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Polaris RZR XP vs Can-Am Maverick X3: Who is the king of the desert

In the world of off-road driving, there is healthy competition between models produced by different car brands. Two of the most talked about brands in the community are Polaris and Can-Am. The brands are in fierce competition with each other, and this competition has been one of the most important aspects of their marketing.

However, it is difficult for consumers, especially those who are not sufficiently aware of the difference, to know which one is actually the best and if it is really as good as the company claims in its advertising.

The Kemimoto team has made this article to show you the difference between the top off-road buggies in the market to give you a better shopping and driving experience.

RZR XP vs Maverick X3

1. Engine

You want a powerful and faster engine to power your buggy, so it rides better on sand dunes or desert trails. The RZR and X3 both have very strong engine horsepower, but which machine actually gives you more power?

Polaris has redesigned its models and improved its engine to give the RZR XP a maximum of 181 horsepower, which is a milestone improvement for the company.

On the other hand, Can-Am takes the lead with 195 horsepower on its Maverick X3 XRS Turbo RR, which is also equipped with the Rotax ACE 900 cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine, as well as a larger turbocharger, a new intercooler, and a less restrictive airbox.

This allows you to start the engine quickly after you step on the gas. The Maverick X3 can give you unparalleled raw power with over 114 foot-pounds of torque. With these numbers, it’s safe to say that in terms of engine horsepower, the Can-Am Maverick X3 is significantly better.

2. Fuel Capacity

When we talk about fuel capacity, we’re talking about the amount of fuel your tank can hold, these numbers are significant in determining how far and how fast you can ride. 

The Can-Am Maverick X3 has a 10.5-gallon tank and the Polaris RZR XP has a 12-gallon tank, both of which are standard for their size and are capable of meeting your regular off-road riding needs, but if you're thinking of riding on sand most of the time or just want to take long drives to get the whole experience, the Polaris RZR XP may be more suitable for you. It holds up to 1.5 gallons more than the X3, which means more fuel to burn and more time to ride.

3. Interior Design

Polaris has put a lot of effort into improving the look and feel of its new model. The design of the RZR XP includes a more comfortable driving position and more clearance space, it also has a lightweight steering wheel made of carbon fiber with a solid center spoke and hollow rim in the middle of the wheel making it easier for the driver to control. In addition to that, a touch-screen display is mounted on the car, providing you with important information and controls you’ll need on the road.

Can-Am has reconceptualized the Maverick X3 and wasn’t afraid to take risks with the upgrades, which include performance-driven mechanical and structural designs, signature LEDs, and an advanced cockpit with four-way adjustable seats, the Ergo-Lock cockpit gives you more options to create a comfortable ride.

If you have a more conservative driving style and require higher safety performance during off-road rides, you may consider getting the RZR. Conversely, if you have an aggressive driving style and require higher driving experience and speed during the journey, the Can-Am will be a better choice for you.

4. Driving performance

The driving performance of utility terrain vehicles (UTV) depends mainly on your riding location. After professional testing, the RZR has shown an advantage in narrow road riding, because of its 64-inch width which allows the rider to drive at full capacity even in tight spaces. Compared to the RZR, the Maverick X3 is 72 inches wide, making it more suitable for traversing the open trails of the desert.

Of course, every off-roader has his own driving preference, so if the width is not an issue for you, sitting in one of the more comfortable seats will be your best bet.

5. Braking ability

When driving in rough mountain terrain, you will find that the braking performance of the car will play a very important role in keeping your safety, and this is by far the most important comparison factor between the two models.

According to Polaris, the RZR's braking system is equipped with an A-arm front assembly, 25-inch suspension travel, and dynamically adjustable dampers, which is the world's first and only intelligent braking suspension system for general use when riding off-road.

On top of that, the RZR has 3.0-inch FOX DYNAMIX active suspension dampers in the rear and 2.5-inch FOX DYNAMIX active suspension dampers in the front, which you can control the tension with a 3-position toggle switch for better control of the car while driving.

Can-Am also has been very prideful in their Maverick X3 braking system. The suspension in the X3 gives you 22 inches of braking distance, which is enough for most riding scenarios. It has dual A-arms with an anti-swing bar up front and a four-link trophy trailing arm (TTX) with an anti-swing bar in the rear. The four-link system has less binding for improved rotational control and overall articulation with the entire suspension system.

Overall, in terms of both cars’ braking performance, the RZR is slightly better due to its tighter design.

6. Comfort

The Can-Am has equipped the Maverick X3 with four-point harnesses for both seats in the new 2023 model, with a lower seating position and enhanced protection to keep you comfortable and safe on your off-road adventures. The Maverick X3 also offers big legroom with seating adjustments.

The Polaris RZR XP is also equipped with a four-point harness and its driver-centric cockpit has a 2-inch lower seating. The seats are set up upright and the wheel can be tilted for uncompromised sight during driving.

