Every boat owner needs a good trolling motor, and if you’ve been in the market for a top notch piece of equipment to add your fishing boat, then you may be stuck on which is the best. So, in this article, we’ll be comparing minn kota vs motorguide to help you decide which of these trolling motors is the best one for your needs.
Minn Kota vs Motorguide – Comparison
The main differences between the Minn Kota and Motorguide trolling motors really come down to features. While both of these are spot lock trolling motors, and they’ll both allow you to use auto-pilot to navigate to pre-recorded fishing spots, the Minn Kota comes out ahead in other areas.
Not to mention, Motorguide often makes you pay extra for these features when they are included with the Minn Kota trolling motors, so keep that mind mind when comparing prices. Motorguide is also missing out on arguably the best feature of the Minn Kota Ulterra, which is the remote stow and deploy.
The Minn Kota also tends to perform better in weeds, thanks to its design and power trim feature, which allows you to raise or lower it in shallow channels. These trolling motors are also much quieter than Motorguides, which seem to creak, groan, and alert you to their presence at every opportunity.
If you’ve ever had to maneuver a boat through small channels of water and constantly stop to pull weeds out of it…then you’ll know why we like the Minn Kota motor so much.
Editor’s Pick: Minn Kota Ulterra Trolling Motor
The Minn Kota is hands down, the best electric trolling motor on the market. So, unless you have a very specific reason for using the Motorguide, for example, you need something that works with a different kind of fish finder, then we’d recommend the Minn Kota.
While some anglers feel that the Motorguide’s aluminum shaft makes it more durable, this isn’t the whole story. In fact, in many cases, aluminum shafts tend to bend if they hit anything solid, such as a hidden log. Minn Kota’s composite shaft is just as strong, but it’s also lighter.
Plus, believe it or not, some people claim to have actually bent the composite shafts back into place, where the aluminum shaft was completely ruined after the collision!
Minn Kota’s trolling motor is also chock full of awesome features that just leaves the Motorguide a little lacking in our opinion. If you purchase the Ulterra, you’ll be able to take advantage of the best features that Minn Kota has to offer, and many anglers say they’ll never go back after using a Minn Kota on their fishing boats.
If you want the full story on both of these trolling motors, then keep reading, otherwise, you can compare features and check prices for Minn Kota here.
This is our recommended product, but if you’d like to go a little more in-depth, then we’ve written a full review below that you might find useful when making your decisions.
We’ll dive a little deeper in the features, and even provide a few design points which you may not have considered, including an analysis for each brand.
Motorguide Trolling Motors Review
There are many people who will argue that Motorguide is simply the best motor around, and eventually, you’ll find that it’s a lot like debating the merits of Fords and Chevys. Everyone thinks one is better than the other, mostly through anecdotal evidence, and honestly, they could be right!
In many cases, “how good” a product is depends on your use case for it and how you treat your gear. So, take any advice you read online, from us or others, with a grain of salt and keep your own usage in mind.
In short, when it comes to longevity and quality, there are fans in both camps, and the truth is, that Motorguides can and will last just as long as a Minn Kota, and some people actually find that a simpler motor is better for them, because there is less stuff to break.
Motor guide trolling motors do tend to be a little bit cheaper, but not by much, so if you’re a fan of the Minn Kota’s more advanced features, then you shouldn’t cheat yourself out of them to save a few bucks in our opinion.
However, if you’re in the market for a trolling motor that is just, well, a trolling motor, then the Motor guide could fit the bill. This is especially true if you’d prefer to use a Lowrance fish finder over a Humminbird, because that’s what Motorguide is compatible with.
Unfortunately, it seems that Motorguide’s set up is not as easy to use as the Minn Kota/Humminbird pairing, and some anglers have expressed frustration when trying to get the two devices to play nice with each other.
Though the most annoying part of Motor guide motors is that you’re required to buy features which are included with Minn Kota motors ala carte. This includes the wireless foot pedal, the lift assist kit and the pinpoint GPS kit.
However, if you don’t need nor want some of these features, then this could be a perk for you, as it means you can simply opt to not purchase them, saving a bit of cash in the process. If you plan to utilize these features though, then know that the sticker price for the Motorguide will not be the end price for you in this case.
