Minn Kota Terrova Review: Is This Trolling Motor Outdated?

Last Updated on March 10, 2022

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When the Minn Kota Terrova was introduced in 2010, many anglers were skeptical of the new features and whether or not they were needed. Well over a decade later, the Terrova is still in production and holds its own against its most formidable competitors, and that’s why I rated it an 8/10.

The Terrova was the standard for high-end trolling motors for several years. However, times have changed, and it’s now considered a mid-range trolling motor that delivers a lot of value for the $1,999.99 MSRP.

While reading my Minn Kota Terrova review, you will see why the Terrova is still a viable alternative to other bow mount trolling motors. The updates to the several available models, including the Terrova 80, contribute to why the Terrova has been able to stay relevant after all these years.

If you’re a serious angler not willing to spend a fortune on a new trolling motor, I recommend checking out the Minn Kota Terrova.

If you need more convincing, keep reading to learn why I’m such a big fan.


Minn Kota Terrova Overview

Minn Kota Terrova
8/10Our Score
  •  Lift-assist
  • 12-volt, 24-volt, and 36-volt
  • Four shaft lengths, 45", 54", 60", 72"
  • Built-in Sonar
  • I-pilot GPS with Spot-lock and jog
  • Noisy electric motor
  • Heavy and bulky
  • Freshwater only
  • The last update to this model was in 2017

When the Terrova debuted, it was at the top of its class with breakout features no other trolling motor at the time had. The features were so new that many anglers were skeptical of buying the trolling motor until the word got out about Spot-lock or GPS anchor lock.

The Terrova pioneered many features that we now expect every Minn Kota trolling motor to have, and in 2017 Minn Kota came out with an updated version to keep up with the competition who were copying the Terrova the best they could.

Minn Kota has since come out with models that offer more updated features like the Minn Kota Ulterra, but that doesn’t mean the Terrova shouldn’t be mounted on the bow of some bass boats today.

Let’s continue and decide if it should be installed on yours.

Before Buying a Trolling Motor: Consider These Factors

Before Buying a Trolling Motor: Consider These Factors

A bow mount trolling motor is another tool to catch more fish. If you buy a trolling motor, even if it has all the latest and greatest features, that doesn’t help you catch more fish, then you waste your money.

I don’t want that for you!

I want to make sure you spend your money on a trolling motor that will help put more fish in your boat. So keep these things in mind when you buy a new electric trolling motor.

Quietness

A trolling motor needs to be quiet. Otherwise, you might as well use your outboard. If the trolling motor is too loud, then you will spook fish, making them nearly impossible to catch and defeating the purpose of a fun day of fishing.

The Minn Kota Terrova is an electric steer motor known to be noisy above the water. The noise will spook some fish, but the motor below the water is relatively quiet, and that’s the motor we should be most concerned with making noise.

Brushless motors are the quietest trolling motors on the market today. The Terrova does NOT have a brushless motor, so it will not be the quietest trolling motor you can buy, but it also doesn’t come with the price tag of high-end brushless motors.

Ease of Use

I don’t like complicated, and I think a trolling motor should be simple to operate. Operating the trolling motor should be simple whether you’re using the foot-pedal or wireless remote control.

If the motor is cumbersome and difficult to lift out of the water, then you’ll get tired much quicker and be less likely to move spots if you’re not finding any fish. I’d rather spend my energy casting and reeling in more fish than lifting a trolling motor.

Minn Kota kept the Terrova operations reasonably simple with the foot-pedal and wireless remote. Despite it being a little bulky and heavy, the lift-assist ensures you won’t be picking up the weight of the motor all day.

Battery Life

I ran my Motorguide trolling motor battery down during a collegiate bass fishing tournament. Thankfully, there wasn’t much time left to fish, but it was still a major headache and ended my fishing early. Please don’t make the same mistake I did; purchase a trolling motor that extends the life of your trolling motor batteries.

