- Quietest Side by Side UTVs Ranked: Which One Should You Buy? - January 31, 2022
- Kawasaki Mule vs Polaris Ranger – Which UTV should you buy? - January 23, 2022
- The Most Common Honda Pioneer 1000 Problems - December 9, 2021
Both of these UTVs have a ton of features and offer high performance. I will go through all of their features in detail to find out how they compare to each other, list their pros and cons, and look at some alternative UTVs on the market.
If you want a quick overview of the differences between the Kawasaki Mule Pro FX and Polaris Ranger 1000, have a look at the list below.
Main Differences Between Polaris Ranger 1000 and Kawasaki Mule Pro FX
The Main Differences Between The Kawasaki Mule And Polaris Ranger Are:
- The Polaris Ranger 1000 has a 999cc liquid cooling 4-Stroke Twin Cylinder SOHC engine, whereas the Kawasaki Mule Pro FX has an 812cc 4-stroke, 3-cylinder, DOHC, liquid-cooled engine.
- The Kawasaki Mule Pro FX has a towing capacity of 2000 lbs, whereas the Polaris Ranger 1000 has a towing capacity of 2500 lbs.
- The Kawasaki Mule Pro FX has a 36-month limited warranty, whereas the Polaris Ranger 1000 only offers a 12-month limited warranty.
- The Polaris Ranger 1000 offers many customizable options, whereas the Kawasaki Mule Pro FX does not have as many accessories.
Bottomline Up Front
The Polaris Ranger 1000 comes out on top for me even though it costs more money. It’s worth the extra cash.
Exploring Polaris Ranger 1000 and Kawasaki Mule Pro FX
The Kawasaki Mule and Polaris Ranger UTVs come packed with many features, making them powerful vehicles. But, first, let’s look at how they compare against each other.
One important thing to consider when purchasing a UTV is the power to weight ratio of the engine. This is how much power the engine has compared to its overall weight. A heavier engine can weigh your UTV down, impacting performance even with additional power.
The Kawasaki Mule Pro FX has a 4-stroke, 3-cylinder, DOHC, liquid-cooled engine capable of reaching speeds of around 50 mph, and it features a fuel capacity of 7.9 gallons (35.9 L). The Mule’s engine is highly efficient and offers enough power to cope with various terrain while maintaining a good weight to power ratio.
The Polaris Ranger 1000 uses a different engine type as it comes with a 4-Stroke Twin Cylinder SOHC with electronic fuel injection and 999cc alongside a fuel capacity of 11.35 gallons (43 L). This makes the Polaris Ranger a more powerful UTV than the Kawasaki Mule if we look at engine size and capacity, and the Ranger can reach speeds of up to 60 mph.
While both the Mule and Ranger engines offer good performance, the Polaris Ranger has the most power.
UTVs can be used for recreation and work activities, and if you plan on using the vehicle for the latter, you will undoubtedly require a decent towing capacity.
The towing capacity of the Kawasaki Mule Pro FX is 2000 lbs, while the bed capacity is 1000 lb (this is reduced to 600 lbs for any models sold in California).
The towing capacity of the Polaris Ranger 1000 is 2500 lbs, and this UTV also has a 1000 lbs bed capacity.
The larger payload in the Kawasaki Mule is largely down to the bigger size of the vehicle when compared to the Polaris Ranger. If you need to carry more on your UTV, the Mule is the better option. However, the Ranger offers a larger towing capacity than the Mule (by 500 lbs), so if you predominately need a UTV to tow heavier objects, the Ranger is the better choice.
The warranty is not always something that springs to mind when buying a new UTV or ATV, and you are most likely going to pay attention to features such as engine size and custom options. However, the warranty is important as it can be an invaluable feature if something goes wrong with your vehicle and you need parts repaired or replaced.
The Kawasaki Mule Pro FX has a 36-month limited warranty, and this UTV is eligible for Kawasaki Protection Plus. This is a product that provides ongoing comprehensive cover for your UTV, and this covers different parts such as crankshafts, valves, radiators, and more. Even though this extended warranty costs extra money, it can give you peace of mind when driving your UTV.
The Polaris Ranger 1000 has a 12-month Limited Factory Warranty, which lasts for the entire year and isn’t based on your mileage. However, the warranty only covers defects in the vehicle’s manufacturing, so it won’t cover any damage caused when driving.
