When the second the Turboant X7 electric scooter was offered up for review, I jumped at the chance. This not-quite-pocket rocket is currently retailing at $449.99 and, if you ask me, is worth every cent. Why? Because the money you’ll save on city travel with this little beast is going to pay for the Turboant X7 many times over.
So, what makes it such a great little travel buddy? Well, it is economical and environmentally friendly, and it is great fun to ride. That’s what. But I’m sure you’ll want all the gory details about the X7. Fortunately, I’ve tested it for you! Here’s what I found out about this little city slicker.
Made for the City
If you are expecting a stand-on electric scooter to be able to get you cross-state, you will be bitterly disappointed. Why? Well, the X7 scooter isn’t really designed for long-distance travel. It is intended to be used for short-distance commutes across the city. The range of 25 km/16 miles (under optimum conditions) is probably just enough to get you to work easily and quickly, particularly if you live and work in the same city.
This is the great thing about the Turboant X7, though. It is designed to allow you to get around your locale without having to use public transport or jumping in the car to make a short journey for a few groceries. It is this environmental slant that really draws me to electric-powered vehicles.
With a maximum speed of 32 km/h (20 mph), I find that the X7 is pretty darn rapid. There is very little weight to the scooter when in motion. So, it is a dream to ride without feeling you could lose control at any moment. You can use any of the three speed modes (more on that later) to customize your journey, taking a slower more relaxed approach, or zipping through backstreets at top speed to get to your destination quicker.
A Convenient Hop-On Ride
With the above in mind, the X7 is a very convenient device. You can head to work on it, fold it up, and store it out of sight in your office. If you store it next to a power outlet, you can plug the whole scooter in and charge the battery that way. If you can’t store it in the office, then you can pop out the removable battery and charge it at any power outlet. See?! Convenient!
As mentioned, it also folds up. Well, to a degree, anyway. You can fold the front stem and handlebars right back with a click of the lock, and the handlebar then hooks into the rear mudguard. This is useful, as you can then carry it onto a train or up a flight of subway steps (should you need to). However, it is worth noting that the X7 weighs 32 pounds—so some people might find this a little cumbersome to lift. The dimensions when folded are 41.6 × 16.5 × 17.7 in (unfolded dimensions are 41.6 × 16.5 × 45.9 in). If you do find that you are unable to lift it fully while it is folded, you can leave one wheel on the ground (it doesn’t matter which) and roll it along the floor.
The real convenience lies in the effort required to ride the device. Even if you need to go out at short notice, simply unfold the X7, turn it on, jump on the deck, and off you hurtle (sonic boom optional). A quick turn of your thumb and you’re up to top speed in no time. If you need to stop, there is a handy kickstand underneath to keep the scooter steady.
A Familiar Design
If you have been researching electric scooters, then you may feel as though you’ve seen the Turboant before. That is probably because you’ve spotted the Xiaomi M365. And they look almost identical to one another, apart from a couple of welcome little changes.
The scooter looks as one might expect a stand-on scooter to look. It has a front and rear wheel (the front wheel houses the driving motor and electromagnetic brake, the rear wheel has the disc brake), connected by a generously sized deck. This has a textured rubber top panel that grips to ensure your safety when in motion.
The rear wheel has a mudguard that can be depressed with the foot to act as an additional brake in an emergency. The axle housing for the rear wheel has two red LED lights, which flash when the disc brake is activated. The fork for the front wheel has two white reflectors. Safety first, etc.
Both wheels, it is worth noting, boast tubeless pneumatic tires. They are pumped up using a Schrader valve, the attachment for which is provided (but the pump itself isn’t). I haven’t had any need to change the tires but, as they are sealed, you are best to ask a professional to fix any puncture your tires might pick up. They’ll need to replace the sealant for you. Unless, of course, you already know how to do it.
The front of the scooter has the battery housed in its stem (accessed via a button-close hinged lid at the top), with a charging point located at the front complete with rubber seal. I found this seal to be a little loose, which obviously raises concern if it pops out when you’re riding, particularly if it’s raining. The scooter has an ingress protection rating of IPX4. This makes it good for water splashed from all directions, with limited ingress permitted.
I didn’t test it in the driving rain we’ve had in the U.K. for the past month, as the manual says not to use it in rainy conditions for safety reasons. I’m not sure it could cope with a massive downpour with that sort of rating. That said, it would be a pretty miserable experience even if it was 100% water-tight because, well, your clothes aren’t.
However, housing the battery in the front stem is a two-stroke of genius. (I’m not apologizing for that pun.) This is where Turboant has improved on Xiaomi’s design. See, the Xiaomi has its battery stored below the deck. This means there is less clearance below the scooter for tackling curbs and such. The X7 has no such problem, as the battery isn’t housed here. Clever! The battery is easily removed from the stem tube—it pulls out via a ribbon on the top.
Just above the wheel is the folding lock for the scooter stem. This is a quick-release clamp that locks the stem in place, ready to ride, and keeps it securely in position when you jump on board. I found this really easy to operate, and there was no wrangling with the thing to try and fold the scooter up or lock the stem in its upright position.
At the top of the stem is the digital display, flanked on either side by the handlebars. These are of the screw-on variety. I’d have liked to have seen the ability to fold these in towards the stem for storage, but this feature is lacking here. As a result, when you fold the scooter up, the handlebars stick out quite far … at perfect ankle-cracking height. I can’t see other people being too happy if you are on the aforementioned train and they were banging their legs on your scooter as they scramble to alight the train.
