A Comprehensive Comparison of Motorguide Xi5 Vs Minn Kota Terrova

A trolling motor can make a huge difference when it comes to your overall trolling experience. Buyers usually get confused between the battle of Motorguide Xi5 vs Minn Kota Terrova when choosing one for the best trolling experience.

Both are amazing in their own right, however, one might have slight advantages over the other when we zoom in on features. So let’s go over this comprehensive comparison of the two and you can decide for yourself.

Comparison Table of Key Features

FeaturesMotorguide Xi5Minn Kota Terrova
Thrust55lbs, 80lbs, 105lbs55lbs, 80lbs, 112lbs
Shaft Height45”,  48”,  54”, 60”,72”45”, 54”, 60”, 72”
Control SystemWireless Remote ControlFoot Pedal Control
GPSAnchor, Jog, and Heading Lock, Cruise ControlSpot-Lock, iPilot
Sonar/TransducerUniversal Integrated SonaarUniversal Sonar 2
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Motorguide Xi5 Vs Minn Kota Terrova: Detailed Breakdown

Now that you’ve had a glance over the general differences between the two, let’s go into the details of what makes these products stand out.

  • Thrust Power

Verdict: The Terrova offers 112 lbs of thrust which are slightly higher than the Xi5. 

When it comes to thrust power, both the Terrova and Xi5 offer similar options. The Terrova has 3 options you can choose from:  12V for 55 lbs of thrust, 24V for 80 lbs of thrust, and 36V for 112 lbs of thrust.

With the Motorguide trolling motors,  you get pretty similar choices. You get both the 12V and 24V options for the same amount of thrust as the Terrova. With the 36V however, you get 105 lbs of thrust, which is slightly lower than the Terrova. Most anglers don’t notice a difference, but with a larger boat, you might prefer the extra thrust on the Terrova.

  •  Control options

Verdict: Motorguide Xi5 offers more advanced features with its wireless remote control system.

The Terrova comes with a more traditional foot pedal control system with an iPilot remote that you can use to control the iPilot system for navigation and speed and even spot lock and cruise control. However, some angler reviews complain that the remote isn’t always reliable. It can sometimes be hard to get the signal to work.

On the other hand, the Xi5 comes with a wireless remote control along with a wireless foot pedal system. The remote allows for precise speed and steering control from up to 50 feet away. The remote control also has advanced features such as Anchor Mode, Jog Mode, and GPS navigation. There’s also no hassle of cords due to the foot pedal being wireless.

However, there’s an option for you to upgrade to the iPilot Link, which can beat the control system on the Xi5 and has many more features that allow you to better control the motor at just the push of a button.

  • Shaft length

Verdict: Terrova has more options across all versions.

The Terrova offers shaft lengths of 45”, 54”, 60”, and 72”, which can make a significant difference depending on the kind of boat you use and your trolling conditions.

The Xi5 offers all these lengths, along with an extra 48” inch option as well. They are both built of composite material which makes them super durable and stand against friction and harsh conditions. 

However, you won’t find all available shaft lengths with all the different thrust models. For instance, for the 55lb motor, you can only either get 54” or 48” inches of shaft length. Whereas, you get a bit more flexibility with the Terrova to choose from.

  • Propeller

Verdict: Xi5 propellers are slightly quieter.

The Xi5 comes with a Machete III propeller which is designed to provide maximum thrust and efficiency. These propellers are built to keep out weeds, algae, and other obstacles underwater. It’s very quiet and you can barely hear it if you use a 3-blade one.

On the other hand, the Minn Kota Terrova comes with a Weedless Wedge 2 propeller, which is pretty durable too. Both are reliable and made of high-quality materials, so the only deciding factor here is the noise. 

  • Sonar

Verdict: Tie

Unless you upgrade your built-in sonar system with the Terrova to MEGA down imaging, the universal sonar 2 is pretty similar in function and quality to the sonar integration system on the Xi5. You can use it to detect fish and other obstacles underwater. The transducer on the Terrova offers a thermometer as well to detect the temperature of the water.

