Ox Ranch, Uvalde, Texas: There’s nothing like an 18,000-acre test bed to evaluate the updated capabilities of a multipurpose UTV. Set in the picturesque Texas Hill country south of San Antonio, this exotic game and hunting ranch provided the perfect place to learn about the new smart technologies added to the triumvirate of models that has boosted Honda’s powersports sales, with upgrades to the 2017 Pioneer 500, the industry’s top-selling, entry-level side-by-side; add-ons for the midsized 2017 Pioneer 700; and a new LE trim for the top-of the-line 2017 Pioneer 1000. We concentrated our drive review on the flagship Pioneer 1000, motoring it over many miles of flat two-track dirt roads to courses of moderately tough and highly technical off-road trails with steep hill climbs and descents, as well as through water crossings and up and across rock outcroppings.
After introducing the all-new 2016 Pioneer 1000-5 with a collection of impressive technologies, the powersports manufacturer known for its extensive array of engines for diverse applications, that range from powering jets to snow blowers, has upped its UTV game again. This popular model used by hunters, ranchers and a variety of enthusiasts, now gets a new limited-edition version of the five-passenger 2017 Pioneer 1000-5 LE and the three-person 2017 Pioneer 1000-3 LE; both are endowed with a new I-4WD system. A first in the rapidly-growing powersports industry, the “intelligent” system comes from Honda’s automotive-engineering expertise, and incorporates the industry’s first off-road brake traction control system to manage the amount of slip between left and right front wheels, applying torque to the wheel with greater grip.
There are three significant updated advantages onboard: brake traction control, hill-start assist, and electronic brake force distribution. Meshed with the 1000’s Torque Biasing limited-slip differential, the new system can provide as much tractive force as a locking diff, plus it’s engineered for reduced steering effort and less kickback. The result is impressive grip on a broad collection of technical surfaces, a more relaxing drive, and no need to stop to engage diff-lock. Also new are FOX QS-3 shock absorbers, for improved comfort and protection. The Pioneer 1000 comes in EPS, Deluxe and LE trim levels.
Over 80 ’17 Honda Pioneer 1000 accessories are available, including cargo, tops, doors and protection, designed specifically for the Pioneer.
The Pioneer 1000 has won many accolades as the industry’s benchmark for multipurpose side-by-sides, as a result of its engine, drivetrain and chassis, plus it has the market’s only automatic six-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) gearbox. In addition to the LE trim, The Pioneer 1000 and Pioneer 1000 EPS offer the same chassis and engine as the Pioneer 1000-5 models, but have a three-seat front bench and a conventional tilt bed. Available in three trim levels, updated to be more comfortable for 2017 with improved front seats, it’s also been pre-wired to make winch installation easier.
2017 Honda Pioneer 1000-5 LE
Engine Type: 999c liquid-cooled OHC Unicam parallel-¬twin four-stroke, four valves/cylinder
Bore x stroke: 92.0x75.15
Fuel system: Fuel injection, 44mm throttle body
Ignition: Full transistorized ignition
Clutch: 2-¬multiplate wet
Drive system: I-4WD with difflock and turf mode
Transmission: Six-speed fully automatic DCT w/Sport mode, paddle-shift manual
Front: Double Wishbone; 10.6 inches
Rear: Double Wishbone; 10 inches
Front: Hydraulic w/(2) 210mm discs
Rear: Hydraulic w/(2) 210mm discs
Wheelbase: 80.2 inches
Turning Radius: 13.8 feet
Claimed curb weight: 1526 pounds
Ground clearance: 12.4 inches
Turning radius: 13.8 feet
Length/width/height: 116.8x63x76 inches
Fuel capacity: 7.9 gallons, 1.7-gallon reserve
Cargo capacity: 1,000 pounds
Towing capacity: 2,000 pounds
Colors: Black, Camo