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Permobil C500 Corpus
Image of Permobil C500 Corpus
Front wheel drive power wheelchair.
• Front wheel drive.
• Corpus seating.
• Available with powered tilt, powered recline, elevating seat, powered legrests.
• Adjustable independent suspension.
• Length 38", width 25.75" to 28.5", height 46".
• Seat to floor height 19.75".
• Maximum user weight 250 lbs (310 lbs. with heavy duty package).
• Weight including batteries 350 lbs.
• Range 19 to 25 miles per charge.
• Top speed 5 mph (7.5 mph with speed package).
• Ground clearance 2.75".
• Two group 24 batteries with 8 hour charging time.
• Two 4 pole motors.
 End UserCaregiverClinician
# Reviews1400
Durability?3.6400
Ease of use?3.9300
Meet expectations?2.8600
Overall Rating:3.000.000.00
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Thomas from Seattle Washington USA submitted this review on August 22nd 2014 at 12:17 PM. Thomas is an end user who has over five years of experience with the product.
Strengths:heavy duty design with very durably manufactured parts. Limited breakdown. If you care for it, it will last for you.
Weaknesses:slight joystick sensitivity
hairline cracks chronically develop in drive pod display window
prefer earlier versions where chairlift could be accomplished at any angle/degree versus the new safety lockout
Comments:I've been using a power per Mobile wheelchair,? + 2K + C 500, for a total of nearly 16 years. I have been overjoyed and delighted by the progress made from version to version and have very few complaints whatsoever across the board. Initially I went with pneumatic tires, and having since done to nondramatic exclusively, pretty much all of my problems have been resolved. Flat tires were a disaster both on wheelchair drive motors & my emotional confidence. I've had a few seemingly unattributable drive high displays crack at the corners, a few issues with rear castor cavitation, and a minor nuisance of joystick sensitivity. But these have all been minor issues that have not disturbed the overall operation, maneuverability, or functionality of the chair. I spent 12+ hours 7 days per week, and I'm typically running out and about in a major city on and off buses and in traffic a minimum 5 days per week during the summer. My chairs typically last nearly 5 years or more, and I do baby them to some degree and constantly do preventative and regular maintenance. I am perfectly happy with this manufactures branded wheelchair and one of never to be forced to switch to another. I have heard others rights about different manufacturers, and having driven a forklift many years would never go back to a rearwheel drive.
Durability?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in durabilityEase of use?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in ease of use
Meet expectations?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in Meet expectationsOverall Rating:This reviewer rated this product a 5 Overall
 
Mark from Sydney, NSW, Australia submitted this review on February 8th 2014 at 10:43 PM. Mark is an end user who has over ten years of experience with the product.
Strengths:The new Corpus 3G seating system is great in theory. Everything below the seating system hasn't changed from my previous two Permobils and was always good (the ride quality on this chair is a bit harsher than my previous two chairs, but that's because I have gone for flat-free tyres).
Weaknesses:Where do I start?:

* The build quality of this chair (Australian Permobils are now manufactured in the US my first two were manufactured in Sweden) is atrocious. I've had the service guy out four times, and I've only had the chair six months. Things are constantly falling off it, it seems every screw comes loose and is almost impossible to tighten, I've lost count of the number of things that have broken or snapped.

* While the design of the Corpus 3G seating system shows a number of improvements over the old seating system (the leg rests extend much further, the back and the seat both tilt further, and the backrest cushion slides down when the backrest is tilted all very good improvements), overall it would seem that whoever did this design has never used a power wheelchair in the real world!

* I had to redesign the mount for the calf supports as both of them snapped loading the chair onto aircraft. The metal used for the bracket is far too thin, and clearly not fit for purpose.

* Just yesterday I clipped the corner of the extra panel attached to the controller (the one with buttons for tilt, seat height, etc) on something I think it was an elevator door and I now need to get it replaced. Why weren't these controls built into the controller itself, or at the very least, why wasn't the design made strong enough to resist inevitable bumps?

