Buying an electric scooter can be challenging, especially for beginners, since many scooter brands are on the market. The NIU KQi3, for instance, offers three distinct options: Pro, Max, and Sport. This variety can make the decision even more challenging for potential buyers.
Recently, I had the unique opportunity to test and compare all three versions of the NIU KQi3. My hands-on experience with each model has given me invaluable insights that I’m eager to share with you.
In this comprehensive review, I’ll be sharing my personal experiences with the NIU KQi3 scooters, ensuring you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
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- NIU KQi3 Overview
- NIU KQi3 Performance
- NIU KQi3 Pro/Sport/Max Features
- Alternatives to KQi3
- NIU KQi3 Review Conclusions
NIU KQi3 Overview
Niu KQi3 Sport vs NIU KQi3 Pro vs NIU KQi3 Max
The first thing you notice when comparing these three scooters is their price range.
For instance, the Sport, Pro, and Max cost 599, 799, and 999 euros, respectively. However, you should note that the three scooters provide great performance relative to their price range.
Another thing you’ll notice with the three scooters is they have lots of differences, especially in power and performance.
Additionally, the KQi3 Max is more powerful than the rest with a 900W max power, while the Pro and Sport have 700 and 600 watts, respectively.
Although they have the same voltage (48V,) their rated power differs and is 300W for the KQi3 Sport, 350W for the Pro, and 450W for the Max.
Also, their batteries have varying strengths. For instance, the Sport has a 365Wh battery, while the Pro and Max have 486 and 608-watt-hour batteries, respectively.
However, they also have a few similarities.
For instance, they all have four modes:
- and e-save.
They have different ranges, charging times, and top speeds. However, they provide more than average performance for most escooters in their price range.
NIU KQi3 Specs
|KQi3 Sport||KQi3 Pro||KQi3 Max|
|Top Speed||17.4 mph||19.9 mph||20+ mph|
|Battery||365 Wh||486 Wh||608 Wh|
|Max Range||24.9 miles||31 miles||40 miles|
|Recharge Time||5 hours||6 hours||8 hours|
|Brakes||Front Disc + Regenerative Braking||Front & Rear Disc + Regenerative Braking||Front & Rear Disc + Regenerative Braking|
|Weight||18.42 kg / 40.6 lbs||20.3 kg / 44.8 lbs||21.1 kg / 46.5 lbs|
|Weight Capacity||120 kg / 264 lbs||120 kg / 264 lbs||120 kg / 264 lbs|
|Tires||9.5″ x 2.5″ Pneumatic Tubeless Tires||9.5″ x 2.5″ Pneumatic Tubeless Tires||9.5″ x 2.5″ Pneumatic Tubeless Tires|
|Lights||Front & Rear LED Lights||Front & Rear LED Lights||Front & Rear LED Lights|
|Hill Grade||15% (~9 Degrees)||20% (~11 Degrees)||25% (~14 Degrees)|
NIU KQi3 Performance
Speed and Acceleration
One thing I noticed about these three scooters is their smooth and quick acceleration, that’s way better than most other scooters in their category. I have also ridden with the NIU KQi2 Pro scooter and I must say the KQi3 models perform a bit better.
The KQi3 scooters pick up speed fairly quickly and can go from 0 to 15mph in 5.2s, which is outstanding since its throttle comes on quite smoothly.
The escooter’s acceleration is 46% quicker than its predecessor and 20% quicker than the Ninebot Max. Additionally, the scooter’s acceleration is on par with most other scooters. And it’s even quicker than the Fluid Mosquito e-scooter. However, they have different top speeds regardless of their great acceleration.
For instance, the Sport has 17.4 mph, while the Pro and Max variants have 19.9 and 20+ mph top speeds, according to the NIU’s website.
However, I noticed the e-scooter’s top speed is slightly lower than advertised.
You should also note that the scooters’ top speeds are regulated by their speed modes, i.e., the pedestrian, eco-save, sport, and customized speed modes. The last mode allows riders to customize the scooter’s top speed to their preference through the NIU’s app.
You shouldn’t underestimate the convenience of purchasing an electric scooter with good hill-climbing capabilities. And the KQi3 delivers above-average performance in this category.
The scooter’s ability to sustain a 16 mph speed during the hill climb. I tested the scooter on a 10% grade, 60m hill climb and managed to maintain a speed of 6 mph.
So I can say that the scooter can handle smaller hills. But to be honest, the KQi3 scooter is more suitable for individuals living in relatively flat locations.
Battery and Range
You can rely on all three KQi3 scooters for a daily commute like going to school, grocery shopping, strolling around the block, and as part of your last-mile commute. The scooters provide a good range per dollar, and you can rely on them to get you where you need to go.
The Sport has a 365 Wh battery that provides a 24.9-mile maximum range. The KQi3 Pro has a 486Wh battery with a 31-mile range, while the Max has a 608 Wh battery with a 40.4-mile range.
The three KQi3 scooters are great for commuters who want reliable scooters they can use for daily transportation. However, they may not be so great for individuals who like exploring and going on long adventures.
