Best Power Scooters
The Best Power Scooters of 2019
After comparing and evaluating the features and specifications of the best power scooters within the $600 to $2,500 price range, the EV RiderXpress emerged as the best overall. This mobility scooter combines function with comfort and has a sturdy, four-wheel design that supports up to 300-pounds and can reach speeds of 5 mph for a range of 12.5 miles. It has the best performance, excellent maneuverability and a comfortable seat. Here is our data for that scooter, as well as the others we tested:
Best Performance: EV RiderXpress
The EV RiderXpress has a max capacity of 300 pounds, a 5-mph speed and a 12.5-mile range. It features a wide seat with a deep cushion and a fold-down top with adjustable armrests. It’s also easy to maneuver.
It has a 38.6-inch turning radius, which makes it one of the most maneuverable mobility scooters that we reviewed. The turning radius is almost as tight as a three-wheel scooter, which averages around 35 inches, but with four wheels, it's more stable. It also has a low 2.8-inch ground clearance, giving it a lower center of gravity than most scooters and also helping its stability. In addition, the maximum recommended incline is 12 degrees, which means it can climb steeper ramps and hills than other scooters.
Rather than use standard tires that use pressurized air, the wheels on the RiderXpress are solid. This means you don’t have to worry about flats. The wheels also don't require regular maintenance. The rubber alloy is very durable, allowing you to run through rough terrain if needed.
The most unique thing about the RiderXpress is that it has monoshock suspension, which allows it to handle uneven ground smoothly. It also helps the scooter brake gently and provides a smooth ride.
Read the full review of EV RiderXpress.
- Supports up to 300 pounds
- 12.5-mile operating range
- 12-degree maximum incline
- Weighs 135 pounds
- Complicated assembly
- Takes up to 8 hours to charge
Best Value: EV Rider MiniRider
The MiniRider features one of the longest operating ranges that we've seen and at a price point that makes it a valuable asset. You can go up to 15 miles with a fully charged battery. By comparison, the average range for a power scooter is just 10 miles. The one downside to this is that it can take up to 10 hours to recharge.
This scooter is rated for 275 pounds, which isn't as much weight as the best power scooters, but it's still enough for most people. It's also rated to go 5 mph. While this is about the speed of a brisk walk or light jog for most people, it's still one of the fastest scooters available.
One of the most impressive features of the MiniRider is the 35-inch turning radius, which is impressive for a four-wheel scooter. Most four-wheeled scooters have a turning radius between 40 and 50 inches. The tight turning radius allows you to make tight corners and maneuver around your house or a store with greater ease.
The manufacturer lists the maximum recommended incline at 10 degrees, which is better than some scooters. This means you can navigate steep hills and ramps safely. It also has solid tires, so you do not have to worry about flats.
Read the full review of EV Rider MiniRider.
- 15-mile range
- 35-inch turning radius
- No cup holder
- Armrests aren't adjustable
- Doesn't fold up
Best Maneuverability: Luggie
While the Luggie is not the fastest scooter and it doesn't have the longest range, it is a nimble scooter.
Like most power scooters, the Luggie has a maximum speed of 4 mph, which is a little faster than the average person's walking speed. On a full charge, it can go up to 12 miles, which is above average. In addition, the battery has a charge time of between two and six hours, which is the fastest charging time that we've seen.
The Luggie has four wheels, but the front wheels are so close together that it handles more like a three-wheeled scooter. This means that it has a very tight turning radius – 36 inches. This is tight enough to turn around in a narrow hallway. To save you from tipping, the rear wheels feature anti-tip technology.
In addition to being nimble, the Luggie’s primary selling point is convenience. It arrives fully assembled. All you have to do is remove it from the box, pull a couple levers to extend the frame and turn it on. And at just 50 pounds, it’s a good choice for seniors. It also folds up and can fit in the trunk of some cars.
Read the full review of Luggie.
