Our review score is based on thorough real-world testing and is always held up against comparable models.
Values marked with '*' are based on our independent testing and may differ from those specified by the manufacturer.
After a three-month journey spanning 300 miles, we put the NIU KQi3 Pro electric scooter under the microscope, diving deep into its performance and quality. Buckle up as we unveil how good this electric scooter is.
Rapidly rising as a dominant force in the realm of budget-friendly commuter scooters, NIU is making waves. Having previously put the KQi2 Pro through its paces, we've now subjected its successor, the KQi3 Pro, to the same rigorous evaluation.
Building on the sleek design of the KQi2 Pro, the new model aims for more: enhanced power, superior brakes, and a beefier battery fit for longer commutes. Dive into our review to see how it stacks up against its popular rivals.
Before we delve into our detailed performance tests, here's a brief overview of what the KQi3 Pro brings to the table.
|Motor Power||48V, 350W rear motor (700W peak)|
|Battery||48V, 10.1Ah = 486.7 Wh|
|Weight||44.8 lbs (20.3 kg)|
|Max Load||265 lbs (120.2 kg)|
|Tires||9.5" x 2.5", tubeless pneumatic|
|Brakes||Dual disc brakes, electronic regen braking|
The NIU KQi3 Pro runs a 350W rear motor at 48V with 700W of peak power. It has an advertised top speed of 20 MPH (32.2 KMH).
The KQi3 Pro continues the legacy of its predecessor with more motor power. In our KQi2 Pro review, we found that the motor performance was a limited factor.
The KQi3 Pro boasts four distinct riding modes: E-Save, Sport, Custom, and Pedestrian. These modes let you tailor your ride to your personal preferences and local regulations, allowing you to ease into its capabilities before unleashing its full motor power.
The US firmware version features cruise control and zero start. Zero start was one of the features we longed for on the KQi2 Pro. Being able to toggle it is a huge advantage for experienced riders.
At ERideHero, we don't just take manufacturer claims at face value. Our test rider, weighing in at 175 lbs (79 kg), benchmarked its top speed on a smooth, level stretch of asphalt.
We reached a top speed of 19.7 MPH (31.7 KMH). It's just a tad shy of the claimed top speed; however, lighter riders might very well hit that 20 MPH mark.
|NIU KQi3 Pro|
|19.7 MPH |
|Segway Ninebot Max|
|18.4 MPH |
|NIU KQi2 Pro|
|17.3 MPH |
|NIU KQi3 Max|
|23 MPH |
|19.41 MPH |
|Turboant X7 Max|
|19.55 MPH |
|20.8 MPH |
While it might not match the NIU KQi3 Max or Atomi Alpha, the KQi3 Pro comfortably positions itself in the mid-range of top speeds within its class.
Regarding speed, the KQi3 Pro successfully addresses the shortcomings of the underpowered KQi2 Pro.
Our test rider ran 10+ acceleration runs on the NIU KQi3 Pro. These were the results.
|0-15 MPH (24 KMH)||4.82 s||4.49 s|
|0-19.7 MPH (31.7 KMH)||13.5 s||12.2 s|
We averaged 15 MPH in 4.82 seconds (best: 4.49 seconds). The top speed of 19.7 MPH was reached in 13.5 seconds (best: 12.2 seconds).
|Model||0-15 MPH||0-20 MPH|
|NIU KQi3 Pro||4.82 s||-|
|Segway Ninebot Max||5.85 s||-|
|NIU KQi2 Pro||8.83 s||-|
|NIU KQi3 Max||4.36 s||8.89 s|
|Turboant V8||8.51 s||-|
|Turboant X7 Max||8.29 s||-|
|Atomi Alpha||6.71 s||-|
The KQi2 Pro is underwhelming on acceleration, but the KQi3 Pro is a huge step up. It almost halves the acceleration time to 15 MPH and beats most of its sub-500W competitors. In our tests, it is only outperformed by the KQi3 Max, which has notably more motor power.
The acceleration performance makes the NIU KQi3 Pro a practical commuter for more demanding terrain and heavier riders.
