Ride Review: Can-Am Maverick Sport 1000R
It Delivers a Fun and Exciting 60″ Wide UTV That Shreds
The UTV industry is seemingly in an arms race to see who can build the most power and get the most suspension travel out their top-of-the-line platforms. Undoubtedly it’s FUN to watch this battle unfold, especially since we get to test all the new big guns as they are released each year. This all out war has bred new life into an industry that started out with utility focused machines, proving that the manufactures have come a long way in the past 10 years. It’s exciting to imagine what the next 10 years will bring, but one thing is for sure, bigger power numbers and better suspension is sure to bring ever increasing price tags. When all out power and extreme travel isn’t what you need or isn’t within the budget, but you still want a fun-to-drive sport UTV, what should you buy?
One such option is the 2019 Can-Am Maverick Sport 1000R with its aggressive and angular bodylines, emulating the styling of its Maverick X3 big brother. Can-Am clearly means business with their entry into the 60-inch wide sport UTV segment, but does the little Maverick Sport live up to the standard of performance held by the X3 at a more affordable price point? After spending time with our Sport, aptly nicknamed “Bumblebee” due to its vibrant yellow color, and getting behind the wheel, we can safely say the new Maverick Sport 1000R more than exceeds expectations and brings the sting!
Immediately when climbing into the cab, we noticed the seating position was great. Sitting low in the chassis and close to an ideal driving position, not to mention the seats are among the most comfortable to come in any of the recent models we’ve tested. The visibility out of the cab in this seating position also matches the comfort of the seat, it is clear of obstructions and offers little to no blind spots looking forward. The big cars are cramming more technology into their instrument clusters, sometimes even overwhelming the driver, the Maverick Sport is the exact opposite. The small and simple instrument cluster is attached to the steering column so it is easy to read with the wheel in any position, and with only basic info reading out, there is no way to be confused with what you are looking at.
As we continue to dissect the interior, we find ample amount of storage in both the passenger glove box, as well as a great storage compartment in front of the driver. Matching the plentiful storage are the 4 additional switch locations to add in accessories you need on a trail rig. One of the biggest things we noticed while seated in the Maverick Sport was the quality of the door. Can-Am did a great job designing a full door with an inside and outside door handle, and a full interior panel to give it a very automotive style finish. The beltline of the door is also fairly high, giving the occupants a very secure and comfortable feeling while driving. It is little things like this that set cars apart and make us excited to get them in the dirt.
Standing 60” wide with a 90.6” wheelbase, and 12 inches of travel in the rear, we knew that the Maverick Sport wouldn’t be the whoop eating monster that we have grown accustomed to with the X3 platform. But with a dry weight of 1392 lbs and 100 horsepower on tap, it should be no slouch. Putting together a plan to test how well rounded this unit was, we had a few different rides planned for it, including the Glamis sand dunes of Southern California. To give the Sport a fighting chance, we bolted on a set of System 3 Off Road wheels wrapped with their DS340 paddles to it and headed to the dunes. The wind was high on the drive to Glamis, but that wind would smooth out the dunes giving the 12 inches of travel a fighting chance to hang with the big turbos UTVs.
Jumping right into the first ride of the day, we hit the small, tight and technical dunes in a hurry. The short wheelbase and great power to weight ratio made the Maverick Sport an absolute blast to drive. It was easy to pass the bigger cars in the tight technical sections, and as the ride continued the smiles (and confidence) only grew larger. The laughter from the whole group at each stop was priceless, because nobody expected this little car to perform so well in the sand. Once in the big dunes, the Sport had plenty of power to rail around the massive bowls, keeping pace with the turbo cars while jumping transitions from one bowl to another. Obviously you’re not going to win any horsepower wars at the sand drags, but we had no issues getting anywhere we wanted to go. After a full day of duning under our belts, we’d have no hesitation over bringing the Maverick Sport back to the sand. Our excitement grew thinking about the next destination, the tight wooded trails, where this little 60-inch UTV should really excel.
After the haul from California to Arizona, we got the Maverick Sport unloaded, cleaned up and back in the shop, and as hard as we pushed the little UTV, it came back from the dunes totally unscathed. We installed the OEM Maxxis tires and the Sport was 100% ready to go again, ready to be put through its paces in the wooded trails of the Cinders OHV riding area in Flagstaff, Arizona. We checked the weather, and seeing the mountains getting hit with a snowstorm, decided there’d be no better time to go than now. With one of us having never been in the snow, let alone ever ridden in it, this was going to be a hell of an experience. We threw the Sport on the trailer, loaded up layers of clothes, and away we went.
As we rolled into the snow blanketed flats of the Cinders riding area, our esteemed test driver, Kyle, began to become quite nervous, as he had never driven in snow before… We unloaded, and suited up while the little Mav warmed up, and after a quick ‘don’t be a wuss’ peptalk, we were away to gather our photos. After a long, cold, and hilariously fun day of ripping the Maverick Sport around in the snow, and through the trees, we could all agree that this is one of the most well rounded sport UTVs you can buy on the market today. Even with two people comfortably seated in the car, the ride was firm but compliant through the small to medium sized bumps, and with enough speed could be pushed to skip smaller sized whoops on the flats and main trails. That being said, the 12 inches of travel in the rear could quickly be used up, sending the car bucking wildly; but remember, that’s not what this car is about.
That smooth and controlled ride translated to quick, nimble, and impressive handling while juking around the trees on the fast and flowing trails. The Dynamic Power Steering does provide great feedback through the wheel at high speeds, making it feel much more stable and connected when blasting across the flats at 60-70 mph. Amazingly the same system assisted with slow speed action reducing the effort needed to navigate the Sport through tight technical trails. The Quick Response System (QRS) CVT lived up to its name and responded rapidly to throttle inputs keeping the Rotax 976cc V-twin right near the powerband. When the power was routed through all four wheels utilizing the Visco-Lok front differential, we saw no issue climbing to the top of the biggest snow covered hill we could find. Having traction up front also helped to greatly increase the agility of the already nimble handling even in the snow covered trails, giving you the feeling of in a shifter kart on rails.
Sure, the new Maverick Sport 1000R DPS is no whoop devouring monster like its Maverick X3 older brother… But at the end of the day we think the small, lighter, and more affordable Sport ha a clear role and purpose as a great option even for those who reside in the southwestern deserts such as ourselves. The seemingly bulletproof and responsive powertrain combined with the quick handling chassis made this one of the most fun-to-drive UTVs we’ve ever tested, and “Bumblebee”, as it’s fondly referred to around the office, certainly lives up to the Maverick name.