Arctic Cat recently pulled the wraps off of most of its 2014 line of ATVs and side-by-sides (I say “most” because in recent years the company has sometimes released its machines in waves, rather than all at once).
The reader’s digest version is that, for now at least, they’ve released a batch of new 500s in various incarnations, each with an attractive low price. The 500 is actually a 450 engine, but who’s counting?!?
A trio of Prowler HDX models (the standard,; the XT package that features aluminum wheels, painted bodywork and both front/side storage compartments; and the Limited EPS models that has the extra bling of the XT plus power steering and a tilt wheel).
A new 500 ATV with an MSRP of $6,199 U.S./$6,999 Canadian. I’m guessing the U.S. street price on this will be under 6K.
A new TRV 500 aimed at the 2-up family who wants a low entry price point, the performance of a liquid-cooled engine (there’s a TRV 400 that’s powered by the air/oil-cooled 366 engine) and the most recent bodywork.
The Wildcat 4X and Wildcat 4 Limited are also recently introduced, each sporting the powered-up 93-hp engine and a revised brake pedal (with new lever ratio).
Of course there are new paint and graphics schemes across all model lines for 2014, with the automotive-style metal flake paint options that, when seen in-person, truly look 13.4-times better than regular molded-in color.
Arctic Cat assembled some ATVs, Prowlers and Wildcats in Hastings, Minn., recently for some journalists to get a flavor of their performance and capabilities in an area that included a small sand track, a field for testing the SpeedPoint (foodplot) attachments and a short trail course. This format offered the opportunity to garner some general impressions of the various machines, rather than long-term tests.
I continue to an evolution of improvement in overall quality of Arctic Cats machines, from shift lever detentions to throttle modulation to tire performance. Improvements like the overall reduced sound of the three-passenger Prowler HDX models (all HDX models are quieter for the occupants from the get-go) are well appreciated.
I also continue to be surprised by how much I like electronic power steering. Case in point: the new Prowler 500 HDX. I spent 20 minutes riding the base model, which doesn’t have EPS. And while riding it, I kept thinking that its steering was so easy that I sort of dismissed the “need” for EPS.
And then I got on a Prowler with EPS and I was instantly (and surprisingly) pleased by noticeable ease and comfort.
EPS transforms Arctic Cat’s ATV steering, and I would not buy a new machine without it. I would also opt for it on the Prowlers, especially since other members of my family would appreciate the difference even more than myself. Yes, the $700 upcharge would give me pause, but not for too long.
I’m happy to report that the Wildcat 4 models drive much smaller than they look. Seriously, when I look at these (in picture format), they look like they’re stretch-limousines. In-person they look a little bit long, but not crazy. Yet when I drive it, the 4-seater feels dang tidy. And from a stability standpoint, they’re astounding! I even spent some time in the back seat, which is significantly more enjoyable than I’d imagined. To celebrate, I had Mike launch the Wildcat 4 over a car. Nice job with that, Mike!
On the topic of Wildcat, I’ll make my last point for today: Arctic Cat has made it pretty clear that this is a category that they’re focusing on with the greatest intensity. They’ve already announced the 50-in. wide Wildcat that’s soon-to-come. And with the competition building increasingly more powerful machines, I’m certain the Cat engineering crew isn’t just twiddling their thumbs. I believe will see more new product in this sport SBS category, sooner rather than later.
Thanks for reading.
8/13/2013 2:56:00 PM
What I really want to see cat do in the Wheeler department is offer a 550 Core with power Steering. I really do not want a painted body as it is only going to get scratched up. Give me the basics with Power Steering for around $8,000.00 list and I will be the first one to order.
8/13/2013 4:36:00 PM
If it say's Arctic Cat on the side, requires a belt or clutch, I wouldn't buy it.....
8/13/2013 8:26:00 PM
Belt issues are way over blown. Unlike the Poo 800 motors and about every doo built to date. Maybe you should just move on like a good little school girl.
Shannon W. says:
8/14/2013 12:36:00 AM
JimR, 10-4 to that!
The WILDCAT is the real deal!
AllenO, Go complain on some other website with the rest of the wanna be "Perfomance Tuners"
8/14/2013 8:52:00 AM
8/15/2013 11:48:00 AM
the 50" version is long overdue, the standard wildcat should come standard with a chainsaw as it so massive it doesnt fit down most trails. let alone the back of a pickup.
As for the painted plastic, i totally disagree, sure it looks awesome when new, but has anyone seen a Wildcat with a few miles? those rear fenders are wider than the tires and everyone I've seen is scratched to s_it.
Brett Mallory says:
8/16/2013 5:17:00 AM
I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 50" Wildcat! I just replaced the front wheel bearings and tie rod ends, and desperately need the a-arm bushings replaced on my 2011 RZR at just 1200 miles. I would understand if I beat on my RZR regularly, but I don't. There are two Cat four wheelers setting in my garage now (A 450 XC and a 300 DVX) and I am quite impressed with both of them. If the new Cat SxS comes with engine braking and stays in 4wd while engine braking (two things I don't like about the RZR) I'm 99.99% sure there will be one of those setting in my garage along with the two four wheelers!
Jeff Reed says:
12/16/2013 12:45:00 PM
My situation is highly unique to any person buying a side by side ATV in the entire ATV industry. I have been diagnosed with a neurological disease similiar to MS which makes walking on rough ground nearly impossible since I have no balance ability and not much leg muscular strength. Since I am an nationally known birddog AKC field trial judge and a person running field trial Brittanys for over 30 years, I have gained national prominance when I got legal permission to run my dog off an ATV in any AKC pointing breed trial in the United States. I have a specially issued disability permit (which I helped write) issued by the State of Michigan and approved by the Attorney General under the Americans with Disabilities Act which allows me to run and train dogs where ATVs are normally not allowed. Before I hired an ADA attorney and contacted the State of Michigan ADA officials, the AKC just told you couldn't run dogs anymore and booted you to the curb. I am the first person in the United States to actually place a Brittany in an AKC field trial while handling from an electric golf cart in 2011. I have found the electric golf cart and the electric ATVs do NOT have the range demanded by me to run and watch field trial dogs for the entire day.
If you think electronic power steering isn't a factor in my purchase decision when running a side by side ATV, I beg you to rethink your position. IT is DEMANDED!
What most disabled people involved in the outdoor recreation don't know is activities with a disablity medical condition makes any ATV a medical tax deduction since my neurologist has wrote me a perscription just like a person needing a wheel chair. I have sheparded over 50 people all over the United Sates to get special State permission to use an ATV OR a horse in a walking field trial stake under ADA accomadation rules and it is opening up an entirely new ATV market not availbe to ATV manufactuers in the past.
I have checked out all the industry's current side by side ATV models and the ATV that meets ALL a mobility disabled person's specifications for running dogs is the Kawasaki 4010 with power steering for a price well under $10,000. IT wasn't even close feature to feature. A quad type ATV is not really useful for me in my situation because with a dog box on the back of a quad I have an impossible time getting my non working legs stuffed between the handlebars and the seat to straddle the quad type ATV.......A side by side ATV allows people to sit on the seat and lift their legs in on the running board real nice.
If you know of a similair person in a mobility disability situation such as mine. I can be contacted pretty easily if you google my name on Mlive and read about what the Michigan news media wrote about me back in 2011.