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NIU KQi3 Max Electric Scooter Review

The KQi3 Max is a beyond-capable scooter with ample power and range for challenging commutes, but there are cheaper options out there.

in Electric Scooters
Founder & EV Reviewer
NIU KQi3 Max review featured image
8.8
Our Rating
View Full Ratings chevron-down
9
Speed
9
Acceleration & Hills
10
Range
8
Portability
9
Ride Quality
10
Build Quality
8
Safety
8
Features
8
Value

Our review score is based on thorough real-world testing and is always held up against comparable models.

How We Test
Key Specs

Values marked with '*' are based on our independent testing and may differ from those specified by the manufacturer.

Top Speed
23 MPH*
Range
31.1 miles*
Motor
450 W
Battery
608 Wh
Tires
9.5"
Weight
46.3 lbs
Quick Take
The NIU KQi3 Max is one of the best hill-commuters under $1,000. It is comfortable, powerful and reliable, but price relative to performance isn't the best.
What we like
  • checkmarkExcellent built quality
  • checkmarkSmooth ride
  • checkmarkSelf-healing tires
  • checkmarkA-tier motor performance
  • checkmarkComfortable for large riders
  • checkmarkGood warranty
  • checkmarkApp and over-the-air updates
  • checkmarkEasy-to-use folding mechanism
What we don't like
  • crossA little heavy
  • crossLow ground clearance
  • crossMore pricey than NIU alternatives

We took the NIU KQi3 Max through over 400 miles of test riding. We benchmarked its performance and stress-tested crucial components to determine if this electric scooter is worth buying. Tag along as we review the KQi3 Max and compare it to popular alternatives.

The KQi3 Max is NIU's flagship electric scooter. While we've previously recognized the NIU KQi2 Pro and KQi3 Pro as dependable commuting scooters, the KQi3 Max elevates that benchmark by offering enhanced power and increased battery capacity.

Its build is almost identical to the rest of the KQi3 lineup, but its upgraded internal hardware sets the scene for better performance.

Let's dive into our review of the NIU KQi3 Max.

NIU KQi3 Max Overview

In a moment, we'll dive into our in-depth performance tests, but first, let's understand the main specifications of the KQi3 Max.

Motor Power36V, 450W rear motor (900W peak)
Battery48V, 12.7 Ah = 608.4 Wh
Weight46.3 lbs (21 kg)
Max Load265 lbs (120.2 kg)
Tires9.5" x 2.5", tubeless pneumatic
BrakesDual disc brakes, electronic regen braking
Weather ResistanceIP54

Speed & Motor Performance

Closeup of the motor on the NIU KQi3 Max

The NIU KQi3 Max has a 48V 450W rear motor with a peak output of 900W. It has an advertised top speed of 23.6 MPH (38 KMH).

A distinguishing feature of the Max, when compared to other KQi3 models, is its more powerful motor. It boasts a motor that is nominally 100W more powerful than the KQi3 Pro and 150W ahead of the KQi3 Sport. This directly boosts speed, acceleration, and hill-climbing ability.

The KQi3 Max has four riding modes: E-Save, Sport, Custom, and Pedestrian. Modes can be switched at the press of a button to unlock or limit speed to your needs.

Additionally, US users can enjoy the cruise control and zero start functionality, which can be toggled via the Bluetooth app.

Top Speed Test

Using a high-accuracy GPS performance logger, our 175 lbs (79 kg) test rider measured a top speed of 23 MPH (37 KMH). Although it's a tad below the stated maximum speed, the deviation is minor, and lighter riders should likely achieve that benchmark.

