The Downtown was a sharp model from Kymco offered from 2010 to 2017. Both the 200i and 300i versions paired some of Kymco’s nicest styling yet with technologically impressive motor options.
The larger 300i model was introduced to the Canadian market for 2010 and into the USA a year later, while the smaller 200i sibling was added only to the USA market for 2012 but dropped after two years. The Downtown 300i remained on sale in both markets through 2017 before being replaced by the X-Town 300.
Although there was a year of overlap in 2011, the Downtown fits into Kymco’s line up as the successor to the Grandvista 250. The Grandvista 250 was Kymco’s first mid-sized maxi-scooter offering, which took the basic design of the Bet & Win 250 and stretched it out to include a number of touring features making it better suited for the open road. Overseas the Downtown is known as the Super Dink (with Dink referring to “double income no kids”).
Kymco has done a really nice job with the styling of the Downtown. The design moves beyond the generic styling of their older models and creates something unique – particularly with the front end. The style is edgy, modern and distinct. The blacked out five spoke rims are tasteful and the headlights are particularly well styled with their crisp lines and quartz halogen eyes. Overall it’s one of the best looking Kymco’s yet, with only the sharp People GT keeping it from being the hands down nominee.
The Downtown is made for high speed riding with its large, tinted windscreen, big comfortable seat plus backrest and various of neat touches including lighting in the underseat storage area and a 12V accessory socket. The underseat storage area has enough room for two moderately sized full face helmets and if that’s not enough, there is also a center console (aka mini glovebox) and an optional rear top case.
The Downtown was originally offered with either a 205cc or 298cc mill. The larger motor comes at a premium of about $400, which was a better option for most people and so the 200 was dropped after 2013. The Downtown 300i is amply powered for travel on any road, while the Downtown 200i struggles on the highway and is best suited for non-highway use. The Downtown 300 is a well rounded machine, while the 200 variant offers a way to lower the purchase price, insurance costs and fuel bill for those who spend very little time on the highway.
With either motor option, the insurance costs and MSRP are much lower than a full size (ie. 500-650cc) maxi-scooter. You also get superior milage than a large maxi-scooter. The Downtown 300i is claimed to achieve 55 mpg, while the 200i does about 10mpg better. Most 500-650cc maxi-scooters typically achieve 35-40 mpg in actual driving conditions.
Both motors are new designs from Kymco and feature both fuel injection and 4-valves. At 29 hp, the Downtown 300 offers impressive power for its displacement which makes it a sporty ride. For comparison, the Downtown’s closet competitor – Honda’s 279cc Forza – makes 24.5 hp.
With the Downtown, Kymco has stepped up their game and offered styling, technology and refinement that exceeds that of their older models. This isn’t a bargain bin scooter like some lower cost Kymco’s, but rather Kymco has thrown all their best work into this model and as such, is selling this model based more on quality than price. Instead of radically undercutting the MSRP of their competition with an entry level machine, Kymco has come close to the technology and design of their peers while still offering a few hundred in MSRP savings.
The market for a 200-400c “maxi-scooter light” isn’t a highly populated one, but it is a great niche that will likely keep expanding. Yamaha’s 400cc Majesty, Honda’s Forza and the Suzuki Burgman 400 are the most direct competition. Of those, the Forza matches the closest with its similar silhouette and core design.
In essence, Kymco has replaced the Grandvista 250 with the new Downtown that is better in every way save the MSRP. The powerful Downtown 300i is an impressively well rounded scooter that offers highway capability with superior fuel milage compared to a full sized maxi-scooter. It’s great to see Kymco continuing to push the quality of their machines and unveiling top notch scooters like this with class leading style and technology.