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A UTV, or a Utility Task Vehicle, is a popular recreation or working vehicle equipped to handle various types of terrain. In my comparison guide, I will explore the different features of these UTVS, how they match up against each other, and look at some alternatives.
If you want a quick overview of the main differences between the Polaris Ranger and Yamaha Viking, have a look below.
Main Differences Between Polaris Ranger vs Yamaha Viking
The main differences between Polaris Ranger vs Yamaha Viking are:
- The Polaris Ranger 1000 has a 999cc liquid cooling 4-Stroke Twin Cylinder SOHC engine, whereas the Yamaha Viking EPS has a 686cc liquid-cooled SOHC 4-stroke engine.
- The Ranger 1000 has a towing capacity of 2500 lbs, whereas the Yamaha Viking EPS has a towing capacity of 1500 lbs
- The Polaris Ranger 1000 has a 12-month Limited Factory Warranty, whereas the Yamaha Viking EPS only has a 6-month Limited Factory Warranty.
- The Polaris Ranger 1000 has many customizable options and accessories, whereas the Tamaha Viking EPS is more limited.
- The Polaris Ranger 1000 could be harder to get to grips with, whereas the Yamaha Viking EPS is a bit more beginner-friendly.
Exploring Polaris Ranger and Yamaha Viking
Both the Polaris Ranger series and the Yamaha Viking series of UTVs have many different features, so let us compare how the two shape up. We are going to use the Ranger 1000 and the Yamaha Viking EPS.
There is a bit of a difference between the Ranger 1000 and the Yamaha Viking EPS in regards to the engine size.
The Polaris Ranger 1000 has a 999cc liquid cooling engine that is capable of 61 HP with a fuel capacity of 11.35 gal (43 L). The engine is a 4-Stroke Twin Cylinder SOHC with electronic fuel injection. You get quite a lot of power for your money with the Ranger 1000, and its powerful motor is able to handle a variety of scenarios with relative ease/
The engine on the Yamaha Viking EPS is a 686cc liquid-cooled SOHC 4-stroke with Yamaha Fuel Injection with a fuel capacity of 9.7 gal (44 L). This engine isn’t as powerful as the Polaris Ranger 1000; however, at slower speeds, the Viking EPS really excels.
You might find the lower speed and power hampers your enjoyment for hitting a trail or going on a UTV adventure, but it provides more than enough as a work vehicle.
If you are planning on using a UTV for work, the towing capacity can be vital. It may also be an essential feature for recreational use, so how do the Ranger 1000 and the Yamaha Viking EPS compare?
The Polaris Ranger 1000 has a towing capacity of 2500 lbs and a 1000 lbs bed capacity. This makes it an ideal vehicle for towing and hauling fairly heavy loads, and when combined with the engine capabilities, the Ranger 1000 emerges as a very powerful UTV.
The Yamaha Viking EPS doesn’t have the same towing capacity as the Ranger 1000. The towing capacity of the Viking is 1500 lbs, and it features a bed capacity of 600 lbs. While this obviously isn’t as good as the Ranger 1000, it certainly isn’t poor, and the Viking EPS can handle big weights relatively easily.
Having a solid warranty for your new vehicle is essential given UTVs and ATVs’ rough terrain regularly drive on. A warranty ensures that you can get any parts repaired and replaced within a specific period.
The Ranger 1000 UTV has a 12-month Limited Factory Warranty, and this doesn’t stop if you have completed a particular mileage – it lasts the full 12-months. The Limited Factory Warranty includes cover for components that have defects in material or workmanship and repair or replacement of defective parts and labor charges.
The Yamaha Viking EPS comes with a 6-month Limited Factory Warranty. This is much the same as the Ranger 1000; however, it is only applicable for half the time.
One thing that the Yamaha Viking does have is the 10-year warranty on Ultramatic® automatic transmission belts. The Viking EPS has an Ultramatic V-belt with all-wheel engine braking, and this is covered by a decade-long warranty which is great.
Both the Polaris Ranger 1000 and the Yamaha Viking can seat three people, and there isn’t a massive difference between the actual dimensions of these two UTVs.
