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TVS iQube S: Road Test Review

06 January 2023, 08:32 PM Ajinkya Lad

Introduction

Why to buy it?

- Enjoyable Performance

- Pliant ride quality

- Good range of 105km

Why avoid it?

- Long charging times

- Limited availability

TVS iQube Left Front Three Quarter

The TVS iQube S is one of the rare electric scooters from an OEM two-wheeler maker, in a market that is full of cheap Chinese imports and EV startups. For 2022, TVS has updated the iQube range with more variants, additional features, new colour options, and a higher range among others. So, what is the new TVS iQube like to ride? And should you consider buying one? Let’s find out.

Styling and Quality

TVS iQube Right Front Three Quarter

The TVS iQube is a contemporary-looking scooter, which should appeal to the masses. It isn’t as flashy as the Ather 450X or a neo-retro like the Bajaj Chetak Electric and the Ola S1 Pro. The overall silhouette is largely similar to the TVS Jupiter but gets a few modern touches to make it stand apart from its ICE sibling.

TVS iQube Ignition Switch

On the other hand, we quite liked the paint quality and the robustness of the switchgear, which operates with decent tactility. That said, the same cannot be said about its build quality, which is kind of a mixed bag.  Although the overall quality levels are good, we did find a few fit and finish issues around the visor, panel gaps around the front apron, and a crude finish on the plastic cover below the rider seat.

TVS iQube TFT / Instrument Cluster

Ergonomics and Comfort

TVS iQube Left Side View

The iQube S has an accessible seat height of 770mm, so placing both your feet flat on the ground isn’t a task. Moreover, the wide footboard allows you to place your feet with comfort, but what’s even more noteworthy is that the floorboard easily accommodates your riding boots, with some space left to store a backpack.

TVS iQube

TVS iQube

  • Mileage - Owner Reported74 kmpl
  • Kerb Weight117 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,06,568

TVS iQube Floorboard

Add to that, the reasonably high-placed handlebar and the wide and accommodating seat makes for a comfortable seating triangle. The seat cushioning is on point, and there’s good support for your bottom, which allows you to ride for an hour or two, without needing any breaks.

TVS iQube Right Rear Three Quarter

Talking about its ride quality, the iQube gets a pliant suspension setup. Even though the suspension is set up on the firmer side, the way it handles bridge joints and uneven surfaces is commendable. Seldom will you complain about any discomfort. That said, the larger potholes and the irritating rumbler strips do make the rear kick around a bit.

Features and Tech

TVS iQube TFT / Instrument Cluster

The TVS iQube S is a decently equipped electric scooter, especially after the 2022 update. The scooter gets Bluetooth connectivity, a turn-by-turn navigation system, connected tech with 35 connectivity features, and reverse park assist. The seven-inch instrument cluster gets a dark and light mode and shows quite a bit of info. It is quite legible in direct sunlight as well, however, the graphics are quite dull, and the UI could do with a better layout.

TVS iQube Underseat Storage

You can access the various function of the instrument cluster via a five-way joystick. However, the accessibility is counter-intuitive as it requires multiple attempts to navigate through the desired menu/function that you want. That apart, the scooter gets a 17-litre boot capacity, which is just about average.

TVS iQube Scooter Portable Charger

As far as charging is concerned, the iQube S comes bundled with a 650-watt three-pin wall-mount charger that charges the scooter from 0-80 per cent in 4h and 30m. You can also opt for a faster 950-watt charger that charges the scooter to 80 per cent in 2h and 50m. However, this is an optional extra.

TVS iQube Scooter Portable Charger

Performance and Handling

The TVS iQube S uses a BLDC hub-mounted motor that produces 5.9bhp and 33Nm of peak torque. The electric motor sources power from a 3.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack that offers a true range of 105km in Eco mode, and 75km in Power mode. TVS also claims a top speed of 78kmph. So, how does it perform in the real world? Let's find out.

TVS iQube Front View

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how silent the iQube is. And this is partly because of the hub-mounted motor, as there’s barely any audible electric whine from the scooter. Now, as mentioned earlier, the scooter gets two modes – Eco and Power. Even in the Eco mode, the iQube doesn’t feel slow or sluggish. There’s enough poke till about 40kmph, which is the max you’d ever need in stop-go city traffic. And it’s just about enough to make overtakes in traffic. However, the progress slows down past 40kmph, and you’d need to switch to Power mode if you are in the mood for enthusiastic riding.

TVS iQube Left Front Three Quarter

That said, the iQube feels like a completely different animal in Power mode. Sure, it isn’t as charged up as say the Ather 450X or the Ola S1 Pro, in their respective Warp and Hyper modes, but the sense of power is quite evident. The scooter sprints to a speedo-indicated top speed of 84kmph in no time, and maintains the same level of performance even for a sustained period of time. Another positive is the seamless transition between riding modes. First and foremost, you don’t need to shut the throttle to switch between the modes, and two, there’s no delay in power delivery while switching the modes.

TVS iQube Right Front Three Quarter

Another plus is the way the regenerative braking works. The moment you roll off the throttle, the regenerative braking swings into action, which starts slowing down the vehicle, and in-turn charges the battery pack. It does take quite some time to get used to, as the scooter doesn’t free-wheel once you roll off the throttle. However, once you get a hang of it, you’d seldom feel the need to use brakes during deceleration. Even when you are required to use the brakes, the braking power is potent enough to bring the scooter to a stop without much fuss. The brakes offer decent bite and progression, and there’s a good feel and feedback on the lever.

TVS iQube Left Rear Three Quarter

Coming to its handling, the scooter feels stable and maintains its composure well around long bends. The iQube is quite flickable while zipping through traffic, and it feels easier to change directions from one side to the other. Moreover, the scooter feels engaging and sure-footed to tip into corners, which is largely because of the good chassis balance that TVS has achieved. And, although the scooter maintains its line while taking fast corners, it doesn’t feel as composed as say the Ather 450X, which has a tauter suspension setup.

Should you buy it?

TVS iQube Front View

The TVS iQube S is an extremely well-rounded electric scooter that offers contemporary styling, a decent mix of features, and a good balance between performance and comfort. Even when you compare it with its ICE counterparts, it's right up there when it comes to build quality, sound engineering, ride comfort and practicality. And, when you factor in its asking price of Rs 1.04 lakh (on-road Delhi), it costs way less than the Ather 450X, HeroVida V1, Bajaj Chetak Electric and the Ola S1.

TVS iQube Right Front Three Quarter

That said, the instrumentation UI is basic, and the features list is just about adequate. Moreover, our test unit had a few fit-and-finish issues, but that’s just us trying to nitpick. So, should you consider buying the iQube S? Well, the answer is a resounding yes! If you are environment conscious and are also looking at lower running costs, the TVS iQube S is one of the best electric scooters available in the market.

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

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