Gotrax GXL V2 Review: The Perfect, Affordable Scooter for Beginners

Gotrax GXL Commuter V2 electric scooter in public park
Man accelerating on a Gotrax electric scooter
Man riding Gotrax GXL Commuter V2
Gotrax GXL V2 handlebars with brake levers and bell
Gotrax scooter in urban environment
Gotrax GXL Commuter V2 electric scooter in public park
Man accelerating on a Gotrax electric scooter
Man riding Gotrax GXL Commuter V2
Gotrax GXL V2 handlebars with brake levers and bell
Gotrax scooter in urban environment

GOTRAX GXL Commuter v2

We review the Gotrax GXL Commuter V2 — an inexpensive, but full-featured scooter with disc brakes, decent range, and pneumatic tires. It’s a perfect scooter for beginners and currently steeply discounted.

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 13.5 mph*
Tested range: 10.1 mi*
Weight: 26 lb
Max rider weight: 220 lb
Water resistance: IP54

Highlights

Excellent value
Great feature set
Quality construction and design
Low top speed
Underpowered for larger riders

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

Our content is independent, but buying through our links may earn us a commission.

Summary

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Our Take: Excellent $300 E-Scooter for Beginners

Man accelerating on a Gotrax electric scooter

We ranked the GXL V2 as one of the best cheap electric scooters for a good reason (it has since been replaced by the newer Xr). It is well-built and has an excellent balance of weight, range, and features. The GXL Commuter V2 has the safety and ride quality features we stress the most: quality brakes, pneumatic tires, and built-in lights.

We think the GXL V2 is an ideal scooter for beginners who want something inexpensive, but functional. It is light enough for most to carry, has good brakes, decent range — yet won’t break the bank.

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 — a significant improvement. The GXL V2 also has a reinforced rear fender that is sturdier than the original.  

Best Alternatives and Competitors

Model Top Speed** Range** Weight Price
GOTRAX GXL Commuter v2 13.5 mph 10.1 mi 26 lb $299
Xiaomi Mi M365 16.7 mph 14.6 mi 26 lb $499
Swagtron Swagger 5 18.0 mph 8.6 mi 26 lb $327

** Based on our independent testing, which may differ from manufacturer’s claims.

GoTrax GXL V2 Review

Performance Summary

Results below are based on our independent performance testing and not data provided by the manufacturer.

Acceleration (0 to 15 mph)10.0 seconds
Top speed13.5 mph
Braking distance (15 to 0 mph)16.7 feet
Range10.1 miles
Hill climb20.9 seconds

Acceleration

The GXL Commuter V2 is powered by a 250-watt brushless DC motor that allows decent acceleration. At this price, motors do not typically exceed 250-watts.

The scooter lacks a zero-start feature, meaning you must kick it up to about 2 mph before the motor activates.

During our acceleration tests (165 lb rider on flat ground), the GXL V2 hit its top speed of 16 mph in 10.0 seconds. This is fast enough for most people, but if you’re used to riding more powerful scooters, this will feel a bit slow.

For comparison, the M365, one of the most popular scooters, reaches 15 mph in 6.3 seconds. However, this scooter costs $100 to $200 more than the GXL V2.

Hill Climb

We put the scooter through our standardized hill climb test (200 ft, 10% grade, 165 lb rider). It completed the test in 20.9 seconds with an average speed of 6.5 mph.

For comparison, this is very comparable to the Xiaomi M365, which reached the top in 20.8 seconds with an average speed of 6.6 mph.

The GXL V2 has decent hill performance, but 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 many urban ascents.

Keep in mind that hill climb performance (and other stats like range, acceleration, and top speed) will drop as you approach the 220 lb weight limit.

Top Speed

The Gotrax GXL Commuter V2 has a manufacturer-claimed top speed of 16 mph.

During our top speed test, we achieved a speed of 13.5 mph (165 lb rider on the flat). If you are lighter, you will get closer to the claimed range.

This top speed is on the low side for scooters in general but on par with other budget-priced scooters. We think this is fast enough for most urban commuters but might leave some wanting more.

Typically, shared scooters (e.g., Bird, Lime, Spin) will have a top speed of 16 mph. Scooters like the Xiaomi Mi M365, priced higher, also have a top speed of 16 mph.

Range

The GoTrax GXL Commuter V2 has a manufacturer-claimed range of 12 miles.

During our range test, the GXL V2 went 10.1 miles on a full battery. Our range test is performed on a standardized urban loop with frequent stops/starts, hills, rough terrain, and the same 165 lb rider. We ride the scooter as quickly as is safe and in the fastest, least energy-conserving mode. This test provides a very realistic estimate of range under rigorous test conditions.

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.

The GXL V2 packs a 187 watt hour lithium-ion battery pack.

Braking

Gotrax GXL V2 rear disc brake

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.  

During our 14 mph to 0 braking tests, the V2 had a stopping distance of 16.7-feet. This is a good result. For comparison, the M365, an excellent scooter, had a stopping distance of 17 feet.

