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Polaris Ranger Northstar vs Can Am Defender Limited?

722 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  sadieariana
I am interested in hearing from people that have experience with both the Polaris Northstar and the Defender Limited. In 2019 I bought a 2020 Ranger Northstar edition. I would have prefered a Defender Limited, but it had just been released and would not be available for a few months. I bought the Northstar primarily as a snow plowing machine, and didn't plan to use it much for trail riding because I own two other UTVs that pretty much cover the sport and 50" trail segments of the sport. To my surprise, two years later I have accumulated more miles on the Ranger Northstar than I have on both of the other UTVs combined. So I am using it alot. It seems there are more days with bad weather than I would have anticipated, and the enclosed cab is nice to have.

I am not entirely happy with the Polaris Northstar though. The worst part is the extremely notchy and catchy shifting mechanism. It is at times almost impossible to get the transmission to shift from one gear to the next because of binding in the linkage or transmission. Almost every shift requires jacking around, back and forth, to jostle the linkage enough to get it to release. I have taken it to the dealer and they did a recall and said it was fixed, but it still works very poorly. Last weekend we were on a narrow two track road on a mountain side, and got to a place where we could not continue, and had to turn around where it requires a 12 point turn to get pointed back out of the trail again. With the transmission binding so badly I got into a point where it just would not release from reverse, without having to back up slightly to get it to release. But I couldn't back up without going off the side of the mountain. It was a bad situation, and I started to think I wouldn't be able to get out of there. I'm sick of fighting the transmission linkage on the Northstar, and an opportunity has come up to get a Defender Limited instead. The dealer has one that is supposed to be shipped in March, so it will be arriving within the next few days to few weeks.

I have already told the Polaris dealer I bought the Northstar from, which is a different dealer than sells the Defender, that he has to either fix the transmission issues, or it is going to be traded on a Can Am. So what do you people think that have experience with both? Is the Defender Limited a quality machine that will work at least as well as the Polaris Northstar? Is it worth making the trade?
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