 lbs.
  • Estimated dry weight 2,790 lbs.
  • Ground clearance 14 in.
  • Wheelbase 117 in.
  • Suspension FOX 2.0 Podium QS3 shocks, long travel, high-clearance dual A-arm with stabilizer bar
  • Hitch tow rating 2,000 lbs.
  • Payload capacity 1,160 lbs.
  • Tires 30-in. ProArmor Crawler XP
  • Standard features Full-power window doors, Polaris HD 4,500-lb. winch, aluminum fairlead & rubber isolator, front bull bumper, ProFit sport roof, convex rearview mirror, JBL Trail Pro 4100 audio system, LED headlights and taillights
  • MSRP $39,999

Pros

  • Impressive creature comforts
  • Power and capability crush the nearest competitor
  • 12 models and trims mean there is probably one for your adventure needs
  • 5 curated accessory packages built around popular recreational activities

Cons

  • Drone from the engine and PVT amplified inside cabin
  • Northstar trim fully decked out approaches $50K
  • Touch points could be better quality

Polaris XPEDITION Review

2024 Polaris XPEDITION ADV 5 Northstar
2024 Polaris XPEDITION ADV 5 Northstar; (photo/Derek Mau)

Typical side-by-side platforms seat two or four people and have limited capacity to carry gear. Towing capabilities are even more limited. Every major builder has something in their product lineup that is fast, fun, and a blast to romp across almost every type of terrain. Popular sport UTVs that fill this space are the Kawasaki TERX KRX4 1000, Yamaha YXZ 1000R, Can-Am MaverickPolaris RZR Turbo R, and Honda Talon, to name a few.

Polaris responds to customer feedback with the launch of the 2024 XPEDITION — a sport side-by-side ORV that has the wherewithal to bring along everything for the ultimate multiday outdoor experience — even the kitchen sink if you choose.

2024 polaris xpedition xp 5 northstar
Imagine waking up to this view; (photo/Derek Mau)

ADV & XP Models

The Polaris XPEDITION has two distinct models available in two- or five-seat configurations. With a starting price of $28,999, the standard equipment list is pretty rad for the 12 available trims. However, further customization around any outdoor adventure is possible with a bevy of factory accessories and optional equipment.

The range-topping Northstar trim is where you’ll find the exclusive HVAC system, power door windows, and tip-out front windshield as standard equipment.

interior, polaris sport seats
(Photo/Mike Emery, Polaris)

The XPEDITION ADV sits riders in an enclosed cabin and cargo area with available heating and cooling. Two-seat models get 36 inches of covered cargo space, while the five-seat offers up to 63 inches of flat and covered storage for all the gear you need to bring for a multiday getaway.

2024 polaris xpedition xp dump box
XP models are configured with a 30-in. dump box; (photo/Mike Emery, Polaris)

The XPEDITION XP features a 30-inch dump box instead of a covered rear cargo space. The cargo box is 48 inches wide and has tall 16-inch walls to keep plenty of stuff in place on the trail or when working your property.

Polaris Lock & Ride MAX cargo system features integrated rails
Rear seats lift up to reveal optional Lock & Ride MAX cargo system for securing cargo; (photo/Mike Emery, Polaris)

The folding 60/40 rear seats in the four-door models can flip up to access the optional rails for securing cargo. Alternatively, the rear seatbacks fold flat to even more cargo area and securely transport up to its 1,160-pound payload capacity. The rear dump box — whether closed or open — can carry up to 600 pounds of gear, spare parts, and other essentials.

Polaris rooftop tent mounted on rhino-rack roof rack, polaris xpedition adv northstar
(Photo/Mike Emery, Polaris)

Flat Roofline

An outstanding feature of the XPEDITION is its flat roof designed to mount Polaris’ Rhino-Rack roof rack system, which can support up to 500 pounds when parked. That’s sturdy enough to hold up the optional rooftop tent and a couple of campers. When transporting equipment such as camping gear or kayaks, the Rhino-Rack can carry up to 150 pounds on the move.

The high roofline affords tall passengers plenty of headroom — even when wearing helmets. A few people in our group, who were 6 feet or taller, had space to spare above their helmets, thanks in part to the low seating position.

Fox Podium 2.0 QS3 shock and spring, Polaris XPEDITION
Fox 2.0 Podium QS3 with position-sensitive spiral technology spring color-matched with the body color; (photo/Derek Mau)

Smooth Rider (Suspension & Tires)

Like any good UTV, the XPEDITION lays the foundation with an all-new reinforced chassis, and FOX Podium QS3 shocks. Underneath are skid plates and raised A-arms as an added precaution if the 14 inches of ground clearance just isn’t enough.