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.

GOTRAX did an awesome job incorporating disc brakes into an electric scooter at this price point. Many other competitors at this price point (and even much higher) have only a single braking system and often not reliable ones.

Ride Quality

Overall, the GXL V2 is a fun and nimble scooter to ride on. Its tires are large enough to roll over many common road hazards yet not so large as to be cumbersome.

The GLX V2 doesn’t have a suspension, so all the damping comes from the pneumatic tires. On smooth roads, the ride quality is amazing. On rough roads, the tires will eat up a fair amount of the bumps. However, the scooter is not adept on terrible roads for long periods. Much of vibrations will be transferred to your hands and legs, which can be uncomfortable and fatiguing.

The scooter is ideal if you are spending most of your time on good-to-moderate quality roads.

Gotrax GXL V2 Features

Portability

Gotrax GXL V2 in folded configuration

At 26 lbs the GXL Commuter V2 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 in by 17 in by 14 in. While the handlebars do not fold, it is still easy to throw into the back of the car, carry upstairs, and slip under a desk at work.

Cockpit

Gotrax GXL V2 LCD display

The display LED is bright and minimalist. It provides speed and battery status. Brakes are controlled on the left of the handlebars via a lever. The accelerator is a comfortable thumb throttle 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.

Lights

Gotrax GXL V2 handlebars with brake levers and bell

The scooter has one forward-facing LED light and a rear reflector, but no taillight. Similar to other scooters, the LED is not very bright. 

For commuting at night, we recommend attaching extra front and rear lights. Learn more about accessories for improving your visibility.

Tires

GXL Commuter Front Tire

The GXL V2 has dual 8.5-inch pneumatic (air-filled) inner tube tires. The pneumatic tires will provide enough bounce for a comfortable ride, despite the lack of suspension. Pneumatic tires also have the benefit of performing well in wet conditions better than solid (airless) tires. Solid tires typically become very slippery in wet conditions.

Despite the benefits of pneumatic tires, they also have a downside: the possibility of getting flats. We think the benefits outweigh the risk. Additionally, most flats can be prevented or easily repaired. Read more: how to prevent and repair flats.

Deck

Gotrax GXL V2 tires in sand

The GXL’s deck has 18.6-inches by 6.0-inches of standing space, which generous for a smaller scooter. This gives you room to stretch out a bit on the scooter and find a comfortable riding position.

The deck to handlebar height is 37-inches. The GXL V2 has 4 inches of ground clearance.

Build Quality

The GXL Commuter V2 is a study in sound design. We weren’t expecting much, but were pleasantly surprised and are huge fans.

Overall, the scooter has minimal and well-thought-out controls. There aren’t any unnecessary knobs, levers, or switches that plague many over-designed electric scooters. The folding mechanism is robust. When the scooter is unfolded, everything feels solid. When we road it for this review, we experienced no creaking or slop.

Assembly is quick and easy with the included tools. Even if you aren’t mechanically-inclined, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Finally, even the packaging is well-designed. We’ve received plenty of test scooters that get destroyed in transit because they use generic packaging. The scooter gets bounced around during shipping, 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.

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 break.

We’ve been riding the GXL V2 on-and-off for over a year and have logged approximately 800 miles. We haven’t experienced any build-quality related failures. This scooter should be reliable for but may not stand up to the rigors of daily commuting.

Gotrax GXL V2: Review Conclusions

Gotrax scooter in urban environment

The GoTrax GXL Commuter V2 is the best, least expensive electric scooter you can buy right now.

It is often under $300, and you get a huge value for the price: pneumatic tires, disc brakes, great build quality, and fantastic design. It is the ultimate beginner’s scooter and will outlast all of its cheap rivals.

If this package doesn’t appeals to you, look at our alternatives to the GXL V2. You can also check out our Editor’s pick of best electric scooters.

Our content is independent, but buying through our links may earn us a commission.

Gotrax GXL V2 vs. Gotrax GXL Commuter (V1)

If you’re debating on whether to go with the GXL Commuter 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 a 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.

Gotrax GXL 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 (14.6-miles) compared to the V2 (10.1 miles)
  • The M365 has blue-tooth enabled smartphone information display (though we prefer not to have our phones out when riding)
  • Though both have a similar top speed, the M365 can be firmware flashed for improved acceleration and top speed. The 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 V2 Specifications

Note: These specification are provided by the manufacturer and may differ from our real-world testing.

MakeGOTRAX
ModelGXL Commuter v2
Weight26 lb
Folded dimensions39 by 17 by 14 in
Motor power, continuous250 W
Top speed16 mph
Range12 mi
Battery capacity187 Wh
Battery recharge time4 hrs
Max rider weight220 lb
Brake typeRegenerative + Disc
Tire type8.5 in Pneumatic + Pneumatic
Built-in lightsFront + Rear
Water resistanceIP54

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About the Author

Justin

Justin a cofounder of ESG and has a degree in engineering. He writes about the science and technology of electric scooters.

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