We tested the KQi3 Pro on a 250 ft (76 m) incline with an average grade of 8%. The test was completed in 24.4 seconds with an average speed of 7 MPH (11.2 KMH).
|NIU KQi3 Pro||24.4 s||7 MPH (11.2 KMH)|
|Segway Ninebot Max||28.8 s||5.9 MPH (9.5 KMH)|
|NIU KQi2 Pro||30.48 s||5.6 MPH (9 KMH)|
|NIU KQi3 Max||11.5 s||14.8 MPH (23.9 KMH)|
|Turboant V8||29.2 s||5.8 MPH (9.4 KMH)|
|Turboant X7 Max||26.3 s||6.5 MPH (10.4 KMH)|
|Atomi Alpha||25.3 s||6.7 MPH (10.8 KMH)|
Yet again, it impressively surpasses the bulk of its competition. It is 22% faster on hills than the KQi2 Pro, but the Atomi Alpha is almost as performant.
The KQi3 Max takes the crown with its zippy acceleration and torque level.
The KQI3 Pro offers ample motor performance in terms of speed, acceleration, and hill climb ability.
It beats the Ninebot Max G30P across the board, and the difference from the KQi2 Pro is night and day.
In conclusion, the KQi3 Pro is geared for more action on demanding commutes that feature hills. It'll perform nicely for riders up to 220 lbs (100 kg), at which point you may notice a notable drop in motor performance.
On flat roads, riders up to 250 lbs (113 kg) will still experience reliable performance.
The NIU KQi3 Pro has a 48V, 10.1Ah battery with a total capacity of 486.7 Wh. It has a maximum advertised range of 31 miles (49.9 km).
It boasts several welcome battery upgrades from the KQi2 lineup. Apart from having a higher battery capacity, it also has a faster charger.
Whereas the KQi2 Pro has a slow 70W charger, the KQi3 Pro has an upgraded 108W charger. This takes the charge time from 7 hours to 6 hours despite its larger battery.
It doesn't match the 121W charging setup of the Ninebot Max, but it does beat the 84W chargers of the Turboant models.
|NIU KQi3 Pro|
|Segway Ninebot Max|
|NIU KQi2 Pro|
|NIU KQi3 Max|
|Turboant X7 Max|
The KQi3 Pro has around 29% more battery capacity than the Turboant X7 Max, NIU KQi2 Pro and Atomi Alpha.
It doesn't match the capacity of the Ninebot Max (12.5% less), KQi3 Max (22% less), or Turboant V8 (10.5% less), but its capacity should be sufficient for lengthy commutes.
As far as the capacity-to-price ratio goes, the KQi3 Pro finds itself among the best in class - especially when NIU is running a sale, which they often do.
Theoretical range and real-world range can differ substantially. Many factors, including scooter weight and efficiency, battery quality, and motor power, can affect mileage.
We tested the KQi3 Pro at three distinct speeds to understand its real-world range performance. All tests were performed with medium energy recovery (regen braking).
|Test (#)||Avg. Speed||Range|
|#1: Speed Priority||18.1 MPH|
|#2: Regular||14.9 MPH|
|#3: Range Priority||12.5 MPH|
The first test focuses on speed. We try to go as fast as possible most of the time. This resulted in 17.9 miles of real-world range.
The second test balances speed and energy saving to offer the most comparable range. This test yielded 23.5 miles of range.
In the third test, we push its range by riding economically and at a lower average speed. This gave us a whopping 26.9-mile range.
We completed the same range tests for all comparable models to offer deeper insight.
|NIU KQi3 Pro||17.9 miles|
|Segway Ninebot Max||27.6 miles|
|NIU KQi2 Pro||17.2 miles|
|NIU KQi3 Max||24.6 miles|
|Turboant V8||18.9 miles|
|Turboant X7 Max||13.4 miles|
|Atomi Alpha||16.3 miles|
|NIU KQi3 Pro||23.5 miles|
|Segway Ninebot Max||30.3 miles|
|NIU KQi2 Pro||19.8 miles|
|NIU KQi3 Max||31.1 miles|
|Turboant V8||21.3 miles|
|Turboant X7 Max||15.4 miles|
|Atomi Alpha||18.9 miles|
|NIU KQi3 Pro||26.9 miles|
|Segway Ninebot Max||34.5 miles|
|NIU KQi2 Pro||22.3 miles|
|NIU KQi3 Max||35.9 miles|
|Turboant V8||25.4 miles|
|Turboant X7 Max||18.2 miles|
|Atomi Alpha||21.2 miles|
Based on our findings, we can see that the KQi3 Pro greatly outperforms both the V7 Max and Atomi Alpha.
