November 29, 2021 | Brian Dole
Motors editor Bryon Dorr drove a Can-Am Commander XT-P 1000R on a long weekend adventure in Oregon. This is what he likes, what could be better, and the breakdown of this versatile UTV.
I will get to the point: 2021 Can-Am Commander XT-P 1000R is UTV's Swiss Army Knife. This machine can easily cope with extreme off-road terrain, just as easily as towing equipment around the ranch.
The key to Commander's versatility is the powerful engine (100 horsepower), impressive suspension and dump bed.
I took this machine on a 3-day off-road adventure in the mud, snow, beaches and rocks of Oregon. During the International Cross Country Day, I also witnessed it solve some truly crazy rock crawling terrain on the labyrinth trail in Sand Hollow, Utah.
In fact, when it comes to Can-Am Commander XT-P 1000R, "multifunctional" is an understatement.
To understand the fun and functionality of this UTV, please watch the video below. Scroll down to learn more details about my impression of this machine.
First of all, what I like most about Commander XT-P is Fox 2.5 Podium backpack suspension.
It is very comfortable to land even after flying more than 4 feet in the air. It is also very smooth on a wide range of terrain, especially in terms of speed.
At low speeds, it is not so comfortable, but it still holds the tires firmly on the ground and helps traction.
There are optional differential lockers on both ends of the UTV which are also very useful in various situations.
In the off-road world, the optional lockers are called simple buttons, because they allow you to quickly get rid of many slippery conditions.
If for some reason a simple button does not work for you, when the path becomes rough, the back-up mind of the integrated winch is also reassuring. This is especially true when you are alone in a vehicle adventure.
The entire underside of the commander is a non-slip board, with reinforcements where needed.
As long as you have power and/or traction on at least one wheel, this allows you to slide over almost any obstacle.
This UTV has many practicalities. A large part of it is a complete bucket bed at the back with a backsplash. The side panels of the bed can be removed without tools and have super useful storage space for additional drive belts and small tools.
The Can-Am Lynk storage box is an option, but it is very convenient, safe, easy to remove, dry, and is usually a good way to secure equipment.
In the commander’s passenger compartment, you can also get several large storage compartments, which are perfect for keeping small items such as snacks, cameras, dry gloves, goggles and wipes at hand.
The seat is very durable and actually very comfortable, even after a long drive.
They are not that adjustable and do not provide a lot of lumbar support, but their basicity and durability are impressive.
Commander has a poor turning radius, which is not good when sailing on rocks and narrow forest trails.
The steering wheel, your main point of contact in the vehicle, also feels very cheap. Gloves help, but they won’t solve the problem.
Although the suspension is impressive, it cannot overcome the problem of the short wheelbase when you find yourself driving through a bumpy road. Riding becomes difficult and control becomes very fast. A longer wheelbase four-seater version of this UTV Commander Max XT-P is being offered, and its speed may be better.
Like most UTVs, Commander is not a quiet machine. You will not sneak anyone or anything on this machine-including wild animals.
When driving in water, the front tires tend to push the water forward and spray it back into the cabin. Not sure if there is a good solution, but it is very annoying.
Similarly, drain pipes on the floor let water flow out through them in deeper water—no big deal, but something that can be secured with a one-way valve or drain plug.
The drive gear selector is very cumbersome. It is more like a tractor than a sports machine.
The only cup holder in Commander is located on the floor near the gear selector channel. They are not very deep and cannot hold Nalgene or larger water bottles.
The big problem here is that any cups/cans/bottles you put in it may loosen on its own and eventually fall under your feet, which is a dangerous item in the driver's foot space.
The factory XPS Hammer Force (30 x 10 x 15 inches) tires did not impress me. Like most vehicles, the tires will be my first upgrade.
Finally, the seat belt will often get stuck on the door latch, preventing the door from closing. This also damages the seat belt, which will tear over time. This is not only annoying, but also a security issue in the long run.
In general, Can-Am Commander XT-P 1000R has super latitude, and has extremely strong ability under various conditions.
It is also not slow, because I drive along the beach at a speed of more than 50 miles per hour. Having said that, it has enough power, but more is always fun.
The commander sits in the best position between sports off-road fun and utility vehicles for work, hunting and/or camping. If you are looking for a working UTV Quiver Machine-and still have a lot of fun rolling on sand dunes, climbing rocky trails, playing in the snow, and away from inaccessible roads-then the Can-Am Commander XT-P 1000R is suitable you.
To build your own Can-Am UTV and find a dealer near you to experience it for yourself, please visit Can-Am.BRP.com.
Driving skills: When jumping off-road, it is not easy to apply pressure steadily and consistently on the tiny pedals, but if you wedge your heels into the center console, you can get smoother throttle control.
Bryon Dorr indulged in outdoor adventure through whitewater kayaking, and then went on a worldwide expedition to remote areas. As a photographer, journalist, and marketing consultant in the automotive and outdoor industries, he pioneered his career and traveled full-time overland for nearly 8 years. You will usually find him exploring on a 4x4, adventurous motorcycle or sports car, while looking for opportunities for skiing, mountain biking and kayaking. Bryon now has headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and runs our sister website AutoWise.com.
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