The Best Golf Cart Brand

The Best Golf Cart Brand

If you’re in the market for a golf cart, you probably want to figure out the best golf cart brand for your upcoming purchase.

After all, if you’re going to drop a few thousand dollars, you best be sure that you have your ducks in a row.

Since pretty much every golf cart looks great when it’s new, it’s tough to know which golf cart brand will hold up best over time. I’m here to help you make an informed decision.

To accomplish this goal, I’m splitting this article into two parts.

The first half of this article features the top 3 golf cart manufacturers. This will help you get acquainted with the key players in the golf cart industry.

The second part of the article will focus on some of the up and coming brands. It’s hard to predict how these newer companies will fare over time, but they definitely deserve some consideration.

At the end, I’ll throw in my two cents on the best golf cart brand.

Sound good?

Part 1: The Top Golf Cart Brands

I know, I know…you just want me to tell you what the best golf cart brand is so you don’t even have to think about it.

I get it. Most of us want the easiest path to a quick answer. Unfortunately, this isn’t a simple question.

To really answer your question, I would need to know:

  1. Are you asking about a gas golf cart or an electric golf cart?
  2. What’s your budget?
  3. Are you buying used or new?
  4. If used, how old is the cart?
  5. If used, where are you buying the cart from? Location matters.

The list goes on.

My point is this: the best golf cart brand can change based on your specific criteria.

I promise I’m not trying to avoid your question. Instead, I’m trying to answer it more thoroughly.

In order to do that, I want to tell you about the key players (listed alphabetically).

Club Car Onward 2
Club Car Onward 2 (2022)

Brand Spotlight: Club Car

If you’re a fan of the tried and true, Club Car is your brand of choice.

I liken a Club Car cart to a Toyota in the automobile world. Well-built and reliable are two words that describe the brand well, but you pay for a better product.

A friend of mine prefers to compare Club Car to a Cadillac.

Either way, I think you get the point. Choose the analogy you like best.

Some Club Car History

The first product Club Car ever produced was a three-wheeled golf cart. This was back in 1958, and golf carts have been their staple ever since.

Club Car’s original three-wheeled cart has disappeared (we probably have bad drivers and insurance companies to blame for this), but the company lives on. Golf carts are in their DNA.

Buying New

I’m lucky enough to know some golf cart dealers who can give me the true inside scoop on all the major brands. Here are some dealer thoughts on Club Car.

  • Superior overall product compared to the other major brands
  • Best tech support and warranty
  • Easy to secure parts
  • Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame
  • Significant price increases (and surcharges) as of late
  • More expensive than other options

Buying Used

My first golf cart was a 1987 Club Car DS electric. Man I loved that thing! I bought the cart in 2013, so it already had 26 years of service under its belt. All I needed to do was perform a golf cart battery replacement and swap out the old solenoids. That thing ran like a champ up through 2021 (34 years of service).

In spite of my personal story, if you’re shopping for a used Club Car golf cart, I would probably avoid purchasing a DS (1980-2004). Those models are starting to show their age and golf cart parts will need to be replaced on the regular.

That leaves you with the Onward (new golf cart model), Club Car Villager, or the Precedent to choose from. All of these models have a good reputation in the industry.

Visit the Club Car website.

E-Z-GO Express S2 Elite Lithium
E-Z-GO Express S2 Elite Lithium (2022)

Brand Spotlight: E-Z-GO

E-Z-GO is another power player in the world of golf cart manufacturing.

Some E-Z-GO History

E-Z-GO’s history began in 1954 in Augusta, Georgia where two brothers set out to build a golf car in a hot stuffy machine shop.

If you’ve every spent a summer in Georgia, you understand the meaning of hot. Over a decade ago, I took a two day, summer mountain biking from Atlanta to Alabama. I think I’m still sweating, but I digress…

In spite of the heat, these guys built a solid company that we now know as E-Z-GO.

Since 1960, E-Z-GO has been under the umbrella of Textron, Inc. Textron is a publicly traded company that oversees other popular brands in North America and beyond. Some of those names include Arctic Cat, Jacobsen, Cushman and others.

Buying New

I like the look of some of E-Z-GO’s current golf cart offerings and chances are that you will too.

The company has gas options to choose from along with several lithium ion setups. Traditional lead acid golf cart batteries are available on the Valor, which keeps price down.

Pricing ranges from $8,100 (the Valor) to over $16,000. There is a broad price range to suit a variety of budgets, but some dealers would argue that the quality of an E-Z-GO doesn’t hit the same bar as a Club Car or Yamaha.

