Gotrax GXL Commuter V2 Review Highlights
Our favorite inexpensive GoTrax GXL Commuter — winner of the Best Electric Scooter Under $300 comparison — just got better. When the V2 is on sale (which it is as of September 2019), it is actually the king of the under $300 category.
Like the original GXL Commuter, the GXL V2 is well-built and nice balance of weight range and features. It has the same disc brake and pneumatic tires that we loved about the original model, however with a slight upgrade. Unlike the original version, the rear disc brake is now activated by a hand lever (like a bicycle) and not a foot pedal. This is a huge improvement and makes an amazing scooter even better. The GXL V2 also has a reinforced rear fender that is sturdier than the original.
- 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
GXL Commuter V2 Review Introduction
The GoTrax GXL Commuter V2 is a ridiculous value and an improved version of the GXL Commuter that we rated the Best Electric Scooter Under $300. At the time however, the V2 was over $300 and didn’t qualify for consideration in this category. It would have won otherwise.
The GXL Commuter V2 has the safety and ride quality features we stress the most:
- Disc brake
- 8.5” pneumatic tires
- Front lighting
Furthermore this scooter falls into weight / range sweet spot. At 26 lbs, it is a very portable scooter and great for multi-leg (bus, train, subway) commute because of its maneuverability.
GXL V2 Performance Testing Video
The GXL Commuter V2 comes with front regenerative and rear disc brakes.
The front regenerative brake is decent, but the real star of the show is the rear disc brake.
Unlike the original GXL Commuter, the rear disc brake is now operated by a traditional, easy-to-use hand lever. This is way more natural and allows you to ride in different positions. We also like that it increases safety by allowing your left hand to always be at the ready for braking.
Here at the Electric Scooter Guide, we are all about safety. GoTrax did an awesome job incorporating disc brakes into an electric scooter at this price point. Most other competitors at this price point (and even much higher) have only a single braking system and often not reliable ones.
A 250 W brushless DC motor propels the scooter and allows decent acceleration and top speed. At this price, motors do not exceed 250 W. If you are approaching the 220 lb. weight capacity, don’t expect any miracles. Keep in mind that going up steep hills will be slow. However, you can supplement the motor with a few kicks on an incline, and you will be able to conquer most urban ascents.
If you exceed the weight limit, the Swagger 5 is another good option with a 330 lb. weight capacity.
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 … well its actually pretty good. When launching from a start under full throttle, you’ll notice a slight delay until the motor has detected your initial kicks — then surprising acceleration until you quickly top out around 16 mph. Don’t get us wrong, this scooter is no Zero 10X, but is by no means sluggish.
The GoTrax GXL Commuter V2 has a manufacturer-claimed range of 12 miles. Our test data, along with owner reports suggest that it will be closer to 6 (aggressive riding) to 10 miles (conservative riding) on a full charge. Keep in mind that cold temperatures, hills, frequent stops, and higher speeds will all decrease range. If you do run out of battery power, the scooter is light enough and the deck is low enough to the ground that it will function as a normal kick scooter.
If you need more range, consider the Xiaomi Mi M365, which is in the next price category.
The GXL Commuter V2 is a case study in good design. We weren’t expecting much, but were pleasantly surprised and are huge fans. Overall, the scooter has minimal and well-though out controls. There aren’t any unnecessary knobs, levers, or switches that plague many over-designed electric scooters. The folding mechanism is solid. When the scooter is unfolded, everything feels solid. When we road it for this review, we experienced no creaking or slop.
Assembly is a quick and easy with the included tools. Even if you aren’t mechanically-inclined, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Finally, the good design even extends to the packaging. We’ve received plenty of test scooters that get destroyed in transit because they use generic packaging. The scooter gets bounced around in transit and you have to deal with the return when you excitedly open the package. GoTrax went with custom form-fitting packaging that ensured the GXL V2 arrived in pristine condition and there were no tears.
The scooter has one forward-facing LED light and a rear reflector, but no rear light. Similar to other scooters (and unfortunately what we’ve come to expect), the LED is not very bright. For commuting at night, we recommend attaching extra forward and and rear lights.
Learn more about accessories for improving your visibility.
The display LED is bright and minimalist. It provides speed and battery status. Brakes are controlled on the left of the handlebars via a left hand lever. The accelerator is a thumb-operate knob on the right. We really like the feel and design of the accelerator knob. It allows excellent motor control and you don’t risk accidentally accelerating when grabbing onto the handlebars (like some index-finger operated designs).
Power on/off, lights, and “gear” are controlled by a single tiny red button located in the center of the stem. The handlebars are somewhat narrow, but still wide enough to allow you to assume a fairly natural posture. However, keeping the handlebars somewhat short also allows the scooter to be portable and compact for storage.
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 is good. When you consider the price it’s amazing.
The latching mechanism (which holds the scooter folded for transport) was a little finicky, but after some adjustment was solid. Unlike the original GXL Commuter, the plastic fenders are reinforced and less likely to brake or scrape with use.
This review will get a long-term use update, but after fairly extensive test riding we haven’t experienced any build-quality related failures. This scooter should be reliable for daily commuting (updates to follow if we discover otherwise).
The GoTrax GXL Commuter V2 is a ~$30 more expensive version of the crowned best cheap electric scooter you can buy. It is just under $300 when on sale and you get a huge value for the price: pneumatic tires, disc brakes (now hand-operated), great build quality and fantastic design. This scooter will outlast all of its cheap rivals.
GXL Commuter V2 vs V1
If you’re debating on whether to go with the GXL V2 or original Commuter (V1), then we’ve got answers. Here are the main differences:
- GXL V2 has hand-operated disc brake and V1 has foot-operated disc brake, which we like much better
- GXL V2 has beefed-up rear fender which is less prone to breaking
- GXL V1 is about $30 less expensive than the V2 when both are on sale. We think the V2 is a much improved scooter for the extra money
Basically, the V2 has a few improvements that make a great scooter even better. We choose to spend the extra money to get them, but you might not. One thing to note is that if you want a V1 you’d better snap it up quickly. We heard from GoTrax that they are fazing out the V1 and replacing it with the V2.
Read our full review of the GoTrax GXL Commuter (V1).
GXL Commuter V2 vs Xiaomi Mi M365
The GXL Commuter V2 is the king of its price category and so is the M365. The main differences between these two scooters are:
- The M365 has greater range (19 miles) compared to the V2 (12 miles)
- The M365 has blue-tooth enabled smartphone information display (though we prefer not to have our phones out when riding)
- Though both have similar top speed of 16 mph, the M365 can be firmware flashed for improved acceleration and top speed. Top speed can be increased to around 20 mph.
Basically for about 50% more, when both units are on sale, you’ll get a bit more range with the M365 and the possibility of unlocking performance with modifications. If you’re just trying to get a reliable scooter for a short commute, then V2 will serve you well. If you want a bit greater range or wanter to be a scooter hacker, then go with M365.
Read our full review of the Xiaomi Mi M365.
GoTrax GXL Commuter V2 Technical Specifications
|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||4 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|