Home » Elliptical Trainers » Horizon Fitness Elliptical Trainer Reviews

Horizon Fitness Elliptical Trainer Reviews

Horizon Fitness built a name for themselves in the home gym industry by creating equipment that’s high quality and innovative for an affordable price. This is true of their elliptical trainers, where you can currently choose from folding (Elite series) and non-folding (Evolve series) designs.

They’re also one of the brands that’s owned by Johnson Health Tech, which manages Vision Fitness and Matrix Fitness amongst others. Horizon are the only company out of the three to specialize in front-drive ellipticals, meaning you won’t find any Suspension Ellipticals (Vision Fitness) or Ascent Trainers (Matrix Fitness) in their collections.

The only slight downside is that Horizon doesn’t give you a choice of console when you choose your elliptical machine. Vision lets you choose between Classic, Elegant+, and Touch+, while Matrix lets you choose from Simple, Intuitive, and Ultimate consoles. This level of customization has been introduced to Vision and Matrix equipment to provide you with the best balance of features and affordability, but the concept hasn’t found its way to Horizon’s elliptical trainers.

High quality ergonomic frame design
One of the key features that makes Horizon Fitness ellipticals unique is their SixStar™ Certification. This means their frames have been designed to create a comfortable workout with a stride that follows your natural running motion. Elements include ZEROgap pedals to eliminate stress on your hips and back, and Optimal Handlebar Spacing to provide the ideal reach distance for small and large-framed users.

QuickStart Series

Horizon’s most affordable ellipticals, QuickStart models include the EX-59 and EX-69. These are designed to provide a comfortable and effective workout experience for a lower price than ellipticals in their Evolve and Elite series.

Unfortunately this means you have to compromise on entertainment features, workout variation, screen size, and warranty coverage. You also miss out on Horizon’s ViaFit workout tracking, Passport destination workouts, have half the number of resistance levels, and a shorter stride length (18” vs. 20”) compared to their Evolve series ellipticals.

Horizon Fitness EX-57 Elliptical

Horizon Fitness Elliptical EX-57

The Horizon EX-57 is one of the first elliptical trainers they produced back in 2009. But there were never really any new versions, and the machine has now been discontinued.

However, just because it was discontinued by Horizon Fitness doesn’t mean you can’t find it for sale elsewhere. For example, Amazon will often have both new and used models in stock, with over 150 customer reviews.

In terms of price the EX-57 is by far Horizon’s most affordable elliptical trainer, but it lacks the workout variation of their Evolve and Elite series machines (9 programs compared to 30-40).

If you’re on a strict budget then this is certainly one of the best ellipticals for its price range, and we would recommend reading our full review to find out more about the workouts, entertainment options, and warranty.

  • Workout programs: 9
  • Stride length: 18″
  • Incline: No
  • ViaFit: No
  • Passport Ready: No
  • Resistance levels: 8
  • Weight capacity: 275 lbs
  • Virtual Active integrated: No
  • Flywheel weight: 14.3 lbs
  • Heart rate monitoring: Touch and telemetry

But if you can increase your budget by $200 you really do get much more choice, from top names like Nautilus (E614), Schwinn (430 and 470), and ProForm (Endurance 520 E). Some of these ellipticals have over 500 reviews and much better workout variation.

Horizon Fitness EX-59-02 Elliptical

Horizon Fitness EX-59-02 Elliptical

The Horizon EX-59 elliptical was designed as an upgrade to the EX-57, and was first released in 2011, then updated in 2013. This model is currently still available, but offers none of the advanced technology that’s built into their Evolve and Elite ellipticals, such as Wi-Fi and a Passport Ready console.

When it was first released, the EX-59 was competitively priced, with a feature list that set it apart as one of the top elliptical machines under $1000. But despite its ergonomic frame design and challenging range of workout programs, it hasn’t achieved the same popularity as similarly priced ellipticals from Schwinn (430 model).

As we discovered during our review, the EX-59 now falls behind more modern ellipticals from other leading fitness equipment companies, such as the Nautilus E614. The EX-59 has no workout tracking, half the number of programs as the E614, and no incline system.

