We cover a lot of territory in this A-iPower SUA2000iV Review. It’s not just a review — it’s a comparison and illustrates the differences between a cheap (inexpensive) generator and a higher-priced (brand name) generator. What do you get for more money? or rather, what do you lose by spending less? There’s a cost to everything.
Compare — A-iPower SUA2000iV vs Honda EU2200i
A Tale of two extremes : The cheapest inverter generator vs the most expensive — and best.
A-iPower SUA2000iV / 2000W
- Power : 2000W / 1600W Rated
- Engine : 79cc Senci Engine (cast iron sleeves)
- Run-time : 7 hrs. (50% load) / 4 hrs. (rated load)
- Outlets : 120V 20A NEMA 5-20R Outlet / 120V 30A NEMA L5-30R / 12V DC 8.3A
- Fuel Tank : 1.1 gal. (4.2 L)
- Size : 21″ x 12.5″ x 19″
- Noise Level : 58dB (50% Load) / 68dB (75% Load) – 21 ft.
- Weight : 46 lbs.
- Parallel Ready
- CARB compliant / Low Idle Mode
- Warranty : 2-Year residential / 1-Yr commercial
Honda EU2200i / 2200W
- Engine : Honda GXR120 / 121cc
- Power : 2200W (18.3A) / 1800W rated (15A)
- AC Outlets : 20A 125V Duplex
- DC Output 12V, 100W (8.3A)
- Starting : Recoil
- Fuel Tank : .95 gal
- Run Time per Tank : 3.2 hr. (rated load) / 8.1 hrs. at 25% load
- Size : (L x W x H) 20.0″ x 11.4″ x 16.7″
- Noise Level : 57 dB (rated load) / 48 dB (25% load)
- Parallel Ready
- Dry Weight : 46.5 lb.
- Warranty : 3 Years (residential / commercial)
A-iPower : How does it Compare?
The A-iPower SUA2000iV is probably the cheapest 2,000W quiet inverter generator you’ll find. This could be great news for homeowners and RV enthusiasts who aren’t up to paying the high prices for established brands like Honda and Yamaha. Though many might agree with my reluctance to buy cheap products from a brand we’ve never heard of. So this comparative review is going to pit the a-iPower SUA2000iV against two of the best-known inverter generators in this class.
Range of A-iPower Generators : How Much Power do You Need?
SUA2000iV : 2kw/1.6kw
Clean portable power. Quiet (58db). 9 hour run time at 50% load.
SUA12000E : 12kw/9kw
GFCI outlets for added safety. Overall, best value from the brand.
SUA15000ECV : 15kw/9kw
Heavy-duty generator for emergencies, home back-up, with low THD.
The Honda EU2200i is, for many, the benchmark for a 2KW inverter generator. I’d easily rank it as the best in its class. As one of the most expensive, one should expect the very best. Since this generator costs almost three times as much as the a-iPower SUA2000iV, it’s not a comparison of equals. In reviewing the Honda 2KW inverter generator, I intend to set the standard of what the best option would be – if you’re prepared to pay for it.
Best in Class Inverter Generator — Honda EU2200i
The WEN 56200i is a fair comparison to the a-iPower 2000W inverter generator. Most of us know WEN products and are familiar with their reputation as being one of the best brands for affordable quality. The WEN generator I’ll be reviewing costs a little more than the a-iPower SUA2000iV, but not by much. I’m sure a lot of generator buyers won’t mind paying the extra few dollars for a brand that they’ve come to trust.
Being a bargain basement generator from a relatively unknown brand, some may not trust the A-iPower SUA2000iV to match up to its better known rivals. For these guys, the a-iPower SC2000iV may be an attractive alternative. This is a more expensive 2000W inverter generator and is fitted with a Yamaha engine – certainly one of the top names in the business. While more expensive than the SUA2000iV and the WEN equivalent, the A-iPower SUA2000iV is a good deal cheaper than similar generators from Honda or Yamaha. The Yamaha engine does give us an indication that this cheaper option may be just as good but there’s much more to a generator than just an engine.
