An independent study tested Polaris, John Deere and Kawasaki.

Independent testing by Environ Laboratories has confirmed that Polaris Industries Professional Series Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs) outperform the competition.

Environ subjected a Polaris Professional Series UTV 4x4, a John Deere Gator 6x4 and a Kawasaki Mule 3010 to a series of performance tests including hill climb, dynamic turn radius, top speed and acceleration, towing capacity, and ride quality. When the dust settled the Polaris Professional Series UTV 4x4 had outclimbed, outaccelerated and outpulled its two nearest rivals.

"The Pro Series UTVs deliver the power a commercial user needs, when they need it most," said Tony Wixo, product manager for the Polaris Professional Series.

In the hill climb test, Environ selected a hill that none of the vehicles could overcome without a running start. Starting the climb with its front wheels at the base of the hill, the Polaris Professional Series UTV 4x4 covered a distance of 16'. The Mule managed to climb 12'11" and the Gator 6x4 only 10'7".

Perhaps the UTV's most dominating performance came in the towing capacity pull distance test. The UTV towed a load transfer sled an average of 127'8". Kawasaki's Mule was able to pull the same sled 83'3". The Gator 6x4 barely budged the sled recording an average pull distance of 1'4".

The Polaris Professional Series UTV 4x4 also recorded top honors in acceleration testing. With or without a load, the UTV 4x4 accelerated to 15 mph in just over two seconds. An unloaded Mule took nearly three seconds to reach the same speed and an empty Gator required almost four seconds. When weight was added to the bed, the Mule's 0-15 mph acceleration time increased to 4.01 seconds and the Gator's rose to 5.54. In this test, the fully loaded UTV actually outaccelerated the unloaded Mule and Gator.

When it came to overall ride quality, the UTV 4x4 led the way again. Each vehicle was driven at a constant speed on a straight-line path through a rough terrain course while accelerometers mounted on the vehicles recorded the vehicle's reactions to the terrain. The monitoring results were then entered into the NASA Ride Comfort Model algorithm to determine the vehicle's Ride Quality Number. Polaris long-travel dual-shock rear suspension helped the UTV 4x4 deliver the smoothest ride recording a mark of 19.5 Hz. The Mule finished second with a score of 20.3 Hz; the Gator 6x4 received a 22.7 Hz. The Kawasaki Mule narrowly bested the UTV 4x4 in dynamic turning radius test with both loaded and unloaded vehicle. The Mule also recorded the top speed mark with a reading of 26.3 mph. "We're happy to let someone else win the top speed test," said Wixo. "All of our Polaris Professional Series UTVs are engineered not to exceed the safety-conscious 25 mph threshold and that helps keep the worksite safe."

Environ Laboratories, LLC ( is an independent, full service industrial/environmental testing laboratory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Environ has been providing innovative engineering and testing services to both defense and commercial companies since 1962. Environ's "Off Road Utility Vehicle Comparison Test Summary" can be downloaded at