In a Nutshell:
The Shoprider Sprinter XL4 Mobility Scooter is a robust, rugged design from Shoprider—as versatile as it is good-looking. Recommended for anyone weighing up to 350 pounds who doesn’t mind that this machine isn’t all that travel friendly.
- Strong appeal to a specific set of buyers
- Impressive ground clearance, comfort, and versatility
- Poor turning radius for indoor use
- Not easily portable or foldable for travel
Are you slightly heavier than average? Have you been frustrated while searching for a good, versatile scooter because many of the models on the market today only support around 300 pounds?
If you answered yes to both of those questions, you’re going to like what you read in this—our Shoprider Sprinter XL4 review.
You may not be familiar with the Shoprider brand. If you’re not, that’s no great surprise. Although the company has been in the mobility business since the 1980s, they don’t have as big a footprint as the giants of the industry, so they don’t have as much name recognition.
Their design teams are first-rate, though, and you’ll find as we progress through this review that their products compare quite favorably to those of bigger and better-known brands.
The Sprinter XL4 is an excellent example of the company’s work and is one of their most rugged machines, with a correspondingly higher weight limit.
Is it the right machine for you?
The short answer is that it may be. Read on, and let’s take a closer look. In the sections that follow, we’ll outline everything this machine can do, and we won’t be bashful talking about the Sprinter’s shortcomings. That way, you’ll be able to answer that very question for yourself.
An Overview of the Shoprider Sprinter XL4 Mobility Scooter
Overall, we regard this as a strong component of our Shoprider Sprinter XL4 review.
First things first, the Sprinter makes a good first impression. It’s a very polished machine and quite handsome in its bold burgundy coat and black trim.
Curiously, although many of the machines Shoprider offers are available in a modest selection of colors, the Sprinter is only available in one. To paraphrase Henry Ford, “You can have it in any color you want, as long as it’s burgundy.”
That’s not the end of the world, and it probably won’t be a dealbreaker for most people, but if you had your heart set on a machine that allowed you to customize the color, this one isn’t the right model for you.
A good-looking frame will only get you so far, though. Very few people buy a mobility aid primarily on the basis of looks. Function almost always matters more than form, though the fact that the Sprinter is easy on the eyes is certainly a nice bonus.
To really understand this machine, though, we need numbers. Here’s a quick overview of the numbers that define this model:
- Overall Product Dimensions: 52” L x 23” W x 30-42” H
- Total Weight: 181 pounds (the two batteries contribute 32 pounds each to this total)
- Maximum Supported Weight: 350 pounds
- Top Speed: 5 MPH
- Seat Dimensions: The default seat is Captain’s style and measures 19” W x 18” D x 21” BH, but we’ll cover the options below.
- Max. Slope: 8 degrees
- Wheels (front and rear): 12” (the default wheels are pneumatic, but again, we’ll talk about options below)
- Range: 25 miles
- Ground Clearance: 3”
- Turning Radius: 54”
These numbers are very good, with a couple of them verging on being outstanding.
Taking it from the top, you’ll note that this is a fairly large machine with a good-sized footprint.
Also, note that it doesn’t come apart or fold up, so this one isn’t especially travel-friendly unless you’ve got a truck or van with a ramp or if you’ve got a lift on the back of your car.
If you’re not looking for a highly mobile, travel-friendly model, that won’t bother you in the least, but if you are, then just know upfront that taking the Sprinter on the road with you will involve some additional purchases unless you already have the aforementioned ramp/lift.
Where the maximum supported weight is concerned, there’s no formalized industry standard here, but if you were to survey 500 random mobility aids on the market today and average their supported weights, you’d wind up right at 300 pounds.
At 350 pounds, this one is significantly above that line, a fact that makes this model useful to more than 90% of the market.
The weight limit, though, is a hard limit. If you’re under the recommended limit, you won’t have a thing to worry about. If you happen to be over it, though, then it doesn’t matter how much you like this model—it’s just not going to work for you.
