Review of 5 Mid-Wheel Drive Power Wheelchairs

Hello Everyone!  Last week, Access Community Therapists Ltd received an equipment inservice by Motion Specialties (Centric Health). We compared 5 mid-wheel drive power wheelchairs, received a ton of amazing information on each chair, and were actually able to trial each of the bases ourselves. Here is a brief summary and comparison based on this review as well as for some of our own overall impressions from the trial.


The Permobil M300 is a very nice looking power wheelchair base. The design is streamlined and great for clients looking for a clean, simple yet modern looking base. Clinically, I have been finding that many younger clients have been drawn to this base because of the aesthetics and other features. This base comes with a 3 year warranty on motors and the gear boxes. It has one of the lowest seat to floor heights with power tilt function (17 1/2 inches). It is however, a more expensive power wheelchair if any upgrades are added. That being said, the Permobile actually comes out to be the cheapest base without power tilt access through the joystick as this requires upgraded electronics. During the driving trial, this wheelchair was very smooth. It had a much softer ride than some of the others and also had a very quiet motor. I had one client trial this power base and he reported that he loved driving this base into class as the sound of the motor didn’t seem to disturb others or draw attention to himself.


Quantum Rehab has just reduced their prices on the Q6 Edge and is now cheaper than their Q6000Z model.  While most other power wheelchairs require an electronics upgrade to get tilt through the joystick, this feature comes without a price upgrade. This base is likely best suited for an “urban wheelchair user” or clients who use their wheelchairs mostly at home. The reason for this is that the top speed is only 5 mph in comparison to 6 mph, which is offered by all of the other bases. This power wheelchair also comes with smaller batteries and is not an aggressive wheelchair. Some clients have reported some difficulty driving this power base because the programming and drive of the base is not as intuitive as some of the others. Based on the drive trial we did, this base was not as responsive as the others.  It is definitely a base that requires a thorough trial before prescription.


The Invacare TDX SP was reported by Motion Specialties to be “the bench-mark wheelchair for setting up the standard for mid-wheel drive power wheelchairs”. Over the past 6 years, this product has done very well in the market. This power base has a narrow total external width of 24″ with intuitive drive controls. During the trial, this base was responsive and had a nice smooth drive.  Clinically, I have found that many clients prefer the drive style of this base when compared to some others. Some clients have reported to me that they are able to maneuver this power base well in their homes and are also able to manage terrain in the community. At present, Invacare is undergoing a review with the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have temporarily stopped the manufacturing process of their power bases. This means, that at present, the supply of power bases is limited to what has already been produced. Ordering of specific options, features and colours is limited at this time, but they report that they should be up and running in the spring of 2013, however, there are no guarantees.

UPDATE: Invacare in Canada is now cleared to sell power mobility without restrictions! YAY! congrats! Excited to see the new versions of this base soon! -May 18, 2016


The Sunrise Quickie QM 710 is a new power wheelchair that features a “Spider Track Suspension”. According to Motion Specialties, this suspension allows the base to “articulate well up ramps and thresholds”. During the driving trial, this base was quite powerful. It had an intuitive drive and quick acceleration speed. My colleagues and I, quite enjoyed this power base as it was a very smooth drive. For funding purposes, this power base requires solid justification due to it’s higher price point. The cost to repair this base is also higher compared to others in the market. This is something to keep in mind if, for example, a cheaper base is funded by an agency like the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (MSD), but the client decides to pay for the upgrade to this base, that agency, like MSD may not pay for the cost difference required for the repairs.


The Quickie Xperience is a rugged and powerful wheelchair base. It has a G3 coil spring suspension, which has been “reported to be one of the best in the market”, as indicated by Motion Specialties. This power base is perceived to be most expensive option however, when it is specified with upgraded electronics and a power tilt system, the price comes out to be somewhere in the middle compared to its competitors. This base comes with the lowest seat to floor height 16″ of the group. Because of this, for certain funding agencies, this base can only be justified based on the required low seat to floor height. During the drive trial, this power base was quite smooth and fast. It had a quick acceleration and was quite intuitive to drive. The repairs on this base, like the QM 710, are more expensive relative to others on the market.

I hope this review was helpful to you. If you required more detailed specifications on these power wheelchairs or other power wheelchair bases, Motion Specialties has great “Therapist Resources” page that can be accessed by simply creating an account with them. Check out their website at

Thanks for reading!  Seating is Super!


