We have known for many years that Polaris is on the cutting edge of technology and when it comes to finding that extra cross over vehicle platform to service the multitudes they rarely disappoint. It was the year 2016 and a vehicle called the General was released from the engineers at Polaris but what was unexpected by the consumers is just how much they would like this adventure vehicle. The working and fun that the General 1000 brings to the table is most definitely a hit but for 2017 the fun gets even bigger and as with most of these vehicles the refinement continues from model year to model year. Introducing the 2017 Polaris General 4 1000 in all its glory. This machine is sure to make those days with the family on the trail a bit more comfortable, fun and exciting.
It was a cool but very nice day in the hills outside of Great Falls Montana when we had our very own personal seat time in the latest Polaris General. This now 4-seat off road adventure rig stood out in the Silver Pearl coloring but it was the specific new features that began to catch our eyes first. The interior of this machine has been totally redesigned (as you might have guessed for the extra passengers but that’s not all) and is becoming even more functional for everyone that steps onboard.
Polaris has gone to great lengths to make driver and passenger very comfortable as well as safe in their vehicles. As soon as you slip into the cab of the General-4 the high back seats surround you and give you the support your body needs for virtually any amount of time on the trails. Lets not forget to mention they also make you confident in the safety of the rig. Using a unique tilt steering Polaris has integrated the digital over analog gauge cluster to move with the wheel so your line of sight always gives you clear view of the info shown there. This is not a new feature in the industry but it is very welcomed for those who have had the opportunity to experience it as you can get a better line of sight on the gauge cluster when driving. The amount of information on the dash is incredibly overwhelming but if you live in a world where you need to know just what is going on with your machine then Polaris has got you covered. Using a driver seat that slides front to back help’s accommodate those longer or shorter friends who may want to try the General on for size themselves.
Stepping into the cabs rear half door you will notice plenty of space for entry or exit. The door opens from front or latch side to the rear of the machine like a suicide door on your grandpa’s Old Ford Thunderbird. The rear seats have what could be considered the most room and conveniences for your back seat drivers. Making friends and family comfortable enough to trust your driving is a must and safety is at the top of that list. High back custom bolstered seating is the norm for Polaris off road vehicles these days and with cool color combinations to accent the color of the vehicle it just doesn’t get any better. The taller friends riding back seat will also appreciate the padded seat backs on the front seats, which keeps any accidental bumps from their knees fairly insignificant as you roam the countryside searching for fun. And lets not for get the many storage options and cubbies for the trail must haves as well as the integrated drink holders well within reach of the passengers or driver. So if we have not told you just how well we liked the interior of this new General 4 then reread the previous paragraphs!
As we were driving the General 4 around the incredible landscape of Bull Run ranch it was made perfectly clear that the power from Polaris’s Pro Star engine for this machine was sufficient. Using this 999cc fuel injected Pro-Star power plant has become standard for Polaris and they should be very proud of its capabilities because it not only builds great usable horsepower but extremely powerful low to mid-range torque. Even with the longer wheelbase and four excessive adults the power was never lacking nor did we fell it give up on the steeper sections of the trails. We did not have an opportunity to load the receiver hitch in tow or cargo box with gear but it seems as if the engine wouldn’t mind a little more challenge in the way of a working scenario with tools or trailer in tow. Just take our word for it when we say there is plenty on the table for those who will use this machine to move people and equipment on the jobsite or even around the farm. We must not forget that the bed still dumps on this General 4 and that gives you plenty of Honey-do responsibility for those who need to clean up their property.
Our ride time in the 2017 Polaris General 4 1000 was split between beautiful meadows and steep challenging terrain farther back into the hillsides. As we made our way through the winding and somewhat tight trails it was indeed apparent that we had a little longer tail following us but the length also gave the machine a little more stability in our humble opinion. The chassis roll was minimal in the higher speed sections while cornering, with the independent rear suspension and dual sway bars handling the stabilization duties the General seemed firmly planted to the trail. Polaris claims the suspension will actually retain 62 percent of its 12 inches of ground clearance when fully loaded due in part to the dual rate shock springs. This means that suspension travel is again another constant reliable and predictable feature of this machine. Clearing the big rocks or debris that sometimes littered along the Montana back roads was also not difficult and with the suspension travel being 12.25 front as well as over 13 inches in the rear the harder hits were soaked up almost completely. I would say that loaded with four people of varying sizes you could encounter a deep enough rut or g-out to upset this machine but it would be more of driver error at that point than vehicle inability.
So we have covered many new items in the way of looks and length but a feature that could get left out is the 4wd system or how the driveline breaks out to specific duties on the farm. A critical item that is new for the entire General line this year is the Turf mode rear differential. This allows tight turning on more sensitive terrain without trenching massive crop circles into the landscape. This is a plus for many job site uses as well as those who will use this General to work at home. Of course Polaris has included their AWD (all wheel drive) system on the General and it is seamless when engaged. We rarely had to use the AWD function but its nice to know that even when engaged it will only actually work when the machine feels it needs more forward traction and remains silent like that famous church mouse until then. One item of light concern was when we did notice the driveline seems to make a little more noise when the AWD is disengaged. It seems as if the drive shafts coming out forward of the engine towards the front differential had some kind of slight vibration that created a rattling noise, which was not apparent when AWD was engaged. It did not affect the operation of the unit but noises can become eventual issues.
As we rewind in our minds just a little it was very apparent that Polaris is still making strides to find every single niche hole or gap and to fill those with as many fixes for the off road enthusiasts as they can. We knew things would be good for the Polaris General line as soon as we spotted the machine in Santé Fe New Mexico but now its gotten so much sweeter because we can take more of our friends or co-workers out and share the experience. Overall this newest model of the General is sure to please those looking for an option that is rugged as well as comfortable and to that husband or wife who has a lead foot, the power is ready when you are!