The Swagger 5 Elite is a widely-available, nearly half-priced clone of the Xiaomi Mi M365, that is quite a good little scooter. Read this Swagtron Swagger 5 review to learn how it compared to the legendary Xiaomi Mi M365 in our real-world review and performance tests.
Swagtron Swagger 5 Review: Highlights
The Swagger 5 (full name is Swagger 5 Elite) is Swagtron’s best offering — for under $300 you get a slightly lower spec’d clone of the Mi M365. This makes the Swagger 5 one of the best-designed, best priced, and most well-rounded scooters on the market today.
- Range: 12 miles
- Top Speed: 18 mph
- Weight: 26 lbs
- Max Rider Weight: 320 lbs
- Motor: 250 W brushless DC electric motor
- Battery: 216 watt hours
- Tires: 8.5″ front pneumatic and rear honeycomb
- Brakes: Front electronic and rear disc
Also available, though less discounted, through Amazon Prime.
Review of Swagger 5 Components
The Swagger 5 has a 250 W electric motor that is surprisingly zippy and goes as soon as you hit the throttle. The motor is integrated into the front wheel and fairly quiet.
You can put the scooter in powered-start (default setting) mode via the bluetooth app which is fun for launching quickly and doing front wheel burnouts.
The electric motor accelerates quite quickly up to about 10 mph then it takes quite a bit longer to hit the top speed of 18 mph (18 mph is claimed by Swagtron and we confirmed it in our performance testing). For a short commute to work, even 16 mph feels fairly fast, and is about all you’ll need.
The manufacturer-quoted range, under ideal conditions is 12 miles.
We achieved 8.6 miles during our real-world electric scooter range testing, which simulates realistic commuting conditions:
- Frequent stops
- Powered start
- Rapid acceleration
- Riding at top speed whenever possible
This is pretty good range for such and inexpensive scooter and considering that we were basically flooring it the entire time.
Read all about our: real-world scooter performance tests for range, top speed, acceleration, hill climbing, and braking.
The rear disc brake provides solid stopping power and is aided by the front electronic brake. The electronic brake is activated as soon as the brake lever is pulled.
The brake lever doesn’t feel amazing — its a little sloppy and when you pull down on it, it feels a little sticky. This is likely due to friction between the brake cable and long housing. Additionally, the connection between the brake cable and brake calipers features a very sudden sharp bend that probably causes most of friction in the brake cable.
Out of the box, the brakes were quite loose and the tension screw needed some adjustment. Again, due to the tortuous routing of the brake cable, there is a lot of tension on the adjustment screw. This made adjusting by hand a bit difficult, but otherwise not a problem.
Overall: Swagger 5 brakes are good and functional, but a little rough around the edges.
The Swagger 5 features 8.5″ tires with the front being pneumatic and the rear being airless honeycomb structured.
Because the Swagger 5 does not have any suspension, the tires are the suspension. We universally favor pneumatic tires on all scooters, despite the risk of flats, because of their significant performance benefits.
Read more: benefits of pneumatic tires.
Those things said, the combination of pneumatic front tire and rear honeycomb tire, provides a surprisingly smooth ride on the Swagger 5. The honeycomb tires are supposed to have the benefits of solid tires (puncture resistance) while also affording the cushioning befits of pneumatic tires. They don’t provide as much cushion as pneumatic tires but aren’t bad. Unless you are riding on really terrible roads you might not even notice the difference.
We inadvertently tested the scooter in pretty moderate rain and found that the tires performed very well. The rear honeycomb tire, in particular, stuck to the pavement well and unlike some poor-quality airless tires we’ve tested in the past, the rubber is supple and provides good traction.
Handlebars / Cockpit
The cockpit features a central display that gives battery status, speed, and bluetooth pairing information. We consider this an advantage over the more expensive Xiaomi that only displays battery status and requires the bluetooth phone app for everything else.
The display design is simple and clean, however it is not very bright which makes it difficult to see in bright sunlight.
There is a single button just under the display of the Swagger 5 that is to power the scooter on, control “gear”, and turn the lights on. The “gear” is basically an electronic mode that limits the top speed of the scooter and we always leave it maxed out in gear 3. In gear 3, with enough road, you can hit 18 miles an hour.
The handle bar grips screw into the side of the stem and we found they have a tendency to spontaneously loosen, which is a bit of an annoyance.
However, we did find that being able to occasionally unscrew the handlebars was super useful when loading into a small car packed with electric scooters (you just have to be careful that a plastic ring that slips into the side of the accelerator doesn’t fall out when the right handlebar is off).
Swagger Bluetooth app
The Swagger app that allows you to connect via bluetooth to the scooter is not needed to use the scooter — and we are happy about this. We (and others) don’t want to have to have our phones out while cruising around to check speed or battery. This is despite the fact that they do throw in a free phone holder.
Like the Xiaomi Mi M365, the app and connectivity add little value to the scooter. The main benefit of the app is that it allows you to turn the front light on and off and change gear modes without having to do the morse code style power button pushing sequence.
The Swagger app also lets you “lock” the scooter by putting it in gear 0 and gives access to switch the scooter into kick or powered start mode. Kick start mode will help to extend range significantly because it takes a ton of torque to get you rolling and the motor consumes more power in proportion to torque.
The scooter has a forward-facing LED that is mounted high on the stem and rear fender lights.
As is the case with electric scooters, the rear light is mounted in a low position on the fender and difficult to see from a distance.
For anything but very occasional riding at night, we recommend additional lighting to improve your safety.
The Swagger 5, at 26 lbs and 41.5 x 17 x 19 in folded dimensions, is about as portable as any electric scooter. The folding mechanics are identical to the M365 including both the folding and latching mechanism.
Folding is quick and simple. To fold the Swagger 5, you simply rotate a plastic collar (a secondary safety feature that prevents the folding latch from inadvertently being pulled down) then pull down on a lever.
A mechanism on handlebars engages with a hitch on the rear fender, securing the stem for carrying.
Overall, build quality is very good considering this is one of the least expensive electric scooters you can buy.
Some components, like the brake lever, aren’t the best quality. The brakes needed some adjustment and the cable routing isn’t the best design. The brakes are also a little noisy. Despite these things they feel strong, safe, and effective.
However things that really affect the overall scooter experience: the frame of the scooter, folding mechanism, motor, and stem all feel very solid. The powder-coated frame and welds, in particular, seem to be nearly identical in design and quality to that of the Xiaomi Mi M365.
Swagger 5 Review: Conclusions
The Swagger 5 is an amazing scooter for the price. Compared to the ultra-popular Xiaomi Mi M365, it has all the great design features, some of the great quality features, less range, but nearly 40% less cost. It is an excellent value.
We’ve put a fair number of miles on this scooter and think this is a solid purchase at the low-end of the electric scooter market.
Also available through Amazon Prime.
If you’re still shopping around, check out our Editor’s Top 10 Best Electric Scooters.
Swagtron Swagger 5 Technical Specifications
|Weight||26 lb||12 kg|
|Folded dimensions||41.5 x 17 x 19 in||105 x 43 x 48 cm|
|Motor power||250 watts|
|Top speed||18 mph||29 kmh|
|Range||12 mi||19 km|
|Battery capacity||216 watt hours|
|Battery recharge time||3.5 hours|
|Max rider weight||320 lb||145 kg|
|Brake type (front / rear)||Electronic||Disc|
|Tire type (front / rear)||Pneumatic||Honeycomb airless|
|Built-in lights (front / rear)||Yes||Yes|