For all those who liked the handling of the Ski-Doo MXZ XRS 850 in the past, you won’t be disappointed. Indeed, the suspension, chassis, geometry and engine remain the same as the 2022 model. What has changed, which sets it apart from last year’s model, is the styling and the new display that are most apparent. There are also other more subtle changes like the new engine mounts (4x) and the improved drive cooling system.
At the time of its release, the first comments on its look seemed to be mixed mainly because of the new headlights at the front. You either like it or you don’t. Honestly, having seen it up close in person, this change of character suits it very well. The platinum silver on the model I tried on is really nice. There is a trend this year on this color as Polaris offers a very similar matte satin gray. I love it.
Gen4 vs Gen5
The other change is apparent when you sit behind the handlebars of the new Gen5. The package is supposed to be more compact, but it seemed to me to have the opposite effect. I felt like I was now part of the snowmobile instead of sitting higher on it. It’s hard to explain, but I seemed to be better wrapped up. Better aerodynamics? Better soundproofing? Bigger dial? Hard to say, but it did indeed seem to be slimmer, but at the same time better protecting the rider! Find the mistake, but for me it’s definitely a winner.
10.25 inch dial.
Here’s what they teach us about this new display:
A CONNECTED EXPERIENCE
10.25-inch color touchscreen with BRP Connect.
Customizable touchscreen with Bluetooth connects you even more to the ride and to other snowmobilers. Pair with the BRP GO! app for the ultimate experience, including access to maps and tracking, planning and ride sharing.
High-end smart integration.
The 10.25″ screen provides an exceptionally clear display at all angles, regardless of the light conditions. And it fits perfectly on the snowmobile as a seamlessly integrated package.
Easy and simple to use
Customize the split screens with the swipe of a finger. The handlebar-mounted control module offers instinctive navigation of the display screen to find the layout and information you want.
Enhanced connectivity quality
Bluetooth pairing has never been faster or easier. The BRP GO! app takes your outings to another level. Wi-Fi connectivity lets you perform software updates from the comfort of your home.
WHAT I OBSERVED
Now here are my first impressions of this screen tested in a prototype version in West Yellowstone. You may find me critical, but this generation of the MXZ XRS model has been refined so much over the years that there has to be a little something to improve upon… 😊 First of all a dial of this size should be standard today on all high-end snowmobiles. Lots of information, but because of the larger overall size, there is enough room for critical information to be the right size. For example, it is possible to display the trail map on the right side of the screen and keep the speedometer in the left section in BIG. Moreover, the touch screen is very easy to use even with thick gloves.
2 SMALL POINTS TO IMPROVE
In very sunny conditions, I sometimes found it difficult to see some information well. A question of contrast, I think. Even when switching from day to night mode, some details could have been more visible. For example, when you have to switch to suspension mode and the shocks are highliter. You really have to focus on the screen to see the snowmobile pictogram.
Another detail I would like to have is a direct access to the suspension mode. Currently, it is possible to access it through the handlebar selector on the left, but in the old 2022 version or on the 4-stroke models, there is a specific button for this operation. The BIG question. Yes, it is now possible to change the suspension settings without taking your hand off the handlebars.
The disadvantage in my opinion is that you have to concentrate on the button itself, look at the dial to see what configuration we are in and then adjust with the up and down arrows to change the firmness of the suspensions. With a simple independent button, by touch confirmation, it is possible to change and know the active suspension mode. Comfort at the bottom, sport in the middle and sport + at the top without taking your eyes off the trail.
Another performance option at Ski-doo?
Don’t underestimate its big sister, even if it comes back unchanged this year. The Renegade XRS 900 turbo R is slightly heavier and perhaps a little less agile than the 2-stroke, but it will be more comfortable and smoother to ride with the 4-stroke engine. In the absence of the Mach Z, this is the model that will take over in the high power category.
Our good friend Joe, one of the photographers during the tests with the new Renegade XRS Turbo R 2023
2 XRS models. 2 different philosophies. Whether you like to attack the bumps or pure power, you will be served
Renegade XRS Turbo R 2023. Powerful and comfortable.
We would like
Small improvement on the contrast of the tested display. (Prototype). The good news is that it will be possible to upgrade.
Is it possible to have, on the next generation of the SMART SHOX system, the adjustment of the central shock absorber and the possibility to change the support on the skis and the weight transfer separately and automatically?
Turbo engine on a 2 stroke in 2024? That wouldn’t be far from perfection on the trail. Not only for the raw power at high speed, but for the smoothness and the little extra kick that makes us smile.
In a few words: Complete package.
In a few lines: The chassis, suspension, engine, ergonomics, component quality and finish have been improved over the years. Even if this GEN5 version is not a revolution (plus a GEN4.5 version), it is a package that has matured well over the years and will still be a hard to beat model for what it can offer on the trail.