Reviews You Can Rely On

The 4 Best Scooters of 2024

We buy and test scooters from Segway, Niu, Gotrax, Highboy, Razor, and others to find the best models for your commutes and joy rides
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Best Scooter Review
Credit: Brian Walker
By Nick Miley and Austin Palmer  ⋅  May 30, 2024

The Best Scooters for 2024


Our team of experts has bought and tested over 25 scooters since 2019. This review compares the best 11 head-to-head across several extensive performance tests that no other review out there has completed. We rode these machines on varying street surfaces and measured hill gradients to give you a comprehensive look at how these can perform specifically on your own streets. Each model endures countless speed tests to accurately measure top speed for you thrill seekers. We understand that these machines can be your sole transportation to get to work or hang with friends so we factored in other aspects like portability, comfort, and range to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision. After countless hours of pushing each model to its limits, we narrowed the group down to our final recommendations that will satisfy needs ranging from transportation to recreation.

Before you purchase a scooter, please check out our scooter buying advice guide to ensure you get the right model for your needs. You may also consider protecting your noggin with one of our favorite helmet picks. If you love zipping around, you may be interested in some other modes of electric transport, like the best electric skateboards or top hoverboards, which we have also tested extensively.

Editor's Note: On May 30, 2024, we added two new products to the lineup, including new notable mentions, expanded on our award winners and testing protocols, and provided new media to highlight product features and in-house testing.

Top 11 Scooters - Test Results

Displaying 1 - 5 of 11
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Awards Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $1,300 List$999 List
$699.98 at Amazon
$549 List
$569.99 at Amazon
$710 List
$549.99 at Amazon
$500 List
$400.74 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
83
83
79
71
64
Star Rating
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Pros Good ride comfort, long range, blinkers, cruise controlExcellent fold design, peppy, quick brakes, always on safety lightLithium-ion battery, measured 22 mile range, 350-watt motor, fast and smooth rideQuick stop, honeycomb tires, secure fold designLight-weight, easy to fold, zippy
Cons Heavy, stiff handlebar latch, app required to travel at full speedSlow bluetooth connection, heavy, long charge timeHeavier weight, long charge timeHefty, not-so-easy-to-use folding system, lengthy charge timeSo-so range, slow to recharge, struggles on steep hills
Bottom Line A best-in-class model that has the power, braking capacity, and comfort to handle long commutes with a trade-off in portabilityA premium choice for comfortable, long rides over uneven landscapes with exceptional brakes but a hefty weightA smooth driving, high-end electric scooter with an impressive range and a pep in its stepA fun, above-average scooter not meant for steep hillsThis scooter is great for short commutes where carrying the machine is required
Rating Categories Segway Ninebot MAX G2 Niu Kqi3 Max Gotrax G4 Hiboy S2 Pro Razor E Prime III
Range (25%)
9.5
9.1
7.5
6.1
4.3
Power (25%)
9.0
8.3
8.0
6.9
6.5
Ride Comfort (20%)
9.7
8.7
8.0
7.3
7.3
Portability (15%)
3.0
5.0
8.3
6.5
8.9
Braking (15%)
8.5
9.5
7.7
9.5
6.0
Specs Segway Ninebot MAX G2 Niu Kqi3 Max Gotrax G4 Hiboy S2 Pro Razor E Prime III
Measured Maximum Speed 21.4 mph 20.1 mph 19.8 mph 17.3 mph 18.4 mph
Measured Effective Range 34.4 miles 29.8 miles 22 miles 17.1 miles 8.2 miles
Measured Charge Time 5 hours 7 hours 50 minutes 5 hours 50 minutes 7 hours 43 minutes 6 hours
Measured Weight 54.0 lb 47.0 lb 37.8 lb 38.1 lb 24.0 lb
Brake Type Front drum brake with a rear electronic brake Front and rear disc brake and rear electric brake Rear disc brake and E-ABS braking system Electronic front brake with rear disc brake Front electronic brake and rear fender brake
Tire Type Pneumatic tubeless and self sealing Pneumatic tubeless and self sealing Pneumatic Solid (honeycomb) Pneumatic front
Solid rear
Tire Size 10" 9.5" 10" 10" 8"
Lights Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Screen Yes Yes Yes Yes No
App Yes Yes No Yes No
Manufacturer Maximum Load 265 lb 265 lb 220 lb 220 lb 220 lbs
Manufacturer Motor Size Nominal 450 Watt
Max 1000 Watt
Nominal 450 Watt
Max 900 Watt
500 Watt 500 Watt 250 Watt
Bell Yes, electronic Yes Yes Yes No
Battery Type Lithium-ion Lithium-ion Lithium Lithium-ion Lithium


