Can-Am Commander Top Speed and Acceleration

can-am commander top speed and acceleration

Are you curious just how fast the Can-Am Commander can go? As one of the most powerful side-by-side vehicles (SxS) on the market, the Commander is built for speed.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Can-Am Commander’s top speed, 0-60 mph time, engine performance, and how it compares to other top utility task vehicles (UTVs).

What is the Can-Am Commander’s Top Speed?

The Can-Am Commander is capable of reaching an exhilarating top speed of 75 mph when equipped with the standard Rotax 976cc V-twin engine.

This makes the Commander one of the fastest stock UTVs available from major manufacturers like Can-Am, Polaris, John Deere, Honda, and others.

With its powerful engine churning out up to 100 HP and high-speed stability from its long 79 inch wheelbase, the Commander can outrun many comparable side-by-side models.

75 mph gives drivers plenty of speed for racing, high-speed trail riding, and opens up the capability to go highway speeds when needed. It’s much faster than the average golf cart top speed of 15-25 mph.

While some expertly modified UTVs can reach over 100 mph, the Can-Am Commander’s 75 mph top speed exceeds what most stock models can achieve.

What Factors Influence the Commander’s Top Speed?

The Commander’s top speed will vary slightly depending on the year, engine configuration, cargo load, terrain, and other factors.

  • Newer model year Commanders may be geared for slightly higher top speeds around 75-78 mph
  • Added cargo weight will reduce top speed slightly
  • Challenging terrain like mud, hills, and sand may lower top end speed
  • Top speed tested in optimal conditions may be 5-10 mph faster than real-world mixed usage

So while Can-Am lists a max 75 mph top speed, in off-road conditions with some cargo loaded expect high 60’s to low 70 mph capability. Still very quick!

What About the Can-Am Commander’s 0-60 MPH Time?

In addition to an impressive overall top speed, the Can-Am Commander has incredible acceleration capabilities from 0-60 mph.

This side-by-side can rocket from 0 to 60 mph in approximately 4.5 seconds depending on the model year and conditions. Some expert drivers have recorded 0-60 times as quick as 3.5 seconds in modified Commanders.

This rapid acceleration beats many comparable UTV models from Polaris, Kawasaki, Honda, etc.

The huge torque and power bursts of the 976cc Rotax V-twin allow the Commander to reach 30 mph in under 2 seconds. It just keeps pulling all the way up to 60 mph in the 4-5 second range.

The sheer acceleration of the Commander combines with its high top speed for one thrilling ride. It has muscle for everything from towing and hauling to dune-bashing and desert racing.

What Engine Does the Can-Am Commander Use?

The source of the Commander’s excellent speed capabilities is its 976cc Rotax V-twin engine.

This muscular V-twin powerplant generates up to 100 horsepower, allowing it to rocket from 0 to 60 mph faster than many V6-powered trucks.

The engine’s cylinders are arranged in a V-twin configuration rather than inline or opposing. This gives it great power delivery and torque.

Rotax engines are made in Austria specifically for use in Can-Am vehicles. They are revered for their performance, reliability, and efficiency.

Some key features of the 976cc V-twin include:

  • 976 cc displacement, 8 valves
  • Electronic fuel injection
  • Liquid-cooled for consistent performance
  • 91 horsepower in early models, 100 HP in newer Commanders
  • V-twin torque reaches peak power at lower RPMs
  • Throttle-by-wire technology for precision control

This muscular powerplant provides the guts that make the Commander one of the fastest stock UTVs money can buy. Its purpose-built engineering gives it performance advantages over recreational side-by-sides using shared automotive engines.

How Does the Can-Am Commander’s Top Speed Compare to Other UTVs?

Very few stock UTV models can match the Commander’s top speed and acceleration capabilities. Here’s how it stacks up against other top side-by-sides:

Polaris RZR XP 1000:

  • Top Speed: 68 mph
  • 0-60 mph: 4.9 seconds

John Deere Gator RSX860i:

  • Top Speed: 70 mph
  • 0-60 mph: 7.5 seconds

Honda Pioneer 1000:

  • Top Speed: 69 mph
  • 0-60 mph: 5.6 seconds

Yamaha YXZ1000R SS:

  • Top Speed: 80 mph
  • 0-60 mph: 4.4 seconds

As you can see, the Commander clearly exceeds most comparable models in top speed categories, while roughly matching or beating them in 0-60 times.