The KQi3 is one of the few e-scooters under $1,000 you’ll get with dual mechanical disc brakes. Usually, scooters in this price range have a single disc brake and electronic brake or drum brakes. So it was nice to see, that this model has dual disc brakes.
Initially, Ninebot Max held the record for braking from 14mph to 0 in a distance of 3.3 meters. Anyhill UM2 overtook the record by reducing the distance to 3.2 meters. However, the KQi3 broke and maintained the record by reducing the distance to 3.0 meters.
All KQi3 scooter variants broke the record because they have regenerative braking and dual disc brakes. The Sport model is an exception here and has a disc brake only at the front.
NIU KQi3 Pro/Sport/Max Features
Frame and Deck
NIU designed its scooters from aerospace-grade aluminum, making them sturdy and reliable. The alloy has a high yield strength and excellent fatigue resistance. As such, you can be sure to use your scooter daily for a long time without fear of breaking the frame.
The scooters have a winged deck that makes them quite appealing. However, it’s steeply angled in the rear and front, making it awkward for commuters who like resting their feet in these positions.
Regardless, the scooter’s deck is wide enough (51 by 17cm), allowing you to position your feet comfortably.
The KQi3 scooters are highly portable. I easily managed to lift them up a flight of stairs.
The scooters have an easy and quick folding mechanism with a beefy and secure stem latch. Also, the stem latch has a secondary safety clip that users can unlock, allowing them to fold the handlebars to the deck.
The scooter’s deck latch is even better than the Ninebot Max’s since it has a quick click-to-position design.
Unfolding the handlebars requires you to press the button extension, which releases the handlebars. The scooter requires little effort to operate, is sturdy, and can fit into most trunks.
Wheels and Tires
The scooter has 9.5 by 2.5 inches high-quality tires designed for city tracks.
The tires have a good grip and provide great handling. The pneumatic design provides decent comfort when riding through grassy trails, light gravel, and cracked paved tracks. However, they aren’t the best for rocky, bumpy trails.
The tires are susceptible to punctures and bursts, which is inconvenient for riders who prefer off-roading adventures.
However, the KQi3 Max has self-healing pneumatic tires made from a polymeric material that can heal when punctured. NIU chose to use pneumatic tires in place of suspension.
While the users’ standards for displays are currently over the moon, we appreciate NIU’s decision to include a display for their KQi3 series.
The display is quite simple. It has a low resolution and displays information in pixilated art-like characters. However, the design makes it easier for riders to read the information even in direct sunlight.
The display has one button that does various functions. For instance, one click turns on your scooter, and making short clicks changes the scooter’s speed modes (when the scooter is on).
Two short clicks turn the scooter’s headlights off or on, three clicks switch the distance to miles or km, and five clicks switch the scooter’s mode to pedestrian/walk mode.
The scooter has high-mounted, round headlights that work as daytime running lights and provide strong illumination when riding at night.
The headlight’s halo is always on to make the rider visible to pedestrians and other traffic. The headlight is also adjustable and can provide strong illumination for an 18m distance.
Is NIU KQi3 Waterproof?
The scooter has an IP54 rating, meaning that the design protects its electronic components from water sprays in all directions.
The design also protects it from fine dust particles that could damage moving parts. However, you shouldn’t ride the scooter in rainy conditions unless it’s unavoidable.
Alternatives to KQi3
If you are looking for something cheaper, then Niu has one good alternative – KQi2 Pro. It has a slightly less powerful motor and therefore provides a lower top speed. Also, it doesn’t provide as good range. But if you are willing to make these compromises, KQi2 Pro is also a good scooter.
If you want something more luxurious, then Niu KQi Air might be an option. Yes, it’s a bit pricier model, but it comes with a carbon fiber frame, which makes it an ultra-lightweight electric scooter.
Feel free to check out our overview article about all Niu electric scooters.
NIU KQi3 Review Conclusions
NIU KQi3 e-scooter series offers above-average performance, a commendable range, and are a dependable choice for urban commuters. Coupled with a satisfactory riding experience, an impressive warranty, and top-notch safety features, NIU has truly outdone itself with the KQi3 kick scooter range.
Now, if you’re wondering which model is right for you, here’s a breakdown:
- For the Budget-Conscious Commuter: The KQi3 Sport is your best bet. Priced at 599 euros, it offers a good balance of power and range suitable for short daily commutes. Its 365 Wh battery and top speed of 17.4 mph are more than adequate for city rides.
- For the Regular Rider: The KQi3 Pro is the middle ground, priced at 799 euros. With a 486Wh battery and a top speed nearing 20 mph, it’s perfect for those who have a slightly longer commute or enjoy frequent rides around the city.
- For the Power Enthusiast: The KQi3 Max, priced at 999 euros, is the powerhouse of the trio. Boasting a 608 Wh battery and a top speed exceeding 20 mph, it’s designed for those who crave more power and range. Whether you have a longer daily commute or simply love the thrill of speed, the Max won’t disappoint.
But I recommend you to click the links below and see the latest price because NIU often surprises its customers with deals and discounts.