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  • Post last modified:September 3, 2022
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The Terrova is one of Minn Kota’s most popular trolling motors. It has proven reliable, user-friendly, and comes with powerful motors and advanced GPS features.

The PowerDrive has a simpler mechanical design and less powerful motors to choose from. It is also quite a bit less expensive, which makes it a perfect choice for many.

Today we’re comparing the two trolling motors side-by-side.

Let’s get started!

Minn Kota Terrova and PowerDrive Compared

Minn Kota
Terrova
Minn Kota
PowerDrive
PricingCHECK PRICECHECK PRICE
Thrust55lb (12v)
80lb (24v)
112lb (36v)
45lb (12v)
55lb (12v)
70lb (24v)
HighlightsLift-Assist
i-Pilot
Option: Foot Pedal
Option: Universal Sonar 2
Option: MEGA Imaging
Deploy-Assist Level
Foot Pedal
Option: i-Pilot
Option: Universal Sonar 2
Shaft45", 54", 60", 72"48", 54", 60"
SteeringElectric SteerElectric Steer
Wireless Remote
SpeedsVariableVariable
Use InFreshwater & Saltwater

(Riptide Terrova)
Freshwater & Saltwater

(Riptide Powerdrive)

Motors and Voltage

The Terrova range has three different power options:

  • 55lb thrust – for small boats powered by a single 12V battery
  • 80lb thrust – for mid-sized boats powered by 24V (two batteries)
  • 112lb thrust – a powerful 36-volt system for heavier boats (three batteries)

The PowerDrive models include:

  • two 12V motor options – either 45 or 55 pounds of thrust
  • one 24V option – 70lb thrust, which is slightly weaker than Terrova’s 80lb

If your boat is heavy, over 4,000 lb (people and gear included), you should be looking at Terrova’s 112lb thrust motor.

For light or medium-sized boats, both PowerDrive and Terrova have adequate power options at 12V and 24V.

All motors come with the Digital Maximizer, or a variable-speed motor controller, which delivers power smoothly forward and in reverse. No energy is wasted, and you get more run time off your battery.

Autopilot

Autopilot allows your trolling motor to steer on its own in the set direction.

It uses a compass to keep a steady heading and can be used in many ways, for example, trolling along a shoreline, a ledge, or shelf.

Minn Kota’s autopilot makes automatic corrections for wind, waves and current.

i-Pilot is GPS trolling motor system that you control with a wireless remote.

You can steer, control speed, spot-lock onto fishing spots and more, just by pressing a button on the remote.

i-Pilot comes as standard on the Terrova, however it’s an optional extra on the PowerDrive.

i-Pilot can be upgraded to i-Pilot Link. It can do everything i-Pilot does, but offers extra features including integration with a Humminbird fish finder. Unlike the standard i-Pilot, i-Pilot Link comes with a touchscreen remote.

Electric-Steer and Foot Pedals

You can steer both trolling motors either with a foot pedal or the i-Pilot remote.

The steering is fully electric. There is no physical connection between the pedal and the steering mechanism.

The latest PowerDrive V2 model has a redesigned and more ergonomic foot pedal.

Sonars and Transducers

Both trolling motors can be bought with an optional Universal Sonar 2 (US2), which is fully integrated with the lower unit. The wiring runs through the shaft and the connectors are shielded to minimize interference.

US2 can be used with various fish finders such as Humminbird, Lowrance, Garmin, and Eagle.

If you’re interested in built-in MEGA Imaging, only the Terrova has it available as an option.

MEGA Imaging transducers send images directly to your Humminbird fish finder. They are fully integrated with the lower motor section. There are no additional cables or connectors involved.

Composite Shaft

Both motors have a shaft made of material that makes them sturdy and yet allows for some flexing.

The Terrova has more shaft length options available: 45″, 54″, 60″ and the longest at 72 inches.

The PowerDrive has only three shaft options: 48″, 54″ and 60″. Again, this is plenty on most smaller boats.

Unfortunately, neither the Terrova nor PowerDrive comes with a break-away mechanism that will protect the shaft in case of hard impact.

Lift and Deploy

In both cases, it’s still a manual process. If you want to lift your motor, you will need to get to your boat’s bow, which can be tricky in rough weather conditions.

The Minn Kota Terrova requires minimal effort for stowing, thanks to the spring-loaded mechanism.

The PowerDrive has a special deploy-assist lever, which makes the process quick and simple. However, lifting requires quite a bit more strength.

Conclusion

After comparing all the standard and optional features it is clear the Terrova is the better trolling motor than the PowerDrive.

The Terrova has more powerful motors, longer shafts and better built-in transducers available.

It is also easier to lift, with many users complaining about the lack of lift-assist on the PowerDrive.

However, if you don’t mind a simpler design and look for something more budget-friendly, the PowerDrive will make you happy. It’s a solid motor.