If you end up upgrading to the MEDA down imaging though, you can see in the blind spots under your boat as well which will easily allow you to see realistic images of rocks, algae, fish, etc. 

But without it, the Terrova is pretty basic, just like Xi5. The Xi5’s frequency is about 83/200kHz, which will transmit a cylindrical cone under your boat and you can detect any fish in that cone area. It cannot do any side imaging.  

  • Stow/Deploy

Verdict: Terrova offers Lift Assist, which makes manual stowing and deploying significantly easier.

This is one function where the Terrova shines over the Xi5. While both these require you to manually stow and deploy the trolling motor, with the Terrova, when you have to lift the motor up from the water, its Lift Assist technology reduces the weight of the motor and thus takes much less effort from you to lift it.

The Xi5 on the other hand does not have any such features. So stowing is more difficult and labor intensive. This is especially a deciding factor for older anglers or anglers with back injuries.

  • Pinpoint GPS Vs I-Pilot

Verdict: The iPilot remote is a bit more well-designed and accurate compared to the one on the Xi5.

The PinPoint GPS on the Xi5 is pretty decent with some amazing features. It comes with Anchor, which allows your motor to stay in one place, Jog- allows you to move in one direction to chase prey and you can also track your course with their easy-to-use remote control.

The iPilot is pretty cool too. It has a Spot-Lock feature which does the same thing as Anchor on the Pinpoint GPS. It can also record paths so that you know which trail to follow to get a higher chance of catching fish. There’s also the Autopilot feature that allows you to control your speed and position with a remote. There’s an LCD screen which makes the remote easy to use as well. You can Jog with the iPIlot as well.

Furthermore, if you upgrade to iPilot Link, you’ll get pretty much the best GPS on the market and then there is no competition.

  • Battery life

Verdict: Tie

The battery options on both Xi5 and Terrova are the same: 12V, 24V, and 36V. You need a deep cycle marine battery with a minimum Ampere Hour rating of 100 for both of these models. The number of batteries you need will depend on the voltage requirements of your motor.

Battery life and how long it lasts will also depend on how you use the motor. It should last you one day, after fully charging. Both models have built-in battery management systems that optimize the battery power and runtime of the trolling motor.

  •  Compatibility

Verdict: Tie

Both the Xi5 and Terrova are built with the bow mount design, so they work with pretty much any boat that has a flat bow area and enough space to mount the motor securely.

Even the thrust options that are available are similar as well, so the size of the boat won’t affect your compatibility between Minn Kota vs Motorguide.

  • Price

Verdict: Xi5 gives more value for money

When it comes to price, the Xi5 can be significantly more cost-friendly. Prices start at about 1200 USD and can go above 2000 USD, depending on the models.

Whereas the Terrova starts at about 1500 and can go above 3000 USD. So the prices are slightly higher.

Key Takeaways

Now that you’ve gone over the detailed analysis of the Xi5 vs the Terrova, here’s a little summary to keep in mind.

  • The Xi5 gives you more value for money.
  • The Terrova comes with the iPilot GPS which has more features than the Xi5
  • The Lift Assist feature on the Terrova makes it easier to stow and deploy
  •  The Xi5 is quieter
  • The sonar system without iPilot Link is pretty much the same
  •  Xi5 offers a wireless foot pedal that can be more convenient.

What I Like About The  Motorguide Xi5

It does feel like these two are at a tie for the most part. So to make your decision easier, let’s go over some of the things I liked about the Motorguide Xi5.

  • Slightly more affordable
  • The wireless foot pedal makes it easier to work around the pedal
  • Some models of the Xi5 come with 3-year warranties, which is a great plus for me
  • Quieter

What I Don’t Like About The  Motorguide Xi5

Now, for the things that weren’t quite up to par with the Xi5. These aren’t deal breakers though, but it’s always best to make an informed decision.

  • The build quality is slightly less than the Terrova
  • I’ve seen anglers complain that their foot pedals don’t work all the time
  • Isn’t as feature-rich as the iPilot, especially with the options to upgrade to iPilot Link
  • Can’t be upgraded to work better than the Terrova

What I Like About The Minn Kota Terrova

The Minn Kota Terrova has put up a really good fight. It outperforms the Xi5 especially when it comes to certain features. Here’s what I like about it.

