Last Updated on April 2, 2023 by Matt
In this detailed hands-on Apollo City review and test, I will go over my experience with it, and we will see why this scooter rose through the ranks so quickly, and became one of the most popular models in the mid-price range, despite facing heavy competition.
Apollo City pros and cons
- Very good quality
- Great value for money
- Great balance of features and performance
- Great brakes
- Good suspension
- Grip tape on the deck might peel off
- Flats are possible (not too common)
- Might be slow for some (although it’s not supposed to be a fast scooter)
In the US, the official listing for the Apollo City at the Apollo store is the best place to get the original scooter from, and probably the only one at this point. If you are interested in saving a few hundred dollars, you may want to see if there’s a refurbished Apollo City available as well.
The scooter is also available in Canada through the Apollo Canada store. You can also apply for financing on the Canadian store website.
If you live in the UK or in most European countries, the scooter might be available at Ride And Glide as well, and you may want to check out that option as well, as you will get free or very affordable shipping, and the scooter will be shipped to you faster.
Price, price matching, and coupons
Usually, the scooter costs around $1100 or more, but currently, the scooter is discounted to $999.
It is unlikely that you will find the original scooter at a lower price from another merchant, but in case you do, Apollo offers price matching, and you can get the scooter at the same price, while keeping all the benefits that come with ordering through Apollo.
Also, if you use my coupon code NE28PN5KFW, you will get $50 worth of free accessories, upgrades, or spare parts.
Shipping for Apollo scooters is free. It usually takes between 2 and 6 business days.
At this time, the Apollo City can only be pre-ordered, and shipping may take a bit longer than usual.
A big part of the success that Apollo scooters have seen is due to the brand’s excellent customer support team and processes. I’ve personally had the pleasure of communicating with members of their team, and I can confidently confirm what the scooter community also claims – the level of care and the attention to detail the Apollo team provides you is unrivaled. You can get support in any day of the week.
You can get support through their contact forms, through their email address sup[email protected], and through their social media accounts.
Probably one of the biggest game-changers that Apollo brought to the scooter world were warranty periods that were actually useful and truly aimed at providing owners of Apollo scooters the best possible ownership experience.
With 24 months of warranty on the wear-and-tear parts and repairs at cost, and 12 months on every manufacturing defect, Apollo scooters have the best warranty policy in the game. This warranty period applies to this scooter as well.
You can find out more on the Apollo warranty page.
Return and refund policy
In case you change your mind about the scooter before it has been shipped, you can cancel the order for a full refund.
If the scooter has been shipped, you can get the full refund amount minus the shipping costs. The same applies when the scooter has been delivered to you, and you wish to return it before opening it. Usually, the shipping cost for this scooter will be around $120, and that’s the amount you will be deducted in case you wish to return the scooter. The return period is 14 days for unused scooters.
If the scooter has been used, you will not be able to return it and ask for a refund.
See the Apollo returns and refunds page to find out more.
I’ll just go ahead and say it – I found the Apollo City to be a truly excellent versatile scooter, and I would recommend it to most people that are looking for the best scooter in the $1000 price range.
It felt like it provided the perfect mix of quality, ride smoothness, safety, and balanced performance. It will be just right for several different categories of scooter owners, ranging from the urban commuter to the true scooter connoisseur.
The Apollo City is both user-friendly and beginner-friendly. It is very simple to set up, use, and immediately start riding and having fun with it.
The scooter arrives in a plain brown box, and is protected by styrofoam and nylon covers.
The box will contain:
- Allen multikey
- user manual
- warranty card
The scooter arrives in one part, so the only assembly you will have to do is unfold it, and tighten all the screws around the cockpit. Also, before you ride, make sure that the tires are inflated and the battery is full.
You will find the Apollo City manual to be clear, detailed, with useful illustrations, but also not longer than needed.
I strongly recommend going through it at least briefly, as it may have instructions and details that are specific to your version of the scooter that are not available elsewhere.