The Terrova has the Digital Maximizer feature, which only draws as much power as you need, so you can stay on the water longer without worrying about battery life.

Standard Features

The standard features often determine the price of a trolling motor. Like any other product, motors with better and more features come at a higher price. So at this price range, we can’t expect Terrova to lead the industry as it did at one time.

The Terrova set the bar for standard features when it initially came to market. However, it now sits in the middle of the pack at the price point and the common features it offers.

Let’s continue and discuss the standard features of the Minn Kota Terrova and the benefits they offer to anglers.

Features & Benefits of the Terrova

As I’ve mentioned previously, anglers were initially reluctant to mount the Terrova on the front of their boat. However, once they discovered all the benefits the features offered, the motor quickly became one of the most popular trolling motors ever and set the standard in the industry for several years.

iPilot GPS Trolling System

With the iPilot link features, you can set Spot-Lock, record paths, control speed, and steering. This is great if you find a school of fish; you can mark your spot or route, continue fishing and then come back and anchor at the exact fishing spot where you marked all the fish earlier.

Spot-Lock with jog is one of the additional features that many anglers enjoy when the fish have moved slightly off the spot they were originally located.

Once you set the Spot-Lock feature, you can use the jog feature to move five feet in any direction so you can stay on top of the fish without messing with the trolling motor the entire time, according to the iPilot trolling motor reviews.

The Auto-Pilot feature ensures you stay on course once you’ve enabled it. So you don’t have to worry about the current, waves, or wind pushing you off course while Auto-Pilot is enabled. This is great if you’re going long distances (but too short for the outboard) in one direction.

You can set your speed and direction and then fish instead of operating the trolling motor.

The downside is you must use Humminbird sonar and fish finders to experience the full capabilities of the iPilot GPS trolling system. It is NOT compatible with other sonar brands.

Multiple Power Options

The Terrova offers anglers three options to power their trolling motor. If you choose the 12v option, your trolling motor will have 55 lbs thrust available. The 24v option offers 80 lbs of thrust, and to reach 112 pounds of thrust, you will need to choose the 36v setup.

Having multiple powering options means you can make the trolling motor fit your style of fishing instead of the other way around. If your boat only has room for two trolling motor batteries, you can still use the Terrova. However, you will have to adapt to the 80 pounds of thrust instead of 112 pounds of thrust.

Digital Maximizer

Minn Kota claims that the digital maximizer provides up to five times longer run times because you can dial in your exact speed, and the trolling motor will only draw the precise amount of power needed to reach that speed.

The Terrova also has a Push-to-test battery meter on the motorhead so you can know exactly how much battery you have left. This is great for days you forget to charge your batteries and need to know how much longer you can run on them.

Electric Steering

If you’re used to running a cable steer trolling motor, operating the Terrova will take some time getting used to because it is an electric steer trolling motor. This is because electric steer trolling motors, especially older models like the Terrova, are not as responsive as cable steer trolling motors.

However, electric steer motors benefit from causing less fatigue because you push a button to steer instead of pushing and pulling a cable connected to the foot pedal to steer. Once an angler understands how electric steering trolling motor works differently than a cable steer, they rarely go back to the cable steer.

Integrated Sonar

I’ve strapped and taped transducers onto the lower unit of several trolling motors. With the Terrova, that’s not necessary because Minn Kota offers integrated sonar. Of course, their best features require the angler to have Humminbird units. However, Minn Kota offers a universal option.

The Universal Sonar 2 option is best for anglers who don’t run Humminbird electronics because you can still run the wires through the shaft instead of using zip ties and tape.

The MEGA down imaging is only available if you use Humminbird sonar. Down imaging is the only option available for the Terrova, so if you’re looking for side-scan sonar, you will need to choose a different model.

