When Polaris unveiled its expanded 2013 ATV and side-by-side lineup at its annual dealer meeting, much of the attention was showered upon the new Scrambler 850 XP ATV and Ranger 900 XP — two exciting looking machines But the press largely glossed over a very significant introduction: the new Ranger 800 Mid-Size side-by-side that looks at once like a screaming value, a more manageably-sized worker and, perhaps most importantly, a really fun trail-riding machine.
What’s that? Trail riding and Ranger in the same sentence? Don’t be so surprised. While the entire family of Polaris Rangers — exemplified by the standard-bearing, full-size Ranger 800 — is widely regarded as one of the best utility side-by-side models from any company, their solid power, competent handling and excellent engines have also meant the Rangers can play almost as well as they work.
First introduced back in 2010, Polaris shrunk its full-size Ranger down to an easier, “mid-size” category that weighed less than the original, fit in the back of some pickup trucks, packed a powerful 500-class engine and could still work with the best of ‘em. Now Polaris is upping the ante with an all-new Ranger 800 Mid-Size for 2013 that should be rip-roaring fun out on the trail — that is, once the chores have been completed.
Available in three variants — Ranger 800 EFI Mid-Size Sage Green, Nuclear Sunset LE and Pursuit Camo — is powered by a 50 hp, twin-cylinder 760cc engine with EFI that’s known to be smooth performer and capable worker.
The new Ranger 800 EFI Mid-Size comes with fully independent suspension (8 inches of travel up front, 9 in the rear), has four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, on-demand four-wheel drive with “VersaTrac” turf mode, 1,250 pounds of towing capacity and it has a claimed dry weight of 1,085 pounds, which is a significant 152-pound difference over its larger, full-size stablemate.
Dimensions tell another part of the story. The full-size Polaris Ranger 800 fills big shoes with dimensions (LxWxH, in inches) of 114 x 60 x 76, while the new Ranger 800 Mid-Size side-by-side comes in at a more manageable 108x58x73 — a smaller rig that makes it easier to maneuver in tight woods, work in close quarters and, as a great bonus, makes it more fun to ride out on the trail.