The Yamaha YXZ1000R SS is the most direct competitor, with faster acceleration and slightly higher top speed. But it still can’t match the Commander’s 75 mph max.

So while a select few modified UTVs can hit 100+ mph, the Commander is still one of the speed kings among stock production side-by-sides.

What Design Features Allow the Can-Am Commander to Reach Such High Speeds?

The Commander possesses a number of design elements optimized for speed, in addition to its robust engine:

  • Long Wheelbase – At 79 inches, the Commander’s wheelbase is significantly longer than many UTVs. This enhances high-speed stability and control.
  • Suspension – Its fully adjustable FOX HPG piggyback shocks and wide stance soak up bumps and provide traction when accelerating and cornering.
  • Tires – It comes equipped with specialized 28-inch MAXXIS Bighorn 2.0 tires purpose-built for performance UTV use. Large tread blocks and stiff sidewalls grip at speed.
  • Safety – The reinforced cab frame, seat belts, and padded sprint-style steering wheel help keep passengers protected at max speed.
  • Ergonomics – Optimized seating position, tilt steering, and foot pegs allow drivers to control the UTV comfortably during rapid acceleration.
  • Drive Modes – Switch between standard 2WD to 4WD modes for enhanced traction and control in challenging terrain and conditions.

Every aspect of the Commander is optimized for speed while retaining incredible stability and safety. Can-Am also offers many engine, suspension, wheel, and tire upgrade packages to enhance speed even further.

Is the Can-Am Commander Built for Speed or Utility Functions?

With its blazing acceleration and 75 mph top speed, it may seem like that’s all the Commander is built for.

But this side-by-side is also highly capable when it comes to utility functions like:

  • Hauling and Towing
  • Off-roading
  • Farm Work
  • Hunting
  • Exploration

The Can-Am Commander still offers excellent cargo capacity and versatility despite its performance. Here are some of its utility features:

  • 600 lb cargo box capacity
  • 2000 lb towing capacity
  • Available winches up to 4500 lb capacity
  • Optional racks, boxes, and liners for hauling
  • 4-seat capacity
  • Heavy-duty run-flat tires
  • Steel cargo box and chassis

So the Commander can still work as hard as it plays, with the strength to handle farms, job sites, camping trips, and off-road adventures. It balances speed with functionality better than almost any other side-by-side.

tips for increasing the top speed of a Can-Am Commander

Engine Modifications

  • Install a performance exhaust like the Muzzys dual exhaust. This frees up horsepower and torque.
  • Upgrade to a high-flow air intake kit to allow more air into the engine.
  • Have an ECU tune performed to optimize fueling and ignition timing for max power gains.
  • Consider turbocharger or supercharger kits to boost HP over 200hp.
  • Stiffer valve springs allow the engine to rev higher into its powerband.

Drivetrain Upgrades

  • Install a higher stall speed clutch kit to achieve quicker acceleration.
  • Upgrade the CVT drive belt to a high-performance model designed for racing.
  • Gear the transmission and differentials for higher top speeds using lower ratio gear sets.
  • Lightweight wheels and tires reduce rotational mass for quicker acceleration.

Suspension Enhancements

  • Stiffen shocks and springs to reduce chassis movement at high speeds.
  • Set sag and preload properly to optimize weight transfer under acceleration.
  • Upgrade to +3″ radius rods for more wheel travel and traction.
  • Lengthen anti-roll bars for flatter cornering at speed.

With the right combination of engine, drivetrain, suspension and tire mods, an experienced tuner could likely get a Commander over 100 mph! But higher speeds also require safety upgrades and expert driving skills.

