Earlier this week on December 1st, 2014 I took possession of my 2015 Polaris Slingshot. Being one of the first ones to receive theirs from an Iowa Dealer the folks at VanWall in Indianola had a local newspaper at the store and a local Polaris rep was there when I got there. Having put money down on a vehicle months ago that I had never sat in, nor seen, was a very unusual thing for me. I have a history of owning many vehicles over the year, but I've always driven one before putting money down saying I wanted one. Needless to say I was amazed as soon as I saw it and knew I made the right choice. After having the Slingshot for a while and putting more than 300 miles on it I thought I'd write up a formal review as many have been asking for one! So here we go!
Before I get into the specifics of my thoughts regarding the Slingshot I'll share a few key specifications/tidbits that have been commonly requested as I've met new people this week. In no particular order the highlights are.
- It is legally a motorcycle (Must have a MC License!)
- Powered by a GM 2.4 Liter engine (Making 173 HP)
- No, it doesn't have heat
- 77.6 inches wide at the front
- There are 2 models the Base (Gray/Titanium color) and the SL (Red)
The head comment is more for amusement purposes as I've been driving around this week in layer, upon layer, of clothing with Iowa temperatures ranging from 20-42 or so. As I continue I'll talk about the Slingshot in a few high level categories and then go with a few final remarks!
Vehicle Design/Size and Driver Comfort
The first thing that occured to me when I walked up to the Slingshot at the dealership was that it is BIG! And that its, in some ways, however, on the road it is very manageable. Its size in my opinion is a great advantage as you have ample storage behind the seats, and a very large glove box. (When riding alone the passenger seat works well for storage also!)
Getting in to the Slingshot is very easy, just be careful getting in to not drag your foot on one of the frame rails. I've talked with a gentleman in northern Iowa that at 72 years young also received his Slingshot this week, so it is truly something for all ages.
The seats, although 100% weatherproof are surprisingly comfortable and they do have effective padding to help with the bumps in the road. At 5" off the ground and with a nice stiff suspension this is something that is appreciated. Cockpit size is ample for those large & small and the adjustments on the seat is very nice. The "infotainment" system that is part of the SL is great as well. The buttons are easy to press, even with bulky gloves, and pairing to your own bluetooth device is very simple. The backup camera is one feature of the SL that I think is key as rearward visibility is a bit "tricky" if you are wearing a helmet.
The Driving Experience
Jumpin into the Slingshot and pressing the "Start" button the real fun begins. Buckle up and put on your helmet as we are off to the races. The driving experience with the Slingshot is like nothing I've ever driven. Many people try to compare it to a Can-Am Spyder and there just isn't a way to compare the two as although they both have 3 wheels their similarities end there.
Taking off for the first time I noticed a bit of a stiff gas pedal, otherwise the controls are quite smooth. First time drivers may confuse additional pedal travel on the brakes as limited braking ability, however, other than a bit more travel than I'm used to it stops very quickly. My first ride was very goal oriented, it was 14 degrees out and I wanted to make it the 34 miles home! With regular driving I managed a little over 26 MPG indicated, which was later confirmed upon topping off the tanks.
I was very impressed with the windshield and its ability to deflect the wind from the driver. At certain interstate speeds there is a point where the wind does curl into the cockpit a bit, but speed up or slow down slightly you will easily curb it.
As the week progressed I was able to put more miles on the Slingshot and able to press it a bit more. WIth 173 HP it is a very quick vehicle. Traction control is programmed to allow you to have fun and if you are not paying attention you can easily spin the tires in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Quick turns with your foot on the gas will almost always result in a nice drift. However, traction control & the vehicle in general stays very solid and controllable.
The radio is surprisingly impressive and can be heard at interstate speeds, with a helmet on without trouble. For a system that is completely waterproof and on a $23k vehicle I'm impressed. The only downside is that unless you want to connect via bluetooth it appears other connections are limited. (This could limit some wanting to add Sirius Satellite radio.)
The only real "complaint" if you will when driving is at certain speeds there is a bit of a "whine" that comes from the rear. It has been reported by many but it hasn't really bothered me.
The only thing I can say is that the Slingshot is truly awesome. Its by far one of the most fun vehicles that I've ever owned and is a blast to drive. It has great power, awesome handling and it is something that I just want to keep on driving. With being a first year vehicle I know that some have complained about fit/finish issues, I thankfully have not found any of those items with mine. I am looking forward to getting more miles on it and if something changes I'll post a follow-up.
The only other thing I will say is that if you have a Slingshot don't expect to go anywhere quickly. The number of people that have stopped to ask questions, take pictures, take video etc has been amazing. I don't mind answering the questions though as I cannot wait to see what happens once the Slingshot is in wide distribution and available for anyone that wants to buy one. If you have any specific questions feel free to share them below!