  • The iPilot remote has a screen, which makes it much easier to use
  • You can upgrade to iPilot Link and even add MEGA down imaging
  • The Lift Assist mechanism makes it much easier to deploy and stow the motor, despite it being manual
  • Has amazing quality and feels very sturdy and corrosion-free
  • Advanced features

What I Don’t Like About The Minn Kota Terrova

The Minn Kota also has its problems though. But again, it’s just nitpicking at this point and both these motors are great.

  • Can be more expensive for the same features
  • You have to upgrade to iPilot Link and also upgrade the sonar to get the cooler features
  • Is a bit less smooth than the Xi5

Motorguide Xi5 or Minn Kota Terrova: Which One Should You Buy?

So, after going through all the pros and cons of both the Minn Kota Terrova and the Motorguide Xi5, what is the final verdict? Is Motorguide better than Minn Kota?

The answer comes down to your preference. If you’re short on budget and want a good experience with trolling nonetheless, then the Motorguide Xi5 is a great choice for you. It’s one of the best ones on the market, and plenty of anglers have been using it for years without much hassle. It has a lot of features and is pretty intuitive and user-friendly. Great for beginners as well.

The Terrova is just as well and offers slightly different kinds of features for a slightly higher price. But since there are a lot of options for the Xi5, it might even be cheaper to buy a Terrova compared to certain models. The experience should be pretty much the same. It is a bit more responsive and accurate and is probably better for more serious anglers, who want to use it for the long term.

This is because you can upgrade the Terrova by adding iPilot Link and MEGA down imaging, which skews the competition in its favor. If you take the Terrova with the iPilot Link system, then the choice becomes much easier and Terrova is the winner. However, without it, the answer is a tie.


Is Motorguide xi5 or Minn Kota Terrova Saltwater Compatible?

The Motorguide Xi5 series has both saltwater and freshwater options, whereas the Terrova is more geared toward freshwater anglers. You can get the Minn Kota Riptide Terrova 112 for instance, which is more compatible with saltwater. All the Riptide versions are great for saltwater.

Do all Terrova have Spot-Lock?

Most newer versions of the Terrova models should have Spot-Lock pre-installed. However, some older models might not have this technology.

Do all MotorGuide xi5 have GPS?

Yes, all MotorGuide Xi5 models have a built-in GPS to help you navigate your trolling journeys. Most trolling motors like the Xi5 usually have some form of GPS.

Does Minn Kota Terrova have AutoPilot?

Yes, Minn Kota Terrova does have AutoPilot. It’s a great feature on the Terrova and all you have to do is point in the direction you want to travel, and then the AutoPilot will ensure that you are heading that way.

Is MotorGuide compatible with Lowrance?

Yes, the MotorGuide Xi5 is compatible with the Lowrance fishfinders. The Xi5 uses a proprietary wireless communication system called Pinpoint GPS Gateway, which allows it to communicate with compatible Lowrance devices.

Does MotorGuide link with Humminbird?

Yes, you can link the Humminbird to the Motorguide Xi5 to access advanced features such as anchor mode, route planning, and autopilot.

Does Terrova connect to Humminbird?

No, the Terrova without the iPilot Link won’t connect to the Humminbird. But if you upgrade to the iPilot Link version, you can easily link the two.

Does Terrova have Heading Sensor?

No, the Minn Kota Terrova does not have an in-built heading sensor, unless you upgrade to the iPilot Link system. The Riptide Terrova models, however, come with this pre-installed.

Final Thoughts

Both these trolling motors are amazing in their respects and will give you a great user experience. They’re trusted brands and have been used by anglers for years now. But in the battle of Motorguide Xi5 vs Minn Kota Terrova, the choice is up to you. 

Anthony Jones
Anthony Jones

Anthony is an expert in fishing and trolling motor equipment, based in Austin. In his free time, he can often be found out on the water, perfecting his fishing techniques and testing out the latest gear.

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