  • Workout programs: 10
  • Stride length: 18″
  • Incline: No
  • ViaFit: No
  • Passport Ready: No
  • Resistance levels: 16
  • Weight capacity: 275 lbs
  • Virtual Active integrated: No
  • Flywheel weight: 14.3 lbs
  • Heart rate monitoring: Touch and telemetry

In our EX-59 review we take a closer look at the workout programs, entertainment options, warranty coverage, and frame design to help you decide if this is the best elliptical for your own home gym. You can also find the best price on Amazon by using the link below.

Horizon Fitness EX-69-2 Elliptical

Horizon Fitness EX-69-2 Elliptical

The Horizon EX69 elliptical was last updated in 2012, but has since been discontinued. However, you can still find it available from many leading retailers, including Amazon.

The EX69 was designed as an upgrade to the EX59, making it one of the most affordable ellipticals to have a 20-inch stride, making it suitable for taller users (6ft+). Weight capacity was also increased (+25 lbs), and the SixStar Certified frame promotes the most natural running posture to avoid unnecessary stress on your joints and lower back.

Despite being in one of the most competitive price ranges for elliptical machines, the EX69 is still well placed at around $100 less than the popular Schwinn 430. Although the Horizon model has half the number of programs, you have the added benefit of a manual incline system for more challenging workouts.

So how does the EX69 compare to more modern Horizon Fitness ellipticals, such as their Evolve and Elite series machines?

  • Workout programs: 10
  • Stride length: 20″
  • Incline: Manual
  • ViaFit: No
  • Passport Ready: No
  • Resistance levels: 20
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Virtual Active integrated: No
  • Flywheel weight: 14.3 lbs
  • Heart rate monitoring: Touch and telemetry

Our full review contains more in-depth comparisons with similarly priced ellipticals, together with a guide to the workout programs, design features, and entertainment options. The link below will also find the best price for the EX69 elliptical on Amazon.

Evolve Series

Currently includes the Evolve 3 and Evolve 5 ellipticals, which feature a SixStar folding frame and electronically adjustable resistance system. You can also benefit from a 20” stride length and ViaFit Connectivity, which means you can sync your workout performance data to a Via Fitness account, then share it with popular fitness apps such as Fitbit and Runkeeper.

Unfortunately the Evolve series ellipticals don’t have any incline settings, and the consoles are classed as Passport Ready rather than Virtual Active Integrated. This means you would need to spend an additional $199 to purchase the Passport Player if you wanted to use the destination programs.

Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 Elliptical

Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 Elliptical

The Evolve 3 is the most affordable Horizon Fitness elliptical to offer ViaFit workout tracking. It also has more than three times as many workout programs as their EX-69 elliptical.

But it’s worth bearing in mind the difference in price, where the Evolve 3 usually retails for around $1200, and the EX-69 for closer to $500.

It’s the workout variation and ability to track your progress that really sets this elliptical apart from earlier Horizon Fitness models. First released in 2014 it’s one of their newest ellipticals, made available at the same time as their top-of-the-line Elite series.

Featuring SixStar Certified frame, the Evolve 3 elliptical also has a smaller folded footprint than the XF40 from Vision Fitness (41″L x 28”W compared to 51″L x 32”W). Both machines have a 20-inch stride length and lack any form of incline, so if you’re looking to make the best use of space and only need basic workout feedback at the console, the Horizon Evolve 3 is the better option.

  • Workout programs: 32
  • Stride length: 20″
  • Incline: No
  • ViaFit: Yes
  • Passport Ready: Yes
  • Resistance levels: 20
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Virtual Active integrated: No
  • Flywheel weight: 18 lbs
  • Heart rate monitoring: Touch and telemetry

So how does this compare to their Elite series ellipticals, and machines from companies like NordicTrack?

In our full review we’ve created a complete guide to the workout programs, design features, and entertainment options, and added some important comparisons between other leading elliptical trainers. The link below can be used to find the best price on the official Horizon Fitness website.

Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 Elliptical

Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 Elliptical

Released in 2014, the Evolve 5 elliptical is an upgrade of the Evolve 3, with 7 more workout programs, a heavier flywheel, and fixed-length 20-inch stride.

As well as an increase in preset workouts, you’re also able to create your own custom fitness programs. This allows you to define the intensity by setting the resistance level for each segment of your workout.

