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I'm going to be making my mind up soon on whether to buy a 2012 Ranger 800 EFI - the Lightning LE special edition, or a RZR 570 - base model. I've lined up the comparisons of these side by sides, side by side and have to decide if the Ranger 800 is worth the extra $1600. Both are on a year end clearance with the 800 being discounted $1600 off of MSRP while the RZR 570 has a $900 discount.

We also considered a 2012 Ranger 500 base model which comes in $2,500 under the 800 LE and $900 under the RZR 570 but my wife and I were not that impressed with it compared to the other two models for comfort and style. The suspension was also not comparable. It was a midsize model at 54" wide putting it midway between the RZR at 50" and the 800LE at 60".

The 800 seats three, and even though it's only my wife and I who will be using it 95% of the time, when we do have grandkids visiting it will be nice if we can take one with us for a ride on the trail. WIth the RZR it would mean that only one of us takes the little one for a ride. There is also room for my wife's little white yappers, er I mean dogs on the middle seat of the 800. So in my books that is a point against the 800. :p

The 800 boosts much more engine, but it is a much bigger machine but I'm thinking it needs more power to move it the same speed as the RZR, not that I'm a thrill seeker likely to take it to the max speed just to see how fast it tops out.

I would expect the range is about the same even though the 800 has 9 gal vs 7.5 for the RZR because the twin cyclinder engine probably uses more gas to go the same distance. But maybe someone with experience can tell me how far I can go on a tank of gas in either of these machines.

I've read on this forum some unhappy 800 customers reporting major overheating issues - for the one week of hot weather we get here in northern Canada that might be an issue, but all joking aside, it is somewhat concerning that so many have had this problem. I did read that there are many who have not had that problem so I guess it is a bit of a crap shoot? :(

I expect that 90% of the time we'll be on easy trails - we live next to the "Iron Horse Trail" a converted rail line - so smooth gravel with vertually no hills to speak of. There are points along the trail where we can venture into a little rougher terrain but for the most part I'm thinking of smooth rides.

I want to be able to take a ride in the winter too so how they will handle in the snow is of concern. Anyone with experiences with either of these machines in the snow? I know the 800 can be outfitted with a snowplow blade, not sure about the RZR which is more for sport.

The RZR will fit into the back of my truck (2010 RAM 2500 short-76" box) with the tailgate down. I have a small utility trailer that will hold the RZR but not the 800 or even the 500 unless I modify the trailer from a box style trailer with sides to a flat bed trailer with a new deck built for the UTV. I'm thinking it will be cheaper to modify the trailer by removing the metal sides and laying down a wider deck using a sheet of plywood so that it is 60" wide instead of the current 54" wide. A 3" overhang on either side of the trailer should work - shouldn't it? Hate to have to buy a new wider trailer if the old one can be made to work.

Any advice on "must have" options? Even though it is a "special edition" the 800's special features seem limited to special tires, seat colours and paint, which do look cool. A windscreen would make sense I guess if one does not want to eat bugs (yep we have lots of bugs in these parts). ;)

So all you experienced Polaris owners - what would you advise this Canadian new to the world of UTV's. I've never owned a ATV or UTV before. Briefly considered a Chinese CF Moto but given the little price difference between the unknown to me Chinese unit and the Polaris year end clearnence I'm going with the name brand.

FKD in Northern Alberta Canada
 

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I was Comparing the rzr to the ranger also but you have to understand they are ment for 2 different riding styles. The rzr is for fast/sport trail riding and the ranger is more ment for work/camping/ and trail riding but not in such aggressive manor as the rzr.
You first have to decide on what your going to use it for and then go with the one that best fits your requirements. My selfs I went with the 500 efi ranger reason being fit my requirements the best.
What your comparing is two great machines they arejust used for 2 different purposes
Mpg on the rzr 560 is awesome and the speed is great too 0-40ish is about the same as the 800 rzr
Good luck and I'm sure you will make right call one you figure out your needs
 

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The post above is right. The big question is do you need the bed. I choose the Ranger 800 XP Orange Madness LE. Painted version will scratch less than base model. I use my bed for yard work, mostly to haul my beer with. We are more into mudding and trail riding no real speed in the woods.
 
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