With a top speed of five miles per hour, it’s fair to say that the Sprinter has some zip to it.
Granted, it’s fairly easy to find machines that go faster, but more than half the machines on the market today have a top speed of around 3.5 miles per hour, which is underwhelming. Sure, sure, it’ll get you where you’re going, provided you’re not in a hurry and you don’t mind being outpaced by power walkers.
You probably won’t have to worry about that with the Sprinter. Even better, with a 25-mile range and 3” of ground clearance, you can take this scooter places that many others simply won’t go. A machine with a paltry 1.5” ground clearance is going to feel like a toy after you drive this one for a bit.
Not that those machines don’t have their uses, of course. If you plan to use your scooter exclusively in town, then you don’t need much ground clearance.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a machine that’s versatile enough to putter around in your yard or put onto the back of your RV and take to the campground, you need something with more clearance, or you’re going to constantly be getting hung up on various obstructions (roots, rocks, etc.).
Not good, and if that’s how you see yourself using your scooter, the Sprinter has got you covered.
It’s also better than average at slope handling, so if you live in a hilly area, don’t worry that the Sprinter won’t have the power to get you up and over. It almost certainly will.
As with weight limit, there’s no formal standard in the industry, but if you surveyed a few hundred scooters at random, you’d find that most of them can handle slopes of up to six degrees. The Sprinter has that beat.
About the only disappointing number on the whole list is the turning radius. At 54”, this isn’t a scooter you can use easily inside your house, though it should be fine at the grocery store, shopping malls, and the like.
Unless you live in a palace, you’re going to need something smaller and with a much tighter turn radius to use inside your home. If you do try to use it in your house, expect to have to make lots of multi-point turns as you try to navigate from one room to the next.
The Sprinter XL4 Scooter is Surprisingly Adjustable and Comfortable
We regard this as one of the strongest components of our Shoprider Sprinter XL4 review because this model really has a lot to offer here.
In the last section, we mentioned that the Sprinter had a number of different seating options available.
This is the section to highlight those.
The default seat is quite good, being a Captain’s chair that both slides and swivels. You can slide it forward (toward the tiller) and adjust the angle of the tiller, giving you all kinds of flexibility in terms of positioning, which means you can tweak your ride so that it fits you like a glove.
That’s not only great design, but it’s also part of what makes the Sprinter fun to drive.
Let’s face it, nobody wants to drive around in a dinky, cramped scooter, and here, you won’t have to.
In addition to that, the armrests of the seat flip up, and combined with the swivel function (which has four locking positions, by the way), it makes transferring into and out of the scooter a simple matter.
If the default seat doesn’t work for you for one reason or another, though, when you place your order, you can specify one of the following options:
- 17.5” W 17” D x 14” BH vinyl pillow-top
- 20” W x 18” D x 20” BH grey vinyl Captain’s chair with recline function
- 18” W x 18” D x 21” BH pan seat
- 20” W x 18” D x 20” BH seat with recline
- 18” W x 16” D x 14” BH fish-on style seat
- 16” W x 16” D x 18” BH pan seat with recline
- 17.5” W x 15” D x 18” BH seat with recline
- 18” W x 17.5” D x 19” BH seat
- 21” W x 21” D x 21.5” BH seat with recline
- 20” W x 20” D x 23” BH pan seat with recline
The two we’re most intrigued by are the pillow top option and the seat that reclines. Both of these really take comfort to the next level.
Granted, the upholstery is vinyl, which means that the longer you sit in it, the hotter it’s going to get. But still, you could actually lounge in this thing when you got to where you were going with the right kind of seat.
Of course, if you were planning to use this for extended periods of seating, you’d still probably want to venture into the aftermarket to get some kind of seat pad to enhance the comfort further, but with the seat options available here, you can make your Sprinter delightfully comfy.
One final note before we leave this section, we mentioned the adjustable headrest in passing in an earlier section, but it bears mentioning again here, as it is yet another adjustable feature that the Sprinter has on offer!