ModelTop Speed$/Speed
NIU KQi3 Max
$749 USD
23 MPH
(37 KMH)
$32.57/MPH
Segway Ninebot Max G30P
$699.99 USD
18.4 MPH
(29.6 KMH)
$38.04/MPH
NIU KQi2 Pro
$449.98 USD
17.3 MPH
(27.8 KMH)
$26.01/MPH
NIU KQi3 Pro
$599 USD
19.7 MPH
(31.7 KMH)
$30.41/MPH
TurboAnt V8
$549.98 USD
19.41 MPH
(31.2 KMH)
$28.33/MPH
TurboAnt X7 Max
$449.98 USD
19.55 MPH
(31.5 KMH)
$23.02/MPH
Atomi Alpha
$379 USD
20.8 MPH
(33.5 KMH)
$18.22/MPH
fluid CityRider
$399 USD
17.9 MPH
(28.8 KMH)
$22.29/MPH

The KQi3 Max tops the charts in terms of top speed on single-motor scooters under $1,000 USD. However, its speed-to-cost ratio isn't nearly as good as many of the alternatives. While the top speed is a step up from many competitors, so is the price.

Acceleration Test

acceleration test on NIU KQi3 Max
play

We ran in-depth acceleration tests of the NIU KQi3 Max. The averages below are based on 10+ runs.

IntervalAverageBest
0-15 MPH (24 KMH)4.36 s4.00 s
0-20 MPH (32.2 KMH)8.89 s8.38 s
0-23 MPH (37 KMH)11.9 s11.28 s

Our test rider averaged 15 MPH in 4.36 seconds (best: 4 seconds). He hit 20 MPH in 8.89 seconds (best: 8.38 seconds), and the top speed of 23 MPH was reached in 11.9 seconds (best: 11.28 seconds).

Model0-15 MPH0-20 MPH
NIU KQi3 Max4.36 s8.89 s
Segway Ninebot Max G30P5.85 s-
NIU KQi2 Pro8.83 s-
NIU KQi3 Pro4.82 s-
TurboAnt V88.51 s-
TurboAnt X7 Max8.29 s-
Atomi Alpha6.71 s11.82 s
fluid CityRider8.24 s-

Holding these results up against the competition, the KQi3 Max reigns supreme. It accelerates notably faster than the KQi3 Pro and halves the 0-15 MPH time of the KQi2 Pro.

It is much faster of the mark than the Turboant V8 and X7 Max, and the Segway Ninebot Max G30 can't keep up either.

Hill Climb Test

We tested the KQi3 Max on a 250-foot (76 m) hill with an 8% gradient. The scooter held an average speed of 14.8 MPH and completed the climb in 11.5 seconds.

ModelTimeSpeed
NIU KQi3 Max11.5 s14.8 MPH (23.9 KMH)
Segway Ninebot Max G30P28.8 s5.9 MPH (9.5 KMH)
NIU KQi2 Pro30.48 s5.6 MPH (9 KMH)
NIU KQi3 Pro24.4 s7 MPH (11.2 KMH)
TurboAnt V829.2 s5.8 MPH (9.4 KMH)
TurboAnt X7 Max26.3 s6.5 MPH (10.4 KMH)
Atomi Alpha25.3 s6.7 MPH (10.8 KMH)
fluid CityRider30.1 s5.7 MPH (9.1 KMH)

The comparison is night and day. The KQi3 Max paces to the top in less than half the time of its competitors.

Motor Performance Summary

As expected, the NIU KQi3 Max outperforms almost all single-motor commuter scooters under $1,000 USD in all motor tests.

With its enhanced motor, the KQi3 Max is an optimal choice for challenging commutes, whether that entails navigating steep inclines or catering to heavier riders who seek performance headroom to transition quickly between points A and B.

The NIU KQi3 Max will serve riders up to 240 lbs (109 kg) really well with solid performance. Riders above that will likely feel a noticeable drop in performance. Still, the scooter is rated for loads of up to 265 lbs (120 kg), and I am confident it can support that.

While this scooter offers solid motor power, it treads close to the entry-level dual-motor space, with scooters like Splach Twin and Varla Pegasus being similarly priced. Both have dual motors and will undoubtedly outperform the KQi3 Max. Therefore, if the additional weight doesn't pose a concern, those alternatives merit consideration.

Range & Battery Performance

Closeup of charging port on NIU KQi3 Max

The KQi3 Max has a 48V, 12.7 Ah battery with an effective capacity of 608.4 Wh. NIU claims a max range of 40.4 miles (65 km) for the scooter.