- 36-inch turning radius
- Very light
- Comes pre-assembled
- Only supports up to 250 pounds
- No basket for carrying items
- No cup holder
Furthest Operating Range: Shoprider Sunrunner
The Shoprider Sunrunner’s operating range on a single charge is 25 miles, as reported by the manufacturer. By comparison, the second longest range of the best powered scooters is between 12 and 15 miles.
Of course, the downside to having such a long range is the cost. The Sunrunner might have nearly twice the range as most powered scooters but it also costs nearly twice as much. With an MSRP of about $1,900, you can get scooters with a range of 12 miles for less than $800. So, you have to work out whether the extended range is worth the cost for your personal needs. If you live in a rural area, miles away from the town center, it might be necessary.
The top speed is 5 mph, which is about average for a powered scooter. It’s faster than walking and capable of going up fairly steep ramps and over bumps on sidewalks. And with a ground clearance of 3 inches, it’s better at going over bumps than other scooters. However, the turning radius is 50 inches, which is almost 20 inches more than other scooters. So, what you gain in range, you lose in maneuverability.
Read the full review of Shoprider Sunrunner.
- Pros: 25-mile range
- Cons: Very expensive
Fastest Power Scooter: Pride Mobility Victory 9
No power scooter will catch the attention a police radar gun, but they do move faster than you can walk. And if speed is your ticket, the Pride Mobility Victory 9 is the best option.
With a maximum speed of 5.25 mph, this power scooter is the fastest we reviewed. By comparison, most powered scooters top out at 4 mph and only a few can reach 5 mph. In addition, while everyone walks at various speeds, the average walking speed is about 3 mph.
The weight capacity limit for this scooter is 300 pounds, which is average. However, the ground clearance is just 2.25 inches and can decrease with heavier passengers, so you need to be careful using it on uneven surfaces. Fortunately, it is a four-wheel scooter and weighs 131 pounds, so it has plenty of stability on its low center of gravity to ensure you don’t tip over on uneven ground.
The turning radius is 51.5 inches, making it the widest turning scooter we reviewed. This can make it difficult to maneuver indoors. However, the smooth ride makes it ideal for outdoor use.
Read the full review of Pride Mobility Victory 9.
- Pros: 5.25 mph max speed
- Cons: Wide turning radius
Why Trust Us
Top Ten Reviews has been reviewing power scooters since 2013 as part of our focus on senior care and mobility products. We spend hundreds of hours every year researching, testing, comparing and evaluating products designed to improve your quality of life and maintain your independence.
What We Evaluated
As we researched power scooters, we considered user reviews, specifications and available features to evaluate performance and maneuverability.
When we talk about performance, we're specifically discussing the electric motor and how well it functions within the design of the scooter. As such, we considered the specifications for speed, operating range and charge time. Most importantly, however, we looked at the maximum weight capacity because weight factors into how well the scooter can perform.
The weight capacities of the scooters we reviewed range between 220 and 300 pounds. These weight restrictions include any baggage you take with you, such as groceries or backpacks. So, even if your weight is far below the maximum limit for the scooter, you need to consider what you're taking with you. Exceeding the weight limit can cause the scooter to become unbalanced while turning and can dramatically reduce the range and speed.
The fastest scooter we reviewed maxes out at 5.25 miles per hour. This isn't much faster than the average person's walking speed, which is around 3 miles per hour. However, this is good because if the scooters went any faster, they'd risk throwing you off or tipping over while turning. While most scooters max out between 4 and 5 miles per hour, the slowest scooters max out at about 3 miles per hour.
Each scooter’s operating range varies widely. Some of the scooters maintain speed and battery for less than 10 miles. After that, you must recharge the battery, which generally takes between six and 12 hours. This information is particularly important if you plan to use your scooter for extended periods of time such as for a day at the amusement park.
The operating ranges of the scooters we reviewed are between 7 and 25 miles, with most averaging between 10 and 15 miles. If you plan on only using your scooter for short trips or inside, you can choose one with a smaller operating range. Otherwise, you should look for a model that operates for at least 10 miles.
The scooter’s advertised maneuverability is generally based on a rider of average weight and height. It is important to note that maneuverability is also affected by weight. When used by heavier riders, the power scooters do not perform as well and can’t maneuver as well as the specifications suggest.
