The 2023 Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5 Is the Best All-Around ATV We've Tested

In an ideal off-roading world, you’d have a variety of all-terrain vehicles at your disposal. Maybe a side-by-side for utility and a hopped-up ATV for ripping around trails. Or, perhaps you’d rather have a turbo SXS with long-travel suspension and a ho-hum four-wheeler for doing more mundane tasks. But our long-term review found that the 2023 Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5 is a fully-loaded ATV that offers chore-busting utility and off-road fun in one robust package and will leave you room in your budget for extra accessories.

With the Outlander Pro XU ATV you get a wide range of options included standard that make for an all-terrain vehicle that won’t leave you wanting for more. Highlights include dynamic power steering, a speed limiter, engine braking, locking front diff, 26-inch tires on 12-inch aluminum wheels, beefy front and rear bumpers plus a skid plate, bright LED lights front and back, and a handy, deep glove box that has a phone holder and USB port for charging. This is all on top of the rock solid, 40-horsepower 650cc Rotax engine that’s liquid cooled and fuel injected, along with a supple suspension with double A-arms front and back connected to 9.57 inches of travel in the front, and 10.25 in the back.

Why You Should Trust Me

I’ve been a gear editor, gear reviewer, and outdoor writer at multiple publications—print and digital—for over 20 years. I’ve tested and reviewed everything from coolers and grills, to e-bikes and flashlights. My off-roading chops were built from the moment I first sat on my first dirt bike when I was 12 years old, a 1978 Honda XR 75, which I rode almost every day after school and all weekend long exploring wooded trails, dirt tracks, and the occasional construction site. Since then I’ve owned multiple dirt bikes from a Honda XR 250 on up to a KTM 450 XC, along with various four-wheelers like a Yamaha Grizzly 750 and Kawasaki Brute Force 300.

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2023 Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5<p>Adam Bible</p>
2023 Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5

Adam Bible

How I Tested the Can-Am Outlander Pro XU

I received the Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5 in Desert Tan in the spring of 2023 at a friend’s 1,300-acre farm in Virginia. The farm is leased for crops, has multiple pine plantation plots, and is used for hunting deer, turkey, and stray coyotes that wander too close. It’s also an upland game bird hunting preserve and is active with bird hunting from September to January.

I used the Can-Am Outlander Pro XU for various farm chores in the spring and summer like planting sunflower seeds for the annual dove hunt, spreading wild bird seed in various locations to enhance game bird habitat, toting chainsaws to various locales for trail maintenance and deer habitat creation, and, once deer season began, hauling multiple buck and doe carcasses out of the woods for processing. The Can-Am was also used on the farm for ripping around the trails day and night for off-road enjoyment.

2023 Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5<p>Adam Bible</p>
2023 Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5

Adam Bible

2023 Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5 Review

If you haven’t been on a modern ATV in the last few years, the contrast between older models and the newest ones, like the Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5 can be a little astonishing. I hadn’t ridden a newer quad and had been regulated to putting around on my 2013 2WD Kawasaki Brute Force. It did the job for going from point A to B on the farm with no problem, and with a winch on the front, having four-wheel-drive was never a concern. But it’s small and the suspension was limited, especially with a single mono-shock in the rear. The 300cc engine was fine, but not the smoothest or most powerful thing.

Then I got spoiled: enter the Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5. The first shocking contrast you notice after you pull it off the trailer is that it’s massive compared to even big boy ATVs of days past. The seat height is almost 3-and-a-half feet off the ground, requiring you to step up strong and swing your leg high to clear everything cleanly. And the long shocks nestled under high fender arches add to the sense of grandeur to the ATV’s stance. But once you get rolling, that commanding position and those beefy shocks make the ride so smooth and so uneventful, even when going over the gnarliest of roots, that you feel like you’re on a magic carpet ride—especially compared to a decades-old, single swing-arm quads.

Related: Best Off-Road Parks in America to Ride Side-by-Sides, UTVs

2023 Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5<p>Adam Bible</p>
2023 Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5

Adam Bible

As you glide along on that plush suspension, you feel the smooth and strong engine powering you along with a throaty growl. I found the H-5, with 40 horsepower and 3.75 lb ft of torque to be strong enough to handle any obstacle or mud puddle in the East Coast wilderness. And it proved just as capable towing a small trailer into the woods to collect heaping loads of firewood.

Key Features That Stand Out

One slightly disconcerting thing to get used to (which is the way of all new ATVs) is the lack of a right-hand brake lever. You can only use the foot brake on that side, though there is a front brake lever on the left side. It took a bit of getting used to, but the Can-Am’s Intelligent Engine Braking (iEBTM) system—which is tunable for how much you want to feel—helped get rid of my desire to keep clutching the non-existent lever as just letting off on the throttle at low speeds induced a significant braking effect. Eventually l learned how to lean on that pedal to feather my braking with little need for the left-hand lever unless at higher speeds.

