When Polaris first introduced the ACE single-seat UTV into its lineup for the 2014 model year, there was much speculation as to what type of rider this particular vehicle would appeal to?
It was sort of a crossover vehicle, combining the attributes of an ATV with the protection of a UTV. Instead of side-by-side seating, you were positioned in the center of the vehicle, not unlike an ATV, only with a roll cage, steering wheel and automotive type controls instead of handlebars and a thumb throttle. The initial ACE came with a Polaris Pro Star 32 HP engine that, while adequate for most trail usage, was deemed to be a bit down in available power for the sportier minded crowd.
What’s New For 2015?
For 2015 Polaris has introduced a new 570cc version of the Pro Star engine. It puts out a claimed 45 HP instead of only 32 HP, like last years model (which is still available as an option for $7,499).
Price-wise, you’re looking at paying about $1,000 more for the added HP that the 570cc Pro Star motor produces, with a suggested MSRP of $8,499 (an ACE 570 SP version sells for $9,999 and comes equipped with Polaris electronic steering system and a black pearl metallic paint scheme).
So, it all comes down to whether you think the extra power of the new 570 ACE makes it a better bargain for a single-seat UTV? Here is what we learned.
The new 570cc engine has more power than last year’s (2014) original power plant. It has substantially more pep and accelerates and pulls much stronger on the bottom end. The overall low-end power is good, but it also revs out on the top end, making it a much more fun and thrilling machine to drive.
The Polaris AWD system and auto clutch engages in low-range for rock crawling, and low-speed driving conditions, quite well. Top speed in low-range is about 25 mph. There is still plenty of power on tap for speeding down fast fire roads in high-range, with the machine topping out at 55-60 mph. That’s about a 10 mph difference over last year’s ACE.
It also has a 48″ overall width, for a tight and narrow feel on the trails (also handy for trails that restrict ATVs/UTVs to a 50″ width). This also means that the ACE will fit into a standard sized truck bed for transportation to your favorite ride spot, without having to trailer it.
The ACE has a slightly longer wheelbase than its ATV cousin, the 570 Sportsman, at 61.5 inches. It also has a slightly lower seat height, as well as 3/4 inch lower ride height than its ATV counterpart.
Steering effort at speed feels light, and bump steer is minimal. The overall steering effort is a bit more pronounced, particularly at slower speeds, but it isn’t objectionable. Polaris does offer an optional (EPS) power steering kit for the ACE as either an option or on the 570 SP model.
While you can break the back-end loose on slick gravel roads, or in the mud, the shortened wheelbase and narrow width keep it from wanting to slide out in corners. Unlike a conventional ATV, where you can use body lean to help you corner, the ACE keeps you situated in the middle of the vehicle at all times. There is no “hanging off” this unit to help the driver get it to turn sharper or slide, as you can on ATVs. That said, it does give you increased confidence, knowing you are sitting inside a roll cage, instead of on top of the vehicle, like you would be on a typical ATV.
While it did not feel particularly tippy on sidehills, you would want to be a bit more careful about how steep of a sidehill you do engage. You do want to be aware of the increased height of the vehicle with the roll cage.
First, there is a lot to like about this single-seat UTV (besides the extra horsepower). Here is our list of likes on this uniquely hybrid machine (part ATV/part UTV).
- Up front, MacPherson strut suspension has 10-1/4″ ground clearance and 8.2″ of travel.
- On the back end, dual A-arm suspension is standard with 9.5″ of travel
- Payload capacity of 570-lbs.
- High/low range transmission with 1,500-lb. towing capacity
- AWD (all-wheel-drive system)
- EZ fit boots inside the cab
- Steering wheel has 3.5 inches of steering adjustment for different size drivers
- Seat also slides 4 to 4.5 inches forward or back
- Nets on either side are easy to adjust and click in place
- Strong disc brakes front and rear
- 3-point safety harnesses
- 2.8 gallon capacity front storage compartment
- Rear cargo area measures 18″ x 35″ with removable panel for easy access to top of engine and airbox
- Analog Speedometer, Digital Odometer, Tachometer, Tripmeter, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, AWD Indicator, Hi-Temp/Low-Battery Lights, DC Outlet
- Many available accessories.