* My second biggest gripe is that the backrest is now removed for transport in two parts, and removing just the top half (which is fairly easy to remove, unlike the bottom half which requires a Ph.D. in rocket telemetry) now means that it won't fit in the hold of a Boeing 737 unless the backrest is tilted back to at least 45. I dare say Permobil will say "it still fits just remember to tilt the back" and/or "just remove the bottom half as well". That's all very well in theory, but in the chaos of getting on and off aircraft, it is very easy to forget these things and every extra second it takes to get the chair ready for transport increases the chaos with staff running around trying to get the plane off the ground on time. And of course if we haven't tilted it quite far enough, or forgotten to do so, airline ground staff have no idea what to do, and by that time we are already on board the aircraft so they are on their own.

* And my biggest gripe by far is that the balance of this chair has changed with the new seating system and now four times I have nearly thrown myself out of the chair going down gradients that my two previous chairs would have had absolutely no problem with. It appears that the centre of gravity of the seating system has moved forward (the seat can be adjusted forwards and backwards, but I already have it as far back as possible). This is incredibly dangerous and I'm still deciding whether I should take some form of legal action about it. Again, I dare say Permobil will say I should leave the trainer wheels on the front, but as I have seen other reviewers saying, if you leave the stupid front tipper wheels on the chair, you can no longer get up large bumps which is something power wheelchair users do all the time in the real world, and is one of the reasons people use front wheel drive chairs. I have a temporary fix I now hang a bag with heavy weights on the back of the chair! - but this is absolutely not an appropriate solution. GET THIS FIXED, PERMOBIL!
Comments:This is my third Permobil C500 or equivalent, and the first to be manufactured in the US. It also has the new Corpus 3G seating system.

What's happened, Permobil have you gone to sleep? I absolutely loved my first two Permobils, and I want to like this one too. But I am seriously wondering if anyone at Permobil actually knows anything about using a power wheelchair in the real world.

You really need to pull your socks up, Permobil, or you will quickly lose the reputation you worked hard to achieve.
Durability?This reviewer rated this product a 1 in durabilityEase of use?This reviewer rated this product a 4 in ease of use
Meet expectations?This reviewer rated this product a 1 in Meet expectationsOverall Rating:This reviewer rated this product a 1 Overall
 
Ruth from Indianapolis, IN USA submitted this review on January 3rd 2011 at 05:30 PM. Ruth is an end user who has over a year of experience with the product.
Strengths:Comfortable, sturdy, accesses many types of surfaces (grass, pavement, concrete, light snow, indoors, etc.) with ease. Can go fast if you set it on the highest speed. Great customer service from Permobil reps. LOVE the elevator feature!!
Weaknesses:Too high to fit under tables/desks. Seat is too high for people with short legs. It would be nice if there was a way to retract/extend the actual foot plates without having to do so manually (the legs extend and raise fine, but the foot plates have to be manually raised and lowered.
Comments:Love mine but I'll probably get some other kind when I need another wheelchair (I have slow progressing ALS). This chair rides too high for many situations (I'm 5' 5" and I have to step up on the foot plates to get seated with my butt all the way back).
Durability?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in durabilityEase of use?This reviewer rated this product a 4 in ease of use
Meet expectations?This reviewer rated this product a 4 in Meet expectationsOverall Rating:This reviewer rated this product a 4 Overall
 
Wes from San Angelo, TX USA submitted this review on September 6th 2010 at 05:34 PM. Wes is an end user who has over a year of experience with the product.
Strengths:Seat raises high. Comfortable seat. Allows me to drive my van and get around alone.
Company made me a "demo" so insurance would pay for it. Company had to give us free seat elevator because insurance would not cover it and I have Muscular Dystophy.
Holds a charge.
Weaknesses:This is my first wheelchair. It seems noisy and bouncy and with my chronic pain, that causes pain. We keep having to use electronics cleaner on the seat elevator to clean the grease off so it can raise up and down.
Be careful if you replace joystick. The electronics were off and it tilted me totally back without warning and would not let me back up.
My wife had to drive the chair with me in it to my ceiling lift to get me out of it.
Comments:I will buy another one because it fits me best and it is holding up.
Durability?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in durabilityEase of use?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in ease of use
Meet expectations?This reviewer rated this product a 4 in Meet expectationsOverall Rating:This reviewer rated this product a 4 Overall
 