The difference to the KQi2 Pro isn't enormous, but that can be attributed to increased energy consumption from the motor. Still, it offers a notable increase in range if you ride economically.
Despite having a small battery, it surprisingly beats the Turboant V8 in tests #2 and #3. This is likely due to lighter weight, motor efficiency, and better battery cells.
The Ninebot Max G30P and KQi3 Max hold their own, offering 30% and 29% more range, respectively.
The NIU KQi3 Pro has solid battery performance. It can cover between 20-25 miles for most riders, depending on how you ride and road conditions. It is a solid choice for riders who have longer commutes.
Riders above 220 lbs (100 kg) will start noticing a dip in range, which is an important consideration if you require more than 20 miles of range.
The KQi3 Pro will be sufficient for riders up to 250 lbs (113 kg) who need up to 15 miles of range.
Like its brand brother, the NIU KQi3 Pro offers exceptional ride quality and handling. The wide handlebars and spacious deck also make it a solid choice for bigger riders.
One of our favorite things about the NIU KQi3 Pro is its beefy 9.5" x 2.5" tubeless pneumatic tires.
Tubeless air-filled tires are considered superior in the industry for anything that isn't directly off-road.
First off, they lose air more slowly than tubed tires. They're also less prone to flats, and if you've ever had to replace a tire tube, you'll know just how much of a headache it is.
Pair these tubeless tires with a tire sealant, and you won't have to worry about checking tire pressure before every ride.
9.5" x 2.5" tires are common in the industry. They offer excellent cornering and handling while providing a large, stable contact surface to ensure your scooter doesn't slip out.
The tread on these tires is what you would consider street. This means they aren't intended for off-road usage, but they should last you longer than tires with deeper tread.
The KQi3 Pro has no suspension system. While some will consider it a bummer, it is rare to see in low-priced city commuters. Also, it doesn't affect the ride quality much. While scooters like the Turboant V8 have springs, entry-level springs are so limiting that they hardly improve ride quality.
Overall, the tire setup makes for a comfortable ride you feel safe on.
The KQi3 Pro has two mechanical disc brakes and electronic regenerative braking. This is a large step up from the KQi2 Pro, Ninebot Max, Atomi Alpha, and X7 Max.
While the argument that drum brakes are enough for 20 MPH scooters is valid, dual disc brakes provide much more stopping power, which is a deal-breaker for some riders. This is especially true for those in areas with poor road conditions.
We tested the braking distance on a smooth road from 15 MPH to a full stop 5+ times and calculated the average.
|NIU KQi3 Pro||10.4 ft (3.2 m)|
|Segway Ninebot Max||12.6 ft (3.8 m)|
|NIU KQi2 Pro||14.6 ft (4.5 m)|
|NIU KQi3 Max||10.4 ft (3.2 m)|
|Turboant V8||13.9 ft (4.2 m)|
|Turboant X7 Max||15.2 ft (4.6 m)|
|Atomi Alpha||15.9 ft (4.8 m)|
Our results show that the KQi3 Pro offers the best braking performance in electric scooters under $1,000.
Some will consider it excessive; others will say it is necessary. No matter what is true for you, the KQi3 Pro beats every competitor except the KQi3 Max, which has the same brake setup.
More impressively, the braking test was conducted with the regen brake set to Medium. As a nice bonus, the regen braking can be adjusted in strength to your preference. Some people prefer more braking power than others, so this setup leaves no riders behind.
If you want reliant, responsive stopping power, the KQi3 Pro is as good as it gets.
The NIU KQi3 Pro has a beautifully unique and spacious rubber deck. The usable flat surface area measures 20" x 6.8" (50.8 cm x 17.3 cm). However, the deck rises at an angle at the front and back.
The rear end of the deck functions much like a footrest, but instead of being a separate component, it is integrated into the deck itself, elevating its minimalistic, streamlined look.
Having an angled footrest allows you to shift your weight more efficiently when accelerating and braking.
