It’s been 10 years since BRP’s Can-Am brand first introduced its side-by-side Commander models in 2010. Now, the company has given them a major redesign for 2021. BRP claims the revamp not only enhanced the Commanders’ performance but made them more versatile as well.
“The 2021 Can-Am Commander is our most versatile side-by-side vehicle, period,” said Julie Tourville, director of global marketing for the Can-Am Off-Road and Marine Group at BRP, in a press release. “It is smooth and incredibly fun to drive, yet rugged and very capable.”
The new Commander lineup is available in five different models, with base MSRP ranging from $20,499 to $26,299, and all of them get a 100-horsepower Rotax gas engine. The Quick Response System CVT transmission routes that power to both axles and has Sport and Eco modes which change the responsiveness you feel at the throttle.
Although some buyers may think of the Commanders as just designed for play, BRP describes two models, the two-seat Commander DPS and four-passenger Max DPS, as “work” machines. The rear dumping cargo box on all models is 29.5x45.2 inches (75x115 centimetres) with a load capacity up to 600 pounds (272 kilograms), and the trailer tow rating has been boosted to 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms).
Can-Am also offers more than 100 accessories to enhance the Commanders’ cargo-carrying convenience (as well as other sportier functions), and they use the brand’s LinQ quick-attach system for fast installation or removal.
In front of that cargo box, the company says the “rider-focused” cockpit has been improved, making it quieter than previous models and more comfortable with bucket seats, a tilt steering wheel and rigid half doors. Rollover safety protection has been enhanced, too, and a roof is available on the XT and XT-P models.
If you like listening to music while you drive, the Commanders get a 650-watt magneto to provide ample power for a stereo upgrade or other electrical components, such as additional lighting or an electric snowplow attachment.
The independent four-wheel suspension allows for plenty of ground clearance, which is enhanced on the sportier XT models with the arched double A arms. To deal with rough terrain, there is 13 inches of suspension travel on the DPS and Max DPS. But that jumps up to 15 inches on the two-seater XT and four-seater Max XT, which are designed for more rugged trail rides. The XT, XT-P and Max XT also come with a winch rated for 4,500 pounds (2,041 kilograms) and a 7.6-inch digital dashboard display.
The DPS and Max DPS ride on 27-inch tires mounted on 14-inch rims. On the XT and Max XT, tire diameter jumps to 28 inches. And on the XT-P, the tires go up to 30 inches mounted on 15-inch rims. The XT-P, the line’s sportiest model, also includes the performance four-wheel drive Trail and Trail ACTIV modes for improved traction.
To help make sure no one drives away in your Commander, Can-Am includes its Digitally Encoded Security System. And ignition keys can be reprogrammed to be used by novice drivers, limiting machine performance so inexperienced operators don’t drive beyond their abilities.
BRP also offers seasonal discounts on some models and financing. To see if there is a buyer incentive program for your region, check out the company’s website at can-am.brp.com.