Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 EllipticalHorizon Fitness Evolve 5 Elliptical

Web Price: $1,799 | Sale Price: $1,399

Offering a few more features than the Evolve 3, a solid mid range offering from a well-regarded fitness manufacturer.

Overall Rating From Elliptical Review Guru: 4.0 / 5.0

300 lbs
Stride Length:
69″ L, 28″ W, 69″ H

Check out the new Horizon Evolve 5 elliptical trainer here!

Overview: The Evolve 5 Elliptical by Horizon Fitness has received a lot of accolades over the years. It blends the compactness of simple machinery with the expansive programming normally found in gym-grade equipment. Horizon is a brand known for its quality, affordable equipment which has won numerous awards, both in their treadmill and elliptical categories. Priced at around $1399 to $1499 when it’s on sale, the Evolve 5 features a couple of upgrades from its sister model in the same series, the Evolve 3.

Here are some of the highlights from our Evolve 5 elliptical review:

Heavy Flywheel

This machine comes with a solid 23-pound flywheel, up from 18 on the Evolve 3, making it ideal for those who enjoy the option of a high resistance workout without the excessive whirring noise present in some models.

Hydraulic Folding System

This folding system effortlessly allows you to transform your living space into your own personal gym. It facilitates easy storage and transport between workouts and is ideal for those of you who want to maximize your available space.

Multitude of Programs

This console comes with an impressive range of 37 workout programs, including: 13 distance, 9 calorie, 3 interval, 4 performance, 10 step, 2 custom and a manual based workout option. For those of you who are already advanced gym-rats, this is the perfect way to step up the variety in your day to day cardio routine. As a comparison the Evolve 3 model has 32 programs to choose from…still impressive.


This connectivity platform on the Horizon Evolve 5 allows you to sync your workout to your favorite fitness apps, as well as allows you to share your fitness progress online with social media. Letting your friends and family know your progress helps keep you accountable and helps you meet your fitness and health goals faster. This feature requires wi-fi connection.


This feature essentially allows you to explore the world without ever leaving your workout console. Your workout becomes an immersive external world experience by syncing your own television with your every movement, mimicking what it would be like to travel through a charming little French village or stroll through the glittering coasts of Greece. ICON Fitness offers a similar experience with iFit, only available on NordicTrack, ProForm and other ICON brands.

Other notable features: Energy Saver Mode, built-in speakers, reading rack, bottle holder. Note that the Evolve 5 and 7 do not have incline capability. If that’s a feature you’d like check out the up-level Elite E7 model as well.

Guru Test Drive

For starters, I really appreciated the three-step assembly system, a carry-over feature from the Evolve 3. It makes this machine especially easy to set up without the hassle of complicated steps found in many other machines. It allowed me to start working out quicker without the headache of Ikea-like assembly instructions. Additionally, this machine comes with easy to transport wheels that help you move the elliptical where you want it. This machine weighs in at 175 pounds. The wheels are a great plus, as many machines lack this convenient add-on.

As for comfort, I must say that the six-star frame, named because of six design elements, really aided in a truly ergonomic workout experience. The elliptical moves smoothly and quietly, making it perfect for residential lifestyles. The flywheel is also located anteriorly, which requires the distance between the pedals to be narrowed. This feature decreases the amount of stress on the delicate hip joint.

Additionally, I didn’t feel like the handle bars were located too high or too low. My arms were comfortably positioned in a neutral position. A common complaint that I hear with ellipticals is that users will stop working out because of back pain, not because of muscle fatigue or being too winded. This is because many other machines are designed so that the user either leans slight forward or backwards in posture. The Evolve 5 allows you to keep an upright posture, decreasing the strain on your back and allowing you to work out comfortably for a longer period of time. What does that mean in the long run? Better spine health and the ability to meet your fitness goals faster.

The stride length of this machine is 20”, which is the same as that offered on the Evolve 3. I feel extremely comfortable using this machine, as did the rest of the testers. This is a pretty standard stride length among most industry machines at this price range and fares well for most users up to about 6’6”. Therefore, it should suit most members of your family. In comparison, the NordicTrack Space Saver SE9i Elliptical, which also sells for $1499, offers a maximum stride length of only 18”. In addition, the user weight capacity of 300 pounds should also accommodate most standard users.

An added safety feature is the additional 10” of step on height that Horizon provides. This facilitates getting on and getting off the machine without accidents. For those of you with low-hanging ceilings, make sure you take this into account when measuring.

The Horizon Evolve 5 offers 20 electronically adjustable resistance levels that can be adjusted with the push of a button. The 6.25″ blue backlit LCD is bigger than that of the Evolve 3, which is 5.5″. The screen displays stats such as time, distance, speed, calories, heart rate, resistance, watts, RPM, and Cardio Compass information. CardioCompass is this machine’s heart-rate monitoring feature, which tracks through the handles.

While the extensive range of programs is an enticing feature for long-time exercisers, it can be a little overwhelming for those of you who are beginning your fitness journey. If you are not intimidated by the immense amount of offerings, definitely explore this machine. However, if you know you are one who does not like to be bombarded with too many options, opt for a simpler machine.

This elliptical trainer features a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, a 3 year warranty on parts, and a 1 year warranty on labor. This is one downside of the machine, as other machines in this price range feature 5 year coverages of their electronics and parts, and a 2 year coverage on labor. Still, it’s a pretty good warranty.

Two additional features that I would have liked to see are a wireless strap-on heart rate monitor, as well as padded foot pads. Other machines competitive in price, such as Sole Fitness’s E55 elliptical, come with wireless chest straps.

Final Thoughts: The Horizon Evolve 5 is large on features but small on space, and is perfect for those of you are who passionate about your fitness goals but don’t enjoy the bulkiness of traditional machines. For those of you looking to up your fitness ante, this machine is a competitive contender in the marketplace due to its high quality, comfort and wide array of features.

You can take a look at the Horizon Evolve 5 elliptical machine as well as the Evolve 3 and other elliptical machines on the official Horizon site.