The overall size of a UTV and its seating capacity is often important for many people. The size can also impact other things, such as its payload capacity and driving the vehicle, as some larger UTVs won’t be suitable in specific environments.
The Polaris Ranger 1000 is able to seat three people, and its overall dimensions are 120 x 62.5 x 76 inches, so this makes it an ideal size to drive in a variety of different places. The size of the Ranger does limit its payload capacity; however, its towing capacity is very good, and it can maneuver in smaller spaces with ease.
The Kawasaki Mule Pro FX can also seat three people, and it does have a slightly larger size than the Ranger as it is nearly 10 inches wider. This isn’t a considerable amount, but if you drive in tight outdoor spaces, the extra width can cause issues.
While both the default features of the Ranger and Mule are excellent, you may want to add some custom parts to enhance the overall functionality of these UTVs. How customizable a UTV is can be crucial to the longevity of the vehicle, as adding in extra features can allow the UTV to carry out different tasks.
The Polaris Ranger 1000 is one of the most customizable UTVs on the market, and many different accessories extend the scope of what this UTV is capable of. Some custom options and parts for the Ranger include:
- Cab heaters
- Plow attachments
- Customized headlights
- Rear panels and storage
The Kawasaki Mule Pro FX has some custom options to add accessories onto the UTV, but this isn’t as extensive as the Polaris Ranger. You will also find other aspects a bit limited with the Mule, including color options as the Ranger has more choice.
Comparing Polaris Ranger 1000 vs Kawasaki Mule Pro FX – Pricing
There isn’t much difference between the Polaris Ranger 1000 and the Kawasaki Mule Pro FX; however, the Mule is slightly cheaper.
When you consider the extra engine power and greater potential to customize and add on various accessories to the Polaris Ranger, the additional cost might be worth it. Although, you will need to spend more money adding multiple parts to the Ranger if you want a custom build.
Polaris Ranger 1000 vs Kawasaki Mule Pro FX – Ease of use
Both the Polaris Ranger 1000 and the Kawasaki Mule Pro FX will come with a learning curve, especially if you are new to driving this type of vehicle.
The Polaris Ranger has a more powerful engine, which can cause some issues for beginners. Overall, the Ranger isn’t tough to drive, but the additional power can feel a bit overwhelming, although the slightly more compact dimensions offset this.
I would say that the Kawasaki Mule Pro FX is slightly more beginner-friendly. This vehicle would be perfect for getting started with some UTV adventures, especially if you aren’t too concerned about additional features and want to save some money on the initial price.
Pros and Cons
Polaris Ranger 1000
- Features a powerful 999cc liquid cooling 4-Stroke Twin Cylinder SOHC engine
- Really good 2500 lbs towing capacity
- This UTV is highly customizable if you want a unique build
- More compact than the Mule for tighter outdoor spaces
- Manufactured by a recognized and respected industry brand
- Some beginners might find the Polaris 1000 too powerful
- This is an expensive model if you aren’t using it for work
- The 12-month limited warranty could be better
Kawasaki Mule Pro-FX
- It has a decent 812cc 4-stroke, 3-cylinder, DOHC, liquid-cooled engine
- It comes with an excellent 36-month warranty
- Suited to beginners due to offering less power
- Slightly more affordable than the Ranger 1000
- Towing capacity is good at 2000 lbs
- Experienced riders might find the engine a bit weak
- There is limited scope for customization and accessories
- It doesn’t have the same towing capacity as the Ranger 1000
- The dimensions are a bit wider, which can cause some issues
Are There Any Alternatives?
I think that the Polaris Ranger 1000 and the Kawasaki Mule Pro FX are great UTVs; however, if you don’t fancy either of these models, there are some alternatives you can look at.
If you are looking to save money compared to the Ranger 1000 and the Mule, the Can Am Defender is a solid choice.
This UTV is slightly cheaper than either the Ranger or the Mule; however, you are still getting a powerful UTV that offers good performance. The Can-Am Defender has a tremendous towing capacity of 3000 lbs which is better than the Ranger and the Mule, while the Dynamic Power Steering is a nice feature that enhances handling and control.
