$12,999–$15,799 (Polaris.com ) For years, Polaris has manufactured one of the best work-oriented side-by-sides on the planet. For 2013, the all-new Ranger XP 900 is more powerful, more comfortable, and easier to maintain than previous models. At its heart is an impressive 60-hp pro-star 900 engine and a lightweight transmission package. With these relocated under the bed, the ranger cab is now cooler and quieter.
The chassis benefits from increased rigidity, which eliminates flex over rough terrain, and the wheelbase has grown by 5 inches, which improves stability. A redesigned bed offers steel tie-down anchors and the volume to swallow a pallet of materials weighing up to 1,000 pounds. When engaged, the on-demand true awd with turf mode transfers power to the front wheels whenever rear wheel slippage is detected. Electronic power steering is available on all models; the $1,000 premium that it fetches is worth every penny.
With a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds, the ranger is an excellent choice for tough jobs. The notched cab frame accommodates polaris’s modular pro-fit cab system. Now, in just minutes, you can customize windshield, roof, door, and rear panels, all without tools. —Lance Schwartz