A beautiful day on the lake is made even better with a quality trolling motor. Some of our top fishing adventures have been with Minn Kota’s trolling motors, and two of the brand’s bestsellers are the Ulterra and the Terrova. So, what’s the scoop on the great Ulterra vs. Terrova debate? Here’s everything we know about these two popular motors.
What is the Ulterra?
The Ulterra is the more expensive of the two, with upgraded features that enable stow, deploy, and trim functions at the push of a button. The auto stow/deploy and power trim make it easier to store the Ulterra, which can be activated or put away using the foot pedal, i-Pilot or i-Pilot Link remote, or Humminbird fish finder.
The Ulterra is seen as a premium trolling motor, retailing around $1,500-$3,000 on average, with some models costing even more depending on the memory and connectivity options. One of the big selling features is the unique ability to control the motor with the push-button command from wherever you are on the boat. It’s easy to use the motor up and down with just one touch, thanks to the high-tech design.
- Additional foot pedal controls
- LCD remote for automatic stow and deploy
- Built-in Mega Down Imaging
- Humminbird connectivity
- Increased memory for saving fishing spots and tracks
- 2-year warranty
- More expensive
- Tech upgrades make it hard to go back to a lesser model
What is the Terrova?
Compared to the Ulterra, the Terrova is less expensive and doesn’t come with all the latest features, but it’s still a solid motor that gets the job done and supports successful fishing. The Terrova remains a popular investment for anglers who appreciate the i-Pilot GPS trolling system and spot-lock to save their lucky spots.
Priced around $1,000-$2,500 to start, the Terrova is a more cost-effective trolling motor, although it’s missing out on the automatic stow and deploy feature that puts the Ulterra one step above. A lot of anglers, ourselves included, started out with the Terrova before eventually switching to the Ulterra to see if it was worth the extra money.
- Includes foot pedal
- Motor deployment assist
- 2-year warranty
- Less technology that could need maintenance and repairs
- Smaller memory for itracks and favorite fishing spots
- Does not include auto stow and deploy
- Cannot connect to Humminbird fish tracker
- Inferior sonar imaging
What Are The Similarities Between the Ulterra and Terrova?
The Ulterra and Terrova have a similar design and functionality in a lot of ways. Whichever one you buy, you can expect these key features:
- Spot lock feature – stay in a good spot without drifting away through innovative GPS functions.
- Auto-pilot and saved tracks/spots in GPS settings.
- Handy foot pedal for easy control.
What Are The Differences Between the Ulterra and Terrova?
While both the Ulterra and Terrova have the spot lock and auto-pilot features, there are a few main differences to think about too, including:
- Auto stow – you can put the Ulterra up or down with the push of a button, making it easier to store compared to the Terrova.
- Power trim – the Ulterra includes power trim so you can change the motor’s depth via remote, which is especially handy for shallow channels and tight spots.
- Memory size – the Ulterra has more memory, so you can save additional fishing routes and locations in the GPS.
- Foot pedal functions – the Terrova does not include auto stow and deploy, so you can’t do as much with the pedal. Otherwise, the foot pedals are the same with the mode indicator and mode button; the Terrova is just missing the deploy/stow button.
- Sonar imaging – you can connect the Ulterra to your fish finder, but not the Terrova.
- Humminbird fish finder – to get the most of Ulterra’s extensive features, you need a Humminbird fish finder. If you don’t have one and aren’t interested in getting one, you may actually get more for your money with the Terrova.
- Tech widgets – there is more to keep track of and understand with Ulterra’s tech features, compared to the simpler design and tech setup of the Terrova.
Which Trolling Motor is Best?
It all comes down to personal preference and how much money you want to spend. While you could grab the Terrova on sale, you’re likely to pay a premium price for the Ulterra.
The frequency of your fishing activity and your current motor situation could help you make the right call. If you already have a motor and the main concern is that you need more space in the boat and an auto-deploy feature would help with that, then the Ulterra could be your answer.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a simpler motor that gets the job done and saves your best fishing spots without going overboard on features or price, the Terrova is a great place to start.
If all the bells and whistles don’t matter much to you, and you’re happy as long as you can find your spots and keep trolling, then the lower-priced model may work just fine.
One other consideration is the physical labor involved in operating the Terrova and similar motors.
If you struggle to move around on the boat or worry about hurting your back, the Ulterra can be worth the extra money. That’s because the automatic stow and deploy eliminate the need to bend over and possibly injure yourself or fall overboard.
While the Terrova has assisted deployment, it’s not as easy or effortless as the Ulterra.
What Should You Keep in Mind When Buying a Trolling Motor?
Whether it’s your first motor or an upgrade, just think it through and explore all the features to figure out which one will be right for you. Here are a few of the top considerations in our book.
Both the Ulterra and Terrova bow-mount trolling motors have universal sonar, i-Pilot GPS, and a handy foot pedal. While the Terrova has lift assist, the Ulterra has auto stow/deploy to make it even simpler and safer to control the motor and store it.
If you’re not bothered by manually lifting the motor up and down when it’s time to take off, then this may not matter as much. If you prefer to stay steady and avoid possible safety hazards of bending down for the motor, the Ulterra offers peace of mind.
In addition to the product specs, it’s also worthwhile to think about your fishing plans and goals. If you fish in relatively calm waters and don’t need anything too fancy, the Terrova is a good trolling motor.
If you head out on rough water often, the added stability and safety from the Ulterra could be a gamechanger.
Remember that you can always upgrade to the Ulterra, but it’s tough to go back to a lesser model like the Terrova once you’ve had a taste of the premium trolling motor experience.
At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with either Minn Kota’s Ulterra or Terrova. It just depends on how much you want to spend and if the special features of the Ulterra are worth the higher cost.
If you’re only going fishing a few times a year or you don’t mind manually deploying the motor, then the Terrova is probably fine. If you are out on the water nearly every day and you want the most convenient and high-tech trolling motor around, then the Ulterra may be your best bet.