The Minn Kota Terrova and Minn Kota Ulterra are both at the top of their games regarding electric trolling motors. The main difference between these two models is that Ulterra has a few extra features.
However, this does not make the Terrova inferior in any way. Depending on what you plan on using it for, Terrova might even be the better choice for you. So let’s check out the battle of Terrova vs Ulterra and you can decide for yourself who wins.
Minn Kota Terrova Vs Ulterra: Comparison Chart
|Features||Minn Kota Terrova||Minn Kota Ulterra|
|Thrust Levels||55 lbs, 80 lbs||80 lbs, 112 lbs|
|Shaft Length||45”, 54”, 60”, 72”||45”, 60”, 72”|
|GPS Lock||Add-on available||Available|
|iPilot Link (GPS)||Absent||Present|
|Built-in Sonar||Universal Sonar 2||MEGA Down Imaging|
Terrova Vs Ulterra: IN-Depth Analysis
At first glance, you might still have to ask “What is the difference between Minn Kota Terrova and Ulterra?”. Let’s go over how the features of these two motors can make a difference in your trolling experience.
Power and Thrust
Verdict: When it comes to power and thrust, the Ulterra wins as it offers a more powerful thrust option.
The Ulterra only offers two versions: 24V for 80 lbs and 36V for 112 lbs of thrust. A higher thrust means a more powerful motor. So if power is what you’re going for and you have a big boat, the Ulterra is the one to choose.
But not everyone will need a more powerful motor, especially if you use Kayaks or smaller boats. With the Terrova, you can get the 24V model which gives you 80 lbs, or the 12V model, which gives you 55 lbs of thrust which might be better suited to your needs.
You can use any lead acid, deep cycle marine 12V battery for the Terrova as well as the Ulterra. Depending on which version you have, you will need multiple 12V batteries depending on your power requirements. It’s best if you get batteries with at least a 110 ampere-hour rating.
A fully charged battery should last you one entire trolling session of about 3-4 hours. Your motor speeds and boat size will significantly affect battery life. For instance, if you use a larger boat at higher speeds, your battery life will shorten by a lot. However, to get a better estimate, you can multiply your battery’s amp hour rating by .85 and divide it by the motor amp draw.
With both models, you can expect similar performance, since they both come with a digital maximizer and battery meter features. These features help to run the motor efficiently and provide the right amount of power to the motor depending on your changing conditions.
Verdict: The Ulterra is much more efficient and feature-rich when it comes to the control system.
It has more advanced features like Auto Stow/Deploy, power trim, and Spot-Lock. The Auto Stow/Deploy system allows you to deploy or stow the motor automatically with just the push of a button, saving you time and effort. The power trim feature allows you to adjust the motor’s depth easily, while the Spot-Lock feature uses GPS technology to lock onto a specific location, keeping your boat in place even in windy or choppy conditions.
Whereas the Terrova comes with a handheld remote control and foot pedal. The foot pedal provides precise control of the motor’s speed and direction, allowing you to adjust the speed and direction quickly and accurately. The wireless remote control allows you to operate the motor from a distance, providing you with greater flexibility and convenience.
However, if you are into a more traditional foot pedal and a simple control system, you might like the Terrova better.
Verdict: The Terrova offers more options in shaft length and this can make a significant difference in maximizing the performance of your boat.
Your shaft length can cause your speed and performance to change and gives you better control of the boat. If it’s too short, the propeller won’t be submerged fully and if it’s too long, it might hit obstacles. So with the Terrova, you can choose exactly which shaft length you want with options of 45”, 54”, 60”, and 72”.
With the Ulterra however, there’s no 54” inch shaft. While the shaft is adjustable, it can cause more hassles and will also affect the auto-deployment process.
Verdict: The Terrova can be more reliable at times, due to it being more manual.
They’re both built with Minn Kota’s signature rugged, corrosion-resistant design with a composite shaft that can withstand the rigors of both freshwater and saltwater. The motor housing is made of a composite material that lowers impact damage and protects the motor from moisture and corrosion. They are both built to last.
However, due to Ulterra’s extra automatic features, it involves a bit more electric and moving parts which can sometimes malfunction. So while you have the same build quality with both of these, you might face more problems with the Ulterra as things can sometimes go wrong.
Both the Terrova and Ulterra are compatible with a variety of different boat types and are designed for use on boats up to 25 feet in length. While the higher thrust options might make the Ulterra better for larger boats, people with smaller boats will prefer the Terrova. So one isn’t necessarily better than the other in terms of compatibility.
They also both come with 3 different mounting options: bow mount, transom mount, and engine mount. And they work the same with different kinds of boats.
Now that we’ve gone over the more general differences, let’s get into the specific features each of these two models has to offer.
The autopilot feature allows your motor to follow a specific GPS route to the destination you have entered, automatically. This feature uses GPS technology to lock onto a specific location or heading, which can be useful for maintaining your position on the water or following a specific path. It is available on both, with additional features in the Ulterra.
i-Pilot or i-Pilot Link
The Terrova comes with iPilot GPS, whereas the Ulterra comes with the iPilot GPS Link. The obvious question here is what is the difference between iPilot and iPilot Link?