The Evolve 5 retains its compact Feathlight folding frame, which creates a smaller footprint than the Vision XF40 in its folded position. This makes it an excellent mid-range elliptical machine for home gyms where space is at a premium.

But there’s something you need to know about the cost before you commit to buying. It’s often available for the same price as the Elite E7, an elliptical many find superior due to the added incline range, increased workout variation, and higher weight capacity.

  • Workout programs: 39
  • Stride length: 20″
  • Incline: No
  • ViaFit: Yes
  • Passport Ready: Yes
  • Resistance levels: 20
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Virtual Active integrated: No
  • Flywheel weight: 23 lbs
  • Heart rate monitoring: Touch and telemetry

So is it the Evolve 5 or the Elite E7 that represents better value for money? Are there any other ellipticals in this price range with more features, from NordicTrack, Sole, or ProForm?

In our full review we’ve created an in-depth guide to the workout programs, fitness tracking, entertainment options, and design features. We’ve also added important comparisons to help you decide on the best elliptical for your own personal fitness goals.

Elite Series

As Horizon’s top-tier elliptical machines, this series currently includes the Elite E7 and Elite E9 models, which feature a SixStar non-folding frame and 10° power incline. The Elite E9 is also the only Horizon elliptical to feature a touchscreen display and be Virtual Active integrated. This means you don’t need to buy the Passport Player separately as it’s already built into the console.

Horizon Fitness Elite E7 Elliptical

Horizon Fitness Elite E7 Elliptical

The Elite E7 is one of Horizon’s top elliptical machines, with a challenging 10° power incline and advanced workout tracking thanks to ViaFit Connectivity.

Although the flywheel is 7 lbs lighter than on the Elite E9, the warranty is practically identical, with lifetime coverage on the frame and an impressive 5 years on parts. The 20-inch stride is also perfectly suited to a range of user heights to 6ft+, allowing you to build up to your full natural running pace.

However, the new version of the Sole E35 elliptical is in the same price range, featuring 20 incline levels and a higher weight capacity (375 lbs). As part of their 2016 upgrade, workout tracking was also introduced via Bluetooth. This challenges Horizon’s ViaFit tracking system as they both allow you to sync your data to external fitness apps, such as Fitbit and MapMyRun.

So can the Elite E7 compete with Sole, or does the E35 actually represent better value for money?

  • Workout programs: 42
  • Stride length: 20″
  • Incline: 10°
  • ViaFit: Yes
  • Passport Ready: Yes
  • Resistance levels: 20
  • Weight capacity: 325 lbs
  • Virtual Active integrated: No
  • Flywheel weight: 23 lbs
  • Heart rate monitoring: Touch and telemetry

In our full review you can find out more about the design features, warranty, assembly options, console functions and entertainment options. We’ve also included a complete guide to the workout programs.

Horizon Fitness Elite E9 Elliptical

Horizon Fitness Elite E9 Elliptical

One of Horizon’s most modern elliptical trainers, the Elite E9 has a heavier flywheel, longer labor warranty, and higher weight capacity than the Elite E7.

Released in 2014, this is the only Horizon elliptical to feature a touchscreen display, with a Virtual Active integrated console. This means you don’t have to buy the Passport Player separately to enjoy the pre-loaded destination workouts.

As a non-folding front drive elliptical the footprint isn’t exactly compact (75”L x 24”W), but it requires much less space than the Sole E35 (82”L x 31”W). Weight capacity is virtually identical too , and both ellipticals support wireless heart rate monitoring (Polar® chest strap included with the Elite E9).

So what about the fitness programs? How does the workout variation compare to one of the ellipticals from Vision Fitness, NordicTrack, or Sole Fitness?

  • Workout programs: 44
  • Stride length: 20″
  • Incline: No
  • ViaFit: Yes
  • Passport Ready: Yes
  • Resistance levels: 20
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs
  • Virtual Active integrated: Yes
  • Flywheel weight: 30 lbs
  • Heart rate monitoring: Touch and telemetry

The link below takes you to an in-depth review where you can find everything you need to know about the assembly, warranty, workout programs, entertainment options, and ergonomic design features. You can also find the best price on the official Horizon Fitness website, and find out if the Elite E9 is currently on sale.