Jon Danger

What Are the Best Golf Carts?

Apr 30

Whether you’re tired of paying cart fees at the golf course or want to cruise around your neighborhood leisurely, nothing offers the convenience of a golf cart. But with price tags as much as a used car, research is essential.

The best golf carts combine speed, reliability, durability, and extras to create the ultimate cruising machine. While the right golf cart for you will depend on your tastes and budget, understanding the available features and top brand names can help you make the perfect decision.

This buyer's guide to the best golf carts on the market will help you learn more about the ins and outs of golf carts, the top brands, and how to decide on the right one.

The Best Golf Carts: What To Consider Before You Buy

Golf carts on a lot

Golf carts were invented in the early 1930s and have been a staple of golf courses, retirement communities, and, most recently, inner-city neighborhoods. Much has changed since early models, complicating the selection process. Before you plop down a hefty payment, think about these features and which ones work for your unique situation.

Electric vs. Gas

One of the most important choices is whether to buy a gas or electric golf cart. Both have pros and cons, but since every situation is unique, one will probably stand out to you.

An electric golf cart is quiet, eco-friendly, and requires little maintenance. However, it often has lower top speeds and can struggle up steep grades. Most electric carts also come without battery life gauges, so you'll need a tow or push if you run out of battery. Finally, like other electric vehicles, you’ll have to wait while the cart charges — make sure to plug it in after use.

Gas golf carts have more robust powertrain, offering speed and torque you won’t get with an electric cart. They’re usually street-legal when you drive off the lot, and they offer a range of between 100 to 150 miles, compared to 15 to 20 miles for an electric golf cart.

Unfortunately, gas golf carts are also noisy, more expensive to maintain, and aren’t for the eco-conscious.


Most golf carts are made from high-quality metals with powder coatings. However, some are more durable than others. If you live near the ocean, an aluminum frame won’t rust, but leakage from lead acid or lithium-ion golf cart batteries can cause corrosion. Steel frames won’t corrode from batteries, but saltwater will damage them over time.


The number of seats is also an important consideration. If you’re using the cart primarily for hitting the fairway for 18 holes on a regular or par-3 course, a two-seater should suffice while giving you room for clubs. For pedestrian-based golf carts, you may want to opt for a four-seater.


Most golf carts go between 10 and 15 mph, which is more than enough for golfers on the course. If you want more power, many gas-powered carts can go as fast as 25 to 30 mph, making them ideal for on-road driving.


Off-roading is another important aspect of finding the best golf cart for you. Lift kits can help you overcome obstacles, but larger off-road tires and an independent rear suspension are also integral. Even if you have an off-road beast for the sake of functionality, you should still consider whether giving up a comfortable ride is worth the hassle, as off-road suspensions are stiffer.


Like cars, golf carts can be as stripped-down or fully loaded as you want. Your budget will play a major role in this decision, but you have plenty of extras you can add, including:

  • All-weather golf cart cover
  • Sleek design cues, including body kits
  • Cup holders
  • Cooler or storage under the rear seat
  • Interior LED light kits
  • Multiple color options
  • GPS
  • Garage door opener
  • Premium seats

The 3 Best Golf Carts

Golf cart parked on the fairway

Ask any golf cart enthusiasts what the best golf carts are, and you’re likely to hear the same three answers: Club Car, E-Z-Go, and Yamaha. Both have stellar reputations, warranties, and top features, garnering the trust of golf cart drivers and golf courses everywhere.

1. E-Z-GO

Founded in 1954, E-Z-Go is widely regarded as the best brand in the golf cart market. The company prides itself on high-end features, safety, and extraordinarily low maintenance costs, along with an eight-year warranty.

The RXV and 2Five are both exceptional models, perfect for both the golf course and the open road. Some of the features include electric windshield wipers, standard headlights and taillights, and a glass windshield with seemingly endless

2. Yamaha

Yamaha is another trusted brand in the golf cart market, producing models for the Japanese and American markets since 1975. Known for their durability, customization, and seemingly endless styles and color choices, Yamaha has a golf cart that fits all types of budgets. Though the company makes EV golf carts, Yamaha is widely regarded as having the best gas golf carts in the business.

