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2017 UTV Evaluation: Can-Am Defender
Can-Am has always studied its place in the market and developed equipment that is above par when it comes to the purpose of this equipment. The Can-Am Defender HD10 is no different.
This machine came into the utilitarian scene with a bang and simply took off, setting high marks for the Valcourt, Canada-based company. The workability of this machine made it shine during our Ultimate UTV Evaluation.
In 2017, Successful Farming magazine conducted its third extensive UTV evaluation to provide you with information about how UTVs perform in ag applications. During the evaluation, we put seven of the newest utility vehicles through four rigorous tests.
The very first thing we noticed in the Defender HD10 cab is the 40/20/40 bench-style seat. This seating will allow three to be seated in the cab comfortably. Once in the driver’s seat, the steering wheel can be tilted up or down to accommodate most any driver. The rugged specialty vinyl-covered seating material and seat structures are sculpted in a way that allows easy entry or exit from the cab on either side. The tapered edges on the rugged seat bottom keep the entry smooth for every day in and out, which was important to the engineers at Can-Am. During our testing, we found the Defender to be very adequate in all of our seat time, and the creature comforts in the cab made this machine shine. The Defender rides smooth and comfortable even after a full day of work. This scored the Defender 28.7 out of 30 points for general observations, which include rider comfort and general fit and finish.
Inside the cab, we noticed the amounts of storage are plentiful with a few unique storage compartments. One of these was the removable glove box that can be used as a portable toolbox or even a tackle box if you should need it outside of the machine. The handle on the top of the box acts as a locking mechanism to hold the box in place when sitting on the dash. The passenger seat hides another great storage box underneath it that is not only removable but also is waterproof. This box can be removed to create a vast transport area, as well.
The Defender was built based on three points, and the first was to focus on simplicity by offering useful features that truly serve a function. Of course, Can-Am wanted to produce a vehicle that is known for its reliability. Finally, since the Defender is a working machine, designed to tackle jobs that sport-minded vehicles can’t, it had to be durable, as well. One of the key items that makes the Defender a great worker is the Rotax V-Twin power plant. This strong fuel-injected, water-cooled mill pumps out the grunt for towing as well as hauling. During the evaluation, we found the power to be steady, and when pressed, the engine simply reacts with increasingly stout pulling power until you take your foot off the pedal.
The Defender can tow up to 2,000 pounds via its 2-inch receiver. The Cargo Box will haul up to 1,000 pounds, and the Defender has an overall payload of 1,500 pounds. The Defender does tow well under load and seems to remain with its manners during the tasks of our testing. Getting a full load moving was never an issue, and the confidence that the Defender gives towards a working day is very pleasing. The Defender scored second place in both the towing and half-loaded tests during the evaluation.
I would say that aside from a little more noise that other UTVs we tested and a shifting lever that needs adjusting, the Can-Am Defender makes a really good tool for the farm or ranch.
About the author: Rick Sosebee is an ATV/UTV journalist and was one of three evaluators during the UTV testing.