Jeff from Raeford, NC USA 28376 submitted this review on April 8th 2009 at 12:38 AM. Jeff is an end user who has one to six months of experience with the product.
Strengths:none
Weaknesses:poor tech support, provider tried ONCE to fix the problem(s). Things only got worse from there. I once even fell off a sidewalk into oncoming traffic due to having to compensate going "straight" by having the joystick at the full-left turn position. It suddenly made the usual right turn, and I fell (wheelchair and all) into oncoming traffic. Can you say "Lawsuit"?
The seat now gets stuck in almost every position, and the controller or joystick will not return the seat to a "standard" sitting position.
They have failed to return 5 repair request calls now, and I do have an answering machine (I used it to record all calls too!).
Comments:Pawning off "Demo" models to Medicaid recipients just due to the discount you got from the factory on first-run models, or ones that did not pass Quality Control? Or was it the fact the chair was almost 2 years old when I received it "new"?
Durability?This reviewer rated this product a 1 in durabilityEase of use?This reviewer rated this product a 1 in ease of use
Meet expectations?This reviewer rated this product a 1 in Meet expectationsOverall Rating:This reviewer rated this product a 1 Overall
 
Raymond from Hamburg New York USA submitted this review on November 11th 2008 at 05:52 PM. Raymond is an end user who has over a year of experience with the product.
Strengths:the only strength is the elevating which allows me to get things in high places
Weaknesses:Way to many to list
The constant squeaking;
Shucking back & forth of the front drive tires when the gearboxes engage;
The gear whine.
The chair is very clumsy on an uneven terrain
Comments:NOT WORTH THE 34,000 PRICE TAG.
THE COMPANY NEEDS TO GET MORE COMPITENT SALES REPS AND ALSO TEACH THE DEALERS HOW TO WORK ON THE CHAIR.
I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR A PART FOR MY CHAIR FOR SIX MOTHS
Durability?This reviewer rated this product a 2 in durabilityEase of use?This reviewer rated this product a 4 in ease of use
Meet expectations?This reviewer rated this product a 1 in Meet expectationsOverall Rating:This reviewer rated this product a 1 Overall
 
Jeff from Raeford, NC USA submitted this review on October 23rd 2008 at 12:04 PM. Jeff is an end user who has less than a month of experience with the product.
Strengths:The seat comfort is right up there where it should be. This is my 5th chair in 5 years. Too soon to name any "strengths".
Weaknesses:Had nothing but problems since I've gotten it. Parts missing, delivery person did not adjust the leg length properly, and also ended up drilling holes in the calf support braces. Further inspection by myself proved it could have been adjusted much easier from underneath, and then the calf supports would not have needed to be drilled. The chair has been unable to go in a straight line since I got it. Yes, I am VERY familiar with front wheel drive vehicles. After re-programming, it seemed better at low speed. However, once I was on a large, flat surface and could test it at full speed, I found it was still unable to go in a straight line under full speed. In fact, it will immediately veer into a 10 foot diameter circle! After repeated testings in different directions, the problem only got worse. The previous 10 foot diameter circle became a 0 foot diameter circle! In other words, spin-out!
I have the 7.5mph model, and will need the speed to get to the local store 1 mile away. Until this problem is fixed though, I'm stuck!
This is also the first chair I've had that had NO supports or hand-holds to aid in transferring in and out of the chair. After 2 weeks, and repeated "falling" and putting weight on the joystick control, it fell off!
Since I am a former Federally registered Tool & Die maker with a mechanical engineering degree (and I needed my chair fixed immediately!), I re-designed the mount and fixed it. It will now hold at least 3X what the factory configuration will.
Needs better suspension. The salesman AND the manual states the C500 capable of negotiating 3" curbs. Mine gets stuck on a 2x4, and that's only 1 1/2" high! Gets stuck easily in even slightly irregular yards. Watch out for any anthills 4" in diameter or larger!
Comments:The tech rep. has been here almost weekly. They did come out yesterday and install 1 "handhold" to aid in transferring. I do have both arms, and would like them to add one on the other side as well. This will prevent any "accidental" weight on the fragile joystick control.
More time should be spent making sure the chair operates properly before, and while delivering.
Durability?This reviewer rated this product a 1 in durabilityEase of use?This reviewer rated this product a 4 in ease of use
Meet expectations?This reviewer rated this product a 2 in Meet expectationsOverall Rating:This reviewer rated this product a 2 Overall
 