Is The ACE A Better Vehicle Than Honda’s Pilot Or Odyssey?
The selectable Polaris AWD (all-wheel-drive) system helps in tight turning situations when rear wheels start slipping and the front wheels engage. This is where the ACE differs from the old Honda Odyssey or the Honda Pilot’s two-wheel drive system from a few years back. That was the limiting factors on those machines at the time (1985 for the Honda Odyssey and 1990 for the Honda Pilot).
Polaris AWD transmission automatically engages the front wheels when the rear wheels start to slip, allowing it to go from 2WD to 4WD effortlessly. Had Honda continued with the Pilot’s development, we’re sure it would have matured with this feature, as Honda has it on their regular ATV lineup. Why they discontinued the Pilot still remains a mystery to us.
That is where the Polaris ACE gets high marks. The fun factor is high. It’s extremely fun to drive, especially now with the sportier performance of the new 570 Pro Star 45 HP engine. The ACE has good suspension, great braking performance and is a stable handling platform that helps increase rider confidence.
Basically, this is a sit down ATV – however, it has a bucket seat, steering wheel, and automotive-like controls, with a roll cage thrown in. It offers a lot of fun and protection for the entry-level rider wanting a single seat UTV.
People new to off-roading should be the core audience for this particular machine. Anyone that may have mobility issues, or be less physically active (and older) who doesn’t want to have to hang off the machine in order to maneuver it will also enjoy the ACE.
We like the ACE, especially with its new, peppier 570 Pro Star engine. It’s fun to drive, nicely suspended and a capable machine that will suit entry-level off-roaders looking for a single-seat UTV. In that marketplace, it has no equal. At least not yet.
- On-Demand True All-Wheel-Drive
- Automatic high/low transmission
- Unique cab design w/Certified Roll Over Protection System (ROPS) cab frame
- 3-Point seatbelt
- Easy attach side nets
- Added stopping power with four-wheel/ four-disc braking system
- Bucket seat with 4″ of adjustability
- Easy access with flat floor plan
- Steering wheel offers 3.5″ of adjustment
- 570-lb. combined rack and storage capacity
- 1,500-lb. towing capacity
- Powerful 50 watt halogen lighting with high and low beams
- Front rack opens to 2.8 gallons of semi-dry storage
- 5.25 gallon fuel tank
- 10.25″ ground clearance
- Convenient access panel in cargo area opens to engine compartment for easy maintenance
- Independent dual A-arm rear suspension with 9.5″ of suspension travel
- MacPherson strut front suspension offers 8.2″ of independent suspension travel
- 45 HP ProStar Engine with Dual Overhead Cams and a 4 valve cylinder head
- Trail Compliant 48″ Width
- 61.5″ Wheelbase
- Both the brake and throttle are on the same (right side) so you are limited to using your right foot only for braking and acceleration
- Somewhat of a tendency to two-wheel in tight traction filled turns
- Can”t use “body english” to help turn it in corners
2015 Polaris ACE 570 Specifications
Drive System Type:
On-Demand True AWD/2WD
Electronic Fuel Injection
45 Peak Horsepower, actual horsepower may vary
Automatic PVT P/R/N/L/H; Shaft
4-Stroke DOHC Single Cylinder
MacPherson Strut With 8.2″ (20.8 cm) Travel
Dual A-Arm, IRS 9.5″ (24 cm) Travel
Tires / Wheels Front Tires:
25 x 8-12; 489 Rear Tires:
25 x 10-12; 489
Brakes Front/Rear Brakes:
4-wheel Hydraulic Disc
Park in Transmission
Front/Rear Rack or Box Capacity:
120-lb. / 240-lb.
Fuel Capacity (gallons):
Overall Vehicle Size (LxWxH) 90″ x 48″ x 68″
Estimated Dry Weight (lbs):
Voodoo Blue or White Lightening
Cargo System Lock & Ride
Hitch Towing Rating:
Analog Speedometer, Digital Odometer, Tachometer, Tripmeter, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, AWD Indicator, Hi-Temp/Low-Batt Lights, DC Outlet
Dual 50w Low Beam Bumper Lights, Dual Brakelights/Taillights
For more info go to:
By Dennis Cox
Photos by Dennis Cox