Can-Am and Polaris RZR ATV models are popular amongst riders and offer similar and different qualities. Each brand offers its user a unique ride and provides the security you want in a vehicle.
Can-Am and RZR have pros and cons regarding price, size, speed, and stability. For example, the Can-Commander has a faster top speed and provides better stability due to a wider wheelbase.
However, the RZR is small, allowing better maneuverability and a lower price tag. In addition, the RZR has evolved over the years, enhancing its capability and durability.
Keep reading to learn more about the Can-Am and Polaris companies and the solid vehicles they offer for work and recreation. We’ll also dive deeper into the pros and cons of each and which top features you should know about.
Table of Contents
What are the Differences Between Can-Am and RZR?
The main difference between Can-Am and RZR is that Cam-Am is its own brand name, while RZR is made by a company called Polaris. Both companies have been around for decades and constantly compete over who can produce the best ATV.
In addition, there are several RZR models by Polaris, including the RZR Turbo R and RZR Pro R, while Can-Am has various models it produces.
Generally, users praise Polaris for its performance but say it lacks reliability. However, Can-Am proves to be more reliable and usually produces faster vehicles.
Also, RZR ATVs are heavier bikes, allowing them to withstand damage. On the other hand, a Can-Am is meant for recreational purposes, with some hauling capabilities.
Despite both brands coming late to the game, after Honda and other Japanese manufacturers, they have proved themselves in the ATV industry.
Today, both Can-Am and Polaris have released turbo models to ensure they stay on top of their competition.
Users of each brand are certain theirs is superior, so let’s take a look at the top features each provides and some cons you will want to know. Understanding the difference between the two can help you decide where your preference lies.
Can-Am has several top-notch features, some of which are similar to the RZR. For example, both vehicles offer excellent suspension and can carry cargo. You’ll appreciate that the vehicles can go over rough terrain without destroying your bike.
In addition, users enjoy using the Can-Am on camping trips where they can haul their belongings. Can-Am also added non-standard accessories like fuel gauges, odometers, speedometers, and engine temp indicators.
When researching Can-Am ATVs, you should be aware of these top features.
- Can-Am vehicles have Rotax engines that offer supreme performance
- Can-Am has a three-cylinder Ace engine that puts out 195 horsepower
- Ample cargo space with some models carrying up to 1,000-2,500 lbs
Like all vehicles, it’s essential you stay on top of regular maintenance to prolong the life of your vehicle. The top Can-Am features excel more when you care for your vehicle.
Can-Am models appeal to riders because of various traits that set them apart from other companies. For example, Can-Am is known for its speed and for producing durable ATVs. Here’s a snapshot of the advantages you find in Can-Am vehicles.
- Large cargo-carrying capability
- Most models can reach top speeds of over 60 mph
- Wide range of customizations available
If you have a need for speed, you’ll appreciate the pros of the Can-Am brand and its ability to reach top speeds. Users of the Maverick X3 will not hesitate to tell you how well its suspension handles high speeds.
While the Can-Am has many redeemable qualities, there are several cons you should know. Remember, most vehicles won’t be 100% perfect, so you must look at which qualities are most important to you.
- Can-Am vehicles can be priced high
- Some Can-Am models feel too wide
- Longevity issues in some models, like the Can-Am Maverick
- Some models require force to make it over challenging obstacles
The Can-Am is excellent at navigating over rough terrain; however, some obstacles require an extra bit of force from the vehicle, which can be a nuisance to the driver.
While the RZR and Can-Am are similar in several ways, the RZR offers turbocharged options that allow you to take it almost anywhere. In addition, the RZR has a deep cargo area, perfect for camping, hunting, or hauling.
You also will appreciate the upgraded cockpit area that offers adjustable seats and six-point harnesses. While the Can-Am does excellent on rough terrain, the RZR can handle its own.
- The RZR has plenty of power with a twin-cylinder engine that produces 181 horsepower.