The battery pack is located in the deck, giving the scooter a low center of gravity, which is beneficial for ride stability and handling. NIU uses 18650 cells which is the most common type of cell seen in the industry. Some newer models are moving to 21700 cells, but the 18650-cell technology is proven to work well.

NIU uses a proprietary battery management system called "7th NIU Energy smart power tech" to protect against battery-related safety hazards.

The NIU KQi3 Max comes with a 108W charger (53.5V, 2A), and it takes around 8 hours to charge the battery fully.

The KQi2 Pro charger has 70W output power, and the Turboant V8 and X7 Max have 84W. Therefore, they charge slower comparatively. The Segway Ninebot Max G30 charges faster at 121W, however.

Battery Capacity Comparison

One of the main strengths of the KQi3 Max is its high battery capacity.

ModelBattery Capacity$/Wh
NIU KQi3 Max
($749.00 USD)
608 Wh
(48V, 12.7Ah)
$1.23/Wh
Segway Ninebot Max G30P
($699.99 USD)
551 Wh
(36V, 15.3Ah)
$1.27/Wh
NIU KQi2 Pro
($449.98 USD)
365 Wh
(48V, 7.6Ah)
$1.23/Wh
NIU KQi3 Pro
($599.00 USD)
486.7 Wh
(48V, 10.1Ah)
$1.23/Wh
TurboAnt V8
($549.98 USD)
540 Wh
(36V, 15Ah)
$1.02/Wh
TurboAnt X7 Max
($449.98 USD)
360 Wh
(36V, 10Ah)
$1.25/Wh
Atomi Alpha
($379.00 USD)
360 Wh
(36V, 10Ah)
$1.05/Wh
fluid CityRider
($399.00 USD)
360 Wh
(36V, 10Ah)
$1.11/Wh
Based on current best prices (updated every 24 hours)

The KQi3 Max has 10% more battery capacity than the Segway Ninebot Max, 22% more than the KQi3 Pro, and 50% more than the KQi2 Pro.

It also beats the Turboant V8's 540 Wh battery by 12% and the X7 Max by 51%.

Regarding battery capacity relative to price, some options beat this scooter with a notable margin. It isn't excessively expensive, however.

Range Test

Actual range performance can vary significantly from battery capacity. From my experience testing numerous scooters, elements like scooter weight, the quality of the battery, and riding efficiency all affect range.

To better understand the capabilities of the NIU KQi3 Max, our test rider ran three range tests at varying speeds.

Test (#)RangeAvg. Speed
#1: Speed Priority24.6 miles
39.6 km
19.5 MPH
31.4 KMH
#2: Regular31.1 miles
50.1 km
15.1 MPH
24.3 KMH
#3: Range Priority35.9 miles
57.8 km
12.2 MPH
19.6 KMH

Test #1 puts focus on speed. In this test, we try to go full throttle as much as possible. Holding an average speed of 19.5 MPH, we got 24.6 miles of range.

Test #2 balances speed and fuel economy. Averaging 15.1 MPH allowed us to cover 31.1 miles.

Test #3 is all about maximizing range. At a shy 12.2 MPH, we got 35.9 miles of range.

Range Comparison

To contextualize our results, we ran the same three tests for all competitor scooters. Here's how they stack up:

#1: Speed Priority

ModelRangeAvg. Speed
NIU KQi3 Max24.6 miles
(39.6 km)
19.5 MPH
(31.4 KMH)
Segway Ninebot Max G30P27.6 miles
(44.4 km)
17.0 MPH
(27.4 KMH)
NIU KQi2 Pro17.2 miles
(27.7 km)
16.4 MPH
(26.4 KMH)
NIU KQi3 Pro17.9 miles
(28.8 km)
18.1 MPH
(29.1 KMH)
TurboAnt V818.9 miles
(30.4 km)
17.8 MPH
(28.6 KMH)
TurboAnt X7 Max13.4 miles
(21.6 km)
17.9 MPH
(28.8 KMH)
Atomi Alpha16.3 miles
(26.2 km)
17.9 MPH
(28.8 KMH)
fluid CityRider15.4 miles
(24.8 km)
15.8 MPH
(25.4 KMH)
Test #1 (Speed Priority)

Surprisingly, despite having a slightly smaller battery, the highly efficient Ninebot Max G30 beats the KQi3 Max by 3 miles in our speed priority test. The difference likely comes down to the lower average speed held, however.