  • Nice color options
  • Easy to secure parts from factory and aftermarket sources
  • Cheaper than Club Car
  • Support isn’t the best
  • Steel frame can be more susceptible to corrosion

Buying Used

EZ Go has a long list of models that you can still find floating around. I would avoid any used Medalists or Marathons because of their age. The TXT & RXV models are still well-supported and golf cart parts are plentiful.

Visit the E-Z-GO website.

Yamaha Drive²
Yamaha Drive² (2022)

Brand Spotlight: Yamaha

Yamaha Golf Cars are another popular brand, and for a good reason.

Some Yamaha History

Yamaha Golf Cars’ parent company (Yamaha Motor Company) has its hand in virtually every engine-building capacity that you can imagine (from utility vehicles to motorcycles and beyond). This is obviously a brand that can be trusted.

Yamaha has been a golf car manufacturer since 1988, so each cart that they produce results from decades of research and development.

Buying New

Here are some golf cart dealer thoughts on a Yamaha golf cart.

  • Almost as good as a Club Car overall
  • Better gas motor than other gas cart manufacturers
  • Steel frame can be more susceptible to corrosion

In my mind, if Club Car is like a Toyota, Yamaha is like a Honda. Both brands have a great track record.

Buying Used

Yamaha has a storied history of golf cart models dating back to the early 80s. The older models include the G5 up through the G21.

If you’re shopping for a used Yamaha cart, I would look at the more recent models which include:

  • The G22 (more commonly known as the G-MAX)
  • The Yamaha Drive
  • The Yamaha Drive² (most recent model)

Visit the Yamaha Golf Car website.

Part 2: The Best New Golf Cart Brands

Thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of newer golf cart manufacturers, the big boys can’t just rest on their laurels.

This next section highlights a few of the up and coming brands that are gaining a foothold in this competitive industry. Eventually you’ll be able to find more and more of their used carts on the market, but there’s less of a performance record to rely on, so you’ll be shopping with less historical data.

Advanced EV Advent2
Advanced EV Advent2 (2022)

Brand Spotlight: Advanced EV

Advanced EV is a newer golf cart manufacturer that’s making a splash.

Some Advanced EV History

Based on Rosenberg, Texas, this company was started by a group of golf cart dealers with over three decades of experience in the industry.

Why does this matter?

This is a classic “lemons into lemonade” story. After selling new carts and servicing used carts for many years, this group had a number of frustrations that they needed to work through on a regular basis.

They believed they could do things better, so they pooled their knowledge to build a new line of golf carts that excels in every category.

Buying New

One of my dealer friends said that Advanced EV carts are well-designed from top to bottom. He added, “they may be one of the best-made carts on the market.”

  • Solid design
  • Great suspension
  • Good warranty
  • Parts can only be sourced from local dealers
  • Less historical data to pull from to assess long-term reliability

There are 3 current carts in the Advanced EV line up. They include:

  • EV1 (5 year warranty)
  • Advent (5 year warranty)
  • Advanced HD (work vehicle, 2 year warranty)

These models can be factory-customized for golf course or rough terrain use.

Visit the Advanced EV website.

Evolution Electric Vehicles Classic 2 Plus (2022)
Evolution Electric Vehicles Classic 2 Plus (2022)

Brand Spotlight: Evolution Electric Vehicles

If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, Evolution is an electric cart brand worth considering.

Some Evolution Electric Vehicles History

Evolution is about 10 years old, so they do have some experience when it comes to electric vehicle manufacturing.

They see themselves at the forefront of a paradigm shift, and this is partially evidenced by the fact that they only build lithium-ion powered carts.

Buying New

At this stage of the game, I would only buy a new Evolution golf cart.

More importantly, I ask your dealer if they do any inspections or adjustments to the Evolution carts that they receive from the factory.

One source that I consulted said that these carts aren’t always assembled the best at the plant, so the best dealers will perform a thorough inspection to double-check the factory assembly.

That may not inspire the most confidence, but with a proper pre-sale servicing, there have been very few problems reported by Evolution owners.

If you’ve ever bought a bike at Walmart, you may understand the scenario that I’m describing. The bike itself isn’t bad (especially for the price), but the person who assembled it for the store wasn’t a certified bike mechanic.

  • Great price for a lithium ion golf cart
  • Great speed and range
  • Lots of bells and whistles to choose from
  • Assembly quality from the factory can be hit and miss
  • Dealer quality will partially determine cart quality
  • Less historical data to pull from to assess long-term reliability

Visit the Evolution Electric Vehicles website.

Other Brands To Research

So what’s the best golf cart brand?

As I mentioned from that start, that depends on your specific situation and needs. However, if you have the money, Club Car is the best golf cart brand on the market.

Club Car builds one of the highest quality machines that you can find, but if you pay for it in up-front costs.

If you have any additional thoughts or insights, feel free to post them in the comments below.

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