We review the GXL Commuter — a low cost, best in class model that is an excellent entry-level electric scooter. With a 12 mile range, 16 mph top speed, and 26 lb weight it is well-suited for commuting or recreation. Read on to learn why this was rated best electric scooter under $300.
Gotrax GXL Commuter Review Summary
The GoTrax GXL Commuter is the best cheap electric scooter you can buy. For under $300, you get a well-built scooter with decent range and weight. It has a disc brake and pneumatic tires — premium features generally absent at this price. If you’re not ready to dive into a more expensive and full-featured model, the GXL Commuter is your best bet.
- 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
The GXL Commuter features some critical safety and comfort features missing from other scooters in its price class. These features are:
- Disc brake
- 8.5” pneumatic tires
- Front lighting
At 26 lbs, it is a very manageable scooter, even for the smallest person.
The scooter comes with front regenerative and rear disc brakes. The front regenerative brake is functional and does add some stopping power. Most importantly, it is backed by a stronger and more reliable rear disc brake. The rear disc brake has a somewhat unusual foot-activated mechanism. We would have liked to have seen this brake controlled by a hand-operated lever. However, it is very functional — much like operating a foot brake — except stopping power is backed by a reliable disc brake mechanism.
The scooter is powered by a 250W DC motor, which gives it a decent amount of ooomph for acceleration and top speed.
In this price class, motors do not get any more powerful. If you are a heavier rider, this motor will be sufficient for you, but don’t expect any miracles. Keep in mind that going up steep hills will be slow.
If you supplement the motor with a few kicks on an incline, you should be able to conquer most urban ascents.
The scooter is rated for a maximum capacity of 220 lbs.
Top Speed and Acceleration
Most owners report that they were able to reach close to the claimed 15.5 mph top speed, which will let you cover one mile in about 4 minutes. This is sufficient for most short commutes. Acceleration is nothing to write home about, but in this price class, it’s average.
The GoTrax GXL claimed range is 12 miles. The owner consensus is that you should be able to reliably achieve between 6 and 10 miles on a full charge. Range will be toward the lower figure in: colder weather, in “gear 2” at higher speeds, with hilly terrain, frequent starts/stops, and with a heavier rider. You can overcome range anxiety by keeping an extra charger (they are super cheap) at your destination and giving the scooter a charge before your return trip.
And remember, if you run out of juice you can always use this scooter as a traditional kick scooter bypassing the electric motor all-together – the disc brake will still work.
The GXL has 8.5” pneumatic (air-filled) inner tube tires, another excellent feature that is typically absent in models even at the $500 price range. These tires also provide cushion for the ride. Their size also helps to roll over potholes and other obstacles, greatly improving overall safety of this scooter.
Many people who are looking for a budget scooter will complain about flats associated with pneumatic tires. The risk of flats is greatly outweighed by the major benefits to safety and performance. Additionally, flats can nearly be prevented by following a few simple tips.
At this pricepoint, we didn’t expect much in terms of design. However, it is not bad … in fact it’s actually good. This is basically a budget Xiaomi Mi M365. The matte black paint looks good. Assembly is quick. The controls and interface are simple and functional. The locking mechanism doubles as bag hanger when unfolded. Overall, we loved the clean, simple and very functional design.
The scooter is equipped with one forward-facing light and no rear light. Like most scooters, the light could definitely be brighter. For commuting at night we recommend attaching an extra one so it’s easier to see the road and be seen by drivers. We also recommend adding a rear, clip on light placed high (e.g. on backpack, jacket or helmet).
Learn more about improving your visibility.
The cockpit display LED is simple, providing speed, “gear,” and battery readout. Brakes are operated by the red thumb knob (left). Acceleration is controlled the by black thumb knob (right). Power on/off and lights are controlled by a single red button (center). Hand position on the scooter is a bit narrow and not ideal for balance. However, this design helps to keep the handlebars short and allows the scooter to be portable.
At 26 lbs the GXL Commuter is about as light as scooters get, and very comparable to a Xiaomi Mi M365. It folds down quickly and locks into a compact size of 39″ x 6″ x 14”. While the handlebars do not retract, it is still easy to throw into the back of the car, carry up stairs, and slip under a desk at work.
Overall, build quality isn’t bad and is more than what you would expect. The folding mechanism is robust and even includes a pin to make sure it doesn’t collapse on you mid-ride. The build quality is good enough to make this a functional scooter. If you plan on jumping in as a serious long distance scooter commuter, then this won’t be your best choice. However, if you’re looking for a budget entry level electric scooter, then this is the best value you can get right now.
The GoTrax GXL Commuter is the best cheap electric scooter you can buy. For under $300, you get a well-built scooter with decent range and weight. It has a disc brake and pneumatic tires, premium features generally absent at this price
|Weight||26 lb||12 kg|
|Folded dimensions||39 x 6 x 14 in||99 x 15 x 36 cm|
|Motor power||250 watts|
|Top speed||16 mph||26 kmh|
|Range||12 mi||19 km|
|Battery recharge time||5 hours|
|Max rider weight||220 lb||120 kg|
|Brake type (front / rear)||Regenerative||Disc|
|Tire type (front / rear)||Pneumatic||Pneumatic|
|Built-in lights (front / rear)||Yes||No|