Best Overall Premium Scooter


Segway Ninebot MAX G2


83
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Range 9.5
  • Power 9.0
  • Ride Comfort 9.7
  • Portability 3.0
  • Braking 8.5
REASONS TO BUY
Excellent range
Fast
Comfortable ride
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
App required to unlock top-speed
Stiff handlebar latch
SPECIFICATIONS
Measured Effective Range  34.4 miles
Measured Maximum Speed  21.4 mph
Measured Charge Time  5 hours
Measured Weight 54.0 lb
Brake Type Front drum brake with a rear electronic brake
The Segway Ninebot Max G2 sets the bar for scooters in our review. It offers one of the highest clocked speeds at 21.4 miles per hour and a superior hill climbing performance. Its substantial range makes longer hauls possible for the extended commuter. City-tuned features like blinkers, deck lights, and a horn make the Max G2 a great option for urban areas. You can also customize riding features or track your scooter with the Apple Find My network or Segway app. It is even IPX5 water-resistant rated, a step above the more typical IPX4 rating, so you don't have to worry about those rainy days. The Max G2 outperforms its predecessor, the Ninebot Max, in nearly every way, thanks to its upgraded 1000 watt brushless motor and full suspension system. Though the Max G2 does fall short of the original Max in our steepest 15% grade hill test, the Max G2 is still a top contender in our 10.5% hill test.

What really sets the Ninebot Max G2 apart from other top power and range performers is its incredibly high comfort rating. The Max G2 sports 10 inch pneumatic tires and a front hydraulic and rear spring suspension system that ride over uneven terrain with ease. As our tester Austin Palmer noted, “What bumps? What cracks?” during our range test. An applaud and testament to the overall ride comfort. As you can imagine, after riding for several hours straight, the constant vibrations and jostles can become fatiguing. But not the Max G2, we were surprisingly happy to ride the scooter for the full 35 miles.

The Ninebot Max G2 is an all-time favorite.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

If you are willing to pay a high price for a premium product, the Max G2 is an excellent choice for those who prioritize power, range, and ride comfort. The G2 should be considered if you have a long, hilly commute or just enjoy extended scenic rides over rough surfaces.

Keep in mind, its top-tier performance will cost you - both in price and weight. The Max G2 is among the most expensive scooters in our lineup and clocks in at a hefty 54 pounds, making it challenging to carry around. It does fold down for easier transport, but the latch is stiff and hard to operate. If you are willing to sacrifice a little hill climbing performance and ride comfort, the Niu Kqi3 Max is an excellent alternative at a marginally lower price and weight. Overall, the Ninebot Max G2 is a powerful, long-distance commuter that offers an exceptionally comfortable ride.

Read more: Segway Ninebot Max G2 review

Fine-tune riding settings and more with the Max G2 app.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Best Value Scooter


Gotrax G4


79
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Range 7.5
  • Power 8.0
  • Ride Comfort 8.0
  • Portability 8.3
  • Braking 7.7
REASONS TO BUY
Large capacity battery
Long range
Smooth ride
Fast
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Mid-range charging time
SPECIFICATIONS
Measured Effective Range  22 miles
Measured Maximum Speed  19.8 mph
Measured Charge Time  5 hours 50 minutes
Measured Weight 37.8 lb
Brake Type Rear disc brake and E-ABS braking system
The Gotrax G4 is a powerful, smooth-riding, long-range electric scooter for those looking to make their commute hassle-free. The 374.4 watt-hour lithium-ion battery easily held a charge for almost two hours (22.0 miles) in our tests. Even though it lacks a suspension system, the 10 inch pneumatic wheels are more than enough to help you take on cracks and dips in the pavement with confidence and comfort. Additional perks include a headlight, an IPX4 water resistance rating, and an integrated cable lock.

One standout feature of the G4 we love is its maximum power 500 watt motor that makes climbing up hills and reaching top speeds a breeze (although, naturally, steeper hills saw a reduction in speed). With a maximum speed of 19.8 miles per hour, the G4 easily competes with pricer (and heavier) models containing more powerful 900-1000 watt motors. We loved letting it rip! Rest assured, if you reach an unexpected obstacle at top speed, this zippy transportation device has reliable brakes.

If you're looking for well-rounded commuter scooter, the G4 is a good option.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Given its ability to compete with our pricier premium picks, the Gotrax G4 is an excellent value option for someone looking for an all-around great ride. If you are searching for a quality-built device that is versatile and reliable enough to ride to school, work, or around the neighborhood, the G4 may be for you. 

It is worth noting the powerful motor, durable wheels, and long-lasting battery adds extra weight. At 38 pounds, this scooter is rather cumbersome to carry long distances. With that in mind, our test team found the weight “evenly distributed” and the scooter easy to fold up, making popping in and out of your car a breeze. If you seek a more lightweight option and are willing to sacrifice power and range, check out the Razor E Prime III. Though the investment is significant, we are thoroughly impressed with how the G4 performed head-to-head with other models costing hundreds more.

Read more: Gotrax G4 review

scooter - the g4 is heavy, but its weight is nicely distributed. the even...
The G4 is heavy, but its weight is nicely distributed. The even weight distribution makes carrying this model easier than many others we tested.
Credit: Laura Casner

Best on a Tight Budget


Gotrax GXL V2


58
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Range 4.2
  • Power 4.7
  • Ride Comfort 7.7
  • Portability 4.1
  • Braking 9.5
REASONS TO BUY
Pneumatic tires
Hands-free speed control
Great brakes
REASONS TO AVOID
Carrying latch fails
Limited range
SPECIFICATIONS
Measured Effective Range  7 miles
Measured Maximum Speed  12.5 mph
Measured Charge Time  4 hours 15 minutes
Measured Weight 26.0 lb
Brake Type Front regenerative and rear disc
Looking for a good, do-it-all economy scooter with high-end features? We've got you covered with the Gotrax GXL V2. The brakes have an electric anti-locking system for smooth slow-downs and the accelerator has a cruise-control function to give your thumb a rest on long rides. Added frills include a bell, headlight, and digital display, which provide speed and battery charge information. Its IP54 rating is designed for dust and splash protection. Finally, the steering column safety latch is quite solid, lending testers confidence to let it rip when out cruising. The GXL V2 is the second iteration of the Gotrax GXL series that is marketed for riders who prioritize a lightweight, foldable scooter while on the go. The upgrades to the V2 are mainly cosmetic, as both models feature the same power, range, brake, and ride comfort performance in our tests.  

