I’ll be honest I’m not a huge fan of Nautilus; their gym gear is always overpriced, and the quality never seems to match the price point. But their ellipticals for some reason are different. They seem to make a real effort with them. The Nautilus E618 elliptical and the E616 are unbeatable in this price bracket.

Solid elliptical that punches above its price tag.

I have no idea why these guys are so good at making ellipticals yet fall way behind when it comes to other gym gear. I suppose every company has its best products, and with Nautilus, it’s their mid-level ellipticals. So why are they so impressive? They are heavy, well-made machines for the price point. This one weighs over 200lb which is a beast considering its price tag.

The E618 is a sturdy mid-level machine, it doesn’t feel cheap, and with its 22″ stride length and 10-degree power incline, it boasts features of a much higher-priced machine.

It’s great to see a company outshine the likes of NordicTrack and Sole Fitness in this price bracket, it doesn’t happen often, but E618 certainly has the features and build to be the top elliptical under $1000, which is why I wanted to take a look at everything it has to offer and see if there are any drawbacks.

At the end of the review, I’ll also compare the E618 with its little brother, the E616 Elliptical, to see how they match up. First, let’s check out the E618 product specs!

Product Specifications


Product dimensions – 73″D x 27″W x 67″H


Weight – 210lb out of box weight


Resistance Type – Magnetic


Resistance levels – 25


Pre-programmed workouts – 29


Folds for storage – No


Flywheel weight – 17lb


Weight capacity – 350lb


Stride length – 22″


Transport wheels

Why Do We Like The Nautilus E618 Elliptical?

What you’re going to love most about this elliptical is that it costs under $1000, and it doesn’t feel much different from a machine you’d use in your local gym.

Its best feature is its weight. This machine is heavy, and many users have mentioned how solid this elliptical feels. And that’s exactly what you want. You want to get as close to the feel of a commercial machine for your budget.

Heavy ellipticals are a pain to move, but it’s worth it. The heavier the elliptical, the higher the quality of the parts.

22″ Stride Length

Stride length is something else you need to consider before buying an elliptical. Most commercial machines use a 20″ stride. Why? Because this length stride covers a wide range of heights from 4’11  to 6’2″. So finding a machine with a 22″ stride in this price range is very impressive.

Still, 22″  strides do have their drawbacks, and one is that it might be too long for some users. If you’re under 5’1″, you’ll probably find the 22″ stride uncomfortable. A 22″ stride is best-suited for users 5’1″ to 6’4″.

Work Your Glutes and Hamstrings With The Power Incline

If you own a front-drive elliptical, I think it’s essential you must have one that also includes an incline feature. I say this because front-drive ellipticals primarily work your quads. This is because the flywheel is at the front of the machine, forcing you to push it to get it spinning rather than pull it like you would with a rear-drive elliptical.

 However, when you set the elliptical to an incline, you’ll switch focus to your posterior muscles, such as your glutes and hamstrings.

Glutes and hamstrings are some of the hardest muscles to train the body, and an inline workout on an elliptical is one of the best ways to train them.

 Burn Twice as Many Calories Pedaling on an Incline

Also, because the hamstrings are three times bigger than the quads, and the glutes are the largest muscle in your body, when you contract these large muscles, they’ll burn many more calories than the smaller muscles like your quads.

So not only are incline workouts great for strengthening your glutes and hamstrings they are also excellent for burning more calories.

E618 – 10° Incline

The E618 elliptical boasts a 10° power adjustable incline, much better than a manual incline, as it saves you from getting off the machine to change the incline level manually. Instead, you can choose to adjust the incline level from the monitor’s large  quick touch buttons or the handlebar buttons. 

woman changing resistance on Nautilus E618 Elliptical monitor
Nautilus E628 Elliptical Cross Trainer monitor and app

Decent Monitor With HR Chest Strap Included

In this price range, I always hope to find a monitor on an elliptical that includes wireless heart rate monitoring.

Wireless heart rate monitoring is a much more accurate way to monitor heart rate than the handlebar pulse sensors. And it’s an essential feature for those who love to train in their chosen heart rate zone.

Thankfully, the E618 includes wireless heart rate monitoring, and they also throw in the HR chest strap, which is great to see.

Other features of this monitor I like are the 29 workout programs. Workout programs help keep you challenged and reach your goals faster. Also, you have the Explore The Word app with a selection of Global routes, which automatically adjust to the speed you pedal the elliptical. And you can cast the app to your TV if you like, which is cool.

