Honestly......I can't tell you and neither could anybody else here. Both are very very nice sleds. For me this year when I was looking at the new sleds, I left no options out, and I researched for months before I finally decided with the Cat. In all reality, the polaris probably has a few hp on the Cat in the 600 class. Are you going to notice this? Probably not. What really sold me on the Cat was:
A) EFI---this was a huge factor for me
B) The rider ergonomics....with the cat you get the exact same riding position and bars, running boards, etc as the race sleds that the pro's use. The riding postion of the cat's favors more of an aggressive riding style, where the polaris seems a better choice if you are a sit down rider. The cat's bars are high and have hooked ends to hang off the sled, where the polaris has low, narrow bars, and narrow, slippery running boards. Can you fix this with aftermarket parts? Yes. Do you want to have to spend big $$$ just to be comfortable on a brand new sled? I didn't.
C) The engine setup on the Cat was more of a technology leader than that of the Polaris, with servo controlled electronic power valves instead of manual ones, and a better clutching setup.
D) I don't think anybody could argue that the Cat isn't the leader in handling, with the only stock sled with A-Arm technology. The handling on my Cat is simply awesome, and I think it would be tough to improve on.
E) Looks, for me I loved the look of the bright green.....but this is completely my opinion.
F) For me, after sitting on both sleds for a long time, the Cat really had a quality feel to it, where the polaris seemed like it just felt cheap. Although I do think the polaris gauges are better, I felt that polaris had really cheapened up their sleds over the years, as my last sled was a 93 polaris storm.
Well I think that just about covers it, hopefully I gave you what you were looking for, and remember that only you can decide which sled is best for you. For me, the Cat was an easy choice, but for you it might be the polaris or some other sled in fact.
By the way I liked the Ski-Doo over the Polaris as well, and that was a little tougher choice between the Cat and the Doo.....Both were really nice.
2002 Arctic Cat ZR 800 EFI
founding member of the Arctic Cat Mind Control Team......you will believe!!