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Arctic Cat Prowler HDX 700 XT: Serious UTV With Fun Side
When you think of Arctic Cat, you probably think of speed. After all, the Minnesota company makes some of the fastest snowmobiles around, and the Arctic Cat Wildcat UTV has been quite successful.
However, Arctic Cat has become a serious contender in the utility crowd with its new 2016 Prowler HDX 700 XT.
The serious side
At its core, the Cat HDX is a workhorse. The machine is powered by a 695-cc H1 single-cylinder, four-stroke engine that runs off electronic fuel injection. With a large number of competitors’ machines running a twin-cylinder engine for gentle power delivery, the torquey single from Cat is surprisingly smooth. Make no mistake, though, the engine packs plenty of power. Another added benefit is outstanding fuel economy.
Storage is one of the main areas where the HDX leads the pack, starting with the massive 56×42.5-inch cargo box that has 1,000 pounds and 2,380 cubic inches of payload capacity. If you’re hauling a wider load, the two-in-one tilting cargo box converts to a flatbed in minutes and is wide enough to fit a full-size pallet. Additionally, there are 22 gallons of water-resistant storage space under the front hood and two side storage compartments that are great for things like ropes, tie-downs, and more.
Another nice feature is the suspension. Fully independent shocks on all four corners are nothing new, but the rear shocks are Fox Float coilovers, which allow you to custom-tune the shocks with an included air pump. If you’re out in the field and need to haul something heavy, you can stiffen the shocks quickly to accommodate the weight increase.
Added touches include a 2-inch receiver hitch, three-passenger seating, and a flat floor in the cabin for easy in-and-out access.
The fun side
Arctic Cat redesigned the Prowler lineup about six months before the new HDX was released, and the company has carried over many of the stylistic cues.
The HDX is basically identical to the sporty Prowler from the front. You could say it is a reversed mullet – all party in the front and business in the back. The HDX’s headlights are outlined with sharp-looking LED driving lights. It also sports a set of stylish polished aluminum wheels.
While the HDX is comfortable doing work around the farm such as plowing the driveway or working up food plots for deer hunting, it’s also a capable trail machine.
The ride is smooth even at higher speeds, and the engine lets you stretch your legs on open trails. If you find yourself stuck, the locking differential and torquey engine pull you out of trouble.
The 700 HDX is available in standard XT trim for $14,499 ($14,999 in camo) or $15,799 for the Hunter Special Edition model, which includes camo graphics, gun scabbards, and a winch. The HDX Crew, which seats six, is $15,499 ($15,999 in camo).
Accessorizing the HDX
Arctic Cat has a huge catalog of accessories available for HDX owners. There are the usual windshields, cab, and roof packages, as well as winch mounts.
For hunters, there are several gun scabbard options, from the traditional hard-plastic units to a soft scabbard that mounts to the rear of the roll cage. Not only is it a high-quality product, but it doesn’t immediately look like a gun scabbard.
There is a soft topper for the bed that, when mounted, covers the entire bed, making it a great way to haul feed or firewood in wet weather.
Another nice add-on is the HDX bed assist. This handy item provides a way to dump the cargo box electronically.