Prowler 500 HDX designed to transition ATV owners to a UTV
When Arctic Cat developed its 2014 Prowler 500 HDX, it had a key demographic in mind. The new side-by-side is directed at the price-conscious ATV owner who’s ready to enter the UTV world.
“It’s a price-point model that’s an easier step if a guy’s coming off of an ATV, which is what a lot of side-by-side customers are coming from now,” Arctic Cat marketing communications manager John Tranby told Powersports Business.
The Prowler 500 HDX comes in three configurations, with the base model starting at $10,999.
Each of the three versions is powered by a 443cc, four-stroke engine with EFI, SOHC and liquid cooling. All three models also feature Duramatic automatic transmission, with high, low, reverse and park, plus dynamic engine braking. The 2-in-1 composite cargo box is large enough to hold items the size of a pallet. It also tilts and can haul 600 pounds of payload. The cab offers a sculpted 40/20/40 bench seat with room for three under a ROPS-certified, Wildcat-inspired round tube canopy. The Prowler 500 HDX has an 85-inch wheelbase that is 10 inches longer than the Prowler 700 XTX and is designed for improved ride and hauling capabilities. The machine also features two-inch front and rear receiver hitches and 26-inch Duro Kaden tires.
The Prowler 500 HDX XT, with an MSRP of $11,699, is an upgrade from the base model, with 14-inch aluminum wheels, side storage compartments and front storage with a 25-pound capacity. The $13,699 HDX Limited EPS model adds variable assist electronic power steering and five-position tilt steering, along with detachable bed sides that transform the cargo area into a flatbed. The HDX standard model comes in green or red, while the XT and Limited EPS versions are available in Vibrant Red Metallic or Emerald Green Metallic painted bodywork.
The Prowler 500 HDX was modeled closely after Arctic Cat’s best selling side-by-side, the Prowler 700 HDX. However, with the lower price point, the OEM believes it’s going to reach a customer it was missing in the past.
“We felt we just needed something that would be a little bit more competitively priced in that category because obviously we’re missing a lot of sales there, and we’re seeing some of the competition selling through there. We thought we’d better get into the game,” Tranby explained.
He expects the Prowler 500 HDX to surpass its larger-displacement predecessor as No. 1 in the company’s UTV segment. Arctic Cat has found that a lot of side-by-side customers are still using their units for work and hunting, along with play, so the company is continuing to build its Prowler line.
“You hear us talk a lot about Wildcat because it’s exciting, but really the core of the side-by-side market is utility. But I mean utility in the sense that it’s still somewhat recreational; the people are having fun doing what they enjoy doing,” Tranby said. “It’s just the side-by-side allows them to do it with a little more ease and comfort.”