The scooters we evaluated sit low to the ground, with ground clearances between 1 and 3 inches. Since they sit low to the ground, they are more stable than their taller counterparts; however, low-clearance scooters incur more damage when driven on uneven terrain, so they are best used indoors and on flat, paved surfaces.
No matter where you use your scooter, you need one with a small enough turning radius to get you around tight corners. The scooters we reviewed have turning radiuses between 30 and 55 inches. Not surprisingly, scooters with only three wheels are generally more maneuverable and turn tighter. That said, three-wheel scooters have a higher risk of tipping over.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires commercial ramps to have a 1:12 ratio slope or 5-degree incline, and residential ramps require a 2:12 slope or 9.5-degree incline. All the scooters we reviewed can climb an incline of 6 degrees, and many of the scooters can climb inclines anywhere from 8 to 12 degrees.
What Else Is Important in Choosing a Power Scooter?
While performance and maneuverability are the most important factors to consider when purchasing a scooter, the assembly process, weight and number of components affect how easy the scooter is to build and maintain.
Most of the scooters weigh at least 100 pounds after they are put together, and single components can weigh almost half of the total weight. The assembled weight is important for elderly users or those assembling the scooter on their own. Look for a product that has a weight consistent with your physical abilities.
Each scooter has a heavy-duty battery that is installed in the unit, and most weigh at least 20 pounds. Since you may have to replace the battery multiple times over the life of the scooter, this figure is important. Batteries that weigh less than 20 pounds are easy to remove and replace.
Number of Components
Most mobility scooters come in four or five main pieces that you must assemble using the user guide. We preferred scooters with fewer components to assemble, as they require less technical aptitude to put together.
Scooters have different handle and seat types, which can significantly affect the riding experience. The scooters we reviewed have either standard or delta tiller handles. The delta tiller handles wrap around the steering column, giving you a place to rest your wrists. These handles are the best option for those with limited hand strength and dexterity. The standard handle has straight handlebars with thumb levers that control speed. This type of handle requires upper body strength and control.
The power scooters we reviewed have either standard stadium seats, deep-cushion stadium seats or captain chairs. The standard stadium seats provide very little cushion and support and are not ideal for long excursions; instead, they are best for quick errands or riding around the house. The deep-cushion stadium seats provide proper support and comfort for extended rides. Captain seats are the best option for extended excursions. They have soft cushions, contoured bases, adjustable armrests and sometimes headrests.
Will Insurance Pay for My Power Scooter?
Ranging between $600 and $2,500, power scooters are not cheap. However, it’s possible your insurance will pay for part or all of the scooter. For example, Medicare Part B plans cover power-operated scooters, walkers and wheelchairs under the Durable Medical Equipment clause. However, you have to get a doctor’s written order stating you have a medical need. To qualify for a limited mobility order by a doctor, you need a health or physical condition that:
- Makes it difficult to move around your home.
- Makes you unable to perform daily activities like bathing, dressing, getting out of bed or chairs, using the restroom, even with the use of a cane.
- Doesn’t affect your ability to get on and off the power scooter, or operate the powered scooter safely. And if you need assistance, your doctor needs to ensure someone is available to assist at all times, like a caretaker or family member.
In addition, your doctor and the scooter supplier need to be enrolled with Medicare, and the scooter needs to be approved for use in your home. If you meet these criteria, your Medicare Part B plan pays for 80 percent of the cost, but only after you’ve met your deductible for the year. That said, this is applied to the approved amount. So if your Medicare plan only approves you for a scooter at a $1,000 price point, it’ll pay for $800, but it won’t pay for $2,000 of a $2,500 power scooter.
If you’re not on Medicare, the coverage of power scooters varies by the insurance plan and provider, but the principles are likely to be the same – you have to prove you have a medical need for it, and you’ll have to meet your deductible before the provider pays anything. Before you purchase a power scooter, it’s worth checking with your insurance provider to see whether your plan covers any of the cost.