A Look at Can-Am's 2020 UTV Lineup

Sep 29th 2019


Be 2020 side-by-side season was set to be promising for UTV enthusiasts. For those who were new to the scene, the options were never been better. And for riders that already owned a Can-Am Maverick, Defender, or Commander, the temptation to upgrade at the end of 2019 was definitely compelling. Before the chaos that was 2020 unfolded, there was a tremendous amount of buzz and excitement in the air. But why is that? What was it about the 2020 lineup of BPR’s Can-Am side-by-sides that stoked such interest? Was it the new bumblebee color scheme and the refreshed look of some 2020 Can-Am UTV editions? Or were there other changes that Can-Am made to cater more to racers, trail riders, and recreational 4x4 owners? Well, we're about to dig into the matter. So, without further delay, let’s see what BRP did back at the turn of the decade with their 2020 Can-am side-by-side editions!

The 2020 Can-Am Defender

As the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But with the 2020 Can-Am Defender, the thin line between work and play becomes unrecognizably blurred. Compared to the 2019 version of the Defender, the 2020 Can-Am Defender has much more to offer. Not only does it deliver a grater amount of horsepower, but the 2020 Defender also comes with a different exhaust system -- one that makes the machine quieter and extra stealthy. The 2020 Can-Am Defender is also better insulated, with high-end heat shielding and a thicker firewall to make the cab cooler, quieter, and more comfortable.

Like the standard base model of the Can-Am Defender, the 2020 Defender XTS has a few added features that were nonexistent in the 2019 version. Of course it has increased horsepower (10 more hp to be exact), but it also comes stock with digital gages, high clearance a-arms, more heat shielding, and a parking brake.      

The 2020 Defender XMR has a control panel for the differential lock, as well as more toggle switches. BPR also made a slight change to front end of the 2020 Defender XMR, added a pre-wired accessory box under the hood, and -- like the other 2020 Defender editions -- installed a reengineered exhaust (making it quieter), better heat shielding, new gauges, an updated command panel, arched a-arms, and better doors to seal the cab tighter. 

It comes as no surprise that, as the flagship workhorse of the Can-Am fleet, the new 2020 Defender (and the Defender HD10XT in particular) handles loads much better than other UTV brands -- and even other Can-Am machines like the Commander. It has a bigger cargo bed as well as upgraded shocks and springs, which make any hauling / towing task a walk in the park.

We hate bashing on any other UTV brands, as we’re all a part of the side-by-side community. But if you look at the stats, the 2020 Polaris Ranger basically tried to copy everything about the Defender in a bid to be competitive. The hardcore Can-Am fans will say that if you’re going to buy a Ranger, you might as well just by a Gator. We won’t go that far, but we have to admit that Defenders are way more comfortable as the cockpits are larger and the front locker is no longer a disadvantage due to the 2020 upgrades. The Can-Am Defender is far more durable, and the engine is night and day more durable and far cheaper to rebuild if needed -- not to mention a selectable locker (2x4/3x4/4x4) can be bought for under a grand. All this aside, the invisible hand of the free market speaks for itself. After all, we don’t know anyone that left a Defender to get a Ranger, but we know a bunch of people that abandoned their Rangers to get a Defender -- we’ll leave it at that.

The 2020 Can-Am Maverick

Be it the 2020 Maverick Trail, the 2020 Maverick Sport, or the 2020 Maverick X3, the question is: Should you get the 2020 Can-Am Maverick, or go with an older -- and cheeper -- 2019 Maverick and use the extra savings to upgrade it with the aftermarket accessories of your choosing? Truthfully, there is no straight-cut answer to this question, as even the same UTV year, edition, and model can cost different prices in different areas. Some would say that the best option would be to take the 2019 and save money, because a 2019 Maverick is all the machine you’ll ever need and a whole lot more. 

With the X3 in particular, a 500 dollar tune will give you 2020 HP numbers or better. A stock Maverick with a power output of 172HP, for example, can easily hit the mid to high 180s with nothing more than a tuner. Add an exhaust and you’re looking at 190HP without breaking a sweat. It could be the case that, in your area, the difference between a 2019 and 2020 Maverick is only a few hundred bucks. If this proves true for you, many would argue that the 2020 Maverick is the way to go. However, it also depends on what you plan to do with your buggy. If you’re planning on going fast, then yes, more HP will be your friend. But if you’re gonna go in the mud or trail ride, you don’t really need the extra horsepower, and would benefit more from better suspension parts and a beefier clutch.

Unless you’re racing, even a 120HP Maverick X3 will keep up with the 2020 Maverick X3. However, the 2020 has upgraded parts like a turbo and intercooler. We’d say that if you find a good deal on a 2019 Maverick, you can save some money and buy necessities like a cage, harnesses, etc. from the aftermarket. After all, you never know what will be in store for next year. Something better could come out that you “must have”, so saving money today could help you afford the newest edition tomorrow. And if all you can afford is an older Maverick, you can always do a reflash and add accessories to match your particular riding style and terrain!

2020 Can-Am Commander 

If you were holding your breath for some awesome upgrades to the 2020 Can-am Commander, you were probably disappointed. For those who watched BPR’s 2020 release video, you might have noticed that the Commander was nowhere to be found. Are they going to dump the Commander altogether, making the Maverick the new Commander? No one knew at the time. Since then, we have seen the 2021 Can-Am UTV release, and many of the questions asked back then were answered.

2020 Can-Am UTV Lineup Conclusion And Future Outlook

The first thing that many 2020 Can-Am UTV owners did when their new rigs arrived was install an EMP roof, a half windshield, 35 Havok tires on 20” rims, and some sort of light setup -- the X3 LED headlight conversion with all green rock lights and green twist whips being the most popular. Be it the 2020 Can-Am Maverick Sport -- often referred to as the Jeep of the side-by-side world -- the 2020 Can-Am Defender, or the 2020 Can-Am Commander, you won’t be disappointed after putting in the seat time in your new 2020 Can-Am machine. 

If you currently own something like an RZR or a Ranger, trade it in. And if you really want to unleash the beast, a Maverick is where it’s at. The 2020 XRC has all the upgrades ready to go from the factory, and many people have been spending money to bring their older Can-Am machines up to where they should be. If you need a reliable work vehicle, the 2020 Can-Am Defender won’t let you down. And if you want zero belt clatter, plenty of power, a quieter motor, a nicer interior, better storage and better-fitting accessories, BPRs 2020 Can-Am UTV lineup is your first place to start! Now we don't usually like to speculate about the future, but with the way things are going, the future looks bright for the UTV world!