2018 Vehicle of the Year: Can-Am Defender Max XT

posted on April 28, 2018

Now in its 16th year, the NRA Golden Bullseye Awards represent the pinnacle of achievement within the shooting, hunting and outdoor trade.

In 2017, after years of record-breaking sales, many industry observers wondered what ingenious introductions might still be unveiled. After all, any product worthy of our gold standard must meet or exceed American Hunter’s expectations of innovation—and they absolutely must provide hunters with value for their money. But once again, we were surprised when we collected nominations and tallied our votes.

Vehicle of the Year: Can-Am Defender Max XT 
Defender series includes the standard Max, Max DPS, Max XT Cab and our favorite, the Defender Max XT HD10. All feature “pickup truck-inspired design” to maximize cargo capacity and storage space while seating six adult hunters.

The Max XT HD10’s heavy-duty, V-twin Rotax engine produces 72 hp and 61 lb.-ft. torque. Peak torque is delivered at low engine speed to handle difficult tasks and terrain with aplomb. Power is transferred to the ground via Can-Am’s Pro-Torq continuously variable transmission. Three driving modes (Work, Normal, Eco) and a four-mode traction system with Can-Am’s Visco-Lok QE front differential provide several traction-control choices for varying terrain and tasks. Operators may select 2x4 open rear differential, 2x4 locked rear, 4x4 open rear and 4x4 locked rear. Dynamic Power Steering offers less assistance at high speed and more at low speed. Payload capacity is 1,750 pounds (including 1,000 pounds in the bed); tow rating is 2,000 pounds. There is a whopping 16.9 gallons of storage in the cab. A-pillars located far forward and positioned at a 25-degree angle improve visibility and ingress/egress.

Add up all that and it’s easy to see why former digital managing editor Shawn Skipper opined (“Hardware,” October 2017) the Defender Max XT is “a six-seat powerhouse that’ll get you—as well as your hunting buddies, your dog, your gear and your game—wherever you need to go.”

For more information, go to can-am.brp.com.

Editor's Note: NRA Publications will present the annual Golden Bullseye Awards at an exclusive breakfast during the 2018 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Dallas, Tx., May 4-6.


GAOS NRA 2017 Color Pos
GAOS NRA 2017 Color Pos

NRA Great American Outdoor Show is Live!

Join fellow hunters at the NRA Great American Outdoor Show, the world’s largest outdoor show, from Feb. 4-12. This nine-day event in Harrisburg, Pa., celebrates the hunting, fishing and outdoor traditions observed by millions of Americans.

#SundayGunday: Colt Anaconda 4"

American Hunter Editor in Chief Scott Olmsted was on hand in December at Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Ariz., when Colt introduced its four-inch-barreled Anaconda.

New for 2023: Remington Premier Long Range in PRC Chamberings

Featuring Speer’s revolutionary Impact bullet, Remington has now announced three new PRC loads that will be available in late 2023.

Beretta Launches A300 Ultima Turkey Shotgun

Beretta has announced the launch of a new turkey-hunting shotgun—the A300 Ultima Turkey.

Winchester Awarded U.S. Army NGSW Ammunition Production Contract

Winchester, the largest manufacturer of small caliber ammunition for the U.S. military, has announced that the U.S. Army has awarded the company a contract to manufacture, test, and deliver 5 million 6.8mm Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) cartridges.

How to Build a Home Butcher Shop

Any space including a garage, shop or storage shed can be turned into a game-processing center. Learn about hoists, knives, vacuum sealers, grinders and dehydrators you need to build your own butcher shop.


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.