Polaris’ Sportsman Ace is neither an ATV nor a farm buggy – it’s a hybrid of the two. Emily Padfield put it to the test on a Warwickshire farm.
With its Sportsman 570 front and Razr back end, the Polaris Ace is like a grown-up ATV but with one big difference – the driver sits within the chassis and not on top. This, says the US company, positions the driver more securely at the centre of the vehicle, and provides ROPS frame protection.
And while stepping down into the Ace looks like you’re about to jump into a dune buggy, the process is more akin to getting into a small 4×4 such as a Suzuki Jimny. Just step sideways and you’re in.
- Engine Polaris 4-stroke petrol
- Power 325cc/32hp
- Transmission Automatic CVT
- Ground clearance 26cm
- Towing capacity 680kg
- Rack capacity 55kg front, 110kg rear
- Price £6,599
The fact that it’s a cross-breed of both an ATV and a farm buggy makes for an interesting ride. It is confidence-inspiring compared to being on top of a regular ATV.
The foot throttle and brake arrangement is similar to that of a farm buggy. Although acceleration is nothing to write home about, there’s a smooth ramping up of power as you start to push the throttle. There’s no jerky feel when taking off and once it’s up to speed there’s a sense that you’re actually in a small, single-seater performance UTV. At about 40mph the Ace gets really fun, and its stability kicks in.
The Ace doesn’t lose out in terms of ground clearance either, which at 26cm is higher than a lot of ATVs’. And there’s 24cm of rear travel thanks to independent rear suspension, with twin tube shocks and adjustable preloading.
Oddly, despite the Polaris single-cylinder engine making do with a modest 325cc, the Ace is not short of oomph. It successfully pulled our Logic snacker, which holds 700kg of feed, through some very wet conditions.
Rear-rack capacity is a healthy 110kg, while the front rack holds 55kg. Towing capacity is a not-to-be-sniffed-at 680kg.
The Ace is only available in white – hardly the most farm-friendly colour. Also, some improvements in component protection are needed for long-term farm use.
But we were quietly impressed with the performance of the Ace on the farm. It certainly wasn’t the soft-roader we expected.