Another key feature that turned out to be super useful—and one that you’d never think you’d want—was the speed limiter. This feature allows you to choose what speed you’d like the Can-Am Outlander to top out at, natch. It’s good for when inexperienced folks come over and insist on taking the ATV for a spin. You can make sure they don’t pin the throttle when they meant to brake, and then end up in the pond or the side of a tree.

The way I used it though, was for spreading seed. With an electric seed spreader mounted on the back of the rack, I was able to evenly and methodically scatter the right amount of seed in the right density to cover a few acres of fallow ground in preparation of the upcoming bird hunting season. Once I set my desired speed, I could push the throttle to the limit but the quad just trundled along happily over furrows while the seed sang out as it blanketed exactly where I wanted.

The on-the-fly four-wheel-drive button was another favorite feature, as it helped me get out more than few hairy spots—mostly creek gulches that required extra oomph. That handy switch though, could use a toggle or some kind of safety to keep it from being accidentally triggered. I did find that sometimes I’d look down and the four-wheel-drive would be activated, even though I hadn’t meant to turn it on. The switch is easy to throw and very close to your hand, offering to click on at any inadvertent slips.

Related: The Best Side-by-Side UTVs of 2023

2023 Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5<p>Adam Bible</p>
2023 Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5

Adam Bible

Accessories Help Make This ATV a More Versatile Workhorse

I found the other accessories I tested to be perfect for my mix of farm work and hunting adventures: the LinQ Gear Grips and the LinQ Cargo Basket. Both of these, and most of their accessories, use their LinQ system, which allows for easy attachment to the front and rear rack areas of most Can-Ams with a simple twist and lock feature.

The Gear Grips were great for taking a shovel or rake along on the trail for trail maintenance or other chores, and were also perfect for toting along at rifle once deer season commenced, though they did vibrate a bit concerningly with a gun in them, but they never failed or let their cargo loose.

The Cargo Basket is a must if you plan to use the Can-Am Outlander on a farm or for any utility purposes. It has multiple spots to hook bungee cords and comes with a rubber mat that clips into the bottom, which gave my pup a little extra purchase to help navigate bumpy terrain without falling out the back. It held everything from chainsaws and bird boxes to the aforementioned dog and even a few deer carcasses. The wide box and steep sides were able to cradle all the deer we harvested, buck and doe alike, and the box was easy to detach and spray clean of blood with hose once the deer were removed.

Final Thoughts on the Can-Am Outlander Pro XU ATV

The 2023 Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5 exceeded all of my expectations over the seven months I was able to test it. It drove like a dream, cornered well in all types of terrain, from sandy gravel to muddy clay to hard pack dirt. There were few, if any, negatives to the handsome ATV. It’s imposing size, good looks, strong performance, and top-notch quality make this four-wheeler one of the best ones I’ve ever come across.

In this configuration, you get a lot of bang for your buck, but the same sturdy architecture under pins even the lowliest Outlander 500, the 2WD base model, which comes in at a $5,999. With used ATV prices being what they are—sellers usually want at least $3,000 for decades-old, beat-to-hell quads—that’s a solid bargain for an all-terrain bruiser if you don’t need all of the special features the Pro XU brings with it. But it’s not much more to have all the upgrades offered with the Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5, which will be able to satisfy the needs of most any outdoorsman that spends a lot of time on the farm, in the woods, and on the hunt.

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Can-Am Outlander Pro XU HD-5 Specs

Engine and Transmission

  • 40 hp / 37 lb-ft, Rotax ACE (Advanced Combustion Efficiency) 650 cc, single cylinder, liquid cooled

  • Intelligent Throttle Control (iTCTM) with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)

  • pDrive primary CVT with work calibration, Extra low L/H/N/R/P

Suspension, Wheels, and Brakes

  • Double A-arm 9.75 in. (24.8 cm) travel, twin tube shocks in front; double A-arm 10.25 in. (26 cm) travel, twin tube shocks in rear.

  • XPS Trail King, 6-ply rating, 26 x 8/10 x 12 in. 12 inch cast aluminum wheels

  • Dual 214 mm disc brakes with hydraulic twin-piston calipers in front; single 214 mm disc brake with hydraulic twin-piston caliper in rear.


  • Dry Weight: 816 pounds

  • L x W x H: 89.9 x 48.8 x 48.2 inches

  • Ground Clearance : 13 inches

  • Towing Rating: 1,830 pounds

  • Fuel Capacity: 5.1 gal


  • 4.5 in. digital display, USB phone charger, RF Digitally Encoded Security System, LED headlights and taillights

  • Premium front bumper, rear bumper, and full skid plate

  • Selectable 2WD/4WD/Lock 4WD with Visco-4Lok front differential, Intelligent Engine Braking (iEBTM), speed limiter, Work/Standard/Sport modes, and Tri-Mode Dynamic Power Steering (DPS)

From $8,899 at can-am
From $8,899 at can-am