Rebecca Isaacs is a writer and an educator. She covers all sorts of products, from video games to e-readers and light therapy alarm clocks to standing desks.
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Lifewire / Rebecca Isaacs
Somewhat portable design
Large handle bumps and cracks well
Battery goes over 12 miles on one charge
Running start required to start the motor
Height not adjustable
No reverse option
Long charging time
While the GOTRAX GXL V2 is a heavier electric scooter, the 250-watt motor combined with a 36V battery make it a powerhouse in terms of distance and speed.
We purchased the GOTRAX GXL V3 Commuting Electric Scooter so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.
Investing in a quick way to get to your office without breaking the bank or sitting in hours of traffic is something all urban dwellers dream of. Thankfully, the rise of electric scooters can make your commute both greener and an easy way to jot around town. Going up to 13 miles on a single battery charge, the GOTRAX GXL V2 Commuting Electric Scooter offers an eco-friendly way to get to work at a speedy 16 miles per hour (mph). We tested the GOTRAX GXL V2 for 30 miles worth of driving in our town, noting its design, battery life, speed, and maneuverability. Read on for our thoughts.
At 43.8 by 17 by 42 inches (LWH, unfolded), the GOTRAX is larger than many models out there on the market. It’s also heavier, weighing a whopping 27 pounds according to our scale—and we could certainly feel that weight as we lugged it up and down the stairs at our office. We attribute most of the bulk to the 250-watt power motor and 36V battery.
While it’s compact enough to fit in an office closet, it wouldn’t be a good fit in the back of a break room. The handlebars don’t fold, which means to carry it you’ll either have to grip it by the neck and risk bashing your knee on a piece of the wheel or you can try steering it on its sole wheel, which also doesn’t exactly work well.
In fact, one of our biggest gripes about this model is that it’s incredibly difficult to fold and unfold. When we first pulled it out of the box and wanted to haul it down the front porch stairs, we struggled. Then we tried to fold it. That was a mistake, as the lever located at the base of the neck didn’t want to budge. When it did, it sprung out abruptly, bruising our knee. It’s also difficult to press down and release the folded neck from the wheelbase, and it usually takes us a few tries to pry it free. One thing to note: the max weight limit is 220 pounds, so if you’re on the heavier side you might not be able to ride the GOTRAX scooter.
The GOTRAX would have taken us about 20 minutes tops to assemble—had the manual been designed for the correct scooter. It comes with a booklet, and when we studied the scooter, we realized it was for the wrong model, though it’s advertised for the GOTRAX. This caused problems because we didn’t know we were supposed to set up the brakes before we secured the neck base.
What should have taken us 20 minutes to set up took us a lot longer because we attempted to build it with factory-provided incorrect instructions. Finally, after admitting defeat and popping over to YouTube, we were finally able to put it together. For those of you that don’t like instructions, this scooter is not for you. You will break it if you attempt to mess with it without reviewing instructions. It also required about 1.5 hours to charge initially, which we thought was fairly reasonable, but more on that below.
One of our biggest gripes about this model is that it’s incredibly difficult to fold and unfold.
To get going, we first pulled the GOTRAX onto the sidewalk and pressed the On button (a bright red button located at the top of the neck) for five seconds. The display lit up with two features: the miles per hour, in bright white letters, and the battery life, comprised of fourths. Hopping on, we pressed the accelerator on the right handlebar only to find nothing happened. In order to make this scooter fly, you need to push off and get the wheels rolling. Once the wheels start moving, you press down on the accelerator and the 250-watt motor kicks in. As we also learned, the GOTRAX really does fly, and the first of two gears accelerates it up to 8.6 mph in what seemed like seconds.
To switch it into second gear, the same On button controls the gear shifting. Press and hold it for two seconds to swap gears up to 15.5 mph thanks to the motor. This same button also controls the lights on the front of the scooter. Simply press the red button once, and it triggers the front light.
In this regard, the GOTRAX scooter should be simple to adjust. However, this isn’t always so as the button is too far to reach while driving. If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t like to swap gears or alter controls mid-drive, then it’s not a big deal. But if you would prefer more control over your scooter, look elsewhere. Also, if you live in a rainy climate, we do not recommend this scooter, as the manual says it is not waterproof and you will break it if you use it in the rain. Because of the explicit warning, we did not test it in rainy conditions.
Now, it sounds like we just have complaints about this scooter, but that’s definitely not the case. The issues mentioned are very minor once you get used to them. One of the major perks about the GOTRAX is that its built-in suspension is very solid. We accidentally drove into a deep pothole and flew through the air on this scooter. While it landed with a clank, and we were worried we may have broken it, the scooter proved to be in top condition and kept speeding along. That said, this is a scooter designed for commuting, not off-roading, and we do not recommend doing this on the regular. We also recommend wearing a helmet.
One of the biggest perks about the scooter is its top speed. It claims it can go up to 15.5 mph on roads. When we drove it around town, the speed registered at 16.2 mph on downhill slopes when shifted into second gear, even higher than the advertised 15.5 mph maximum. And with the top gear speeds, if you press and hold the accelerator for a few seconds, the scooter reverts to cruise control. When going long distances with minimal braking, this is a wonderful feature for the GOTRAX. However, in the city where we had to constantly start and stop, it could become a hindrance.
When we drove it around town, the speed registered at 16.2 mph on downhill slopes when shifted into second gear, even higher than the advertised 15.5 mph maximum.
The first time we charged up the GOTRAX, we were surprised that it took less than an hour to charge. After all, it advertises taking 3-4 hours. What we learned is that the scooter comes half-charged, and that in charging it up the first time, you merely top it off. Every other time it’ll take around 4 hours. Despite the lengthy recharge time, however, the 36V battery is outstanding. The charge supposedly lasts 9-12 miles, but using a combination of gear one and gear two, we managed 13 miles.
Even at the 13-mile mark, the motor and battery showed there was still some juice left. While it could have gone further, we didn’t want to risk being so far away from the charger. If you’re looking for a scooter than can go the distance, the battery life alone makes the GOTRAX a worthy investment.
At around $300, the GOTRAX is a great scooter for the price. With high speeds, great suspension, and the elongated battery life, you’re getting what you paid for. There are some issues with setup, charge time, and folding, but have no doubt—this is a high-quality scooter with high speed. There are cheaper models on the market, but if you want the distance, this is the better option.
We pitted the Swagtron Swagger against the GOTRAX GXL V2 to see which one was the better model. However, both come with their pros and cons and are fairly well-balanced rivals. For example, the GOTRAX comes with longer battery life, lasting 13 miles in comparison to the Swagtron’s six miles. In contrast, the Swagtron’s handling was a lot easier to control, especially since its five gears allowed for more tailored driving speeds.
On the other hand, while we liked the Swagtron in terms of control, in terms of holding up to heavy use, the GOTRAX felt more up to the task, with stronger front suspensions and larger wheels. If you’ve got a short commute ahead of you, or are zipping around a college campus, the Swagtron provides for a better ride. However, if speed and distance are your preference, then the GOTRAX is definitely the better option.
One of the best for urban commuters despite the flaws.
Despite its weight and the finicky issues with folding, the GOTRAX GXL V2 scooter is a powerhouse. With a 36V battery that lasts the ages and a powerful 250-watt motor, it is a solid scooter is a great addition to the electric scooter market. While we wish it was lighter and could store a little more easily in an office, these aren’t deal-breakers. Just be sure to wear a helmet.
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