#2: Regular

ModelRangeAvg. Speed
NIU KQi3 Max31.1 miles
(50.1 km)
15.1 MPH
(24.3 KMH)
Segway Ninebot Max G30P30.3 miles
(48.8 km)
14.7 MPH
(23.7 KMH)
NIU KQi2 Pro19.8 miles
(31.9 km)
14.9 MPH
(24 KMH)
NIU KQi3 Pro23.5 miles
(37.8 km)
14.9 MPH
(24 KMH)
TurboAnt V821.3 miles
(34.3 km)
15.1 MPH
(24.3 KMH)
TurboAnt X7 Max15.4 miles
(24.8 km)
14.8 MPH
(23.8 KMH)
Atomi Alpha18.9 miles
(30.4 km)
15 MPH
(24.1 KMH)
fluid CityRider16.9 miles
(27.2 km)
14.3 MPH
(23 KMH)
Test #2 (Regular Speed)

In our second test, average speeds fall closer together. This time, we see the KQi3 Max beat all competitors.

#3: Range Priority

ModelRangeAvg. Speed
NIU KQi3 Max35.9 miles
(57.8 km)
12.2 MPH
(19.6 KMH)
Segway Ninebot Max G30P34.5 miles
(55.5 km)
11.9 MPH
(19.2 KMH)
NIU KQi2 Pro22.3 miles
(35.9 km)
12.7 MPH
(20.4 KMH)
NIU KQi3 Pro26.9 miles
(43.3 km)
12.5 MPH
(20.1 KMH)
TurboAnt V825.4 miles
(40.9 km)
12.6 MPH
(20.3 KMH)
TurboAnt X7 Max18.2 miles
(29.3 km)
12.5 MPH
(20.1 KMH)
Atomi Alpha21.2 miles
(34.1 km)
12.9 MPH
(20.8 KMH)
fluid CityRider18.8 miles
(30.3 km)
11.8 MPH
(19 KMH)
Test #3 (Range Priority)

The third test shows the same result as the second. The KQi3 Max once again offers the most range on a charge.

Range-Weight Ratio

ModelRangeWeightRatio
NIU KQi3 Max31.1 miles46.3 lbs0.67 miles/lb
Segway Ninebot Max G30P30.3 miles41.2 lbs0.74 miles/lb
NIU KQi2 Pro19.8 miles40.6 lbs0.49 miles/lb
NIU KQi3 Pro23.5 miles44.8 lbs0.52 miles/lb
TurboAnt V821.3 miles47.6 lbs0.45 miles/lb
TurboAnt X7 Max15.4 miles34.2 lbs0.45 miles/lb
Atomi Alpha18.9 miles36.8 lbs0.51 miles/lb
fluid CityRider16.9 miles31 lbs0.55 miles/lb

Based on our second range tests, the KQi3 Max offers much range compared to its weight. In fact, its 0.67 miles/lb is only surpassed by the Ninebot Max G30 at 0.74 miles/lb.

Essentially, this ensures that you aren't lugging around a scooter with excessive weight that doesn't translate into tangible performance.

Battery Performance Summary

With 31.3 miles of real-world mileage, the NIU KQi3 Max is a true long-range beast.

This scooter is well-suited for the average individual's demanding commute of up to 30 miles. There might be a minor reduction in range for riders weighing over 220 lbs (100 kg). However, based on our calculations, such riders can confidently expect to cover at least 25 miles on a single charge without any concerns.

Riders edging near the 265 lbs max load capacity should expect around 20 miles of real-world range.

Even though the KQi3 Max is a jump in price, it is justified by its equal jump in performance. If you need the extra range, there is no question that it is worth it.

Ride Quality

Riding the NIU KQi3 Max
play

Despite the lack of spring suspension, the NIU KQi3 Max does everything else right to make it an ultra-stable and smooth ride.

