In a Nutshell:
Cobra GT4 is Drive’s most expensive and most full-featured scooter. It’s a masterpiece, but if you want one, it will cost you. It is recommended for people weighing up to 450 pounds who don’t mind spending extra to get all the bells and whistles.
- Cutting Edge Features
- Impressive Top Speed
- Fantastic Range
- Superb Machine
- Unique Styling
- Local Use Performance
- Unfriendly to Travel
- Hefty Price
- Expense of Ramps
- Limited Realistic Option
- Provisional Recommendation
Are you in the market for a top-of-the-line mobility scooter that offers all the bells and whistles?
Are you willing to pay a premium for cutting-edge design and a lifetime warranty? If you answered yes to those questions, then you’re going to be thrilled with what you read here in our Cobra GT4 scooter review.
Not only is Drive one of the biggest and best-known brands in the industry, but they also have a long reputation for making world-class products and standing behind them. People who buy from Drive buy with confidence, knowing that if there’s a problem with their equipment, the company will take care of them.
The Cobra is the company’s most advanced and most expensive mobility scooter. It’s almost not fair to call it a scooter because it looks so sleek and stylish; the word ‘scooter’ just doesn’t seem to do it justice.
If you’re interested in learning more about the flagship model of Drive’s mobility scooter lineup, read on. In the sections that follow, we’ll take you on a guided tour of everything this amazing piece of engineering has to offer so you can decide for yourself if this is the model you’ve been searching for. Even if you opt to go in some other direction, we think you’ll be impressed!
An Overview of the Drive Medical Cobra GT4 Mobility Scooter
This is a sleek-looking machine. It’s gorgeous. That’s the first impression you’re likely to have when you look at it. You can tell the design team placed just as much emphasis on form as they did on function. This thing not only looks fantastic, but it also looks like it’s capable of taking you just about anywhere.
While it’s not designed for venturing deep into the wilderness, the first impression it leaves is a generally fair one. There aren’t many places this machine can’t go, but before we get into the details in this section of our Cobra GT4 scooter review, let’s pause long enough to have a quick look at the core stats that define the model.
Here are the basics:
- Overall Product Dimensions: 29” (W) x 63” (D) x 53” (H)
- Seat Dimensions: 20” (W) x 20” (D) or 22” (W) x 20” (D) (make your selection at the point of sale)
- Top Speed: 10 mph
- Maximum Range: 35 miles
- Wheel Size: 14” x 14.”
- Maximum Climbing Angle: 8 degrees
- Turning Radius: 82.”
- Ground Clearance: 7.”
- Chair Weight: 340 pounds
- Maximum Supported Weight: 450 pounds
This is a huge machine.
It’s Drive’s largest model, and across the board, it sports better numbers than Drive’s second most expensive model, the impressive Panther HD.
It’s faster. It has a better range. It offers an impressive 7” of ground clearance and can handle steeper slopes, and it can support more weight with its fantastic 450-pound capacity.
On the downside, it’s also a significantly heavier scooter, and it has a positively wretched turning radius at 82,” but other than the price, those are its only real weaknesses.
For people interested in this model, though, the fact that the Panther HD offers a better overall value is largely irrelevant. If you’re interested in the Cobra, you’re after cutting edge, not necessarily bang for the buck. In terms of styling and tech, the Cobra delivers beautifully.
Adjustability and Comfort
At the point of sale, you have the option of getting the Cobra GT4 by Drive Medical with a Captain’s style seat either 20” or 22” wide. Given that, you’ll want to take a quick measurement before you commit to purchase so you can be sure you’re getting the best option for you.
Whichever you select, you’ll find that the seat is highly adjustable. In addition to the fact that it swivels, you can set the height of the headrest and the angle of the seatback. On this model, the armrests are not height adjustable, but they are padded, and they flip up, allowing for easier transfers into and out of the Cobra.
In addition to that, you can adjust the angle of the steering column, bringing it closer to you or pushing it farther away, depending on how long your arms are.
Taken together, these options give you incredible flexibility in terms of optimizing your Cobra for comfort.
The seat is sumptuously padded and quite comfortable, sporting the same basic shape as the bucket seats of a sports car.
Here, however, there is one drawback. The upholstery is PU. While it’s very attractive, it’s also not breathable, and if you live in a warmer climate, you may find it uncomfortable after more than 3-4 hours.
If you live in a cooler climate, you’ll probably be okay for at least a bit longer. Still, at some point, it’s going to start getting hot and making you sweat, which may prompt you to consider adding some type of seat and/or seatback pad, not because you need the extra padding necessarily, but rather to escape the increasingly uncomfortable PU.
On the other hand, if you don’t plan to use this scooter more than 3-4 hours at a stretch, you should have no major problems. However, PU upholstery does have one other weakness to consider. It’s not very durable. After about 18 months of regular use, you can expect it to start peeling and cracking.
