MotorGuide Xi5 Trolling Motor Review

Chris Riley by Chris Riley Updated on March 11, 2021. In Boats

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Fishing is made easier when you are on the right boat. Quiet motors are important so that you won’t scare away the fish you are aiming to catch. The MotorGuide Xi5 is one of the best trolling motors on the market regardless of the water body you want to fish.

The MotorGuide Xi5 is the best choice for those anglers and water adventurers on a tight budget but are still looking for a high-quality trolling motor.

The battery life is decent enough to last for spending several hours in the water. It also comes with several sizes and thrust options. It guarantees you find the best match for your water needs.

It comes with a wireless foot pedal for freshwater models, while the saltwater models have a standard hand-held remote.

Product Overview

MotorGuide Xi5 Wireless Freshwater Trolling Motor

The MotorGuide Xi5 is equipped with universal integrated sonar. It has a preinstalled Lowrance 7-pin connector and uses Lowrance 83/200kHz transducers, making each movement of the boat stealthily quiet and smooth.

Its PinPoint GPS technology provides never-before-seen GPS navigation options. It has three times more defined cruise control, heading lock, anchor, and jog.

This allows easy navigation and more steering control as you move your boat on the water. It has an accurate receiver and two digital compasses that provide clear directions to where you are going.

Moreover, the shaft is durable and can withstand both water and dust. Composite materials used to make the shaft can bend and will not break against tough tides. The lower unit also has a protection circuit that prevents damage.

However, there is one thing that this trolling motor does not come with: adaptor cables. You have to purchase the adaptor cable separately to be compatible with the sonar brands you frequently use. It is compatible with top brands like Garmin, Vexilar, and Humminbird.

Key Features of the MotorGuide Xi5

Power, Thrust, and Size

The power and thrust depend on the size of the MotorGuide Xi5 you are getting. You can choose among a 12V, 24V, and 36V voltage levels. The voltage levels are important because they directly affect the motor’s thrust, which is also available in 3 selections: 55 lbs, 80 lbs, and 105 lbs.

As for the shaft length, you can choose from 45 to 72 in. The different lengths allow you to specifically choose which one fits the size of your boat and the depth of the water you are fishing on.

If you always fish in strong currents, then the best choice is to pick the 36V and 105 lbs thrust. But for calmer water bodies, the 12V and 55 lbs motor will suffice.


The MotorGuide Xi5 comes equipped with a low profile mount which helps reduce the bulkiness of the trolling motor. This low profile mount makes the motor more powerful, stable and increases speed.

Durable Battery

A durable battery is probably one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing an electric motor. Luckily, the MotorGuide Xi5 has a very durable and powerful batter – with a 105 amp hour trolling motor, the MotorGuide can last a few days before a charge.

It’s also equipped with digital technology with can increase the battery up to 50% – in other words, the battery efficiency can actually increase over time.

Finally, the MotorGuide also comes with a digital display which lets you track the battery power so you know when it needs a charge. This eliminates any guessing or manual tracking and won’t leave you stranded if the battery dies abruptly.

The Display, GPS, and Steering

When it comes to navigation, the MotorGuide motor definitely has almost every aspect covered – advanced bearing system, protective housing, shaft support, all of which help increase the motors efficiency and performance.

The LED dashboard offers an easy-to-read panel that shows anglers’ current status of the key functions no matter what the light conditions are. The battery power also has different color indicators to show three levels of battery life in real-time. Although it does not come equipped with a display, you can connect it with most compatible fish finders or chart plotters.

GPS compatibility allows you to easily anchor your boats position, track courses, lock in heading and speed, which is essentially an autopilot feature.

Additionally, the MotorGuide Xi5 Trolling Motor also uses a variable speed system, allowing anglers to easily control the speed and steering, and a wireless foot pedal to control the majority of the motor functions. All this also helps make the better much more efficient.


Finally, the MotorGuide’s sonar transducer is built-in and is compatible with most fish finders and chart plotters as long as you get the appropriate connector cable. The downside of this transducer, however, is that it can only do down imaging and cannot do side imaging at all.

