Polaris is a well-known ATV manufacturer, that is based in the USA. An ATV is a big purchase and so it’s important to do your research. In this article, I will cover whether ATVs are good or not and why.
In general, Polaris ATVs are good. But, the other most popular ATV brands such as Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Can-Am are better overall than Polaris ATVs. This is based on the metrics: warranty length, reliability (based on an independent survey), and the number of ATV models they sell.
Below, I will go into more detail about how Polaris ATVs compare to other ATV brands and cover which brand of ATV is best overall. After that, I will cover the company info about Polaris, and how they started.
To get to the bottom of how each ATV brand compares to another, I looked into 5 key areas for each and then compared them. I ranked them from best to worst in each area and then used that to arrive at a final score for each ATV brand. These metrics I looked at are:
- How reliable they are
- The length of the warranty they provide with their ATVs
- How many different ATV models they sell
- The yearly revenue (how popular they are)
- The number of employees (customer service)
Below is a table I put together that shows the total score for each. A higher score is the best. The number for each category such as warranty length is a ranking from 6 to 1. With 6 being the best, and 1 being the worst.
|Brand||Warranty Length*||Number of ATV Models||Reliability Score||Number of Employees||Yearly Revenue ($USD)||Total|
You can see that Polaris ranks worst overall compared to the other most well-known ATV brands. Now, let’s take a look at the numbers behind each of these brands.
The reliability of an ATV is how soon it breaks down after purchase and how often it breaks down. This is hard to gauge without getting the responses from many different people. Therefore, a survey was conducted and over 600 people responded. The question asked was ‘what is the most reliable ATV brand’.
Here’s a table that the total responses each brand got:
|Brand||Votes||Percentage of Votes|
Polaris came in at third overall, with 9.23% of the total votes. Slightly, above Can-Am but significantly above Suzuki and Kawasaki. Honda was the clear winner with over half of the votes, and Yamaha had significantly more votes than Polaris.
This shows that Polaris is overall reasonably reliable. But, not the most reliable. It’s important to note that, as I’ll cover further below, Polaris is a much smaller company than the other ATV brands. So, it’s fair to say that it’s likely Polaris is not as well known as the other ATV brands that received more votes. Which could account for the lower votes it got.
A manufacturer’s warranty is a beautiful thing. In general, it covers the early failure of components on an ATV. But, does not cover the battery, or consumable parts like the tires. A longer warranty means you can be more confident in your purchase because if anything goes wrong with it you can get it repaired free of charge.
ATV brands tend to have different lengths of warranty. Here’s a table that shows how the length of the warranty that each ATV brand provides:
|Honda||1 to 4 years|
Polaris interestingly provides the shortest warranty out of all the ATV brands and has a 6-month manufacturer’s warranty. This adds some minus points to Polaris’ overall score. And can be seen as a negative for Polaris ATVs.
If you’re going to get a Polaris ATV, then plan on setting aside a budget to cover repairs, which like all vehicles are bound to happen eventually.
There are two broad categories of ATVs that ATV manufacturers sell. 1) Recreation and Utility ATVs, and 2) Sport ATVs. Each brand sells a different number of models. A brand that sells more models has more selection which is nice because you get to choose between a few different styles.
Here’s a table that shows the total number of ATVs:
Each brand of ATV sells more or fewer models. You could argue that a brand that sells fewer ATV models puts more attention into the models that they sell. And therefore, they are of higher quality. So, this can be correlated with the reliability score to see if this is indeed the case.
But, it’s also true that more model selection is a good thing because you can get something that is better suited to your needs. I’ve decided to give the ATV brands that sell more models a better score. Here’s a table that shows how many models each ATV brand sells, ranked from most to least:
Polaris is tied in second place with Honda and Suzuki. Whereas, Can-am and Kawasaki have about half the ATV models that Polaris has. Yamaha is by far and away far better than the other brands. With a total of 19 different models. More than double that of any other brand.
Polaris is about middle of the road for the number of models they sell.