The Polaris XPEDITION rides on Pro Armor 30-inch Crawler XP tires wrapped around 15-inch beadlock wheels. Select the Trail, Hunt, or Kayak accessory collection, and your ORV includes Pro Armor Attack 2.0 all-terrain tires for superior hard-pack performance and a quieter tread pattern. The dual-compound tires also feature an aggressive side tread that can effortlessly claw up rocky terrain and corner hard on loose trails.

Polaris Pro Armor Crawler XG tires and 15-in beadlock wheels
Available 15-in. beadlock wheels and 30-in. Pro Armor Crawler XG tires; (photo/Derek Mau)

Power and Towing Capacity

Polaris sport side-by-side UTVs are known for their power-to-fun ratio, and the XPEDITION carries on the tradition with the same powertrain used in the 2024 RZR XP — a 114-horsepower, 999cc liquid-cooled ProStar 1000 Gen 2 engine connected to a high and low-range automatic PVT transmission. The driver uses a three-way switch to select two- and four-wheel drive or the locking differential when the terrain gets gnarly.

2024 Polaris xpedition exploring Grand Canyon West
2024 Polaris XPEDITION exploring Grand Canyon West; (photo/Mike Emery, Polaris)

The payload for the two-seater XP and ADV models is spec’d at 1,030 pounds, while the five-seater will carry up to 1,160 pounds. The XPEDITION has a 12.5-gallon fuel tank, the largest of any factory UTV, and a potential range of over 200 miles, according to Polaris.

All models and trims of the XPEDITION have a standard 2-inch hitch receiver and will tow up to 2,000 pounds. Or it can be used for accessories such as a bike rack.

polaris xpedition xp 2 outfitted with hitch mounted bike rack
Hitch-mounted bike rack; (photo/Derek Mau)

Along for the Ride

Inside, the all-new XPEDITION engages drivers with a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, front bucket seats, and a three-point seatbelt. The seating position still feels a little high, in my opinion, even though the designers intended the driver and passengers to be seated low in the cabin. Regardless, the driver’s perch has a commanding view of the trail ahead.

A 7-inch touchscreen display — available in the Ultimate and Northstar trims — and Polaris’ RIDE COMMAND GPS trail guide system make exploring new territory a cinch. All the switchgear is within easy reach and feels like it’ll hold up to years of use outdoors.

7-inch color display; (photo/Derek Mau)
The 7-inch color display is standard equipment in Ultimate and Northstar trims; (photo/Derek Mau)

To protect the rider’s gear, the doors, center console, and rear glass hatch come with key locks. Seat comfort is phenomenal, having supportive side bolsters and lumbar support, and cushy where needed.

Adventurers who cringe at the thought of dealing with extreme temperatures will rejoice over a fully enclosed cab with heating and air conditioning as part of the Northstar trim’s standard equipment. Yes, the Can-Am Defender has three models with an enclosed cab and HVAC system, and there’s also the Polaris Ranger with an optional enclosed cab and heat. Still, those UTVs are intended to be work mules and can’t match the power, range, and versatility of the sport side-by-side XPEDITION.

enclosed cargo bed and spare tire; (photo/Derek Mau)
The 36.2 x 47.25 x 13.38 inch (L x W x H) enclosed cargo bed of XPEDITION ADV; (photo/Derek Mau)

I like the idea of keeping the sand and dust from permeating your precious gear when exploring those hot, dry environments. It’s also fantastic at keeping the occupants cozy when venturing out during the chilling winter months. Now the XPEDITION’s value goes up a notch with an extended riding season that covers almost any time of the year.  

Nevertheless, the drone from the engine and PVT transmission resonates inside the cabin with relentless fervor. Fortunately, I had earplugs to help abate the noise. Lowering the power windows also reduced the barrage on my sensitive ears.

Polaris XPEDITION driving on Grand Canyon trail
(Photo/Mike Emery, Polaris)

Polaris XPEDITION ADV Ride Impressions

The 2024 Polaris XPEDITION lineup has been purpose-designed for a breadth of uses, from worksite hauling to backcountry adventuring. A widened track and stretched wheelbase improve stability and add bed space without compromising the nimble handling off-roaders demand from an UTV.

Although, I imagine the longer wheelbase is harder to maneuver in tightly packed wooded trails. And there is more of a possibility of getting into a high-center situation and teeter-tottering on the tip if going over a steep hump on the trail.

