Ranger 150 EFI Review: What I Wish I Knew Before Buying

The 2019 Polaris Ranger 150 EFI is one of the best UTVs on the market for your child. It destroys the competition when it comes to safety features like geofence technology. It has been designed meticulously for ease and customization as your child grows while this beautiful off-road vehicle.

But of course, everything about this vehicle is not perfect. Let’s talk about things that you should know before you buy a Ranger 150 EFI.

It’s Driving Scaled Down

Generally, people do not drive until about 15 or 16 years old, but what if you had something smaller that fit better for adventures that even your own kid could drive? Now that would be something!

With the Ranger 150 EFI, that is possible. This vehicle is fun but also teaches a great deal about driving. You will see your kid improve by the end of their first run. The proud parent in you will smile!

These things are way better than a ride-on toy or a power wheel. This actually is the real deal. The Ranger 150 can break speeds of about 30 mph.

I personally did not learn how to drive until I was about 16. This would have helped with driving tests. But I mean, I do not have $5,000 to shell out.

Now that we have talked about what this awesome vehicle is, let’s talk about what you should know before buying. What makes or breaks this UTV?

Makes the UTV:

Geofence Features

What if you are worried that your kid will end up abusing this power given to them? Do you live near a busy road that worries you when your child goes out on their UTV?

Geofencing is a new technology developed by Polaris to help keep your kids safe and your mind at ease. This innovative idea is arguably the best thing to come out of Polaris in 2018.

Basically, geofencing is making a virtual “boundary” or “fence” to keep your child safe from harm.

It works through the GPS system in the vehicle. You download the “Polaris Ride Command” app (which is free I might add) and create a barrier around where the Ranger 150 can drive. You can decide how fast the vehicle can go inside and outside of the boundary.

With this technology, you can set a limit for your kid’s freedom. When they go outside of the barrier, it does not kill the motor or stop the vehicle. It will slow them down if you set it up that way. It will definitely discourage your kid and make them go back to the “speedy zone.”

You connect your phone to the UTV through Bluetooth to make it work. The UTV then knows the boundaries that you set up.

Here is a video straight from Polaris about how to set up a geofence:

Setting up a geofence.

This seems like a dream come true but it is not perfect by any means. It will not perfectly cut off right when the boundaries end. When setting your parameters, give a buffer room of about 50 feet or more. If you live near a busy road, construction or even a cliff, give a good buffer for your own sanity and your kid’s safety.

I think that this innovative technology will really make a difference going forward with safety and anti-theft technology. This is a really cool feature that will definitely help parents in their decision.

Polaris developed this technology to help reduce deaths and injuries in young riders. I applaud them for this idea. You can relax knowing your kids are a little more safe with boundaries set.

Movable Seats

The seats have a great amount of movability actually. It has about 5.7 inches of movability. I know I can fit it int fine and I know that there are plenty of guys bigger than me that can fit it in comfortably.

I believe that the engineers at Polaris went all out and really designed a vehicle for kids. I believe that the movable seats are a manifestation of that belief.

Let me explain.

The Ranger 150 is for kids. Kids do not learn how to drive until way later. So how are you gonna teach them? Well, drive with them, of course! You can plop them in the driver seat and then pull the adjustable seat back so you can sit comfortably and teach.

Use your geofencing to control the area where the vehicle can go or just control the speed in any way with the Ride Command feature.

All of the features are so brilliantly designed for a kid to drive and an adult to teach. I love the design of this vehicle.

Designed for Safety

The Ranger has some really great safety features that put it at the top of the line. It comes with safety-connected features, protective cage, seatbelt interlocking, nets, safety flag and two helmets.

The roll cage is engineered to protect you if you tip over. It is made from durable materials. The cage locks into place and secures you in case of an accident. Safety nets are there to keep you within the safety of the frame.

The seatbelts are pretty much just like car seats. They are interlocking and they hold really well. They cross over the body just as a car seat would do. There are two seats for side-by-side riding with a seatbelt each.

It also comes with some neat little safety perks like a safety flag you can hold up to keep others out of range or if you are in trouble. The Ranger comes with two helmets included. Safety is an important part of this UTV because it is for kids and I think that the engineers at Polaris know that.

Grows with Your Kid

One of the most genius parts of this vehicle is how it really can be used for a long time as it is adjustable for growth. Your child will get older and fast. The Ranger 150 has the ability to work with that.

We already mentioned how great the seats are. They have 5.7 inches of maneuverability which allows for a lot of growth.

The wheel has tilt steering. It can be adjusted to a height that makes steering easier. This creates less of a hassle if the child is too big or too small for where it is positioned at the current time.

All of this combined with the safety features and the geofencing features really shows how this is meant to be your child’s first UTV. The Ranger 150 really shines when it comes to kid compatibility.

Breaks the UTV:

Struggles On an Incline

The Ranger has a 150cc engine. It can get going a good bit but it is not an extremely powerful engine. Because it is not particularly powerful, it struggles on an incline. It runs just fine on flat land.

This is not a huge problem unless you live in an area where you frequently take your UTVs into areas where the elevation climbs. Any uphill mountain trails will be a struggle for the Ranger 150.

The only way I can see this working is downshifting but even that will not make much of a difference. Downshifting might give you more torque to work with on a smaller hill but overall, you will not make much headway on hills.

You have to get a running start in it to make it up into a toy hauler. That’s pretty pathetic, I know. Fortunately, the UTV can go up to 30 mph so if you’re already going that fast, momentum will take you up the hill. But in terms of uneven hill-climbing, forget it. This cannot get going from a complete stop to an uphill climb.

The low torque is a problem with this beast. I am sure they will fix this somehow in later models.

When you climb a hill, your revs go down. This means you should downshift. This is something that small dirt bikes struggle with as well and they are much smaller than the ranger.

