The GoTrax GXL Commuter has reigned supreme at $300, but with the price reduction of the Swagtron Swagger 5 and the GXL V2, things have gotten more interesting for entry-level electric scooters. Read on to see how these formidable scooters, best in their price category faired.
Best adult scooter under $300
The updated GoTrax GXL Commuter V2 still reigns supreme at the $300 price point, although the Swagger 5 is a very close second which some riders will prefer.
While overall features are better on the Swagger 5, the GXL V2 has dual pneumatic tires and very high user reviews which allow it to take the victory.
GoTrax GXL Commuter V2 features:
- Range: 12 miles
- Top speed: 16 mph
- Weight 26 lbs
- Max rider weight: 220 lbs
- Brakes (front/rear): regenerative / disc
- Tire (front/rear): pneumatic / pneumatic
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- Price: <$300
- Weight: <30 lbs
- Range: >10 miles
- Max Load: >215 lbs
- Speed: >14 mph
We filtered for these conditions because we are looking for an adult commuting scooter, rather than a toy for kids. When filtering for these conditions, only two scooters matched: the GoTrax GXL Commuter V2 and the Swagtron Swagger 5.
Let’s see how these scooters compare.
GXL V2 vs Swagger 5 Comparison Chart
GoTrax GXL Commuter V2
Swagtron Swagger 5
Rider Max Weight
187 watt hours
216 watt hours
Front and Rear
Regenerative / Disc
8.5" Front & Rear Pneumatic
8.5" Front Pneumatic / Rear Airless
User Model Rating
Overall Brand Score
GXL Commuter V2 Vs Swagger 5
Braking matters when you are riding 15 mph down the road and an UBER driver suddenly pulls in front of you and stops short. When this happens, and it will happen, you’ll want to a legitimate braking solution.
Both scooters have rear disc brakes activated from the handlebars. We don’t expect to see disc brakes at this price level, and, in fact, these are the only two scooters at this price range with disc brakes.
GoTrax also has automatic regenerative braking on their model. This will give a minor amount of added range, but the rider cannot activate this brake separate from the disc brake.
On the GoTrax, the regenerative braking kicks in as soon as you let completely off on the throttle.
Winner: Basically Tie, however we give GoTrax a slight edge for having a secondary form of brakes.
Both scooters have pneumatic front tires, however, the Swagger 5 has an airless tire on the rear, while GoTrax has pneumatic. Some users might opt for an airless tire due to the lower maintenance requirements. However, we err on the side of performance and safety and will highly recommend going with dual pneumatic tires on any scooter. Additionally, flats can be greatly reduced with some preventative steps.
Size does matter when you are looking at riding safety. Larger is better when it comes to tire size and both scooters boast 8.5” tires. This is much larger than the typical toy scooters you find in this price category. The larger tire will do a better job of keeping you upright when faced with a small road obstacle in your path.
Unfortunately, electric scooters riders do have accidents, and the majority are caused by falls rather than collisions. The best way to avoid falling on a scooter is to have larger, pneumatic tires (and being careful when riding).
Both scooters have roughly the same specs in these categories. Both have 12-14 miles claimed (though expect 7 to 10 miles actual) and a motor power of 250 watts. These scooter will take you on commutes of around 6 miles safely. They will power you up small hills at significantly lower speeds. On very steep hills you may need to supplement the scooter with manual kicking.
We note that the Swagtron has slightly higher quoted range of 14 miles yet a slightly lower capacity 158 watt hour battery compared to the GoTrax’s 187 watt hour battery.
While not anything to write home about, these specs will get the job done and meet the criteria for a commuting type scooter.
The Swagger 5 bests the Gotrax with its 18 mph top speed, which is achievable by most users. The GoTrax has a hard limit, due to legal restrictions at 15.5 mph, although in our road tests we sometimes got close to 16 mph. In practice, if your commute is in traffic it is best to limit your speed to 15 mph.
Winner: Swagger 5
Scooter Weight and Portability
Both scooters have exactly the same weight, 26 lbs, and collapse to roughly the same size. Neither scooter has folding handlebars, each sticking out 17 inches wide when standing or folded. This makes it a bit tough to squeeze under a seat, but still doable. However, at a svelte 26 lbs, both are easy to fold and carry.
The Swagger 5 is rated at a swaggering 320 lbs, eclipsing the GXL by 100 lbs. If you are a heavier rider, easy decision to go with the Swagger 5.
Winner: Swagger 5
While both scooters have a handlebar mounted front light, the Swagger 5 adds a rear red brake light. Kudos to Swagtron for building in this safety feature.
We always recommend adding additional lighting when riding at night.
Winner: Swagger 5
Neither scooter has suspension. All damping is accomplished through the tires and the scooter itself. You will feel the bumps.
The Swagger 5 boasts a 1 year warranty while the GoTrax only has a 90 day warranty. GoTrax does offer an extended warranty for $34.99 that extends the warranty to 1 year.
Swagtron splits the shipping cost with you, you pay on the way to them and they pay for shipping back. You can assume the shipping costs will be at least $35. GoTrax covers shipping both ways.
Model and Brand Ratings
We recently conducted a user-survey of scooter owners. Both models received responses with GoTrax coming out far ahead of the Swagger 5.
The updated GXL Commuter V2 received an amazing 4.5/5 average satisfaction score. The older GXL model (V1) had a score of 3.66/5. In the V2 update, GoTrax changed the position of the brake actuator (used to be on the floorboard), added cruise control, reinforced the frame/fender, and updated the folding lock mechanism. Apparently users liked these changes.
There are not enough responses to give an accurate user-reported score for the Swagger 5, but the ones we have are not nearly as good as the GoTrax.
GXL Commuter V2 Vs Swagger 5 Summary
Overall, we prefer the GoTrax GXL Commuter V2. However make sure to purchase a rear light if you buy this model and consider the warranty for $34.99.
If you are over 220 lbs, the Swagger 5 is the clear choice. Please note that at this time Amazon is offering the scooter at $299, while the Swagtron website has it for $299.99 after discount code SPRING19.
Overall, if you want the biggest bang for a limited budget, you absolutely can’t go wrong with the GXL Commuter V2. It is the only electric scooter in this category that has features (pneumatic tires, real brakes, decent range) that make it practical. You can’t go wrong with this electric scooter if you’re not ready to commit to a more premium model. It recently came down in price and is a steal with the additional 10% coupon.
For more info about our pick, check out our GoTrax GXL Commuter V2 review.