The GXL V2 excels among our test group in its ability to ride smoothly over rough roads. We ride all our scooters over the same crack and pothole-riddled Tahoe road course to fully assess how bumpy and fun the overall riding experience is to us. The GXL V2's high ride comfort score is provided by its quality 8.5 inch pneumatic tires, a feature more commonly found among our high-end scooters. Most scooters in the V2's price point sport solid tires that, while more durable, are less able to absorb impacts. The improved ride comfort offered by the GXL V2 rivals that of scooters costing hundreds more.

The GXL V2 is a great economy choice for casual riders.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

If you are a price-conscious shopper or beginner rider who plans to travel short distances in relatively flat areas, consider the Gotrax GXL V2. It is a particularly fun option for smaller riders who like to scoot near home. We can see this as the next present for a child who's looking to step into the electric game.

While the V2 has many attractive features, what it lacks is range, power, and a durable fold design. During our hill climbing tests, the scooter failed to climb a 10.5% grade hill, which generally separates the lower-end scooters from the higher-end models. Furthermore, the GXL V2 has a top speed of 12 miles per hour and a limited range of only 7.4 miles. These may not be concerns for novice riders, but if you are looking for a little extra pep and willing to spend more, check out the Hiboy S2 Pro. Lastly, within two days of use, the carrying latch failed us, making it impossible to carry the scooter in the folded position. Though it is lightweight (26 pounds), not being able to securely fold and carry the scooter drastically impacted its portability score in our testing. For another lightweight option that performs equally well, check out the Superfun S1-A. Drawbacks aside, the benefits of the GXL V2 and the low price make it a good option for smaller riders primarily using it for short commutes and recreation. 

Read more: Gotrax GXL V2 review

scooter - the control board of the gxl v2 boasts many premium features like a...
The control board of the GXL V2 boasts many premium features like a hand-controlled dual braking system, a digital display, and cruise-control.
Credit: Laura Casner

Best for Portability


Razor E Prime III


64
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Range 4.3
  • Power 6.5
  • Ride Comfort 7.3
  • Portability 8.9
  • Braking 6.0
REASONS TO BUY
Good top speed
Light and easy to carry
Nimble
REASONS TO AVOID
Relatively short range
So-so braking
SPECIFICATIONS
Measured Effective Range  8.2 miles
Measured Maximum Speed  18.4 mph
Measured Charge Time  6 hours
Measured Weight 24.0 lb
Brake Type Front electronic brake and rear fender brake
When portability is critical, the Razor E Prime III is the ticket! At 24 pounds, it weighs significantly less than most other models in this review and is relatively easy to carry and store. For being so light, it has a surprisingly high top speed of 18.4 miles per hour and is nimble, making it fun to carve and turn. The Prime III sports a unique combination of a shock-absorbing front pneumatic tire and a durable rear solid tire that together rides over smaller bumps with ease, though we did find the tail end to offer less insulation. It also features a headlight and brake-activated taillight for improved rider visibility.

The Prime III shines in our test group for its lightweight and easy-to-use fold and carry system. Having repeatedly folded and unfolded nearly 30 scooters, our testers know a good design when they see one. What we love about the Razor E Prime III is that there's no need to line up components and fiddle with levers. The scooter swiftly and securely opens and closes with ease.

The E Prime III is a fun, reliable, lightweight option.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Given its high portability score, the Prime III is a great option for commutes where frequently carrying the scooter upstairs or long distances is required. College students and city-dwellers who routinely use a train or bus are ideal candidates.

Keep in mind, if you live in a hilly area, or want to commute long distances, you may need to look elsewhere. The Razor E Prime III struggled to make it up our 3.5% grade hill test and has a range of 7.0 miles, setting it among the lowest performers in these metrics. The Prime III also had a lackluster performance in our braking test, averaging 22.7 feet to stop from a 12 mile per hour speed. The slow brakes may be a consideration if you plan to speed through urban areas, but more casual riders may not find this an issue. If you are looking for improved range, power, and braking without a big bump in weight, check out the G4 or Hiboy S2. Still, thanks to its impressive portability, the Razor E Prime III is a great commuter option and may have all the range and power you need for your daily life.

