In a Nutshell:
The Shoprider Sunrunner mobility scooter is a very robust design that’s useful in a wide range of terrains—one of Shoprider’s best. Recommended for anyone weighing up to 300 pounds who’s looking for a versatile mobility aid.
- Great-looking and enjoyable to drive
- Versatile and surprisingly comfortable
- High-value accessories available
- Relatively poor turn radius
- Not highly portable; requires additional equipment for travel
Do you refuse to let your mobility issue get in your way or slow you down? Are you looking for a robust, well-designed scooter that can take you over a wide range of terrains? If you answered yes to both of those questions, then you’re going to like what you read here in our Shoprider Sunrunner review.
If you haven’t heard of Shoprider, you might be thinking that this is an off-brand. It’s not!
While the company isn’t one of the Titans of the mobility industry, they are very well respected and have been making high-quality mobility aids for decades, which is to say that if you decide you want one of these, you can buy with confidence, knowing that the company will be there for you if you need them.
One thing we should mention before we dive deeper into the review, however, is the fact that some readers may have been drawn here because they’re interested in finding out more about the Shoprider Sunrunner 3-wheel variant.
The company did make these at one time, but the Shoprider Sunrunner 3 seems to have been discontinued as it is no longer featured on the manufacturer’s website.
If you have your heart set on the three-wheeled model, you may be able to find one from a third-party vendor, but this review will be focused squarely on the Shoprider Sunrunner deluxe, which is the four-wheeled model. With that said, if your interest is piqued, read on, and let’s see what this machine has to offer.
Sunrunner Shoprider 4-Wheel Mobility Scooter Overview
We regard this as a strong component of our Shoprider Sunrunner review. The Sunrunner, offered in both burgundy and blue, makes a great first impression. It’s an incredibly polished machine that stacks up well against anything you’ll see from the big-name players like Pride Mobility or Drive Medical.
While we like that the company offers this model in two colors, we regard the burgundy option as being the hands-down winner here. Opinions will vary, of course, but the Sunrunner Shoprider is one sharp-looking machine!
Of course, good looks will only get you so far. The overwhelming majority of people who buy one of these invest in it so they can get from point A to point B, and to that end, the raw numbers that define the model ultimately matter more. We’ll take a look at those numbers just below.
Shoprider Sunrunner 4-Wheel Scooter Specifications
- Overall Product Dimensions: 48” L x 23” W x 43” H
- Total Weight: 180 pounds (batteries are 24 pounds each, and the Sunrunner comes with two)
- User Weight Limit: 300 pounds
- Top Speed: 5 MPH
- Seat Dimensions: Numerous; see below
- Max. Slope: 8 degrees (maximum recommended is 14%)
- Wheels: 10”
- Range: 25 miles
- Ground Clearance: 3”
- Turning Radius: 50”
Most of these numbers are quite good, and there’s a lot to talk about here. Taking it from the top, the first thing to note is that the Sunrunner Shoprider scooter does not fold up, and you can’t take it apart for transport, which means that you’ll need to get a lift for your vehicle if you drive a sedan, or a ramp if you have a truck or van.
That’s not awful, but it’s worth drawing your attention to because if you’re looking for something you can fold (or disassemble) and go, this isn’t the machine you want. But don’t worry; we’ll list a couple of recommendations at the end of this review, so we’ve got you covered.
The total weight is about what you’d expect for a scooter of this type, and the user weight is in line with the informal industry average, which makes this model accessible for about 85% of the market.
The top speed isn’t overly impressive, but given how many machines you’ll find that top out at around 3.5 MPH, this one’s pretty good. Granted, it’s not hard to find a faster scooter, but as long as you don’t have a burning need for speed, this one should work for most folks.