Well, the i-Pilot and i-Pilot Link are both advanced trolling motor control systems. The i-Pilot is a basic remote control system that allows you to adjust the speed, direction, and other settings of your trolling motor.
The i-Pilot Link is a more advanced system that offers additional features like Follow the Contour and Connect ID and is compatible with Humminbird fish finders. Overall, the i-Pilot Link is a more versatile and powerful option for serious anglers and is only available on the Ulterra.
Sonars and Transducers
The Terrova comes with a traditional Universal Sonar 2, which you can use with other fish finders such as Humminbird, Garmin, Eagle, etc. The wires are completely covered so there’s no inference.
The Ulterra on the other hand comes with Mega Down Imaging which feeds images directly into your fishfinder. It’s completely integrated into the lower motor section and is an upgrade from regular transducers and sonars.
This is perhaps the best part of Ulterra, it’s an auto-stow/deploy feature. You push one button in your remote, the motor stows and deploys on its own, and you don’t have to get up and do anything. This is especially helpful if you like fishing alone and don’t have help. On the Terrova, you have to do all of this manually.
The power trim is another Ulterra-only feature that comes in handy. You can adjust the trim using your iPilot and do it much more quickly than if you had to do it manually. Adjust the depth of your trolling motor as the water conditions change and troll at the optimal depth with just a remote!
Since you have to manually deploy and stow on the Terrova, there is a Lift Assist feature that uses a spring-loaded system that reduces the weight of the motor, making it easier to lift and lower. It lowers the weight of the motor when you have to deploy it so that it’s much easier for you.
- The Ulterra offers a more powerful motor, which can be better for bigger boats, whereas the Terrova offers a lower thrust option for smaller boats.
- The Ulterra has a more advanced control system with a lot of features, The Terrova is more traditional.
- The Terrova offers more options in shaft length than the Ulterra.
- The Ulterra can be more prone to problems due to its extra features
- The Ulterra comes with iPilot Link, Mega Down Imaging, Power Trim, and Auto stow/deployment.
- The Terrova comes with a remote control and foot pedal, Universal Sonar 2, and Lift Assist, and can be more reliable.
Downsides of Terrova Compared to Ulterra
Here are some of the cons of the Minn Kota Terrova as opposed to the Ulterra:
- Does not offer an Automatic stow/deploy system
- Uses iPilot which has fewer features than iPilot Link
- No power trim
- Uses Sonar 2 imaging as opposed to Mega Down Imaging on the Ulterra
- Not great for larger boats
Downsides of Ulterra Compared to Terrova
The Ulterra also has some downsides compared to Terrova. Here are some of them:
- Can be much more expensive
- Does not offer a 54” shaft length
- Might be too powerful for smaller boats
- Getting used to all these high-tech features might take time
- Automatic parts can sometimes malfunction
Terrova or Ultra: Which One is Right For You?
By this point, you can probably see the pros and cons of both these trolling motors. If you are a serious angler and don’t mind manually deploying the motor and making changes yourself and you always fish on the bow of your boat, then Terrova is probably the right option for you. There’s no need to spend the extra buck for a few extra features, especially if you are on a budget.
On the other hand, the convenience and efficiency of Ulterra are worth it. It automatically stows, deploys, and trims your motor with the push of a button. You can get a much more relaxed experience with Ulterra. There are also Riptide Ulterra and Riptide Terrova options available, which are more geared towards saltwater fishing. So you can even check those out as well.
While both the Terrova and Ulterra are made for freshwater environments, with proper precautions you can use them in saltwater as well. Just be careful to protect the motors from wear and tear and wash them afterward with fresh water.
The Terrova might be slightly more suited to anglers who frequently fish in windy conditions and may prefer the Minn Kota Terrova due to its larger propeller diameter and powerful thrust motor, which can provide better control and stability in choppy waters.
However, the Ulterra is just as good because it provides auto-deployment in windy conditions as well as a spot lock technology to help you stabilize your boat in high winds. So it all comes down to preference.
Yes, they both come with 2 years of Warranty. Within this time frame, if something malfunctions, you can contact Minn Kota and they will do their best to help replace your motor or fix it.
The Ulterra is slightly quieter than the Terrova due to its advanced motor technology. However, the difference in sound is hardly noticeable, and shouldn’t be a deciding factor. They’re both pretty quiet.
In the battle of Terrova vs Ulterra, it’s very difficult to choose an objective winner. At the end of the day, the choice is up to you. It depends on what conditions you are fishing in and the kind of experience you want. If you want the ease of auto-deployment and remote control, then Ulterra might be the one for you.
However, if you want a reliable trolling motor that is efficient and gives you value for money, then Terrova trolling motor might be the better choice for you. While price ranges can be similar, if budget is an issue for you, then Terrova is a great option for beginners.