Precor EFX 685 Elliptical Review, Pros, Cons, & Comparison

Precor EFX 685 Overview

Elliptical machines can allow for all sorts of people to get on and workout without causing the sort of strain that regular running or treadmills can do. Both older and younger people can find themselves using these machines in order to relieve some of the pain they might be feeling in the joints. There’s a reason that at the (now closed or reduced-in-size gyms) ellipticals are often one of the more populated sections alongside the free weights.

Such machines clearly have quality. However, bringing them home allows users to have such benefits at home. Precor is one of the companies that have realized this, so they have designed many ellipticals that are available for personal purchase. Their top line of the 800 series is a top-tier of elliptical, but also happens to cost a pretty penny. So they’ve come out with some less expensive types. One of these is the Precor EFX 685 elliptical cross trainer.

Part of the 600 series of ellipticals, the EFX 685 is the “best” from the series. This also means that it is the most expensive. We’re going to be going over just what the EFX 685 is made of and how much it costs. Once all of that is done, we’re going to give our opinion on whether or not that you would have good reason to consider purchasing this piece of exercise equipment. So with all of that out of the way, let’s hop into our review of the Precor EFX 685 elliptical trainer!

Precor EFX 685 Review and Specs:

It makes sense to start with just what the elliptical is made of. The Precor EFX 685 elliptical machine will suit the majority of people thanks to the size and weight that it carries with it. The smooth black and silver highlights also means that you will feel awfully cool while working out on it (even if there aren’t the other gym-goers to see). The EFX 685 weighs a hefty 315 lb (143 kg), while the maximum weight limit of the machine is 350 lbs (159 kg). It’s unusual to see these two numbers so close together, but it seems a habit of the Precor ellipticals.

As for how much space the EFX 685 takes up, you might want to plan where you are putting it. It’s not the biggest machine you’ve ever seen, but it will still take up some space. It’s dimensions when fully assembled are 82 inches (208 cm) long, 30 inches (76 cm) wide and 72 inches (182 cm) tall. Part of this height comes from the rather massive 15 inch (38 cm) P82 touchscreen console on the front of the elliptical, though we’ll get more into that in the next section.

You’ll want to make sure that the EFX 685 is located within reach of a power outlet, as that is how it is powered. For those locations outside of the United States and Canada that use 240 VAC power cords, a model of the EFX 685 will be shipped that is compatible with those. For those in the United States and Canada who use 120 VAC, there are also models that can work with these. Thus, you’ll be able to get all the technological use out of the machine so long as it is powered.

Precor EFX 685 Monitor

So we mentioned the P82 touchscreen monitor/console that comes with the Precor EFX 685 cross trainer is a rather large one. Fortunately, that isn’t it’s only feature. One of the keys is how customizable the monitor is. There are 18 different languages available for the console, allowing for users from all different backgrounds to feel at home while using it. Turkish, Japanese, Polish and more are all available. The statistics that are displayed on the monitor are also able to be seen in both metric and U.S standard measurements.

Those statistics that you can switch your view on are plentiful enough on their own. There are 19 of them, including the resistance level, average stride per minute, the total distance and so on. There are also heart rate measurements that you can access in order to see just how that blood flow is going. It’s measured either through a chest strap or the sensors on the inner pair of handlebars.

To round out the brilliant monitor, there are a series of exercise programs already on the EFX 685 that will allow you to plug and run. If you ever don’t feel like using the manual mode, you’ll have 26 other options to choose from. You can simulate climbing mountains, go for interval runs, glute tone and so many others. Even if you don’t feel like using all of the workouts, the variety that’s there makes for a good backup option for anyone. We really can’t find any issue with the monitor, as it just offers so much quality.

Precor EFX 685 Stride and Incline

The stride and incline of an elliptical can be one of the elements that really adds to the long-term usage of the machine. Fortunately, the Precor EFX 685 elliptical trainer uses the CrossRamp® technology that is so common amidst this brand of machines. It isn’t as advanced as the 800 series of ellipticals, so it can’t make the stride feel as natural as walking, but there are elements in the EFX 685 still adjustable.

The incline of the EFX 685, however, most certainly is adjustable. There are 20 different levels of incline available. You can have it at the lowest setting, at 10 degrees, or at a whole host of different inclines until the top setting of 35 degrees. It might not seem that this would make a large difference, but it actually adds some more variety to workouts that otherwise might become stale. After all, workouts that continue to offer new challenges are workouts that are easier to motivate yourself for.

It’s rather unfortunate that the stride length options that are available in the 800 series are not available here, as that is one of the best parts about the CrossRamp® tech from Precor. Though it’s nice that they included the incline adjustments, as it just maintains another dimension that the user can experience on it. And for the price, you’ll want as many dimensions and experiences as possible (though we’ll get to that later).

EFX 685 Handlebar and Pedals

Since the handlebars and pedals are the elements that you’ll be interacting with the most, you’ll want to make sure that they are quality and deliver the most amount of benefit as possible. There’s good news in this regard, as the outer handlebars on the Precor EFX 685 elliptical allow for upper body workouts because of their ability to move back and forth. The stationary inner handlebars, as we mentioned before, have heart rate sensors on them. They also allow your arms to take a break if you don’t feel like getting the whole body moving.