Tires & Suspension

Closeup of front tire on NIU KQi3 Max

The KQi3 Max features beefy 9.5" x 2.5" tubeless pneumatic street tires. They provide an excellent blend of traction and comfort in urban environments but don't encompass off-road riding.

The tires are almost identical to those of the KQi3 Pro. However, NIU advertises the Max's tires as being "self-healing." All marketing conundrum aside, this means the tires have a gel lining inside that greatly reduces the risk of punctures and allows the tires to hold air for longer.

This is a very welcome addition that we rarely see in the industry. The Ninebot Max G30 is the only obvious competitor that utilizes gel lining.

rear tire of NIU KQi3 Max

It should be said that a similar result can be achieved on other scooters with tire slime. Still, it is nice to see just how rigid these tires are to wear.

The KQi3 Max has no additional suspension system. However, most entry-level spring suspension scooters perform poorly as the springs are cheaply made. The Segway Ninebot G2 is one of the few exceptions, however.

Braking

The NIU KQi3 Max packs a lot of stopping power. It has two mechanical disc brakes that work seamlessly with adjustable regenerative motor braking.

Some will argue that the scooter would do just fine with low-maintenance drum brakes, but disc brakes generally feel smoother and are more responsive for challenging commutes or rain rides.

We tested the brakes by measuring the stopping distance to see how much of a difference this setup makes.

Braking test on NIU KQi3 Max
play

We averaged a stopping distance of 10.4 ft (3.2 m) over ten runs.

ModelBraking Distance
NIU KQi3 Max10.4 ft (3.2 m)
Segway Ninebot Max G30P12.6 ft (3.8 m)
NIU KQi2 Pro14.6 ft (4.5 m)
NIU KQi3 Pro10.4 ft (3.2 m)
TurboAnt V813.9 ft (4.2 m)
TurboAnt X7 Max15.2 ft (4.6 m)
Atomi Alpha15.9 ft (4.8 m)
fluid CityRider16.3 ft (5 m)
Braking from 15 MPH (24.2 KMH).

Holding it up against the competition, these results are excellent. The only scooter that can keep up on braking performance is the KQi3 Pro, which has the same braking setup.

Anything under 15 ft is okay, but stopping distances increase on uneven and wet roads, so if you plan to ride in the rain, you may want a dual disc brake option like the KQi3s.

The regen braking feels exceptionally smooth. There is no jerkiness or noticeable input lag, and its strength can be adjusted via the app to match your preference.

Deck

NIU KQi3 Max deck

I really want to highlight the beautiful, roomy deck on the KQi3 Max. The flat surface area measures 20" x 6.8" (50.8 cm x 17.3 cm) but the deck arches at the front and rear.

The rear arch serves well as a footrest, enabling better weight distribution during acceleration or braking. Additionally, it allows you to alter your stance throughout your commute, which is beneficial since keeping the same stance for extended durations can be fatiguing.

The deck has a textured rubber surface mat which is comfortable, provides water resistance, and is easy to clean.

Closeup of lower part of the NIU KQi3 Max

This electric scooter has 2.5" (6.4 cm) of clearance from the ground to the underside of the deck compartment.

With minimal ground clearance, caution is needed when encountering height-varied obstacles like curbs and potholes. However, a low ground clearance doesn't come without its benefits. In fact, it plays an important reason in why the NIU KQi3 Max feels so good to ride.

A low center of gravity ensures optimal handling and stability. The difference is night and day from stem-battery scooters.

Overall, the ingeniously designed deck offers ample space to accommodate riders of all shapes and sizes.

Cockpit

Cockpit on NIU KQi3 Max

The KQi3 Max boasts a wide, minimalistic cockpit that measures 21.3" (54.1 cm). This is wider than most competitors, which makes for a comfortable, confidence-inducing ride for small and big riders alike.

The distance from the deck to the cockpit is 39.4" (100 cm). Although it's non-adjustable, it suits riders ranging from 5'5" to 6'5" comfortably.

Grips

The first thing I want to highlight is the rubber grips. They're soft, and with a twisted texture, they ensure a strong grip even when the road gets bumpy.

While some may favor larger handles that cover the palm, these slim grips appeal to a broader range of people. After extensive riding, I have experienced no discomfort or strain with these grips.

