Rider 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 more than 100 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.
After more than two years with the Xiaomi Mi M365, we can emphatically say that it is still the reigning king of electric scooters in 2021. Its complete design make it one of the best inexpensive scooters as well as one of the best overall. In this updated Xiaomi Mi M365 review, discover why this is still the world’s #1 award-winning electric scooter.
Our Take: Maintaining Its Reign, the M365 Is World Reknown
The Xiaomi Mi M365 has reigned supreme as the best electric scooter in the world since it hit the market in 2016. Winning a Red Dot award a year later, the M365 has historical importance, as it is the workhorse scooter selected by sharing companies to sprinkle throughout metropolitan cities around the world. For that reason, more people have experienced their first ride on a M365 than most other scooters and find it familiar and comfortable.
Since its inception, the design has been duplicated time and time again by other scooter manufacturers eager to steal a slice of the personal market pie. All across Amazon, you'll find M365 clones that sport the same simplistic, solid look and entry-level ability.
Owners remark on its excellent durability and user friendliness, with outstanding features for its weight including a rear disc brake, pneumatic tires, and a Bluetooth-enabled mobile app.
The M365 has decent real-world range of 14.6 mi and swift acceleration. It’s light enough to carry frequently and compact enough to fit into most places when folded.
Given the thousands of M365's that have performed in the sharing market and that have been purchased by individuals, it maintains its reign as the king of electric scooters on a budget.
Overall, the Xiaomi Mi M365 is a fantastic entry-level, lightweight scooter, and pound for pound still one of the best.
Xiaomi Mi M365 Review
The Xiaomi Mi M365 is powered by a 250 watt brushless DC motor with 500 watt peak power output. It accelerates from 0 to 15 mph in an impressive 6.3 seconds, according to our acceleration tests. This is almost 3 seconds faster than both the TurboAnt X7 Pro and Hiboy Max V2, which are both entry-level scooters with price tags under $500.
Unlike with many other scooters that are just emerging on the market, the Xiaomi Mi M365 has tons of rider-created support articles and videos to amp up and customize your ride. In fact, acceleration, top speed, and hill climbing capability can be increased with a simple firmware modification (check it out!).
Keep in mind that this modification may also shorten the range and decrease the battery lifetime. However, most users report that the reduction in range is ~10%, minor compared to the significantly increased performance.
The M365 had acceptable hill climbing performance but expect to slow down significantly on steep hills (over 10% grade). You may have to assist by kicking or walking the scooter, as it takes some practice kick-starting the scooter up to speed on an incline and may chug along slowly on the steepest of hills.
The M365 completed our hill climb test in 20.8 seconds with an average speed of 6.6 mph. All scooters are tested on the same 200 feet, 10% grade hill with a 165 lb rider. This represents a fairly steep, sustained climb.
We test all electric scooters on the same urban route in the scooter's highest performance mode.
In our rigorous performance tests, the M365 has a top speed of 16.7 mph, matching the manufacturer’s claim. The top speed can reportedly be increased up to nearly 20 mph by hacking the firmware.
The M365 has a 280 watt hour'] battery delivering 14.6 mi in our RG certified real-world range test.
Most other scooters that get more range are priced over $700.
The Xiaomi Mi M365 has a redundant braking system, with a rear disc brake and front regenerative brake. This is a nice combination, as some other scooters in this price class have "dual braking" that includes a hand-activated brake and a foot brake, which are the worst performing (Example: Segway Ninebot ES2).
The M365 has good braking ability, coming to a stop from 15 mph in 16.8 feet in our tests. This is about average for this type of scooter with a single disc brake.
Read more about electric scooter brakes.
The M365 has a confidence inspiring, comfortable ride. So comfortable, we'd willingly put our mothers on this scooter, as it's got quick acceleration without being jerky and has solid brakes without throwing you over the handlebars. It's a very easy scooter to jump on and ride without having to think too much, as the display is super simple (no numbers to read, just dots), and you only have one button to control other than the easy-to-operate throttle and brake. The steering feels good for this scooter's 16.7 mph speed.
