Among the spinoffs of the Ranger XP series is the Polaris RZR 900. A sportier version of its big-bore cousin, the RZR breathed life into the workhorse-dominated UTV scene. This wheeler was Polaris’ conscious effort to give consumers more options when it came to conquering turf and ripping through the outdoors. And for off-roaders with extra cash to spare, the 4×4 easily became their new favorite toy.
The Polaris RZR 900 is a sport-utility vehicle unveiled to the public in 2015. Featuring a twin-cylinder ProStar® engine, tilt steering, selectable driveline modes, and a lineage traced back to the Ranger, this 4×4 wowed the off-roading community and took work-sport hybrids to a whole new level.
What started as an attempt at capturing the hearts of Yamaha enthusiasts soon became the company’s forte in subsequent years. With the Polaris RZR 900, the American firm further established itself as a leading innovator, kicking off an endless race among manufacturers to build the fastest, most powerful UTV. Read on and discover how this four-wheeler revolutionized the entire sport-utility sub-segment.
A Fusion of Function and Sport
To provide riders with a sporty but purpose-built quad – this was the aim of Polaris when it released the RZR 800 in 2008. Little did the company know that this Ranger sub-model would evolve a decade later in a class of its own. Or probably, it did – because the RZR had a lot going on that its parent series Ranger did not have. For one, it was more sport- than work-oriented but still gave its owners the option to use it for yard duty if the need arose. Its compact body styling made the SxS feel speedier and even look the part. Also, it bested the Ranger in top speed by a considerable mileage at 55 MPH versus the Ranger’s meager 44 MPH.
For a big-bore machine, these were highly-coveted features – features that were deliberately put in the RZR product and developed through the years.
And sure enough, Polaris eventually ditched the 800-cm3 vehicle and gave birth to a new-and-improved Polaris RZR XP 900 in 2011. It had a ProStar® 900 power mill, adjustable seats, massive power output, and a three-link trailing arm rear suspension. Like its predecessor, Polaris offered the Polaris RZR 900 in 50-inch- and 60-inch-wide trims. Its sportiness and functionality were as refreshing as a glass of mimosa on a hot summer’s day. The riding community wanted more.
Hence, rapid-fire releases of new RZR 900 models ensued and are still going strong. Since the RZR 900 dropped the Ranger tag and branched away from the XP series, a total of 36 models and 15 trims have been designed and produced to match the growing clamor for monstrous power and speed.
These racy quads were all the rave in the decade that followed the RZR 900’s launch:
- Polaris RZR 900
- 900 EPS TRAIL
- 900 XC Edition
- S 900
- S 900 EPS
- 4 900 EPS
- S4 900 EPS
- Polaris RZR 900 Trail EPS FOX Edition LE
- Polaris RZR 900 Camouflage
For 2021, Polaris RZR Trail Sport, Polaris RZR Trail S 900 Sport, Polaris RZR Trail Premium, and Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate are the latest buzz.
Alongside the RZR 900’s production run, Polaris also launched other RZR models that took the SxS market by storm. These included the RZR 170, RZR XP 1000, RZR XP 1000 Turbo, and RZR RS1. These models were milestone vehicles, being the first to debut a youth sport-UTV, a 1000-cm3 machine, a turbocharged SxS, and a single-seater behemoth under the said lineup.
Polaris RZR 900 Specs & Features
The ProStar® engine found in all Polaris RZR 900 trims features dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, and EFI that increases acceleration by 20%, torque by 14%, and horsepower by 40% over the RZR 800.
