GoTrax XR Elite electric scooter review: surprisingly impressive for the money

The GoTrax XR Elite is a solid commuter scooter without the premium price tag

GoTrax XR Elite
(Image credit: Michelle Rae Uy)
T3 Verdict

GoTrax’s mid-range e-scooter line isn’t a premium ride but where it does shine, it shines brighter than many pricier offerings.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Looks stylish

  • +

    Solid build

  • +


Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No app

  • -

    Small tires

  • -

    Short range

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The GoTrax XR Elite e-scooter is the company’s mid-range offering, providing the power and endurance you would expect from the very best electric scooters while also having a trimmed-down feature set you’d expect more from low-end models.

With e-scooters becoming a prevalent mode of eco transportation, there’s now a wider variety to choose from, especially in terms of quality and prowess. It’s no longer just low-end, mid-range, and high-end anymore. Many e-scooters now straddle the line between classes and, as such, the GoTrax XR Elite is a bit of a wild card entry.

There’s certainly a lot to love here, but there are also a few things the more discerning set might find annoying. It also does some things better than other offerings in its price range. What I’m saying is this: it may not be love at first sight but give the GoTrax XR Elite a chance and you might just fall head over heels (though preferably, not literally).

GoTrax XR Elite

The XR Elite has a powerful headlight and plenty of reflectors

(Image credit: Michelle Rae Uy)

GoTrax XR Elite electric scooter review: Design

Design-wise, the GoTrax XR Elite looks great. Solid black with red trimmings, textured gray handlebar grips and a white section on the steering column bearing the word GoTrax, this e-scooter will look just as good being ridden to the office as it does when you’re running errands. Because it folds for stowing and carrying, you can safely take it up to your office for charging and safekeeping without anyone complaining.

Measuring 43x17x14.5 inches (109x43x37cm) and weighing 31.88 pounds (14.46kg), the GoTrax XR Elite is slightly more compact and lighter than other offerings. Folding the e-scooter takes a bit of getting used to and a little effort. Luckily, the unfolding part is easier. You simply push down hard on the rear bumper to release, then set the steering column upright with a bit of force. The lever should set it in place and automatically lock without needing help from you.

This e-scooter is clearly solidly built. The test unit I’ve been using for this review has taken a beating as I’ve been testing it on roads riddled with cracks and potholes, and amazingly, it’s still going. For the record, GoTrax has not given the XR Elite a ruggedness rating, so I wouldn’t recommend its constant use on such roads. But, the point is, if you have to go ride through such uneven paths, you know it’ll see you through it without falling apart.

The downside is that you will feel every bump on this e-scooter. Though its tires are supposed to have some level of shock absorption, they are only 8.5 inches in diameter, which means they can only do so much.

While the e-scooter itself feels solid, some of its smaller parts tend to rattle about, especially when the road isn’t all that smooth. In fact, the little GoTrax logo above the front tire popped off my test unit, as it’s only glued on. It’s a shame that GoTrax didn’t go all the way and anchor all of its parts well enough to withstand vibrations. Doing so would have made it a much more premium-feeling product.

A couple of other things worth mentioning here are its 6.6-inch deck platform, which is spacious enough and keeps your feet in place with its textured and rubberized top, and the small LED dashboard that keeps things simple. This dashboard only displays the battery life, the current speed, the headlight indicator, and the gear indicator, which honestly helps you focus on your ride and is appropriate considering there’s really not a lot of special features to display.

GoTrax XR Elite

Those 8-inch wheels don't give much shock absorbency

(Image credit: Michelle Rae Uy)

GoTrax XR Elite electric scooter review: Features

The GoTrax XR Elite is a bit thin on special features. There’s not even an app to utilize for things like changing modes, locking and tracking. However, what features it does have are well-executed.

To keep you safe during night rides, there’s a headlight that’s impressively bright. It’s bright enough, in fact, to keep things well-lit at least five meters in front of you. To keep you visible to bigger vehicles on the road are an LED taillight and a total of six reflectors. If you’re apprehensive about riding an e-scooter at night, the XR Elite will set your mind at ease.

It also boasts a very reliable braking system. Dual in nature, it comes with a disc brake and an anti-lock electrical brake. Combined, they are extremely effective in putting the e-scooter to a stop, even when you’re going at high speeds or downhill. In fact, I found the break on it to be a lot more effective than the pricier Segway-Ninebot MAX G30LP.

Press and hold the throttle button for 10 seconds, holding a somewhat uniform speed, and the XR Elite will activate cruise control. It’s among the features I love about this e-scooter, as it puts less strain on the thumb, wrist, and shoulder especially during longer rides.

For those all-weather riders, the XR Elite only has a waterproof rating of IP54, which basically means that it’s dust-proof and splash-proof. For this reason, I wouldn’t ride it during a downpour or when there’s minor flooding.

GoTrax XR Elite

The platform is wide enough for even the larger shoed

(Image credit: Michelle Rae Uy)

GoTrax XR Elite electric scooter review: Performance

With a 300W motor, a 36V 7.8aH high-capacity battery, and a pair of 8.5-inch tires, the GoTrax XR Elite is no slouch. In fact, for an e-scooter priced under $350 – discounted from its original $399.99 price – it’s got enough power to rival pricier models.