How to fold and unfold
The folding mechanism of the Apollo City is both very safe and very simple to use. Folding and unfolding took me just a few seconds.
To fold the scooter, you simply press the blue latch on the front of the deck, and push the stem down until it locks into place.
To unfold the scooter, you will have to do the same process in reverse. You will probably have to use both hands, so that you can lift the stem with one hand while pressing the latch with the other. Simply raise the stem until you hear the click, and then make sure the stem is locked in place.
Additionally, the scooter folds at the handlebars, which greatly reduces its folded width, and the space it occupies in general.
Also, the handlebar height is adjustable and can suit a lot of different rider heights, including people that are quite tall
How to use
I don’t think using the Apollo City can be any simpler. In fact, the ease of use was one of my favorite things about it.
To turn on the scooter, just hold the power button for a few seconds.
Pressing the mode button changes the speed mode. To toggle the lights on and off, hold the mode button.
Possibly one of the biggest selling points of this scooter is its strong build quality.
Engineering, design, and quality control
The Apollo City has very similar engineering and design to the celebrated Zero 9 scooter, both in many of the internal parts and electronics, and in the scooter’s external look and design.
However, the vast majority of merchants that shipped Zero scooters haven’t been able to provide the high level of quality control and testing that the Apollo team does today.
So, in a way, the Apollo City takes the best parts of the Zero 9, and then adds an extensive quality assurance process on top of it.
Colors and look
The Apollo City is only available in the trademark Apollo color pattern of a matte-black base with blue details and finishing touches, giving the scooter a very stylish, elegant look.
Lifespan and durability
The Apollo City has been around since the start of 2020, which gives us a good amount of data that we can learn from when it comes to its lifespan.
There have been only three reported breakdowns and major defects that have rendered the scooter useless after some use (and one of them has been because of shipping damage). Since the scooter has sold several thousand units at this point, that’s a pretty good ratio. Also, the number of dead-on-arrival situations is also very low, and as usual, that scenario is covered by the warranty and return policies.
The overwhelming majority of owners report absolutely no serious defects even after a year and a half of heavy use.
It’s probably too soon to talk about the general lifespan, but I strongly believe that most owners of the Apollo City will ride their scooters for at least 5 years, and probably a lot longer.
Problems and issues
The low number of breakdowns, the famous Apollo quality control process, and the tried-and-tested design and engineering the scooter employs, all make a very high-quality package. The scooter doesn’t really have any serious known issues that are dealbreakers.
One minor issue that several users were reporting a while ago was the incorrect battery readings on the screen. Only one owner has reported battery issues after very little use.
Another minor issue that one owner has reported has been the grip tape on the deck peeling off.
Those are all the known issues with this scooter, and they have only appeared in a handful of scenarios.
With pneumatic tires, dual suspension, and great build quality, the Apollo City provided me with one of the smoothest, safest rides out of all the scooters in the $1000 price range I’ve ever tried.
Everyday use and commuting
The Apollo City can be considered a commuting scooter, but it’s still a level (or two) above the budget commuters, and your day-to-day experience with it will reflect that difference.
The range you will get from this scooter will be more than enough to cover most commutes, and the portability of the scooter enables you to take it everywhere with you. Besides commuting, you will find that your casual joy or exploration rides, as well as the occasional run for groceries or completing daily chores and tasks, will be also enjoyable and easy.
There are a number of scooters that have the same tire size and a similar shock absorption setup as the Apollo City, but still, most of them will not provide as smooth of a ride as this scooter. That’s simply because the build quality and sturdiness of the Apollo City is superior, and it is precisely the build quality that is often overlooked but still critical when thinking about ride smoothness. Of course, the shock absorption system does a good job as well, so you will have pleasant rides even on streets with lots of bumps, holes, and cracks.
As the name suggests, the Apollo City is meant to be used in urban environments, and that’s where it shines the most.
Riding off-road with this scooter, while possible, is very unpleasant. The tire size is simply too small.
The Apollo City provides balanced but still decent performance. It is far from an off-road or a racing scooter, but for its intended purpose and use cases, it has plenty of power.
