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2021 POLARIS MATRYX ASSAULT 146

2021 POLARIS MATRYX ASSAULT 146

We wanted to take a closer look at four very popular 2021 snowmobiles in order to rate them. We'll be posting details and opinion over the next few days and we’d really like to hear feedback from you on whether you agree or disagree with our appraisals.

These four crossovers will comprise a significant number of snowmobile sales for each of the companies offering them. They are – in no particular order: The 2021 MATRYX-based Polaris Switchback Assault, Ski-Doo's Backcountry X-RS, Arctic Cat's RIOT and Polaris' AXYS-based Switchback Assault.

We'll be looking forward to your comments!


We won't mix any words here. The current AXYS Switchback Assault has been the hands down best X-Over ride in the biz. When Polaris pulled the sheets off the all-new MATRYX-based Switchback Assault 146 earlier this year we were both pleased and a little nervous.

It's been more than five consecutive seasons Polaris has held court over the X-Over category with the current AXYS-flavored 144-inch ride.

We didn't need to be nervous. The new MATRYX Switchback Assault raises the bar again in this increasingly popular segment, improving deep snow navigation – partially due to a new two-inch longer 146-inch rear sneaker.

There's more to the MATRYX Switchback Assault 146 than flotation, though. The new platform's ergonomic package presents the hands-down best standing, sitting or otherwise riding perch ever offered in this sport.

The seat is now tapered in a pyramidal shape near the front and uses a new, just-grippy-enough seat material. The bars fall naturally into your gloves whether sitting or standing.

Fore-aft chassis balance from a rider-forward perspective, continues to be near-perfect as a result of Polaris singular understanding a rider can actually be seated too "far forward".

Trail riding performance is better than the current AXYS Switchback. Trail carving and hard-pack snow forays on lakes are exceptionally rewarding.

The Patriot 850 engine delivers diesel-like torque making the lightweight MATRYX chassis supremely flickable in deep pow and while side-hilling. The sled feels light because it is light. However, the new platform produces uncanny snow-mobility with nary a sniff of belt heat.

An incredibly welcome feature the new MATRYX brings to the X-Over market is copious amounts of both underhood and underseat storage. We mention this because of your (and our) persistent screams of frustration over little or no storage on virtually all new sleds.

Try a 10-gallon, heated cavity behind the Switchback's digital dash - fully able to swallow ten pairs of goggles and a generous underseat trunk as well!