Ather 450X Gen 3 Review - Big Little Changes!
By Sameer Contractor
7 mins read
Published on July 19, 2022
The Ather 450X has been the benchmark for electric scooters in India. We've always liked what the scooter has to offer and over the years, the company has refined the model to quite an extent. It's a good mix of performance and features, but more importantly, it's the reliability that has everyone raging about it. But it's not like the 450X is a perfect scooter. There are several aspects that did need changes and improvement is the name of the game. That's what the third generation of the 450X promises as we recently found out in Bengaluru. Big little changes!
The design and chassis remain the same on the Ather 450X Gen 3
You would be hardpressed to think that this is the third generation of the Ather 450X. There are no design changes per se, but it does get important upgrades on several fronts. The rearview mirrors are now bigger and more functional than before giving much better visibility. There are also the new tyres co-developed by Ather and MRF. It now gets a wider 100-section tyre at the rear, which promises better handling and traction on the road. We'll talk more about that later.
The 100-section rear tyre makes the rear-three quarter look much better on the scooter while also improving handling
For now, the big aesthetic update is the rear wider rear tyre that makes the rear three-quarter less awkward looking than before. Both the rearview mirrors and the tyres can be retrofitted on the older scooters too, which is a big plus for existing owners. But yes, there aren't any design changes or even new colours, which should've been there as part of the generation change. You continue to get White, Space Grey and the one we had and quite like - Mint Green.
There's a new side step that can be bought as an accessory and has been neatly integrated in the design
Ather has not made changes to the chassis either, so some of the older issues continue to be carried over. The floorboard remains high and the seat gets a tad uncomfortable for taller riders. The shorter riders though may not find it to be too much of an issue. That said, you now get a side step as an accessory. It has been neatly integrated into the design and is a highlight specific to the Gen 3 version for now. Ather also plans to introduce new storage accessories that do look cool. This includes a storage carrier around the apron and a backpack that can be fitted onto the rear seat. Thankfully, these are compatible with older generations too and require basic mounting effort.
New Battery, More Range
The big update comes in the form of a new battery. The battery pack itself is larger at 3.7 kWh and packs 17 more cells. The battery pack is 25 per cent larger than before as well as 20 mm longer and offers better heat distribution, improving thermal performance. The battery pack continues to sit beneath the floorboard but on new mounting points. So it can't be retrofitted on older generation scooters. The larger battery pack brings two major benefits. Firstly, the range now crosses the 100 km threshold and has a true range of 105 km on a single charge. This is important as it can finally compete with offerings from Ola Electric and Simple Energy's One scooter. Secondly, the thermal efficiency has gone up by 20 per cent and that means you can hold higher speeds for longer than before.
Ather says its batteries undergo over 203 inspections and tests, which makes them more capable of handling higher temperatures and other issues. At a time when battery reliability is a concern in the EV space, the update to resolve that issue and re-instil confidence in the product.
Despite the 5 kg weight gain, the 450X Gen 3 remains as fun and responsive as before
The PMS motor now makes 6.2 kW or about 8 bhp and 26 Nm of peak torque. The output remains the same as Gen 2 but performance figures remain the same on the Gen 3 450X despite the 5 kg weight gain. Ather says the electric scooter can sprint from 0-40 kmph in 3.3 seconds and it does feel plenty fast. So the good bits have been retained. Acceleration remains strong and throttle calibration is seamless. There's ample low-end power and the new SmartEco mode helps you manage power and range more efficiently. However, the Warp mode is where the fun is and it continues to make the 450X an entertaining scooter. Ather claims a top speed of 80 kmph but the company is being modest as you conveniently do over 90 kmph in the Warp mode. However, stay at high speeds for longer and that battery will deplete fast despite the long range.
The suspension has been re-tuned to factor in the weight increment, new tyres, changes, all of which contribute towards a more confident scooter around corners
Handling & Ride Quality
The new tyre pattern also helps improve the handling of the 450X by a small margin. The wider tyre offers about a 16 per cent improvement in terms of the contact patch and that makes the 450X a more confident product around corners. Even the rearview mirrors are lighter over the older model and that makes direction changes a tad bit more convenient. The difference is subtle but notable. The ride quality continues to be slightly firm and we would've liked a smoother suspension effort here. Braking performance remains strong with the right bite from the levers. The tyres also improve braking over the older model.
The dashboard is faster in use and works more seamlessly than before
The user interface now gets a bigger 2 GB RAM with the Gen 3 450X and it's definitely more responsive. You can switch between applications faster, type faster, and map loads faster than before. Ather says that this allows them to introduce more complicated applications in the future like voice command, opening up room for more possibilities.
The 450X platform is now reaching the peak of its performance and the latest update keeps it in line with customer expectations. The electric scooter is priced at Rs. 1.56 lakh (ex-showroom, Bengaluru) and that makes it about Rs. 5,000 more expensive than before. That's a marginal bump in pricing with a justifiable premium. It only helps take on the offerings like the Ola S1 Pro and the upcoming Simple One more effectively. To give you context, the Ola S1 Pro is priced at Rs. 1.40 lakh, while the Simple One is priced from Rs. 1.10 lakh, up to Rs. 1.45 lakh, depending on the vairant. All prices are ex-showroom, Bengaluru.
The 450X Gen 3 is the big sum of little changes but could do with a comprehensive upgrade
The Ather 450X Gen 3 is more about the small changes contributing to the big sum of things. This was always a proven product and there's no doubt about that. The small changes do make a big difference now indeed. But we would've liked more comprehensive changes to the chassis and the design as well. But for those concerned about the battery life itself and battery safety, this update does answer a lot of those concerns. The improvements are important if not enough but it is a step in the right direction helping the 450X retain its benchmark title. But the rivals are closing that gap now, faster than you think.
Last Updated on March 31, 2023
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