Reviews

NIU KQi2 Pro: Most Reliable Scooter Under $600

The NIU KQi2 Pro is a scooter that’s a little better than it should be for the price in just about every category, from top speed to range to hill climbing.

Voted Most Reliable Scooter Under $600 and Best All Around Value Budget Scooter.

photo of the NIU kqi2 pro electric scooter


NIU KQi2 PRO – $599

Having made over 2-million seated electric scooters, including the ones used by rental companies like Revel, it’s no wonder NIU’s budget electric scooters look and feel like real vehicles and not toys.

You can feel NIU’s electric motor-scooter roots in their build quality, and that’s an excellent thing. From 2-million mopeds to scooters, the KQi2 benefits from a company dealing with massive volume shipments.

Who Is This Scooter For?

This is a perfect scooter for entry-level riders, and it’s become one of our all-time favorites around the ESG office.

“This is one of our favorite scooters to recommend to new riders because it’s so easy to ride, and so versatile because of the longer range.”

That said, the KQi2 Pro is an excellent commuter scooter for anyone on a budget: its features and specs rise above its low price.



NIU KQi2 PRO Specs

MakeNIU
ModelKQi2 PRO
Weight40.8 lbs
Motor power (continuous)300W
Motor typeSingle motor
Top Speed17.4 mph (Manufacturer spec)
16.3 mph (ESG tested)
Range24.9 mi (Manufacturer spec)
15.7 mi (ESG tested)
Battery capacity365 Wh
Battery recharge time7 hrs
Max rider weight200 lbs
Brake typeDrum + Regenerative
Tire typePneumatic (Tubeless) + Pneumatic (Tubeless)
Suspension typeNone
Built-in lightsFront + Rear
Water resistanceIP54
UL CertificationUL2272
Top: NIU KQi2 Pro: Most Reliable Scooter Under $600

Our Full Video Review

Top: NIU KQi2 Pro: Most Reliable Scooter Under $600

NIU KQi2 PRO: Performance

Top Speed

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The ESG-certified top speed of the KQi2 Pro is 16.3 mph in Sport mode, which is typical for its price class though just short of its claimed 17.4 mph spec.

If you want to limit the top speed, you can also put it into pedestrian mode, E-Save mode, or Custom mode, which lets you select any speed below the scooter’s maximum, which is still a rare feature in the industry.

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Acceleration

Acceleration is on par with other scooters in its class, getting from zero to 15 mph in 7.6 seconds. Even in sport mode, the throttle feels smooth and gradual, so anyone will be able to handle it.

Range

On our range test course, the  KQi2 surprised us,  covering 15.7 mi in top performance mode, beating every comparable scooter on range, and average speed.

Top: NIU KQi2 Pro: Most Reliable Scooter Under $600

Braking

The NIU KQi2 Pro stopped from 15 mph in 14.1 ft. It’s strong enough to out brake every scooter in its price class, but with no possibility of going over the handlebars. They’ve done this by using a small 75mm drum brake upfront, which resists skidding, and a strong regenerative brake in the rear.

The single brake lever on the left side activates both but does require a firm squeeze to get maximum stopping power. The rear brake won’t skid under normal conditions but gives you an extraordinary level of braking control if you feel like kicking it out sideways on purpose. 

Hill Climb

The KQi2 Pro was an above-average hill climber in our super steep 10% hill-climb test, but really shines when climbing more typical 4 to 6% hills. I was able to maintain 15 mph on the steepest part of our range test course, right up until the last 2 mi. 

Ride Quality

The KQi2 Pro has the ride quality of a larger, more expensive scooter because NIU has used their extensive design experience to give the KQi2 Pro more of everything that makes a scooter feel stable and wobble-free: taller, wider handlebars, larger 10 in diameter tires, and a larger rake angle. All of which adds up to a lower chance of crashing if you take one hand off of the handlebars.

The KQi2 Pro doesn’t have suspension, but the 10 in diameter pneumatic tires do a great job soaking up bumps in the road. And, because the tires are tubeless, like motorcycle tires, they’re impervious to pinch-flats, eliminating one of the leading causes of flat tires.

PRO TIP: Set tire pressure at the lower limit of the spec rather than the 50 psi maximum. You’ll get a noticeable improvement in ride quality and a barely noticeable reduction of maximum range.

In combination with a rock-solid frame and rear-wheel drive, all of these things make the KQi2 Pro a wobble-free, rattle-free corner-carving monster that makes you just want to keep riding and riding.

Top: NIU KQi2 Pro: Most Reliable Scooter Under $600

NIU KQi2 PRO: Design, Build & Reliability

The NIU KQi2 PRO took 1st place on our Reliability Index for scooters under $600, with a score of 9.0 out of 10.

“The KQi2 Pro has tons of range for the price, and takes the win on reliability because it uses drum brakes, which last longer than disc brakes and rarely need adjustment.”

At 40 lbs, with non-folding handlebars, portability is good, and typical for scooters in its class, but certainly not ultra-portable. The stem latch is quick and easy to operate and has such a satisfying feel to it you may end up doing a double take when you encounter a component that feels as good as this, it really says something about the quality.

The cockpit of the NIU KQi2 Pro is ultra-sleek and a standout for a scooter at this price point. The dash is bright and easy to read, even in direct sunlight. In this price range and even more expensive scooters, visibility in sunlight is also often overlooked. So it is excellent to see NIU has addressed this.

Most of the feature set is pretty standard stuff, but the KQi2 really over-delivers on build quality for the price.


NIU KQi2 PRO: Is It Worth It? Our Verdict

If budget-friendly, reliable, and high-quality is your thing, then yes – the NIU KQi2 is worth it! At this price point you are getting more than you are paying for including (but not limited to) the bright and easy to read dash, outstanding water protection that makes the IP54 water resistance rating feel conservative, grip tape covered deck, comfortable thumb throttle, and cruise control.

Let’s not forget that the KQi2 warranty covers all the most expensive parts, including the battery, motor controller, and dash, for two years. This is a significant advantage when making your decision, as most less expensive scooters typically only cover the battery for six months.

It is an impressive scooter from a company we love. We think it’s one of the very best choices for new riders because it’s an easy, fun, and high-quality ride with a price and warranty that seem too good to be true.

Top: NIU KQi2 Pro: Most Reliable Scooter Under $600

Paul Somerville

Electric Scooter Guide's Editor-in-Chief is a seasoned expert in the electric scooter industry. With a wide-ranging background that includes managing scooter warehouses, selling thousands of motorcycles, and restoring high value (+1M) European sports cars, his expertise is unmatched. Having personally tested over 200 electric scooters, he offers invaluable insights and recommendations to our readers. We are fortunate to have him as part of our team, as his diverse skill set and extensive experience ensure top-notch reviews.

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