slower and takes longer to reach
top speed (around 50 mph), but it’s
strong enough to drift the rear end and
maintain a slide around turns. Steeper
hills will require a shift to low range, but
the V6 gets the job done.
HOW IS THE DELIVERY?
Top-shelf! EFI throttle response and
the CVT clutching deliver immediate
yet smooth take-off, and there are no
hitches in the giddy-up. The sprag
clutch protects the belt from slippage
and heat buildup, and the 2WD/4WD/
diff-lock switch is foolproof. The dash-mounted range selector could be a little
slicker, but engagement is positive.
WHAT ABOUT THE HANDLING?
It cruises for a Crew. With almost a
yard more wheelbase than the Viking,
it has a much wider turning radius and
much slower turn-in, but it still snakes
tight trails, especially with EPS. It’s very
predictable and stays more planted
in corners, and the extra wheelbase
gives it the stability of a locomotive
on choppy straights. Hatfield-McCoy
switchbacks will require a three-point
HOW’S THE IRS SUSPENSION?
Excellent! The HPG shocks with dual-rate springs are well-tuned to deliver
a limousine-like ride, and the front/
rear balance is good. It doesn’t have
the total travel of a Ranger 800 Crew
( 9.6/9.0 inches) or XP 900 Crew (10/10
inches), but the travel is well-damped
for a plush ride. A rear torsion bar fights
body roll and allows articulation for
rocks and ruts.
WHAT ABOUT ROCKS AND MUD?
They’re doable. Ground clearance
is 11. 4 inches (0.4 inches less than
the Viking), and the lifted sides of the
frame aid in clearing rocks. When it
does high-center, the full-coverage steel
skid plate is designed to slide over the
rocks. Taller tires would help it in rocks
and deep mud. It can cross water up to
3 feet deep without sucking water into
the CVT or air inlet, but deep mud ruts
are another matter. Best go with the
WHAT ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?
It’s amazing. Seats and belts are
very comfortable, and the shoulder
protectors are very comfortable and
secure. The rubber-covered adjustable
front passenger bar is shaped well,
and the rubber inserts for the drink-holder molds are nice and secure, on
top of providing some insulation to
keep drinks cold longer. Headroom is
plentiful all around, and the headrests
are excellent as well. Vibration and
engine noise in the cockpit are low,
and footwells (dead pedals) in the
front provide secure bracing. Storage
is plentiful with a 10-liter glovebox
and 24-liter sealed bin under the front
center seat. The airbox, with a huge air
filter, is under the center-rear seat. The
Special Edition has a 20-liter under-seat
bin as well. We like the half doors for
providing security and comfort yet quick
entry and exit.
Rear shocks are also non-adjustable, and a torsion bar fights body roll while still allowing
articulation for uneven terrain. Rear travel is also 8.1 inches, but the best ride comes with a
load in the bed, as the dual-rate springs are stiff to complement the rear-engine design.
The LCD instrument panel has several modes
and functions, and there are indicator lights
for CVT range, diff-lock, warning lights and
safety reminders. We got 50 mph out of the
Viking VI before having to lift when we ran
out of flat ground.
A full-length grab bar for the front two passengers is foam-covered for
a comfortable grip, and it’s adjustable to fit a wide variety of sizes.
The Viking VI has eight cup holders, with some having rubber inserts
to securely fit 12-ounce drinks.
Under the center rear seat, which is also tilted back for more shoulder
room, the huge still airbox houses a giant foam filter that’s designed
to last an entire growing season on the farm. Access is tool-less, so
there’s no reason to go that long before cleaning the filter.