Read more: Razor E Prime III review

scooter - the simple-to-use knob makes folding the razor e prime iii a breeze.
The simple-to-use knob makes folding the Razor E Prime III a breeze.
Credit: Laura Casner

Notable for Quality Pick with Excellent Braking


Niu Kqi3 Max


83
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Range 9.1
  • Power 8.3
  • Ride Comfort 8.7
  • Portability 5.0
  • Braking 9.5
REASONS TO BUY
Excellent range and top speed
Comfortable ride
Powerful triple braking system
Top-tier folding latch
REASONS TO AVOID
Hefty weight
Finicky app
SPECIFICATIONS
Measured Effective Range  29.8 miles
Measured Maximum Speed  20.1 mph
Measured Charge Time  7 hours 50 minutes
Measured Weight 47.0 lb
Brake Type Front and rear disc brake and rear electric brake
Want the performance of our premium pick, the Max G2, but don't like the high price tag? Look no further than the Niu Kqi3 Max. This scooter excels at long-distance commutes, running for an impressive 2 hours and 24 minutes over a 30 mile range, thanks to its large capacity 608.4 watt-hour lithium-ion battery. For joy riders who enjoy a little more pep, it houses a powerful 900 watt motor that can climb hills and zooms in at a top speed of 20 miles per hour. Though it doesn't have a suspension system, the 9.5 inch round pneumatic tires offer excellent shock absorption to enhance overall ride comfort, which can be important when you are zipping over unexpected cracks or want to enjoy an extended ride without all the vibrations. All this power is balanced by a unique triple braking system that ensures you can stop on a dime to avoid collisions. A feature we couldn't resist including in our award selection and why we want to promote this ride amongst the best we have tested. The Kqi3 Max is IP54-rated, offering light dust and water spray protection. Plus, it has many urban-friendly features, including an always-on Halo headlight, brake light, bell, and an all-time favorite auto-latching folding system that saves time (and frustration) fiddling with hooks and levers while you are on the go.

But beware, the large battery, powerful motor, and quality build come with added weight. Yes, we love the folding system, but the hefty 47 pound weight and large tube design makes it difficult to grip and carry any considerable distance. We found carrying it on the non-kickstand side most comfortable. The scooter also features an app that can be used to unlock the max speed, customize your riding experience, and lock your scooter for anti-theft protection, but connecting to the app can be slow. Lastly, on one occasion, the scooter did overheat on us after 30 minutes of vigorous riding, but considering we were pushing it to its limits, we think this is a built-in protection mechanism. For a lighter option that still performs admirably well on power and range, check out the Hiboy S2 Pro. Downfalls aside, we believe the Niu Kqi3 Max is an excellent choice for commuters and joyriders alike who enjoy long, peppy rides with the reassurance of an excellent braking system.

With a quick fold design and powerful, smooth ride, there's lots to love about the Kqi3 Max.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Notable for Great Value When On Sale


Hiboy S2 Pro


71
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Range 6.1
  • Power 6.9
  • Ride Comfort 7.3
  • Portability 6.5
  • Braking 9.5
REASONS TO BUY
Hybrid tires
Responsive brakes
Spring-loaded carry latch
REASONS TO AVOID
Finicky folding latch
Heavy
SPECIFICATIONS
Measured Effective Range  17.1 miles
Measured Maximum Speed  17.3 mph
Measured Charge Time  7 hours 43 minutes
Measured Weight 38.1 lb
Brake Type Electronic front brake with rear disc brake
The Hiboy S2 Pro offers the perfect balance of performance and value, considering you can almost always find it on sale. With a 17 mile range, a 17 mile per hour max speed, and an above-average ride comfort rating, the S2 Pro is a great option for commuters and casual riders who seek a quality product at a competitive price. Special features like 10 inch honeycomb tires mean you get the durability of solid tires (no need to worry about flats!), with the give of air-filled tires (though pneumatic tires will offer more comfort). This, combined with its dual rear shock absorbers, translates to a gently rumbly ride that is smoother than most but is still best to avoid cracks. The dual braking system was among our top performers, ensuring you can yield to those pesky pedestrians and distracted drivers. Added perks include an IPX4 rating for limited water protection, an optional seat for enhanced support on longer rides, and an app for adjusting rider settings, turning lights on/off, and locking the scooter.

While the S2 Pro is an overall above-average performer, it does have some portability and hill climbing issues that should be considered. The scooter securely folds for easy transporting, thanks to its spring-loaded carry latch, but its overall weight (38 pounds) can be difficult for some users to manage. While we appreciate the ergonomic oval tube design that fits nicely into the palm, we found it does take some effort to unlock the steering column safety latch and line up the carry latch when folding. Moreover, the S2 Pro is best for environments without steep hills, as it struggled up our 10.5% grade hill test. For better hill climbing ability at a similar price point, check out the G4 by Gotrax, or for a more portable option with less range and power, check out the Razor E Prime II. All things considered, we think the Hiboy S2 Pro is an excellent option for casual riders in generally flat and smooth urban environments that seek a long range.

