Play All Day on the Can-Am Maverick Sport X XC

The Can-Am Maverick Sport X XC is designed for day-long rides. For riders and their families who want to spend their weekend exploring the wilderness, but who might need their UTV to do some work during the week as well. We took one for the day to see how it stands up to fast forest roads in the heart of Nova Scotia.

 

CanAm Maverick X XC

 

For riders who like to go fast: Sport X XC is sort of a middle ground in the Can-Am lineup

XC stands for Cross Country and the target is riders who like to go fast on the trail. It’s not as extreme as the Maverick X3 or R lines, though. Instead, it offers something more accessible. Can-Am said this is its most popular model and that accessibility is no doubt a big part of that.

 

CanAm Maverick X XC

 

To develop this model, Can-Am took the 60-inch wide Maverick Sport and fitted longer suspension arms for a wide track. It’s four inches wider, giving it more stability at speed.

A Smart-Lok front differential adds traction and adjustable Fox shocks help improve handling stability and ride comfort.

 

CanAm Maverick X XC

 

Excellent body control and well-cushioned ride, better than competitors

Longer suspension arms mean more suspension travel. The X XC has 14.8 inches of movement to help soak up bumps.

The Fox external reservoir shocks give the X XC excellent body control and, more importantly for me, a well-cushioned ride. Comfort even when you’re pounding over the randomly strewn rocks that seem to poke out of every road, track and trail in the province.

 

CanAm Maverick X XC

 

The ride here is better than the competition from Polaris and Yamaha. Crucially, at least for me, the suspension didn’t bottom on bumps and other impacts. Bottoming-out is something I experience a lot of in the competition; it makes for a tough ride, it can also cause damage to the underside.

Can-Am’s dynamic power steering adds more assist when you’re going slow and more when you’re going fast. It makes tight turns easier on your arms without getting twitchy at high speeds. The lighter steering on the move makes for a less stressful day, too, since the drive isn’t beating up the driver.

 

CanAm Maverick X XC on the move

 

Engine: Loud-ish and powerful-ish

You’ll need the relaxing ride and steering to help make up for the engine. The 976 cc Rotax 1000R V-Twin makes 100 horses, 25 more than a Sport. It’s not the most powerful in the segment, but it delivers solid performance with loads of torque even at lower engine speeds.

It’s also very noisy, blocking conversation even at idle.

Can-Am’s Quick Response System CVT does what the name says. It was quick to let the engine rev and get the machine into the power band. It also helped provide excellent engine braking, letting the Maverick coast even at 2 km/h on steep hills. Most UTVs go into a sort of neutral at speeds that low, where you lose all engine braking.

 

CanAm Maverick X XC

 

The cabin is basic but functional.

The 7.6-inch centre display doesn’t have many gauges, but it is easy to read even when lit up by the sun. Toggle switches for lights, 4×4, and Trail modes are all easy to reach and have positive feel of engagement even if you’re getting bounced around the trail.

 

CanAm Maverick X XC

 

Drive modes, gauge adjustments, and trip odometer buttons, though, are smaller and tougher to use. The 12-volt power plug is also a miss. It’s easy to reach in the centre of the dash, but it’s out in the open. Which exposes it and the devices you’re powering to splashes, rain, and mud.

Can-Am has tuned a great ride, but that ride is in a cramped space. The footwell is small, and the adjustable seats won’t go back far enough for taller drivers. The seat itself was at least quite comfortable, assuming you can fit in it.

 

CanAm Maverick X XC

 

The Maverick X XC can hold 300 pounds (136 kg) of gear in its rear cargo box

But you’ll need to be careful how you hold that gear down. There are no tie-downs, and if you want to secure your stuff you’ll need to buy the company’s LinQ attachment points.

Most of those attach near the centre of the box, so they don’t add that much utility.

 

CanAm Maverick X XC

 

Can-Am’s Maverick X XC offers a solid platform for all-day riders. It’s comfy, has plenty of power, and controls that are easy to use. But it’s not the best fit for taller drivers and you’ll want to bring along earplugs for yourself and a comms system if you’ve got a passenger. Those are some small hang-ups, though, and it’s not hard to see why this is Can-Am’s most popular model.

 

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