Can-Am Outlander vs. Polaris Sportsman: Which Is Better?

Can-Am Outlander vs. Polaris Sportsman

The Polaris Sportsman and Can-Am Outlander are equally compelling choices for off-road ATVs, whether for working or off-road outings.

The Can-Am Outlander is known for its robust build and quality construction, offering a blend of stability and power, while the Polaris Sportsman is known for its long-lasting performance and reliability, perfect for heavy utility tasks and recreational off-roading.

Of course, the choice between these two will come down to your intended usage and the terrain you plan to explore. 

With that said, let’s dive in and examine the pros and cons of each model in our Can-Am Outlander vs. Polaris Sportsman guide!

Differences Between Can-Am Outlander And Polaris Sportsman

Polaris Sportsman in the Mud

1. Engine Size & Horse Power 

The Can-Am Outlander offers a diverse selection of engine options, including Rotax V-Twin and four-stroke engines. The three different 850cc, 1000r, or 650cc engines offer impressive power and performance, with up to 78 horsepower. 

The same goes for the Sportsman, though it’s worth noting that the Outlander is better known for its power. 

2. Suspension

Both the Outlander and Sportsman are equipped with suspension systems for managing rough terrain.

The difference is that the Can-Am Outlander boasts a more sophisticated suspension, offering motion-control damping and adjustable shocks, while the Polaris Sportsman does not.

4. Towing Capacity

The Outlander takes the cake in terms of towing capacity, as it provides 1,650 pounds of pulling power. Compared to the Sportsman, which only has 1,500 pounds of pulling power, you have more capabilities. 

5. Tires & Brakes

The Can-Am Outlander comes with Carlisle ACT 26 x 10-12/8-12 tires and dual hydraulic disc brakes, while the Polaris Sportsman comes with CST 26 X 10-14/8-14 tires and hydraulic disc brakes. 

6. AWD Capability

Both the Outlander and Sportsman offer AWD) capabilities, enabling enhanced traction and control when riding on challenging surfaces. With that said, the on-demand AWD that the Polaris Sportsman offers is one of its shining features.

7. Multi-select EPS

Some Can-Am Outlander trims are equipped with Multi-Select EPS, allowing riders to adjust the level of power steering assistance according to their preference and riding conditions. This is a bit different than the Polaris Sportsman, which offers standard EPS in certain models for smoother handling and reduced steering effort.

8. Storage

Both of these ATVs come with ample storage options, including front and rear cargo racks and compartments, allowing riders to carry gear and essentials easily. Each of these vehicles can also be outfitted with additional storage features.

9. Size & Riding Comfort

Both the Outlander and the Sportsman come with rider comfort with features like handlebars and padded seats and handlebars. The distinction lies in the fact that the Can-Am Outlander comes with a more refined array of high-end features for those seeking a more luxurious riding experience. 

However, the Polaris Sportsman is renowned for its ruggedness and durability, as well as extra cargo space, appealing to riders looking for a robust ATV.

10. Customizable Accessories

Both the Polaris Sportsman and Can-Am Outlander stand out for their customizable accessories. 

For example, the Outlander boasts an array of advanced features such as the Visco-Lok QE front differential and the Tri-Mode Dynamic Power Steering, while the Sportsman offers customizable features like On-Demand True AWD and the Lock & Ride cargo system.

Key Features Of Can-Am Outlander vs Polaris Sportsman

ATVs on the Trail

Can-Am Outlander Key Features

  • Can-Am Outlander - Suspensions System

The Can-Am Outlander features a well-engineered suspension system for handling rough terrains while ensuring a comfortable ride. The suspension components may differ based on the specific model, but some common features include sway bars, motion-controlled damping, and adjustable shocks.

  • Can-Am Outlander - Wheels and Tires

The Can-Am Outlander comes with some of our favorite tire and wheel pairings on the market. 

Among the most frequently used tire type on Can-Ams are the Terracross tires from ITP, which come paired with heavy-duty aluminum wheels for exceptional weather resistance and durability.

  • Can-Am Outlander - Comfort Features

One of the main reasons people go with the Can-Am Outlander is that they’re equipped with several comfort-enhancing features, including padded handlebars and seats, user-friendly digital instrument panels, and convenient storage compartments. 

You can even add extra luxury features like a winch and heated grips.

Polaris Sportsman Key Features

  • Polaris Sportsman - AWD

While both vehicles have AWD capabilities, the Polaris Sportsman's automatic on-demand All-Wheel Drive system takes the cake, providing automatic engagement and delivering enhanced traction.

We love the way the frontside gearcase automatically engages to prevent the ATV from losing full control on slippery surfaces.