Where the seat is concerned, the Sunrunner offers a surprising number of options. If you decide you want one, on the order form, you’ll find the following:
- 17.5” W x 17” D pillow-top Captain’s style seat
- 17.5” W x 15” D Captain’s style seat
- 18” W x 17.5” D seat
- 20” W x 18” D Gray or Black Captain’s Style Seat
- 21” W x 21” D Captain’s chair (black)
- 16” W x 16” D pan seat
- 18” W x 18” D pan seat
- 20” W x 20” D pan seat
- 18” W x 16” D stadium seat
- Or a 19” W x 18” D Captain’s style seat (this is the one that comes standard on the scooter)
This is pure awesome, and it means that when you get your Shoprider Sunrunner 4, it will fit you like a glove.
Of course, the tradeoff is that you’ll need to take a couple of careful measurements before you place your order. Most people are fine with that, but it’s worth keeping in mind. Guesswork won’t do here, or you could wind up with something that’s hard (or outright impossible) to use. Not good.
The slope handling of the Sunrunner scooter is a cut above average, so it will serve you well, even if you live in a hilly area. Even better, it’s got three inches of ground clearance, which makes it suitable for use on a wide range of terrains.
This is significant because many scooters have 2” or less where ground clearance is concerned, which is also true of many of the other models that Shoprider makes. Granted, 3” isn’t enough to qualify this as an adventure chair, so don’t expect to be able to take it down anything other than an “easy” hiking trail.
On the other hand, you should have little trouble driving around your property unless you’ve got incredibly rugged terrain that’s filled with roots, rocks, and other significant obstacles.
The tires are interesting.
The default tires on the Shoprider Sunrunner 4 deluxe are air-filled, but at your option, when you place your order, you can swap those out for solid tires. There’s no “right” answer where that is concerned. It comes down to personal preference and how (and where) you plan to use the machine.
The only potential downside we see here is the fact that the Sunrunner has a relatively poor turning radius.
This is actually a feature, not a bug, and a commonality you’ll find among most of the four-wheeled scooter models on the market today.
What it means, however, is that if you’re planning to use your scooter inside your home, it’s not really a good fit for that, and it’s a complete non-starter if you live in an RV or smaller house or apartment.
This machine requires room to operate, and if you try to use it in a cramped environment, you’ll find yourself having to make innumerable multi-point turns. The one potential upside to that is you’ll get plenty of practice backing up, but let’s face it, most people wouldn’t call that a strong selling point!
Surprisingly Adjustable and Relatively Comfortable
This is another surprisingly strong component of our Shoprider Sunrunner review because this model has more adjustable features than we were expecting. First, the seat swivels, and the armrests can be height adjusted to taste and flipped up to get them out of the way.
The combination of the seat swivel and the flip-up arms make transferring into and out of the scooter a breeze.
In addition to that, the tiller can be angle adjusted, and the height-adjustable seat slides forward and backward, allowing you to find the driving sweet spot for you.
The Sunrunner mobility scooter is about average where comfort is concerned, but note that you’ve got a number of attractive seating options where this model is concerned.
Comfort-wise, the best of the bunch is the pillow top Captain’s style seat, but that one is only offered in one seat size and may not be a good fit for everyone.
If you get that one, you’ll be able to lounge comfortably in the chair for extended periods.
On the other hand, if that option isn’t a good fit for you, get the best fit, then plan on spending a little extra in the aftermarket to augment the padding to taste. There are dozens of options to choose from—ranging from conventional block foam to memory pad—so you can make the Sunrunner as comfy as you’d like it to be.
Good Selection of Accessories
Before we get into the optional equipment you can add when you place your order, let’s talk about the “extras” that come standard on the machine.
First, there’s the headlight package and turn signal kit. This is significant because it essentially doubles the amount of time you can use the machine outdoors.
Second is the generously sized, front-mounted basket. That’s also significant because it enables you to use the scooter to make shopping trips from the moment you get it charged up for the first time.
Even better, with the Sunrunner’s twenty-five-mile range, you’re not limited to short hops to the closest store and back. You can go shopping, veer off to visit a friend, hit another store a bit farther out, and then make it home—all on a single charge.