Overall, both cars have very comfortable cockpits, the Polaris has a minimalist seat and position that can be easily equipped with some of our Polaris accessories, while the Can-Am seats are excellent, offering a high level of adjustment and plenty of legroom.

7. Handling

The Polaris RZR XP is a relatively easy-to-handle UTV, and its excellent handling experience makes it stand out among its competition. However, when we put it on an extremely narrow sand track, you will notice that it is significantly slenderer and a little unstable in the corners. But the steering box in the RZR is a groundbreaking improvement, designed to allow the car to perform better in slower, more precise corners.

The wider Maverick X3 has its advantages over the Polaris model in terms of handling, with a wider stance, longer travel, and firmness. When you brake suddenly while driving the X3 around a corner or accelerating out of a corner, there is a device in the steering system that provides the driver with some steering feedback, called dynamic power steering. In addition, the X3 also has significantly improved low-speed bump impact capability.

As for which car has a better handling experience, the Kemimoto team believes that the X3 is better on sand t with more curves, while the RZR would be more suitable for sand tracks that require multiple accelerations.

8. Wheels and tires

The X3 comes with 3-inch Bighorn 2.0 tires and 14-inch standard aluminum locking rims, while the RZR has 29-inch Bighorn 2.0 tires and 14-inch standard aluminum wheels. Can-Am has a standard plastic roof, but both have plastic skid plates, LED headlights, and taillights. The RZR is adaptable to some of Kemimoto's accessories.

When you need to remove or add some parts from the X3, but don't know how to add or take them off, the 3D-model project released by the Kemimoto team on the official website can help you, and we will also develop a model parts comparison later, to give you an unforgettable off-road experience.

9. Price

Can-Am's 2023 Maverick X3 is valued at a base price of $21,599, the price may change if you want to have other features that are not included in the vehicle’s base build and system.

The Polaris RZR XP has a starting price of $27,999, which is over $6000 more expensive than the XR, but with the quality that it comes, it’s a cost you wouldn’t mind in the long run.

For the comparison of the prices of the two models, the Kemimoto team can only give you some objective indications, ultimately you need to make your own decision based on your needs and under each parameter.

Who is the best?

The RZR XP and the Maverick X3 are the most intense competition we've ever seen. For UTV enthusiasts, we want a fast thrill, we want a maximum burst of adrenaline, we want safe, reliable driving, and we want our cars to meet all your needs on a consistent basis. Is this possible? Maybe, but you will need to invest in it, and most UTV enthusiasts still compromise on some aspects because of pricing matters.

UTVs are ever-changing "creatures", and the RZR and X3 are both powerful, rugged machines that have always maintained high standards of improvement in the UTV market. Everything an adrenaline junky could ask for; they try to meet.

We have to say that the cab design and overall layout of the RZR are slightly longer, compared to the X3 which will look more agile. Both UTV models are equipped with smart electronics, flexible braking systems, and superb horsepower.

As for which of the two is better or worse, all factors considered, it's basically a tie in professional race tests. You may be disappointed with the results, but which model you choose ultimately depends on your own needs and preferences. Either of the RZR and X3, combined with your driving skills, could be the king of the dune field.

The best advice the Kemimoto team can give is that safe driving always comes first, and you should try to drive with your back as close to the driver's seat as possible, an important reminder to remember with the adrenaline rush. In terms of safety equipment, the Kemimoto team is also committed to developing more cost-effective and versatile vehicular accessories for off-road enthusiasts, to make your driving experience better.

Kemimoto team released a new project 3D-car-model-build

Our team has received a lot of feedback from Kemimoto users like how to install the accessories, how to know which part of the car to install, the effect of the accessories after installation, and a series of other accessory-related problems.

In light of this, in order to let off-road riders experience the changes brought by our accessories more realistically, we launched the project 3D-car-model-build to be able to configure the parts of your car in all aspects.


In the protection accessories section, we introduced the roof cover, windshield, and doors to keep you safe while driving. If you want to ride on cloudy days or on muddy roads, then these three parts of the accessories should be on top of your necessity list.

For example, if you want to choose a Kemimoto roof cover, you can rotate the model on the left to the roof position, and install the matching roof cover from the sky view.This pre-sales simulation of the installation operation will eliminate most of your purchasing doubts.

In the effect and performance accessories section, we launched the rearview mirror and the tablet holder in the car. When you are struggling with which rearview mirror you should get, you may want to move the simulated vehicle to the appropriate location on the website and configure it with the rearview mirror so that you can easily make a purchase decision.

The 3D-car-model-build that Kemimoto has designed is very realistic, focusing on developing more cost-effective, safer, and more adaptable UTV accessories for our trusted customers. 

To help burst your adrenaline and upgrade your off-road experience, check out our realistic simulation of the scene here:

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