In a Nutshell:
A superb, rugged design, offered by one of the best companies in the industry. In our view, this is the best value on the electric wheelchair market today. Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Electric Wheelchair is recommended for anyone, but especially anyone with a long-term mobility issue. This chair is a game changer.
Ease of Use
Do you have a long-term mobility issue? If so, it has almost certainly impacted your quality of life, and not in a good way.
If you’ve been searching for an electric wheelchair to give you more mobility and a greater degree of independence, you’re going to love the review that follows. The Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Electric Wheelchair, is, in our view, one of the best electric wheelchairs on the market today.
We like it so much that it placed a strong second in our recent roundup review, only being beaten out by the mighty Karman XO-202, which offers some exotic features that this one simply doesn’t have. Of course, it also costs four times more than the Cirrus Plus, which is why we rate this model as being the best value on the electric wheelchair market. In two words, this chair is a game changer.
In the sections that follow here in our Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Electric Wheelchair review, we’ll go over everything this wheelchair has to offer and make you aware of its few negatives. Even if you ultimately decide that this isn’t the right model for you, we think you’ll agree; this is a solid design that has a lot to offer.
If you’re interested to know more, read on and let’s see what the Cirrus Plus can do!
An Overview of Drive Medical Cirrus Plus EC Power Wheelchair
There are two basic designs that electric mobility devices tend to take: motorized wheelchairs and scooters.
The Drive Medical Cirrus Plus EC power wheelchair falls quite clearly into the first category. In fact, one of the first things you’ll notice when you see it is that it looks like a transport chair that the Terminator might use. It’s got a rugged, functional, all business look to it.
While we wouldn’t call it an unattractive chair, it’s fair to say that the design team of the Cirrus Plus placed a lot more emphasis on function over form. We appreciate that, because after all, what good is a great-looking chair if it can’t get you where you want to go?
Taking a deeper look at the design, here are the chair’s basic stats:
Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Folding Power Chair Features
Adjustability is another thing that the Drive Cirrus Plus EC power wheelchair gets right.
On some models, you just don’t find much in the way of adjustability. The chair’s dimensions are the chair’s dimensions. If they fit you, great. If they don’t, you’re out of luck.
The Cirrus Plus Folding Power Chair though is different. In addition to being able to specify your desired seat width at the point of sale, you can also adjust the seat tension for added comfort.
The length of the footrests can be adjusted to preference, plus they swing away, just like the footrests on many manual wheelchairs.
This is handy because it allows you to roll right up to the dinner table and enjoy a meal with the family without the hassle of having to transfer from the wheelchair to a dining chair.
One of the things we really liked was the armrests are also height adjustable. While several models on the market offer height-adjustable armrests, few have a better feature implementation than the Cirrus Plus.
Just press the button located beneath each armrest and adjust to taste. That’s it. No tools required. We love it. In our view, that should be an industry standard, so kudos to Drive Medical for making it so easy and convenient!
Where comfort is concerned, you’ll find the padding to be surprisingly comfortable. While it’s certainly not a plush, overstuffed recliner, you’ll have no problems sitting in this chair, even for most of the day. About the only thing you can’t easily do in it is to take a nap, but then that’s true of most of the wheelchairs (electric or otherwise) being sold today. We were impressed by the level of comfort offered here!
There are four noteworthy “extras” to talk about where this model is concerned, and all come standard with the chair.
One of our chief complaints about the Karman XO-202 is the fact that the 202 doesn’t come with much in the way of extras. There are plenty you can order at the point of sale, but the base model doesn’t offer a lot.
The Drive Cirrus Plus EC Power Wheelchair is quite different in that regard. The seat and seat back cushions are plush and quite comfortable, the seat belt comes standard, as does the storage pouch on the back of the chair.
While we’d much prefer to see some type of storage under the seat so it can be easily accessed by the person sitting in the chair, that’s not possible here, because that’s where the batteries go. Be aware then, that if you put something in the storage pouch, you’re going to need to get out of the chair and move around to the back if you want to get whatever you’ve stored.
The other nice “extra” that comes standard are the anti-tipping struts. Again, a fair number of models offer this feature, but only as an add-on, you can buy at the point of sale. Given the importance of anti-tippers, we were thrilled to see them included in the base model. Kudos to Drive Medical!
Outstanding Indoors, Above Average Outdoors
The Cirrus Plus Folding power chair’s motor is powerful enough to handle a wide range of outdoor terrain with relative ease. Curbs won’t present much of a problem, and you’ll pass over cracked sidewalks with no difficulty at all.
Of course, every chair has its limits, so when you’re testing the waters on a new terrain you haven’t traveled before (loose gravel, cobblestones, etc.), your best bet is to have an assistant close at hand in case it gets tricky. But if sensible precautions are taken, you should be able to navigate most outdoor terrains without much difficulty.
The only real disappointment here is that if you plan on using the chair mostly outdoors, you may find its fifteen-mile maximum range on a charge to be a bit limiting.
Worse, since the chair is relatively heavy, if you do run out of juice somewhere in the great outdoors, your trusty assistant is likely to be exhausted by the time he or she gets you back home.
Even so, as long as you’re mindful of the range, you shouldn’t have any significant issues.
Indoors, the chair handles like a dream once you get used to the controls. Until you master them, be prepared to ding your furniture and doorways, as you’re apt to move the chair somewhat jerkily until you get a good feel for how it handles. With a 30-33” turning radius (depending on which seat width you ordered), you should be able to navigate through even fairly tight spots once you’re comfortable with the controls though.
Minimal Assembly Required
The Cirrus Plus Electric Wheelchair comes (almost) ready to use when it’s delivered to your door. About the only things you’ll have to do are attach the footrests and position and plug in the batteries. After that, you’re ready to roll!
Slight Learning Curve
As with all electric wheelchairs, there is a slight learning curve, and you’ll want to spend several minutes familiarizing yourself with the controls and the various adjustment options, so you can drive without dinging your furniture and doorways and fine-tune the chair so that it’s a perfect fit for you.
All told, these things will probably take you no more than thirty minutes to do, and once you’ve gotten the hang of the chair’s handling, you’ll be navigating even challenging, tight spaces with relative ease.
Drive Cirrus Plus EC Power WheelChair Pros & Cons
We like almost everything about the Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Electric Wheelchair, and we believe our review to this point reflects that.
Rather than rehashing all the great things about this model then, we’ll take this opportunity to draw your attention to its (very few) shortcomings.
As much as we love it, it’s not a perfect chair, so these are the things to be aware of:
In all seriousness though, its weight is about the only negative, and even that isn’t a deal breaker as there are heavier electric wheelchairs and scooters on the market.
The only other minor thing we’d note is that we’ve seen other steel-framed chairs that can support upwards of five hundred pounds of user weight, so we were a bit surprised that this model is only rated for a max. of three hundred pounds. Even so, that weight limit makes it a fantastic option for a large swath of the market.
Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Electric Wheelchair Review Conclusion
As we said early on in this Drive Medical Cirrus Plus Electric Wheelchair review, we regard it to be the best value on the electric wheelchair market today. It’s a superb design that’s built to last and has enough customization options that you can truly make it a perfect fit for you. With good range and solid handling on a variety of terrains, this model will serve you well indoors or out.
We recommend it without reservation for anyone with a long-term mobility issue. We still recommend it for those with shorter-term needs, but we’ll point out that it may well be too expensive to fill a temporary, short-term role. A manual wheelchair may be a better option in those cases, but if you’ve got the money to spend, you won’t be disappointed in this model!
References & Resources