There’s 25 resistance levels with enough strength to suit most fitness levels apart from serious athletes in training.

Lastly, the monitor is pretty easy to use, the quick touch buttons for resistance and incline save time, and there aren’t tons of annoying menus to scroll through, which is always a good thing.

Fixed and Moving Handlebars

Most ellipticals come with fixed and moving pairs of handlebars. You’ll find the pulse sensors are on the fixed pair of handles, which means there’s no way to monitor your pulse rate while using the moving pair.

Thankfully you also have wireless heart rate monitoring with this elliptical, so you shouldn’t have any problem when monitoring heart rate using the moving pair of handlebars. You can wear the HR chest strap, so there is no need for the grip pulse sensors.

There are a few other reasons for a fixed pair of handlebars. One is that they are useful for beginners who have never used an elliptical before. You can hold on to these for support and get used to the elliptical motion; once you’ve built up the confidence, you can move on to the moving handles for a full-body workout.

I also like the fixed handles because they allow you to focus fully on your lower body. You can ramp up the incline and resistance level and give the glutes and hamstrings a really good workout.

Whisper Quiet Magnetic Resistance

Nearly all ellipticals use magnetic resistance and the reason why is that it helps to keep the elliptical motion smooth and it’s so quiet in operation. You can watch TV and listen to music, and you won’t be disturbed by the sound of the machine.

Also, it’s pretty much maintenance-free. The magnets of the resistance system dont make contact with the flywheel; therefore, there is no wear and tear.

You get 25 levels of resistance with this elliptical and a 17lb flywheel. The flywheel weight is about what I’d expect in this price range.

The flywheel is heavy enough to keep the elliptical motion smooth, but it’s not super heavy, so dont expect resistance strength in the upper levels to be as strong as an elliptical you’ve used in a local gym; they use flywheels with weights of 30lb+

The E618 elliptical is best suited to beginners and intermediates looking to burn off some unwanted fat and increase their fitness levels. It’s not designed for seasoned athletes etc.

Give Yourself a Couple of Hours For Assembly

Ellipticals are tricky to assemble, more so than bikes or treadmills. With an elliptical weighing over 200lb, it’s best to have someone help you unbox the elliptical, and you’ll need someone hold the parts in place. Most of the complicated stuff, like the resistance and drive system, already come pre-assembled.

You’ll need to attach the stabilizer bars and arms to the base of the frame. Attach the console mast and connect the inclined arm to the rail assembly. And lastly, attach the monitor.

The Good

Sturdy, heavy build for price point

Impressive 22″ stride length

10° power adjustable incline

Decent monitor with wireless heart rate monitoring, quick touch buttons and 29 workout programs (plus Explore The World App – global routes)

Large pedals

HR chest strap included

Magnetic resistance system and belt drive, make for a quiet elliptical

Built-in transport wheels, cooling fan, BlueTooth, and speakers

The Bad

Stride length too long for some users

Nautilus known for slow customer service

No HD screen 



woman just about o exercise on Nautilus elliptical E616

Nautilus E616 Elliptical

Nautilus also make the E616 elliptical, and it’s very similar to the E618 in that they share many features. The flywheel weight is the same, both include the 10-degree incline, 29  workout programs, 25 resistance levels, and wireless heart rate monitoring.

You have to remember the E616 is around $300 cheaper than the E618, so it must lack somewhere. On features, both are almost identical. It’s the build where they differ. The E616 weighs 170lb, while the E618 weighs 210lb. So the E616  isn’t as heavy duty as the E618, but still, at 170lb, this is no lightweight machine either. It’s heavy and well-made for its price bracket.

Also, the E616 uses a 20″ stride rather than the 22″ stride of the E618, so ist a better choice for shorter uses. And that’s about it.

These two elliptical are both great for the price point. If you’re a large person, the more heavy-duty build and larger stride length of the E618 is probably the best choice; otherwise, you might as well save yourself a few bucks and choose the E616 as it boasts all the features of the E618 just weighs slightly less.


To Sum Up

I was impressed with the E618 from Nautilius. It’s a full-featured elliptical for $1000. It easily rivals anything that NordicTrack and Sole Fitness offer in this price range and comes with a good warranty which is surprising for Nautilus.

What I liked most about this elliptical is its heavy-duty build and large stride length, which are essential when choosing an elliptical for home use.

You won’t find much better out there for the price than the E618 Elliptical.