Honda Talon vs. Polaris RZR: Which Is Better?

Honda Talon vs. Polaris RZR image

The UTV market has been in a state of rapid expansion over the past decade, and it seems like more and more people are getting involved in recreational off-roading. If you're currently in the market for a UTV and wonder whether the Honda Talon or the Polaris RZR is right for you, you’ve come to the right place, you're in luck.

Today, we’re going to take a deep dive into the performance and attributes of each of these UTVs to help you determine which option aligns better with your style and needs. 

Let’s dive in!

Side-By-Side Comparison

    2024 Honda Talon 1000R

    2024 Polaris RZR XP 1000

    Starting MSRP

    $21,099

    $25,999

    Weight

    1554 pounds

    1633 pounds

    Horsepower

    105 horsepower

    114 horsepower

    Engine

    2.4-liter four-cylinder engine

    999cc parallel-twin engine

    Ground Clearance

    13”

    14.5”

    Suspension

    17.7” front and 20.1” rear suspension

    20.5” front and rear suspension


    Honda Talon vs. Polaris RZR Overview

    Polaris RZR on the trail

    1. Horsepower

    People are mostly looking for power and speed with UTVs, so let’s start there. 

    As for horsepower, the RZR takes the lead with its new ProStar engine, delivering 114 horsepower, while the Talon offers 105 horsepower.

    Polaris has long maintained an edge in the horsepower department, especially with the ProStar engine. We don’t see this changing in the coming years, either.

    2. Ground Clearance

      The RZR maintains a commendable ground clearance of 14.5”, while the Talon provides 13” of ground clearance.

      While an inch and a half might not seem like a lot, it can make a world of difference when navigating rocky trails, so it’s well worth considering.

      3. Weight And Dimensions

        Weight and dimension are incredibly important things to consider, which are often overlooked.

        The Polaris RZR boasts a width of 64” and a length of 119”. The wheelbase sits at around 90”, making it consistent with the previous model.

        On the other hand, the Talon stretches out to 123.7” long and 68.4” wide with a wheelbase of 92.7”. With its added size, the Talon might encounter challenges in certain states with width restrictions on certain trails and tracks.

        Weight-wise, the Polaris RZR comes in at 1633 pounds, while the Talon weighs in at 1554 pounds. Even though the Talon has less horsepower than the RZR, taking about 100 pounds off of the total weight helps offset the difference. Even so, in a drag race, the RZR might have the upper hand.

        4. Suspension

          When it comes to suspension travel, the RZR comes equipped with 20.5” at the front and rear, while the Talon offers 17.7” at the front and 20.1” at the rear.

          The Talon's 17.7” of front travel is a bit disappointing, especially when it comes to tackling rough terrains.

          5. Tires

            The RZR comes outfitted with Trail Master X/T 2.0 tires, sized at 30” x 10”-14” for a radial setup, while the Talon’s tires measure 28” x 9” x 15” at the front and 28” x 11” x 15” at the rear. 

            In our opinion, the Talon’s tires don't have as aggressive of a  tread pattern as we’d like.

            Key Features Of The Honda Talon vs. Polaris RZR

            Polaris RZR sand riding

            Honda Talon Top Features 

            Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

            The anti-lock braking system has been a standard in Honda UTVs for quite some time, so much so that it’s hard to imagine riding in one without it. 

            The mechanism is pretty simple, preventing excessive steering during braking. It does an excellent job at maintaining the alignment of the front wheels and aids in minimizing skid marks on the road whenever you have to aggressively slam on the brakes or negotiate curves and corners.

            Plus, it plays a role in curbing wear and tear on your tires, especially when you have to brake on wet surfaces when going fast

            Electric Start System

            With the electric start system, you can start up your vehicle swiftly by simply pulling the starter cord once it’s fully charged. This unique feature can be particularly advantageous if you live in a place with colder weather, as it eliminates the need for the dreaded pre-start warm-up.

            Lower ambient air temperatures can pose challenges for conventional ignition systems, so having an electric start system in the frigid winter months is a lifesaver.

            Launch Mode

            If you have a Talon model that features Fox Live Valve technology, you’ll get standard Launch Mode. This unique feature is made to propel the compact Honda vehicle off the starting line through strategic shock valving and Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) system adjustments, akin to the way a sprinter would poise themselves at the beginning of a race.

            Polaris RZR Top Features

            Air Ride Suspension

            You’ll always have a comfortable experience while driving on rugged trails or roads, thanks to the air spring suspension system. This unique system also prioritizes safety by offering robust support when navigating on muddy trails or uneven terrains.

            Full-Time 4WD System

            The RZR’s full-time 4WD system functions to deliver exceptional stability and traction across just about any terrain you find yourself on From snow to sand, it’s a game-changer. In addition, this system optimizes control over vehicle speed during on-road travel.

            Lockable Differential Lock

            With the lockable differential lock, drivers can engage a simultaneous lock on both rear wheels whenever they need better traction on uneven trails or muddy paths. With elevated control, the  RZR facilitates smoother navigation through even the most challenging of terrains.

            Pros And Cons Of The Honda Talon

            Pros

            • Excellent fuel economy compared to other UTVs
            • Very comfortable and aesthetically-pleasing interior 
            • Powerful engine and responsive handling

            Cons

            • The added size might make it difficult to navigate certain trails

            Pros And Cons Of The Polaris RZR

            Pros

            • One of the most reliable UTVs on the market today
            • Plenty of torque and power for getting up to speed quickly
            • Extra-large cargo box for carrying all your gear

            Cons

            • Can get very noisy at high speeds

            Conclusion

            Honda Talon on Display

            No matter which of these UTVs you ultimately decide on, you’ll no doubt get plenty of bang for your buck. Both of them yield impressive value, as both offer substantial benefits that are hard to overlook. 

            In fact, the Honda Talon and the Polaris RZR are two prime examples of today's most sought-after sport utility vehicles. Each of them delivers exceptional performance, remarkable power, and precise steering control. 

            Whether you find yourself conquering hills, venturing through backroads, navigating canyon roads, or exploring mountainous terrains, there’s so much to enjoy when it comes to both of these vehicles.

            If you’re looking for a comfortable off-road vehicle that’s made for agility and fun, you really can’t go wrong with the Honda Talon. It’s a stellar choice with an off-road performance that is nearly unparalleled. On the other hand, if pure speed and power are what you’re looking for, we highly recommend going with the Polaris RZR.

            Make sure to check out our wide range of UTV accessories here at Kemimoto!

            FAQs

            1. Is The Honda Talon Faster Than The Polaris RZR?

            The Honda Talon tops off at 75 mph, whereas the top speed for a Polaris RZR usually levels off at around 80 mph.

            2. Which UTV Is Nice On The Inside, The Honda Talon Or The Polaris RZR?

            The Honda Talon’s interior is far more refined compared to the cab of a standard Polaris RZR XP 1000. It feels like Honda went the extra mile to ensure it lives up to its iconic emblem of powersport wings, going beyond just reliability and performance.

            3. Which UTV Is Better, The Honda Talon Or The Polaris RZR?

            While both of these UTVs are excellent options, if you’re in the market for a two-seat off-road vehicle, each of these has its own strengths and weaknesses. The RZR boasts more ground clearance, horsepower, accessories, suspension travel, and technology from the start. However, in terms of cost and comfort, the Honda Talon 1000R is the clear winner.


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