MotorGuide Xi3 vs Minn Kota Edge

Two popular trolling motors on the market are Minn Kota’s Edge and a direct competitor in Motorguide’s Xi3.

Today, I delve into the nuances of both of these trolling motors, guiding you to make an informed buying choice for your skiff.

This comprehensive comparison sheds light on their similar features, notable differences, and I’ll throw in some compatibility and integration considerations for you.

Common Features

These are the base model trolling motors from MotorGuide and Minn Kota, and as such, neither one has the “bells and whistles” offered by the more expensive and competent models. 

When choosing an electric trolling motor for kayaks or small boats, we consider various essential attributes. I find that both the MotorGuide Xi3 and Minn Kota Edge provide valuable features to meet the needs of avid and recreational anglers alike. Here’s a clear breakdown:

FeatureMotorGuide Xi3Minn Kota Edge
Mounting PositionBow MountBow Mount
Thrust (lbs.) Options45, 50, 7045, 55, 70
Voltage12V, 24V12V, 24V
Motor TypeBrushBrush
Item Weight (45-inch shaft)45 pounds44 pounds
Shaft Length (inches)36-inch, 45-inch, 50-inch36-inch, 45-inch, 52-inch
Shaft DurabilityCombined Composite and Stainless ShaftIndestructible Composite Shaft
Steering TypeCable (certain models) and Tiller SteerCable and Tiller Steer
Control TypeFoot Control Only on smaller models (Digital Hand Control is available with 55 lbs. of thrust)Cable-Steer Foot Pedal or Hand Tiller
ControlFoot PedalCable-Steer Foot Pedal
Foot PedalCable18-inch cable
Foot Pedal StyleHeel-Toe Operation /CableHeel-Toe / Cable
Direction IndicatorIncludedIncluded
Auto Stow and DeployNoNo
Power SteeringNoNo
Battery IndicatorYesNo
Digital MaximizerYesNo
Assisted Deploy and Stow SystemManualManual
Propellor3 blade weedless2 blade weedless
Fresh Water UseYesYes
Salt Water UseYesNo
Warranty2-year limited2-year limited
Mounting Bracketaircraft-grade extruded aluminumUniversal
GPS FeaturesNoNo
Fish Finding TechnologyNoNo

🔑 Key Similarities
In terms of warranty and customer service, both manufacturers maintain service centers in the United States and provide phone support, distinguishing their customer care quality.

They ensure that obtaining replacement parts, accessing repair centers, and utilizing warranties are straightforward processes.

Additionally, steering with the foot pedal offers convenient heel-toe operation and a responsive cable mechanism. This design balances anglers’ needs for responsive control and advanced technology, maintaining high quality and durability in trolling motors.

Notable Differences

While they may look similar on paper, the Edge and the Xi3 have several differences regarding factors such as ease of use and durability.

Speed Control Systems

I find the variable speed control on the MotorGuide Xi3 to be significantly more precise than the incremental settings on the Minn Kota Edge.

Even though the Edge features a 5-speed forward and 3-speed reverse system, the infinite speed control and Digital Power Management technology of the Xi3 stand out, providing more control and efficient battery usage.

Thrust Power Supplied

The smallest and largest models of the MotorGuide Xi3 and the Minn Kota Edge supply an identical thrust value (45 lbs. and 70 lbs.) The mid-level model Minn Kota supplies 55 lbs. compared to the MotorGuide Xi3 (50 lbs.)

While 5 pounds may seem marginal, it could be crucial depending on the angling conditions and your boat’s requirements.

Available Shaft Lengths

The shaft length of a bow-mounted trolling motor is calculated by measuring the distance from the mounting surface of the bow to the water surface. Once you have this measurement, add 20 inches to get the recommended minimum shaft length.

MotorGuide X3Minn Kota Edge
Shaft Length (inches)36-inch, 45-inch, 50-inch36-inch, 45-inch, 52-inch

The longest shaft length available for the Edge is 52 inches and 50 inches for the MotorGuide Xi3.

The rule of thumb is that if you are fishing in rough water, you should add 5 inches to the trolling motor’s shaft length. This may be another factor that pushes you towards the Minn Kota Edge.

Stowing and Deployment

Manual stow and deploy methods mark both the Xi3 and Edge.

Minn Kota’s latch and door design features a traditional pull-rope system and weighing 44 pounds, manually stowing and deploying it doesn’t pose much of a challenge.