The overall dimensions of the Ranger 1000 are 120 x 62.5 x 76 inches, while the Yamaha Viking’s dimensions are 122.1 x 61.8 x 75.8 inches. Both the UTVs can fit three people quite comfortably, so you won’t need to squeeze in too much with your buddies on either of these vehicles.
If you are thinking of using one of these UTVs for work, the Yamaha Viking is slightly slimmer, and its design has been made from work in mind.
The Yamaha Viking has a ground clearance of 11.8 inches, while the Ranger 1000 is 11.8 inches, not a whole lot of difference.
Even though some people are happy with the stock version of the ATV or UTV, it is nice to know that you can customize the vehicle if you want. This is often the case if you are driving a UTV for recreational use; however, you may want to add in some accessories if this vehicle is used for farm work.
The Polaris Ranger 1000 does have more accessories and addons than the Yamaha Viking. For example, some of the accessories you can customize your Ranger 1000 with include:
- Cab heaters
- Plow attachments
- Customized headlights
- Rear panels and storage
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it does give you a good indication of how you can upgrade your UTV.
The Yamaha Viking also allows for a certain degree of customization, although it isn’t as extensive as the Polaris Ranger. Some additions you can make to the Viking includes:
- Audio system
- Brush guard
- Folding windshield
- Sealed rear window
I think that both of these UTVs are great as stock options, but it is nice to know that you can customize and upgrade certain aspects if you need them.
Comparing Polaris Ranger vs Yamaha Viking – Pricing
The cost of the Polaris Ranger 1000 and the Yamaha Viking EPS will depend on what addons and accessories you want. However, if we consider the basic price for both UTVs, there really isn’t much difference at all.
Both of these UTVs will set you back a decent chunk of money. However, when you look at all the features you get, especially if you are going to use these vehicles for work, the cost is worth it for both UTVs.
Polaris Ranger vs Yamaha Viking- Ease of Use
Like the cost, there isn’t much to differentiate between the Ranger 1000 and the Viking EPS, in my opinion. Both of the UTVs come with a decent amount of power and functionality, and I would definitely recommend that you take them for a test drive (if you can) before you buy.
However, if you are pretty new to UTVS and these types of vehicles in general, the Yamaha Viking can be easier to get to grips with initially. This is mainly down to its less powerful engine and somewhat slightly compact nature.
A UTV beginner can undoubtedly handle the Ranger 1000 if you have some solid basic skills, but the Yamaha Viking can be more beginner-friendly. Another point to consider is that the Polaris Ranger has more addons and customized options, which can help your overall experience and ensure that you can use this UTV as someone new to these vehicles.
Pros and Cons of Polaris Ranger 1000
- It has a 999cc liquid cooling 4-Stroke Twin Cylinder SOHC engine
- Offers an overall towing capacity of 2500 lbs
- It comes with a fantastic 12-month Limited Factory Warranty
- Extensive range of accessories and customizable options
- It is quite affordable as a high-quality UTV.
- Built by a recognized and respected industry brand
- This UTV might be too powerful for beginners.
- Slightly wider than some other UTVs
- It could be expensive if only using it as a recreational vehicle
Pros and Cons of Yamaha Viking EPS
- Beginner-friendly UTV, which still offers great performance
- 10-year warranty on Ultramatic® automatic transmission belt
- It can be customized, although it has limited options
- Slightly narrow to negate crop row damage
- It fits three people comfortable
- Decent towing capacity
- The engine isn’t as powerful as the Polaris Ranger 1000
- Towing capacity and bed weight might not be enough.
- Limited Factory Warranty is only six months.
- The options to customize the UTV are limited
Are There Any Alternatives?
I really enjoy both of these UTVS; however, after reading through my comparison guide, if you decide that neither the Ranger 1000 nor the Viking EPS are for you, there are some alternatives on the market.
The Pioneer comes with a strong 72 HP 999cc 4-Stroke engine, so it can handle most terrain, whether wet or dry, with ease. The towing capacity of this UTV is 2000lbs (less than the Ranger but more than the Viking), while it also comes with the automatic dual-clutch transmission, 12.7 inches of ground clearance, and a 12-month warranty period.
