Club Car Onward vs Precedent: Features, Specs, and More

When exploring the realm of personal transportation, particularly in the context of golf carts, Club Car stands out as a leading manufacturer with a reputation for quality and innovation. The Precedent model has been a staple on golf courses for years, known for its reliability and function. However, with the advent of the Onward model, Club Car has shifted gears to offer a vehicle designed not just for the golf course but for personal use as well, blending performance with enhanced features aimed at the consumer market.

Two golf carts, Club Car and Precedent, racing side by side on a green course

The Onward takes the familiar platform of the Precedent and builds upon it, offering an updated design and a variety of customization options. While maintaining some of the Precedent’s trusted elements, the Onward introduces additional conveniences such as integrated headlight mounts and potential for further personalization. Comparing the Onward to the Precedent involves examining their design, technology enhancements, and overall performance, ensuring you make an informed choice that fits your lifestyle whether on the fairway or navigating around your community.

Key Takeaways

  • The Onward builds upon the Precedent’s platform with a focus on consumer use and customization.
  • Design updates and technological enhancements distinguish the Onward from the Precedent.
  • Both models maintain Club Car’s reputation for reliability and performance.

Overview of Club Car Models

In exploring Club Car’s models, you’ll discover their rich history and the distinct innovations within the Onward and Precedent lines, each offering unique features that cater to a variety of needs.

History of Club Car

Club Car has a longstanding reputation for producing quality golf carts. The DS model, an enduring classic, lay the foundation for the brand’s esteemed history. It set the stage for the Precedent, which debuted in 2004 and introduced modern design cues and enhancements. Building upon that, Club Car launched the Tempo and Onward models, aiming to meet the rising demands of personal transportation vehicles (PTV), with the Onward starting its journey in 2017. The Villager 2, another noteworthy mention, marks itself as a versatile option within Club Car’s fleet.

Distinct Features of Onward and Precedent Models

When comparing the Club Car Precedent and Onward models, distinctions are mainly found in design and features.

  • Exterior Design: The Precedent set the design language with its signature look that has been partly carried over to the Onward.
  • Front Cowl: Onward distinguishes itself with a different front cowl made from TPO, incorporating integrated headlight mounts, while maintaining the “brow,” rocker panels, and front strut covers akin to the Precedent model.
  • Configurations: You have options in both lines such as a 2-seater or 4-seater configurations to suit your needs.
  • Speed: The Club Car Onward is designated as a PTV, offering a top speed of 19.9 MPH, which indicates its suitability for personal transport beyond the golf course.

By understanding these nuances, you’re better equipped to choose a model that aligns with your preferences for recreation or utility.

Design and Aesthetics

When choosing between the Club Car Onward and Precedent, your personal style plays a big role. Each model offers a distinct look that caters to different tastes and preferences.

Exterior Design Comparisons


  • Design: You’ll find that the Onward has a more modern look with sleeker lines and an overall more stylish silhouette.
  • Unique Features: The model often includes “ONWARD” decals, adding to the cart’s unique appearance.
  • Color Options: The Onward provides a variety of color choices, allowing for greater personalization.
  • Lighting: Full LED headlights, integrated DRL, and turn signals are part of its comprehensive package.
  • Tires: It typically comes with larger tires and fender flares, which not only add to the aesthetics but also may enhance performance.


  • Design: The Precedent maintains a classic golf cart design that is timeless and familiar.
  • Color Options: It offers various color options, but they may be less numerous than those of the Onward.
  • Lighting: Standard lighting features without the advanced LED technology found in the newer Onward model.

Interior Comfort and Seating


  • Seating: The interior of the Onward includes premium seats that elevate comfort and create a more luxurious ride.
  • Rear Body Design: The back of the Onward is crafted to enhance passenger comfort, with attention to detail in the rear body design.


  • Seating: Solid and reliable seating arrangements are a hallmark of the Precedent, focusing more on function than luxury.
  • Rear Body Design: Its design remains more traditional, without the various creature comforts of newer models.

Choosing between the Onward and Precedent will come down to your preference for a more contemporary and customizable cart versus a traditional and classic design.

Performance and Power

When you’re choosing between the Club Car Onward and Precedent models, understanding their performance and power characteristics is crucial. You’ll want to consider the engine types, how quick they accelerate, their top speed, and the quality of the ride.

A sleek, modern club car speeds ahead, leaving a traditional precedent model in the dust. The contrast in design and power is evident as the two vehicles race onward

Engine Types and Power Sources

Both the Club Car Onward and Precedent offer choices between gas and electric powertrains. The Onward’s electric models are powered by either Lead-Acid or Lithium-Ion batteries, with the lithium option providing a more efficient and longer-lasting charge. Gas-powered Onward models feature a 404cc engine, renowned for reliability and consistent power delivery.