  • Polaris Sportsman - Independent Rear Suspension

The engine braking system (EBS) is incredibly well-designed to effectively manage the vehicle's speed using a combination of brakes, belts, and gears.

It automatically utilizes the engine's compressions to regulate the driving speed based on the vehicle's speed and the terrain for a consistent and controlled driving experience.

  • Polaris Sportsman - Independent Rear Suspension

The Polaris Sportsman features an independent rear suspension that is thoughtfully engineered. With an upward swing arm, it allows the wheel to move upward and downward, resulting in a compressive motion that ensures a much smoother ride compared to a top-tier axle setup.

Similarities Of Can-Am Outlander And Polaris Sportsman

1. Off-Road Capability

Both the Outlander and Sportsman are designed for off-roading. With rugged construction and capable suspension systems on each, rough terrains are no match for either of these vehicles.

2. Versatility

Both of these models offer an array of accessories and features, making them extremely versatile machines. Whether you’re recreational off-roading or doing work around the farm, they can suit different riding tasks.

3. Comfort

Expect to find similar comfort features on each of these vehicles, including padded seats and handlebars. If you want to enhance the riding experience during long journeys, they’re both great!

4. All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

As you’d expect, both the Outlander and Sportsman offer AWD capabilities. If you find yourself needing enhanced traction and control on challenging surfaces, both of these vehicles will suffice.

5. Engine Options

There are various model options for each of these ATVs, each of which provides access to various engine options with different power outputs. You can choose the one that best matches your performance needs.

6. Storage

Lastly, both ATVs provide plenty of storage compartments and cargo racks for hauling gear. Whether you’re going hunting or doing work around the property, you can carry all the necessary gear and essentials during your offroad adventures.

Pros And Cons Of Can-Am Outlander


  • Some of the most reliable engines on the market today
  • One of the best electrical systems
  • Plenty of exciting aftermarket features to choose from


  • Some models can be prone to overheating
  • Some riders have complained about CVT cover leaks.

Pros And Cons Of Polaris Sportsman


  • Incredible power for utility uses like hauling and loading
  • Very smooth ride, especially with larger weight loads
  • Plenty of aftermarket accessories to choose from


  • Some people have noted issues with the batteries on these vehicles
  • Not as much raw power as the Outlander

Can-Am Outlander Models and Pricing





Outlander XT


Outlander DPS


Outlander XT-P


Outlander Hunting 850


Outlander XXC


Outlander Max 6x6 XT 1000


Outlander Max 6x6 DPS 650


Outlander Max Limited


Outlander Max-XT


Outlander Max XTP


Polaris Sportsman Models and Pricing



Sportsman 110


Sportsman 6x6 570


Sportsman XP 1000 S


Sportsman Touring XP 1000 Trail


Sportsman Touring 850


Sportsman Touring 570


Sportsman XP-1000


Sportsman 850


Sportsman 570


Sportsman 450 H.0.


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Can-Am ATV Parked on Trail

Both of these vehicles are outstanding options for anyone seeking out a high-performance ATV.

Both machines boast advanced suspension systems, powerful engines, and a range of specialized features for however you choose to use yours.

With that said, the Can-Am Outlander stands out more for its exceptional performance capabilities, making it an ideal choice for those prioritizing speed and power, while the Polaris Sportsman impresses with its stability and maneuverability, making it an excellent option for those seeking smoother and more controlled rides on rough terrains. 

And whatever you choose eventually, Kemimoto has always been ready to provide you the quality ATV accessories for your Can-Am Outlander and Polaris Sportsman. To get faster, safer, and more powerful, Kemimoto back you up wherever your adventure takes you!


1. Is Can-Am or Polaris better?

While neither of these vehicles is better than the other, the Can-Am stands out as the faster and higher-performance option. When it comes to the Polaris, it’s an all-terrain machine. Suppose you want a UTV that can travel various terrain, the Polaris RZR might be the best option!

2. Are Can-Am outlanders good?

Yes, Can-Am Outlanders are considered some of the best and most reliable ATVs on the market, suitable for a range of uses, whether utility works to recreational off-roading.

3. Is Can-Am more reliable than Polaris?

According to reliability rankings, Can-Am secures the third position as one of the most reliable ATV brands, while Polaris ATV models come in fourth place. 

4. Which four-wheeler is better Polaris or Can-Am?

There is no definitive answer to which four-wheeler is better, Polaris or Can-Am, as it all comes down to preference. Both four-wheelers offer a wide array of features and capabilities. 

5. Is there any notable difference in seat temp when riding?

While we have not seen any reviews about notable seat temp differences, some people note the heat from certain Can-Am models can be a bit excessive. 

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