In addition to these things, when you place your order, you can add any of the following:
- A metal oxygen tank holder
- A walker holder
- A pair of side mirrors
- Or a cup holder
These are all very good extras, and the first three are incredibly high value (with the cup holder being mostly a convenience thing).
The only item that’s conspicuously absent here is a safety belt. We wish that came standard on this and every scooter model on the market today, but that’s just not where the industry is right now.
Fortunately, if you decide you want one, you can find plenty of near-universal options in the aftermarket.
Overall though, we’re pretty impressed by the extras on offer here, and we think you will be too.
Average For Portability and Ease of Use
First, let’s talk about how easy it is to master the controls of the Sunrunner. They’re well designed and intuitive, and it should only take you a matter of minutes to get a firm handle on the basics.
About the only thing that will take a little longer to master is the turn radius and executing multi-point turns if you get yourself into a tight spot, but even then, it’s not hard. It just takes a bit of getting used to.
Portability is another matter. This model can’t be broken down for transport and doesn’t fold up. If you travel a lot and are looking for something that’s exceptionally travel-friendly, then this model is probably a relatively poor fit.
On the other hand, you can travel with it if you’re willing to invest in a lift for the back of your sedan or a ramp if you’ve got a truck, SUV, or van. That’s totally doable; it just takes a little more in the way of an investment to make it work. Again, no “right” answer here beyond what works best for you.
One thing to note is that since the Sunrunner doesn’t fold up and can’t be broken into pieces, it’s not very air travel-friendly. For that, you’ll want a much lighter and more portable machine.
Pros & Cons of Shoprider Sunrunner Scooter
In no particular order, here are the things we think you’ll like best about the Shoprider Sunrunner mobility scooter:
- It’s a great-looking machine that’s fun to drive.
- It’s very versatile and surprisingly comfortable.
- And there are a number of high-value accessories on offer.
On the other hand, it’s by no means perfect, and there are some shortcomings and limitations to bear in mind. These include the fact that it has a relatively poor turn radius and is not all that portable. So if you want to take it on the road, you’ll either need to invest in a ramp if you own a truck, van, or SUV or a lift for your rear bumper if you own a sedan.
Neither of those issues is insurmountable, but they do bear keeping in mind as you evaluate this machine against the other models you’re considering.
Shoprider Sunrunner Review Conclusion
We’d close our Shoprider Sunrunner review by saying that we actually kind of love the Sunrunner. It’s an incredibly versatile machine and one of the very best that Shoprider makes.
If you decide you want one of these, you won’t be disappointed. This one is highly recommended.
Comparable Products to Consider
If you’ve reached this point of our review and have pretty much decided that the Sunrunner just isn’t the right model for you, here are a couple of other options to consider:
We’re including a link to this model by the same company for those who have read this review and have decided they’re looking for something that’s more travel-friendly than the Sunrunner.
While the Echo has the disadvantage of not supporting quite the same weight as the Sunrunner, it has the advantage of being far more portable and travel-friendly. If that’s specifically what you’re looking for, this one is a good option to consider.
One of our favorite mobility aids, this beast looks rugged. Of course, it also looks a bit like a giant Tonka toy, and if you used to love those as a kid, you’re going to be thrilled with this machine.
Aesthetics aside, it is supremely capable and can take you places that the Sunrunner would struggle. It’s an engineering masterpiece and definitely belongs on your shortlist of options to consider.
References and Resources:
- Shoprider, Official Brand Website.
- Shoprider Sunrunner Mobility Scooter User Manual.
- Outdoor Recreation is a Challenge for Differently Abled, Even When Accessibility is Promised, Concord Monitor.
- Important Road Safety Tips for Mobility Scooter Users, Richmond.
- ‘I Wanted That Self-Reliance Back’: Disabled Hikers Forge a New Path, The New York Times.