The left handlebar has the brake handle, which operates the rear disc brake (this is likely opposite on bikes purchased in the United States, as the rear brake is found on the right side in America), as well as a very cheerful-sounding thumb-operated bell. This is used to alert people that you are approaching, much like a bell on a pedal bicycle. The right handlebar has the throttle, which is essentially a bright red thumb-switch that increases the speed when you depress it.
The throttle-switch has additional controls: the power button and an options button. The options button has multiple functions. Firstly, it is used to switch speeds between “slope-climbing gear,” “medium-speed gear,” and “high-speed gear.” We’ll talk more about speed modes when we discuss the performance of the X7.
The options button can also be pressed twice in quick succession to activate the front light. This is located at the front of the stem (duh), and is covered by a plastic disc to prevent dirt and moisture from building up around the bulb.
Overall, the design feels solid. I trusted the X7 while I was riding it which, considering I was hurtling along on the thing in a T-shirt and light cotton combat trousers, is a great thing. Nothing rattles unpleasantly, and it doesn’t creak or groan if you hop it off a curb, either. It is a well-made little scooter.
The X7 performs very well. It has a 350W motor, which is powerful enough to deliver top speeds quickly, while also giving the scooter enough torque at “slope-climbing speed” to tackle relatively steep hills. I live near the bottom of such a hill and found that, while I don’t actually know the gradient of this hill, the scooter coped fine working its way up. It is worth noting that the top speed achievable in first gear is only 12 km/h (7.5 mph), and I managed to get about 9 km/h (5.5 mph) out of it on my “test hill.” Perhaps it is steeper than I perceive it to be, though.
“Medium-speed gear” is cruising speed. It isn’t very fast, but it also isn’t very slow either, at 28 km/h (17 mph). This is a nice speed if you’re not in a rush say, for example, if you are heading to meet friends at a nearby park or beach. You’re also less likely to hurt anyone if you accidentally clatter into them when you’re riding the X7.
However, it is “high-speed gear” where this little monster really gets going. This is, as you might imagine, the most fun gear to ride in. Think of it as the sport-mode of the X7. Depressing the throttle when you have this gear active, you really do take off from a standing stop. Thrust is high in this mode and it impossible not to crack a big silly grin as you fly off down the street at an almost-instant 32 km/h (20 mph).
It is of note that, in all gears, holding down the throttle for a continuous 5 seconds will put the scooter into “cruise mode,” which is accompanied by a loud beep so you know it is operational. Here, it will maintain the max speed of the gear you’re riding it. This allows you to just zoom along at a steady pace. Cruise mode is stopped by simply pressing the brake.
Obviously, if you are going to be speeding up and down on the X7, then you need good brakes. Thankfully, you can come to a very timely stop if you apply both the disc brake and the additional mudguard brake simultaneously. I never really feel the need to use the additional brake, though. This is a mechanical (or cable-actuated) brake, so it’s easy to replace in the event that the cable snaps and won’t be anywhere near as expensive as repairing or replacing a hydraulic brake system.
As far as battery power is concerned, the 25 km max-distance that Turboant claims rings true. I used it to make a journey to visit my mother. The distance between the station at which I exited the train and her house is around 10 km. (I took the coastal road as it has a wide footpath.) The battery lasted the journey back and forth—a total of 20 km/12.5 miles— easily, with one bar left on the battery indicator. I managed to run the battery flat over two more kilometers the following day, meaning the battery delivered 22 km/13.6 miles altogether. If you use the gears appropriately and efficiently, then you’ll likely get the full 25 km/15.5 miles out of it.
In terms of charging time, I found the 6.4 Ah lithium-ion battery was fully boosted from flat in just under 5 hours. Turboant gives us a figure of between 4-6 hours for a full charge, so again this is true to its word. You receive a charger with the scooter that plugs into any power outlet to load the battery with juice.
The battery cost me in the region of $0.66 to fully charge. (I can’t give an exact figure, as I was using other mains-powered devices in my home at the time, so this is a best guess.) You can actually also buy extra batteries at a cost of $139.99 each. That way you are, in effect, improving the range of the X7—doubling it if you have a spare fully-charged battery in your bag.
The LED screen is nice and bright in both light and dark conditions. (Although thanks to its blink-rate, it was impossible to photograph in the required detail, so check out the video above instead.) This means that you can always see the speed you are traveling and the battery level, along with whatever speed mode the scooter is actually in. Apparently, it also displays a spanner icon if it is faulty but, as I never had a fault, I never saw that icon.
So, What’s the Verdict?
Given that the Turboant X7 has sold out in its Germany warehouse (bad luck, Europe), and it is still available in the United States, I would urge you to order one. The solid design, combined with the competitive price point and the removable well-positioned battery, make this an excellent choice in a market that is quickly becoming saturated with almost like-for-like products.
Also, the fact that it is electrically powered makes it a viable environmentally friendly device, post-production, at least. Any device that can offset the waste created during manufacturing by being more carbon neutral post-production, is a winner in my eyes. If you fancy literally taking your life out of your own hands, then why not check out some of the best electric skateboards for commuters, travelers, and daredevils.
Here’s What We Like
- Really economical to run
- Environmentally friendly
- Easy to control
- Folds away for storage
- Brilliant battery placement
- Tubeless tires
- Great fun to ride
And What We Don't
- Can't fold handlebars in toward stem
- IPX4 water resistance seems a little low