2020 Polaris RZR PRO XP: Tech Review

Okay, you’ve seen the ride reviews (if you haven’t, check them out here.) Now lets deep dive the details on this thing.

We’ll start with the most obvious changes.

Chassis & Suspension:

Yes it is truly all new, not a dressed up XP of old.

The new chassis enters the market at 64″ wide with a 96″ wheelbase, that’s 6″ longer than the XP / Turbo / Turbo S chassis. This allows for better stability at speed and through corners, as well as opens up the passenger compartment big time.

The new wheelbase is still 6″ shorter than the RZRs biggest competitor, the X3, however some have complained that the Can-Am is a little too long for tighter trails. Did the Pro XP find the perfect balance? Possibly.

The frame is the strongest RZR frame to date per Polaris engineering, as is the rollcage which is now 2″ in diameter with 1-piece main tubes and super beefy B-pillars.

Wider cabin, longer, stronger, better.

With a new chassis comes ALL new suspension components which the Polaris team states are all stronger than any previous RZR. The suspension delivers 17″ of wheel travel in the front and 20″ in the rear (which translates into 20″ and 22″ of USABLE travel respectively). If you don’t recall what usable travel means, it is the measurement from the bottom of the tires to the skid plate when the suspension is at full droop.

The base model pro & Premium model feature Walker Evans needle shocks, while the Ultimate package gets the Dynamix 2.0 treatment (Fox Live Valve). The “2.0” of the Dynamix system includes a re-calibration of all modes intending to improve both ride and handling, as well as the edition of what has been fondly referred to as the “OH S&!T” button…more on that later.

Fox Live Valve shock on Pro XP Ultimate
New trailing arms
Pro XP suspension includes high clearance lower control arms and radius rods

All PROs will ship from the factory with 30″ Maxxis Carnivores which we have found to be excellent all-around tires, we’re excited about that choice.

Another notable feature is the doors. Somewhat uniquely shaped compared to any previous doors we’ve seen, they are designed to keep debris from slinging at you off the front tires, while also allowing airflow in the cabin. They worked great during our test ride. This may be the first set of doors we wouldn’t rush to replace or add to.

New door design blocks front tire debris but maintains airflow


The PRO XP maintains the 925cc ProStar twin from the previous RZR Turbo units, but includes some nice upgrades and an overall power boost to 181hp.

The power increase is achieved with a new larger water-cooled turbo feeding a little extra boost, but there are a couple other interesting changes. Polaris engineers have added a coolant vent line to the the top of the head to help bleed out trapped air which has plagued some owners and been the cause of overheating in the past. We also get a more modern COP (coil on plug) design which eliminates the spark plug wires. This is the standard for performance and dependability on nearly all high end applications these days.


Yes we know many of you were yearning for a different style transmission all together, but what if you could keep the CVT and have it be twice as dependable?

That’s what Polaris has said they’ve delivered. A completely redesigned set of clutches along with a clutch housing that promotes increased airflow results in a large belt temperature reduction and a claimed 2X belt life from the previous turbo clutches.

Along with the cooling improvements, changes were also made to address durability and serviceability. The primary clutch has been designed to throw debris OUT of critical areas where it can cause wear, and serviceability of wear components has also been improved. Secondary clutch sliders have been ditched in favor of rollers. An additional added touch that we love is captured clutch cover bolts (honestly, who hasn’t driven around with a couple of those missing?). Now you don’t have to worry about losing them when you pull the cover off.

The tuning of the new clutches has also been altered with a focus on applying power where most riders need it most, that is mid-range speeds (20-50mph), exiting corners, climbing hills, etc.

During our test rides we were unable to break a belt (about 70 combined miles of HARD riding), and we did notice and appreciate the calibration changes. The new clutches seem to deliver so far.

New primary & secondary clutches
New clutch cover with improved airflow and captured attachment bolts


The takeaway here is that everything is better / stronger than before.

The Pro gets the front diff from the Turbo S which has been an all-around excellent performer. Beyond the diff, everything as been made stronger. Axles, driveshafts, transmission….all of it. We’re were told the new axles completed 8X the lifecycle of the previous Turbo axles. We’ll be putting that to the test for sure, but we like the way it sounds.

Improved axles, wheel bearings, & knuckles


This may be the star of the new Pro XP. Complaints about space in the previous RZR lead Polaris to focus much attention on driver comfort & confidence.

Shoulder room has been increased significantly, and there is 6″ more leg room than regular XP. The seats are 2.5″ lower in the chassis to improve the handling and overall feel, but the front end was designed to maintain all the sight lines from the previous RZR chassis. This is a strong point for the RZR , whereas other machines have sacrificed in this area to achieve lower seating positions.

RZR Pro XP Ultimate interior
Pro XP interior with added leg & shoulder room

The seats themselves have been improved tremendously as well. The new buckets feature a stiff molded frame, improved padding & bolsters, and are vented in a way that allows airflow from the door to reach your lower back to help keep you cool. They also include pass-through holes for 4 or 5 point harnesses. They are now 4-way adjustable, meaning you get tilt adjustment along with the typical slider, and the slider moves a MILE. Adjusting for different driver heights will be no issue.

Speaking of adjust-ability, premium and ultimate models now get a rake & telescope adjustable steering column, which is a first for the market. The column is locked & unlocked via a lever like you would more often see in the automotive world. This helps tremendously for dialing in your preferred driving position.

