Abstract An effect of interchain electron hopping t ⊥ on the structure of conventional 1- d large polaron is investigated. Soliton-like polaron states appear to be crucially dependent on the ratio γ = t ⊥/ ζ, ζ being the polaronic energy shift. For simple N-chain models ( N = 2, 3), it is shown how the ground state of the system undergoes a sharp transition from uniformly distributed over the chains (symmetric) polaron at γ > γ ( N) c to the localized essentially 1-chain one at γ< γ ( N) c . The transition is accompanied by an abrupt change of polaron length, its binding energy and effective mass. The local vibrations spectra around symmetric polarons are derived and the exact criteria of their stability with respect to these oscillations are obtained as γ> γ ( N) s . Coexistence of both types of polarons in the 3-chain model is proved.