In today’s article, we’ll be doing a side by side comparison of the Terrova vs Ulterra vs Ultrex. Many fisherman just aren’t sure whether they should cough up the extra cash for one of the pricier models when the Terrova is so similar in design. So, we’ve decided to help you out and compare the features of these products so you know exactly what you’ll be missing out on if you go with one motor over the other.
We’ll also talk about the differences between the Riptide version and the standard Minn Kotas a little farther down in case you’ve been eyeing one of these motors as well! So make sure to read that section if you plan to do any saltwater fishing, because there are some serious downsides to going with the Riptide. Alright, let’s get started!
Minn Kota Terrova vs Ulterra vs Ultrex – Buyer’s Guide
Minn Kota Terrova
Let’s take a look at the cheaper product on our list first. You’ll likely see when comparing terrova vs ulterra that this motor often sells for a significant discount when compared to the Ulterra, but will you miss those extra features? Let’s find out!
Both of these motors have the awesome spot lock feature. This allows you to stay locked into place on your favorite fishing spot without floating away thanks to these motor’s GPS capabilities, and it’s pretty cool.
No matter which motor you choose, you’ll also be able to take advantage of auto-pilot capabilities, and the ability to save tracks and spots in your GPS settings. However, the Terrova unit has a much smaller memory, so you won’t be able to save as many of these routes and fishing spots in the GPS. So if you’re considering the terrova vs ulterra, then keep this limitation in mind.
Both motors also include a handy foot pedal, which you can use for various operations of your motor, but the Terrova’s has less functions since it does not have stow and deploy capabilities. In the below image, you can see the pedal for the Ulterra. However, the setup is similar for both units despite the missing features.
When it comes to sonar and imaging capabilities, when comparing terrova vs ulterra, there are some major differences here as well. In addition, the Terrova does not allow you to connect your fish finder to it like the Ulterra does, which is a huge disadvantage in our opinion and not worth the discount.
If you don’t really care about having all the bells and whistles though, then you could save a bit of money by purchasing the Terrova vs Ulterra motor. Especially if you don’t currently have and have no future interest in purchasing a Humminbird fish finder, since many of the Ulterra’s best features actually require you to have one.
Some people also enjoy the simplicity of the Terrova vs Ulterra and the Ultrex. The Terrova has less fancy widgets, and that means less things to break right when you need your motor to be at your side, like during a competition. That’s not to say that the motor is unreliable, just that everything breaks eventually and that when there are more fancy parts involved, those things happen more frequently.
You can see the prices and options for the Terrova here. If you can live without the extras, then it’s certainly a great motor at a much more attractive price.
- Motor deployment assist
- Comes with foot pedal
- Less stuff to potentially break
- 2 year warranty
- Does not connect to Humminbird
- Doesn’t have auto stow and deploy
- Inferior imaging and sonar
- Less memory for itracks and spots
Minn Kota Ulterra
One of the best features of the terrova vs ulterra is called power trim. This feature is insanely useful, and you may well regret trying to save a few hundred dollars after finding out that you’re missing out on it.
What this does is that it allows you to easily adjust the motor’s depth using your remote. This is useful for navigating shallower channels and getting your boat into prime fishing locations that may be difficult to reach with a less accommodating motor.
However, it also has a really great remote stow and deploy feature. This allows you to automatically stow or deploy the motor without having to bend over and potentially fall overboard or hurt your back.
It’s an amazing feature and likely one that you’ll wish you had should you decide to not spend the extra money for the Ulterra. While the Terrova does have an “assisted” deployment feature to make it easier, it’s not nearly as effortless as with the Ulterra, which you can see in the below video.
Remote stow and deploy is always nice to have, but it’s particularly nice when the water is extra choppy. It’s also great if you have a bad back or if you don’t want to spend all your time glued to the trolling motor, like if you’re using it for a charter.
Many fishermen also say that the drive is much smoother for the ulterra vs terrova, and that it reacts similarly to a cable drive motor, and the handy remote and foot pedal make operating from anywhere on your boat an easy task.
The Ulterra also has a major upgrade in the GPS department, because it includes the i-Pilot Link. This gives you all of the functionality of the normal i-Pilot GPS system, but it also allows you to link it to one of the many compatible Humminbird fish finders.
On top of giving you more to work with for your auto-pilot, this version also has a big memory upgrade, which allows you to store 2,500 spots and 66 itracks, which are paths you can record for the trolling motor to automatically follow.
You’ll also get a much nicer LCD controller that has an arguably better button set up with this upgrade as well. This makes it easier to find what you need, is easier to read and use than the standard controller.
However, the Ulterra’s other killer feature is that it has an upgraded sonar feature. Mega Down Imaging works with select Humminbird fish finders to give you a crystal clear picture of what’s under your boat, and it’s pretty awesome. (This feature is not included with the Riptide Ulterra, so make sure to get the regular motor if you want it.)
