Best Electric Scooter Under $600: Xiaomi Mi M365
The Best Electric Scooter Under $600 crown belongs to just a single winner, the Xiaomi Mi M365. The M365 continues its reign into 2020 as one of the most popular scooters and best values.
The Xiaomi Mi M365 is hands-down, the best electric scooter under $600, based on our hands-on review, performance tests, and detailed comparison.
Nothing at this price, which hosts a field of approximately 50 scooters, comes close to the speed, range, design, reputation, and quality of the Mi M365. The 14.6-mile real-world range (we tested it), ride quality, and excellent hill-climbing ability beat out the other scooters at this price. Simply put: the Mi M365 is one of the most well-rounded electric scooters. Its recent price drop makes it an absolute steal.
|Retail price: $400 (discounted)|
|Tested top speed: 16.7 mph*|
|Tested range: 14.6 miles*|
|Weight: 27 lbs|
|Max rider weight: 220 lbs|
|Water resistance: IP54 (splash)|
* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.
Results: Best Under $600 Scooter Finalists
To crown the best electric scooter under $600, we began with a field of 51 electric scooters.
Using simple criteria, we narrowed it down to three finalists — GOTRAX Xr Ultra, Xiaomi Mi M365, and Levy scooter — that we subjected to extensive did hands-on testing. Each scooter was graded in terms of performance, ride, portability, and quality.
Overall Results for the Finalists
|GOTRAX Xr Ultra||Levy||Xiaomi Mi M365|
|Weight||26 lb||27 lb||27 lb|
|Max Wt.||220 lb||230 lb||220 lb|
|Brakes||Regen + Disc||Regen + Disc||Regen + Disc|
|Motor||300 W||350 W||250 W|
|Battery||252 Wh||230 Wh||280 Wh|
|Warranty||3 months||6 months||12 months|
Some notable scooters we’ve reviewed in the past didn’t make the final cut due to having too small battery capacity (Segway Ninebot ES2) or lacking an IP (water-resistance) rating (Glion Dolly). You can read our full take on these scooters by clicking on their links or checking out our review section.
The Xiaomi Mi M365 had the best overall performance of any of the scooters tested — the clear winner with the best range and hill climb time. Additionally, it was 2nd place for the fastest acceleration, shortest braking distance, and top speed.
The Levy scooter had the fastest acceleration — just edging out the M365 and also the highest top speed of 19 mph.
The Xr Ultra had the shortest braking distance of just under 15 feet, about two feet shorter than the nearest competitor, the M365.
Electric Scooter Guide Performance Tests Results
|Xr Ultra||Levy||Mi M365|
|Top Speed||14.6 mph||19 mph||16.7 mph|
|Range||13.1 mi||8.9 mi||14.6 mi|
|Hill climb||23.4 s||22.1 s||20.8 s|
|0-15 mph||7.8 s||6.2 s||6.6 s|
|Braking||14.9 ft||21.5 ft||16.8 ft|
In terms of ride quality, all the scooters we tested are equivalent, with no clear leader.
None of the scooters have suspension, but all have large pneumatic (air-filled) tires. Consequently, they have very similar ride quality. On smooth paved roads, the ride is nice and very smooth.
On worse terrain or off-road, the air tires will cushion the worse bumps, but the ride quality won’t be great.
The GOTRAX Xr Ultra just barely edges out both the M365 and Levy in terms of portability — for two reasons.
- The Xr Ultra has a quicker and easier to use folding mechanism.
- The Xr’s stem forms a 90-degree angle when folded. This stem angle puts the balance point for carrying the scooter in the perfect position, making it easier to carry.
Though all scooters weigh about 27 lbs, both the Levy and M365 have stems that lock at an angle. This shifts the center of balance awkwardly forward, making them harder to carry.
The Levy scores third for portability due to having a thicker stem that is more difficult and less comfortable to wrap your hand around. The larger stem makes the scooter seem heavier than it is.
The Xiaomi Mi M365 has the best overall quality — thanks to its relatively long warranty — compared to its competitors.
Notably, all scooters have relatively good quality — no noticeable creaking, excellent fit-and-finish, and quality plastic and metal parts. However, the M365 has the best warranty of the bunch — a lengthy 12 months, plus an additional 30 days from the authorized seller (e.g. Amazon).
The other scooters have significantly shorter warranties of just six months (Levy) and three months (Xr Ultra).
It is worth mentioning that both the Levy and Xr Ultra have notable features that elevate their quality.
- The Levy uses tubeless pneumatic tires that will have better puncture resistance. Its thick stem tube also makes its handlebars and steering feel stiffer.
- The Xr Ultra is the only scooter of the bunch to use LG-branded cells in its lithium-ion battery pack. We love the addition of this quality feature. However, we don’t weigh it too heavily because in our experience, most scooter failures are related to mechanical problems and not the battery pack.
Despite the introduction of newer scooters, the Xiaomi M365 retains it spots as one of the best values in the electric scooter world and as the Best Electric Scooter Under $600.
The M365 delivered the best overall performance, portability, and quality compared to the top contenders. It’s also one of the least expensive scooters of the bunch — typically retailing for around $400 through Amazon.
We are constantly asked about other scooters on Amazon that have better claimed specifications, slightly better ratings, or are cheaper. The simple fact is that these new “better” scooters appear all the time and disappear just as quickly. You are unlikely to do better than the M365 at this price point and will possibly be left with no support when the seller disappears. Xiaomi is a massive international company that is here to stay and its entry-level M365 is currently unbeatable.
Full Methodology For Selecting Best Electric Scooter Under $600
The Field: 51 Electric Scooters
We started with a field of fifty-one electric scooters — all retailing for between $300 and $600. We excluded any scooter that wasn’t available for purchase or had been discontinued as of 2020. We applied straightforward criteria to narrow the choices down to just a handful of scooters that we subjected to full, in-depth, hands-on testing, and comparison.
Some notable brands appear as contenders, including Fluid FreeRide, Glion, GOTRAX, Hiboy, Jetson, Kaabo, Levy, Macwheel, Razor, Segway, Swagtron, TurboAnt, UScooters, and Xiaomi.
- Max weight of at least 220 lbs. 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.
- Water resistance rating of at least IPx4. Many scooters in this range have some water resistance. We, therefore, add this on as a criteria. This means that the scooter will be safe if splashed with water and suitable for riding if you get caught in the rain.
Evaluating the Finalists
We evaluated the finalists in four areas: performance, ride, portability, and quality.
- 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:
- Acceleration time (0 to 15 mph)
- Top speed
- Range (100% to 0% charge)
- Stopping distance from 15 mph
- 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:
- Roads in good/bad repair
- Dirt trails
- Riding over grass
- Up and downhill
- Wet and dry conditions
- 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:
- Folded dimensions
- Folding ease and speed
- Carrying ease
- 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:
- Fit and finish
- Quality of components
- How solid the scooter feels
- Noise or rattling parts
- Drop test, repeated three times