Dave from Leesburg, Florida submitted this review on September 5th 2008 at 11:54 AM. Dave is an end user who has over a year of experience with the product.
Strengths:I've been a C7 "quad" for 42 years and have had quite a few manual and power chairs during that time. I have found my C500 Permobil to have the most versatile and comfortable seating of any that I've had. It tilts, reclines, rises 8"(reach those higher shelves yourself) and the feet elevate. I drive my minivan from this chair and truly enjoy the convenience of not transferring any longer. If I tire I simply pull into a rest area, recline, and take a short nap. Sweet!
Weaknesses:This chair is noisy(gear whine mostly)compared to my old Invacare 3G Storm. I have the speed option and at 7.5 mph it's still too slow.(compared to the Storm) Torque and power are also deficient if you live in hilly Vermont, as I do in summer. The chair will just slow and finally stop up steep hills in my "hood". Waiting a few minutes allows me to continue for a short distance. Frustrating. Range on a full battery charge seems to be around 22 miles on Florida terrain. Somewhat less in Vermont. My Storm could go 34-38 miles with the same Group 24 batteries as the C500 uses. Wish that Permobil would produce a more powerful and faster version like 21st Century Scientific's Bounder H model. 11 MPH! Will probably buy that next time so that I can keep up better with my wife on the bike trails, an activity we enjoy a lot. Might be hard to give up this excellent and extremely comfortable seating system though. Life sure presents some tough trade-offs sometimes!
Comments:The Permobil C500 is a good chair and quite a bit more comfortable than the Invacare Storm that it replaces, but if I headed the company I would listen to the customers input, assemble my R&D people and improve this product to the point where it's a great chair, not just good.
More speed and power with less noise and longer range on a charge. For the close to $30,000 price tag, this is a reasonable expectation...wouldn't you agree?
Durability?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in durabilityEase of use?This reviewer rated this product a 4 in ease of use
Meet expectations?This reviewer rated this product a 2 in Meet expectationsOverall Rating:This reviewer rated this product a 3 Overall
 
robert from grundy va usa submitted this review on August 29th 2008 at 01:46 PM. robert is an end user who has over a year of experience with the product.
Strengths:none
Weaknesses:the whole chair ive had nuttn but trouble out of it since ive had it
Comments:do not buy
Durability?This reviewer rated this product a 1 in durabilityEase of use?This reviewer rated this product a 1 in ease of use
Meet expectations?This reviewer rated this product a 1 in Meet expectationsOverall Rating:This reviewer rated this product a 1 Overall
 
Ed from Medina, NY submitted this review on June 14th 2007 at 07:23 AM. Ed is an end user who has over a year of experience with the product.
Strengths:Very comfortable, plenty fast (I have speed pk), great features, easy to drive, good range, great indoors & out, goes through just about anything, very dependable-in 1 yr + of heavy daily use-no breakdowns
Weaknesses:mainly due to speed pk, jerky at low speeds, less power with speed pk, won't go up steep grades,
Comments:Despite problems with less power, I love the chair. At 7.5 mph, I'm able to buzz all over in no time. I spend 15 + hrs per day in my chair in great comfort. All in all, a terrific chair.
Durability?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in durabilityEase of use?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in ease of use
Meet expectations?This reviewer rated this product a 4 in Meet expectationsOverall Rating:This reviewer rated this product a 4 Overall
 