The Ranger has a 150cc engine which is the same that most small dirt bikes have. The different is that the ranger weighs a significant amount more. The Ranger is about 700 lbs. Now, factor that into a small engine and going up a hill. It will be very difficult.

If you plan on just roaming around a flat area like the beach or something, then you will not have to worry about this at all.

Forgetting to Buckle Up

Something about having a UTV is exciting. Sometimes in that excitement, the important safety things are forgotten. Especially if you are a kid with his/her new toy.

Your child forgetting to put their seatbelt on can be the cause of dangerous or even fatal accidents.

A study that gathered data from 2009 to 2011 on UTV accidents had some pretty interesting facts that show why seatbelts are important.

  • Two-thirds of the injuries are from being ejected or pinned by the vehicle.
  • 50% of the injuries were from rollovers.
  • Nearly 30% of the accidents were fatal.
  • 27% of the passengers were injured.

I wish there was a way to make UTVs safer than they are. They do a good job but teaching your kids to ALWAYS remember their seatbelt is crucial. You could create a safety check pattern that you run your kids through each time until they remember it themselves.

Get creative and teach them a safety course and make it interesting so that they remember that whenever they go out on their Ranger, they buckle up themselves and whoever else is with them.

A lot of studies suggest that kids should never be allowed to drive side-by-sides and I can see where they are coming from. I think as a parent you have plenty of ability to decide for yourself. After all, you are here looking at what to buy and why.

Does Not Come with a Top or Windshield

The factory version of the Ranger 150 does not come with a top or a real windshield. It does come with a plastic shield which I will get into in a bit.

There is just another added safety bonus that would have been awesome to add to their already great safety features. You can add on your own top or windshield later but it would have been great with the vanilla version.

There are plenty of custom tops you can buy or even creature yourself. This can protect you from rocks or tree stumps that might smack your kid’s head if they flip. I would recommend getting one. I would rest better knowing I have protected my kid to my best ability.

I would recommend a thorough research for a good windshield. Why?

TypeEffectsLevel of Danger
Flying ObjectsCan cause injuries to the face or bodyHigh
Dirt/DebrisGets in your eyes/eye irritation, distraction, impairs visionMedium
Wind BlastFatigueLow

I recommend it because it will protect you from a lot of things. Yes, I understand all who ride it will be wearing a helmet but regardless, this is a good idea. It is never a bad idea to have more protection that keeps dangers further away.

There are many different types you can buy as well:

  • Full Windshield
  • Full-Tilting Windshield
  • Half-Fixed Windshield
  • Half-Folding Windshield
  • Rear Windshield

A Full Windshield is exactly what you think it is. This arguably is the safest option for your Ranger. It covers the entire front of the vehicle where debris and other things might affect your driving.

A Full-Tilting Windshield is a full windshield with a transformative ability. It can be a full or a half but tilted. It is like the windows that you push outward and it opens to let air in to ventilate.

Half-Fixed Windshields are a half size and that works well. It allows for maximum airflow but makes you more susceptible to dirt and debris.

Half-Folding Windshields can be either full or half. Just fold it down or put it up and have it in any way that works for you.

Rear Windshields are great but I would say you could probably go without one for this vehicle. The back portion is pretty well covered so I doubt anything will come up to hit you from behind.

When it comes to materials that the windshield is made out of I suggest Polycarbonate windshields.

The Polycarbonate windshields have incredible impact resistance which is superior to a lot of other choices. They are lightweight and tough. This is an incredible benefit because it will not add much weight to an already heavy vehicle.

If you are looking for different types of windshields though, here are a couple to choose from:

GlassA popular choice, Clean visibility, easy maintenanceHeavy, Expensive
AcrylicInexpensive, lighterLess impact resistance, Not as durable, easily scratched
Plexi-GlassInexpensive, lighterLess impact resistance, Not as durable, easily scratched
PolycarbonateDurable, Great impact resistance, LightweightVery Expensive

Net Doors

I do think that the safety features on this UTV are really good. Despite what I think, I do think that the net doors are not the best choice. They are not bad. They do what they are supposed to do but I feel like real doors would have been a better safety feature.

I am trying to think of why they did it like that. Maybe to cut weight? I am not sure. It is more than normal to have solid doors. I can only imagine it was a weight thing. The Ranger is already at 700 lbs and that is a lot for a 150cc engine. I think in future models, they will change it up a little.

I personally would have put nets where the window would be and then a solid door under. Either way, the net doors do work and they keep you safe but it would have been a little better to have the solid doors.

Plastic Hood is Easily Scratched

The plastic hood that you can buy is great for safety. Let me just say that here and now. I really appreciate it, but it does scratch easily.

Of course, the ranger is going to get beat up over time. That’s a given. All things get ruined over time. I have found that it gets dinged up pretty easy, especially if you roll in it. I found that it just had scratches and I do not even know where they even came from. It is like the appear out of nowhere.

For a high-quality product, I guess I was expecting more. Like just something more durable. It is not a deal-breaker for me. I just hoped that it would hold its own a little better.

Not as Good On Dunes and Trails

The Ranger 150 is better for flat areas and around camp. It works well on dirt and it is a great time. I love that about it.

When it comes to sand, uneven areas, or hills, it struggles. Other Polaris vehicles excel in these areas but this one does not. You can have a lot of fun on dirt and easy trails but does not perform as well on more difficult terrain.

With the tiny engine and heavy frame, I have a hard time trying to get around in the sand unless I am already going at max speed. I have already talked about going on uphill trails and how difficult that is.

I would never use this with large rocks around. With 8 inches of ground clearance, you could really ruin the bottom of your Ranger 150. Most areas will be fine but make sure you avoid any rocks jutting high out of the ground.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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