|Engine||2015 Polaris RZR 900 (Base, EPS)||2015 Polaris RZR S 900 (Base, EPS)|
|Platform||Domestic 4-Stroke DOHC|
|Cylinder Arrangement||Longitudinal, 8-valve Twin-cylinder|
|Bore x Stroke||93 x 64.4 mm (3.66 x 2.53 in)|
|Displacement||875 cm³ / 53.4 in³|
|Carburetion System||Bosch ME17 Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) w/ 46-mm throttle body|
|Idle Speed||1,250 +/- 100 RPM|
|Lubrication System||Wet sump|
|Air Filtration||Paper pleat, wet-type element|
|Recommended Fuel||Leaded/Unleaded gasoline w/ PON rating 87/89 (oxygenated/non-oxygenated)|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||9.5 US gallons (36 Liters)|
|Fuel Pressure||58 ± 2 psi (400 ± 14 kPa)|
|Horsepower||75 hp @ 7,250–7,750 RPM|
|Top Speed (Estimated)||60 MPH (96.6 km/h)||70 MPH (112.7 km/h); 75 MPH (120.5 km/h) – based on power-to-weight ratio|
|Max Speed (If payload exceeds 430 lbs/195 Kg)||43 MPH (69 km/h)||62 MPH (100 km/h)|
|Mileage City / Highway||15.2 MPG (15.47 liters/100 km)|
The Polaris RZR 4 900 EPS is the only trim out of the lot with a slightly higher coolant and demand drive fluid capacity. The same rules for engine lubrication apply to the RZR as with any other Polaris off-road vehicle:
- Using any API-certified SJ synthetic oil that meets manufacturer specifications and JASO T903 MA standards is always best, and
- The use of non-recommended lubricants may render your warranty void or cause engine damage.
|Lubrication||2015 Polaris RZR 900 (Base, EPS)||2015 Polaris RZR S 900 (Base, EPS)|
|Engine Oil Capacity||2.5 quarts (2.4 Liters)|
|Engine Oil||-35° – +100° F (-37° – +38° C): PS-4 5W-50 4-Cycle Oil
0° – 120° F (-18° – +49° C): PS-4 Extreme Duty 10W-50 4-Cycle Oil
(with API grade of SJ or higher and with no anti-friction or modifiers)
|Coolant Capacity||5 quarts (4.7 Liters) of POLARIS Antifreeze 50/50 Premix|
|Demand Drive Fluid Capacity||7.5 ounces (222 ml)|
|Transmission Oil Capacity||44 ounces (1.3 Liters) or 40.5 ounces (1.2 Liters – Turf models) of Full Synthetic AGL Gearcase Lubricant|
While automatic Polaris Variable Transmission handles power for all RZR 900s, only the XC Edition, EPS Trail, and 4 900 trims have TurfSaver unlocking rear differential. This feature permits riding on smooth, level surfaces and is best-suited to situations where aggressive traction is not required. Selectable On-Demand™ AWD Drive System makes for superb maneuverability and handling. A thumb switch found on the center console (to the steering wheel’s right) activates the driveline modes.
|Transmission||2015 Polaris RZR 900 (Base, EPS)||2015 Polaris RZR S 900 (Base, EPS)|
|Type||Automatic POLARIS Variable Transmission|
|Shift Sequence||Dual-range, In-line shift (P/R/N/L/H)|
|Front Drive Ratio (EPS/Non-EPS)||3.31 / 3.82|
|High Gear (EPS/Non-EPS)||11.51:1 / 13.29:1|
|Low Gear (EPS/Non-EPS)||20.77:1 / 23.98:1|
|Reverse (EPS/Non-EPS)||25.37:1 / 29.28:1|
The battery replacement for the Polaris 900 RZR has assembled dimensions of 7.73 x 6.55 x 7.01 inches (196 x 166 x 178 mm) and is installed in an upright position in the quad. However, it may be hard to come by.
Odyssey PC925MJT Battery (view on Amazon) and Optima 8042-218 D75/25 Yellow Top Dual-Purpose Battery (view on Amazon) are good battery replacements in case you need to swap out your stock.