With so much deck space available, the scooter will accommodate riders of all sizes without sacrificing comfort. Being able to change your stance every now and then is also key to avoiding strain on longer commutes.
The scooter has 2.5" (6.4 cm) of ground clearance. This is not a lot, so avoid obstacles like curbs and deep potholes if you want the bottom housing to remain intact.
As this electric scooter isn't intended for off-roading or trail riding, the minimal ground clearance is actually warranted. It gives the scooter a lower center of gravity, greatly improving handling and road safety. This is one of the crucial aspects that makes the NIU KQi3 Pro a bliss to ride.
The cockpit on the KQI3 Pro measures 21.3" (54.1 cm) across. That is roughly 5% larger than the KQi2 Pro and 12.5% larger than the Ninebot Max.
The extra width adds to ride comfort, making it a much more viable choice for larger riders than the Ninebot Max.
The deck-to-handlebar height is 39.4" (100 cm). That is ideal for the majority of riders between 5'5" and 6'5".
The rubber grips are soft and have a textured surface that improves hand grip. It isn't as ergonomically shaped as handlebars on higher-end scooters, but its thin grips make it comfortable for most riders regardless of hand size.
The right side of the handlebar houses a padded thumb throttle. It is tactile and smooth to operate, and the input lag is minimal. It is easy to ease into the acceleration and make small, gradual adjustments to your speed.
The left handlebar has an adjustable mechanical bell. It does the trick, but we prefer an integrated twist bell, as seen on the Ninebot Max as it takes up less space.
At each side of the handlebar is a brake lever to engage the disc brakes. They required no tuning out of the box and felt smooth and strong to operate. They integrate seamlessly with the regen motor brake system.
You'll find the LED dashboard/display in the middle of the handlebar. Its anti-glare properties make it bright enough to be visible in direct sunlight.
The display dims when the headlight is turned on. When riding in direct sunlight during the day, turn the headlight off for increased display brightness.
The display is large, but its angle is non-adjustable. It shows important information like speed, riding mode, battery level, Bluetooth status, and light status. A single button can be used to operate almost all settings.
The KQi3 Pro has a visor at the front, above the headlight. I reached out to NIU for some clarification. According to them, its purpose is to improve dashboard visibility in strong lights. I'm not sure it makes much of a difference apart from at an odd angle, but I'm sure their design decision is warranted.
The NIU KQi3 Pro is a blissful ride despite having no suspension system apart from its tires. It handles well and has class-winning braking performance.
Its wide handlebars and arched spacious deck make it an ideal commuting option for both small and large riders.
The cockpit is easy to understand, and over-the-air firmware updates ensure the scooter will be fit for fight and bug-free for time to come.
While not ultralight, the NIU KQi3 Pro follows suit with its class. Smart design choices make it fairly portable and easy to handle.
The NIU KQi3 Pro weighs 44.8 lbs (20.3 kg).
|Model||Weight (lbs)||Weight (kg)|
|NIU KQi3 Pro||44.8 lbs||20.3 kg|
|Segway Ninebot Max||41.2 lbs||18.7 kg|
|NIU KQi2 Pro||40.6 lbs||18.4 kg|
|NIU KQi3 Max||46.3 lbs||21 kg|
|Turboant V8||47.6 lbs||21.6 kg|
|Turboant X7 Max||34.2 lbs||15.5 kg|
|Atomi Alpha||36.8 lbs||16.7 kg|
That makes it 8% heavier than the Ninebot Max G30P, 10% heavier than the KQi2 Pro, and roughly 25% heavier than the X7 Max and Atomi Alpha.
The KQi3 Pro underscores the adage that one can't get everything in a single package. While it offers a ride that's notably more comfortable than its counterparts, it comes at the cost of added weight. You'll have to make your mind up on what's more important to you.
Even though there are lighter options, the KQi3 Pro isn't exactly heavyweight. It comes down to excessive deadweight, which the KQi3 Pro doesn't have much of. Its weight is warranted in solid build quality, a high battery capacity, a spacious deck, and wide handlebars.
It measures 21.3 x 46.9 x 46.5 in (64.9 x 143 x 141.7 cm) when unfolded. When folded, its dimensions are 21.3 x 19.7 x 46.5 in (64.9 x 60 x 141.7 cm). Its space footprint is only around 13.5% larger than the Ninebot Max.