Acceleration and Speed Range

In terms of acceleration and speed range, the Onward generally offers a higher top speed compared to the Precedent. Electric Onward models can reach speeds up to 19 mph, while gas models can go slightly faster. The Precedent, on the other hand, usually caps out at around 15-18 mph depending on the model and power source. Electric models provide smooth and immediate acceleration, which is perfect for quick starts.

Handling and Suspension

Your experience with the handling and suspension systems of both models will differ. The Onward, with its newer technologies, typically provides a more refined driving experience. You’ll notice improved handling due to updated suspension components that offer a smoother ride over various terrains. The Precedent is still a solid performer, but its older design may not feel as responsive as the Onward’s in certain conditions.

Technology and Innovation

A sleek, futuristic car zooms past an outdated, traditional vehicle on a modern city street

When you’re choosing between the Club Car Onward and the Precedent, technology and innovation are at the forefront of the decision-making process.

Guidance and Control Systems

Your Onward model is equipped with advanced technology that provides improved guidance and control, featuring the robust Curtis 1510A-5251 controller and the durable Albright SW80P solenoid. This technology not only increases the cart’s reliability and performance but also enhances your driving control.

Lighting and Electrical Features

The lighting system of the Onward model steps up with LED headlights, turn signals, and integrated daytime running lights (DRL), ensuring you have increased visibility and safety while driving. These features are not standard on older models like the Precedent, where the lighting might not be as advanced.

Entertainment and Connectivity

Experience your ride with a touch of entertainment. The Onward allows for sound system integration, offering a more enjoyable experience with your favorite tunes. While the Precedent model comes with its own sound options, the Onward takes it to the next level with potentially more sophisticated sound systems available for your enjoyment.

The incorporation of technology in the Club Car Onward is a deliberate step towards innovation and user experience. The integration of advanced controllers and solenoids enhances your control, the improved lighting ensures your safety, and the sound system revolutionizes your entertainment on the go.

Safety and Reliability

A sturdy Club Car Onward and Precedent sit side by side, showcasing their safety and reliability features

When comparing the Club Car Onward and Precedent models, your peace of mind is paramount. Let’s look at how both models ensure you’re riding safely and relying on the quality you trust.

Braking Systems

The Club Car Precedent features mechanical drum brakes, which are known for their durability and reliability. On the other hand, the Club Car Onward may provide a more advanced braking system, enhancing your safety on the course. Both models typically include a park brake that securely keeps the cart stationary when not in use.

Durability and Build Quality

  • Durability: The structural integrity of both models is impressive with their aluminum frames that are rustproof and resist corrosion.
  • Build Quality: The Onward steps up with a steel tower structure to add to the overall sturdiness, which may enhance reliability over time. This robust build quality ensures that your golf cart can withstand the elements and the test of time.

Safety Features

  • Full LED Headlights: Ideal for visibility during dawn or dusk rounds, the Club Car Onward often offers full LED headlights as part of its safety package, whereas on the Precedent, this may be an add-on.
  • Safety on the Go: Both the Onward and Precedent models typically come with safety features such as reflective warnings and a horn. Their stability and handling contribute to a safe driving experience.
  • Charging: Battery reliability is also critical for safety. Properly maintained batteries with regular charging cycles in both models can ensure you never get stranded on the course.

Remember, your safe ride also extends to the warranty offered by Club Car, which covers various components and can provide added confidence in the reliability of your vehicle.

Customization and Accessories

A customized Club Car Onward and Precedent parked side by side, showcasing various accessories like custom wheels, lift kits, and unique paint jobs

When choosing between the Club Car Onward and Precedent, you’ll find an array of customization options and accessories to tailor your golf cart to your needs, from aesthetics to performance enhancements.

External Accessories

External accessories can turn your cart not only into a reflection of your style but can also provide functional benefits.

  • Brush Guards: Protect the front end with a sturdy brush guard that can give your cart a rugged look.
  • Tires and Wheels: Upgrade to all-terrain tires for better traction and a set of stylish wheels to match your taste.
  • Lift Kits: Install a lift kit if you’re aiming for higher ground clearance or want to make a statement with the cart’s stature.
  • Front Bumper: Custom front bumpers are available for added protection and to give your cart a distinctive front profile.

Performance Upgrades

Performance upgrades can enhance the way your cart handles and operates.

  • 8-Volt Batteries: Consider the battery options, like 8-volt batteries, for extended range and power.
  • Charger: Ensure you have a reliable charger to keep your cart fueled and ready.
  • Single-Point Watering System: For easier maintenance of your batteries, look into a single-point watering system.

