THE NEW Polaris Ranger diesel ATV is just about to hit the show rooms and it appears to be a step-change for the marque.

Power comes from a new diesel engine and there’s an updated chassis, plus small Jeep-like levels of comfort, handling and driving capabilities.

The three-cylinder Kubota diesel engine is the most powerful engine in its class, said Polaris, delivering 24.8hp and 40.8 ft lb of torque. Tweaked to have a more consistent power and better torque distribution, the new engine offers low cost ownership thanks to 200-hour service intervals, plus a longer filter life and lower oil consumption.

It’s no slouch around the paddock either and it is said to have the highest top speed in its class of 40mph. Just as well the chassis has been upgraded, with a freshen up of the exterior design. The new one-piece and wider chassis has reduced flex, for an improved ride and that wider chassis also allows three people to make use of the very much plusher seats.

The designers have also added more storage and legroom – with many of the improvements down to existing customer feedback. A smart new cab set-up also means there’s less engine noise in-cab and the fascia has been digitised for a more modern look.

This wee tank will haul 1134kg behind it and it has a payload of 720kg on board. It’ll handle that weight quite safely too as it has the highest ground clearance in its class of 33cm – a 20% increase from its predecessor.

Traction comes from an on-demand all-wheel drive (AWD) system, which basically feeds power to both axles when it needs to and resorts to fuel saving two-wheel-drive when it doesn’t.

That’s all matched to electric power steering (EPS) and other software controlled stuff like engine braking system (EBS) and active descent control (ADC), which adds to safety when working in tough conditions off-road.

Polaris is also famed for the breadth of its accessory range and there will be more than 200 options to fine-tune your working needs. One of those is the Ranger Pro Shield cab system, which has better dust sealing on its multiple windshield, door, rear panel and roof options.

The new diesel Ranger joins the 570 and 1000cc petrol engined variants and at the moment it is only available in the company staple, sage green.