The new Horizon Elite T5 treadmill is the entry-level model in Horizon’s top series for 2019. With its 55″-long track this updated version of the T5 is best considered a treadmill for walkers and joggers; runners might want more exercise room. Still, this cardio trainer supports high speeds and has quality cushioning. As for electronics, its highlight is compatibility with a Passport Player for virtual reality workout programs. Read on for a full Elite T5 treadmill review!
Rating: 86.3/100. Durable yet modestly priced, the new Elite T5 treadmill by Horizon Fitness is a sensible option for walking and jogging at home. This model is the most affordable of three Horizon Elite treadmills for 2019; the list price is $1,599 but the T5 discount price is $1,199 including delivery. Compared with the next model up (the T7-02) it has a shorter track and slightly smaller motor, but all three models have some key features in common. The special appeal of these treadmills is the option to exercise within virtual reality settings: Horizon treadmills are compatible with Virtual Active videos that play scenic paths with ambient sound on a home TV. As you exercise with a Virtual Active treadmill workout, your machine will adjust its incline to copy the terrain.
Examples of Virtual Active workout settings are the lush green slopes of the Italian Alps; the stunning Grand Staircase rock formation in Utah; and the tourist-filled Walk of Fame in Hollywood. These interactive videos are played through a Passport Player, sold separately for $199.
Some key performance specs are a 55” x 20” workout area, a 2.75 CHP motor with lifetime warranty, speeds up to 12 mph, and power incline up to 15 percent. The new Elite T5 console features an 8.5” LCD screen with a selection of 38 standard workout programs (not Virtual Active), and the screen shows multiple workout statistics at once. The monitor also helps visualize your distance traveled with an animated racetrack graphic.
While full price is a bit steep, the sale price of $1,199 makes the new Elite T5 a good deal for walkers and joggers in particular. Pros and cons to consider are listed below.
- “Passport ready” status for virtual worldwide training
- 2.75 CHP motor with lifetime warranty
- Power incline up to 15 percent for faster calorie burn
- Three-zone track cushioning
- 8.5” data screen with backlighting
- 38 built-in workout programs
- ViaFit Connect for data logging and export
- Wireless heart rate receiver
- Console shelf for a mobile device or magazine
- iPod-compatible jack and speakers
- Built-in workout fan
- Water bottle holder
- Foldable frame
- Transport wheels
- Competitive warranty
- Requires light maintenance by the owner, such as treating the track with silicone every 300 miles
- Smaller workout surface (55” long x 20” wide) is five inches shorter than the health club standard
- Motor power isn’t ideal for frequent long-distance runs; consider the Elite T7-02 or another treadmill with at least 3.0 CHP instead
- Small rear roller makes the belt system less durable than those of high-end home treadmills
- Extra cost for optional Passport Player and Virtual Active video packs
The Horizon Elite T5 for 2019 can handle high speeds, but this new home treadmill gives the best value to walkers and joggers. By choosing this model you’ll save money on track length and horsepower, but will still get features found on higher Elite Series treadmills such as Passport readiness, three-zone cushioning, a wireless heart rate receiver, and Bluetooth for automatically storing your workout statistics in a mobile app. Below are details about the new Elite T5 workout programs, machinery and home-use warranty.
The new Horizon Elite T5 treadmill computer has 38 built-in workout programs. That’s comparable to what you’d get on the pricier treadmills in this series, which have 40 and 42 workout programs. Additionally this cardio trainer is Passport ready for interactive video workouts as explained below. Both types of workout programs (built-in and video) can control the T5 track speed and incline. Data categories shown are Time, Distance, Laps, Calories, Speed, Incline and Heart Rate.
The 38 built-in treadmill workouts are set up by intensity; you have different options for speed, incline, distance and workout time. If a program is too easy or too difficult, you can adjust it as you exercise. A graph profile of the workout program is shown during training. Thirty-six programs are preset, and two can be designed by users.
Second, Horizon treadmills are compatible with the Passport Player ($199) for Virtual Active exercise videos. A Passport Player connects the treadmill and your home TV to create virtual outdoor exercise experiences. Your TV shows a scenic path filmed in HD, and the Elite T5 track automatically tilts to mimic the view!
A Passport Player has two built-in destinations, and others are sold separately. One built-in video set is focused on national parks and monuments in Arizona and Utah. The other provides virtual tours of urban and rural settings in northern Italy, such as Venice and the Alps.
Virtual Active workouts are also compatible with Matrix Fitness home treadmills. Matrix treadmills are pricier than Horizon treadmills, but they have built-in touchscreens for downloading and watching new Virtual Active videos.
Horizon Fitness Elite T5 Features
The new T5 treadmill is compatible with a Passport Player for Virtual Active workouts as described above.
All Horizon treadmills for 2019 have folding frames. A patented FeatherLight hydraulic system makes it quick and physically simple to store a deck upright. When folded the new T5 treadmill takes 44” x 35” of floor space.
The new Elite T5 for 2019 has a 2.75 continuous horsepower motor. This Johnson Drive motor is produced exclusively for the treadmill manufacturer. Well-built, it operates quietly and ensures that the track moves smoothly even if you make frequent speed changes.
The data screen measures 8.5” diagonally. It’s backlit for easy reading regardless of ambient light. To save energy it will turn off automatically after 15 minutes of inactivity.
Patented Variable Response cushioning on Horizon treadmills helps protect your body from strain and also promotes endurance. Different firmness levels are used at different sections of the track, so you get a different level of cushioning or support for push-off compared with landing.
Incline training naturally revs up your metabolism and helps define lean muscles. Power incline on the Elite T5 can take the track from zero to a maximum 15 percent incline. Incline can be controlled manually and with workout programs, which all have manual override.
The new Elite T5 is compatible with a Polar chest strap (not included) for wireless heart rate monitoring. This fitness machine also has built-in contact heart rate sensors.
For wireless data sharing the console features ViaFit Connect. With Bluetooth your treadmill workout data can automatically be logged for easy viewing on your mobile device, whether Apple or Android. ViaFit can also connect with third-party wearables such as those by FitBit.
A media ledge is attached to the console. It’s sized for a mobile device or magazine. Adding high-volume music is convenient with the treadmill’s built-in speakers and iPod-compatible jack.
To help keep you cool, the console has a fan and a water bottle holder.
For safety the treadmill track will only move when a magnetic key is affixed. Trainees can help guard against injuries by exercising with the key’s lanyard clipped to their clothing; in case of tripping or slipping, the key will pop away from the treadmill and let you get your footing. The key can also help protect young children by preventing unauthorized machine use.
Warranty & Guarantee
The Horizon Elite T5 Treadmill warranty includes:
– Frame: Lifetime
– Motor: Lifetime
– Cushioning: 3 Years
– Parts: 3 Years
– Labor: 1 year
Horizon Fitness also provides a 30 day trial period during which you can exchange the T5 for a refund minus shipping expenses, even if the machine isn’t faulty.
The Horizon Elite T5 for 2019 can be a good value for walkers seeking treadmills under $1,200. It boasts some above-average features for its price class such as variable cushioning, a wireless heart rate monitor, and Bluetooth for data export. It also has 38 on-board training programs and makes it easy to integrate your tablet computer or MP3 player.
The main drawback for some shoppers is the 55” track. If you’re tall and plan to jog, you might prefer the extended track of the Elite T7-02 ($1,599).
Also keep in mind that adding Virtual Active videos to the T5 is an extra expense. If you buy a Passport Player and a new video pack, then the Elite T5 becomes a $1,499 treadmill. For that price you might prefer another fine treadmill from a competing brand, as many earn high review scores.