While suspension would be appreciated, it's definitely not expected at this price range and would also increase the scooter's weight. The air-filled 8.5 in tires moderately absorb small bumps in the road, providing decent traction and cornering ability, in spite of having an inflation spec of 50 psi. However, this is not a scooter you'd want to take offroad, as you'll get a good brain massage on rougher terrain.
The frame feels very solid, especially considering the featherweight nature of its build. You won't hear any annoying motor whine or creak from the stem, as the ride is very silent and serene. The hand grips are large and texturized with rubber nubs that are comfortable and easy to clean. It has a single brake lever on the left handlebar which actuates the regen brake at the front and the rear disc brake.
One thing to note is that there are two problems with the way Segway designed a single brake lever to control two brakes. First, if you adjust the brake cable to a normal level of tightness, the rear brake light switch no longer activates, which means that the regen braking does not activate (and of course, the brake light also doesn't light up). Secondly, loosening the brake cable allows the lever to pull far enough to activate the brake light switch and regen brake to activate, but now the lever no longer allows the rider to use two fingers on the lever and two on the hand grip, because the lever will crush the other fingers, before you have enough braking power.
Xiaomi Mi M365 Features
The Xiaomi Mi M365 weighs just 27.0 lb, which is very lightweight. This is easy enough to carry up a couple of flights of stairs, depending on your physical condition. It would be considered an ultraportable if the handlebars folded down.
The Xiaomi folds to a compact 42 in long by 17 in wide by 19 in tall. It is small enough to fit into the trunk of most cars or fold and bring on public transportation.
The folding mechanism is quick, effective and easy to use. To tighten, you pull up on a metal lever then rotate a safety collar to lock into place. The plastic collar prevents the folding lever from accidentally being pulled down during riding, so is an excellent and simply applied safety feature.
Once locked into place, this folding mechanism feels very solid. We have had no problems with it during extensive testing after over a year's use. Other riders have reported that an aluminum tab in the mechanism can fail — a problem associated with pushing forward on the handlebars hard, particularly when coming to a stop. This problem has been remedied in newer models.
The cockpit is super clean and well designed, with excellent use of the 17 in-wide space. The right handlebar has a thumb throttle, which is our favorite style because it is the most ergonomic and comfortable for long-term riding. The left handlebar has a hand brake that controls both the front regenerative brake and the rear disc brake. You'll also find a friendly bell on the left handlebar, which has a hammer that smartly doubles as the locking latch to hook the stem to the fender for easier carrying. It's a really intelligent, thoughtful design that keeps the handlebars from feeling cluttered.
In the center of the stem, there's a very simple backlit display with four LEDs that indicate battery life. A single button controls the power, lights, and riding mode. Press once to power on the scooter, and once more to activate the lights. To toggle between eco (green light) and standard (white light) riding modes, double-press the button.
Because the display is very limited, you can view speed, distance traveled, and control other scooter vitals on your phone, through Xiaomi and other third party Bluetooth-enabled apps (available for both iOS and Android platforms). In addition to switching between metric and imperial for your speedometer and viewing your odometer, you can also enable/disable cruise control and adjust the strength of the regenerative brake, depending on the app you select.
The simplistic display actually works really well for this entry-level scooter. We don't recommend looking down at your display frequently, as anytime your eyes are looking down they're not on the road, and the M365 displays the most important vital that you need (battery level).
If you prefer a more robust built-in display, the M365 Pro and Ninebot Max models have you covered, as both sport integrated and information-rich displays.
The Mi M365 has integrated LED headlights and taillights. The front light is mounted high, helping to throw light further and increase visibility. This is an ideal position for a headlight, and is nicely recessed into the stem. The rear taillight is low mounted on the fender and tiny, but is an appreciated addition as it responds to braking and can help alert other drivers that you're slowing down.
