Best Electric Scooters Under $1600

Best Electric Scooters Under $1600

The EMOVE Cruiser and Kaabo Mantis both prevailed as the best electric scooters under $1600. These scooters are dichotomous, with each being superb for their designed function. One scooter is the comfortable Cruiser, while the other is the brash beast scooter meant for ripping up the pavement at top speed. Both are the best in this category for what they do and consequently share the title.


EMOVE Cruiser: Longest Ranged Scooter Ever Tested

EMOVE Cruiser electric scooter

Summary

The EMOVE Cruiser is, hands-down, the most complete, long-ranged electric scooter. It has the most real-world range we’ve ever tested and is packed with features to give its owner a safe and comfortable, and reliable ride.

If you are looking for a very practical electric scooter with all kinds of extras like turn signals, hydraulic brakes, tubeless pneumatic tires, and premium LG batteries, the Cruiser is your best option.

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 26.2 mph*
Tested range: 50.3 mi*
Weight: 52 lb
Max rider weight: 350 lb
Water resistance: IPX6

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

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Kaabo Mantis: Lightweight Beast Scooter

Kaabo Mantis electric scooter

Summary

The Kaabo Mantis is the ultimate entry-level beast scooter. It has a combined 2000 watts of motor power for fast acceleration and to propel you up the steepest of hills; its battery is big enough for long-distance riding at top speed.

If you want the best value in for a very fast scooter, the Kaabo Mantis can’t be beaten.

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 39.3 mph*
Tested range: 29.1 mi*
Weight: 65 lb
Max rider weight: 260 lb
Water resistance: None

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

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Results: Best Under $1600 Scooter Finalists

To crown the best electric scooter under $1600, we began with a field of 22 electric scooters. Using simple criteria, we honed in on a handful of scooters that we acquired and subjected to hands-on review. 

From these scooters, we pulled the most promising four: the Boosted Rev, EMOVE Cruiser, Kaabo Mantis, and the Zero 8X to compete as the Best Electric Scooter Under $1600.

We scored each scooter in terms of performancerideportability, and quality. Our results from the finalists are shown below.    

Boosted Rev EMOVE Cruiser Kaabo Mantis Zero 8X
Our Ratings
Performance 4th 3rd 1st 2nd
Portability 1st 4th 3rd 2nd
Ride 4th 2nd 1st 3rd
Quality 1st 2nd 3rd (tie) 3rd (tie)
Specs.
Retail
Weight 46 lb 55 lb 62 lb 73 lb
Max Wt. 250 lb 352 lb 265 lb 265 lb
Brakes Regen+
Foot+
Disc
Disc+
Disc
Disc+
Disc
Disc+
Disc
Motor 1500 W 600 W 2000 W 1600 W
Battery 370 Wh 1560 Wh 1050 Wh 936 Wh
IP
Rating
IP67 IP67 None None
Warranty 12 mo 12 mo 6 mo 6 mo

Performance

Electric scooter on loading dock

The Kaabo Mantis smashed the performance tests — it had the highest top speed, tied for best acceleration and braking distance, and placed second for both range and hill climb.

Zero 8X front electric motor and suspension

Both the Mantis and Zero 8X (above) feel very fast, with the 8X having more low-end acceleration, whereas the Mantis finds its stride at higher speeds. Both e-scooters log equal 15 mph braking distances, though the Mantis bests the 8X in terms of range.

The Cruiser and Rev — both which have respectable performance — brought up the rear when facing the Mantis and 8X beast scooters.

Animation of man riding the EMOVE Cruiser electric scooter

The Cruiser (above) was king of tested real-world range, which was nearly double that of the others. The Boosted, which has decent acceleration, topped out at a relatively low 24 mph — making it not competitive.

