The Ather 450S: First Ride Review

  • Aug 11, 2023
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With a little less range, performance & features in order to meet a lower price point, is the Ather 450S still an Ather?

If you ask us which is the most fun e-scooter in India, our answer will be the Ather 450X thanks to its performance, great handling, and plenty of features. But there is a slight problem and that is its price, especially now with the FAME II subsidy going down the price has shot up. But Ather has a solution in the form of this: the Ather 450S. Think of this as the 450S “lite” - the same scooter with a little smaller battery, little less power and fewer features. But if you take away some of the range, performance and features, is it still an Ather? 

Battery & Range

One of the biggest changes of course is here. Not the floorboard, but what's underneath, and that is the battery pack. Compared to the 450X the battery capacity has gone from 3.7kWh to 2.9kWh. So the range has gone down as well. Now, the IDC range of the Ather 450X is 145 kilometres, while this is 115km. That might sound like a lot but Ather promises that in the real world, it's not that bad. The Ather 450X has a real-world range of 105km, something we have verified on our long-term scooter, and on the S it's 90km, which will be more than enough for most people on their daily commutes.

One thing we know for sure after spending months riding the 450X is that Ather’s range prediction is absolutely spot on. So if the distance to empty indicator says you’re going to get 90km, rest assured you’re going to get 90km. But if you're someone who has a very long commute or can't charge the scooter every day the 450s might not be for you. 

Motor & Performance

On the S the motor has changed a bit as well. It has a peak output of 5.4kW and 22Nm, which is 1kW and 5Nm less than the X, which means acceleration is a little slower as well. Ather claims 0 to 40kmph in 3.9 seconds for the S, which is about 0.6 again slower than the X. Off the line you won't feel it that much, but once you build up speed the difference becomes apparent.

You get three riding modes here: Smart Eco, Ride and Sport. But unlike the 450X, there’s no Warp mode here. But even without Warp mode, the 450S feels plenty quick. It’s only when you ride it back to back with the 450X that the S feels a bit slower. But compared to most ICE scooters, the 450S is just tons of fun. Thankfully, the top speed of 90kmph is the same on both the X and the S, which is definitely a win in our books. 


With the smaller battery and the smaller motor, the upside is that the kerb weight has gone down to 108kg, 3.6kg less than the 450X. Now that might not sound like much but because the weight is all low down in the bike’s centre of gravity, the handling has become even better. It was already very good, and now it's slightly better than that. So it tips in and turns in a little easier than the X and it inspires just as much confidence in the turns. So, is this India's best handling e-scooter? Yes! The S especially is.

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Instead of a colour TFT screen like the X, the S gets a colour LCD console without a touchscreen. Honestly, we think that this new console looks rather good, and is very legible even in bright sunlight. Of course, you don’t get things like Google Maps, but you do get turn-by-turn navigation from MapMyIndia using the Ather App. As for the other features, it packs almost everything that the 450X gets, along with a few new things too. Since the 450S doesn’t get a touchscreen, it gets new switchgear including a joystick to navigate the menus. This switchgear quality feels top notch and it’s very intuitive to use as well.

You also get mobile connectivity for music control along with call and message alerts. A new coasting regen feature allows mild regen braking to happen when you just let go of the throttle, which almost feels like engine braking on an ICE scooter. There’s also a new Fall Detection feature that automatically sends an alert to your chosen contacts if you unfortunately have a crash. Our absolute favourite feature from the 450X, Auto Hold, is present on the S as well. And just like on the X, it works flawlessly. Lastly, the new one-touch reverse mode is simply brilliant - no swiping the screen, no holding multiple buttons. Just click reverse, and you’re good to go.


So let's get down to the bottom line. At rupees 1.30 lakh ex-showroom, is the Ather 450S great value and something we recommend? Well yes and no, because if you want the full Ather experience with all the features we just mentioned you have to get it with the Pro Pack, which is Rs 13,000 extra. So that drives the price up to Rs 1.43 lakh. Yes, that does make it a little bit pricey but the best part is you can buy the base 450S now and get the Pro Pack any other time in the future, which means you don't have to spend all that money in one shot.

So in that case, it is decent value and the scooter that we recommend not just for its great handling and performance and features, but because it's a very well-made scooter. Based on our experience with the 450X in Pune over the bad roads over the last six months, that scooter has held up beautifully and nothing has gone wrong. All the features work fantastic and not even a single panel even. So in terms of longevity, Ather is the way to go. So if you're in the market for a sporty e-scooter, the Ather 450S, with the Pro Pack is a great place to start.

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