Reviewed: 2018 Can-Am Maverick X3 ds Turbo R

The Can-Am Maverick X3 is one of the machines vying for the title of the industry’s craziest side-by-side right now, and we got a chance to take one to our home trails and see how it performed. 

And it wasn’t just any X3 model. We tested a Maverick X3 ds Turbo R, making a full 172 horsepower, the most of any sport side-by-side right now. Offering 20-inches of suspension travel in the front and rear, the X3 is incredibly adept at handling high-speed off-roading, though it’s other impressive stats, like 14 inches of ground clearance, also make sure that the X3 can conquer thick mud and rock strewn hills.

Before we go on gushing about its performance, let’s discuss the worst thing about the X3: utility. Storage in the interior is skimpy, really consisting of just the glove box and that’s it. There is a small flat bed, but weight back there is restricted to 200 lbs. Can-Am does offer some convenient accessory attachments and that is probably the best use of the space out back, as you need some type of cover or box to secure your cargo back there.

There are also accessory storage solutions for the interior as well in the form of storage bags that can hang between the passengers or on the doors. If you’re looking at an X3 for long rides, you’re going to want to look in to one of these solutions.

Now back to the power, which the X3 has piles of. Off the line, the Maverick feels urgent, but after about one to two seconds, the wave of turbocharged power washes over this machine and things really pick up. Thanks to the loads of power and the ability to modulate it precisely thanks to the intelligent throttle control system, you can really steer this unit with your right foot, helping the machine rotate around corners with deeper stabs at the throttle.

The steering has three settings, minimum, medium and maximum. I had the the DPS set to minimum for my day with the X3, as it provides the most direct feedback to the your hands, though it still isn’t too heavy that it is tiring. Maximum is nice for a break from really working the wheel, but all of that feedback basically disappears. And when you’re flying along amidst the trees, more feedback is a good thing.

That was the only other real problem with the Maverick X3: that we didn’t have it in Arizona or California. This type of machine is just begging to be opened up in the desert rather than threading the needle through trees, constantly one small mistake away from a serious repair bill and a headache, or worse.

Watch the video above for all of my thoughts on the Maverick X3.