Many go for the Odyssey, as its pure lead technology performs better than the Optima that tends to dry out due to heat (using an AGM technology). Whichever option you go for, know that these batteries are not a perfect fit for your vehicle. You need to purchase an aftermarket battery box, isolate it and run a Blue Sea fuse block under the hood, and have the setup backed up by a 50 Amp fuse.
|Electrical||2015 Polaris RZR 900 (Base, EPS)||2015 Polaris RZR S 900 (Base, EPS)|
|Ignition System||ME17 ECU|
|Alternator Output||560 W @ 3,000 RPM|
|Battery Dimensions||7.73 x 6.55 x 7.01 inches (196 x 166 x 178 mm)|
|Battery / Amp Hr||12V Flooded, 575 CCA|
|Spark Plug, Gap||NGK MR7F / 0.7-0.8 mm|
|Fuse||10A EFI, 10A Key, 10A Term, 10A Accessory, 10A Drive, 15A Lights, 20A EPS (if applicable)|
|Instrumentation||Digital Gauge, Speedometer, Odometer, Tripmeter, Tachometer, Coolant Temperature, Volt Meter, Hour Meter, Service Indicator, Clock, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, Hi-Temp Light, Seatbelt Reminder Light, DC Outlet (x 1)|
|Headlight Type||Dual-beam Halogen or LED|
|Headlight||12V, 55W Low/ 60W High|
|Tail/Brake Lights||0.2W / 2.9W LED cluster x 2|
Tires & Brakes
The Polaris RZR 900 base model has stamped steel wheels, while the rest have 12- or 14-inch cast aluminum rims. Polaris PXT and GBC Dirt Commander knobbies are standard, depending on trim.
|Tires & Brakes||2015 Polaris RZR 900 (Base, EPS)||2015 Polaris RZR S 900 (Base, EPS)|
|Wheel Composition||Stamped Steel||Cast Aluminum|
|Front Tire||Polaris PXT 26 x 8-12||GBC Dirt Commander 27 x 9-12|
|Recommended Tire Pressure||69 kPa (0.70 kgf/cm2, 10 psi)||69 kPa (0.70 kgf/cm2, 10 psi)|
|Rear Tire||Polaris PXT 26 x 9-12||GBC Dirt Commander 27 x 11-12|
|Recommended Tire Pressure||83 kPa (0.85 kgf/cm2, 12 psi)||97 kPa (0.99 kgf/cm2, 14 psi)|
|Front Brake, Operation||4-wheel hydraulic disc w/ dual-bore front calipers (foot-activated)|
|Rear Brake, Operation||4-wheel hydraulic disc w/ dual-bore front calipers (foot-activated)|
Some of the RZR 900s only have rear anti-sway bars, while others have torsion bars on both front and rear. Most suspensions have five-way preload adjustment, with only the Trail and S 900 trims having compression damping. Wheel travel ranges from 10 to 13.2 inches. The factory-built suspension system lends to the vehicle’s superior handling and maneuverability. Similarly, the overall turning radius of a whopping 15.9 ft (192 inches/4,846 mm) reinforces vehicle stability and ride comfort.
|Suspension||2015 Polaris RZR 900 (Base, EPS)||2015 Polaris RZR S 900 (Base, EPS)|
|Frame Type||Steel round tube|
|Toe Out||1/8 – 3/16 inches (3.2 – 4.8 mm)|
|Turning Radius||15.9 feet (190.8 in)||16 feet (192 in)|
|Front Suspension, Travel||Independent double A-arms w/ torsion bar & Sachs ZF HPG shocks, 254 mm (10 in)||Independent double A-arms w/ Fox Podium X 2.0 piggyback shocks, 311 mm (12.25 in)|
|Rear Suspension, Travel||Independent double A-arms w/ torsion bar & Sachs ZF HPG shocks, 254 mm (10 in)||Independent double A-arms w/ torsion bar & Fox Podium X 2.0 piggyback shocks, 335 mm (13.2 in)|
|Adjustment Type||5-way adjustable preload; Threaded spanner wrench
|Compression damping & 5-way adjustable preload; Threaded spanner wrench adjustment|
Variances in width and length between trims are almost negligible. Dry weight and GVWR gradually increase from the standard to the four-seater Polaris RZR 4 900, with the latter having a dry weight of 1,474 lbs (668.6 Kg) and a GVWR of 2,440 lbs (1,107 Kg) – inclusive of curb weight, payload capacity, accessories, cargo, and passengers. The RZR 4 900 also has the highest Test GVW – ROPS at 2,700 lbs (1,225 Kg) per OSHA 29 CFR 1928.53.