One of my favorite things about the Apollo brand is that they always report the real-world range for their scooters, and not the ideal range that can only be obtained in ideal, unrealistic conditions (like very light riders, straight and flat roads, riding at the slowest speed, etc).
When riding in the eco mode, you will get the full range this scooter is able to deliver, which is 28 mi / 45 km. If you ride a bit faster, you will still get 22 mi / 35 km. I was able to confirm these claims in my range tests.
Since this is a very popular scooter, there have been several range tests, most of them confirming the advertised range, and one of them even claiming that the scooter was able to last for 30 mi / 48 km.
The scooter takes 8 hours to charge fully with the regular charger, and just 4 hours with the fast charger. Keep in mind, however, that the fast charger may shorten the battery’s lifespan.
The battery of the Apollo City is manufactured by Dynavolt. This is a Chinese battery manufacturer that is not quite yet at the same level as Samsung or LG, but has progressed a lot in the last few years, and produces batteries for electric vehicles that are maybe not the best yet, but still pretty good.
The battery has a voltage of 48 Volts, and a capacity of 13.2 Amp-hours. Of course, this is a lithium battery, with a smart battery management system (SBM), that protects it from all the potential defects that older batteries were most vulnerable to, like overcharging, short circuits, etc.
Motor and power
The Apollo City is powered by a hub BLDC motor with 600 Watts of real power and 800 Watts of peak power.
The motor is situated in the rear wheel, which provides better torque and power efficiency.
Speed and acceleration
The official top speed of the Apollo City is 25 mph / 40 kmh, and I was able to reach it without any issues. That is also what most owners report obtaining in everyday usage, except for heavier riders who are close to or above the weight limit. Some lighter riders even report getting higher top speeds than the maximum (28 mph / 45 kmh is the highest reported top speed).
The scooter has 3 speed modes that limit the top speed:
- 1 – 15 mph / 25 kmh
- 2 – 22 mph / 35 kmh
- 3 – 25 mph / 40 kmh (maximum top speed)
The scooter will take about 4 seconds to reach the speed of 15 mph / 25 kmh, and around 9 seconds to get close to the top speed.
Climbing and torque
As a rear-drive scooter, the Apollo City will have better torque and climb better than other single-drive scooters that have the motor in the front.
The official climb angle of the scooter is 15° / 27%. From what I was able to observe during my tests, that climb angle is acurate, if not a bit under-reported. This means, most of the hills and slopes you encounter in a typical ride in a city that’s not too hilly, will not be a problem for the Apollo City.
The official weight limit of the Apollo City is 265 lbs / 120 kg. Lots of heavier riders close to that limit have tested the scooter, and most of them report no noticeable drop in performance, and the scooter delivering the advertised specs or close to it.
The Apollo City is a true mid-price scooter, but it comes fully equipped and with as many features as the premium and luxury scooters.
Controls and screen
The round digital screen of the Apollo City will show you all the information that you need:
- current speed
- battery level (5 bars)
- trip distance and odometer
- light status
- error codes and alerts
The scooter accelerates with an index-finger throttle, and the control dashboard only has two buttons – the power and the mode buttons.
Both handlebars have a brake lever, with the right brake lever engaging the front brake, and the left one engaging the rear brake (you should always try to use the left one first, otherwise the scooter may tip forward when braking from higher speeds).
The left handlebar also features the bell.
Frame, deck and stem
The frame of the scooter is made from forged aluminum, and that’s the main reason why the scooter is so tough and durable, yet neither too heavy nor brittle.
Because of the similarities in the design, the Apollo City is often compared against the Zero 9. The deck is one of the points where these two scooters differ the most.
In fact, the deck of the Apollo City is quite easily recognizable because of its rounded corners and elliptical shape, which is a brilliant idea in my opinion, because when the corners of the deck are rectangular and too pronounced, they will do more damage to the objects you hit while carrying your scooter (and trust me, you will hit objects when carrying your scooter).
