Polaris RZR XP 1000 vs Can Am Maverick X3:  Which Is The Better Overall Side-By-Side In 2024?

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In the world of sport side-by-sides, the Polaris RZR XP 1000 and the Can Am Maverick X3 reign supreme.

Unless you want to spend out the wazoo for the brand new Can Am Maverick R, which is the fastest side by side we’ve ever seen.

But for those who don’t, this guide will detail the key differences between these two models and highlight which one makes the better option from a power, performance and price perspective.

More Engine Power

When it comes to engine power for off-roading in sand dunes or desert trails, both the Polaris RZR and Can-Am Maverick X3 pack a punch. 

The RZR has made significant improvements in recent years, reaching up to 181 horsepower in certain models.

However, the Maverick X3 outshines it with 195 horsepower, thanks to its turbocharged engine and enhancements for quick acceleration and impressive torque. 

If engine power is towards the top of your wishlist, the Can-Am Maverick X3 wins out with its superior horsepower and torque…but not by all that much.

Better Fuel Capacity

For those planning extended rides or adventures on sandy terrains, fuel capacity is crucial. 

The Polaris RZR boasts a 12-gallon tank, offering more fuel storage compared to the Maverick X3’s 10.5-gallon tank. 

This larger tank in the RZR means longer rides without the need for frequent refueling, making it a better choice for those who prioritize fuel capacity for longer adventures.

Best Interior Design

Polaris has focused on a user-friendly interior in the RZR, with a comfortable driving position, lightweight steering wheel, and touchscreen display for convenience. 

Can-Am, on the other hand, has taken a bold approach with the Maverick X3, featuring adjustable seats and a focus on performance and comfort through its ergonomic design. 

Depending on your preferences for a conservative or aggressive driving style, you might find the RZR or Maverick X3 more suitable, respectively.

Better Driving Performance

The RZR’s narrower 64-inch width gives it an edge in narrow trail riding, allowing for agile movement. 

Conversely, the Maverick X3’s 72-inch width makes it better suited for open desert trails, offering stability in wider spaces. 

Your choice between the two should depend on your preferred riding locations and the type of trails you enjoy most.

Better Braking Ability & Control When Stopping

Safety is paramount, and braking performance is a critical factor in rough terrains. 

The RZR features an advanced braking system with dynamically adjustable dampers for precise control. 

The Maverick X3 also has a strong braking system, but the RZR’s innovative suspension and dampers provide it with a slight edge in braking performance, making it a preferable option for those prioritizing safety and control.

Most Comfortable Ride

Both the Maverick X3 and RZR offer comfortable seating arrangements with four-point harnesses and adjustable seating positions. 

However, the Maverick X3 provides more legroom and adjustability, catering well to comfort during off-road adventures. 

If comfort and safety are your priorities, both vehicles perform admirably, with slight preferences based on seating design and adjustability.

Best Handling

Handling can make or break the off-roading experience, especially on challenging terrains. 

The RZR offers great handling with improvements for precise cornering, while the Maverick X3’s wider stance and dynamic power steering make it superior on sand tracks with curves. 

For those seeking excellent handling on diverse terrains, the Maverick X3’s advanced features provide a slight advantage.

Best Wheels and Tires

Both vehicles come equipped with quality tires and wheels suitable for off-road challenges. 

The RZR is adaptable with certain accessories for customization. 

For those looking to personalize their vehicle or require assistance with parts, Can-Am’s support with 3D-model projects can be a valuable resource. 

When it comes to wheels, tires, and customization options, both vehicles offer great features, with specific advantages depending on your customization needs.

Price & Value

For 2024, the base MSRP of the Polaris RZR XP 1000 models starts at around $20,999 for the best sport model.

The Can Am Maverick X3 starts around $1,000 more at $21,999 for the base model.

Each model offers a number of different variants and trims at different prices, so you have plenty of options to choose from based on what you need.

While the Maverick X3 tends to be slightly higher in price, this is justified thanks to its superior power, suspension and handling.

Final Word

In our opinion, the Can Am Maverick X3 makes the slightly better overall option.

But depending upon what you’re looking for, you could just as easily make the case for the Polaris RZR XP 1000.

And the great news is you can’t really go wrong either way.