The folding setup of the NIU KQi3 Pro is the best we have seen in its scooter category. Not only is the folding mechanism easy to operate without using excessive force, but it also has a protection pin for added safety.
Just beneath the dashboard, there's a latch point that connects to a hook on the back end of the deck, facilitating effortless carrying.
A distinguishing feature from many competitors is its lock-in-place design, which remains secure until you press the release button. This ensures that there's no accidental disengagement while transporting the scooter.
This click-to-release mechanism is a signature of NIU scooters. The design is a step up from the KQi2 Pro, especially with the more conveniently positioned button, making it even more user-friendly.
The design ensures the stem aligns parallel to the body, simplifying carrying. In contrast, models like the Ninebot Max have a stem offset to the side, creating a somewhat cumbersome carrying experience. Thankfully, this scooter avoids that pitfall.
The weight is evenly distributed, so you can effortlessly lift the scooter from any part of its streamlined stem when it's folded.
The NIU KQi3 Pro stands out as a remarkably dependable electric scooter, showcasing robust construction, meticulous detailing, and top-notch safety features.
With a max load capacity of 265 lbs (120.2 kg), the KQi3 Pro is built to handle all types of riders - even those leaning to the heavier side.
The KQi3 Pro boasts a frame constructed from aviation-grade aluminum alloy, a material commonly found in electric scooters within this price range.
NIU emphasizes that this particular aluminum alloy is not only lightweight, weighing roughly a third of steel, but it also packs a punch with its strength-to-density ratio surpassing steel by 1.3 times. Additionally, it offers superior heat dissipation and resistance to corrosion.
The KQi3 Pro showcases thoughtfully crafted, durable, thick plastic fenders. Their strategic angling ensures efficient water dispersion, effectively keeping splashes at bay.
Wrapping snugly around the rear tire, the rear fender lends the scooter a sleek, low-profile appearance. This design not only enhances aesthetics but also creates room for additional reflective decals.
We wouldn't mind seeing the rear fender have an additional contact point with the scooter frame, but it would likely obstruct access to the disc brakes and tire nozzles.
Sporting a robust kickstand, the KQi3 Pro boasts an optimally placed, sizable connection point on the deck's underside. Constructed from metal, it exudes a solidity that many rivals lack, steering clear of the flimsy feel often encountered in the competition.
Its length is ideal for the scooter body, and since the overall weight distribution is so even, the KQi3 Pro stands steadily on flat terrains and even manages to hold its ground on gentle inclines.
In our typical fashion, we subjected the kickstand to 500 cycles of folding and unfolding to test its durability. Impressively, it emerged from this rigorous test with its sturdiness intact, performing as adeptly as when we first began.
We've mentioned earlier how the folding mechanism of the NIU KQi3 Pro stands out as a masterpiece in design. It is easy to operate and feels impeccably strong. There is no stem flex or wobble whatsoever, and it doesn't require excessive force to fold/unfold.
After putting it through 100 cycles of folding and unfolding, the mechanism showed no signs of wear or diminished performance. Kudos to NIU for crafting such a durable and efficient folding system!
The NIU KQi3 Pro comes with an IP54 weather resistance rating. While this might not be the highest out there, it's sufficient for sporadic rides in light drizzles — just ensure you dry it off afterward.
The design doesn't show any evident vulnerabilities or areas needing additional waterproofing. However, it's essential to remember that water damage isn't covered under the warranty for any electric scooter.
If you need something that is more evidently geared for wet conditions, we recommend checking out the Apollo Air 2023.
Staying true to NIU's hallmark designs, the KQi3 Pro doesn't compromise on lighting and visibility. It comes equipped with NIU's iconic always-on halo headlight, complemented by a luminous taillight that intensifies in brightness when the brakes are applied.
We like that the headlight is mounted high. Not only does it illuminate the road ahead more effectively, but it also offers the flexibility to angle the beam slightly downward, ensuring oncoming traffic isn't dazzled.
We experienced some rattling from the taillight on poor-quality roads, and sadly, there is no obvious way to eliminate the problem. Based on further research, it seems to be a rare problem, as few riders have reported the same issue.