The yearly revenue of an ATV company shows how many of its products they sell. Many of the top ATV brands also sell other vehicles such as cars and two-wheeled motorbikes. So, it is not necessarily indicative of how popular their ATVs are. However, it’s a good benchmark that gives an indication of how good an ATV company is overall.
Here’s a table that shows a ballpark figure of each ATV company’s yearly revenue:
|Company||Yearly Revenue ($USD)|
Polaris is 4th on this list, and quite far away from the ATV companies above and below it. Honda has significantly more yearly revenue than any of the other ATV companies. And has more than double the yearly revenue of all of the other ATV companies combined.
But, this can largely be attributed to the fact that Honda is a very well-known car provider. So, a significant proportion of their yearly revenue will come from cars. Overall, Polaris doesn’t appear significantly worse or better than the other ATV companies in terms of yearly revenue and is very much in the middle.
The number of employees a company has shows how large the company is. This means there are more resources for customer service. It also generally means they have a greater distribution of repair/service centers. Which means it will be easier to access one if you need it.
|Company||Number of Employees|
Polaris has the second-lowest amount of employees. But, significantly more than the lowest – Can-Am. Honda is a bit of an outlier with ridiculously more employees than any of the other ATV companies. But, if I take the average of the others I get 26,400. Which is significantly above the number of employees that Polaris has.
This can mean that Polaris has worse customer support than the other ATV companies except for Can-Am.
A common question with ATVs is whether they can be ridden on the road or are strictly for offroad use. I explained the answer to these questions in detail in this article about whether the road hurts ATV tires.
I looked through the owner’s manuals of all the major brands of ATVs to see what they recommend about riding an ATV on the road. It also covers how long stock ATV tires generally last.
Some companies are subsidiaries of other companies, and it’s a good idea to know where an ATV is made, and by who. Therefore, here’s the rundown of who makes Polaris ATVs, and where they’re made.
Polaris ATVs are made by Polaris. Polaris has four production facilities, which are all located in the Americas. Three are located in the USA, two are located in Minnesota, and one in Alabama. The other production facility is located in Monterrey, Mexico.
Polaris was founded in 1954 in Roseau, Minnesota. Interestingly, Polaris also makes snowmobiles and motorcycles. They initially started by making only snowmobiles. They began making ATVs in 1984.
Here’s an interesting video where one of the vehicle designers at Polaris talks about how they developed one of their recent models the 2021 Sportsman 570.
ATVs like other vehicles do break down eventually, and parts need replacing. If an ATV is more reliable it will cost you less in the long run. So, which company makes the most reliable ATVs, Honda or Polaris?
Overall, Honda ATVs are more reliable than Polaris ATVs. A survey was conducted of over 600 people and asked which brand of ATV is the most reliable. Honda received significantly more votes compared to Polaris. Honda received 50% of the votes, and Polaris received 9.23% of the votes.
Therefore, chances are that a Honda is a better option if you want an ATV that will last longer before needing repairs.
Honda is another well-known ATV brand. Polaris and Honda both make high-quality ATVs, but ATV companies can differ in quality based
Overall, Polaris is not better than Honda. Using an overall score based on the reliability of their ATVs, the number of ATV models they sell, the length of the warranty, the yearly revenue of each company, and the number of employees they have, Honda is far superior.
I explained why Honda ATVs are better than Polaris ATVs in this article about Honda ATVs vs Polaris ATVs. It gives a side-by-side comparison based on each of these metrics so you can see how much better or worse Polaris is compared to Honda in each of these different evaluation criteria.
Polaris is a brand that’s well known in the ATV industry. They also make a range of different vehicles but, how do their four-wheelers far, and are they any good. I looked into it and here’s what I found.
Overall, Polaris makes a good four-wheeler. However, relative to other brands Polaris is not as good. Polaris ATVs have the shortest warranty, and their reliability is not as good as some other brands, based on an independent survey.
They also have fewer employees than other ATV brands. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it could be argued that companies with more employees have better customer support, and are more mature companies.