Your feet won’t find too many issues on the bottom side either. They are big enough that the vast majority of people should be able to fit comfortably on board. They measure about 16 inches (40.6 cm) long and 8 inches (20.3 cm) wide. There’s about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) between the pedals at the minimum setting, though this can be widened slightly if you would prefer.

There are very few issues that anyone can have with the pedals and handlebars. They provide exactly what is promised and even a little bit more. If you wish to clean the pedals, for example, their polypropylene material will make it easier to do just that. The pair of handlebars make it easy to both measure your workout status and get more work in. Quite good in our opinion.

Assembly and Accessories

In terms of the assembly process that you’ll be facing with the Precor EFX 685 elliptical machine, it really won’t be too painful of one. Even if you aren’t particularly handy or experienced at assembling such equipment, the process shouldn’t take much longer than an hour. This is all thanks to the in-depth and step-by-step manual that comes with the machine, allowing for anyone to pick it up and see just how it works. A nice change from some other brands that make it a pain in the neck.

On the accessories front, there’s less good news. There’s the accessory holder that sits right beneath the monitor, which is fine. It can hold a phone, tablet or water bottle, but not much else. There’s a mobile phone charge on-board, which is nice enough. Then, for the U.S. only, there’s a reading rack built-in as well. This might seem like a nice mix, but for the price it becomes a bit harder to justify.

It’s a mixed bag for this section. The assembly manual should be praised thanks to its help. It can provide a guide for even the least competent builders out there. In terms of the accessories, you get 2 or maybe 3 if you happen to live in the United States. It’s not great, and for the price of the EFX 685, you would want as many features (both core and additional) as possible.

Price, Warranty and Shipping

Now we get to the point that we’ve been alluding to for the entire article. The price will make or break many people’s decision about the Precor EFX 685 elliptical. The price of the EFX 685 sits right at a massive $9,095, which is only slightly cheaper than some of the 800 series models. Such a large price becomes hard to justify for a piece of exercise equipment, even without mentioning the features that it’s missing from those 800 ellipticals. You can get the price as low as $293 a month, but that is still a large amount to pay for the vast majority of people.

The warranty that comes with the EFX 685 has better news we are happy to report. If all ellipticals, rowing machines and treadmills had such warranties, we’d never complain about them again. It has a lifetime warranty on the frame, a 10 year warranty on the parts and wear items, a 3 year warranty on the console and a 1 year warranty on the labour. You’ll have a guarantee that the elliptical will work, at least for a few years.

The shipping process also shouldn’t be too much of a pain. Just make sure that you place your order in ahead of the busy parts of the year and that there isn’t any sort of global event that might be slowing down shipping. Otherwise it should hopefully take about a week.

Precor EFX 685 Elliptical Pros:

  • The P82 Monitor: This giant touchscreen will allow you to access so many different features. Whether it is the language settings, various preset workouts or how you track your statistics over time, the monitor of the EFX 685 will leave you satisfied.
  • Positive Warranty: Precor have backed up their product with a warranty that will cover you if something happens to go wrong with it. As such, they should be praised for it.

Precor EFX 685 Elliptical Cons:

  • Ridiculous Price: Much of the price can probably be attributed to the console, but it just seems to be too much. The fact that you can buy 800 series ellipticals for equal or less money is not a great look.
  • Limited Accessories: You’ll only get about 2 or 3 bonus features, which is not a great value for the price. You would just desire more for how much you are paying.

Final Verdict

We really wanted to like the Precor EFX 685 elliptical. We really did. However, when examining the price compared to what it offers, it just becomes so hard to recommend. Even if you happen to have ridiculous amounts of money, some of those ellipticals in the 800 series still offer a better deal than what you’ll find here. For those that don’t have such cash, this is a safe pass. For those who do have such large amounts of money, we’d still recommend looking elsewhere to find better value for money.

Compare Precor EFX Ellipticals From 600 Line
Precor EFX 685Precor EFX 785 ReviewNo Converging Cross RampCheck on Amazon350 lbs / 159 kgP82 - 15" Touch Screen21-24 in (53-61 cm)2215-35° Motorized variable YesWorkout Metrics 18Moving & Fixed534 Watts
Precor EFX 665Precor EFX 665 ReviewNo Converging Cross RampCheck on Amazon350 lbs / 159 kgP62 - 10" Touch Screen21-24 in (53-61 cm)2215-35° Motorized variableYesWorkout Metrics 18Moving & Fixed534 Watts
Precor EFX 635Precor EFX 635 ReviewNo Converging Cross RampCheck on Amazon350 lbs / 159 kgP31 - LED Display21-24 in (53-61 cm)2215-35° Motorized variableNoWorkout Metrics 18Moving & Fixed534 Watts

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, my name is Sayed Hamed Hosseiny. I am a professional health and fitness trainer with nearly 20 years of experience using ellipticals, rowing machines, and spin bikes. I also have my own EU-based Rock Fitness Pro fitness brand where I design, import and sell exercise equipment such as rowing machines and spin bikes. I and writers on my team also often receive fitness equipment to review and evaluate their functionalities and performance from tens of different exercise machines manufacturers. Fitness equipment tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on this website are my opinion (and opinions of my fitness expert colleagues) based on tens of criteria. I never accept payment to write reviews of products or say positive things about fitness equipment products. If brands are interested to have me review their rowers, ellipticals, or spin bikes, they can get in touch with me via email provided on the contact page and send a sample of their product.