|Dimensions||2015 Polaris RZR 900 (Base, EPS)||2015 Polaris RZR S 900 (Base, EPS)|
|Length||107 inches (2,718 mm)||108 inches (2,743 mm)|
|Width||50 inches (1,270 mm)||60 inches (1,524 mm)|
|Height||69.5 inches (1,765 mm)||72 inches (1,829 mm)|
|Wheelbase||79 inches (2,007 mm)|
|Ground Clearance||10 inches (254 mm)||12.5 inches (317.5 mm)|
|Dry Weight||1,148 lbs (521 Kg)||1,208 lbs (548 Kg)|
|GVWR||1,969 lbs (893 Kg)||2,029 lbs (920 Kg)|
|Test GVW – (ROPS)||2,300 lbs (1,043 Kg) per OSHA 29 CFR 1928.53|
|Capacities & Storage|
|Payload Capacity||740 lbs (336.4 Kg)|
|Towing Capacity||1,500 lbs (680.4 Kg)|
|Hitch Tongue Capacity||150 lbs (68 Kg)|
|Rear Cargo Box Capacity||300 lbs (136 Kg)|
|Cargo Box Dimensions (L x W x H)||20.7 x 37 x 7.9 inches (525 x 940 x 200 mm)|
|Glove Box / Dash Storage||Standard|
|Front Storage Well||Standard|
|Number of Cupholders||2|
|Number of Seats||2|
The vehicle’s tubular steel frame has a medium gloss black finish, with a plastic body material made available in White Lightning, Polaris Pursuit Camo, Black Pearl, Sunset Red, Havasu Red Pearl, and Matte Turbo Silver. Titanium Matte Metallic and Blue Fire are specific to the S 900 RZR – the latter introduced in 2016.
As customary, Polaris RZRs are sold in the market as half-naked quads, giving owners the option to personalize their vehicles with protective equipment like front and rear brush guards, high-clearance A-arms (view on Amazon) for taller tires, or a full skid plate.
|Exterior||2015 Polaris RZR 900 (Base, EPS)||2015 Polaris RZR S 900 (Base, EPS)|
|Bash Plate (Front)||Standard|
Here is a detailed Dirt Trax TV review of a 2017 Polaris RZR 900 (S 900 trim) that aptly sums up all of the vehicle’s specifications and more:
Cost of a Polaris RZR
The vehicle’s MSRP ranges from $12,799 to $18,499 – these values include the 2020 and 2019 Polaris RZR 900 models. The RZR 4 900 EPS has the heftiest price tag, followed by the XC Edition. Interestingly, the cost of 2021 releases had barely increased from its list price five years ago. For a (non-exhaustive) rundown of RZR 900 list prices, refer to the table below:
|Model Year – Trim|
(** EPS – Electric Power Steering; LE – Limited Edition)
|List Price||Average Retail|
|2015 – 2016 Polaris RZR 900 (base model)||$12,799||$6,185 – $9,395|
|2017 – 2018 Polaris RZR 900 (base model)||$12,999||$7,430 – $10,775|
|2019 – 2020 Polaris RZR 900 (base model)||$13,399||$8,765 – $12,535|
|2015 – 2016 Polaris RZR 900 Trail EPS||$14,799||$7,155 – $10,260|
|2015 – 2017 Polaris RZR 900 XC Edition||$17,299||$7,700 – $11,135|
|2017 Polaris RZR 900 XC Edition EPS||$17,299||$9,890 – $13,010|
|2015 – 2018 Polaris RZR S 900||$14,699||$6,910 – $11,090|
|2019 Polaris RZR S 900||$15,299||$8,350 – $11,675|
|2020 – 2021 Polaris RZR Trail S 900||$14,999||N/A|
|2015 – 2018 Polaris RZR S 900 EPS||$16,499||$7,970 – $12,425|
|2019 – 2020 Polaris RZR S 900 EPS||$16,999||$10,755 – $15,540|
|2015 – 2016 Polaris RZR 4 900 EPS||$18,299||$8,810 – $12,000|
|2017 – 2018 Polaris RZR 4 900 EPS||$18,499||$10,570 – $13,910|
|2021 Polaris RZR Trail Sport||$13,399||N/A|
|2021 Polaris RZR Trail S 900 Sport||$15,299||N/A|
|2021 Polaris RZR Trail Premium||$15,499||N/A|
|2021 Polaris RZR Trail Ultimate||$16,999||N/A|
|Model Year – Trim|
(** EPS – Electric Power Steering; LE – Limited Edition)
|List Price||Average Retail|
|2015 Polaris RZR 900 Camouflage||$13,499||$6,510 – $8,565|
|2016 Polaris RZR 900 Trail EPS FOX Edition LE||$15,799||$7,860 – $10,345|
|2018 Polaris RZR S4 900 EPS||$18,499||$11,660 – $15,345|
Polaris RZR 900 Problems
Air Intake Design
While the high-performance ProStar® engine design is unquestionably sound, the air intake tract seems to do the reverse – causing the behemoth to become vulnerable when ridden in the dunes or any terrain where the dust is super fine.