Right Handlebar

Right handlebar on NIU KQi3 Max

The right handlebar houses a brake lever and a thumb throttle. The brake lever feels sturdy, and it required no initial tuning to function optimally.

The thumb throttle responds promptly without noticeable lag, allowing for easy, gradual adjustments. It features a soft textured rubber pad on top to keep your thumb comfortably in place, preventing strain over long periods of use.

Left Handlebar

Pressing the left brake lever on the NIU KQi3 Max

The left handlebar has an additional brake lever and a mechanical bell. While the bell could be louder, it serves its purpose effectively.

Dashboard

NIU KQi3 Max dashboard

In the center, there's the LED dashboard/display. It's large and bright, displaying crucial ride information like speed, battery level, and speed modes.

NIU chose a simplistic design with a single button for controlling the main functions, which can be further refined through the app. The dashboard user experience is simple and easy to understand.

Ride Quality Summary

Overall, the ride quality is superb on the NIU KQi3 Max. Due to its low center of gravity and wide tubeless pneumatic street tires, it handles excellently.

The wide handlebars and spacious deck make for a reassuring ride experience for riders all the way up to 265 lbs. The cockpit is also highly intuitive and simplified for usability.

With dual disc brakes and regen braking, stopping performance is among the best in its class. Power delivery is smooth and lag-free; multiple features can be dialed in to match your needs.

Portability

NIU KQi3 Max folded

At 46.3 lbs (21 kg), the KQi3 Max isn't the lightest scooter out there. However, it offers solid performance relative to its weight, and clever design solutions make it a fairly portable scooter.

Weight & Dimensions

ModelWeight (lbs)Weight (kg)
NIU KQi3 Max46.3 lbs21 kg
Segway Ninebot Max G30P41.2 lbs18.7 kg
NIU KQi2 Pro40.6 lbs18.4 kg
NIU KQi3 Pro44.8 lbs20.3 kg
TurboAnt V847.6 lbs21.6 kg
TurboAnt X7 Max34.2 lbs15.5 kg
Atomi Alpha36.8 lbs16.7 kg
fluid CityRider31 lbs14.1 kg
Based on our own high-precision weight measurements.

The KQi3 Max is heavier than most comparable scooters, but it is warranted in its increased performance.
In comparison, it is:

  • 11% heavier than the Max G30P
  • 13% heavier than the KQi2 Pro
  • 3% heavier than the KQi3 Pro
  • 30% heavier than the Turboant X7 Max
  • 3% lighter than the Turboant V8

However, as we mentioned earlier, only the Max G30P beats it on range relative to weight.

Unfolded, the scooter measures 21.3 x 46.9 x 46.5 in (64.9 x 143 x 141.7 cm).
Folded, it measures 21.3 x 19.7 x 46.5 in (64.9 x 60 x 141.7 cm).

While its form factor is slightly larger than some alternatives, it is an obvious design choice to deliver a more comfortable ride for a wider audience.

Folding & Carrying

Folding the NIU KQi3 Max
play

The KQi3 Max has one of the most streamlined folding mechanisms on the market. Not only is it extremely rigid when riding, but it is also easy to operate without using too much power.

A safety pin adds an additional layer of protection, ensuring that the mechanism doesn't open itself by accident when riding.

Folding point on the NIU KQi3 Max

One of the most genius design solutions of the KQi3 Max is the locking point at the rear of the deck. The stem folds down and slots into this connection point, and - most importantly - it stays in place until you press the release button.

Way too many scooters have awkward folding solutions that require an unnecessary amount of precision to lock components into place. Also, only a select few have a release button, an added safety layer.

The weight distribution of the scooter is even, and as the stem runs parallel with the deck when folded, carrying is quite easy.

Build Quality & Safety

Logo on the NIU KQi3 Max

The NIU KQi3 Max is an expertly built electric scooter focusing on dependability and resilience. Its build leaves little to desired in terms of sturdiness and safety.

The construction of the Max closely mirrors that of the rest of the KQi3 lineup. It truly embodies the adage "Don't fix what isn't broken," or perhaps more aptly, "Don't fix something nearing perfection."