Pros of the MotorGuide Xi5

  • Composite Shaft is an all-new innovative shaft that can withstand any adversaries in the water. No matter what the obstructions are, the powerful shaft will only bend but never break. Thus, it comes with a lifetime warranty to prove that it can withstand the challenges of time.
  • Wireless Foot Pedal gives more control wherever you are on the boat.
  • Next-Gen Digital Technology has 50% more efficient power electronics that improve battery life for longer run time and minimal battery changes.
  • Refined Steering Transmission provides a dependable, precise, and quiet performance. The ball bearings reduce friction and water to ensure that wear-and-tear is minimized. It also keeps water and dust out, all thanks to its customized seal protection.
  • Fully-Protected Electronics are secured with high-tech coating. It is dust and water-resistant to ensure longevity at its best.
  • Low-Profile Mount reduces the bulk of the motor. But still ensures the stability of power and speed.
  • Sonar Transducer is built-in and is compatible with most fishfinder and chart plotters as long as you get the appropriate connector cable. The downside of this transducer, however, is that it cannot do side imaging at all.

Final Takeaway

The MotorGuide Xi5 is a decent trolling motor for those on a tight budget. It comes with all the necessary features needed by anglers for fishing.

The improved elements such as the composite shaft and the New-Gen Digital technology are also great additions to why we highly recommend this motor.

The varying sizes available provide anglers the advantage of choosing the right one specific for their needs. So, if you want a strong, durable, and well-suited option, then choose the MotorGuide Xi5.

About Chris

Outdoors, I’m in my element, especially in the water. I know the importance of being geared up for anything. I do the deep digital dive, researching gear, boats and knowhow and love keeping my readership at the helm of their passions.

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  • Michael Costello on May 18, 2021

    To many bad reviews on it for the same problems. Plus can’t get parts. I know my buddy went motor guide and it has and is a nightmare. He still is waiting on warranty repairs again. First mother board now the GPS . I wanted to go motor guide because I have a new lowrance I wanted to link up, But I would rather be able to use it instead of sitting on the sideline. So minkota


  • Scott M on July 29, 2021

    I have had my MotorGuide Xi5 in 4 times for the same issues. ( Mother board and GPS module twice)
    Now I’m out of warranty and the GPS module appears to be out again)
    I was a motorguide guy for many years now I’m trying to find a way to get out from it…I would not recommend buying the Xi5.


  • Lenny Pelc on August 31, 2021

    Year 2 and mine is in the shop. It has been a pain trying to find someone knowledgeable to work on it. It was a good unit when it worked. I have no other means to troll so I can either anchor or drift fish.


  • Randy corp on September 20, 2021

    I don’t have down imaging and would like to get it what is the best way to get it on my ,xi5?


    • Howard haack on June 26, 2022

      There is not a good way the shaft just eats up cords and the mounting base is very sharp edges and will pinch and cut the cords if wrapped around the shaft. I made a bracket to go over the side of my boat fore the live scope it is a pita to set up all the time though. I will go with the gohst next time.


  • Paul D Grove on February 17, 2022

    I would love to buy a GPS trolling motor, but all the Horror that seem to come with a great expense and waste of time not able to use them. I will wait and use my old tried and true. can’t believe someone can’t make a good unit these days , even the 3500.00 models are having the same issues.


  • Lynn Feagins on March 7, 2022

    Mine has been a nightmare. Foot pedal will not stay synced to motor. Won’t buy any more motorguide junk. I went back to Minn Kota Fortrex.


  • Anthony Patrone on March 13, 2022

    My unit spent more time in shop than water……it still does not work …$1600 ….downthe drain
    I got their junk ……
    They got my money ..
    And it’s always after the warranty is out …
    Never again ..l am disgusted …


  • Joseph Johnson on March 14, 2022



  • Nick Saylor on April 27, 2022

    I have a motor guide KT150-02 ARK-LES260series I need a transom mount bracket for it.thanks for any info. Where I might purchase one.


  • Martin Epperly on May 15, 2022

    I have had my issues with my older Xi5-GPS, uncontrolled acceleration, and other crazy stuff. Replaced the GPS module once, got the dongle update, rerouted the powerhead wiring, and now I’m golden. But, now I bought another boat and plan to sell my current boat, Xi5 and all. At this point, the Xi5 is one of a very few that isn’t on backorder. The problem I have is I hear the same complaints now that I heard several years ago, and I wonder if R&D has ignored the complaints and continued to manufacture the same design with the same problems.


  • Jerome Harvey on June 8, 2022

    The worst trolling motor I had trouble after trouble with motor guide xi5


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