The kickstand is located near the middle of the deck, which makes the scooter pretty stable when leaning on it. I think that the kickstand would be better if it were just a bit longer.
Instead of the typical cylindrical shape, the stem of the Apollo City comes with an angled, almost rectangular-shaped stem, which is both more stable and more aerodynamic.
The brakes of the Apollo City are one of my personal favorite features, and easily one of its strongest selling points.
The rear wheel has a drum brake which will require practically no maintenance on your behalf, and the front wheel has a mechanical disk brake that will ensure you get a very short stopping distance. In addition, the scooter has an electronic braking system that regenerates the battery when the brakes are used.
With all of those brakes, the scooter achieves a very short stopping distance, officially 10.1 ft / 3.08 m. We can confidently say that the Apollo City is a very safe scooter.
The Apollo City has suspension on both wheels, something that is not very common in scooters in this price range, and is not always found even in much more expensive scooters.
The front has a spring suspension situated between the stem and the wheel. The spring is not small, but not exactly big either, and while it will absorb a lot of impact during riding, the rear suspension setup, consisting of dual springs, will be the real hero of the story, and what will end up absorbing most of the impact and vibration.
The scooter comes with inner-tube air-filled tires, which are the type of tires that are the most susceptible to flats, but still, flats are not a very common occurrence with this scooter. I didn’t have any flats, even though I rode the scooter on some challenging roads several times.
The tire diameter is 8.5 inches, which is the standard for commuter scooters. The tires come with the standard road treads, and are meant to be used in urban settings. The recommended tire pressure is 50 PSI.
The Apollo City has lights practically all around.
The front features an LED strip that runs along the stem, as well as two lights on the deck that serve as main headlights. Since the two main lights are positioned on the deck, they will not provide a long lighting distance, but the LED strip will supplement them a bit, and definitely let everyone in traffic aware of your presence.
The deck also features additional LED strips on the side, that not only make it impossible for anyone to miss you at night, but also further enhance the scooter’s signature cool-blue look.
The rear features two red brake lights in the deck that is turned on whenever you use the brakes.
Water resistance and riding in the rain
The official specifications have changed several times over the last year and a half, but the scooter is known to have an IP54 water protection rating, even though that spec seems to currently not be advertised.
A number of owners have used this scooter in wet environments, including moderate or even heavy rain, and have reported that the scooter has handled it without a beep.
However, keep in mind that IP54 means the scooter is protected from water splashes from all angles, but not stronger streams of water or protection against deep immersion, so do your best to stay out of the rain as much as possible.
Portability, dimensions, and weight
The Apollo City is a moderately portable scooter. Compared to other scooters with similar specs and with similar prices, it’s actually quite portable, but when compared against the lighter budget commuters, it’s a little bit heavier.
It weighs 39 lbs / 17.7 kg, which is about 7 lbs / 3 kg heavier than the typical budget commuter. That extra weight, however, is justified by the longer range and better performance.
The scooter has both an adjustable handlebar height, and foldable handlebars, making it occupy very little space when fully folded. Its folded dimensions are:
- length: 41.3 in / 105 cm
- width: 7.7 in / 19.5 cm
- height: 14 in / 35.4 cm
The scooter will easily fit in almost any car trunk, through bus or subway station doors, in tight hallways or elevators, and under your office desk.
The scooter has no key ignition system, and no built-in security feature. If you plan on leaving it outside often, I suggest getting a strong scooter lock, as thieves will instantly recognize this scooter and probably make it their target. The best way to lock the scooter is to put the chain or the U-lock through either one of the suspension forks.
You can find a wide range of accessories for the Apollo City at the Apollo store. The only thing that this scooter is missing right now is the option to support a seat.
The only piece of gear you need for riding the Apollo City is a proper helmet for an electric scooter. I recommend a half-face helmet.
I consider every other piece of equipment to be optional. The scooter is not really that fast, so while you may want to get some knee and elbow pads, I don’t think there’s a need for a motorcycle armor or any other advanced safety gear.