- The 2000-lb vehicle operates at 4000 RPM
- Operates well over various terrains like sand, rocks, mud, and dirt
You can also customize your RZR with the following accessories:
- Convex rearview mirror
- HD Light Bar Harness
- 48 qt. Lockable cooler
- 3,500 lb winch
- Smaller sizes available
Skinnier versions of the RZR are available, which is ideal if you travel through trails and don’t want to run into tree branches or don’t have the storage space for something more significant.
You can also upgrade your wheels and tires to add performance to your ride, allowing you to go on a diverse range of terrain.
Remember, some features boost the performance of your RZR, and the price tag will slowly tick higher with each customization. However, it allows you to create your ATV how you want it.
The RZR is a rugged vehicle that offers various upgraded options and enhances your speed and performance. Here’s a sampling of the top pros of owning an RZR.
- The heavy vehicle handles damage well
- Some models come in a turbo version
- RZR has a supercharged 925cc 4-cylinder engine
- Excellent off-road capabilities with three suspension settings
- Priced well and more affordable than most Can-Am options
One of the biggest pros of the RZR is undoubtedly the price. While some models can get pricey, the base price is much more affordable than the Can-Am.
While the RZR is excellent for off-roading, there are several pitfalls you should be aware of before you make your purchase.
- Clutch failure caused several RZR models to be recalled
- Transmission issues are common in the RZR with a lack of durability
- The non-durable frame and mediocre roll cage present issues to RZR users
- The rear rods in the RZR have a poor and loose setup, causing them to bend
- Radiator prone to clogging due to debris and dirt
You’ll want to clean your radiator, especially after driving through mud. You can spray the grill to ensure the ATV doesn’t overheat.
Some cons come down to user error, but users report common issues. If your vehicle is new and experiencing problems, you should visit your dealer for an inspection.
Also, some users would prefer more storage space, but you can add a trailer to carry additional 1,500 lbs. If you’re concerned about towing capacity, remember that most small cars can’t tow that much.
However, you can also add storage options like lockable boxes or door storage bags. Remember, every add-on will make the affordable ATV not so affordable.
Which is Better: Can-Am or RZR?
Both Can-AM and RZR have their highlights and downfalls, which boil down to what you prefer in an ATV and how much you are willing to spend.
For example, Can-Ams come with the highest price tag for offroad vehicles, but they also have the most features in an ATV or side-by-side vehicle. If you are interested in hunting or fishing in remote areas, you’ll appreciate what the Can-Am offers.
On the other hand, RZRs are the most popular type of off-road vehicle on the market today and won’t cause such a dent in your wallet. However, the RZR only has a side-by-side option, which isn’t ideal for everyone.
Also, the customizability of the RZR lineup makes it a popular choice amongst consumers. You can choose from items like upgraded shocks and springs for a more robust and comfortable ride. Or you may choose to get bigger, wider tires for a more aggressive ride.
You also will appreciate the access to replacement and aftermarket parts that don’t always come easily for other ATVs.
You also have to break down the different models of each type. For example, the Can-Am three-cylinder Ace engine is faster than the RZR with 195 horsepower capability.
In addition, the Can-Am can better manage bumps and rough terrain at high speeds. The Cam-Am has more appealing features and accessories, but the RZR shouldn’t be discounted so quickly.
If you want to go fast over rough terrain, opt for the Cam-Am. If you prefer a vehicle with supreme storage and a lower price tag, go for the RZR.
It’s tough competition when comparing Can-Am vs. RZR, especially considering top features, downfalls, and price. The Can-Am is a more expensive option, which is likely part of why the RZR is the most popular off-road vehicle you can find.
Like most ATVs, it comes down to preference and what you want to pay. However, if you enjoy off-roading on rough terrain, you’ll appreciate the smoothness of the Cam-Am.
Also, if you want to make the ATV your own, the RZR provides extensive customizability allowing you to build it to your perfection. Just remember, every upgrade comes with a price tag.
I’m William Guzenski, ASE certified master automobile technician & automotive expert. I love to attend race events and car shows throughout the country. I also loves to travel 40-foot motorhome, exploring abandoned mines and ghost towns. I’m currently building another car for Bonneville Salt Flats and will be campaigning a drag car at several events.