2021 Can Am Defender MAX

Unleashing the Power: The Top Speed of the Can-Am Commander 1000

You may be considering the Can-Am Commander 1000 for your next UTV purchase and looking for something that could end on a flier while questioning the Can-Am Commander 1000’s top speed.

This guide will answer those questions and do a little deep digging into how the vehicle performs along with its key features and give you an idea of whether or not it might be your best option going forward.

Ready to learn more about the Can-Am Commander 1000? Let’s get started.

2021 Can AM Defender MAX


What Is the Top Speed of the Can-Am Commander 1000?


So let’s address the elephant in the room: how fast can this side-by-side go? The answer is 75 miles per hour. However, you want to remember there may be factors that come into play.

The Can-Am Commander speed can vary depending on factors like number of passengers, cargo weight, altitude, accessories installed, and current weather conditions. As such, it’s important to maintain a safe speed on trails to ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers. Just because we advertise top speed doesn’t mean we encourage you to go as fast as you can at all times.

Nevertheless, you can be certain that the Can-Am Commander 1000 can go fast, and the lighter the weight, the faster it can go. Likewise, if it’s taking on heavier loads, you should be conscious that it may go a little less fast than its listed top speed.

Speed should not be the only reason for your purchase, and we’ll discuss the Can-Am Commander 1000’s performance resulting from other notable features.


How Does the Can-Am Commander 1000 Perform Off-Road?


Can-Am side-by-sides are known to be noteworthy when it comes to off-road performance. For example, the Defender is known for being one of the best of its kind thanks to its rugged design and clearance, making it easy to navigate through all kinds of challenging terrain. But can we expect the same in terms of the Can-Am Commander’s capabilities?

Older models like the 2013 1000XT can handle the rough terrain with ease, and you may expect the same from newer models. Models like the Commander XT 1000R have 13 inches of ground clearance, which isn’t bad if you intend to do some off-roading with it.

It’s also important to note that you can purchase plenty of upgradable parts and accessories if you want to get the most out of this Can-Am’s off-road performance. Don’t forget that you have plenty of options according to your budget, preferred performance, and any additional needs you may have.


Key Features of the Can-Am Commander 1000


To determine whether or not you have a good option for a side-by-side, it’s important to know the Can-Am 1000’s features. To begin, the “1000” in the name represents the engine type.  

While there are different models of this vehicle, we focus our attention on one of the more popular models, the Can-Am Commander XT 1000R, and spend a bit of time on each one so you have a good idea of what to expect.




Equipped with a Rotax 976cc V-twiliquid-cooleded engine with 100 hp, it has an intelligent throttle control with electronic fuel injection, giving you pretty good performance when using it on the trail or at the job site.


The chassis front suspension is an arched double A-arm with a sway bar with a travel measuring 15 inches. The rear suspension is an arched TTA with a sway bar of the same length.

The tires are XPS Trail King 28x9 each measured at 11x14 inches, and you also have dual 220mm disc brakes with hydraulic twin-piston calipers. Not bad for when you want to take things off-road and have a bit of fun.


Towing Capacity


The Can-Am Commander XT 1000R has a towing capacity of 2000 lbs, certainly a huge help whenever you need to tow something from one place to another. It has 500 pounds less capacity than the Can-Am Defender, making the brand itself one of the best for those looking for a side-by-side with excellent towing abilities.

Not to be outdone, it has a built-in winch that can handle up to 4500 pounds, so you can use this to pull out any potentially disabled vehicles stuck on the trail. That said, the Can-Am Commander 1000 might be more rugged than you think.


Ground Clearance


As mentioned, the ground clearance measures out to around 13 inches, one inch less than the Defender, but still proving its worth as one of the best options for those wanting to do a little off-roading without worrying about getting caught up in the terrain.


Interior and Additional Features


The Commander 1000 XT has plenty of room for those who want to go on long rides and can fit up to four people with its adjustable seats. It also has driver storage, cupholders, side panel storage, and a digital display screen giving you all the information you need about the vehicle and how it’s functioning in real-time, a nice feature for making sure everything is in good shape.

If you notice something out of place, you can also get the Commander 1000 XT serviced. It also has excellent security features that include a digitally encoded security system that provides you with a unique personalized code, providing you access to the electronic ignition system and giving you the power to restrict access to your vehicle. 


How the Can-Am Commander 1000 Compares to Other Off-Road Vehicles in Terms of Speed


With a top speed of 75 miles per hour, the Can-Am Commander 1000 is not quite the fastest side by side or UTV on the market. That title belongs to the Yamaha YXZ1000R, which has a top speed clocking in at around 105 mph. Needless to say, there are several others that have higher top speeds compared to the Can-Am Commander.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular side-by-sides and their top speeds:

  • Can-Am Maverick X3: 85-100 mph
  • Polaris RZR Pro R: 90 mph
  • CFMoto ZForce 950: 72 mph
  • Polaris General 1000: 70 mph

  • So compared to some of the other off-road vehicles on the list, the Can-Am Commander has a respectable top speed but won’t be anywhere as fast as the Polaris RZR Pro R or the Maverick X3 of the same brand. Speed junkies may want to consider one of the above options over the Can-Am Commander.

    Yet, if you just want a simple recreational vehicle that can go fast (but not too fast), the choice is clear enough. The Can-Am Commander’s top speed is decent and might just be more than enough for the regular rider.

    2020 Polaris RZR Pro


    What Affects the Top Speed of the Can-Am Commander 1000?


    Earlier in the guide, we mentioned some of the things that can affect the Can-Am Commander 1000’s top speed, which, of course, could apply to all other side-by-sides on the market regardless of their top speed. In this section, we’ll delve into those factors and how they influence speed.


    Engine Displacement


    This entails the size of the engine (ccs) and can affect how much power can be generated. Thus, the more powerful the engine, the greater its top speed.




    Your tires can affect speed because of traction and grip, since better traction and grip can make it easier for you to go faster. If your tires are in less than ideal condition, you may notice top speeds being slightly reduced.


    Terrain and Landscape


    Of course, different terrains and landscapes can play a role in how fast you’re able to go. Be mindful of the type you’re driving on as you travel. If you’re on a trail that has sand or mud, this can cause your side-by-side to go slower.

    On the other hand, trails that are harder packed (including pavement and similar surfaces) will allow you to go faster. 


    Body and Object Weight


    Your body weight (and the collective weight of all your passengers) can play a role in how the side-by-side can top off speed-wise. The important thing to remember is that the lighter the load, the greater potential for maximum speed.

    The same may apply if you’re transporting any heavy objects in a side-by-side with cargo space or a bed. Heavier cargo can weigh your vehicle down enough to affect the overall speed. Finally, you may also find that modifications with aftermarket parts (where legal) can affect the performance and speed of your vehicle.

    While stock accessories can help you maintain a decent top speed, you could add upgrades and accessories that may increase it. However, this may be a difficult task to perform in terms of whether it’s legal to do so or not.




    The Can-Am Commander 1000 may as well be one of the best side-by-sides for recreational riding. Yes, it can go fast, though not as fast as some of the fastest on the market, making it a less-than-ideal fit for speed demons.

    Overall, the Can-Am Commander 1000 is a pretty solid UTV for those wanting to ride the trails and maybe do a little bit of off-roading when the mood strikes. Ready to experience the thrill of the Can-Am Commander 1000? Explore Thumper Fab’s range of top-quality, custom-made tops!

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