Accessories Available For the Sprinter
The Sprinter comes with two good extras built in—a front-mounted mesh basket and a headlamp. Both add tremendous value to the machine. In the case of the basket, it makes it useful on a practical level, allowing you to saddle up and head to the grocery store to get a few supplies when the need arises.
The inclusion of the headlamp, though, really takes the Sprinter to the next level, essentially doubling the number of hours in the day you can use it. We love it, and we think you will too.
In addition to those, however, if you decide you want one of these, you’ll be able to add your choice of an oxygen tank holder, a walker holder, and a safety belt at your option.
Honestly, we wish the safety belt came standard on the machine, but we’ll certainly take it as an accessory! All three of those are high-value potential additions, and if you want even more in the way of customization options, the aftermarket is brimming with possibilities.
The Sprinter Gets High Marks For Ease of Use But Relatively Low Marks For Portability
We’ve already talked about the fact that the Sprinter neither comes apart nor folds up for transport, so again, if you want to take this scooter on the road, you’re going to either need a ramp and the right kind of vehicle or you’re going to need a lift on the back of your car or RV.
That’s not necessarily a dealbreaker, but it does bear careful consideration because if you have to invest in a lift in addition to the scooter itself, that could really strain your budget or delay the purchase.
In terms of ease of use, however, the Sprinter really shines.
The control system is a lesson in simplicity, and you’ll have the basics mastered in a matter of minutes. About the only thing you may need a bit more practice on is turning around because remember, it’s got a 54” turn radius. And the odds are good that you’re going to find yourself in a situation where you have to turn around—no matter how careful you are.
Overall though, the folks at Shoprider did a great job making this model as easy to use as possible, and we love that!
Pros & Cons of Shoprider Sprinter XL4 Mobility Scooter
We regard this as being a fairly self-selecting machine. It’s got a feature set that is going to really appeal to a certain set of the buying public, and if you are a member of that set, you’re going to love it.
The scooter’s strongest features are its ground clearance, its surprising level of comfort and adjustability, and the fact that it’s such an incredibly versatile machine.
Having said that, it does have two significant points of weakness. First, as is common with many four-wheeled models, it’s got a poor turning radius. If you are looking for a machine to use in your home, this one isn’t going to be a good fit for you.
Second, since it doesn’t come apart or fold up, traveling with it is a bit of an issue. It’s not an insurmountable problem, but it is something to think about for sure.
Shoprider Sprinter XL4 Review Conclusion
We really like this scooter, but we readily admit that it won’t be for everyone. If you weigh more than 300 pounds and have been struggling to find a machine that will support you, this one’s a fantastic option.
You’ll also need to be the kind of person who isn’t all that interested in traveling with the machine or be a truck or van owner, which will make traveling with it an easier proposition.
If that describes you, you’ll love it, but that makes the machine fairly narrowly targeted in terms of market segment, and on that basis, we can only give it a provisional recommendation.
Comparable Products to Consider
If, after reading this review, you’ve decided that the Sprinter just isn’t a good fit for you, here are a couple of other options you may want to consider:
This one’s even less travel friendly than the machine we just talked about, but it’s also more rugged and versatile. With a better ground clearance, you can take this one places that would leave the Sprinter cowering in fear, and it’s got a built-in bonus because it looks like a giant, adult-sized Tonka Toy. If that’s your thing, you’re going to love it.
Offered by the same company that makes the machine we just told you about, the Echo is built for a different segment of the market. It’s the scooter you want if portability is the feature most important to you. An incredibly capable machine.
References and Resources:
- Shoprider, Official Brand Website.
- Shoprider Sprinter XL4 Mobility Scooter User Manual.
- Fun and Engaging Outdoor Activities For Disabled Adults, Better Me.
- Electric Mobility Scooters: Information, Types, Guides, Disabled World.
- A Literature Review of Wheelchair Transportation Safety Relevant to Automated Vehicles, MDPI.