Electric Scooter Guide Performance Tests Results

Boosted Rev EMOVE Cruiser Kaabo Mantis Zero 8X
Top Speed 24 mph 26.2 mph 37 mph 31 mph
Range 10.3 mi 50.3 mi 29.1 mi 21.3 mi
Hill climb 10 s 12.1 s 9.2 s 9.4 s
0-15 mph 2.7 s 3.4 s 2.5 s 2.1 s
0-20 mph 4.5 s 5.8 s 3.9 s 3.6 s
0-25 mph 11 s 5.2 s 5.5 s
0-30 mph 7.7 s 7.8 s
Braking 17.6 ft 11.4 ft 11.1 ft 11.1 ft

Ride Quality

The Mantis had the best ride quality of the bunch, thanks to its plush suspension, large deck, and pneumatic tires. It has an adjustable front and rear spring suspension that rivals that of the Zero 10X — our all-time favorite. The Mantis does very well even on the roughest of roads — critical for keeping you comfortable and preventing you from getting bounced off the scooter at speed.

The EMOVE Cruiser took second, thanks to its plush suspension, massive deck, and large pneumatic tires. For ride quality — especially on longer rides — standing space is a huge factor. The Cruiser is capable of doing more than 50 miles on a single charge; the suspension is critical for keeping you comfortable during these long rides. It’s soft enough to soak up unpleasant bumps and vibrations, but not so soft that it makes the scooter unstable.

The 8X has a good suspension, but the smaller solid (airless tires) transmit a lot more of the road vibrations to your body.

The Boosted Rev is the only scooter that has no suspension — instead, it relies on pneumatic tires to smooth rough terrain. This helps to save on weight but results in it having the worst quality of the group. While superbly smooth on nice roads, the Boosted performed poorly on rough ones. For these reasons, it trailed behind the others for ride quality.

Portability

Boosted Rev in folded configuration in park

The Rev took its first win for having the best portability. Its 46 lb weight — the lightest of the bunch — was the biggest deciding factor. In this group, the Rev has the best portability, but it certainly could use some improvement. The handlebars, which don’t fold, stick out quite far — making the scooter challenging to bring on crowded public transportation.

The other scooters weigh between 55 and 73 lbs, making them very difficult to carry or lift for even short distances.

The EMOVE Cruiser takes second place for portability. Though its weight makes it difficult to lift and carry, it has a quick folding mechanism and folding handlebars.

Zero 8X in folded configuration

The Zero 8X (above) and Mantis tie for last place. Though the 73-lb 8X is the heaviest scooter, it’s also the most compact when folded. The 8X’s stem doesn’t lock in the folded configuration, making maneuvering it more difficult. On the other hand, the Mantis is lighter, but significantly larger when folded.

Boosted Rev EMOVE Cruiser Kaabo Mantis Zero 8X
Weight 46 lb 55 lb 62 lb 73 lb
Folded Length 44 in 48 in 49 in 44 in
Folded Width 24 in 10 in 24 in 14 in
Folded Height 20 in 16 in 19 in 17 in

Build Quality

The Rev is, hands-down, the highest quality scooter of the bunch and likely the highest quality electric scooter period. The design and build quality are incredible. Like the Xiaomi and Segway electric scooter lines, the Rev is mass-produced under tight quality-control conditions; unlike these scooters, the parts and materials are significantly better. The result is a scooter with impeccable fit-and-finish that is the closest to “transportation-quality” that we’ve seen. The Rev also has an IP67 water-resistance rating, meaning that it can tolerate full submersion for brief periods.

The remaining scooters don’t have the incredible fit-and-finish of the Rev but are quality products nonetheless. However, all of them are manufactured hands-on on a smaller scale, with what we surmise is less rigorous quality control. When you pull your scooter out of the box, you may have to make some adjustments. There may be silly mistakes like an accessory wasn’t attached correctly –typically nothing critical; the scooter may have gotten dinged up during shipping due to inadequate packaging.

Th EMOVE Cruiser takes the second spot for quality. Like the Rev, it has an IP67 water resistance rating; it also has the highest weight capacity in this group of scooters — a hefty 352 lbs. All the moving mechanisms on this scooter feel precise, and there is no play in the folding mechanisms.

Neither the Mantis nor the Zero 8X has an official IP rating — though they should tolerate some very light water exposure. Like the others, these scooters have hefty build quality but are a bit rougher around the edges. Both scooters had somewhat creaky suspension and stem out-of-the-box; this can be resolved with a bit of silicone oil. They also have louder motors — especially at lower speeds — which quiet at higher speeds.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the Mantis has had a handful of reports of the massive 10 mm stem bolt failing in time. One retailer we spoke to said that there had been roughly 10 cases WorldWide. Many retailers have begun to preemptively install heftier bolts to prevent this from happening in the future.

