2023 Can-Am Defender | A Detailed Guide

When it comes to side-by-side UTVs, Can-Am is relatively new to the market. Despite being somewhat of a latecomer to the game, the Can-Am has been creating a name for itself in recent years. Although it mostly appeals to hunters and fishermen, the Can-Am Defender has managed to carve out a pretty decent niche in the off-road UTV industry.

The 2023 Can-Am defender has just on the shelf, and this article will focus on how it stands out from the older 2022 Can-Am Defender. To make things easier to compare, we'll also go over some basics regarding the Defender series in general.

Overview Of The Can-Am Defender 2023

Can-Am Defender is the type of side-by-side that people use for everyday purposes. It isn’t just a strict hobbyist vehicle that people take out for a spin every couple of months or so. The Defender is a functioning work vehicle for carrying work equipment, camping gear, or anything else you’d want.

It’s a very roomy UTV with seating space for up to 6 people. The windows have two separate glass panels, which adds a lot of visibility. The Can-Am 2023 has very decent horsepower and towing capacity. It also offers a lot of comfort and safety. So far, it is one of the best value-for-buck UTVs on the market.

It’s a vehicle that can handle getting muddy. Basically, it’s something you’d be comfortable taking to your worksite, while also being completely functional for a week-long trip on the forest trails.

2023 Can-Am defender offers value, power, and comfort in a compact package. The latest model has more seats, electrical front doors, and bolstered off-road capabilities. There are also some quality-of-life features like cup holders and tape measures on the tailgate.

What’s New With The Latest Model?

The Can-Am defender has always had very respectable specs, and the new 2023 model does not disappoint. Over here, we’d like to mention some of the changes that we think are very neat.

1. Increased Front Suspension

Performance-wise, the only major change they’ve introduced is the new suspension arm. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the front suspension A-arms have a bulkier profile. It feels more sturdy and stable.

The actual suspension travel has seen a couple of inches increase too. Any respectable off-roader knows that more suspension never hurts. The arms are also pushed towards the front a couple of inches for stability.

2. Full Flip-Up Windshield

The windshield is a full-flip-up model with a windshield wiper and a cleaning fluid kit. This feature may vary based on which model you buy. The limited edition desert tan model will have a lot of accessories with it.

For cheaper options, you might need to buy additional accessories like the windshield cleaning kit separately. You can find all the Can-Am accessories in our collection.

3. More Glass

One thing you might notice is a distinct increase in the amount of glass the 2023 Can-Am has compared to the 2022 model. All four windows have 2 separate glass panels. The front doors are still electric. You can pull down both the driver and passenger-side windows with the buttons on the driver-side door.

The backseat windows are both manuals. The glass does retract into the doorframe. That makes the side doors an excellent place to rest the arm while driving.

4. Underseat Storage

The cool thing about the new 2023 Can-Am Defender is that it has a ton of hidden storage. The under-seat storage isn’t entirely new, even the 2020 Can-Am Defender had it. What makes 2023 special is that it has that under every seat.

There are three seats at the front and three at the back. All the seats pop up like a lid. However, most models will come with a single storage box attached below the driver seat. You’ll need to buy the other ones separately.

Specs For The New Can-Am

Now let’s look at the specs of the new 2023 Can-Am:

1. Engine

The new model comes with a 976 cc engine that packs a whopping 82 horsepower. It has a liquid cooling system, electronic fuel injection, and 69 torque. 

The fuel tank can hold just upwards of 10 gallons. Overall, it’s a pretty sweet deal. This Rotax v-twin packs a lot of towing capacity. Approximately 2.5k pounds according to the advertisement.

2. Body

The 2023 Can-Am has a streamlined body structure. The Max Limited version offers 4 distinct exteriors to choose from.

The desert tan/timeless black, stone gray, oxford blue, and mossy oak are your options.

The front suspension has a double A-arm design and the rear one has an arched profile. The shock absorbers are gas-charged twin-tube variants. This UTV has 6 seats, all of which are flippable. You can use the seat space to store larger gear like a hunting rifle or fishing rod.

Who Is The Can-Am Defender For?

The 2023 Can-Am is a UTV, so it can run just as well on gravel as it does on dirt. Nothing is stopping you from using it as a work vehicle to haul tools (except the law). Though you can’t do it on public roads for obvious reasons. So, it’s only good as a work vehicle if you own enough land- like a ranch or homestead for example.

The Can-Am is perfect for cruising in forest trails though, and you can haul quite a lot of gear. The back trunk is deceptively large. You can fit a medium-sized cooler, a mini grill, and a large duffle bag and still have space left for another one of any of those.

Most UTVs come with a lot of customizable options. The 2023 Can-Am Defender has many such features. The desert tan/timeless black edition comes with the JL audio roof, which you can tweak to add your preferred sound system.


In short, the 2023 Can-Am defender is multi-purpose with respectable power and towing strength. It also doesn’t slack off in the comfort department.  The 2023 Can-Am model is one of the best ones Can-Am dished out so far.

It faces steep competition from similar models from Polaris or Honda for example, but it’s a healthy competition. Drive on a superb vehicle and upgrade the driving experience by equipping it with Kemimoto's accessories.

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