Though the S2 Pro has a slightly bumpy ride and struggles up steep hills, it has great brakes and a good range that can't be overlooked.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
83
Segway Ninebot MAX G2
Best Overall Premium Scooter
$1,300
Editors' Choice Award
83
Niu Kqi3 Max
Notable for Quality Pick with Excellent Braking
$999
79
Gotrax G4
Best Value Scooter
$549
Best Buy Award
71
Hiboy S2 Pro
Notable for Great Value When On Sale
$710
64
Razor E Prime III
Best for Portability
$500
Top Pick Award
64
Hiboy S2
$600
63
Superfun S1-A
$400
59
Segway Ninebot E2 Plus
$400
58
Gotrax GXL V2
Best on a Tight Budget
$299
Best Buy Award
52
Segway Ninebot KickScooter ES1L
$400
42
Razor E300
$360

scooter - we take test rides and joy rides to get accurate and real-world...
We take test rides and joy rides to get accurate and real-world results that influence our final assessments.
Credit: Laura Casner

How We Test Scooters


To find out which electric scooters are the best in class, we did an exhaustive investigation of all the top brands and models. Based on this research, we bought all the models that showed promise to perform at a high level. We ran each through a battery of comparative testing that pushed the machines to the limits of their performance, utility, and handling. These analyses include (but are not limited to) speed, hill-climbing ability, braking, battery longevity and recharge speed, and portability. Our goal here is to simulate the highest demands a consumer could place on these machines and evaluate which could stand up to such impositions. Take a deeper look at our testing process to view our full test plan.

Our testing for electric scooters is comprised of five rating metrics:
  • Range (25% of overall score weighting)
  • Power (25% weighting)
  • Ride Comfort (20% weighting)
  • Portability (15% weighting)
  • Braking (15% weighting)

Why Trust GearLab


Senior Research Analyst Austin Palmer, Senior Review Editor Nick Miley, and Review Editor Isaac Laredo have more than 22 years of combined experience in consumer product analyses and reviews. Austin is an electronics specialist and has extensive experience testing personal transportation devices such as electric skateboards, monowheels, hoverboards, and self-balancing scooters, as well as myriad other electronic devices. In addition to his experience reviewing wheeled modes of transport, he is a regular skateboard commuter and understands the special qualities needed to support a smooth, enjoyable, and safe ride. Nick has spent years in university laboratories posing research questions, designing experiments, refining protocols, and writing about the results. Isaac's background engaging in the scientific process and years of experience as a product reviewer rounds out the team's skill set to provide you with a full-fledged team that is committed to providing you with the most reliable review.

We cycle through all the settings and explore each feature of the...
We cycle through all the settings and explore each feature of the scooters we test.

How to Pick the Best Scooter


Below are some key buying considerations that summarize the more detailed info we provide in our scooter buying advice.

Where Are You Riding?


Whether you're using your scooter for daily commutes or for recreational fun, it's important to consider the terrain and distance of your rides. Someone who lives in a city and has a short commute will worry less about suspension and battery range, while someone who likes to use their scooter around town all day in varying terrain will want to look for one with capable tires, suspension, and a larger battery. Categorizing the type of riding you intend to do will help narrow down choices and help steer you in the right direction to find the perfect scooter.

scooter - finding the right scooter to fit your needs, whether it be for...
Finding the right scooter to fit your needs, whether it be for recreation or commuting, can be a fun.
Credit: Laura Casner

How Much Range Do You Need?


While deciding on the right battery range coincides with the style of riding you do, it's also nice to have a large range if you plan on traveling with your scooter or prefer not to charge it every time you return home. Consider the typical mileage you commute or typically ride in a given day, and look for scooters that slightly exceed that range to give yourself a buffer.

Is Portability Important?


If you plan to take your scooter along during road trips, stash it on the train, or stow it away in an apartment, it's a good idea to look for a portable model. Some scooters are collapsible and lighter in weight, and some have ergonomic features designed for easy carrying.

scooter - a scooter designed with portability and ergonomics in mind makes...
A scooter designed with portability and ergonomics in mind makes carrying and transport easier.
Credit: Brian Walker

Does the Top Speed Matter?


A scooter's top speed is typically one of the first specifications listed on a manufacturer's site, and while it is worth considering, other factors such as torque and acceleration will also contribute to a scooter's ability to maintain power up hills and provide enough oomph from a standstill. For those wanting a scooter with a larger motor and faster speeds, consider the overall motor performance rather than just looking at the top speed.

Should You Consider Weight Capacity?


Weight capacity ranges can vary on scooters from capacities under 200 lbs to over 350 lbs. When looking at scooter options, consider the weight capacity and its effect on performance. Also, consider additional weights you may be carrying, such as backpacks, safety equipment, or even groceries.

scooter - keeping a few things in mind, such as weight load and battery size...
Keeping a few things in mind, such as weight load and battery size, will help you find the right scooter.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Analysis and Test Results


To analyze the practical strengths and weaknesses of scooters, we devised quantifiable tests to allow us to rate each product side by side. An analysis of this sort prevents us from making vague, anecdotal assertions. Instead, we hone in on specific metrics of interest, such as scooter portability, battery range, ride, braking, and power. The following sections delve into each test metric and explain how we quantify the performance of each product.


Value


When purchasing an electric scooter, you first need to consider how the scooter will primarily be used. Generally speaking, the more you ask from these vehicles, the more you will have to fork over at checkout. However, this does not equate to a reduction in value so long as the functionality increases with the price. Let's say you want a commuter scooter, and your particular commute is 5 miles each way, and the route has a few short, steep hills. When you reach your destination, you must fold the scooter up to ride the elevator to your office. And let's suppose it's not possible to recharge the battery for the return trip. This kind of commute demands a scooter like the Ninebot Max G2, Niu Kqi3 Max, or Gotrax G4, with the Gotrax being the better value for most riders. All of these products, though, require a considerable outlay of cash. However, we would say that they offer a high value because they can meet all of the requirements above, whereas a less expensive product would leave you walking up the hills or running out of battery.