Yamaha's QuieTech technology is a major improvement over other gas golf cart manufacturers. It results in the lowest-decibel gas golf cart on the market, which is a nice feature compared to some gas golf carts that sound like motorcycles when operating.

If you want a high-end cart, look no further than the Yamaha Drive2 PTV. Packed with an independent rear suspension for a comfortable ride, six color options, 38 miles on a single charge, premium seats, and more, the Drive2 is a top-rated option.

3. Club Car

Established in 1958, Club Car is one of the best golf carts on the market for numerous reasons. Pre-order customization, durability, accessories, and power are tops on the list, although Club Car has been known to tackle hilly terrain with ease.

The Club Car Onward is the company’s flagship model, offering comfortable seating for up to four passengers, a standard lift kit, a concealed storage compartment that doubles as a cooler, impressive rims, a rugged brush guard, and add-on features such as Bluetooth connectivity, a digital dash, and more.

The Best of the Rest

Though the three brands arguably produce the best golf carts on the market today, Chinese-made golf carts offer quality features, excellent aesthetics, and similar add-ons at an attractive price. The only issues with these are a shorter warranty, fewer customization options, and difficulty finding parts.

U.S.-made golf carts typically have longer warranties and high-quality parts, as do European-based brands.

If you’re willing to take a risk, want to try something outside the Big 3, or are a bargain buyer, these golf cart brands are also worth a look.

Chinese Golf Cart Brands

  • ICON
  • Evolution
  • Star
  • Cricket

U.S. Brands

  • Tomberlin (Wisconsin)
  • Cushman (Georgia)

Other Countries

  • Garia (Denmark)
  • Melex (Poland)

New vs. Used: What’s the Better Choice?

Older golf cart on the fairway

One main issue you may encounter when purchasing a golf cart is the new vs. used debacle. Both offer advantages and disadvantages; you must weigh all aspects to decide. Let’s look at some of the most important sides to each.


New golf carts are expensive, especially if you opt for one of the Big 3 golf cart brands. Depending on the features, expect to pay somewhere between $12,000 and $20,000 for a new one. However, the cart market is rapidly expanding, offering more affordable entry-level options for lesser-known brands.

Used golf carts will save you a ton of money. Even lightly driven golf carts can knock $4,000 to $6,000 off the price - an attractive entry point for the thrifty golf cart buyer.


Some used golf cart dealers will throw in a one-year warranty to put your mind at ease, but we recommend looking at the fine print. Many of these warranties only cover major malfunctions and don’t cover cosmetic damage to the cart that’s not your fault.

Conversely, new golf cart warranties are often more comprehensive, replacing parts without any additional cost. If something happens to your charger, lithium battery, engine, wiring, or motor, you’ll be glad you have a full warranty that you don’t often get on a used golf cart.

Features and Parts

A brand-new golf cart will have more extras, features, and options than older or used golf carts. If you can’t live without Bluetooth connectivity, premium sound, or an onboard computer, a new golf cart is the better choice. New golf carts are also more likely to have available parts, whether OEM or otherwise.

Depending on their age, used golf carts may lack the features found in new models. They also may not be fully customizable to your liking, so you’ll want to do some research on aftermarket parts if you want to soup up or pimp out a used model. In addition, parts may be hard to come by; if your golf cart has excessive mileage and is over 15 years old, you may want to consider a new or newer model based on the inability to find parts.

Pulling the Trigger on the Best Golf Cart for You

Regardless of what golf cart you choose, make certain that you choose the features, comfort, and style that suits you. If you don’t love your golf cart on the first test drive, don’t let anyone sway you otherwise. Stick to your guns, trust your instinct, and you’ll find the best golf cart for you.

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