19 thoughts on “Review of 5 Mid-Wheel Drive Power Wheelchairs

  1. I just turned 65 & have enrolled in Medicare. Since my current chair is 6 yrs old, I’ll B getting a new chair soon. I’m most interested in how the Quickie QM-710 compares to the Permobil M300. Being a military veteran, I recd an M300 3 1/2 yo & it’s an EXCELLENT chair. HELP!!!

    • Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your comment! Many of my clients have been liking the QM 710. It is a very smooth ride and some have even been choosing it over the M300. That being said, it is a newer power chair on the market so it is hard to say what the reliability will be like. I would suggest driving both and comparing the ride. I think it really comes down to preference. I personally like the compact appearance of the M300, but the QM 710 is super smooth with their spidertrak suspension. Good luck!


      • Hi Cheryl, being a military veteran, I recd an M300 3 1/2 yo from the VA here in Oklahoma City. It’s very smooth & has proven to B very reliable, too. I’d highly recommend the Permobil M300 as it has a 20” turning radius which I like. I’ll B evaluated for the QM-710 the 9th of March & will compare the QM ti the M300 & if necessary, will go w/the M300 since I’ve had experience w/it. Thanks for Ur reply. Michael

      • Hi Cheryl, Since I have a Permobil M300 now, I’ll go ahead & give it a 5* rating; when I rec the QM710, I’ll email my rating after I’ve hwned it at least a yr. I’d recommend the M300 to anybody for its smooth ride, the quiet motors, & reliability. Michael

      • Hi Cheryl, thanks for this post. I am in Europe and trialled what you call the QM 710, which, now you mentioned the Spidertrac, I know is the Jive M in Europe. I enjoyed the ride in this and the ease with which it coped with curbs. However, I did not get as long a ride as I was hoping as the battery needed charging. It is expensive over here in Europe though. I liked the battery capacity and range. Do Sunrise Medical chairs often need repairs more often than other brands? Or does it depend on the use? Interesting and helpful to know repairs on the base are expensive. I like the look of the Permobil M400 (the M300 looks great too and is practically identical to it- the M300 is not available in Europe).The M400 would be my first choice chair but is very expensive here. I realise Invacare are going through a difficult situation over there but they are not here. I like the TDX 2 range of chairs.

    • I have had qm710 for 3 months. Nothing but issues with charging and it shuts down without notice when driving. A friend has the Quickie Experience. A 5 year old chair with 3 year old batteries and it outperforms mine consistently.
      I personally would never own a qm710 again .
      Quickie are good. But qm710 had been horrible.

      • Hi Chase, interesting to know, I am from Europe and trialled the QM 710 (called the Jive M here). Thanks for your comment. Shutting down when driving sounds annoying if not dangerous. It did that when I was trialling it, not sure if I was right to put this down to a charging issue. Seems from your comment like I was. Hope you get a chair that suits you.

      • Hi Cheryl, In the year that I’ve had my QM-710, I’ve not had any trouble with it (the base); however, I DO NOT like the Jay cushion that came with the base as it’s VERY uncomfortable after only a few minutes use (I spend a great deal more time in my Permobil M300 which does have the Stimulite Contour cushion which is far & away MORE comfortable from the moment I use it (16 hours per day).  I WOULD NOT recommend the Jay cushion to anyone (I wouldn’t even let a dog sleep on it). I’d recommend the M300 to anyone (the M400 is identical to the M300, but the M400 DOES have a speed package).  I’ll be eligible for a new Permobilll chair thru the VA later this year.  My M300 is just as quiet after 4 1/2 yrs as it was on the first day of use (I did replace the batteries, but never had any maintenance problems.  I give the Permobil M300 5 Stars while the QM-710 gets 4 1/2 Stars due to the motor whine (that’s no big deal).  However, anything made by Invacare is only good for use as a door-stop!  I wouldn’t recommend Invacare to anyone! Michael chaneladdict81 commented: “Have heard of the Quickie Experience, will check it out” | | Respond to this comment by replying above this line |

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        | New comment on Cheryl’s Seating Notes | |

        | | | chaneladdict81 commented on Review of 5 Mid-Wheel Drive Power Wheelchairs. in response to Chase: I have had qm710 for 3 months. Nothing but issues with charging and it shuts down without notice when driving. A friend has the Quickie Experience. A 5 year old chair with 3 year old batteries and it outperforms mine consistently. I personally would never own a qm710 again . Quickie are good. But qm710 […] Have heard of the Quickie Experience, will check it out | Reply |    Comments |