Big as the seat is, the reality is that there’s not a whole lot of upholstery to contend with, though, and having the seat re-covered won’t be a major expense. Even so, given the price of the machine, we were a little underwhelmed by the upholstery choice here. Since the machine itself comes with a lifetime warranty, you can bet that you’ll need to have the seat re-covered more than once over the course of its life.
Extras and Options
The Drive Cobra GT4 scooter comes loaded with all sorts of extras built-in, including two rearview mirrors, a headlight, and a safety belt, but that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg because Drive also makes a range of accessories for their scooters that will work on this model. These include:
- A cover to protect your scooter from the elements
- A pull-behind trailer with a removable cover
- An Oxygen Tank holder (mounts behind the seat)
- A crutch/cane holder (mounts behind the seat)
- A cup holder (mounts beside the seat)
- A rear basket for extra storage
- An armrest bag for yet more storage
- A backpack (slings over the seat) for yet more storage!
It’s good that the company offers other storage solutions as extras because, unlike most of the other scooters Drive makes, this one doesn’t come with a storage basket on the front.
Curiously, it’s also absent the USB charger that the Panther sports, which we feel is a bit of an oversight on this, their flagship model.
Even without the USB port, however, we were impressed by everything the base model has to offer. Also, we love the ergonomically designed steering mechanism and the intuitively arranged control panel. Even if you’re not a tech-savvy individual, the controls are so intuitive and so well laid out that you won’t have any difficulty mastering their use.
Portability & Ease of Use
We just mentioned how intuitive the control panel is, so the only other thing to talk about where ease of use is concerned is the turning radius. That’s admittedly going to take some getting used to, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself having to back up a lot when you first start driving the Drive Medical Cobra GT4 fast scooter.
It won’t take long till you’ve mastered it, but with an 82” turning radius, you are going to experience a bit of a learning curve, and early on, you’ll probably get lots of practice backing up.
Needless to say, this isn’t a scooter designed for use inside your house despite the fact that it comes with no-skid tires. Unless you live in a palace, you’re just not going to have room to use it effectively indoors.
That said, it’s fine for taking it to the store (provided you invest in some storage so you can haul back whatever you buy), but again, that turning radius might see you run into a few snags until you’ve fully mastered its use.
The Cobra really shines outdoors, however. With an impressive 7” of ground clearance, you can ride across most types of terrain with relative ease, and there’s not much this beast of a machine can’t handle.
It will struggle if you take it on hiking or adventure trails because it’s not quite that robust, but short of that, there aren’t many places it won’t take you.
Unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier, it’s extremely heavy. So heavy, in fact, that most lifts aren’t capable of supporting it.
If you want to take your Cobra traveling with you, you’re going to need to invest in a ramp. Then, it’s a simple matter of driving it up into your truck or van, securing it, and driving it back off again when you get where you’re going.
Although the seat and batteries are removable, even taking both of these off makes the machine too heavy to really be considered portable or to easily manhandle it into your vehicle. Ramps are pretty much a requirement if you’re going to get one of these.
Also, this one’s pretty much out of the question if you’re considering air travel. Not only do few airlines allow scooters on board anyway, but all airlines charge by the pound. Given the extreme weight of the Cobra, even if you could find an airline that would let you bring it with you, it would be ridiculously expensive to do so.
The bottom line is that if you’re going to travel with the Cobra, you’re going to need a ramp, and you’re pretty much going to have to have a truck or van to haul it around in, which does limit its utility somewhat.
Pros & Cons of Cobra GT4 by Drive
We absolutely love the Drive Medical Cobra GT4 Heavy Duty scooter, but if you’ve read our other reviews of Drive scooters, you’ll notice that we did not give their flagship model the highest score. While it offers a raft of cutting edge features, an impressive top speed, and a fantastic range, it just doesn’t pack the value-punch that many of the company’s other models offer, and it’s decidedly unfriendly to travel, which limits its versatility.
That said, as long as you plan to use the machine locally, or if you don’t mind springing for ramps in addition to paying the hefty price for the Cobra, it really is a superb machine.
It’s just that, unfortunately, many of the people who will want one will find it too expensive to be a realistic option.
Cobra GT4 Scooter Review Conclusion
As good as the Cobra is, we can ultimately only give it a provisional recommendation. We claim here in our Cobra GT4 scooter review that the Panther HD offers nearly as much functionality for significantly less money, and it’s a more travel-friendly device.
The Cobra is without equal in terms of styling, and it’s a fabulous machine if you only plan to use it in and around your property. However, we sense that most people want and need more from their mobility scooters.
References & Resources:
- Drive Medical, Official Brand Website
- Drive Medical Cobra GT4 Scooter User Manual
- Q&A on Wheelchairs and Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices Ruling, American Trails
- How to Provide a Ramp and Stage For Speakers, MPI
- A Design of All Wheel Coordinated Steering For Electric Mobility Scooter, ResearchGate