While its maximum speed of 15.5 mph may be slightly below the average 18.5 mph you’d see on many mid-range scooters, it’s more than enough. Especially as many places in the US won’t allow you to go more than 20mph on a public road. In California, for example, riders are prohibited from traveling over 15mph, which means you can use the XR Elite at full power and stay (pretty much) within the limits.

Speaking of speeds, the XR Elite certainly has no problem going from zero to that top speed within seconds. And, that’s without requiring you to kick it off, which I actually appreciate. Since this isn’t a kick scooter, you don’t have to give it a good kick to get going. You simply press on that throttle button and you’re off.

I have found, however, that it does sometimes require a bit of assistance getting started if it’s on a slope and going uphill. Its hill grade rating is also only 15%, which means that it will struggle to go up on steeper hills. The good news is that, on gentler inclines, it performs well and even outperforms the G30LP in terms of maintaining a decent speed. Give it a good head start at the bottom of the hill, and it’ll perform even better.

Things aren’t so rosy on non-concrete surfaces. Disregarding the fact that there’s not much shock absorption here, the tires are simply too small to get going on dirt paths, especially loose dirt. At least, it will still see you through unevenly paved roads – even if the experience will be an unpleasant one for you.

As we mentioned earlier, its braking system is extremely effective. though also extremely sensitive, which is a bit of a double-edged sword. It tends to go from moving to full stop rather quickly, and a slower deceleration requires a lighter than usual touch. This isn’t as much of an issue for the more experienced riders. In fact, they might appreciate it. However, considering the XR Elite’s price point, it’s likely to have some less experienced users who might find that braking system a bit jarring at first.

Another feature that takes getting used to here is the cruise control. Since there’s no way to turn it off, you can trigger cruise control without intending to. You might not even realize it until you’re trying to decelerate and it’s maintaining the same speed. Of course, you need only squeeze the brake lever to deactivate it, but I can certainly see how this might cause accidents with inexperienced drivers.

GoTrax XR Elite

A single brake lever controls both a disc and electric brake and is highly effective

(Image credit: Michelle Rae Uy)

GoTrax XR Elite electric scooter review: Battery life

GoTrax gives the XR Elite a battery life rating of up to 18.6 miles, which is pretty impressive considering its price. On paper, this is a long-range e-scooter that can take you across town and back – depending, of course, on the size of your town.

Sadly, that battery life isn’t as long in real-world scenarios. I found that a less than 15 minute, two-mile round trip on this e-scooter knocks a bar off its four-bar battery indicator, while a less than an hour-long trip around my neighborhood cuts it in half. Unfortunately, since it doesn’t use any apps, there’s absolutely no way to tell the percentage.

For comparison, the Segway Ninebot Max G30LP made the same less-than-an-hour trip, following the exact same route, and its battery didn’t drain as much. And that’s with a heavier person riding it.

I probably wouldn’t be comfortable riding the GoTrax XR Elite across the city, unless I have the charger with me, as well as a place and enough time to charge it before my return trip. There is one thing the XR Elite’s battery has going for it: it has a short charge time of 3 to 4 hours to full. That’s pretty fast considering others take more than six hours to charge.

GoTrax XR Elite

The design certainly looks great on the street

(Image credit: Michelle Rae Uy)

GoTrax XR Elite electric scooter review: Verdict

For a sub-$400 electric scooter, the GoTrax XR Elite has a surprising amount of power, with a decent uphill performance, an effective braking system, and small luxuries like the cruise control and the spacious platform.

Its trimmed-down feature set – with no app to speak of, no anti-theft system, and not much weather-proofing – won’t make it an instant win with the more refined commuter crowd. And while it feels like it’s built like a small tank, it’s not as seamlessly put together, which means you’ll have to put up with a noticeable amount of rattling, jerking and vibrating.

However, for this money, you must accept some compromise. For a very affordable price, The GoTrax XR Elite is reliable, sturdy and simple to use. If that’s what you’re looking for, it’s worth considering.

GoTrax XR Elite electric scooter review: Also consider

The Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter is perhaps the closest in features to the GoTrax XR Elite. It offers the same 15.5mph max speed and an 18.6-mile range. At around $480, it is slightly more expensive and has a smaller 250W motor but it weighs even less than the GoTrax XR Elite, at just over 27lbs.

If you’re buying on a tighter budget, the Segway Ninebot ES1L can be picked up for just $299.99. This is a very lightweight e-scooter, weighing just under 25lbs but only offers a maximum speed of 12.4mph and a range of a matching 12.4-miles.

If you’re looking for something faster, the Segway Ninebot Max G30LP is still the best model out there. It will do 18.6mph and has a range of 25 miles. While the retail price is significantly higher at around $770, you can currently find it for just under $647.

Michelle Rae Uy

Michelle Rae Uy is a tech and travel journalist, editor and photographer with a bad case of wanderlust. She is a regular contributor for IGN, TechRadar and Business Insider, and has contributed to Thrillist, Paste Magazine, Nylon, Fodor's and Steve's Digicams. Living mainly in California with her adorable cats, she splits her time between Los Angeles, London and the rest of the world.