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      • Powerchairs are a personal thing, as are cushions. I don’t like my Jay cushion either. I would definitely get a Permobil M400 if they weren’t so expensive in Europe. The QM 710 is expensive too

  2. I’m looking at the QM710 but have been told I can only get the low FTSH 16″ if I have power recline on the 3.7 seating. But I only want the 12″ elevation which comes with the tilt. Cheryl can you confirm whether the above is true, that I need to have all three or not.
    This is one of Australia’s biggest sellers so hope Chases experience is not to common.
    Cheers Bruce
    Western Australia

  3. Hi, I trialled the equivalent of the QM-710 by Quickie (I’m in Europe and it’s called the Quickie Jive here). I liked the features and the drive. I’m interested in the TDX SP2 which is the 2nd generation of TDX SP chairs. In Europe, there are 2 models, this one and the TDX SP 2 NB- NB meaning “narrow base”. The base width is 61cm as opposed to the 64cm base of the TDX SP 2 chair. Last week, in the UK, Motion Concepts released these chairs together with the Motion Concepts Ultra Low Maxx seating system which has been out in the States for awhile. I was aware of Invacare’s problems in the USA and have family members there. I have had my current chair for 8 years now and am in need of a new one. I also like the Permobil M300. I haven’t tried that because Permobil is really expensive in Europe. What would the equivalent of the TDX SP 2 chairs be called in the US? I looked on the Invacare website and only saw the TDX SP which I take to be the first model. Is the second generation of the TDX chairs being produced in the USA? I’m not in the US so don’t want to call as it’ll be really expensive. Is it safe to get an Invacare chair?

    • Hi there, I am actually from Canada so I’m actually not too sure what is currently happening in the US with Invacare. I can say that I have continued to prescribe the TDX SP power wheelchair (despite the ongoing issues) to my clients if it best suited their needs and preferences. I haven’t had too much trouble with orders other than slight delays, but this may have changed as I am currently on maternity leave and might be a bit out of the loop. Regarding the TDX 2 power wheelchair, I have heard of this base, but have yet to see it or trial it. To be honest, I’m not even sure it is in Canada yet. I would highly recommend touching base with a local vendor who may be able to speak to what is going on in the states. Sorry I can’t be of more help here. Good luck!

      • Hi Cheryl, the TDX SP was also discontinued entirely in Europe to make way for the TDX SP 2 & 2 NB (narrow base version). The TDX Ultra has just recently been released. I trialled the TDX SP and really liked it, then I found out it was discontinued when I had saved the money. It is hard work getting a powerchair prescribed in the UK & Spain- most of the time the way to get what you need is to buy it yourself.

  4. Hi. I’m really interested in the second generation of TDX wheelchairs (TDX2) by Invacare. I’ve heard all about what was happening with them and am from outside the US (UK). What’s the latest on that? Is the TDX 2 range of chairs being produced there? I have family in the States and wondered if it’d be cheaper over there. I really like the aesthetics of the Permobil M300 and M400 chairs but Permibil is expensive in Europe. I have no idea why. I’ve trialled the QM-170 (called the Quickie Jive in Europe). I liked the drive experience and the suspension. What’s the US equivalent name of the TDX 2 or aren’t they producing it there? There are 2 models in the range: TDX 2 and TDX 2 NB – the NB is a narrow base version with a base width of 61cm. Last week, Motion Concepts introduced the TDX 2 Ultra Low Maxx in the UK ( basically the TDX 2 chair with Motion Concepts seating & accessories but they’re marketing it as a different chair altogether. Would I be wise to buy an Invacare chair after what’s happened in the US?

  5. I also have the QM710 chair. I have had it for 2 years now. I have had nothing but issues since I’ve had it..It came with the Jay Ion cushion. Honestly, I can say that it is the worse cushion I’ve ever had. It’s very uncomfortable. Not to mention how the first cushion was covered in the inside with mold. I complained, and was sent a new cushion. I have also had problems with the tilt. It doesn’t stay back. 3 times it has been replaced. A bolt on the arm of the chair broke off..waiting for a new arm. And yes, I too am experiencing the chair turning off without notice. I have asked about this and the latest. “explanation” is that it’s a, “safety” mechanism. If you don’t swerve, the chair shuts off. What a crock of shut. I would not recommend this chair to anyone. For the price of this chair, you would think that it would be made better.

  6. Hi Cheryl, I’ve had my QM-710 for 18 months & have not had any problems during that time. It’s been a very good power chair that’s given me great service.

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