The MotorGuide has a simple manual stow and deploy. The motor weighs 45 pounds, which most anglers can manage,

For anglers favoring sturdiness, the Minn Kota Edge might present a slight advantage.

Battery Life Enhancements

The digital power management system of the MotorGuide Xi3 can enhance battery life and extend the boat’s range, which is particularly effective compared to the more traditional energy efficiency in the Minn Kota Edge.

The lack of an equivalent system in the Edge may lead you to consider the Xi3 a better option in terms of battery life efficiency.

The Trolling Motor Prices

Budget often plays a significant role, and the MotorGuide Xi3 usually offers more competitive pricing on the lower-end models.

However, discounted prices on the higher-end model of the Minn Kota Edge might sway some anglers to prefer the Minn Kota when shopping for a 70-pound thrust motor.

Also consider you may need one or more electric trolling motor batteries, a battery charger and a circuit breaker.

Compatibility And Integration

Transducer Options

Unfortunately, those seeking to integrate transducers with either the MotorGuide X3 or the Minn Kota Edge will find no compatible options.

These models prioritize simplicity and cost-effectiveness, so they do not support additional transducer attachments.

Shaft Lengths

The efficiency of a trolling motor greatly depends on choosing the right shaft length. I can confirm that both models offer a variety of shaft lengths to suit different conditions:

  • Short Shaft: Best for shallow waters
  • Medium Shaft: Ideal for average depth waters
  • Long Shaft: Necessary for deep water conditions

Chartplotter Compatibility

When it comes to navigation enhancements, it’s important to note that neither the MotorGuide Xi3 nor the Minn Kota Edge have support for integrating chartplotter systems.

They are designed to be straightforward, standalone trolling motors, focusing more on core functionalities rather than advanced GPS features.

My Final Verdict

Being a fan of Minn Kota, I was a little surprised at my choice of which motor offers the better value offer.

My considered opinion is that the MotorGuide Xi3 offers the best value for money. The digital battery management system adds range and longevity to the battery system. 

It doesn’t harm theXi3’s case that it costs less for the two lower-power models. In this regard, if you prioritize budget-friendliness, the MotorGuide Xi3 may be the better option for the two smaller models. 

However, if you are a fan of the Minn Kota brand (and many anglers are), the differences between the two products are not so great that you will be forced to change your loyalties.

Another benefit of the Minn Kota Edge’s simplicity is that the user-friendly design makes it a great choice for beginners and recreational boaters.

Frequently Asked Questions

FeatureMotorGuide Xi3Minn Kota Edge
Thrust Options45, 55, 70 pounds of thrust45, 55, 70 pounds of thrust
Voltage12v or 24vTypically 12v
GPS CapabilitiesAvailable GPS technology for precise boat controlDoes not include built-in GPS technology
Mounting and SteeringEquipped with wireless control for flexibilityUtilizes a foot pedal and a cable steer system for navigation

Reliability can be subjective and is often influenced by personal experience and specific use cases. Both the MotorGuide Xi3 and the Minn Kota Edge are known for their durability and performance across different conditions.

The MotorGuide Xi3 offers a saltwater version with corrosion-resistant materials. Minn Kota Edge is designed more for freshwater but can handle occasional brackish water if properly maintained.

Battery life for trolling motors is often contingent on the battery itself and the usage conditions. Both MotorGuide Xi3 and Minn Kota Edge have efficient power management; however, the actual battery life will depend on factors like thrust level, water conditions, and boat weight.

The GPS feature of the MotorGuide Xi3 allows for:

  • Anchor Mode: Keeping the boat stationary at a particular spot despite wind and current.
  • Route Recording: Ability to save and follow an existing path.
  • Wireless Control: Enhances convenience in boat steering.

The Minn Kota Edge does not come with GPS features, focusing instead on reliable and straightforward steering control through its foot pedal.

The MotorGuide Xi3 is often touted for its easy wireless installation and the convenience of not needing a foot pedal. On the other hand, the Minn Kota Edge requires more setup due to its cable steer system, but it is also considered user-friendly after initial installation.

I’m the founder and chief editor here at Kite Ship. The electrification of boating is the most exciting thing to happen to the marine industry in a generation! Welcome, and I hope that we can provide the portal you need to dive into the world of electric propulsion and power.