NIU MQI GT EVO (2022 - on) Review
- Niu’s most powerful model so far
- Tonnes of tech and security built in
- 60-mile range and 5-hour charge time
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Niu MQi GT Evo is the sportiest scooter yet from the Chinese firm and boasts 125-equivalent performance for a 125-equivalent price.
If electric bikes fail to stir the soul like their internally combusted counterparts then the pragmatic inner-city runabout market ought to be a natural stomping ground for them. When was the last time you pursed your lips and rubbed your thighs for a petrol twist-and-go, after all?
As a tool for the job of getting you to work or college, the Niu works just fine. The twin batteries are good for around 60 miles of city riding, which is more than enough for most daily commutes, and then you can either plug the bike in for 5 hours or remove the batteries and take them inside to a 3-pin plug.
The batteries do inhibit practicality a bit as they take up the vast majority of the space under the seat, but Niu will sell you a top box to get around this if it’s a dealbreaker.
Sadly, another aspect of UK city living that all scooter owners must consider is crime, but the Niu has you covered there too with an incredible raft of security features included as standard.
If you're sold on the concept of electric power, your riding is never for pleasure and 90% of it takes place within the confines of a city, the Niu should definitely be on your radar. If not, there are better options to choose from.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The Niu is nimble enough around town with its skinny, 14" wheels and CST tyres and has the turning circle of a shopping trolley. For zipping around in traffic and up and down inner-city pavements I have no complaints. The linked brakes are also more than powerful enough for a small scooter.
The issues come when you start to apply a little more lean-angle. With a 69mph top speed, it may be tempting to see what the GT Evo is capable of in the bends but unfortunately the centre stand grounds out almost immediately. When you are riding such a quiet bike, the sound of steel on asphalt comes as a real shock.
And I'm not talking about pushing the bike out of its comfort zone with heroic and unrealistc lean angles here, even slow speed cornering in the city centre can ground you out. Whether this is the result of design or an underpowered spring on the stand, it's not good enough.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The GT Evo’s 5kW motor (equivalent to about 6.7bhp) means it's plenty fast enough to keep up with town traffic and in Sport mode will cope with short blasts in national speed limits, too.
Unlike a conventional twist-and-go 125 - where you rev the engine and wait for the CVT to feed power to the rear wheel – the Niu jumps straight off the line as soon as you’re ready. I found that I left it in Sport mode most of the time but I can see that using the less powerful modes would make sense in heavily congested 30mph or 20mph zones.
The one-button cruise control system is a nice touch too and makes it easier to stick to the speed limits on longer urban stretches.
Once you are out on the open road, the GT Evo whirrs up to around 50mph in no time and then climbs steadily but without imperative to a top speed of around 70mph depending on the conditions. It’s certainly fast enough to keep up with its petrol rivals.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Niu are a Chinese firm but they’re a long way from building knock-off versions of existing western or Japanese models. The GT Evo feels nicely put together with cool, modern styling and impressive, customisable TFT dash.
Not only that, but the Niu comes with its own Sim card which allows it to update its own software overnight (if left outside) and give you live GPS positioning and journey tracking through a mobile phone.
The keyless system is a little clunky while you’re getting used to it but works well once you are. You can change the keyless settings in the app too.
Obviously only time will tell when it comes to reliability but with few moving parts to worry about, next to no servicing and a two-year warranty, it’s difficult to see what could go wrong.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Here’s the rub: the Niu costs £4099 with the revised Government electric vehicle grant and that’s £550 more than a Honda PCX. That means you could buy a new PCX, helmet, gloves, jacket, lock, VED and insurance (provided you live outside London) for the price of the GT Evo alone.
The Niu can have as many gadgets and gizmos as it likes, but while it’s cheaper and easier to buy a petrol scooter, the majority of riders will.
In terms of electric competition, the GT Evo is almost £1000 cheaper than the slightly slower Super Soco CPx, which costs £4999 for a dual battery version. It’s £2300 cheaper than the 125-equivalent version of the Vespa Elettrica, too, so if you’re sprcifically looking for an electric scooter in this category, the Niu represents the cheaper end of the market.
As I touched on above, the Niu’s electronic spec is mightily impressive. From the app you are able to customise almost everything from the TFT display to the way the keyless ignition works (you can set it so you jump on and ride away or have to push a button on the fob to ‘start it up’.
You also get – as standard – an alarm that sounds if you move the scooter without the key and sends a notification to your phone (with customisable sensitivity), real-time vehicle location and tracking, customisable TFT dash and tyre pressure monitors. Find me a £20,000 superbike that comes fitted with all that lot!
I have to knock a star off for the lack of storage, though, especially as other electric scooters manage to have space for helmets or shopping as-well-as the batteries.
|Engine type||Niu V Motor|
|Frame type||Tubular steel|
|Front suspension||Telescopic forks, non-adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Twin shock, non-adjustable|
|Front brake||220mm Hydraulic Disc – CBS|
|Rear brake||180mm Hydraulic Disc - CBS|
|Front tyre size||90/90-14|
|Rear tyre size||110/80-14|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||-|
|Annual service cost||-|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||7 bhp|
|Top speed||69 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||60 miles|
Model history & versions
The MQi GT Evo is closely related to the less-powerful NQi GTS Pro.
Owners' reviews for the NIU MQI GT EVO (2022 - on)
No owners have yet reviewed the NIU MQI GT EVO (2022 - on).