Check out my guide on the best electric scooter accessories for some other smaller items that you may find interesting.
Upgrades and customizations
The scooter itself is fairly feature-complete, but I would recommend the following customizations to enhance your experience:
The Apollo City is very easy to use in general, and that includes maintenance as well. The quality level of the scooter is really high, and you should be able to get away with rare maintenance checks, where you will find nothing wrong with your scooter.
I suggest the following routine done either once or twice per month:
- checking tire pressure and inflating the tires if needed
- inspecting the front brake (the rear brake is a drum brake that needs almost no maintenance)
- making sure all the screws are tightly screwed, and maybe adding some Loctite
- cleaning your scooter
When cleaning your scooter, make sure to use a soft damp cloth, and maybe some soap or some toothpaste. Don’t spray your scooter with a hose, and dry it thoroughly after cleaning it (but don’t use hairdryers, as they may push water into the sensitive parts).
Only use abrasive materials if there are stains that are hard to remove. Never use corrosive chemicals, gasoline, alcohol, or strong acids for cleaning your scooter.
Repairs and spare parts
You can find all the spare parts for the Apollo City at the Apollo store.
Based on the warranty, you may get certain spare parts for free during the first year of ownership, and you will get repairs at cost for the first two years (meaning, you only pay for the parts and not for the labor).
For the time being, none of the Apollo scooters have Bluetooth features, and they can’t connect to an app.
Your next best choice is to check out the EScooterNerds Universal Scooter App. This app doesn’t connect with the scooter either, but it will give you some additional helpful features, such as ready-made checklists for the common tasks you perform for your scooter, resources and guides on the most important parts of responsible scooter ownership, calculators, tools, etc. The app is available for both iPhone and Android.
What owners are saying
There are a lot of testimonials for the Apollo City, and pretty much every single piece of feedback about this scooter is either good, great, or spectacular.
There are only a handful of negative reviews, and most of them have been turned around into positive ones thanks to the unrivaled care provided by Apollo’s customer support team.
Apollo City vs other electric scooters
The Apollo City is one of the most popular electric scooters today, and arguably the best electric scooter under $1000. Naturally, it has a lot of challengers that want to take away its championship belt, both within the Apollo family and outside it.
Apollo City vs Zero 9
Naturally, the first and most obvious comparison of the Apollo City should be against the model that inspired its concept and design – the Zero 9.
The interesting thing here is that the specs of both scooters are almost identical. The Zero 9 has a motor that should be stronger on paper when it comes to peak power, but that theoretical advantage doesn’t seem to translate into a concrete performance advantage, so it may just be a misrepresentation.
The Apollo City will typically be a bit cheaper than the Zero 9, because Apollo will not charge a big markup, but the price difference will usually not be that great.
So, with both these scooters being this similar, which one should you pick?
I would go with the Apollo City here, probably without even thinking too much. The reputation of Apollo as a brand is simply too good to be ignored, and the superior customer care and warranty policy you get with them make all the difference.
Apollo City vs Ninebot Max
One comparison I often see is comparing the Apollo City against the Ninebot Max. I kinda like this comparison, and I believe it makes sense, even though these two scooters are kind of in a different category.
To put it simply, stick with the Apollo City if you want a more premium, higher-quality scooter, with better motor power, higher top speed, a better climb angle, and more weight limit, all of that while having a lighter and more compact scooter.
If, on the other hand, you want some extra range or better water protection, check out my complete review of the Ninebot Max.
Apollo City vs EMove Touring
The EMove Touring, in my opinion, is a scooter that can seriously challenge the Apollo City for the $1000 throne. However, it’s just not quite there yet, and maybe its next iteration will do a better job at securing it the throne.
The Touring will usually be around $100 cheaper, but you will get less range and motor power as a consequence. The weaker motor will also mean that the Touring will probably not climb as well.
Most of the specs of these two scooters are actually comparable. The most notable differences are in the tires and the brakes.
The Touring has just 8 inches of tire diameter, which may be just half an inch less, but at these sizes, even half an inch makes a lot of difference. To make matters worse for the EMove Touring, its rear tire is actually solid, which further takes away from the ride quality.
