Like I mentioned previously the XP is much sportier than previous models with little body roll and no front end wallow like the older models. I feel the Sportsman XP kept the Plush Polaris ride yet is so much better handling and sportier! The machine is user friendly and placement of the controls and foot pegs are well placed although farther back than previous models for better rider control. You can ride the XP all day without fatigue!
Although the model I tested didnt come with the new brushless Power steering option the quad handled effortlessly on all terrain experienced with more effort being needed on pavement, while maneuvering in a garage or while loading and unloading. I am told the new PS offers 1 finger turning of the handlebars with the quad parked or stopped and under full assist which reduces with speed when you dont need it as much. I also feel the front suspension and its geometry is a big improvement here.
I found the seat and quad in general to be very comfortable, the quad did vibrate the Handle bars a little like most quads but usually my right hand and thumb get numb after riding awhile but never did on the 550 XP.
Its nice and narrow in the midsection too, sacrificing ease of access to the PVT cover which is now behind the longitudinal mounted motor.
While I am sad to see the integrated front clamshell storage box go away on the XPs storage space is still ample with a large rear compartment, and there is a similar new interchangeable front rack box available from Pure Polaris. Speaking of the removable front rack, the fuses and radiator are easily accessible underneath the rack.
I thought the power was very good, especially mid range for this class of quad. The XP made it up all the sand hills, even the big test hill. If you crave more power get the 850 XP.
I also liked the PXT Tires on previous models but the 26 Terrathon tires worked well and I have no complaints with the XP here. And the 14 wheels add to the appearance. Overall a Homerun for Polaris and all the ATVing community!