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Minn Kota’s Terrova: How Does it Stack Up Against the Competition?

Written by: John B
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Everyone on the water knows the name Minn Kota, and there’s no more trusted manufacturer of trolling motors in the world, period.

But with feature-rich options like Garmin’s Force and Lowrance’s Ghost demonstrating the cutting-edge of trolling motor tech, it’s fair to ask if options like the Terrova are still competitive.

That’s not an easy question to answer with a yes or no, because while the Terrova can’t match the power, speed, or efficiency of the Force and Ghost, it’s nevertheless available in models that are almost universally capable of networking with your existing fish finder.

Have a Lowrance HDS Live and don’t want to spend the money on the Ghost? No problem!

Love your Garmin Ultra but want something a bit more reasonable than the Force? Minn Kota has you covered!

So if you want to know how Minn Kota’s Terrova stacks up to the competition, keep reading!

Also Read:

Minn Kota Terrova

minn kota terrova review

Available at: Bass Pro | Amazon

Thrust: 55, 80, and 112
Shaft Length: 45", 54", 60", and 72”
Mounting: bow
Control: electronic and pedal
Voltage: 12V, 24V, and 36V

Freshwater specific

Minn Kota’s Terrova - not to be confused with the Riptide Terrova from the same company - is purpose-built for freshwater. And though it could be used occasionally in the salt with some careful cleaning afterward, Minn Kota is very clear: doing so will void your warranty.

Like Lowrance's Ghost, we recommend that you keep the Terrova where it belongs.

Power

Minn Kota offers the Terrova in three thrust ratings: 55, 80, and 112 pounds. 

For small boats running a 12V system, 55 pounds of thrust is plenty to get - and keep - the bow pointed where you want it. For boats up to roughly 2500 pounds, fully loaded, the little Terrova will provide all the power you need.

24V systems can run the 80-pound thrust model, which is ideal for boats up to about 4000 pounds, fully loaded.

And finally, 36V systems can power the hefty 112-pound thrust option, allowing maximum boat weights of 5600 pounds or so.

Each of these motors is more than capable, and together, they cover pretty much all the needs of freshwater anglers. But be aware that the Terrova doesn’t run a newer brushless motor, meaning that in the real world, both the Force and the Ghost are vastly more efficient and substantially quieter as well.

Of course, those new motors really add to the price tag of the Garmin and Lowrance, too.

Efficiency

The Terrova is a trolling motor that has a hard-won reputation for good battery life, and while it can’t compete with the competitors running brushless tech, it will still provide plenty of time on the water.

Nothing to write home about here - expect no less than 6 to 8 hours of moderate use in the real world, with longer run times possible with lower throttle settings and calmer conditions.

Shaft length

Minn Kota offers the Terrova in a wide array of shaft lengths: 45, 54, 60, and 72 inches. 

There’s simply no question that they’ve got the right length for your boat in this lineup, and all the way from 16 inches to 44 inches of bow height, you’ll find a good fit here.

Control

Control options are something you’re spoiled for with the Terrova, with foot pedals, optional i-Pilot, and universal networking all possibilities.

Terrova’s foot pedal is old, but solid tech, using the standard cable system and conventional control schema. It’s not new or terribly exciting, but if you're a veteran of foot pedals, you’ll feel right at home with the Terrova.

i-Pilot-equipped models offer a unique, GPS-enhanced remote that gives you advanced navigation features like spot-lock and course re-tracing, as well as options to pair with your smartphone (iOS 8.0 or later and Android 4.4.2 or later).

That’s very, very nice tech to have, easily outpacing the rather basic remote options of the Lowrance Ghost, but still ceding ground to Garmin’s revolutionary tech on this front.

Finally, and perhaps most impressively, you can have the Terrova with Universal Sonar 2.

That’s simply awesome.

Networking and integrated sonar

Whereas Garmin and Lowrance have chosen to avoid universal compatibility, forcing you into their fishing electronics, Minn Kota offers Universal Sonar 2, a fully compatible, networkable integrated sonar system.

Humminbird, Lowrance, Garmin, and Eagle fishing electronics are supported, allowing you to use your existing (or preferred) fish finder with the Terrova.

Not only does it enable you to make use of awesome fishing tech like the Lowrance HDS Live series, but the full networking also allows you to use your chartplotter to control the Terrova.

That’s amazingly convenient, and this is the kind of feature we wish every trolling motor included.

Final Thoughts

Minn Kota’s Terrova won’t compete head-to-head with Lowrance’s Ghost or Garmin Force in terms of power, efficiency, or stealth, though it can deliver time-tested, real-world performance on these fronts.

Its control options are excellent, and we’re really impressed with the i-Pilot and smartphone options. They’re very, very good.

But what really impresses us is the nearly universal networking capability of the Terrova, allowing you to plug and play your existing fish finder without needing to worry about the brand or model (within reason).

That’s huge.

For anglers who can’t drop $3,000 or more on a new trolling motor and then turn around and buy a new fish finder, too, the Terrova makes a ton of sense.

Pros:

  • Powerful and quiet
  • Tough shafts
  • Nice foot pedal
  • Available with optional i-Pilot and smartphone pairing
  • Networking with Humminbird, Lowrance, Garmin, and Eagle
  • Autopilot
  • Anchor-lock
  • Built-in transducer

Cons:

  • Not as powerful, quiet, or efficient as brushless motor alternatives
About The Author
John B
If it has fins, John has probably tried to catch it from a kayak. A native of Louisiana, he now lives in Sarajevo, where he's adjusting to life in the mountains. From the rivers of Bosnia to the coast of Croatia, you can find him fishing when he's not camping, hiking, or hunting.
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