Honda PI­O­NEER 1000-5 LE

Outdoor Life - - GEAR -

“wow.” that was the first word spo­ken by every mem­ber of our test crew af­ter com­plet­ing his first lap around the course in the Pi­o­neer 1000-5 LE, this year’s Ed­i­tor’s Choice. From the but­ter-smooth ride to the truck-style, six-speed trans­mis­sion to the al­most un­be­liev­able ab­sence of en­gine noise and vi­bra­tion, the Pi­o­neer 1000-5 im­pressed in every cat­e­gory. And then we took a look at the cargo area….

The 1000-5 LE fea­tures a fully func­tional (and spa­cious) dump­ing cargo box. But it’s more than that. Pull a lever to open a rear ac­cess door, flip up two pan­els, and that cargo box con­verts into a se­cond row of seat­ing, al­low­ing the twoseater to han­dle up to five pas­sen­gers.

Ground clear­ance was the best in the test at nearly 13 inches, as was tow­ing ca­pac­ity at 2,000 pounds, thanks to its 999cc twin-cam, liq­uid-cooled en­gine. But you’d be hard-pressed to be­lieve the Pi­o­neer’s en­gine is ca­pa­ble of so much power when you’re rid­ing in it—pri­mar­ily be­cause it sounds as if there is no en­gine at all. Be­cause en­gine noise reg­is­ters only 76 deci­bels in the cab at 20 mph, you hear the tires on the trail rather than the buzz of an en­gine.

score: 93.0 Price: $16,399; $21,599 AS TESTED 1

The Honda Pi­o­neer 1000-5 LE pow­ers through a wet sec­tion of trail.

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