Horizon Elite T7-02 Review

Editor's Rating: 8.3 /10

Virtually tour the world with a Passport treadmill! Sale priced at $1599 the Elite T7-02 is Horizon’s most affordable 2018 treadmill to mix “Passport ready” status with an extended track for runners. A Passport ready treadmill can use a Passport Player to play videos that help simulate outdoor exercise. Shown on your home TV, these Virtual Active videos capture real-life scenic paths, from pristine California coastlines to built-up Parisian boulevards. Speed up or slow down, and the sights and sounds will adapt! Each video program can also control the Elite T7-02 treadmill incline to match the views.

The Elite T7-02 is an enhanced version of the Horizon Elite T7 treadmill from 2016. Specs for the two are nearly identical, but the T7-02 features a more durable frame and a higher user weight limit of 350 pounds. Other specs for the newer model include: a durable 3.0 CHP motor; a 60″ long exercise track with three-zone cushioning; power incline to 15 percent maximum; a chest strap for accurate heart rate monitoring; and 42 preset workout programs. Data from standard workouts and Virtual Active tours can be tracked automatically with the ViaFit Connect mobile app for iOS and Android.

Purchased factory-direct the Horizon T7-02 carries a five-year parts warranty, a one-year labor warranty and other buyer protections.

What We Like:

  • Preset Workouts & Passport Ready: Elite Series treadmills are rich with training support. The T7-02 treadmill console holds 42 workout programs including custom options, plus it’s Passport ready to support virtual reality exercise environments. These environments are created with Virtual Active video technology, which stream outdoor routes at your workout speed and with realistic incline changes. You’ll need to connect a Passport Player (sold separately) and your home entertainment system.
  • High Quality Motor: Horizon Elite treadmill belts are powered by Johnson Drive motors, which have lifetime guarantees. Besides being durable these motors run quietly and constantly recalibrate so tracks move smoothly. The Elite T7-02 motor can provide up to 3.0 CHP (continuous horsepower), which is ample force for the typical treadmill user.
  • Incline: Compared with exercising on a flat track, walking or running on an incline allows faster calorie burn and better target-toning of muscle groups. The Elite T7-02 treadmill track has power incline with a maximum setting of 15 percent. This feature is especially fun to use with Virtual Active videos, as you can feel resistance to match a mountain climb, or the rush of an easy downhill descent.
  • Variable Response Cushioning: A big advantage of treadmill training over street training is extra impact deflection. Treadmills make running less jarring to your frame, so you can use energy more efficiently and reduce the chance of injury. The T7-02 treadmill deck has patented Variable Response cushioning, which features three firmness zones. This system lets you push off the track with firm support but then land with more cushioning.
  • Large Data Display: All three 2018 Horizon Elite treadmills are equipped with the same 8.5″ monitor. Although it isn’t a touchscreen monitor like many competitors now offer, it’s large and backlit for easy reading. Data fields shown all at once are time, distance, incline, speed, calories, heart rate and laps. A lap is equivalent to 400 meters or about ΒΌ mile. For extra motivation the screen also displays your position along a racetrack loop. Data sharing can be automated if the machine is paired with your mobile device.
  • ViaFit Connect: Horizon treadmills can automatically send your exercise statistics to ViaFit, a fitness tracking app for Android and iOS devices. This means you’ll never need to manually log your treadmill workout data to keep tabs on progress.
  • Amenities: Horizon Elite treadmills for 2018 each have a media rack to hold a magazine or mobile device. Other amenities include music speakers with a plug-in port, a cooling fan and water bottle holder.
  • Safety Key: A Horizon treadmill track can’t run unless a safety key is engaged. The key can be set up to stop the track if you slip during a workout, and this feature also guards against curious kids and pets.
  • Folding Frame: All Horizon treadmills for 2018 have foldable frames to give you extra floor space after workout time. When folded the Elite T7-02 takes just 44″ x 35″ of floor space and is 69″ high. Its unfolded dimensions are 73″ long x 35″ wide x 60″ high.
  • Warranty: The manufacturer’s five-year warranty on treadmill parts and suspension is a customer-friendly match for this machine’s discount price of $1599. Also included with purchase is one year of labor and lifetime coverage for the frame and 3.0 CHP motor.

Horizon Elite T7-02 Treadmill - Key Specs:

Star Rating:4.15-stars
Motor:3 HP
Incline:0 - 15%
Running Area:20" x 60"
Top Speed:12 MPH
Weight Capacity:350 LBS
Dimensions:77" L x 35" W x 60" H
Built-In Programs:42
What We Don’t Like:

  • Sound Absorption: Horizon treadmill decks aren’t especially effective at absorbing the sound of your footfall. This matters if you live in close quarters. Thicker decks are produced by NordicTrack and some other top competitors.
  • Customer Service Wait Time: Horizon Fitness customer service agents are friendly and knowledgeable. However, in our review the team seems understaffed. Phone wait times for Horizon Fitness customer service have shortened over the past few years but the brand still has room for improvement.
  • Cost for Virtual Active Workouts: Horizon isn’t the only treadmill brand to support virtual outdoor exercise. NordicTrack is a leading competitor in this field, and their iFit Coach virtual workout platform costs less. With a treadmill enabled for iFit Coach, you can download unlimited virtual outdoor routes with a monthly subscription or about $100/year. This requires a strong home wifi connection. With the Horizon Elite T7-02 you don’t need wifi, but you’ll need a Passport Player ($199) and will buy virtual tours separately.

Our Verdict:

On sale for $1599 the Elite T7-02 is well-built machinery for its price class. Highlights include Passport readiness, the durable 3.0 CHP motor, three-zone cushioning, power incline and a wireless heart rate strap. This cardio machine’s size and power are a good match for almost any trainee, excluding the heaviest runners.

A drawback of Horizon Elite treadmills is the additional cost (optional) for Virtual Active workout DVDs and the Passport Player. If you have home wifi, then you might prefer a web-enabled iFit Coach treadmill that can download unlimited interactive workouts for a lower price.