MotorGuide X3 Review

One of the most important features of the MotorGuide X3 is its mix of durability and reliability. The X3 trolling motor is designed and built for fishermen who are interested in a trolling motor running in the 40 to 70 pound thrust range.

One important item to consider when reviewing the various trolling motors on the market is the size of the fishing boat. Purchasers should also consider the size of the lakes most commonly fished and any restrictions that may exist on those lakes.

One feature that sets the MotorGuide X3 apart from other trolling motors in this class is its Variable Ration Steering, a premium feature on a trolling motor this size.

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Mounting System and Power Management

With a redesigned mounting system, the MotorGuide X3 has reliable rigidity and durability. The aircraft grade aluminum mount provides minimum flex, along with the ability to maintain control at full thrust.

Another benefit of the extruded aluminum mount is the ease of deployment and efficient ability to return the motor to the stowed position. The MotorGuide X3 also provides a wider base, with easy-to-reach motor height adjustment and motor removal controls, and bushing at key wear points made of stainless steel.

The availability, on select models, of digital power management, provides smoother operation and longer battery life. The power management system is located in a sealed, self-contained unit eliminates analog circuit boards and protects the speed control components. The pilot of the fishing boat can dial in the exact speed they would like to go, smoothly and seamlessly, allowing for less drain on the boat battery(ies).

Composite Shaft and Steering

The MotorGuide X3 is made with a larger diameter propeller shaft, made with a stainless steel outer shaft. This composite construction provides longer life, with higher corrosion resistance properties and higher potential impact protection. In conjunction with the heavier duty prop shaft, the X3 is constructed with a “pull-pull” dual cable steering system.

The Variable Ratio Technology reduces shaft feedback and torque steer. For the X3 with foot pedal control, the reinforcement also provides better control.

Composite materials and durability

The locking pins that hold the X3 in either the use or stowed positions are now made of composite material to resist corrosion and damage. The locking pins are the most frequently worn part on any trolling motor and can be the most common point of failure.

The new composite pins also prevent the metal-on-metal clicking found in traditional metal pins found on other trolling motors. A dual blade propeller allows the full potential of the X3 to power any lake fishing trip. The dual blades also work to prevent frequent catching on weeds in shallow water.

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Pros and Cons

The larger diameter shaft, composite materials and Variable Ratio Technology steering come together in the X3 to provide durability, ease of use and rugged long life. There is an optional foot pedal control that sometimes works against the navigational arrow on top of the motor, but is not a serious issue for the majority of owners and users.


The MotorGuide X3 comes in several different configurations, to fit different boat sizes and water depths. The foot-controlled bow mount models come with shaft sizes ranging from 36” to 50”, with 5 speed control settings.

This particular setup also provides, depending on shaft length, peak thrust readings of between 45 pounds (36” shaft) and 70 pounds (50” shaft). There is also a digital control option for the foot-controlled bow mount models, available in the 36” and 45” shaft lengths, that has a digital variable speed control and lighted direction indicator.

The hand-controlled bow mount models come with a 50” shaft length, 55 pounds of peak thrust and either 5/2 or digitally variable speed controls. The hand-controlled bow mounted X3 models are designed for boat lengths of 14-19 feet and pontoon boats in 12-20 foot lengths.

The final option for the hand-controlled bow mount model is a version designed for saltwater operation. The saltwater version comes with a 50” shaft length and is designed for boats of 16-19 feet in length and provides digitally variable speed control. None of the hand-controlled models come with a direction indicator.


With a price range, for the base model, of $350-$400, the MotorGuide X3 is a very efficient and economical trolling motor for anglers of any experience. As long as consumers do their homework prior to purchasing; consider boat length, type of control needed, type of water, size of lake and regulations, anyone who purchases the MotorGuide X3 would be more than happy with their purchase.

The construction and composition, along with the options – such as the digital speed control module – provide the potential of years of use. With proper care and storage, the MotorGuide X3 promises to give its owner sufficient power and durability to fish all the lakes they want.

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