Here is my review of the 2022 Ski-Doo Renegade X-RS 850 E-TEC snowmobile. During the season, I rode more than 5000 km on trails with all kinds of conditions: very rough trails, snowy trails, bumpy trails, with temperatures ranging from +12 C to -42 C. This snowmobile has been put to the test during several rides.
An important point, the places where I did my tests were very diversified, mountainous, a lot of curves, rough terrain, straight trails and finally, a few times, off-trail on forest roads. This hybrid snowmobile was therefore exposed to several conditions so that I could give you the best analysis of its behavior.
The REV Gen 4 chassis
The Gen 4 chassis and its look attract the attention of other snowmobilers on the trails. Indeed, its design gives it a racy and sporty look. When we sit at the controls, our position is much more up-front. This gives us an ideal position for a sporty ride.
The Ergo-Step panels protect us very well from the wind. Another advantage of this chassis is that we can adopt several positions while keeping a good control on the snowmobile. As a result, fatigue is less of an issue. The chassis is covered by two side panels that give access to the engine compartment. The interior of the panels is covered with a sponge-like product that greatly reduces engine noise. Inside, there is a place to put the spare belt. As for the RS footboard, there are small anti-slip teeth on the side.
Whether on or off-trail, the snowmobile is very maneuverable and responds easily to the driver’s commands. Note here that this snowmobile is not adapted for extreme off-trail riding. However, I had a lot of fun on unsurfaced forest trails.
Rotax 850 E-TEC engine
This 849cc engine develops 165 hp. It responds very quickly to demand when the throttle is pressed, which makes for a pleasant ride on the trail. For a sporty driver, this will definitely meet his expectations.
During my tests in all kinds of conditions, the engine managed to get about 14 to 16L/100 km. The 36-liter tank gives us a range of over 200 km. The oil consumption is about 1 liter every 280 to 300 km.
The engine does not produce much smoke and the noise is not too loud.
In cold weather, down to -42c during the tests, the engine starts easily and without hesitation.
One point that disappointed me was during acceleration. To get to 50% of the throttle, the engine responds quickly. After 50%, the response is slower and takes longer to gain speed.
The color LCD display features BRP Connect technology. Most of the data is easily seen from the rider’s position, but for the time and mileage display, the numbers should be larger for easy reading while riding. The distance to your destination is updated in real time.
What makes this display very interesting and practical for the driver is that you can collect your data with your cell phone. From your WiFi and the BRP GO application, you are able to plan your trip for the day, track your route and avoid going down a bad path. BRP GO is also a great application to avoid turning around or looking in your mirrors to see if other snowmobilers are following you. It allows you to track the members of your group and gives you their position on the map.
The cell phone is placed in a nylon bag located in the front, which is heated and has a USB plug to connect your phone to the screen. The front storage compartment is convenient for storing registrations and other small items.
On the left side of the screen, you will find all the information concerning the snowmobile: engine temperature, fuel gauge, temperature of the thumb and heated grips, kilometers traveled, RPM, time. On the right side of the screen you will find the display parameters: “communicators” to register your device and receive phone calls or listen to music, units of measure, language.
If a warning code appears on your screen if there is a problem on the snowmobile, this data is accessible with the dial. The code number appears and you can then contact your dealer and give him the information. This saves you from having to take your snowmobile to your dealer or even end your ride.
For the dial, there are two manual display modes, dark and light, and for the automatic, the screen adjusts to the ambient light.
The dial is an additional asset for the driver and will become an indispensable tool. Surely the designers of this dial have not finished incorporating new applications. The future will tell us.
First electronic suspension in the industry
I was really looking forward to test the Smart Shox. Gone are the days of manually adjusting the suspension as conditions change. The system takes care of the adjustment by considering a host of parameters. In fact, the Smart Shox system includes several sensors that provide real-time information.
During my tests, I noticed that when negotiating the curves, the snowmobile did not skid outwards due to the fact that the outer shock absorber became stiffer and the inner one became softer. This allowed me to take the curves without decreasing my speed.
When riding on trails with bumps, I put the snowmobile in Comfort mode and definitely the snowmobile is more comfortable. When I put it in Sport mode at a higher speed in the bumps, the suspension does not sag and it is easier for the rider to keep stability on his snowmobile. The same situation is found in more extreme bumps when you put the snowmobile in Sport Plus mode.
As far as I’m concerned, with this model of snowmobile that is equipped with high quality suspension and shocks, the new electronic suspension brings maximum efficiency to the suspension components.
Based on the results obtained, I don’t think I would invest in the purchase of this new semi-active suspension. But I leave that to each of you to make the decision that suits you when you buy. Take the time to try this suspension before making your decision.
This season, BRP decided to install two linQ attachment points because previously, the snowmobile arrived with only one attachment point. The new owner had to buy a second one if needed.
As for the windshield, it was too short for me. It gave a nice appearance to the snowmobile, but in very cold weather, the appearance does not matter anymore and a longer windshield protects more from the wind.
The adjustable handlebars are a plus for the driver, because during long rides, it is possible to place the steering wheel at the desired position.
The mirrors are well placed on the windshield, which allows the driver to see the snowmobilers in front of him. Easy to adjust.
The snowmobile was equipped with an ice scraper which gave very good results on a trail with a hard surface or a trail with little snow. My snowmobile never got overheated. The accessory has proven itself and in my opinion, it should be a mandatory accessory on a snowmobile.
At first, when I sat on the snowmobile, I was skeptical about the comfort side during long rides. I was used to models with a wider and thicker seat. The designers of this snowmobile had to come up with a seat that matched the slim, sporty style while keeping a good comfort. I can confirm it, the seat is very comfortable, appearances are sometimes deceiving.
The Ice Rpipper XT track with molded studs provides better stability on icy surfaces and precise braking without skidding. A plus for driver safety on slippery trails.
For the skis, I installed the Snowtracker product, a semi-aggressive model. I noticed no swaying and a very precise driving when negotiating curves.
In conclusion, I was very satisfied to drive the Ski-Doo Renegade X-RS 850 E-TEC with Smart Shox. I particularly appreciated the engine’s performance, its handling, its sporty driving style and the Smart Shox system.
I also liked the way it handled during my short off-trail rides. I would recommend this snowmobile without hesitation.
Thanks to my test partners
I would like to thank the Maniwaki equipment who offered me the loan of this snowmobile for my long term tests this season. Allow me to invite you to visit them and meet the team on site who will give you the service you need and advise you on all BRP products.