So, Let’s look at this review as two comparisons. The A-iPower SUA2000iV vs WEN 56200i are great competitors for the best cheap inverter generator. While the A-iPower SC2000iV vs Honda EU2200i is a battle for the top spot, with A-iPower being substantially cheaper. Can this newcomer really compete with the likes of Honda? We’ll see – I have my doubts.
VIDEO | A Closer Look at the A-iPower SUA2000iv
A-iPower — The Brand
Until now, I haven’t had much need to research the a-iPower company history and, to be honest, knew precious little about the brand. Since this review is about a-iPower SUA2000iV, I though it would be best to start with a little information about this company.
The a-iPower website doesn’t offer much information about its history or the origins of their generators. All they state is that a-iPower stands for American Innovation and that they have headquarters in Ontario, California, with a technical and distribution center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This gives the impression that this is a US generator manufacturer, though there is no mention of where a-iPower generators are actually made.
Digging a little deeper, I found out that a-iPower is a US division of a Chinese company, operating in the US under the name Senci Power Equipment USA. Obtaining any information about Senci Power Equipment was less than fruitful, other than China supplies 100% of all products to Senci Power Equipment USA. This seems to indicate that they don’t really want us to know that we are buying a Chinese product, rather having us believe that we are buying American.
I don’t really have a problem with buying a Chinese generator, most of the established brands have manufacturing plants in China, or use some components sourced from China and other Asian countries. I am A little skeptical as to why they choose to be so vague about their origins. But I’ll ignore this for now and review the a-iPower SUA2000iV on its merits, not my misgivings on their marketing strategy.
A-iPower started in December 2008. The company was incorporated (in California) in August 2011, and has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since August 2017.
A-iPower SUA2000iv Review
2000 Starting Watts / 1600 Running Watts
The a-iPower SUA2000iV looks like any modern quiet inverter generator. The molded plastic cover is in line with the trend for lightweight sound-insulated generators. In every sense, it seems to match any equivalent from well known generator brands. So why is this generator so cheap? I think it has mostly to do with a new brand trying to enter the US market at a lower price.
I’m not familiar with this brand, so I searched high and low, going through countless customer reviews, in order to get an idea what people have to say about the a-iPower SUA2000iV. On the whole, I found only minor quality control issues, no more than most brands, especially the cheaper ones. The general build quality appears to be good and these generators work as well as any other, at least when they’re new.
Long term durability can only be determined over several years, and we’re yet to see how this generator holds up over time. Customer service doesn’t seem to be the best all the time. But they do attend to customer complaints and supply parts, it may take a little long though. There doesn’t seem to be approved service agents. You may have to repair it yourself or find a repair shop that is willing to work on an unknown brand. I wouldn’t think that this generator is all that different to most others on the market, so a reputable generator technician shouldn’t have a problem figuring this one out. In the end, the a-iPower SUA2000iV seems to be a good deal. It’s cheap and does the job.
Good little inverter for the money, but not the best
This model uses a 79cc Senci engine (with cast iron sleeve), producing 2000W starting power and 1600W running power. Even though this an imported engine it is CARB certified, the generator has been developed for a US market and matches any inverter generator in this class. This means low HD inverter power, an economy throttle, and parallel connection ports. The eco throttle reduces RPM when the load demand is less than 25% and the parallel ports allow you to use more than one generator to increase your output.
With a noise level of 58dBA (at 50% output measured from 21-feet), it’s certainly not the quietest inverter generator you can get. The Honda EU2200i is quieter than this at full output. When the SUA2000iV reaches 75% load, noise levels climb to around 68dBA, louder than a normal speaking voice. It’s sure to be quite a screamer at full output – 70dBA+.
The control panel has a single 50-20R 20A 120V household outlet, a L5-30R 30A 120V outlet (with RV plug adapter), and a 12VDC outlet with a USB adapter. This is a pretty good setup, with a single 20A circuit breaker protecting both 120V outlets and the usual warning lights for low oil, run and overload.
The a-iPower SUA2000iV has an easy starting procedure, a dial on the front panel turns from stop to run, turning it further engages the choke. Like most generators of this size, there’s no electric starter. The generator isn’t tough to start, but several people have had problems when turning the dial all the way to the choke position. I’ve had this problem on a number of generators in the past and it is easily avoided. Only turn the dial to halfway between the normal run position and the choke icon.
Double Your Power : Run 2 in Parallel
The generator weighs a perfectly acceptable 46-poounds with a single molded carrying handle at the top. The gas tank holds 1.1 gallon, and this will provide 9-hours of runtime at 50% rated load (4-hours at 100% load). This makes it one of the better performers in terms of fuel economy – 6.5 kilowatt-hours per gallon. I find this fuel consumption to be quite reassuring. It means they’re using modern technology for the engine, indicating a higher standard than the low price would suggest. Very often, cheap Chinese manufacturers use outdated technology that has been discarded by leading manufacturers. This doesn’t seem to be the case here.
Despite my initial apprehension as to the cheap price and limited knowledge of the brand, I’m quite impressed with the a-iPower SUA2000iV. With that said, I’m not much into cheap power products of any description. But if you’re looking for a really affordable inverter generator, this should appeal to you on every level. It has the features and specs to match any of 2KW inverter generator. Okay, it’s not a particularly quiet generator, but that is the only area where I find the SUA2000iV to be lacking. The quality seems to be fine; it does not look or feel like cheap junk and you get a 2-year warranty.
💡 For more options, read our guide : Best 2000W Inverter Generators
This model has a 79cc Yamaha engine.
My initial impression, taking a first look at the A-iPower SC2000iV, conjures up rather unpleasant memories of the Chinese SUV manufacturer Sang Yong in the 1990s. These guys launched their vehicles with an outdated Mercedes-Benz engine and proudly displayed a badge “Powered by Mercedes-Benz”. The vehicle was complete junk, regardless. So I couldn’t help wondering if the A-iPower SC2000iV (powered by Yamaha) was a similar story. They’ve attempted to make it look like the Yamaha EF2000iSV2, using the same blue and black coloring. Ironically, the a-iPower SUA2000iV (reviewed above) uses the same colors as the Honda equivalent.
In the end, an engine is only one component of an inverter generator. Yes, Yamaha engines are fantastic. To my mind, equal rivals to Honda as the best power equipment manufacturers. I have no doubt that using the Yamaha 79cc OHV engine (with cast iron sleeve) is a big plus when it comes to reliability and longevity – at least when it comes to the engine. Though, let’s keep in mind, that the alternator and inverter are not from the Yamaha stable. These components are most likely the same as the A-iPower SUA2000iV which costs about half as much. Then again, the Yamaha equivalent costs around $300 more than the A-iPower SC2000iV – a price difference of 50%.
I can’t help wondering if the A-iPower is a compromise with no real place in the market. It’s not cheap and, apart from the engine, it is far from being a real competitor when pitted against the top guys, like Honda and Yamaha. By doing a basic comparison between the A-iPower and the Yamaha which uses the same engine, you may get what I mean by this.
Many of the basic specs look quite similar. Both generators provide a peak output of 2000W and 1600W running power. Though the Yamaha has a maximum current of 16.7A, vs 13.3A for the SC2000iV at 120V. This suggests a far superior inverter used for the Yamaha, which can exceed it’s peak power spec, if only for a very brief period. In the end, I can’t see the A-iPower inverter lasting as long.
A very important detail is in the brushless Yamaha alternator, the A-iPower SC2000iV uses the more old-fashioned brush technology. This affects both efficiency and durability. A brushless alternator is more expensive but will last a very long time. You’ll notice the difference in efficiency when it comes to run time and your gas costs. Though the A-iPower is really competitive when it comes fuel economy and good runtime. You’ll get 7-hours at 50% load from the 1.1-gallon gas tank.
Like its cheaper counterpart (the A-iPower SUA2000iV), the SC2000iV is not that quiet. Even though it looks very similar to the Yamaha 2KW inverter generator, with an enclosed sound dampening exterior, the SC2000iV is a noisy grunt by comparison, 68dBA at 75% load, whereas the Yamaha is quieter than this at full load (61dBA).
When it comes to the user panel, the A-iPower SC2000iV is on par with any of the best 2000 watt inverter generators. You have 1 X NEMA 120V 20A (household) outlet, 1 X NEMA 120V 30A twist lock outlet with a 30A RV adapter, and a 12VDC (8.3A) port with an adapter for USB chargers. It has the usual warning lights, circuit breakers, parallel connection ports, and an economy switch to control the RPM, which reduces fuel consumption and noise levels.
As a guy who is willing to pay more for top brands, like Honda and Yamaha, I have mixed feelings about the A-iPower SC2000iV. Everything seems to somewhere in the middle. It’s priced halfway between the super cheap A-iPower SUA2000iV and the established expensive brands. The engine does push it up a notch from the cheap machine, but the rest is all fairly average. If you’re looking for the cheapest 2000W inverter generator, the SUA2000iV is an obvious choice. If you want the best, you’ll be expecting to pay top dollar for the Honda or Yamaha models. If you’re on the fence, wanting a cheaper generator but prefer the best engine, I suppose the A-iPower SC2000iV is the Goldilocks “just right” option. This generator has the same 2-year warranty as the other A-iPower model reviewed here. Whereas both Honda and Yamaha offer a 3-year warranty.
WEN 56200i | Inverter Generator
2000 Starting watts / 1600 Running watts
- Outlets : 2x three-prong 120V receptacles / 1x 12V DC Receptacle / 1x 5V USB Port
- Parallel Connection Ports
- Epa III and CARB Compliant
- Carrying Handle
- Low-Oil Shutdown
- Overload Protection
- Total harmonic distortion : under 0.3% (no load) / under 1.2% (full load)
- 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine
- 51 decibels at 25% load
If you’re simply looking for the cheapest 2KW inverter generator, the WEN56200i might not make complete sense. After all, this WEN model costs almost $100 more than the A-iPower SUA2000iV. I don’t see it that simply. The WEN brand has been supplying us dependable power products for decades. Always at very reasonable price. With WEN, you know what you’re getting and, at this point in time, A-iPower is still a bit of an unknown. If I’m going to consider a cheap generator, WEN would be probably be my first choice, Westinghouse would certainly be another. WEN it comes down to it (deliberate pun there), I’m with the 56200i as the top choice for the cheap option in this review.
The WEN 79.9cc OHV engine may not be as sophisticated as Honda or Yamaha equivalents. It is, none the less, a tough and dependable workhorse, with proven reliability. It’s not an old clunker either and is EPA, as well as CARB compliant. Noise levels can certainly compete with any of top modern inverter generators – 51dBA at 25% load. Fuel efficiency is also in line with the best modern engines, you’ll get 6-hours form the 1-gallon gas tank at 50% load.
I’m really surprised to see one of the best inverters on a generator this cheap. You’ll get the same 2000W peak and 1600W continuous output as any of the inverter generators in this review. What’s really striking is the low THD – less than 1.2% at full load. Many inverter generators that cost a lot more advertise THD as being <3%. While this is still safe for all electronic equipment, the exceptionally low THD spec for the WEN certainly indicates that they haven’t simply gone for the cheapest inverter.
The WEN 56200i doesn’t have a 30A 120V outlet. This is provided with the parallel kit. When you think that any 2000W generator is going to provide around 15 – 16.6A, a 30A outlet only becomes a necessity when you’re using two generators in parallel. So I don’t really see the absence of one on the generator user panel as a deal breaker. The Wen has 2 X 120V 20A outlets, a 5V USB port, and a 12VDC battery charging outlet. That’s everything you would want on a generator this size. Like all the others, it has a switch to engage the low RPM economy mode. It’s a little on the heavy side, when compared to others in this class, though 48-pounds isn’t much.
There’s absolutely nothing cheap about the WEN 56200i, except the price. If you’re looking for genuine value for money, a reasonable price and top quality, is a better rule to follow than just looking for the absolute cheapest price. This is why I rate the Wen as the best deal amongst the cheaper generators in this review. It’s wonderfully affordable and quality is of a standard that can meet the expectations of any serious medium-duty generator buyer.
Honda EU2200i | Inverter Generator
2200W Starting / 1800W Running
- Model : EU2200ITA
- Engine : Honda GXR120
- Displacement : 121cc
- AC Output : 120V 2200W max. (18.3A), 1800W rated (15A)
- Receptacles : 20A 125V Duplex
- DC Output : 12V, 100W (8.3A)
- Starting System : Recoil
- Fuel Tank Capacity : .95 gal
- Run Time per Tankful : 3.2hr @ rated load 8.1 hrs @ 1/4 load
- Dimensions (L x W x H) : 20.0″ x 11.4″ x 16.7″
- Noise Level : 57 dB(A) at rated load / 48 dB(A) at 1/4 load
- Dry Weight : 46.5 lb.
- Warranty : 3 Years Residential & Commercial
Overview / Review —
Now we’re talking about my kind of generator. I can fully understand that a lot of people don’t mind a cheaper generator, even it isn’t the very best. It would depend, to some degree, on how much you use your generator and your personal feelings about paying for top quality. I’ve always felt that if you’re looking for the best portable generator, you can’t go wrong with Honda. There are other great brands in the higher price bracket, but my first choice is usually Honda. It’s very much a personal thing.
On the face of things, the Honda EU2200i isn’t much different when compared to any of the inverter generators in this review. Okay, it costs roughly two to three times more than any of the others. But hey, it’s a Honda. Of course you’re going to pay more for one of the top brands in the business. You’re getting a few extra watts for your money, the Honda EU2200i delivers 2200W peak power and 1800W continuous power. If you’re running a refrigerator or air conditioner, that extra 10% output can make all the difference if you want to use your other appliances as well.
The extra power is certainly a plus, but the Honda EU2200i is superior in every aspect of its design and exceptional build quality. The GXR120 121cc OHV engine is much more powerful and is one of the best engines I’ve ever seen. You’d think that using an engine this powerful, that the Honda would be a gas guzzler when compared the ±79cc engines used for all the other generators in this review. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The Honda has one of the smallest gas tanks (0.95 gal) and provides the highest wattage output. Despite this, it has the best runtime: 8.1 hours at 50% rated load. More power for longer, from a smaller gas tank. This makes the Honda EU2200i the most convenient and the cheapest to run. A huge advantage to using an engine this much bigger, is that it doesn’t have to work as hard. As if Honda engines weren’t already one of the toughest, the engine capacity advantage should make this the most durable generator of its kind.
You may also think that the larger engine is going to make this the loudest generator of the bunch. Again, the opposite is true. This is by far the quietest 2000W inverter generator. At full load, the Honda noise level is only 57dBA, making it quieter than the A-iPower SUA2000iV when running at 50% load. Even the 46.5 LBS weight tag is extraordinary when you consider the larger engine and extremely robust design.
Electric outlets may seem a little inferior to some. The Honda EU2200i, like the WEN 56200i, only has 2 X 120V outlets, and these are 15A outlets, unlike all the others with 20A outlets. As I mentioned before, I don’t see this as any kind of disadvantage – the Honda produces 15A running power with an 18.3A peak current. You’ll only need a 30A outlet when using the parallel kit and this is provided with the kit. The Honda EU2200i has a 12VDC output, no USB ports. Naturally, it has the same eco switch as is common to just about all inverter generators.
The Honda EU2200i tops the spec list in every category. Is this worth paying more for? You decide. Even it wasn’t the all-out top performer, I’d still see the extra value, based purely on my experience of the brand. You may pay twice as much, or more, for a Honda generator but, in all likelihood, it’s going to last twice as long… or more. Honda service is magnificent, and they are one of the few generator manufacturers to offer a 3-year warranty for residential and commercial use. This says a lot about Honda quality and the faith they have in their products. No guessing which would be my number one choice.