The other important difference is in the brake setup. The Touring only has a brake on the rear wheel, compared to the dual brakes of the Apollo City.
I would stay with the Apollo City here. If you want to save some money, however, you can check out my complete EMove Touring review.
Apollo City vs Apollo Explore
This is probably the biggest case of sibling rivalry in the history of electric scooter comparisons. Many people often pit these two scooters against each other.
Personally, however, I don’t believe they are in the same category, and each of them is best for a certain type of scooterist.
The City is both lighter and cheaper, which will make it a better choice for the typical commuter.
However, the Explore has more range and more power, while still not technically being a high-performance scooter, so it’s perfect for the type of scooterist that wants a next-level model without risking their life.
I would recommend the Apollo City to most people, especially at this point, because it’s quite cheaper, and the differences in performance are not really that great. If you still want to check out some with a bit more juice, see my full review of the Apollo Explore, or head over to the Apollo Explore listing.
Apollo City vs Apollo Ghost
Again, this is another comparison between two Apollo models that I believe doesn’t really make much sense.
In fact, it makes even less sense than the previous one, since the Ghost is already a big, strong, power scooter, that costs 50% more than the City, and is aimed at a completely different audience. The Ghost is not meant for commuters at all, as it’s practically a lower-tier power scooter that has quite a lot of range and speed at the same time.
Simply put, if you’re looking for a casual, regular, everyday commuter scooter, stick with the Apollo City. If, on the other hand, you want that adrenaline rush as you hit the throttle and feel the proverbial kick, then check out the Apollo Ghost.
Apollo City vs Apollo City 2022
The Apollo City 2022 is the next version of the Apollo City model reviewed here. In fact, chances are, the current version we’re looking at right now will be discontinued soon, and the only option you will have going forward will be to get the Apollo City 2022.
The new version will come with better performance in terms of speed and range, although, strangely, it will have weaker secondary stats such as climbing angle and weight limit. The newer version will be quite heavier and bigger, but it will also have better water protection and bigger tires, making the rides much smoother. The new version will also be a bit more expensive.
For now, the Apollo City 2022 can only be pre-ordered.
My recommendation – should you buy the Apollo City?
If your budget is around $1000, and you are simply looking for the best scooter $1000 can buy, then I would almost instantly recommend this scooter, both as your first scooter, and as an upgrade to your previous budget model. Its level of quality is just brilliant.
The only type of scooterist that should strongly consider a different model is someone looking for a super-fast scooter, a scooter with a very long range, or an off-road scooter.
Everyone else will never look back on buying this scooter. I believe that, at this moment, this is the best electric scooter under $1000, and it’s almost impossible to make a mistake with it.
Where to buy the Apollo City from?
Apollo City specifications
Apollo City Specifications
|Top speed||40 kmh|
|Top speed||25 mph|
|Motors||rear hub BLDC|
|Power||600 W real, 800 W peak|
|Climb angle||15 °|
|Battery||634 Wh, 48 V|
|Battery type||Dynavolt smart BMS|
|Charging time||8 h|
|Ingress protection (IP)||IP54|
|Weight limit||120 kg|
|Weight limit||265 lbs|
|Tire size||8.5 in|
|Tire pressure||50 psi|
|Build material||forged aluminium|
|Terrains||streets, bike lanes, sidewalks, trails|
|Brakes||rear drum + front disc + electronic|
|Shock absorbers||front spring + rear dual spring|
|Lights||two headlights + front LED strip + deck LED strips + rear brake|
|Control||Apollo LED screen|
|Folded dimensions (L * W * H)||105 cm * 19.5 cm * 35.4 cm|
|Folded dimensions (L * W * H)||41 in * 8 in * 14 in|
US: Apollo store (discount code: NE28PN5KFW for $50 in parts)
Canada: Apollo Canada store (discount code: NE28PN5KFW for $50 in parts)
UK, Europe: Ride And Glide