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Side by Side UTV Review: CanAm Defender HD5 vs Polaris Ranger 500

Written by David Glassman

Side by Side UTV Review- 2017 CanAm Defender HD5 vs 2017 Polaris Ranger 500.jpg

Looking for a Side by Side UTV review to help you decide between a 2017 CanAm Defender HD5 and the 2017 Polaris Ranger 500? Then look no further!

We at Tousley Motorsports have been all about “sellin’ fun since ‘71,” but ultimately, we want to get you into the right ride, at the right price. To help you with your search, here is our side by side UTV review between the new CanAm Defender HD5 and the new Polaris Ranger 500!

2017 CanAm Defender HD5 Overview

With a heavy-duty, 38 hp, single cylinder Rotax® engine and a 427cc displacement, the 2017 CanAm Defender HD5 is a workhorse side by side. The Defender HD5 comes with Intelligent Throttle Control (iTC™) and Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) that feeds from a 10.6 gallon fuel tank.

Besides having a great engine, the 2017 CanAm Defender HD5 has other impressive features, which include the TTA-HD rear suspension, a central skid plate, and a VERSA-PRO bench seat with a flippable passenger seat, underside hooks, and a towing capacity of 1,500 lbs! This side by side is also the proud owner of a multifunction cargo box and a sturdy tailgate for any cargo you want to move.

One of the other great features about this HD5 is the multifunction digital gauge that features a speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip and hour meters, fuel gear position, seat belt sensor, diagnostics notifications, and auto shut off!

The 2017 CanAm HD5 comes with easy access to key maintenance components and a 6-month limited factory warranty that can be extended up to a 30 months B.E.S.T. coverage.

Check out our 2017 Can-Am Defender Inventory

2017 Polaris Ranger 500 Overview

The 2017 Polaris Ranger 500 has a 32 HP ProStar® EFI Engine, the all-new, third generation 500cc engine that has powered hundreds of thousands of Polaris vehicles. Electronic Fuel Injection allows for dependable cold-weather starting plus superior fuel economy. The engine is geared for an optimal balance of low end torque and high horsepower to provide smooth, reliable power to help you get the job done.

The plush suspension travel and refined cab comfort for two, creates an excellent ride.

Even though it has a great towing capacity of 1,500 lbs. and 1,000 lbs. of payload capacity, the Ranger 500 is highlighted by a rear box with a gas-assist dumping operation that can tote up to 500 lbs. The performance carries on with the Polaris’ True AWD advantage where all four wheels engage automatically when your vehicle needs more forward traction and reverts back to 2WD when it doesn’t.

NEW for this year is the VersaTrac Turf Mode switch which unlocks the rear differential for easier, tighter turns that won’t tear up your lawn.

Check out our 2017 Polaris Ranger Inventory!

2017 CanAm Defender HD5 & 2017 Polaris Ranger 500

Engine, Transmission, & Warranty Specs
  2017 CanAm Defender HD5 2017 Polaris Ranger 500
 Engine Type: Rotax® single cylinder engine 4-stroke single cylinder engine
Displacement: 427cc 500cc
Cooling: Liquid Liquid
Fuel System: Intelligent Throttle Control (iTC) w/ Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) Electronic Fuel Injection
Transmission: CVT, P / R / N / H / L, standard engine braking and Electronic Drive Belt Protection Automatic PVT H/L/N/R/P
Warranty 6 months limited, can be extended up to 30 months B.E.S.T. coverage 6 months limited

2017 CanAm Defender HD5 & 2017 Polaris Ranger 500

Chassis Specs
   2017 CanAm Defender HD5 2017 Polaris Ranger 500
 Front Suspension: Double A-arm MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension: TTA-HD with external sway bar Dual A-Arm, IRS
Front Brakes: Dual 220 mm ventilated disc brakes with hydraulic twin-piston calipers 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc
Rear Brakes: Dual 220 mm ventilated disc brakes with hydraulic twin-piston calipers 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc


2017 CanAm Defender HD5 & 2017 Polaris Ranger 500

Dimension Specs
   2017 CanAm Defender HD5 2017 Polaris Ranger 500
Dry Weight: 1,286 lbs. 1,065 lbs.
Wheelbase: 83 in. 73 in
Front Travel: 10 in. 9 in.
Rear Travel: 10 in. 10 in.
Ground Clearance: 10.5 in. 10 in.
Fueld Capacity: 10.6 gal. 9.0 gal.
Rack Capacity: 1,500 lbs. 1,500 lbs. 

Thinking it’s time to start looking at a new UTV? Be sure to check out our reviews of the 2017 CanAm Maverick X3 and the 2017 Yamaha YXZ100R! Looking for more utility in your UTV? Check out our utility vehicles review between a CanAm and a Polaris UTV!

Check out our


David Glassman

David Glassman

David Glassman is President of Tousley Motorsports.

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