I’m new here, but I’m interested to learn more about Polaris GEM cars. I’m looking for something that will hold 4 people, so that’s probably the e4, but I’d love to know more about any abilities to convert an e2 to have 2 rear-facing seats.
After that, I’d love to hear about the must-have options when ordering a GEM, something like the visors are useless or the fast-charger is a game-changer. Opinions are welcome as I start to build out my wish list.
Thanks and I look forward to meeting everyone here!
Welcome to the forum and start reading up
You will want an E4 or E6 - turning an E2 into a four-seater can be done but I personally don’t feel it is very safe.
Stay away from anything before 2005, if you can afford it look for 2016 or newer.
Besides unsafe, IIRC in California, rear facing seats like that are not legal for passengers to sit in while on public roads. You can have it, but you can only use it on the golf course, etc…
As Mike pointed out above^^^ start your research.
Included in this study should be how you intend to use the car.
What will it be to you? Don’t put it into a role it was not designed for. Sure, they can be modified to work better at a task but realize in the end you may have more into this thing than a real production car.
Community support? Some neighborhoods adapt to these cars so well and they almost dominate over real cars. (Have you ever been to Canyon Lake?)
If you need to exit your neighborhood bubble and get out on the real streets it can be pretty scary.
Target 06 and newer - It is good if you stay away from anything before 05. There are many cars out there that seem like a real bargains but they have their design issues. Most of the problems can be upgraded if you throw enough money at it, but some things are lived with. If you just need a mailbox runner or a campground car then the old cars will work fine in that role. 05 is a transition year where improvements started to get applied
Who will work on this? You will be looking at a used vehicle that is in the range of 10~16 years old and it will be needing work. Not many shops know much about them and the ones that do are usually not cheap. Some replacement parts are not cheap or easy to find.
If you are handy with tools and reasonably mechanically inclined it is a bonus. Having an understanding of basic electrical theory is also a good thing.
In contrast, If you have to take it to someone else every time you have an issue then it might get tiresome.
Thanks for the initial feedback. My main use is as a beach-goer. I have an 80cc Honda scooter now that the wife and I use to get to the beach and other events whenever parking is going to be rough. So, I’m used to when and where a low speed vehicle can go. The scooter goes 25-35mph most of the time. What speed will a new e4 go with the larger motor?
I had no idea about the rear-facing seats in CA, but I must say I’m shocked. There has been an explosion of street-legal golf carts in my area since the pandemic and almost all of them have rear-facing seats with seat belts. Neighbors of mine even have car seats strapped into theirs semi-permanently. I will have to look into that further.
I just looked into dealerships and I’m surprised that there are none in San Diego proper. I’ll have to go about 30 miles north to test drive one. I plan to do maintenance work myself, but that’s pretty far to haul a dead GEM.
Are the new GEMs looked at positively? I’m surprised that the old GEMs (2002-2005) go for almost $8k around here, when new ones start at $15k online.
Thanks very much for the feedback!
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Plus what cop wants to have to announce in a meeting that they pulled over a golf cart for a seat law…
Welcome to the group. I’m in ocean beach and have an e4. Every other house has a 4 seater ezgo with the rear facing seat. That said, I agree, not the safest on the roads but I’ll occasionally see some kids or a dog back there. I’ll probably have one added soon and mostly use it to put a cooler or beach items. Would be fun to have it at the campgrounds.