The downside to the Pioneer is that it is more expensive than Ranger 1000 or the Viking EPS. The difference isn’t huge, but it can be a sticking point if you are on a tight budget.
Overall, this is an excellent UTV that is worth the money if you can afford it.
If you want an in-depth look at how the Honda Pioneer shapes up against the Polaris Ranger, have a look at my comparison here.
Kawasaki Mule SX XC
Another option that you can consider is the Kawasaki Mule SX XC.
This side-by-side vehicle is an ideal budget option as it comes in much cheaper than both the Ranger, Viking, and certainly the Pioneer. So, if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a new UTV, this is a great choice.
Just because it is a budget pick doesn’t mean that it won’t offer good performance. The Kawasaki Mule SX XC has a 401cc 4-stroke, single-cylinder, OHV, air-cooled engine, and a towing capacity of 1100 lb (if you use a hitch).
The towing capacity can be offputting for some people, especially if you plan on carrying out some heavy-duty work. If this is the case, I would recommend looking elsewhere. However, it is certainly a vehicle to consider if you want a UTV for some light work and mainly recreational use.
Textron off Road 2018 Wildcat XX
The last alternative on my list is the Textron off Road 2018 Wildcat XX, and if you have some spare cash lying around just waiting on a fantastic UTV, this is the model.
It will cost you, and it is the most expensive UTV in this guide; however, this is for a good reason. The Textron off Road 2018 Wildcat XX is an excellent vehicle with a 998cc liquid-cooled, three-cylinder engine capable of 130 HP. The performance of this UTV is unreal, and it offers superior stability, cornering, and handling on even the roughest of terrain.
There are a couple of downsides to this vehicle, namely that the seats are a bit uncomfortable, which isn’t ideal when you are bumping over rocks and hills. Also, I do have some questions about the durability of the tie rods, especially when going over rocky surfaces.
Overall, this is an excellent vehicle that will provide unrivaled performance in a variety of different settings if you can afford it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: The Polaris Ranger 1000 has a towing capacity of 2500 lbs and a bed capacity of 1000 lbs to handle heavy loads.
Answer: The Yamaha Viking EPS has a towing capacity of 1500 lbs and a bed capacity of 600 lbs, which is substantially lower than the Ranger.
Answer: Yes. The various accessories that can be used to customize and upgrade the Polaris Ranger 1000 set it apart from many other UTVs. Some add-ons for this vehicle include Speakers, Cab heaters, Plow attachments, Winches, Headlights, Windshields, and Rear panels and storage.
Answer: The Yamaha Viking EPS has a 686cc liquid-cooled SOHC 4-stroke with Yamaha Fuel Injection. This UTV can reach a speed of around 56 mph.
Answer: The Polaris Ranger 1000 comes with a 12-month Limited Factory Warranty that covers components that have defects in material or workmanship and repair or replacement of defective parts and labor charges.
Answer: It depends. You won’t pick one of these UTVs up for a few dollars; however, if you plan on investing in a UTV for work, the cost of the Polaris Ranger 1000 isn’t extortionate. There are cheaper UTVS out there, but the Polaris is an excellent mid-market option.
Answer: Yamaha is a Japanese manufacturer that has its headquarters in Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan. The Yamaha Viking EPS is built exclusively in the United States.
Verdict – Go with the Polaris Ranger 1000 for an All-round High-performing UTV.
The more I look into both of these UTVs, the more I find myself opting to recommend the Polaris Ranger 1000.
I’m not saying that the Yamaha Viking EPS is particularly bad; it is just that the Ranger 1000 outperforms it in nearly every area. If there were a considerable price difference, I would perhaps go for the Viking, but as they cost similar amounts, the Ranger 1000 comes out on top for me.
This UTV has a great engine, comes with a lot of power, and has a very impressive towing capacity of 2500 lbs and a bed capacity of 1500 lbs. I love the various accessories and customizable features that you can add on to improve the look, functionality, and performance of this UTV.
If you want an overall fantastic UTV for recreational use but that can also have heavy-duty work, the Polaris Ranger 1000 is the vehicle to choose.