GETTING TO KNOW THE DEFENDER LINE
The Defenders are new machines
with all-new frames, interiors and
bodywork; they are not modified
Commanders. These new three-passenger, tilt-bed, utility-focused UTVs
are available in four trim levels with
800cc or 1000cc V-twin engines. You
can put 1000 pounds in the bed and
tow 2000 pounds.
Base models start at $10,999. They
come with 12-inch steel wheels and
without power steering. DPS models
start at $12,799 and have power
steering and 12-inch cast aluminum
wheels with 25-inch tires. XTs start at
$15,599 and come with power steering,
painted bodywork, a roof, 4500-pound
winch, deluxe instrumentation and
14-inch aluminum wheels with 27-inch
tires. XT Cab models start at $23,699
and have all the XT features and full
cabs with tilt-up windshields, wiper kits,
doors with electric windows, sliding rear
windows and heater kits.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
Our test unit, the Defender DPS
HD10, is $14,999. The Polaris Ranger
XP 900 EPS goes for $15,299.
Kawasaki’s Mule Pro-FX EPS LE is
$14,199. The Honda Pioneer 1000 EPS
WHAT POWERS IT?
alve, A single-overhead-cam, eight-v
ngine 976cc V-twin. It’s based on the e
verick used in Can-Am’s pure-sport Ma
nders, UTVs and the sport-utility Comma
ather but it’s tuned for strong low-end r
ms 72 than top-end power. Can-Am clai
foot- horsepower for the HD10 and 61
pounds of torque.
IS THE TRANSMISSION NEW?
atic, In some ways. It’s a fully autom
belt-type, continuously variable
transmission, but the extra low-range
and high-capacity cooling system are
included to deal with heavy hauling
and towing. Engine braking keeps
the Defender’s speed in check in
off-throttle situations on downhills.
For durability, the rear final drive is
all geared, eliminating the normal
shaft and universal joints between
the transmission and rear differential.
There’s also a belt protection system
that monitors belt temperature and
warns you to switch to low range.
IS THE 4WD SYSTEM DIFFERENT?
Different from your average UTV. The
Defender has selectable 2WD/4WD with
an automatic locking front differential
and a lockable rear differential. That
means you can be in 2WD with the
rear differential locked or unlocked or
in 4WD with the rear differential locked
or unlocked. It also means you can turn
on delicate turf without hurting it and
turn tighter in tough spots on the trail.
IS IT FAST?
Oh yeah. Don’t drag race any
Mavericks for money, but if you have
huge work sites or hunting grounds to
cover, this is the kind of performance
you want. The HD10 accelerates
smoothly but with serious big-bore
thrust, and top speed is 62 mph.
Owners can limit the performance and
top speed to 25 mph using the “work”
key or 44 mph with the “standard” key.
HOW IS THE POWER ON THE TRAIL AND
ON THE JOB?
We had more power than we needed
in every situation we encountered, but it
was easy to feed only what we needed
to the ground. Because of its massive
power, the Defender HD10 ignores hills
and is pretty much unaware of heavy
loads. Can-Am claims the HD10 has
more torque than the Ranger XP 900,
so this is one serious work vehicle.
The power delivery is very smooth, so
dealing with twisty, technical climbs and
greasy mud is easy.
The eight-valve, single-overhead-cam,
976cc V-twin is based on the Maverick
engine, but it’s tuned for torque. The rear
final drive is all geared, eliminating
the normal shaft and
universal joints between
with 10 inches
of travel and a
sway bar allow
a quick trail
pace with very
The bed can
The ride is
smooth for a
to double-A-arm front
with 10 inches