Indestructible Composite Shaft

Minn Kota has a lifetime guarantee for its composite trolling motor shaft, which is great when you’re fishing areas with lots of rocks and stumps. However, Minn Kota describes the shaft as indestructible, so you shouldn’t have to use the lifetime warranty in theory.

For the rest of the motor, Minn Kota offers a two-year warranty. When the Terrova first came out, many people had to use the warranty. After the 2017 update, fewer anglers have needed the warranty, but it’s still reassuring to have if your Terrova is damaged.

Lift-Assist

The Terrova features a spring-loaded assembly to help stow the trolling motor effortlessly. The stow/deploy lever and fallaway ramps enable you to deploy your Terrova quickly. This is great because the Terrova is bulky and heavy, so deploying and stowing the trolling motor without these features would be a chore.

Even though it doesn’t have the auto-stow and deploy feature like high-end trolling motors, it will still help save any angler from wasting time and energy picking up and setting down their trolling motor.

Multiple Control Options

Minn Kota Terrova Foot Pedal And Remote Control

Multiple control options are a common feature on high-end but less common on mid-range trolling motors. I mean, you can steer the trolling motor with a foot pedal, remote, app, or using your brand-specific electronics.

To steer the Terrova, you can use the foot pedal; that’s no surprise. What is impressive for a trolling motor in this price range is all the other options like the wireless remote, Minn Kota smartphone app, and the Humminbird fishfinder.

Having all these options ensures you are in complete control of your bass boat no matter where you’re located on your boat.

Additional Minn Kota Terrova Reviews

You don’t have to take my word for the Terrova being a middle-of-the-road trolling motor. Most people enjoy their Minn Kota and would buy another Minn Kota product, but as with any product, you have the individuals who do not like it.

I believe these snippets from others should help you decide if the Terrova is the best trolling motor for you.

While my wife would probably say the same thing about some of my fishing equipment because of the amount of time I spend with it, I’d say that’s a pretty good compliment!

However, some were less than satisfied with the Terrova.

So the shaft might be indestructible, but other pieces are not and will break on impact!

Alternatives

The Terrova has owned the market of mid-range trolling motors for several years now and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. That doesn’t mean there are no alternatives worth checking out. I consider the following trolling motors direct competitors to the Minn Kota Terrova.

Motorguide xi5

Motorguide xi5

The Motorguide xi5 is nearly a copy of the Terrova, except it is a cable steer trolling motor. You can see from my Motorguide x5 review that Motorguide rushed to the market and didn't think through or develop a high-quality trolling motor. However, many people still prefer the xi5 over the Terrova.
 
If you prefer cable steer trolling motors, as many people do, I would suggest the Motorguide xi5 because it has similar features and is in the same price range as the Terrova.

Haswing Cayman GPS

Haswing Cayman GPS

If you're looking for a less expensive GPS trolling motor, I recommend the Haswing Cayman GPS. It has minimal features, but it is several hundred dollars less costly than the Terrova. The main thing it has on the Terrova is that it is safe to use in saltwater.
 
If you haven't heard of Haswing before, check out my Haswing trolling motors review, to see if they're right for you. 

Final Thoughts

While there are legitimate arguments against the Terrova, you can see why from our Minn Kota Terrova review, it’s still an excellent trolling motor for the weekend angler because of the standard features that few other trolling motors have within this price range.

The Minn Kota Terrova is no longer the best trolling motor on the market; it is, however, best in class.

If you have anything to add to the Minn Kota Terrova discussion, feel free to leave a comment below!

2 thoughts on “Minn Kota Terrova Review: Is This Trolling Motor Outdated?”

  1. Avatar

    Will it work with a Hummingbird Helix 5 unit. I didn’t find the Five on Minn Kotas list of depth finders that will work with the instigated transducer.

    1. Wesley Littlefield
      Wesley Littlefield

      Hey Mike, thanks for reaching out!

      I couldn’t find anything saying the Helix 5 unit is compatible. Unless there is a little-known secret, my gut reaction says they won’t work together.

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