Summary

The Best Under $1600 finalists are all quite fantastic scooters — there is certainly a case for each one. However, in considering the needs of an average rider, two scooters stand out in this category. These are the EMOVE Cruiser and Kaabo Mantis.  

EMOVE Cruiser front wheel and deck

The EMOVE Cruiser (above) is the perfect long-range cruising or commuting scooter. We like to think of it as the Toyota Camry/Aurion of electric scooters — it is very well-rounded and a complete electric scooter. It had decent — but not fast — acceleration, surprising top speed, and comfortable ride. It has a quality build and should be reliable. There is nothing flashy about the Cruiser — it’s a practical, well-built machine.

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Close up of Kaabo Mantis electric scooter and rear tire

The Kaabo Mantis is essentially the best entry-level beast scooter. It has great acceleration and top speed. The large pneumatic tires and incredible suspension keep you pinned to the street at speed. It has a massive battery and more than enough range. For these reasons, it is an excellent value and therefore shares the crown with the Cruiser as the Best Electric Scooter Under $1600.

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Runners-Up

Boosted Rev

The Boosted Rev is a high-quality and very premium electric scooter — in a quality class all its own. We think the Rev is great for someone who wants a well-designed, quality, and fast scooter but doesn’t need a ridiculous range. The Rev has received a lot of criticism online for its price and range — we think if you try this scooter, you’ll get why its different and what market segment it targets.

Zero 8X

Zero 8X electric scooter on a pedestrian bridge

The Zero 8X distinguishes itself from this crowd with its airless, flat-free tires, ridiculously compact folded size, and potent low-end acceleration. We’ve actually heard of people using these as their daily commuter — bringing them on to commuter trains — despite their hefty weight.

Full Methodology For Selecting Best Electric Scooter Under $1600

For this list, we selected the following criteria:

  • Max weight of at least 220 lb. We chose these criteria because we are looking for powered scooters for adults.
  • Only well-known, established brands. We excluded brands that have recently appeared, on Amazon for example, that may not be around in the next few months.
  • Battery capacity of more than 200 watt-hours. This ensures a range of at least 7 miles, which is reasonable at this price.

Evaluating the Finalists

We evaluated the finalists in four areas: performance, ride, portability, and quality.

  1. Performance. Performance basically describes fast the scooter goes, how far it goes, and how quickly it accelerates and stops. Factors affecting this are brake type, motor power, controller power, and battery capacity. All scooters are tested under the same conditions with a 165 lb rider. We use high-precision Racelogic GPS unit — the same type used for performance car testing. We use this type of unit because cell phone-based performance logging is unreliable for many of these tests. For performance, we consider:
    1. Acceleration time (0 to 15 mph)
    2. Top speed
    3. Range (100% to 0% charge)
    4. Stopping distance from 15 mph
  2. Ride. Ride or ride quality basically describes the feeling and stability of the scooter on a variety of terrain. Some scooters have a great ride on smooth roads but are punishing on poor ones. Features that affect ride quality are tire type and size, the geometry of the scooter, and the presence or lack of suspension. To test ride quality, we typically ride the scooter for several weeks and for around 100 miles. We test the scooter on the following types of terrain/conditions:
    1. Roads in good/bad repair
    2. Dirt trails
    3. Riding over grass
    4. Up and downhill
    5. Wet and dry conditions
  3. Portability. Portability describes how easy a scooter is to carry, store, and bring onto public transportation. Some things that affect portability are weight, folded dimensions, and folding mechanism. We specifically rate portability, based on:
    1. Weight
    2. Folded dimensions
    3. Folding ease and speed
    4. Carrying ease
  4. Quality. Quality encompasses how well the scooter was designed and assembled. We also consider warranty duration and post-purchase support data, if known. Some scooters need a full tune-up as soon as you take them out of the box, while others are ready to ride. To rate quality, we consider the following factors:
    1. Fit and finish
    2. Quality of components
    3. How solid the scooter feels
    4. Noise or rattling parts
    5. Drop test, repeated three times

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