Can-Am Commander Top Speed and Acceleration Specs

Top Speed75 mph
0-60 mph4.5 seconds
Engine976cc V-twin Rotax
Horsepower91-100 HP
TransmissionQuick Response System CVT
Final DriveSelectable 2WD/4WD Shaft Drive
Fuel Capacity10 gallons
Wheelbase79 inches
Ground Clearance12 inches
Towing Capacity2000 pounds
Cargo Box Capacity600 pounds

Can-Am Commander Pricing by Model and Year

The Can-Am Commander is available in different model configurations at various price points. Here is a breakdown of MSRP pricing by model year:

2021 Models

  • 2021 Commander Base: $12,999
  • 2021 Commander DPS: $13,899
  • 2021 Commander XT: $15,549
  • 2021 Commander XT-P: $17,499

2020 Models

  • 2020 Commander Base: $12,599
  • 2020 Commander DPS: $13,499
  • 2020 Commander XT: $15,149
  • 2020 Commander X mr: $17,199

2019 Models

  • 2019 Commander Base: $11,899
  • 2019 Commander DPS: $12,799
  • 2019 Commander XT: $14,599
  • 2019 Commander X mr: $16,599

2018 Models

  • 2018 Commander Base: $11,699
  • 2018 Commander DPS: $12,599
  • 2018 Commander Limited: $14,999
  • 2018 Commander XT: $15,099

Pricing varies from around $12,000 for early base models up to $17,000+ for loaded X mr packages. Shop used to save on initial purchase price.

The Commander’s Pros and Cons


  • Incredible 75 mph top speed
  • Throttle-punching acceleration
  • Powerful and reliable Rotax engine
  • Smooth and sporty handling
  • Agile performance side-by-side
  • Towing and cargo capacity
  • Available accessories & upgrades
  • Comfortable and adjustable seating
  • Excellent high speed stability


  • Expensive initial purchase price
  • Rough ride quality at high speeds
  • Tall height can make it tippy
  • Poor fuel economy (10-12 mpg)
  • Limited steering angle requires planning turns
  • Cabin noise above 50 mph
  • Not optimized for utility/hauling use

The Commander delivers stunning speed but it does come at a price in terms of cost, ride comfort, efficiency, and utility performance.

What Owners are Saying About the Can-Am Commander

With its combination of blistering speed and off-road capabilities, Commander owners have lots of positive things to say:

“This machine is an absolute blast to drive with its power and handling. I feel so safe strapped in tearing down trails at 60 mph.”

“The acceleration hits you like a sledgehammer when you drop the throttle. But it’s also smooth and predictable at high speeds.”

“Climbs any hill like it’s nothing. The power and traction inspire confidence to conquer challenging trails fast.”

“Hauls equipment and tools around my property with ease. But then I can go chase some adrenaline hitting jumps and sand dunes.”

But some owners have experienced downsides like expense, mechanical issues, and challenging ride quality:

“Drinks gas like crazy and expensive to maintain. But I guess that comes with high performance machines.”

“Hitting whoops and rough terrain at speed is pretty brutal. It rattles my bones no matter how I adjust the suspension.”

“Steering gets twitchy at speeds above 50 mph. Makes it tricky to control around corners.”

“Stock tires wore out incredibly fast, had to upgrade after just 3,000 miles”.

“Repairs like new belts, seals, and bearings add up quick. And parts are pricey.”

Common Can-Am Commander Problems and Fixes

Given the extreme demands placed on the Commander, some common issues can occur:

  • Overheating – Install improved cooling fans, flush the coolant system, check the water pump.
  • Burning Oil – Fix engine leaks, inspect piston rings, adjust valve lash.
  • Leaking Shocks – Replace shock seals and socks, upgrade to better shocks.
  • CVT Belt Failures – Upgrade to high strength belt, keep on top of maintenance.
  • Electrical Shorts – Inspect wiring harness, use dielectric grease, seal connections.
  • Clutch Judder – Adjust clutch engagement, upgrade springs and weights.
  • Tire Wear/Cupping – Align and balance the wheels, install heavy-duty tires.
  • Engine Knocking – Use correct octane fuel, replace spark plugs, inspect timing chain tensioner.

Following the maintenance schedule and upgrading components is key to addressing these common issues.

Closing Thoughts on the Can-Am Commander Speed and Performance

With its adrenaline-pumping acceleration, 75 mph top speed, and rugged off-road chops, the Can-Am Commander lives up to the hype as one of the fastest production UTVs money can buy.

This side-by-side is engineered to deliver a thrilling high-speed ride without compromising utility strengths like cargo capacity, towing, and off-road handling.

While pricey, the Commander gives owners a purpose-built speed machine on par with exotic sports cars in 0-60 time. Its balanced performance makes it one of the most versatile and capable UTVs around.

Just be ready to hold on tight, because once you hammer down the throttle, the Commander doesn’t slow down until it hits its 75 mph top speed!

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