Conversely, if one is looking for a fun toy to play with in the driveway, the high-end scooters would be overkill. For the best intersection of performance and price, the Gotrax GXL V2 fits in well. It can handle shorter commutes as well as youthful romps, and its price tag is less daunting than the premium models. You will sacrifice some power, range, and portability at this lower price point, but it's one of the smoothest riding machines we tested, and it has a great brake system as well, adding an extra measure of safety. Another model that strikes this difficult balance is the Segway E2 Plus; its lighter weight and reliable carrying system is complemented by an adequate range and top speed. The build quality and added features enhance the value of this model.

Range


Range is the distance you can travel on a single battery charge, and it should be the first factor to consider when shopping for an electric scooter because all the other considerations fall by the wayside if your ride runs out of juice and you end up walking. Most manufacturers provide a claimed range that typically involves ideal conditions and a slower speed (less power consumption). To collect comparable range data on the models, we first set up a flat test track of known length on surface streets near our lab. We then ran the contending models around the course at 13 miles per hour (or at their top speed if lower) until the batteries drained to the point that they could no longer propel the scooter and rider.

All scooters undergo a range test over a defined, flat course to determine how far they can travel and how long they can run.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Intended Use
A scooter's range may be more or less important to you depending on your intended use, of course, so it is important to consider how and how far you plan on riding it. If you have a long commute, you will want to be sure to get a scooter that can actually make it there. If the scooter is just for play in the neighborhood, a shorter range may be just fine.

This test highlights some nuanced issues requiring the establishment of two subcategories to quantify and accurately explain each model's range. These are effective range and maximum range. We define the effective range as the number of miles traversed at or near the scooter's maximum speed. Conversely, we define the maximum range as the longest distance you can travel at any speed. Ideally, one would want the battery to propel the scooter and rider at full tilt until the very end of the battery's charge. However, this is not the case with a number of the models tested. Because of this, we test the effective range (shown below) rather than the maximum range to quantify our overall 1-10 score. The Gotrax G4 happily strutted along for 22.0 miles, but the clear winners in the range test were the Ninebot Max G2 and Niu Kqi3 Max with effective ranges of 34.4 and 29.8 miles, respectively.


Tip: Although two scooters may have the same factory-listed run time, that does not mean they will have the same effective or maximum range. Range depends on how fast the scooter will go and for how long, and at what steepness. It is also affected by variables such as rider weight, riding speed, and weather conditions like temperature and wind.

As you can see, there is a wide range of distances where the bottom performers could only tackle one fifth of what our top performers could accomplish. This can make the difference between an easy ride home or having to push it yourself. It is certainly a limiting factor and an important consideration when buying your next set of wheels.

scooter - charge time is measured using a camera and stopwatch to determine...
Charge time is measured using a camera and stopwatch to determine how long it takes for the battery indicator light to turn green.
Credit: Matt Lighthart


Complementing the range analysis is the charge time. All the models in this review, except for the Razor E300, use lithium-ion batteries. You will notice in the chart below that charge times vary. If you intend to charge overnight, this might be a negligible number for you. However, if the scooter you're interested in has a lower range, these numbers may be important for a quicker regeneration that you may find yourself relying on. Take for example, the Gotrax GXL V2. The GXL V2 has a short 7.0 mile range, but can be fully recharged in 4 hours and 15 minutes, making longer commutes possible while charging on the go.


Power


We concede that power is a fairly general term, but it's nonetheless an important performance consideration for any motor-powered vehicle test. We break this metric into an assessment of a vehicle's maximum speed and its ability to climb both moderate (3.5%) and steep (10.5% and 15%) grades. The speed test, which was conducted on flat ground, is simply an assessment of maximum speed in miles per hour. As with range, power can be affected by rider weight. Our results were collected with a 195 pound rider, but lighter riders may see an improvement in performance, particularly in the hill climbing metric. If you are a heavier rider, be sure to reference the maximum load chart below to ensure you are not met with a disappointing range and power output.


Before we dive into the power tests, we should first mention how these scooters get going. Most of the test models will not take off from a dead stop without the rider first kicking once to get them moving. Once the machine gets some human-powered momentum, the electric motor takes over. It pays the human back in kind, plus some serious interest as it accelerates and cruises without any additional input.

