Size is everything when it comes to technology, and smaller is generally better. It’s so important for electric trolleys that the two market leaders, PowaKaddy and Motocaddy, are locked in a size war.
Motocaddy started the “compact” trend with their M-Series a few years ago; PowaKaddy hit back last year with the Compact C2, and then C2i for 2018. But Motocaddy has just launched a whole new M family, aimed at size and space-conscious golfers. Motocaddy say that compact trolleys account for 30% of sales, and they’re expecting that to rise to 50% thanks to the new M family. So we thought it only fair to put the two leading models head-to-head to see how they measure up.
Review: Motocaddy M5 Connect electric trolley
Price: £599.99 Weight: 10kg Folded size: 650mm x 470mm x 410mm Warranty: Two years
You need to know
Motocaddy have completely redesigned the new M-Series from the ground up, and they reckon the only parts carried over from previous designs are the handle grips. A next-generation 28V power system means energy is pushed to the wheels more efficiently, which means less wear and tear on electrical components, improving life expectancy.
The M-Series has a footprint 11% smaller than the closest competitor (PowaKaddy’s C2i), but you need to invert the wheels to get to this size. The M5 is the only GPS-enabled compact trolley available. Front, middle and back distances are relayed to a GPS screen on the handle (from Motocaddy’s app on a smartphone) for 40,000+ courses.
For any product claiming to be “compact”, size is absolutely everything. So while Motocaddy say the M5’s foot print is now 11% smaller, PowaKaddy will counter with how their C2i is 20% smaller in terms of volume. We love the simplicity of the new inverted wheels; just turning them inside out reduces space taken up in a car boot or garage.
Features and options: 10/10
Where do we start? Motocaddy are so sure compact trolleys are the future that they’ve invested in a four-model range. There’s a standard M1, M1 DHC (with Downhill brake) and feature-packed M3 Pro, along with the GPS-enabled M5 Connect.
We particularly like the USB slot, which makes it possible to charge a device on the course and means you don’t need worry about Motocaddy’s GPS app draining your phone’s battery. Distance controls make it easy to navigate towards the next tee (while you head for the green), a 33% smaller lithium battery is lighter. There’s also a height-adjustable handle.
We marked down Motocaddy’s old M-Series compact trolley last year because of a five-step folding process. The new M5 has just two, making for a quicker, simpler and hassle-free set up. The M5 can also be charged with the battery either in or out of the trolley, and unlike the old model it stands or lays flat for easier storage.
Build quality: 10/10
Motocaddy have left no stone unturned in re-designing the new M-Series, taking the opportunity to beef-up the chassis with 20% bigger tubing (with some flat edges), which improves stability and rigidity. All in we reckon it’s the most solid and stable three-wheel electric trolley we’ve ever tested.
Motocaddy M5 Connect review verdict: 39/40
Motocaddy are too polite to say it themselves, but the M5 Connect is the electric trolley that changes electric trolleys. For us, right now it’s the ultimate trolley out there. It’s small and compact, just as you’d expect.
The inverted wheels are very clever and as an added extra having GPS yardages on the handle is absolutely genius. And because the system is powered by the trolley (and your phone) you don’t even need to remember to charge a GPS watch or handheld to get them. In a few years we reckon all electric trolleys will be smaller. But we’ll say it now – the new M-Series is the trolley that kick-started the trend.
Review: Powakaddy C2i electric trolley
Price: £599.99 Weight: 9.4kg Folded size: 514mm x 349mm x 560mm Warranty: Three years
You need to know:
PowaKaddy launched their first compact in 2017 and they say it was the fastest-selling trolley introduced to the market in over four years. For 2018 it’s been updated with a bigger 2.8in full colour widescreen display.
A simple two-fold set up means it’s really easy and quick to get going, and you also get a height adjustable handle, adjustable distance controls and a plug ’n play battery, which removes fiddling with cables and connectors.
We’re not going quibble over whether the PowaKaddy or Motocaddy is smaller, or which has the smallest footprint – let’s just say both are brilliant at being small.
The only thing preventing both getting a 10/10 for size is that we’d have nowhere to go if a smaller “super-compact” trolley was ever launched. We still love the C2i’s folded size and how it stands up on its own, and thanks to employing a former Dyson CAD engineer it looks very premium.
Features and options: 8/10
Some may say it’s unfair putting the top-of-the-range Motocaddy (compact) up against the single model from PowaKaddy, but the point is to show the options out there. The C2i is full of features and there’s no doubt the new screen is a decent step up in increasing desirability. A USB slot in the handle is useful for charging a phone or GPS unit, and there’s an integrated carry handle.
If you can do without the GPS, and find yourself comparing the C2i to Motocaddy’s standard M1, then it’s likely you’ll be guided by price, and the Motocaddy is £100 less (C2i £599.99 vs M1 £499.99), which makes it tough for the PowaKaddy to get a look in.
Being able to do anything without reading an instruction manual nowadays is an absolute necessity as people expect new products (especially electrical goods) to be naturally intuitive to use.
The C2i couldn’t be simpler. Clever use of yellow to highlight the parts which need to be pulled to unfold the trolley is seriously clever attention to detail. How the integrated carry handle was created before the body and not left as an after-thought reveals years of trolley designing expertise by PowaKaddy.
Build quality: 10/10
Our compact trolley test last year highlighted how the handle of the C2 was looser than the Motocaddy, even though PowaKaddy insisted this was part of the design, and it’s not changed for 2018.
It’s still reassuringly well-built though, and the general look, feel and quality are top draw. The improved build quality and customer service goes along way to explaining why PowaKaddy own the biggest slice of the UK electric trolley market right now.
Powakaddy C2i review verdict: 37/40
We loved the C2 last year – and C2i is just as good. But last year it was up against a four-year-old Motocaddy, whereas this year it’s up against a brand new model. The C2i is beautifully designed, and if you want a compact, well-built trolley you really won’t be disappointed. But if we had £600 to spend on one of these, we’d go for the M5 Connect simply because it offers more in the form of GPS