2021 Polaris Sportsman 850 Can Be Considered One of the Best ATVs Under $10K

2021 Sportsman 850 9 photos
Photo: Polaris Inc
2021 Sportsman 850 Ultimate Trail2021 Sportsman 850 Ultimate Trail2021 Sportsman 850 Ultimate Trail Hitch2021 Sportsman 8502021 Sportsman 8502021 Sportsman 8502021 Sportsman 8502021 Sportsman 850
When’s the last time you took a ride on the wild side? If you can’t remember, or don’t own anything to get you out into the wilderness, all you need is $10,000 and a phone call to Polaris.
I’m sure you’ve heard the name Polaris before. Heck, they’ve been around since 1955, and their vehicles can be seen all over the world, from Alaska to South Africa, from the U.S. to Europe. Chances are that you’ve seen, touched, and even heard a Polaris vehicle without even realizing it. If you did realize it, then you know what they’re all about.

The vehicle I chose to bring to your attention today is the Sportsman 850, and the reason why is that it comes as one hell of a vehicle that starts just under $10K - $9,299 (€7,647 at current exchange rates) to be exact. That’s all you need to get yourself a pretty good ATV.

Now, there’s a whole lot to talk about, so let me just start off with some simple dimensions. Overall, the 850 comes in with a length of 83.25 inches (211 centimeters), width of 47.6 inches (121 centimeters), and height of 50.75 inches (129 centimeters). With a ground clearance of 11.5 inches (29.2 centimeters) and a dry weight of 772 pounds (350 kilograms), it’s more than enough to get you to where you want to go.

2021 Sportsman 850
Photo: Polaris Inc
The drivetrain on this little sucker is the next point of interest. An 850cc, two-cylinder, SOHC four-stroke ProStar engine is liquid-cooled and cranks out 78 horsepower with an EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) system. With this motor, the 850 allows for a 575-lb (261-kg) payload.

With vehicles like these, it’s not necessarily about speed, so Polaris makes no mention of a top speed. But a 1,500-lb (680-kg) hitch tow rating should give you a bit of understanding as to what the 850 is all about.

Another all-important aspect of an ATV is the suspension. At the front you’ll find a straight dual A-arm with 9 inches (22.9 centimeters) of travel, while the rear sports another straight dual A-arm with 10.25 inches (26 centimeters) of travel. However, the rear is a rolled IRS, so you’ll have a bit of a smoother ride.

To help you control this workhorse, single lever three-wheel hydraulic disc brake, and hydraulic rear foot brake are available. The parking brake is an in-transmission, lockable hand lever.

2021 Sportsman 850 Ultimate Trail
Photo: Polaris Inc
The instrumentation panel is an all-digital gauge with speedometer, odometer, tachometer, and an hour meter. Two trip meters, gear indicator, and fuel gauge are just a few more of the entire shebang. Oh, and not to forget the one-touch, on-demand AWD or 2WD.

One benefit most Polaris owners reap is that of having a reliable and trusty vehicle. The 850, like most other vehicles from this manufacturer, includes one of the most reliable weather packages on the market. Equipped with a 30 Ah battery and that EFI I mentioned earlier, starting in cold weather should be nothing more than a turn of the key. The same holds true for high heat or high precipitation weather.

Personally, I haven’t had the chance to own a personal ATV (always ridden other people’s), but with a price and specs like these, the 850 is a vehicle I would consider for my first purchase.

I nearly forgot to tell you one important bit. If you don’t like the standard 850, two other heavier duty variations do exist. The most expensive and equipped model is the Limited Availability Ultimate Trail Edition, which includes a 3,500-lb (1,588-kg) winch, a stronger suspension, among other upgrades.

What more is there to say? Just go for it.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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