Are they really that much bigger then?
Same frame as the Foreman now.
Basically instead of having two distinct models the Rancher and Foreman are now the same bike with a few parts being different.
Engines are pretty much the same. Different clutches, top end, stator but otherwise the same.
Foreman has diff lock and pod light. Rancher does not.
Same frame, so the Rancher is effectively just a cheap, stripped down, low cc base model Foreman now.
Also, Foreman has longer suspension travel than Rancher. 25" tires on Foreman vs 24" on Rancher.
The Rancher has a higher compression engine than the Foreman, and I believe the Rancher (because it sits a little lower and has a higher-compression engine) feels more playful. One reason I love my 2016 Rancher is that it feels very playful. I came from all sport quads, 400EX being the latest, to this Rancher and I never felt like I lost my ability to play on the Rancher. It revs well, pulls hard, slides the corners well, etc. It is in no way underpowered, as far as I'm concerned. I can tear down forest roads and trails at 45-50mph and that is plenty fast. It has climbed every hill I point it at. I'm not trying to turn big heavy mud tires, so no need to change gearing.
Let me put it this way: I have been riding quads for a long time now, like many of you. I have spent a great deal of time on some of the older "smaller" Ranchers, for example the Rancher 350, and my new 2016 Honda Rancher is a superior machine. I once did a 60-mile loop ride with a friend at high elevation in the Colorado Rockies. My 2016 Rancher ran circles around that old 350 in every possible way. We traded off several times during the ride. That old 350 felt like a cart compared to my Rancher.
...all improved drastically over the old 350.
Everyone has their preferences, but I sense this conversation taking a negative turn toward the latest generation Ranchers, and I feel completely opposite. I am not knocking the Foreman by any means, and I certainly think that:
1. auxiliary power outlet
2. enhanced from bumper
3. 55ccs more (but lower compression, basically same HP/weight ratio as Rancher)
4. 3rd headlight
5. diff lock
6. more suspension
7. larger tires
8. fender storage cubby
9. any minor mechanical differences that may exist
...are all nice and worth the extra money if you want/need those enhancements, but the Rancher is available in more configurations (LIKE DCT), and the Rancher is a very different machine from a Rubicon where the DCT becomes available again. I DID NOT want a Rubicon, the Rancher fit the bill for me. The Rancher has a better HP/weight ratio than the Rubicon, and it is far more playful than the heavy lumbering Rubicon for MY RIDING STYLE.