The good news is that the suspension setup and Fox Podium QS3 shocks are totally dialed. It is responsive and terrific at soaking up the bumps and chunder, and the ride quality is superb. Getting the XPEDITION ADV to drift around corners was a breeze because of the substantive feedback communicated to the driver.

After spending a full day blasting and carving through the Grand Canyon, I walked away, elated and wanting more.

Polaris XPEDITION driving on Grand Canyon trail
(Photo/Mike Emery, Polaris)

2WD / 4WD / Diff-Lock Modes

The 4WD was on the entire time because we were off-road from start to finish. If trail difficulty were easy-peasy or motoring on paved roads, using rear-wheel drive would likely have improved fuel economy. After 110 miles and over 8 hours of romping through Grand Canyon West, I still had 25% left in the fuel tank. 

Not quite the 200-plus mile range that Polaris calls out. But being fuel conscious wasn’t part of the agenda that day.

A quick switch to diff-lock mode and low gear — which puts the XPEDITION into mountain goat mode — means you can tackle almost any obstacle. You can feel it biting and grabbing its way over gnarly trail conditions. It accomplished some mean feats clambering over loose, rocky passages.

2024 polaris xpedition xp 2-seater sport side-by-side off-road vehicle (orv)
2024 Polaris XPEDITION XP Northstar; (photo/Derek Mau)

Comfort, Standard, and Sport Drive Modes

Selecting drive modes on the go happened quite often, as trail conditions were in constant flux. The drive mode switch will change the throttle mapping and response but does not revise the suspension settings. The engine has full power in every mode — only the throttle response changes to smooth out power delivery.

A majority of time was spent in standard mode. It has a nice linear response from your foot to the engine.

Comfort mode slows down inputs and works well when rock crawling or scooting along at a relaxed pace. The throttle response is linear and smooth, which helps minimize wheel slip when bouncing over crazy terrain at slow speeds. All the horsepower is still available, but comfort mode helps ease into the throttle with less abrupt motion.

When we got onto a long stretch of gravel road, switching to sport mode quickened the throttle response and allowed the XPEDITION to stretch its legs. Acceleration pace won’t win any drag races but I gradually reach speeds up to 60 mph.

kayak mounted on Polaris XPEDITION Rhino-Rack roof rack
(Photo/Mike Emery, Polaris)

Accessorize for Your Outdoor Activities

When bouncing along the trail, it’s imperative to strap down any loose items in the cab or dump box. Anything such as coolers, camping gear, tools, and a spare tire should be secured.

The all-new Lock & Ride MAX cargo system makes it a snap to hold your gear. It is modular and an indispensable feature that makes the XPEDITION quickly adaptable to a mountain of outdoor escapades. The integration is valued, in addition to being intuitive, easy to use, and having infinite adjustments.

Gear loaded and secured to Rhino-Rack system
Locked and loaded; (photo/Mike Emery, Polaris)

The 2024 Polaris XPEDITION, with its go-anywhere attitude and serious capabilities, opens up a range of possibilities. And having a wide choice of accessories makes it easy to adapt the XPEDITION for all types of seasonal fun. At launch, Polaris offers five rider-inspired accessory collections specific to the platform curated around popular activities: Overland, Kayak, Trail, Hunt, and Utility.

Check out the video below for a look at the accessories available to the XPEDITION.

When it comes to recreation time and getting away from the daily routine, few things are better than a sport side-by-side. From flying across the dunes to mudding to clawing up and over slickrock, nearly every powersports manufacturer has a rig that can kick up your adrenaline level and put a massive grin on your face. The Polaris XPEDITION widens the playing field, offers creature comforts, and is adaptable to your favorite outdoor activity across four seasons.

2024 Polaris XPEDITION Arriving Soon

Twelve model variants cover the gamut offering two-seater and five-seater cabs and enclosed or open rear cargo boxes. Over 100 accessories are on offer to accommodate almost any sports activity or work situation that comes to mind.

For 2024, the Polaris XPEDITION XP and ADV models have two- and five-seat configurations suited up in three trims: Premium, Ultimate, and NorthStar. The Ultimate and NorthStar trims will reach dealers in summer 2023, while the Premium trim will start shipping in 2024.

MODELMSRPSHIPPING
2024 Polaris XPEDITION XP Ultimate$31,999Summer 2023
2024 Polaris XPEDITION ADV Ultimate$32,999Summer 2023
2024 Polaris XPEDITION XP Northstar$38,999Summer 2023
2024 Polaris XPEDITION ADV Northstar$39,999Summer 2023
2024 Polaris XPEDITION XP Premium$28,999Spring 2024
2024 Polaris XPEDITION ADV Premium$29,999Spring 2024
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