Due to its upgraded motor, the KQi3 Max has a high 265 lbs (120.2 kg) max load capacity. This effectively means it is built to withstand heavy loads over a long time.

Frame

The frame of the scooter is largely made from high-quality aluminum alloy. It is one of the most common frame materials in the industry due to its high strength-to-weight ratio.

Exposed aluminum parts are surface-coated for increased heat dissipation and corrosion resistance.

It is clear that lots of stress testing and simulations have been conducted to create the best design possible.

Fenders

Fenders on the NIU KQi3 Max

The KQi3 Max proudly displays robust, thick plastic fenders, expertly crafted with a design that merges form with function. Their smart angling is crucial in efficiently dispersing water, ensuring minimal splashes.

The rear fender, hugging the contours of the rear tire closely, bestows the scooter with a sleek, streamlined look.

While an additional contact point on the rear fender with the scooter frame could have been a nice touch, it's understandable why it's omitted. It'd make it hard to access the rear disc brake, and finding the tire nozzle could prove to be a headache.

Kickstand

Kickstand NIU KQI3 Max

The KQi3 Max has an appropriately sized kickstand that feels solid without being tough to operate.

Its placement is ideal considering the weight distribution of the scooter in an upright position. This is the ideal balance point for the build.

Kickstands have a reputation for being fragile in the industry, prompting us to test its durability by flipping it 500 times. Impressively, the kickstand retained its rigidity just as when we first unveiled the scooter from its box - a true endorsement of its lasting durability.

Folding Mechanism

NIU KQi3 Max folding mechanism

Revisiting the folding mechanism, it emerges as one of the most well-implemented features of the KQi3 Max. The ease of operation is great, and it doesn't flex or wobble when riding.

We've encountered scooters with folding mechanisms that felt smooth initially but declined in performance rapidly, becoming rough or loose.

We put this mechanism through a rigorous test of 100 folding cycles. Impressively, its performance remained stellar, as robust as when first tested. Truly built to last.

Weather Resistance

Like its little brother, the KQi3 Pro, the Max has an IP54 weather resistance rating.

IP54 Rating chart

If the numbers mean nothing to you, the first digit describes the level of protection against solids (from 0-7). A score of 5 is solid. This means the scooter is protected against critical ingress that could affect electronic components.

The second digit is widely considered to be the most important in the electric scooter industry. A score of 4 is fair. It means the scooter is protected against unpressurized water splashes from any direction.

So what does this mean in a real-world situation? The scooter can handle city rides with occasional light rain. However, you should avoid heavy rainfall and standing water.

You must also wipe it dry after every ride to ensure no water creeps into the electronics over time.

Alternatives like the Apollo Air and Segway Ninebot Max G30P have a higher IP rating, so if you plan to ride in the rain regularly, you may want to consider them as alternatives.

We've tested the KQi3 Max in light to medium rain for 30+ minutes with no issues, but remember that water damage is not covered under warranty.

Lights & Visibility

NIU KQi3 Max lights at night

The KQi3 Max boasts a dependable and luminous lighting setup. With numerous reflectors and reflective stickers strategically placed, it ensures good visibility in traffic, promoting a safer ride.

NIU labels its scooter lights as "always on," and rightfully so - the headlight and taillight emit a dim glow even without activating the lights feature. While it may seem trivial, this design caters to the legal requirements of many countries and regions mandating lights to be on at all times. It's nice to see NIU's emphasis on adhering to legislation through thoughtful features like this in their design.

Headlight on NIU KQi3 Max

The KQi3 Max has NIU's signature halo headlight. It is positioned just below the cockpit and can be angled downward to illuminate the road better without blinding other road users.

taillight NIU KQi3 Max

One of the only visible upgrades from the KQi3 Pro is the improved taillight. It is wider, and most importantly, it doesn't rattle. We had that issue when testing the Pro, so it is nice to see that NIU has addressed it.

It flashes bright as you engage the brakes to show other road users you're slowing down.

The only feature left to desire is the inclusion of turn signals. It's rare to find them at this price point, and often, when present, they aren't well-executed. Nonetheless, we hope that NIU will prioritize integrating turn signals in their future models, enhancing safety and communication on the road.