Another, sometimes under-appreciated, feature that we enjoyed was a new steering wheel. It feels good, and adds controls for things like the radio & Live Valve suspension (if equipped) in a convenient location. The most fun feature though would definitely be the aforementioned “OH S&!T” button. That’s a big red button that instantaneously takes the suspension to full stiff, utilized when you realize that you’ve driven yourself into a mess (like a giant g-out in the desert at 80mph…). It can be a little tough to get to quickly at high speeds, but it definitely works.

New steering wheel with added controls

Of course there have been a host of other refinements and changes (like we said, it really is a new machine), but that’s the rundown of features that help us do what we like to do most, go fast. Please leave us your thoughts / questions in the comments below or on our Facebook page, and make sure to stay tuned into our YouTube channel as we put the new Pro XP through some long term abuse!

7 Comments on "2020 Polaris RZR PRO XP: Tech Review"

  1. Michael Messner | August 2, 2019 at 9:04 am | Reply

    Great write – a couple of questions for the BLOG; do you think the cage will need to be an aftermarket for better strength like the “S” or past models? Or with the larger 2” tubes it should be fine?

    Leonardo had always commented on the interior of the X3 fitting his 6’ 4” frame better, does the RZR feel the same?

    With the seating being a little lower and 6” longer leg room, Sous stated in the X3 it feels like you’re riding in it, and the RZR you’re riding on it. Is this still the feeling?

    I am very excited about what the New Generation RZR brings to the table and with larger fuel capacity and power. I would love the opportunity to take a week-long trip across the upper peninsula of Michigan with this experience everything it has to offer. Looks like a base model Pro could be my next upgrade.

    • I think the cage on this one will be fine for the vast majority of riders, certainly the best one they’ve had.

      It did fit Leo well now, he had no fitment issues, and the lower seating position definitely makes you feel more “in it” compared to the old XP chassis.

  2. I like what they have done, seems like most existing RZR owners are not to pleased. Once it gets out into the public I think opinions will change!

  3. Fast Freddy Muldoon | August 3, 2019 at 10:14 pm | Reply

    Doug said:
    “Polaris engineers have added a coolant vent line to the the top of the head to help bleed out trapped air which has plagued some owners and been the cause of overheating in the past.”
    This is a much needed/appreciated update. Kapper Outdoors was having this issue with his 2019 Ranger. As far as the New RZR- I like this unit and am looking forward to the torture test on the Gauntlet. Keep up the good work fellas. BTW when is Cleetus coming? Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂

  4. CrazyOffroader | August 7, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Reply

    Biggest take away I thought I heard was this was the new platform going forward . I know it’s super early but assuming the “S” will be here 2021 with some far superior upgrades . I am purchasing this month (August ) and honestly I can’t make my mind up for a 19 “S” or this pro XP?!?!? I know they are dealing on 19’s now hard

  5. Todd Cunningham | August 8, 2019 at 3:43 am | Reply

    I think the new Pro will be successful and the successor to the XP in the next couple of years. No reason to have both the XP & XP Pro. I also suspect the Pro 4 will be a huge hit with the market.

    It clearly looks like Polaris took many ideas from the X3, XX & Talon. IMO the telescoping steering wheel is the best original improvement they made. Most other improvements seem to already be on other machines. But adding those to the Polaris will make it that more interesting to the consumer.

    I thank you for telling the truth about the wheel travel numbers. That’s something Polaris likes to exaggerate (lie) about. There is no such thing as “Usable Travel” it’s a marketing ploy Polaris came up with. If this is how real Travel was measured then Trophy Trucks would have 50+ inches, and the Baja bugs would have 25+ inches. Wheel travel no matter how you measure is the amount of up & down movement the suspension has measured from gib center.

    Do you know if the improved suspension did anything to reduce or fix the bumpsteer issues with both the front & rear suspension?

    While the chassis looks much stronger then previous Polaris models, I think they still missed the mark with the upper cage. Even at 2 inch diameter, it’s going to fail. The lack of triangulation & diagonal bar in the “B” pillar area is a huge fail. Then with the “A” pillar laid back, it looks great, but increases the point of failure and collapsing in. Can Am had to add the big gusset and they still fail at that point. Also the upper cage looks to bolt to tabs or brackets at the B pillar (not directly to a chassis tube) and the rear kicker down tubes again don’t bolt to the tube chassis but a set of tabs that will easily fail vs a tube mount.

    I wish Polaris would add rear bumper as part of the chassis to protect the exhaust & rear suspension pivot points. It looks as if they have a small front bumper. Do you know how that is mounted to the chassis?

    Even with the issues found in the XX, I believe the XX still has the best & strongest chassis design of all current UTV platforms, but the Pro is a big improvement for Polaris.

  6. Another interesting fact. Polaris it touting the 181 hp which is a gain of 13 hp, and so many who have tested the new XP Pro claim it to be a huge improvement.

    But hears a little fact. The XP Pro actually has less HP per lbs vs. the XP1000.

    XP1000, 1512 lbs @ 168 hp. = .111 hp per lbs.
    XP Pro, 1750 lbs @ 181 hp. = .103 hp per lbs

    I believe the gain felt in the Pro are actually in the clutching, and maybe from the improved drivetrain and not the actual HP increase.

    In a race UTV you could feel the power gain after Weddle rebuilt the trans. They instal high quality bearings, polish & shotpening the gears and setting all the tolerances correctly.

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