A growing line-up of small, off-road vehicles has made everything from farm chores to recreation easier and more accessible with line-ups such as those offered by Textron Off Road.
The new 2019 Prowler Pro and Prowler Pro XT models were recently showcased for trade journalists on the California Central Coast at an event that included plenty of opportunities to road-test (or perhaps “off-road test”) the machines in real-world situations that included driving around a working cattle ranch and Central Coast vineyards.
The day-long event included an early-morning hog hunt near Paso Robles, Calif. with Chad Wiebe and his crew of guides with Oak Stone Outfitters. This gave a good opportunity to drive the four-wheel-drive, gas-powered rigs up and down the rolling hills of a private cattle ranch and hunting destination.
Textron Off Road bills its line of Prowler Pro side-by-sides as a “whisper-quiet work horse” that’s built to haul. At one point during the morning hunt Wiebe had about 1,000 pounds of harvested hogs in the cargo box of one of the models.
Key features of the machines include:
- An 812 liquid-cooled, 3-cylinder DOHC engine that puts out 50hp;
- A calibrated constant velocity transmission;
- An electric 2- and 4-wheel-drive system with locking rear differential;
- 2,000-pound towing capacity with a payload capacity of 1,500 pounds and a cargo box capacity of 1,000 pounds;
- Adjustable tilt steering with a column-mounted shifter that moves with the steering wheel; and,
- Bench seating that can fit three-across, or is capable of easily removing part of the bench seat to store a large tool box on the floor.
Textron Off Road offers the Prowler Pro with standard rack-and-pinion steering and 12-inch steel wheels. The Prowler Pro XT model comes in charcoal or fire red paint schemes, with 14-inch machined aluminum wheels. Cost is $11,399 and $12,999 respectively.
Riding the rolling hills of the Central Coast was comfortable and easy in the machines. They easily handled grassy hillsides and loose gravel with ample ground-clearance and safety, keeping the hot exhaust components well above the tinder-dry grass on this working cattle ranch.
Steering is easy in the Prowler Pro, and it can turn in the tightest of situations. A 13.5-inch floor height and 32-inch seat height made cab access easy, especially when climbing in and out of the cab multiple times a day.