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Notable Features on the Can-Am Defender
Can-Am recently introduced its new utility UTV – the Defender – to a group of journalists at Harpole’s Heartland Lodge in Illinois. I was lucky enough to test drive the Defender on the lodge’s 1,200 acres of ATV trails. The shot at the left was taken at an overlook. (I know, it’s a rough job, but someone has to do it!) The following are some particularly notable features on the Defender. For a complete overview, check out this article.
Can-Am is known for its recreational vehicles, such as the Sea-Doo, Spyder, and Commander, but there’s no doubt that the Defender was made to be a workhorse with its 1,000-pound hauling and 2,000-pound towing capacity. I tried out the Defender with 1,000 pounds in the box and, as long as you went a bit slower and adjusted the preload on the shocks, it handled just fine over some rocky terrain.
Plenty of Power
The Defender is available with an 800- or 1,000-cc Rotax V-twin engine, both of which provide plenty of power on the trails. Power is transferred by a Pro-Torq Transmission with an extra low gear to help provide torque when towing.
The Defender is loaded with Easter eggs – little surprise features that are guaranteed to make your day easier. One of my favorites is a removable toolbox that goes where the glove box would normally be. The cargo box is also loaded with Easter eggs, including four indentations that will securely hold five-gallon buckets and cup holders on the 250-pound rated tailgate.
Here’s another shot of the toolbox – this time in its locked position in the cab. As you can see, the center seat folds down to provide cup holders. There’s also a cup holder to the left of the steering wheel as well as a smaller storage compartment to the bottom left of the wheel – a great place to store a cell phone. Combined with the removable and waterproof under seat storage box, the Defender has a total of 16.2 gallons of storage.
Room for Fido
When Can-Am was researching utility UTVs, the team noticed a lot of farmers and ranchers as well as hunters ride in side-by-sides with their dogs. A dog may be your best friend, but their nails can wreck havoc on a UTV seat. So Can-Am engineers made the seats more durable and created a space on the ground for your dog to ride on. Simply remove the extra under seat storage box, flip up the seats, and there’s ample space for Fido.
Can-Am has developed 50 accessories specifically for the Defender, plus an additional 25 Can-Am accessories will also work with the new machine. Accessory options include a soft and hard cab, lights, winches, and hitches. My favorite add on is the bed wall extender, shown on the left. Used in conjunction with a headache rack, the bed wall extender increases the capacity of the box by three times.
There are four Defender models available for MY16, including the base model for $10,999 and a unit with electric power steering (EPS) for $12,799. An XT model with 27-inch Maxxix Bighorn 2.0 tires, 14-inch wheels, EPS, a roof and more runs for $15,599. The Defender XT cab includes all of the features of the XT plus a full cab enclosure with a tilt up windshield and wiper kit, doors with electric opening windows, a rear window, and heater kit for $23,699.
Take a look at the newest utility UTV on the market.