If creating a custom build is what you want, the Can-Am Defender certainly provides this, and it has excellent potential for accessories to enhance its functionality.
Another feature I like with this UTV is the storage options, as bench seats offer underneath storage, and you can remove the glove box too. This gives you many options for taking items with you in the UTV that wouldn’t usually fit into this kind of vehicle.
The 650 cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine is less powerful than the Mule or the Ranger, but it is a good option for beginners and those who want to save some money on a UTV.
You can read my full Can-Am Defender review here.
Lastly, you could also consider the Yamaha Viking as an alternative, and this UTV is closer to the Can-Am Defender in spec.
This model features a 686cc liquid-cooled SOHC 4-stroke engine, which is more beginner-friendly than many UTVs with additional power. However, this lesser power means that the towing capacity is only 1500 lbs, although this might suit you depending on why you need a UTV.
Two things that let the Yamaha Viking down is the warranty and the customizable options. With the Yamaha Viking, you only get a 6-month warranty which is on the low side, especially when you compare it to the Kawasaki Mule, which gives you a 36-months warranty. The Viking is also limited in customizing it and what accessories you can buy to increase its functionality.
However, the Viking is quite a cost-effective UTV that offers good power and would be ideal if you are new to UTVs or on a tight budget.
Read my comparison guide to the Yamaha Viking and Polaris Ranger to discover how they shape up against each other.
The Honda Pioneer offers a 72 HP 999cc 4-Stroke engine for impressive power, allowing it to handle even the toughest of terrain with relative ease. This UTV is very much for experienced users, and it would suit anyone that needs this vehicle type of work. However, the price is slightly higher than both the Ranger and the Mule (and the Can-Am Defender), so you will need to spend some extra money to get your hands on one.
The Pioneer does have a good towing capacity of 2000 lbs (but this is lower than the Ranger and on par with the Mule. Some other features that I like about this Honda UTV are the automatic dual-clutch transmission and the 12.7 inches of ground clearance.
There are some good accessories you can add to the Honda Pioneer, including drawbars, windscreens, LED headlights, plows, and a winch. So, you do have decent options for creating a custom build.
If you have some extra money to spend, the Honda Pioneer is a great UTV, although it comes at a price. You can read my previous review of the Honda Pioneer and how it compares to the Polaris Ranger here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: The Polaris Ranger 1000 can seat three people and offers a 1000 lb. box capacity.
Answer: The Kawasaki Mule Pro FX has a towing capacity of 2000 lbs. This is largely down to the reduced engine size compared to the Polaris Ranger 1000, but it is still decent for the price.
Answer: Yes. The Polaris Ranger 1000 is one of the most customizable UTVs that you will find on the market. In addition, this UTV is a high-end model, so you have plenty of options to addon accessories and create a custom build.
Answer: The Kawasaki Mule Pro FX has a 4-stroke, 3-cylinder, DOHC, liquid-cooled engine capable of reaching speeds of around 50 mph.
Answer: The Polaris Ranger 1000 is an American-made UTV. The company is based in Roseau, Minnesota, and the parts for these vehicles and manufactured mainly in Osceola, Wisconsin.
Answer: Kawasaki is a Japanese company; however, its UTVs are mainly manufactured in the USA. The Kawasaki Mule Pro FX is manufactured in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Answer: Yes. The Kawasaki Mule Pro FX has one of the best UTV warranties on the market, as you get a 36-month warranty with this vehicle. This can be extended if you purchase Kawasaki Protection Plus, which offers ongoing comprehensive cover for your UTV.
Verdict – Choose the Polaris Ranger 1000 for the powerful and customizable UTV
Choosing between these two UTVs is quite tricky, but for me, the Polaris Ranger 1000 comes out on top.
OK, this UTV will cost you a bit more money, but you have far more possibilities with the Ranger 1000 than you get with the Mule. In addition, if you want to customize and extend the functionality of this UTV, Polaris offers a ton of addons for you to create a custom build.
The extra engine power and towing capacity are well worth the additional money than the Polaris costs. It would be good to have a better warranty, but it is a slight downside to this otherwise excellent UTV.
Overall, the Polaris Ranger 1000 is amongst my favorite UTVs on the market as it offers everything you need whether you are using this vehicle for work or recreationally.