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6 Jul 2021

Watch: Which? tests the Xiaomi Essential electric scooter

Find out how this e-scooter fared in our tough braking, hill-climb and acceleration tests and whether we recommend buying it

The Xiaomi Mi Essential electric scooter is one of the most popular electric scooters you can buy, which is why we included it in our recent e-scooter tests.

At £399, it's one of the cheaper electric scooters we've tested, which probably contributes to it selling in large numbers.

But of the 10 electric scooters we tested, this one was the worst performer in our acceleration and hill-climb tests. Watch our video below to find out more.

The Xiaomi Essential test results

Our electric scooter tests involved a large number of assessments.

We've broken down the results of the three main tests here, but to see the full results for the Xiaomi Essential, including top speed and whether this e-scooter is waterproof, go to the best electric scooters.

Test 1: Braking

Starting with the positives, the Xiaomi Essential can stop in a very short distance. Of the 10 scooters we tested, this one came to a standstill in the shortest distance (3.7 metres). On average, the scooters took a little over six metres to stop.

But the short stopping distance of this Xiaomi is significantly down to its lower top speed. It tops out at 12.5mph, which is low compared with the 15.5mph of most other electric scooters.

This Xiaomi also skids to a stop, which can be difficult to control. The best scooters have high-quality brakes that stop you quickly, but crucially don't make the scooter skid.

Skid marks left after our braking tests

Test 2: Hill climb

The Xiaomi Essential really struggles on hills. It can't really even handle modest gradients, and it failed to get up the 12.5% section of our test hill.

It wasn't the only scooter that struggled in our hill test, though. Two scooters failed completely, six failed on the 20% section of the hill, and only one crawled to the top of the 25% section.

If you want an electric scooter that will zip you up most hills, then take a look at the results tables in our electric scooter reviews.

Test 3: Acceleration

We completed acceleration tests over distances of 30 and 60 metres, and the Xiaomi Essential finished comfortably in last place in both tests.

If you're after a scooter that will get you off the line quickly and leave others in your dust, then this isn't it.

Which? verdict

The Xiaomi Mi Essential electric scooter is good fun to ride, simple, manoeuverable and comfortable. But it's seriously underpowered compared with the other e-scooters we tested.

Its acceleration is sluggish, its performance on our test hill pathetic, and it skids while stopping even at modest speeds.

If you're looking for an electric scooter, we'd recommend picking a different model. We tested some very good scooters in a similar price range, and if you're prepared to pay a bit more, you could pick up a Best Buy.

How we tested electric scooters

At the time of writing, you're not allowed to ride electric scooters legally on the roads or on the pavement. You need to have the permission of the landowner if you want to ride them anywhere.

This presented us with a bit of a challenge when it came to testing them. So we arranged to test them at the birthplace of British Motorsport, Brooklands Transport Museum in Surrey.

For more on how we tested them go to our electric scooters guide.