Most scooters require a kick-start, like the Segway Ninebot E2 Plus pictured here.
Credit: Brian Walker

On to the speed tests: we took each scooter three separate times up to its maximum flat ground speed — the speed with the throttle fully depressed — and timed it while it traversed a 100-foot stretch. The Razor E Prime III, Gotrax G4, and Niu Kqi3 Max are standouts in this category for their top speeds ranging between 18-20 miles per hour, but our true winner is the Segway Max G2. The Max G2 hits a whopping 21.4 miles per hour, easily beating the others in this test. This result didn't come as too much of a surprise, given the model's 1000 watt motor.


scooter - maybe one of our more thrilling tests, the maximum speed, gives...
Maybe one of our more thrilling tests, the maximum speed, gives insight into the power of these machines.
Credit: Laura Casner

As for hill climbing capability, most of the models in our test suite cruised up the 3.5% grade with mild reductions in speed ranging from 3-7 miles per hour. When forced to ascend the much steeper 10.5% grade, 0.2 mile test slope, most scooters displayed their lack of power and failed to complete the ascent. The Max G2 and Kqi3 Max were unfazed by the 3.5% slope and only slowed to a respectable 10 miles per hour on the steeper 10.5% grade. What separates these two is that the Max G2 was the only scooter in our review to attempt to climb the 15% grade, 0.1 mile test slope before puttering out. The Gotrax G4 and Hiboy S2 weren't far behind our top performers. They both crawled, but persevered up the 10.5% grade. Our lowest performers, the Razor E300, Razor E Prime III, and Ninebot E2 Plus ascended the 3.5% grade, but at a sluggish 5-6 miles per hour.

scooter - climbing performance, which generally separates the low-end models...
Climbing performance, which generally separates the low-end models from the high-end models, is an important metric to consider if you live in a hilly area.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Ride Comfort


An electric scooter's ride is a more subjective metric than the others discussed thus far. However, it is a critical aspect of our appraisal because it evaluates the smoothness — or lack thereof — that any person who has operated a vehicle knows. To make this assessment as objective as possible, we test each model on the same 1.2-mile surface street loop with various surface textures. When the scooter wheels pass over bumps and cracks in the road, we ask ourselves: how aware are we of these features? When on rough surfaces that cause vibration, we asked: how do our hands and feet feel? Is there any discomfort? Do we feel in control? And most importantly, is this still fun?

One way to contextualize the questions posed above is to create a spectrum for comparison that has a skateboard (small, solid rubber wheels) on one end and a beach cruiser bike (large, pneumatic tires) on the other. As the reader may already know, skateboards give a ton of feedback passing over cracks. In comparison, the pneumatic (air-filled) tires on a bike provide some give and, thus, absorb vibration quite well. In addition to pneumatic tires, a suspension system can go a step further to help absorb the impacts from small bumps and large irregularities on the riding surface.

Full suspension systems, like that on the Max G2, improve rider comfort while increasing overall confidence going over abnormalities on the road.
Credit: Brian Walker

Of the highest-rated models in the ride metric, the Max G2 was head and shoulders above the rest. It features 10 inch pneumatic tires along with front and rear suspension to provide a supremely smooth ride. Trailing not to far behind, was the Kqi3 Max which is equipped with 9.5 inch pneumatic tires, but lacks any suspension. Other products in this review that enjoy high marks in the ride metric — such as the Gotrax G4 and Gotrax GXL V2 — also have pneumatic tires, do not have a suspension system. Accordingly, they transfer minimal vibration through the handlebars and the deck (standing platform).


The E2 Plus, Superfun S1-A, and Hiboy S2 Pro find a balance between the two tire types with a maintenance-free hybrid tire. It uses rubber structures resembling vertical beams to support the tire's walls. This tire provides the durability of a solid tire without the correlated sacrifice to the ride comfort. While not as comfortable as pneumatic tires, they are an overall improvement. On the other hand, the models with hard tires, like the Hiboy S2, offer a relatively rough ride. Even the Segway Ninebot ES1L, which has solid tires and a front and rear suspension system, does not achieve equivalent ride quality to the models with pneumatic tires.

The ride isn't just a luxury. A rough riding product can be a safety concern because roughness at its extreme translates to a loss of stability and, ultimately, control. On the other hand, a smooth ride provides a predictable platform that allows the operator to focus on other concerns, such as cars, pedestrians, and potholes, that have the potential to give more serious feedback.

scooter - cracks, bumps, dips: how much you feel the impact in the hands and...
Cracks, bumps, dips: how much you feel the impact in the hands and feet affects the overall ride comfort.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Braking


Up to this point, we have concerned ourselves with the movement of the scooters: how fast, how far, and how smooth. To be sure, these are important features to consider. However, stopping is pretty important too. Before going into how we assess braking, let's first look at the different types of brakes employed by the scooters in our review. These are electronic, disk, fender, and drum. The first is a battery-dependent magnetic device, while the latter are friction devices. In most cases, the brakes discussed above will be paired either as disk and motor or fender and motor. There are two exceptions, the Razor E300 which only employs a single disc brake and the Niu Kqi3 Max which has two disc brakes and a motor brake.

Revolutionary triple braking system consisting of dual disc brakes and a regenerative electric brake.

The way we see it, there are two scenarios in which brake performance is critical. The first is flat-ground braking when something unexpected occurs, and you must bring the scooter to a rapid halt. An example would be when you're cruising down the street, and a car unexpectedly pulls out in front of you. The other is when you're heading down a hill. Although zipping around at high speeds can be a hoot, hills are where things can quickly get out of hand, so you need to be able to rein it in quickly.

scooter - we measure every scooter&#039;s flat stop distance to assess braking power.
We measure every scooter's flat stop distance to assess braking power.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

We dubbed our hill test the confidence on descent test. We conducted these tests on three different grades (5, 10, and 15%). All the models performed well on the shallower two grades, so we'll discuss the steepest of the three. Each model we tested allowed us to hold their speed to a comfortable level or come to a complete stop on a 15% grade. However, we discovered that if we carried speed into the hill, this outcome became a bit harder to achieve, requiring additional brake pressure and resulting in prolonged slowdown distances.