Because the airbox’s large perimeter has a few outside fasteners, it sometimes allows air leaks and contaminants to pass through unfiltered and slip by the seal. This incident can eat away the rings and rub the inside of your engine quite quickly if left undiscovered. Luckily, several companies produce an aftermarket seal that will remedy the airbox sealing gap. This step is highly-recommended for RZR owners to protect their SxS against future problems. Otherwise, brace yourself for an engine rebuild past 2,000 miles.
Polaris has always received high praise for its off-road vehicles having the plushest suspension. While this statement is true, periodic checks and maintenance are crucial to keeping a decent suspension system in check.
You see, the Polaris RZR 900’s front shocks are soft in stock setting and will bottom out first over the rear ones, causing rear-end to hop. To fix the problem, increase the front compression by one click. Expect a slight body roll even after this adjustment.
Nothing human-made is perfect, really – in one way or another, something is bound to break. The same goes for UTVs, even Polaris ones. Wheel bearings, tie rod ends, factory bolts – all of these Polaris RZR 900 parts will wear down at some point. It may or may not be rider-inflicted. But what’s certain is that it will never always be because of reckless driving behaviors. Proper care of your side-by-side is needed if you want to keep these issues at bay for a longer period. Exercise self-restraint with mods like monster-truck tires and insane wheel spacers. Most importantly, make sure that you always stick to scheduled maintenance and have your trusty owner’s manual around.
This three-minute video by Chupacabra Offroad is very helpful as Nicholson shares top five reliability tips that will keep your Polaris RZR in tip-top shape:
The success of Polaris Inc. as an industry-leading innovator is aptly reflected in its wide array of product offerings. The maker of the Polaris RZR 900 is known worldwide for its ground-breaking inventions and awe-inspiring snowmobiles, off-road vehicles, and motorcycles. From its humble beginnings as a farm equipment manufacturer, the American firm has grown into a billion-dollar conglomerate, producing company-exclusive novelties such as On-Demand™ True All-Wheel Drive, ProFit cab system, and Electronic Fuel Injection – among others.
Conclusion – Polaris RZR® 900 Review
The Polaris RZR 900 is one of the biggest reasons Polaris can continue keeping up with the high-stakes game of producing powerful, top-caliber 4x4s.
Its 75-hp in-line ProStar® engine, easy-to-modify tire-and-wheel system, 41-mph top low-range speed, and seamless 4WD delivery are just a few of its highlights. Despite design setbacks during the RZR’s initial years, Polaris kept going at developing the side-by-side to the near-impermeable four-wheeler that it is today.
Fast-forward to this year, the RZR 900 series has over 32 successfully-launched models under its belt, with seven high-performance trims currently out for consumers and enthusiasts to enjoy.
What avid off-roaders love the most about the RZR is its discernment for keeping its important qualities consistent. Despite its armada of trims, the RZR always stayed true to form with its automatic PVT, well-tuned suspension, and unrivaled trail comfort.
It may not be within everyone’s budget. But for an uncompromising vehicle that speaks largely of sport and versatility in a wide range of commercial or recreational applications, the Polaris RZR 900 is worth every dime!