You can check out the options for the Ulterra and see some prices for it here. Keep in mind that not ever motor comes with i-link, so make sure to pick the right one if you want that.
- Foot pedal has additional controls
- Remote stow and deploy
- Built in Mega Down Imaging
- Connects to Humminbird
- LCD remote
- More memory for spots and itracks
- 2 year warranty
- More expensive
- You won’t ever be happy with a lesser model after buying it.
Minn Kota Ultrex
Okay, so what about the Ultrex? This model has to be better right? Well, not necessarily. While the Ultrex does have some nice features, it also misses out on some of the great features of the Ulterra.
Let’s start with what the Ultrex does right. First off, the Ultrex has a pretty awesome power steering function that gives you more precise steering capabilities. It also has an “assisted deploy” function which makes it easier to raise and lower it, but it is not remote activated like the Ulterra.
That means that if you go with this model, you’ll be missing out on the remote stow and deploy features, and you’ll also unfortunately be missing out on the remote power trim, which is useful for navigating smaller channels.
So, why do people like this one so much then if it’s missing all this stuff? Well, for some fishermen, they prefer the simplicity of this motor’s operation, and they like being able to quickly stow and deploy it.
It includes some of the better GPS features, like the MEGA down imaging, but lacks some of the fancier automatic features of the Ulterra. This makes it a pretty good middle ground motor, and it might be a good bet if you don’t care about the remote stow and deploy feature.
A few anglers have voiced frustration with their Ulterra’s stow and deploy feature and claim that the Ultrex is actually more durable and can take more of a beating. So, that’s something to consider as well.
The Ultrex also comes with a longer warranty than all the other models that Minn Kota sells, likely due to the lack of fancy moving parts which can break. You’ll get 3 years of coverage in comparison to 2 years with every other model.
Click here to see the pricing and options available for the Ultrex. Keep in mind that many features, like i-link, are optional, so make sure the motor that you end up buying includes everything that you want.
- Slightly cheaper than Ultrerra
- Hummin bird compatible
- Same imaging and sonar as Ulterra
- Power steering cable drive-like control
- Precision maneuverability
- More durable than Ultrex
- 3 year warranty
- No remote stow and deploy
- Can be heavy
- More expensive than Terrova
- No power trim
Which Humminbird models work with Minn Kota?
There’s actually a pretty big list of models which are compatible with the Ulterra motors, so here’s all of them, including links to wear you can get them and compare their features. Unfortunately, we don’t have an article comparing the Humminbird models yet, but we’ll be working on that in the future.
Humminbird models that work with Minn Kota Ulterra
What about the Riptide vs the normal Minn Kota?
The Riptide is a version of the motor which was made for salt and brackish water. As you’re likely well aware, saltwater is extremely corrosive to your fishing equipment, and your trolling motor is no exception.
While you “could” use the regular Ulterra or Terrova in both, it wouldn’t be a great idea. This can severely shorten the life of the motor, and if you plan to do a good amount of saltwater fishing, then opting for the Riptide version of either motor would be your best bet.
The Riptide versions include a number of “saltwater-engineered” enhancements, which includes stainless steel hardware, sealed electrical connections and a more advanced and corrosive resistant painting process.
However, you should be aware that the Riptide’s features are not as nice as the regular Ulterra. It doesn’t have the LCD remote, and it does not include the really awesome built-in sonar and MEGA down imaging that the normal motors have, so if you don’t plant to fish saltwater often, go for the regular motor.
Verdict: Get the Ulterra or regret it
The Ulterra’s features are just so much better than the Terrova that you’ll regret it later if you don’t get it. The price difference isn’t huge, and honestly, they’ve packed a ton of features into this motor that are too amazing to pass up.
While the Terrova is, of course, a solid motor, it just doesn’t do as much, and you’ll be cheating yourself big time just to save a few hundred dollars. Though if you’d prefer something with less stuff to break, then go with the Ultrex and enjoy most of the features and a better warranty.
However, to make full use of both you’ll also want to pick up a compatible Humminbird model to use with the i-Pilot link. The Ulterra motor is our pick, because it offers amazing features and a great bang for your buck. There’s little point to skimp on the fish finder if you’re already paying the premium for the Ulterra.
If you’re going to be fishing in saltwater, then you’ll likely need the Riptide version for longevity, but be aware that it is missing some really great features like the sonar and MEGA down imaging, so only get it if you have to.
We honestly don’t like the Riptide versions as much as the regular Minn Kotas, and to be honest, they seem rather lackluster in comparison. They do however have a more corrosion resistant construction. Well, that’s it for our terrova vs ulterra vs ultrex comparison. We hope that the article has been helpful to you when making your decision.
PS. We’ve also done some comparisons on the Motorguide motors if you’re interested in comparing those, as well as a direct comparison between the Minn Kota and Motor Guide brands.