Models with fender brakes, like the Ninebot ES1L and Razor E Prime III, proved a bit more difficult to use on the steeps due to the required change in foot position and weight distribution. Whereas, models with dual brake systems activated by a single-hand lever, proved most effective on descents because the system is quite powerful. Moreover, the convenience of the hand lever allowed us to maintain a balanced, comfortable position that was otherwise disrupted when using a fender brake.

scooter - the dual braking system of the gotrax g4 provides a quick and...
The dual braking system of the Gotrax G4 provides a quick and reliable stop.
Credit: Laura Casner

For the flat ground stop tests, we measured the distance it takes for a scooter to come to a complete stop from a 12 mile per hour speed. Our top performer in this category, is the Niu Kqi3 Max which came to a hault at an impressive 9 feet. This should come at no surprise, given the Niu's robust triple braking system. Other notable performers include the Gotrax GXL V2 and Hiboy S2 Pro which both braked at 12 feet, a distance even the most experienced riders can wow at. These models, along with other high scorers, all boast a dual motor and disc braking system. The Prime III, with it's motor and fender brake, took 25 feet to stop, placing it at the bottom end of our group. We enumerated an overall braking score shown below.


Portability


Portability is a critical feature for anyone who wants to use a scooter as a transportation device in an urban setting. Why? Well, the machine must be able to fold to stow in an apartment, office, on a train, or in the trunk of a car. Additionally, the machine must be light enough to carry up a flight of stairs or through turnstiles. With a critical eye on design features supporting these needs, we looked at the ease of the conversion from riding mode to carrying mode, the ergonomics of the carrying handle when gripped, the ability to roll the scooter on one wheel - as opposed to carrying it - when folded, and the overall weight and folded dimensions (compactness).

An easy-to-use and reliable carrying latch is essential to make swift transitions from riding to carrying the scooter.
Credit: Brian Walker

As seen in the Measured Weight chart below, the Ninebot Max G2 and Niu Kqi3 Max are outliers in this metric as they each weigh over 45 pounds and have large dimensions relative to others in the class. However, all the products in this review attempt to address the issue of transporting a ~25 to 55 pound scooter in an urban area, except for the Razor E300. The E300 does not fold and weighs a hefty 42.5 pounds, limiting it to users who don't mind lugging around a bulky (and rather low performing) scooter. Despite their heavy weights and large, difficult-to-grip carrying handles, the Max G2 and Kqi3 Max have relatively easy-to-use and secure folding mechanisms that earned them extra points in our portability rating. In fact, the Niu is one of our all-time favorites!


So what exactly do we look for in a foolproof fold design? Here, we'll take a moment to discuss what features make the conversion from riding mode to carrying mode simple and safe. Most scooters in our review use a folding lever or latch-based system to release the lock on the steering column, or stem. Some scooters offer additional protection with a redundant safety latch that controls access to the primary folding latch. The safety latch is important because it prevents your handlebars from wobbling and accidentally flopping over while riding. Once folded over the deck, the handlebars or stem will usually have a hook that clips into a loop found on the rear fender. We refer to this secondary system as the carrying latch. What we value here is a large shape to easily line up the components and tension to ensure the scooter stays folded while carrying. Auto-engaging folding and carrying latch mechanisms also boost the portability score, because they save time and offer security.

An auto-engaging folding latch helps with swift transitions to riding mode, while a redundant safety lever keeps the handlebars from accidentally falling over while riding.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

The Razor E Prime III standouts because it not only is the lightest model (24 pounds) in our group, but it also uses a single “anti-rattle” knob to fold and carry the scooter. No levers, hooks, or loops to fool with here! This, along with its thin, easy-to-grip stem design, makes the Prime III the only model we would really recommend carrying for longer distances. Trailing not too far behind is Gotrax G4. This mid-weight range scooter is a shining example of a well-executed, more typical folding system. We particularly love the large, auto-latching carry hook and spring-loaded folding latch, that make swift transitions from ride to carry mode possible. Some seemingly desirable lightweight models, like the Gotrax GXL V2 (26.0 pounds) and Superfun S1-A (31.6 pounds), had points deducted from their portability rating because we found their carrying latch insecure. A folding design is only useful if the scooter actually stays in the folded position for carrying.


A spring-loaded carry latch ensures your scooter does not unintentionally unfold while transporting.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Conclusion


There are dozens of electric scooters on the market today, and each year the number grows. We know how difficult it can be to pick one out of the many and still feel confident about the decision. Above, we have outlined what we think are the most important factors to consider and which models perform best in each area. We hope that this thorough review will aid you in purchasing one of these fun and practical machines.

scooter - there are loads of great electric scooters on the market for...
There are loads of great electric scooters on the market for commuting, running errands, or simply getting out and having fun.
Credit: Laura Casner

Nick Miley and Austin Palmer