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Polaris Slingshot Buying Guide

Polaris Slingshot Buying Guide

The Polaris Slingshot is a one of kind vehicle with a unique design that immediately catches the eye. With the single back wheel and two front wheels, this is a three-wheeler that turns the industry on its head with a sleek design. Heralded as the "three-wheeled motorcycle", this vehicle gives the feel of a motorcycle with more stability. When you are looking to try this vehicle out for yourself, you may have a few concerns or questions regarding purchasing one. Let our Polaris Slingshot buying guide help you make the right decision.

New or Used?

The first thing to cover in a Polaris Slingshot buying guide is whether you should buy new or used. While the Slingshot hasn't been around all that long, there are still used models if you look around a bit. Introduced in 2014, the chances of finding a used one might be slimmer than a model that has been around for 20 years, but it is still a possibility since some people choose to upgrade to the newest model or sell their older Slingshot for other vehicle types.

The matter of whether to buy new or used is a personal one with a few different considerations. For starters, the matter of cost is important for such a big purchase. Used options tend to be the more affordable option over brand new models, but that isn't to say you can't find a decent deal for a new one depending on when and where you buy. Another reason some people prefer to buy new over used is that you are getting a model direct from the dealership with no previous mileage, owners, and most importantly, mechanical issues. When you shop used, you really have to do your homework to make sure you aren't getting a lemon. Overall, the matter of whether to buy new or used will depend on several factors and your own personal circumstances.

Important Things to Know Before Buying

  • The vehicle is a hybrid of a motorcycle and a small compact car. This creates a unique feel when driving and it is worth noting for a few reasons. If you are looking for the ride and thrill of a motorcycle, this three-wheeler won't give you that feeling you are expecting. However, if you are unable to ride a motorcycle but want the slight slide and jostle the Slingshot offers as an alternative, then this is a better choice than a traditional motorcycle.
  • This vehicle can be classified in one of two ways and this can impact your riding experience, insurance, and other matters. For example, the Slingshot is considered an autocycle in 41 states with the rest registering it as a motorcycle. This will determine whether you need a helmet or not in most states. Since the Slingshot has three-point fitted seatbelts but no air bags or crumple zone in case of impact, many states require helmets for both the driver and passenger, and the vehicle type may carry higher insurance costs, depending on your state.
  • The handling is different than a typical four-wheel car or two-wheeled motorcycle and may take some getting used to as you drive. A car is meant to reduce how much you feel the suspension while a motorcycle is all about feeling the little dips and dives of the drive. The Slingshot sits somewhere in the middle on this matter. When going in a straight line or taking corners with care, you might think you are in a typical car. Many people report that if you take a corner with a bit more speed or dip over a hill a little faster than you meant to, there is a different pull on the vehicle thanks to the slide of the back wheel. Most drivers enjoy this fact and say it handles the way they imagine the Batmobile would handle so keep this in mind. The key is to test drive this vehicle before buying to make sure you get a feel for its unique handling and suspension.
  • Keep in mind that this is an open concept roadster vehicle. There is no roof or option of adding one so this is not a traditional convertible. If you live somewhere with extreme weather, this may not be an option for year-round riding, however, it can be a lot of fun to drive during the majority of the year when the weather and road conditions permit it.
  • Consider the generation before you buy. While there are only a few versions of this vehicle on the market because it's still relatively new to the scene, there have been a few upgrades with the newer generations. For example, while all Slingshots are powered by the same 4-liter GM Ecotec engine used in several cars on the market, like the Chevy Cobalt, there have been big improvements with the more recent models in other areas. Originally, there were complaints in the 2014 models that the steering was hard to keep in a straight line, suspension was a bit too unstable on the rear tire, and the brakes weren't quite up to snuff to handle the 173 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 166 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 rpm being delivered to that rear wheel. Since that first model, more of the kinks have been worked out with better results and reviews from drivers. The bottom line is that you should do your homework on this vehicle in all its generations with reviews from real drivers to get a better feel for the differences from one generation to the next to make the right call for you.