2020 Yamaha Wolverine X2 XT-R Review and Test Ride

2020 Yamaha Wolverine X2 XT-R Review and Test Ride

  By Chris Yeloushan

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The 2020 Yamaha Wolverine X2 XT-R: The Ultimate Adventure UTV

From the first time I laid eyes on this machine at the 2019 AIMExpo in Columbus, Ohio, I wanted to drive it.
The XT-R package is one of the best-looking color-combinations I have ever seen on a UTV. This special edition package includes the two-tone titanium bronze/tactical black, sun-top roof, custom seats, Warn 4,500lb winch and 27” Dirt Commander tires and color-matched wheels with an MSRP of $15,999. The dealership jokingly named it the Burt Reynolds edition from the classic movie Smokey and the Bandit. To say I was ecstatic to get into this UTV would be an understatement, and man, it did not fall short of my expectations.
Watch my full test ride and review of the 2020 Yamaha Wolverine X2 XT-R here:


2020 Yamaha Wolverine Top Speed and Engine

The Wolverine comes standard with an 847cc parallel-twin cylinder liquid-cooled, DOHC, fuel-injected engine producing 70hp governed at a top speed of 55mph. This is Yamaha’s new twin-cylinder engine featuring drive-by-wire throttle that shares technology with their sportbikes. It is equipped with a standard speed management system which allows you to govern the speed for beginner riders up to 25mph with the turn of a key, easily accessed under the hood.

2020 Yamaha Wolverine X2 Specs: Suspension, Wheels and Steering

The front suspension on the 2020 Wolverine X2 is an independent double-wishbone that includes an anti-sway bar and fully adjustable KYB piggyback shocks resulting in 8.7” of travel. The rear suspension is also an independent double-wishbone with the anti-sway bar with the fully adjustable KYB piggyback shocks resulting in 9.3” of travel. The overall ground clearance is a healthy 11.5” with a full metal skid plate protecting the entire underbelly of the chassis.
The XT-R special edition comes with 8-ply GBC Dirt Commander AT’s 27 x 9-12 on the front and 27 x 11-12 on the rear with the matching gold wheels. The on-command 4WD system allows you to switch between 2WD limited-slip, 4WD and full locking differential 4WD in any type of terrain conveniently placed on the dash just left of the steering wheel. Matched with the lightweight power steering, the XT-R is super agile when encountering any obstacles in tough terrain.

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2020 Yamaha Wolverine X2 Price

The new 2020 Yamaha Wolverine X2 XT-R has a starting price of $15,999. Other Wolverine trims in the Yamaha 2020 lineup range in price from $12K to $18K, so this particular UTV lands right in the middle price-wise. The 2020 Wolverine X2 Base starts at $12,699. Although the base and the XT-R are very similar, the wheels, ground clearance, and seating space are all slightly larger in the XT-R + the XT-R comes with a closed roof and the Base only comes with roll bars.
To find the best pricing available on UTVs (and more) be sure to take a look at our manufacturer-offered incentives. A list of all manufacturer deals and rebates updated monthly so you are positive you get the best price possible on that new UTV.

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2020 Yamaha Wolverine X2 Brakes + Warranty

The front and rear brakes are large 4-wheel vented hydraulic discs with two-piston calipers and a shaft-mounted parking brake in the rear. The transmission has Yamaha’s reliable Ultramatic CVT with all-wheel engine braking including Low, High, Neutral, and Reverse. However, there is no park-in transmission mode and you have to rely on the parking brake when loading/unloading or towing. Yamaha backed their Ultramatic CVT belt with a 10-year limited warranty. The Wolverine’s factory warranty is 6 months.

2020 Yamaha Wolverine X2 Weight, Height, and Turning Radius

While the Yamaha is in the sport-utility recreational class, based on the looks and the performance, it felt much more sport than utility. Weighing in at 1,679lbs, 115 inches long, 62 inches wide and 75 inches tall, with a wheelbase of 83.7 inches and a turning radius of 189 inches, it was one of the most stable UTV’s I have ever driven. When you combine the low center of gravity, the longer wheelbase, and aggressively sloped front end it was so much fun weaving and bobbing through the trails on a cool winter’s morning.

Yamaha Wolverine Updated for 2020: Bed, Interior, and Tech

Yamaha updated the 2020 Wolverine to include a full tilting dump bed where you could open it from either side. Plus, the pickup style tailgate latch and four convenient tie-downs at each corner of the box are both new – and awesome. The dump box can hold up to 600lbs and had no problem towing my enclosed trailer around my property with a towing capacity of 2,000lbs.
Climbing into the interior of the XT-R you first notice the passenger door handles are on the inside rather than outside. Yamaha positioned this feature as a way to be able to easily open your doors if they are covered in thick sand or mud. It definitely takes a few rides to get used to it. The XT-R also comes with high-back seats, shoulder bolsters and plenty of legroom for passengers over six feet tall. The shoulder bolsters can be difficult to enter and exit the UTV if you are a larger framed person. However, when you are ripping through the trails, you feel very secure with your body staying in a comfortable riding position.
The all-digital instrument cluster gives you a complete overview of the vehicle status including the odometer, trip-meters, hour-meter, clock, temperature, gear indicator, fuel gauge seat belt, helmet reminder, and one DC power outlet. The headlights and taillights are all LEDs. The back-up LED tail lights lit up very well for hooking up a trailer in the dark. However, the LED headlights could use a second set for increased visibility in the darkest conditions. There is a generously sized center console and glove box for carrying necessary items on the trails.

Final Thoughts on the 2020 Yamaha Wolverine X2 XT-R

The Wolverine X2 XT-R delivers a very impressive combination of aggressive trail-proven ability, work-ready reliability and refined comfort that can tackle any outdoor adventure you desire. In fact, I liked it so much, I bought it for our family.
Stay tuned to several other articles and videos where I will be sharing the most popular accessories using my Wolverine.

  • Sharpest color and graphics combination
  • Quietest engine and passenger compartment
  • Sloped front end allowing you a full view of the trail


  • Headlights are not powerful enough for dark conditions
  • Door handles on the inside of the door’s frame
  • No park-in transmission

If the 2020 Yamaha Wolverine X2 review got you excited about the possibility of purchasing your very own UTV, take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Buying the best UTVs to help you get started today!

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More on Chris:

Chris is a Vice President of Strategic Accounts at Rollick. Born and raised in his family’s outdoor recreational dealerships, he has been involved in everything outdoors since he could walk. His first dirt bike was a 1980 Honda Z50. Since then, he has ridden and owned everything including dirt bikes, ATV’s, SXS, and PWC’s. You will probably spot him on any given Sunday tearing up the trails of the Ocala National Forest. His passion over the last twenty years has been focused on helping dealers increase sales and build customer loyalty through America’s top consumer brands. Some of the top brands include Sam’s Club, AAA, Allstate, USAA, GEICO, Progressive, and Walmart. Members of these organizations are loyal and looking for a more efficient and straightforward buying and ownership experience. Chris has been dedicated to connecting members of these organizations with the nation’s top dealerships.

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