Personalization Options

Personalizing your golf cart can make it truly yours, with options ranging from practical to purely aesthetic.

  • Seats: Choose from a variety of seat materials and colors for comfort and style.
  • Custom Paint: Select your cart’s color to match your personality or to stand out in a crowd.
  • Accessories: From unique dashboards to custom steering wheels, your customization options are plentiful to create the experience you desire.

Practical Considerations

When choosing between the Club Car Onward and Precedent, it’s essential to consider not only the initial price but also the long-term costs and utility. Operating expenses, maintenance needs, and environment suitability play a crucial role in your decision.

Operating Costs and Efficiency

Your choice between the Club Car Onward and Precedent affects your operating costs over time. The Onward often boasts newer technology which might translate into better energy efficiency, especially if you opt for a model with a lithium battery. Lithium-powered carts can offer longer life and fewer replacements, impacting total ownership costs.

  • Efficiency: Lithium models may be more energy-efficient.
  • Price Factors: Initial higher price for newer tech, potentially lower lifetime cost.

Maintenance and Aftermarket Support

Regular maintenance ensures the longevity of your golf cart, and familiarity with common issues can prevent larger expenses down the road. Precedent models might see problems such as mcor failure or worn front control arm bushings. Aftermarket support is essential:

  • Common Issues: MCOR failure, front control arm bushings replacement.
  • Aftermarket support: Availability of parts like hubs, and common spares.

Use Cases and Environments

Consider where you’ll be using your golf cart. If you’re in coastal regions, corrosion resistance will be important. The Onward’s newer designs may offer better materials suited for various environments.

  • Coastal Regions: Need for corrosion-resistant materials.
  • Use Cases: Determine the specific needs based on your environment and usage.

Specifications and Models

When you’re considering a new golf cart, understanding the specifications and models is key. You’ll want to compare the Onward and Precedent models to see which fits your needs best and learn about any special editions or variants that might enhance your experience.

Comparison of Onward and Precedent Specs

The Club Car Onward and Precedent models have distinct specifications that cater to different user needs. Here’s a quick comparison for your reference:

SpecificationClub Car OnwardClub Car Precedent
Top SpeedUp to 19.9 MPH (PTV)Up to 15 MPH
Seating Options2, 4, and 6 seats2 and 4 seats
Power Options48 VDC with Lithium optionStandard Lead-acid Batteries
Charger13.5-amp DC high-frequency chargerStandard 48V charger
ModelsPTV and LSVMainly PTV
HorsepowerVaries by modelVaries by model
RangeDepends on battery type and conditionsSimilar, depends on use

The Onward models come with a modern design featuring integrated LED lights and offer both personal transport vehicle (PTV) and low speed vehicle (LSV) versions. Club Car’s Precedent, which has been around since 2004, is recognized for its reliability in golf courses and typically offers a more classic cart design.

Special Editions and Model Variants

Both Onward and Precedent models come in various special editions and variants, allowing you to choose one that suits your taste and requirements:

  • Club Car Onward:

    • Offered with lithium-ion battery packs for extended range and durability
    • Special editions include lifted versions for higher ground clearance and more rugged terrain.
  • Club Car Precedent:

    • Known for its longevity, the Precedent line introduces occasional special edition models.
    • You may find variants with unique body kits or luxury features in limited runs.

Remember to always verify the detailed specifications of each model and variant to ensure they meet your performance and range expectations, whether you’re cruising the neighborhood or navigating the fairways.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section covers common inquiries you might have when deciding between the Club Car Onward and Precedent models, including performance, user reviews, pricing, and specific features.

What are the main differences between the Club Car Onward and Precedent models?

The main differences lie in design, customization options, and technology. The Onward offers more advanced features and newer technology than the Precedent, which may also reflect in its higher price.

Which has better performance, the Club Car Onward or Precedent?

Performance can vary based on the specific model and the year of production. Generally, the Onward’s newer models incorporate the latest advancements, which might give them a slight edge in performance over the Precedent.

How do user reviews compare between the Onward and Precedent golf carts?

User reviews often highlight that the Onward offers a more modern feel and additional features while the Precedent is praised for its reliability and established reputation in the market.

What are the price variations between different years of Onward and Precedent models?

Price can fluctuate depending on the year of the model and its condition. Newer Onward models tend to be priced higher than the Precedent due to their updated features and customization options.

What are the distinct features of the Club Car Onward model?

The Club Car Onward has a range of unique features like integrated headlight mounts and the option for more customization, setting it apart from the more traditional Precedent model.

How does the Club Car Tempo compare to the Onward and Precedent in terms of specs?

The Club Car Tempo, often designed for golf fleets, shares many components with the Precedent but may not have as many of the consumer-focused features and customization options found in the Onward.


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