The scooter is equipped with three reflectors for increased visibility. Two are strategically positioned on either side of the stem, flanking the headlight, while the third is seamlessly integrated into the taillight.
Additionally, NIU has added four reflective stickers to the build - one on each side of the tires. It is clear that they emphasize safety and visibility. However, we have yet to see them tackle turn signals.
Like the rest of the KQi-lineup, the 3 Pro has Bluetooth connectivity. Using their fairly refined and feature-packed app, you can track ride statistics, get a deeper insight into battery levels and charge cycles, regulate speed, toggle cruise control and zero-start, and more.
One of the most useful features is the ability to customize the energy recovery strength. Since the scooter already has ample stopping power, it can feel too abrupt for new riders. In that case, it is nice to be able to turn it down. If you want to maximize range, you can increase its strength anytime.
The scooter can also be locked using the "smart lock" feature. It is definitely not a full replacement for a physical lock, but it is a nice feature to increase safety.
Most importantly, NIU pushes firmware updates that enhance your ride and address bugs directly in the app.
In our opinion, NIU has one of the most refined apps in the industry.
In the realm of warranties, NIU sets a new industry standard. For any scooter acquired from their official online store, they provide a 2-year limited warranty.
Here's how it's broken down:
Given the scooter's price, NIU's offerings stand out, especially with a two-year warranty on the battery—a rarity in the industry.
Most of the high-value components are protected under the 2-year umbrella. It's safe to assert that NIU's warranty framework is at the pinnacle of the market.
For those riders who value dependability, robust construction, and ample performance, the NIU KQi3 Pro is an excellent investment. It's definitely worth every penny for those who appreciate its merits.
It is ideal for challenging commutes and offers fast acceleration and good hill climbing ability. Its spacious design and high weight capacity will comfortably serve large riders up to 250 lbs (113 kg).
Offering 23.5 miles of real-world tested range, it can travel long distances, and with relatively fast charging, the possibilities are almost endless. With its generous visibility setup, it is also a safe option for night or early morning commutes.
NIU is a proven company in the industry, and the KQi3 Pro is a testament to their high design standards. It is fairly portable, considering the power it is packing. Ride comfort is excellent and more than sufficient for urban environments and varying road conditions.
Riders above 250 lbs (113 kg) may want to consider the more powerful KQi3 Max as an alternative. If you are heavier than that, a dual-motor option like the Splach Twin is also a solid pick.
|Top speed||19.7 MPH (31.7 KMH)|
|Avg: 4.82 s|
Best: 4.49 s
|Avg: 13.5 s|
Best 12.2 s
|34.4 s (7 MPH)|
|Range (speed priority)||17.9 miles (28.8 km)|
|Range (regular)||23.5 miles (37.8 km)|
|Range (range priority)||26.9 miles (43.3 km)|
15 MPH - 0 MPH
|10.4" (3.2 m)|
|Handlebar Width||21,3" (54.1 cm)|
|Deck-to-handlebar||39.4" (100 cm)|
|Unfolded size||21.3 x 46.9 x 46.5 in (64.9 x 143 x 141.7 cm)|
|Folded size||21.3 x 19.7 x 46.5 in (64.9 x 60 x 141.7 cm)|
|Ground clearance||2.5" (6.4 cm)|
|Deck||20" x 6.8" (50.8 cm x 17.3 cm)|
|Top speed||20 MPH (32.2 KMH)|
|Motor power (nominal)||350W|
|Motor power (max)||700W|
|Range||31 miles (49.9 km)|
|Battery||48V, 10.1 Ah, lithium-ion|
|Battery capacity||486.7 Wh|
|Charging time||6 hours|
|Weight||44.8 lbs (20.3 kg)|
|Max load||265 lbs (120.2 kg)|
|Tire type||Pneumatic, tubeless|
|Tire size||9.5" x 2.5"|
|Brakes||Dual disc brakes, electronic regen|
|Throttle type||Thumb throttle|
|Other features||App, speed modes, cruise control, regen brake, smart lock|
Rasmus is the creative lead at ERideHero. As a jack of all trades, Rasmus handles videography, photography and review write-ups as well as website development. He has tested more than 100 personal electric vehicles of all sorts across more than 6,000 miles.