- Works with Lowrance Fishfinders
- Less stuff to break
- A bit cheaper than Minn Kota
- No remote auto stow and deploy
- Pinpoint GPS not included
- Wireless foot pedal not included
- Lift assist not included
- Doesn’t work with Humminbird
- Performs poorly in weeds
Minn Kota Trolling Motors Review
If you’re in the market for a trolling motor that has all the bells and whistles, then the Minn Kota won’t disappoint. This is especially true if you invest in the Ulterra, which includes a pretty awesome function that Motorguide just can’t compete with, remote auto stow and deploy.
It’s a pretty great feature. Especially if you’re tired of hurting your back or almost falling overboard in choppy waters trying to get the motor back into the boat. This motor also comes with ‘Power Trim’, which is a remote feature that allows you to adjust the depth of the motor using the remote.
This feature is insanely useful when navigating shallow channels, and it’s one of our favorite Ulterra features. Though the Minn Kota is already better at navigating weeds than the Motorguide, and if you don’t want to spend your entire trip picking weeds out of the propeller, then the Ulterra is well worth the additional cost.
Though, even if you can’t justify the cost of the Ulterra, Minn Kota does still have some cheaper options, which are still superior to the Motorguide. These motors include features that Motorguide makes you purchase separately, including wireless remote features and lift assist to save your back.
The Minn Kota also comes with better imaging capabilities, and by investing in one of these motors, you’ll be able to take advantage of Mega Down Imaging, which gives you a crystal clear picture under the bottom of your boat, allowing you to more easily identify prime trophy fish habitats.
PS. While we recommend the Ulterra, since it offers the most premium features, we’ve also done a write up comparing the different models that Minn Kota offers if you’d like to see the difference between their offerings.
- Remote stow and deploy
- Bluetooth enabled
- Built-in Mega Down Imaging
- Works with Humminbird
- Works better in weeds
- Remote prop height adjust
- Control via Smartphone
- Most features come standard
- More expensive than Motorguide
- Doesn’t work with Lowrance
- More stuff to break
What About Customer Service Though?
Minn Kota Offers a 2 year warranty across the board for all of their motors.
Motorguide’s warranty varies depending on the motor purchased and ranges from 1 – 2 years for lower-end models and top out at 3 years for the higher end models.
Minn Kota also tends to be a little more generous in the customer service department, with anglers reporting they are more likely to send out free parts to correct issues.
On the flipside, Motorguide seems to be a bit more stingy in this department. So, if no questions asked customer support is important to you, then you most likely won’t get it with Motorguide.
One other note, if you think you’ll need to use a service center for your motor in the future, then you might want to check their map. Depending on where you live, finding a service center for either brand can be iffy, and local availability may help influence your decision.
The Verdict: Both are pretty good motors, but Minn Kota Is Better
While we personally prefer the Minn Kota, the truth is that they’re both pretty good motors. In most areas, they are neck and neck, but the Minn Kota has a couple of key features that push it over the edge for us and make it our top pick.
If you prefer to run Lowrance electronics, or if you simply prefer a no-frills kind of trolling motor that offers durability and ease of use, then the Motorguide is still a good choice.
When it comes to durability, and the motor’s ability to do its job, then Minn Kota vs Motorguide quickly turns into a personal preference question, rather than an argument with any real substance.
However, if you want all the bells and whistles, including premium down imaging, remote stow and deploy, and better maneuverability in shallow waters and grassy areas, then the Minn Kota is the winner, hands down.
PS. In many cases, you can get the best deal on these products online since online retailers are constantly competing with each other. Check the prices for the Minn Kota here, and the prices for the Motorguide here.
In closing, when comparing Minn Kota vs Motorguide, it’s important to realize that your other gear is almost as important as your motor choice!
For example, if you’re using a Lowrance fish finder, then purchasing a Minn Kota will be a waste of great features for you. However, you might miss out on some other great stuff that the Minn Kota does, so if you’ve been looking to upgrade your fishfinder, then a Humminbird might be in your future too!
PS. We’ve also done a few other guides you might be interested in! In this one, we compare the Motorguide Xi3 to the Xi5, and in this one, we compare some popular Minn Kota Models.