For riding at night, we recommend additional lighting to improve visibility and safety. It's important that you can see others but also that others can see you, so adding lights to your scooter and body are a sure way of staying safe(r) on the road.
The Xiaomi Mi M365 has dual 8.5 in pneumatic (air-filled) tires. Pneumatic tires are prone to getting flats, but the major benefits of better traction and ride quality greatly outweigh this con.
Although the M365 does not have suspension, the air-filled tires provide a more comfortable, cushioned ride than even the combination of suspension and solid tires, like those on the Hiboy S2, which has 8.5 in honeycomb tires that skate on the road's surface rather than mold to it.
And flats really aren't a huge problem, as most can be easily prevented and even repaired by using tire slime. You can also keep flats at bay by properly maintaining your tires.
The M365’s deck has 17.7 in by 5.8 in of standing space with 3.5 in of ground clearance. The deck-to-handlebar height is 37.4 in, which is an average height for this price class, and suitable for most riders.
Because you're traveling relatively close to the ground, it’s possible to bottom out when riding over high curbs or ledges.
Overall, the Mi M365 is one of the most well-designed, effectively thought-out, and popular scooters in the world. It's very solid. No rattles, no squeaks. It has very good build quality considering its price, and consists of lightweight materials that feel more usable than durable (not heavy duty). With so many look-alikes on the market competing for the reward of looking the best, the Mi M365 starts to pale in comparison.
The frame has nice welds and the cable routing is clean and grommeted into place, with rubberized hand grips that mirror the rubberized texture on the non-slip deck. The folding mechanism is effective and nicely secures the scooter upright with no hassles, folding at a good place along the stem to prevent the joint from becoming a weight-bearing weak point. Overall, it feels sturdy and secure, with a IP54 that feels true, given that its nicely sealed.
However, there are many more attractive scooters in the price range that the M365 falls, since its price ranges so much based on its availability ($400 to $600). When we first took a look at the M365, the cable routing was exceptional. Having seen the cables on the more recently released Gotrax G4, which run from the handlebars and straight down the stem, through the folding mechanism, and directly into the deck, it's hard to call the M365's routing exceptional anymore.
The most common issues that riders experience with the M365 are flat tires and rear brake adjustments. As it is one of the most popular scooters on the market, there is an abundance of repair guides and replacement parts at your disposal. In fact, we've written up our own or repair, maintenance, and modification guide for the Xiaomi Mi M365.
Although it doesn't stand out on its own, you can find a plethora of customized accessories to help your M365 rise above the crowd of clones, like this kit that's intended to fortify the scooter's build and add a handy hook, this phone mount that puts your screen right above the scooter's display, and these LED strip lights.
Xiaomi M365: Review Conclusions
The M365 is the blueprint for entry-level electric scooters, pioneering the road ahead with a solid build, solid performance, and reasonable price at its inception. When it's on the lower side of its price range, the M365 is a huge value, providing all of the basic necessities and comforts you could want on a budget. When it's closer to $600, it starts to lose its edge on range and top speed and also loses much of its luster, looking too much like every other shared scooter left on the sidewalk with limited features and a cookie-cutter design.
Overall, the M365 is an exceptional scooter when you can get your hands on it, but might not feel quite up to date as its more expensive counterparts because it just isn't. It's basic in the best way, giving you what you really need to get from point A to point B, and nothing else.
If this scooter doesn’t have the features you’re looking for, look at our alternatives to the M365. You can also check out our Editor’s pick of best electric scooters.
If this scooter doesn't have the features you're looking for, look at our alternatives to the M365. You can also check out our Editor’s pick of best electric scooters.
Technical Specs Comparison
Xiaomi Mi M365
GOTRAX GXL Commuter v2
Swagtron Swagger 5
Fluid Freeride Horizon (13 Ah)
**Based on our independent performance tests which may differ from manufacturer’s claims.
Ninebot F2 Pro
Scooter with Swappable Battery!
The Scooter That Changed Everything.
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