Wondering which power scooter is the best choice for you? Every power scooter user’s needs are unique, but our guide to the best power scooters right now on the features can help you make an informed choice.
For people with limited mobility, power scooters mean independence. There are many reasons that people have difficulty walking; age, physical ailments, and sometimes mental capacity can make mobility a challenge, but none of these factors should keep you from living life the way you want to. With a power scooter, both the tasks you need to do and the entertaining things you want to do are within reach.
Almost all power scooters have several main components in common, including the battery, the drive train, and the frame. However, power scooters differ in other important areas such as weight capacity, operating range, maximum speed, comfort, battery life, and accessories. This means that the one power scooter that is perfect for you will be determined by the way its combination of features and your individual needs mesh together.
Before we begin, our top power scooters
The basis for our reviews
When it comes to power scooters, ease of assembly, maneuverability, maximum speed, operating range, performance, warranty, and weight capacity are all critical features to focus on; these took precedence over many of the less important features as we assessed models. These criteria were what we focused on because they have the most impact on usability. They control all of the following:
- who can use each power scooter
- what each power scooter’s turning capabilities are and what the turning radius of each is
- how fast each power scooter can travel
- the ground clearance of each power scooter
- how long each power scooter can go between charges
- how well each power scooter climbs inclines
When you assess power scooters for yourself, these are certainly among the most important features to look at.
Power scooter performance generally
When it came down to judging power scooter performance, we looked closely at battery life, recharging time, speed, and weight capacity. Most models were very similar in terms of speed and weight capacity, but battery or operating range and time to recharge varied more significantly. Most power scooters offer a range of five to seven miles, but there are a few standouts in this area which we’ll discuss below. Similarly, power scooters typically take eight or more hours to charge, although there are a few with significantly shorter charging times.
Weight capacity in power scooters
Most standard power scooters have weight capacities of between 220 and 300 pounds. There are higher capacity power scooters with more resilient designs and increased versatility available; sometimes increased weight capacity demands more from batteries.
In fact, rider weight affects the ground clearance, maneuverability, operating range, and speed of power scooters. Heavier riders sit lower to the ground on any power scooter, making certain terrains inaccessible and sometimes limiting maneuverability. In addition, more weight on most power scooters means less speed and range, and less capability of tackling obstacles like hills and rough ground.
For serious weight capacity we like the Drive Cobra GT4 Heavy Duty 4 Wheel Power Scooter. It boasts an impressive weight capacity of up to 450 pounds and still offers a lot of the benefits you can expect with less weight on a power scooter: a turning radius of 82 inches, a generous maximum climbing angle of 8 degrees, an impressive maximum speed of ten miles per hour, and a drop-dead stunning range of 35 miles.
(It’s worth noting that the Drive Cobra GT4 Heavy Duty 4 Wheel Power Scooter really is a heavy duty power scooter; it’s atypical in its features. For the most part we’ll stick to regular capacity power scooters here to even the playing field as we rank the options.)
Speed and power scooters
Power scooters are all limited in how fast they can go for reasons of safety—both the safety of the rider and the pedestrians around them. In general, the speed of power scooters match pedestrian speed since power scooter riders are traveling with pedestrian traffic. This means that most power scooters are in the four to eight miles per hour range.
For speed, we like the Pride Victory 9 4-Wheel Scooter. This power scooter offers a weight capacity of 300 pounds and a maximum speed of 5.25 miles per hour—faster than most other regular duty power scooters. It also boasts a 13 mile range, longer than most. Its average battery charge time is between eight and fourteen hours, so it performs typically well in this area.
The operating ranges of even the best power scooters vary significantly. Operating range is especially important for people who are very active, enjoy frequent travel, and work (or play!) for long days at a stretch. Typical power scooter ranges for maintaining speed and battery life are between 7 and 25 miles, with most landing in the 10 to 15 range. At that point you need to recharge, and that usually requires six to 12 hours.
Our pick for operating range is the Sunrunner 3 Luxury Scooter. This power scooter offers a truly amazing operating range of 25 miles, along with a weight capacity of 300 pounds, a ground clearance of three inches, a tight turning radius of 37 inches, a steep maximum climbing angle of 12 degrees, and a maximum speed of five miles per hour.
When you investigate maneuverability, remember that maneuverability specifications can change when the power scooter is operated by riders closer to the weight limit.
Typical power scooters sit close to the ground, with between 1 and 3 inches of clearance. This makes the stable, but can make rough terrain difficult or impossible. Typical turning radii of power scooters are between 30 and 55 inches. The smaller the radius, the tighter the possible turns you can make. Three wheel power scooters usually offer better maneuverability. In terms of maximum incline, most power scooters can handle between eight to twelve inches.
For maneuverability, the Sunrunner 3 Luxury Scooter wins again. With a ground clearance of three inches, a tight turning radius of 37 inches, and a steep maximum climbing angle of 12 degrees, power scooters don’t get much more maneuverable than this.
Power scooter weight
Most power scooters weigh at least 100 pounds once they are assembled, and single components can weigh almost half that. This makes travel very difficult, especially for those who have more physical limitations.
For those who need a very lightweight power scooter, we have two picks. Choose either Tzora’s Easy Travel Elite Scooter or the Luggie. The Tzora’s Easy Travel Elite Scooter has a weight capacity of up to 280 pounds, yet it only weighs 64 pounds itself. The heaviest component weighs only 27 pounds. It still performs well, with a range of 8 miles and a maximum speed of 4.5 miles per hour. It has a tight turning radius of only 35 inches, and you can detach the battery and carry it with you so it charges while you’re not using it.
The Luggie is probably the easiest power scooter to transport, weighing only 50 pounds. It also folds up just like luggage and can be moved in one bag. The Luggie performs well, with a range of up to 12 miles and a fast charge time of two to six hours. It has a good turning radius of 40 inches, and a weight capacity of up to 250 pounds.
Best temporary option
Not all power scooter users are permanent users; some riders are recovering from illnesses or injuries. For temporary users, we like the Zip’r 3 Xtra. This power scooter is priced right, but it still performs well with a range of up to 10 miles and maximum speed of 4.2 miles per hour. This three wheel model offers a tight 40 inch turning radius and a three year warranty as well.
Best overall performance
Taking every single factor into account, our top pick across the board is the EV Rider Xpress Scooter. This power scooter is right at the front of the pack in almost every category. It has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, an operating range of 12.5 miles, a relatively short charge time of six to eight hours, a higher than average ground clearance, and a 12 degree incline capacity. All of these features mean it will work inside or outside for almost any user.
The bottom line
Which power scooter is best really depends on you! Take each factor into account as you make your assessment, and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions.