Which models are the Top rated portable generators from Buying Customers? We discuss many of the most popular and reliable generators your money can buy.
There are countless reviews of the best generators for sale. Top 5, top 10 generators, you name it. But wouldn’t it be great to know what people who have bought these generators feel about the products that they have bought?
This is what we set out to determine. By conducting some in depth research on a number of top retail websites, we’ve had a look at what customers have had to say about the generators that they’ve bought, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
It’s easy to write about top specifications and tell you which is the best generator, or the best generator for the money. But, it’s only after the using the generator for a reasonable period of time, that one can accurately determine which is really the best. Even then, this is open to debate. For some, the easiest generator to use will be the best, others may want the best portable generator, inverter generator, or the most powerful. In the end, we all want to get the best value for our money. So, I would think all the top-rated portable generators would have to be reliable, durable machines.
Whatever the criteria, we’ve come up with a comprehensive list of great generators. The common ground being that they have all received top reviews from verified customers, scoring mostly upward of 4.5-stars (average rating) on all the major retail websites.
I feel that this is the best generator review on the web. By rating customer experience above all, and my own observations about these products, you should get the full picture. I’ll throw in my opinion, where I feel it necessary. But the selection method is the same for all these generators: top ratings from the buying public. People like you, who simply want the best, top-rated portable generator for the money that they’re spending.
Reviews : Top Rated Portable Generator
To help you in your search for the best generator to suit your needs, we’ve arranged them into three categories.
Top Rated Inverter Generators
- WEN 56200i
- Westinghouse iGen2500
- Honda EU3000iS
- Honda EU2200i
- Champion 100297
Top Rated Mid-Size Portable Generators
- Ford FG7750PBE
- Champion 100110
- Westinghouse WGEN7500 / WGen7500DF
- Westinghouse WGen6000
- Champion 100165 – dual-fuel
Top Rated Heavy-Duty Generators
- WEN DF1100T
- A-iPower SUA12000E
As you can see, there’s a long list of top-rated portable generators selected for this review. You may want to scroll down to the heading that best suits the type of generator that you’re looking for. To keep things simple, I’ll provide a basic review of each generator, pointing out why I feel a particular generator is rated so highly. You will find the full review of each generator on this site, if you want more information.
Top Rated Inverter Generators —
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Inverter generators are the most expensive because of the sophisticated technology used. It appears that people are prepared to pay extra for top-rated generator brands when buying inverter models. So, it comes as no surprise to me that there are two Honda generators in the line-up of top-rated portable inverter generators. The others are more affordable, I guess people feel that they’re getting great value for money when buying these less expensive models.
Having reviewed countless WEN products, I can see why this generator, as with most WEN power machinery, is rated so highly by customers. The reason is quite simply excellent value for money. As a generator for recreational use, RV and camping, or basic home backup power during an outage, this may be the perfect solution. You shouldn’t compare the WEN56200i to the expensive offerings from brands like Honda and Yamaha. This WEN 1600W/2000W inverter generator will probably cost you less than half of what you’d be paying for any equivalent inverter generator from the more prestigious brands.
People rate the WEN 56200i so highly because it is remarkably cheap but offers all the high-end features found on any of the best inverter generators. General quality and reliability are also a cut above most cheap domestic generators. This all adds up to incredible bang for your buck.
With a peak load capacity of 2,000 watts, and constant power output of 1,600 watts, you will be somewhat limited running a large RV air conditioner. Though, using two of these generators in parallel will give you enough power to meet most RV requirements and the basics for home use.
The WEN56200i also meets all the demands of portable generator buyers. It’s incredibly lightweight, only 48-pounds, and has a handle at the top which allows you to carry it easily in one hand. This is a refreshingly quiet generator, producing a mere 51dB at 25% load. The 79.7cc, 4-stroke, OHV engine is reliable and fuel efficient, with an economy mode for lower output loads. Though, I wouldn’t rate durability in same league as the Honda GX series engines. Then again, few engines can.
The inverter can compare to any of the best pure sine wave inverters around. At no load, Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) is less than 0.3%. Even under load, THD is well below the industry norm at less than 1.2%. It offers a nice array of outlets for home, camping, and light-duty jobsite applications: 2 X 120V 15A household outlets, a 12VDC outlet for charging deep cycle and car batteries, as well as a 5V USB outlet for charging devices like cell phones and tablets.
I wouldn’t recommend the WEN56200i for a food truck or any other type of daily use where the generator is required to run continuously for long periods. This is a great value for money option in the domestic class of generator. I reckon this is the target market for this generator and it has been met with great enthusiasm amongst these buyers.
Ever since I reviewed my first Westinghouse generator a couple of years ago, I’ve become a massive fan of these machines. In my opinion, all Westinghouse generators are the bargain of the century. Most Westinghouse generators are priced alongside some of the very cheapest, yet these are incredibly well-made machines. The Westinghouse Company is one of the oldest producers of power supply generators in the US. Though, being relative newcomers to the portable generator market, I feel that these products are drastically underpriced for the level of quality that they offer. If Honda inverter generators are above your price range, the Westinghouse iGen2500 would be my next choice.
The Westinghouse iGen2500 provides a good deal of power for a small, lightweight portable generator: 2,500W peak (surge) output, and 2,200W rated (continuous) power. Despite providing 25% more power than the WEN equivalent, this generator weighs only 48-pounds is only about $100 more expensive. The 98cc, OHV, Westinghouse engine is a beautiful piece of engineering. I wouldn’t call it industrial grade; but it is certainly streaks ahead of any domestic style generators that I’ve seen. It’s fuel efficient, with an economy mode, providing 10-hours runtime (at 25% load) from the 1-gallon gas tank.
The pure sine wave inverter is up to the task (less than 3% THD) and has a parallel port for connecting another iGen2500 to double your power output. People really love the digital data center which provides all the information you could ever want on an LCD screen. It also has almost all the power outlets that we are looking for. The iGen2500 has 2 X 120V 5-20R outlets, and 2 X 5V USB outlets. These are protected by rubber covers, which is something I really like to see on a portable generator. I’m a little disappointed to see no 12VDC battery charging outlet, this will be sorely missed by many RV owners.
The Westinghouse iGen2500 would be my personal choice for the top-rated portable generator in the inverter generator class. Make no mistake, I do feel that Honda generators are the best. But I can’t resist the genuine value for money aspect to this little gem. It’s cheap, yet I believe it has the best build quality amongst the more affordable portable inverter generators. Their 3-year warranty on this generator is certainly up there with top brands, like Honda.
Despite being one of the most expensive 3000W portable inverter generators around, the Honda EU3000iS is one of the most popular. That basically says it all, people are prepared to pay top dollar for a generator of this caliber. This is probably the top-rated portable generator in its class, receiving rave reviews throughout. Honda generators have long been the top choice for farmers and contractors who depend on the high level of reliability under the toughest working conditions.
The Honda EU3000iS, and its smaller companion the EU2200i, have become a big hit for supplying clean, inverter power for food trucks. The fact that these generators are almost indestructible and won’t harm sensitive electronic equipment, like Point of Sale (POS) systems, are obvious reasons why food truck owners are prepared to dig deeper into their pockets for these generators.
The Honda EU3000iS is one of the few portable inverter generators with a tough, steel enclosure, most use lightweight plastic housings. It has impact resistant front and rear panels, with large steel handles on either side. Clearly, this generator is built for tough working conditions. An inevitable sacrifice for this heavy-duty construction is the weight. At 131-pounds, the Honda EU300iS is much heavier than any comparable inverter generator. You have the option of buying a truly rugged all terrain wheel kit, which, with four chunky wheels, will go just about anywhere.
Part of the extra weight also results from having more power. The legendary Honda GX200, 196cc engine is as reliable as they come and is about twice as powerful as most of the smaller inverter generators. This does give you a better output wattage than most small inverter generators: 3,000W maximum surge current, and 2,800W continuous running power. These extra watts will be much appreciated when using equipment like refrigerators, air conditioners, and power tools. So, it has its advantages.
Another reason for the extra weight is the fact that the Honda EU3000iS has an electric starter, along with a recoil starter for emergencies. Most of the small generators only have a recoil starter. But this added convenience does add quite a few pounds, an electric starter and battery aren’t exactly lightweight.
Despite its, clunky old-fashioned appearance, this is probably the quietest generator for its size. At 25% load, the EU3000iS whispers along at only 50dBA. This is quieter than many generators with a smaller engine and a much lower output wattage. Even when pushing the full (2800W) output, this generator is quieter than a normal speaking voice, only 57dBA.
For a powerful 3KW generator, this model is reasonably fuel efficient. It has a large 3.4-gallon gas tank, providing around 20-hours runtime at 25% load. Like any respectable inverter generator, the Honda EU3000iS has an economy mode and parallel connectivity. It also has a better array of AC outlets than many of its competitors: duplex 125V 20A outlet, and a 30A, twist lock 125A outlet, along with a 12A, 12VDC battery charging outlet. There are no USB charging outlets but, personally, I prefer the 12V battery charger, as you would normally charge USB devices indoors, not outside at the generator.
If we ignore the hefty price (over $2,000), and look purely at the amazing engineering, this has to be the very best small inverter generator. At least, this would be my take on things. This machine is as tough and reliable as it gets and pumps out more watts than most. Honda is one of the top-rated generator brands, with outstanding dealership service, and an excellent 3-year warranty for both domestic and commercial use. A 3-year commercial warranty is rare for a generator, this shows the level of confidence Honda has in this product.
The Honda EU2200i is reasonably affordable, considering the high-priced reputation for the brand. This must be a compelling reason for its massive popularity. Though, before reviewing this outstanding portable inverter generator, I should point out the bad news.
In March of 2019, Honda recalled this model because of a leak at the fuel valve on some models. It seems that, at the time of writing this, (almost 3-months on) the issue has not been fully resolved and this model is not available on Amazon. Despite this, I feel that the Honda EU2200i has to be mentioned in our review of the top-rated portable generators. It is immensely popular and, by all accounts, a remarkable little generator. We all hope to see it back in the stores as soon as possible. If you can find one that has not been affected by the recall, or has been dealership repaired, grab it. They are in high demand and supply is restricted by the recall. You can read more about the Honda EU2200i Recall here. Or download the official Honda EU2200i Recall PDF.
Like most portable inverter generators in this class, the Honda EU2200i is a modern-looking, lightweight machine in a sleek plastic enclosure. The big plus is that you have the advantage of the GSXR120 engine. Not only is this engine renowned for ultimate durability, but it’s 121cc capacity is quite a bit more than the 80 – 100cc that are typically used for generators of this size. The larger engine won’t be working as hard to provide the necessary horsepower which should prolong engine life and reduce maintenance costs. It’s also great for fuel efficiency. The tiny (0.95-gallon) gas tank will keep the Honda running for than 8-hours at 25% load. Naturally, you have the benefit of an economy mode.
It has all the obvious advantages of an inverter generator, like clean, low-HD, pure sinewave output current, and parallel connection ports. Extremely quiet (48dBA at 25%, 57dBA at rated load), and superbly portable (46 LBS), the Honda EU2200i is the perfect companion for camping, tailgating, and food trucks. Power output is also quite reasonable for such a lightweight, portable machine: 2200W (18.3A) surge capability, and 2000W (15A) rated continuous power. Receptacles include 2 X 20A, 125V outlets, and a 12VDC (8.3A) outlet.
Small, lightweight, and blissfully quiet, it’s easy to understand why the Honda EU2200i is one of top-rated portable generators. Powered by the GSXR120 engine, it’s going to work hard for many years, hassle-free. This smaller model has the same 3-year warranty for domestic and commercial use.
Top-Rated Mid-Size Portable Generators
Generators with an output wattage ranging from 8 – 10KW are probably the most practical all-round portable power sources. These are, inevitably, heavy machines but are still portable, thanks to wheel kits and large handles.
Mid-sized generators can fulfil many purposes. In the end, you can never have too much power from your portable generator. On a construction site, or to power a large RV, these generators can supply enough watts for most people’s needs. They are also ideal for emergency power at home, being more portable, and cheaper, than large standby generators. In most cases, you can connect a mid-size portable generator to your house wiring, by using a transfer switch. Without too much compromise, you can keep most of your household electrical equipment functioning normally during an outage.
Ford teamed up with Pulsar to bring us a range of good quality, affordable domestic generators. True to the Ford reputation, their generators offer sound value and dependability. The Ford FG7750PBE is a robust 7,750W/ 6,250W dual fuel generator. This means that it can run on either gas or propane.
This is a fantastic, relatively cheap, generator for the home or construction site. The powerful, and reliable, 420cc OHV engine effortlessly produces 7,750W peak power and 6,250 running watts. It also has a seamless switchover from gas to propane, you don’t have to switch the engine off when changing fuel type. Like most large generators, this model has an electric starter, with a recoil starter as backup.
The powder coated metal frame looks to be very durable, as do the chrome never-flat wheels. Along with great fold down handles, this makes transporting the Ford generator as easy as possible. Metal panels surround all the working parts, offering good protection when transporting, or on a busy site. The weight of 196-pounds is quite normal for a tough generator of this size, that’s about as portable as it gets in this class of generator. The generous 6.6-gallon metal gas tank will keep the trusty Ford running for around 10½-hours at 50% load.
All the outlets needed for both home and site use are there: 2 X 20A, 120V (GFCI) make this generator OSHA compliant. For heavier site load, or a home transfer switch, it also has a 120V, 30A, and 120V/240V 30A twist lock outlets. These outlets have plastic covers to keep dust and moisture out. A digital hour meter is fitted to the control panel to keep track of service intervals.
The Ford brand instills a lot of trust, and they have a solid reputation to uphold. This certainly carries through into the Ford FG7750PBE. This will never be a hardcore industrial machine, like the big Cat or Honda generators, but is a solid machine for home and medium-duty site work. Going by customer ratings and reviews, this generator certainly exceeds expectations.
Costing around $120 more than the Ford FG7750PBE (reviewed above), the Champion 100110, gives you over 50% more power at peak output. For a generator that produces 9,200W continuous power, and a whopping 11,500W peak power, this generator is excellent value when looking at dollars per watt output power. Reading the customer reviews, this is not just a great value for money option. It is, quite simply, a great generator. Average customer ratings for the Champion 100110 on Amazon is 4.9-stars. Need I say more.
The Champion 100110 is not just budget friendly when looking at the purchase price; but is wonderfully economical to run. The big 459cc, single cylinder 4-stroke engine is a necessity to deliver this kind of output power. One would, therefore, expect it to be a thirsty beast. Not so, at 50% of the rated load (a continuous 4,600W), the Champion will run for 10-hours on a full tank of gas (7.7-gallons). You can realistically expect this generator to run a household easily for 12-hour or more on a tank of gas. It’s also reasonably quiet for an open frame generator of this size – 74dBA (from 23 FT).
Using this generator on a site, or to back up your home, is great. It has the usual 120V 20A outlets, four of them. These are GFCI protected, making this an OSHA compliant generator. It also has a 120V/240V 30A twist lock outlet, as well as a 120V/240V 50A outlet. The latter being a great addition when using a transfer switch to connect the Champion to house wiring. A great Intelligauge provides information, like output current, frequency, and voltage on an LCD screen. It also has an output gauge that shows, by means of ascending bars, your output at a quick glance.
The frame, metal covers, and impact resistant control panel are all great for transporting and protection from harm on a site, or when camping. Plastic covers for the electric outlets are also great for safety and protecting them from harm. Big solid wheels, and a well-designed U-shaped handle, make transporting this 213-pound beast as easy as possible.
Being one of the cheaper power equipment brands, we usually expect Champion generators to be light-duty machines. The Champion 100110 seems to contradict this. It is a robust generator, with heaps of power and should do fine under more trying conditions. Although I wouldn’t call it heavy-duty, more like a good quality medium-duty portable generator. With a 3-year warranty, it is up there with the top brands.
Westinghouse WGEN7500 / WGen7500DF
The Westinghouse WGEN7500 would be my personal choice for a great value deal amongst the top-rated mid-size portable generators. For a relatively low price, I consider this to be one of the most robust medium-duty generators that you can get. Fuel economy is unbeatable, saving you a ton of money in the long run. I’ve seen this generator grow in popularity in the short time that its been on the market. So, we can genuinely rate this as one of the top-rated generators amongst the buying public.
The Westinghouse WGEN7500, and its dual fuel counterpart (WGEN7500DF), have the power to supply most household and jobsite electrical requirements – 9,5000 peak watts and 7,500W continuous power. This power is supplied from one of the most fuel-efficient 420cc engine around. The Westinghouse WGEN7500 has an average sized (6.6-gallon) gas tank for a mid-size generator. Even then, you’ll get an incredible 11-hours runtime (at 50% rated load) from a tank of gas. In comparative reviews that I’ve done in the past, the Westinghouse WGEN7500 and WGEN7500DF have always come up tops when looking at fuel consumption.
The Westinghouse engine will not only save on gas, but also on maintenance costs. This is a tough powerplant, with a cast iron cylinder sleeve. The general construction is also robust, with a solid metal frame and recessed metal control panel which doubles up as a protection plate for the engine and alternator. All these tough metal components add up to 192-pounds, with portability aided by large wheels and fold down handles.
The WGEN7500 has a few additional features, like a fob remote control which can start the generator from a distance of 109-yards. Along with electric, and remote control starting, it also has a recoil starter. The absence of a 50A 120V/240V outlet is the only complaint I’d have concerning the Westinghouse WGEN7500. With a peak 120V output of 79A and 39A @ 240V, the larger 50A outlet would be very convenient when connecting the generator directly your home’s electrical circuits. Other than this, it has all the outlets to match the others in this class – 2 X duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) with GFCI, and 1X 120V240V (L14-30R) outlets. All of which are protected by plastic covers. It also has a digital VFT (voltage-frequency-time) data center with an LED screen.
The Westinghouse WGEN7500, to my mind, offers the best value for money in this sector. The WGEN7500DF has all of the same features, with the added benefit of dual fuel operation, allowing you to use either gas or propane. It has the goods to rival any of top medium-duty generators and offers unrivaled fuel economy. Westinghouse provides a 3-year residential, and 1-year commercial warranty on this generator.
It comes as no surprise to me that there are two Westinghouse modles that feature as top-rated generators in the mid-size category. The Westinghouse WEGEN6000 is, in many ways, identical to the larger WGEN7500. It shares the same tough 420cc engine with cast iron sleeve. Though, for around a hundred bucks less, this one only produces 6,000 running watts (7,500W peak), and doesn’t have a remote-control starter.
Because of the slightly lower output, the Westinghouse WGEN6000 is even more fuel efficient than the 7,500W model. It has the same size gas tank (6.6-gallons); but will run for a highly impressive 13-hours at 50% rated load. Other than this specification, the two generators identical, down to the blue color and frame. There’s a minor weight difference, with the smaller WGEN6000 weighing around 20-pounds less, at 174 LBS. This model also includes 2 X 5V USB outlets, which you won’t find on the WGEN7500.
If you don’t need all 7,500 running watts of the WGEN7500, then it’s worthwhile saving some cash by buying the Westinghouse WGEN6000. This is enough power for refrigerators, air conditioners, and the like. You’ll also be saving on running costs, due to a slightly improved gas consumption spec. Though this is mostly due to the lower rated output. Watt-hours per gallon should be almost the same for both generators. This cheaper model has the same 3-year residential / 1-year commercial warranty.
Champion 100165 – Dual-Fuel
It’s clear, when looking at the top-rated mid-size generators, that most buyers are looking for value for money. It seems fitting, then, to end of this section of the review with a Champion generator. This is a brand with a longstanding reputation for good quality products at a reasonable price. While, I prefer the Westinghouse dual fuel 9500W generator, I know that the Champion generators are extremely popular, and people trust this brand.
The Champion 100165 hybrid generator is powered by a very competent 439cc engine that can run on gas or propane. It delivers peak power of 9,375W, and continuous power of 7,500W, running on gas. Using propane, it will deliver 8,400W (peak), and 6,750W running power. Fuel consumption is reasonable, but not the best. You’ll get 8-hours runtime, at 50% load, from the 6.1-gallon gas tank.
The Champion 100165 has all the modern conveniences, like an electric starter with recoil backup, and the comprehensive Intelligauge system for monitoring all functions using a digital output. With the exception of a 50A 120V/240V outlet, it has all that you could need – 2 X 20A 120V household outlets (with GFCI protection), a 120V 30A twist lock outlet, and a 120V/240V 30A twist lock outlet. There are protective covers for these outlets.
This is one of the heaviest generators in its class (202.4 LBS), which means more heavy-duty metal has been used in its construction. This is a good thing, and one can plainly see that this generator has a solid frame, a metal gas tank, and plenty of protective steel plates. Like any generator this heavy, it has big wheels and a fold down handles.
There can be no denying that the Champion 100165 is a tough and reliable generator with the added advantage of dual fuel capabilities. This is a top-rated generator brand, known for reasonable prices and good service. The 3-year warranty is another reason why this is such a trusted, highly rated, generator.
Top-Rated Heavy-Duty Portable Generators
Portable generators, supplying in excess of 10KW, are rare and usually quite expensive. With this type of power rating, they can compare to entry level standby generators, which are not portable. Heavy-duty portable generators are heavy. So, although they have wheel kits and handles, it’s still a tough job moving these machines about, weighing over 200-pounds.
If you’ve been wondering if you can get a quality heavy-duty generator under $1,000, here it is. The WEN DF1100T is a sturdy machine, capable of producing 11,000 watts peak output, and 8,300W rated continuous output. Better still, this is a dual fuel generator. Running on propane, it delivers 9,500W peak, and 7,500 running watts.
This generator won’t be out of place on a demanding construction site and is a fantastically powerful unit for supplying emergency electricity for your home during an outage. Although Cat, Honda, and possibly DeWalt, hold the crown as top-rated heavy-duty jobsite generators, they are prohibitively expensive for many generator buyers. The WEN DF1100T is a cheaper option. Though it may not quite as tough as the brands I mentioned, this is still a durable generator, capable of some pretty heavy-duty work.
Weighing in at 214 pounds, the WEN isn’t excessively heavy for a generator of this size, mounted in a solid metal frame. The wheels look to be large enough to move the generator with ease, but don’t appear too heavy-duty. The long fold down handles are certainly up to the task.
The 457cc, OHV engine is quite impressive and quieter than expected. I don’t have accurate sound level specs, but the large muffler certainly keeps the noise level acceptable, for a large open frame generator.
The WEN has a wonderful, and comprehensive, control panel. Outlets include 2 X NEMA 5-20R duplex (20A 120V) outlets with GFCI protection, a NEMA L5-30R (120V 30A) outlet, and a NEMA L14-50R (50A 120/240V) outlet. It’s nice to see they’ve included a 12V cigarette lighter automotive style outlet. It has a digital hour meter and a large dial or easy changeover from gas to propane. Runtime on a tank of gas (6.6-gallons) is reasonable at 8-hours when running 50% of the rated load. Using a 20-gallon LPG tank, expect around 3-hours runtime at the same load.
The WEN DF1100T is delightfully cheap for a dual fuel generator with this much power. For the largest RV, you’ll have ample power. The same can be said for a jobsite, and you can run most, if not all, your household appliances with ease. At this price, I find the 2-year warranty to be great.
I can’t help being a little dubious about the A-iPower SUA12000E. How can a generator this powerful, be so cheap? I have to admit, though, customer reviews seem to prove my skepticism to be quite unfounded. This generator costs around $100 less than the WEN DF1100T (reviewed above) but has quite a bit more power – 12,000 starting watts and 9,000 running watts. I suppose this lower price can be explained by the absence of an LPG inlet for dual fuel operation. If you only intend using gas, the A-iPower heavy-duty generator will make better sense in terms of budget.
The 459cc engine is remarkably fuel efficient when considering the high watt output. This allows the 7-gallon gas tank to keep the generator running for around 9-hours at 50% rated load. That’s a continuous 4.5KW for 9-hours uninterrupted. Few households use this amount power continuously, even a busy jobsite should get a full day’s work done, without refueling.
The 1¼” steel tubing frame is one of the best I’ve seen on a heavy-duty generator, offering a good level of protection, as well as being super tough. The A-iPower has an electric starter and a recoil starter. Yet it’s not as heavy as I’d have expected, 206-pounds. A heavy-duty handle, and equally impressive 10” wheels, make for the best portability.
The control panel is conveniently located and has every type of outlet that you can find on a portable generator. There are 4 X 120V 20A (GFCI) outlets, a 120V 30A outlet, a 120/240V 30A outlet, and a 120/240V 50A outlet. It also has a 12VDC outlet with a 12V battery charging connector, as well as a USB adapter.
For an affordable large heavy-duty generator for every conceivable application, the A-iPower SUA12000E scores top marks. Despite being one of the cheapest in its class, this generator displays a lot of high-quality traits and a fantastic power output.