Smartphone App

NIU has a smartphone app for iOS and Android that extends the scooter's functionality and provides over-the-air firmware updates.

Some electric scooter apps can feel gimmicky, but NIU rises above that perception by offering some genuinely useful features.

Not only can you track in-depth ride data, but you can also keep an eye on your battery level more accurately. We also love that you can track how many charge cycles you've run on a battery.

The smart lock functionality works great in conjunction with a physical lock, and having the ability to adjust the top speed and electronic braking strength allows you to fine-tune the scooter to your needs.

The app also works as a gateway for quick after-sales support and a substantial FAQ section to help you get the right answers quickly.

In all our tests, we've only run into one app bug. The issue arose when we had multiple KQi scooters turned on for Bluetooth at the same time near our smartphone. However, this is a rare situation, and NIU is frequently updating the app to address issues.

Warranty

The NIU KQi3 Max has a very favorable warranty. NIU clearly trusts their scooters as they offer a 2-year limited warranty on purchases through their official online store.

The warranty is segmented as follows:

  • 2 years - Main body (battery, motor, controller, display, fork, frame, charger)
  • 6 months - Accessories (brakes, throttle, other non-daily consumable parts)
  • 3 months - Consumable parts (bell, fender, lights, kickstand, footpad)

You'll have to look long and far for a scooter under $1,000 USD with a 2-year warranty period. With an NIU scooter, you can rest assured you'll be riding for several years with a reputable company behind you.

Verdict - Who Should Buy The NIU KQi3 Max?

NIU KQi3 Max

The NIU KQi3 Pro is ideal for riders of all sizes who need a reliable commuting electric scooter with more performance than its alternatives.

This electric scooter is for people who value longevity, ride comfort, a good warranty, and ample safety features.

On top of that, it blends enough range and motor power to carry riders up to 265 lbs through demanding and hilly commutes. Acceleration is great, and the top speed leaves headroom to get faster from A to B.

Some alternatives offer slightly more performance relative to price, but the KQi3 Max is expertly designed, and the attention to every little detail makes for an elevated riding experience.

For those residing in regions with frequent rainfall, consider an alternative such as the Apollo Air. The KQi3 Max has an IP54 rating, which may not offer sufficient water resistance.

Full Specifications

Our Tests

Top speed23 MPH (37 KMH)
Acceleration
0-15 MPH
Avg: 4.32 s
Best: 4.00 s
Acceleration
0-20 MPH
Avg: 8.89 s
Best: 8.38 s
Acceleration
0-17.3 MPH
Avg: 11.9 s
Best: 11.28 s
Hill climb
250ft @8%
11.5 s (14.8 MPH)
Range (speed priority)24.6 miles (39.6 km)
Range (regular)31.1 miles (50.1 km)
Range (range priority)35.9 miles (57.8 km)
Braking distance
15 MPH - 0 MPH
10.4" (3.2 m)
Handlebar Width21,3" (54.1 cm)
Deck-to-handlebar39.4" (100 cm)
Unfolded size21.3 x 46.9 x 46.5 in (64.9 x 143 x 141.7 cm)
Folded size21.3 x 19.7 x 46.5 in (64.9 x 60 x 141.7 cm)
Ground clearance2.5" (6.4 cm)
Deck20" x 6.8" (50.8 cm x 17.3 cm)

Manufacturer Specifications

BrandNIU
Top speed23.6 MPH (38 KMH)
Motor power (nominal)450W
Motor power (max)900W
Motor Voltage48V
Range40.4 miles (65 km)
Battery48V, 12.7 Ah, lithium-ion
Battery capacity608 Wh
Charging time8 hours
IP ratingIP54
Weight46.3 lbs (21 kg)
Max load265 lbs (120.2 kg)
Tire typePneumatic, tubeless, self-healing
Tire size9.5" x 2.5"
SuspensionNone
BrakesDual disc brakes, electronic regen
Throttle typeThumb throttle
LightsTaillight, headlight
Other featuresApp, speed modes, cruise control, regen brake, smart lock

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