Stephen from DFW Texas submitted this review on November 8th 2006 at 10:36 PM. Stephen is an end user who has one to six months of experience with the product.
Strengths:Good torque, shocks, general construction. VERY comfortable seating system.
Weaknesses:Lack of ability to alter control response without an expensive external gadget.
Comments:If moving from a rear wheel drive chair to this chair there IS a learning curve. Until you're over that curve be VERY careful. Except for testing (outside) I never go above 3 bars of power.
Durability?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in durabilityEase of use?This reviewer rated this product a 4 in ease of use
Meet expectations?This reviewer rated this product a 4 in Meet expectationsOverall Rating:This reviewer rated this product a 4 Overall
 
james from miami, florida, usa submitted this review on October 29th 2006 at 01:55 PM. james is an end user who has one to six months of experience with the product.
Strengths:looks great, rides smooth, feels durable...awesome support from Rudy, local company rep, epitome of excellence in customer care and folow up....
Weaknesses:with the C500, the armrests have no independence while reclining, unlike the C2K model....also, there could be room for more 'customization', and lastly the armrests could be more padded for additional comfort
Comments:i too am a disabled veteran reliant wholly on this for mobility as i cruise about on campuses, streets, etc....if you can afford it, GET IT, it is worth every penny...and enhances quality of life immeasurably!
Durability?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in durabilityEase of use?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in ease of use
Meet expectations?This reviewer rated this product a 3 in Meet expectationsOverall Rating:This reviewer rated this product a 4 Overall
 
NICOLE from INDIANA submitted this review on July 21st 2006 at 09:56 AM. NICOLE is an end user who has over a year of experience with the product.
Strengths:THIS CHAIR IS VERY COMFORTABLE AND DURABLE. THE STANDING AND SEAT ELEVATING FEATURES ARE EXCELLENT. YOU CAN CLIMB CURBS, AND DRIVE THROUGH MOST SURFACES WITH EASE. THE JOYSTICK IS EASY TO LEARN, AND IT HAS GREAT POWER AND SPEED.
Weaknesses:THE CHAIR IS HEAVY AND DIFFICULT TO MOVE MANUALLY. IT IS HARD TO DRIVE BECAUSE YOU CANNOT BACK UP OR GO FORWARD IN A STRAIGHT LINE. THE REAR WHEELS TEND TO NOT TURN SMOOTHLY CAUSING DIFFICULTY WHEN STEERING. YOU CAN EASILY TEAR UP YOU WALLS AT HOME!
Comments:DESPITE THE NEGATIVES, THIS IS A GREAT CHAIR.
Durability?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in durabilityEase of use?This reviewer rated this product a 4 in ease of use
Meet expectations?This reviewer rated this product a 4 in Meet expectationsOverall Rating:This reviewer rated this product a 4 Overall
 
Shane from Cortland, Ohio, USA submitted this review on March 31st 2006 at 02:51 PM. Shane is an end user who has over a year of experience with the product.
Strengths:I've been a disabled veteran since 1995 & my Permobile C500 has been the most comfy & reliabe chais so far. I'm very happy with it.
Weaknesses:It's the fastest chair I've had yet, but it's still 2 slow for me. It's not as allterain as the ads say either.
Comments:Even with this chair's downfalls, I'm still very happy.
Durability?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in durabilityEase of use?This reviewer rated this product a 5 in ease of use
Meet expectations?This reviewer rated this product a 4 in Meet expectationsOverall Rating:This reviewer rated this product a 4 Overall
 
Other products by Permobil
C300 Corpus
C300 CS
C300 PS
C350 Corpus
C350 PS
C400 Aeron
C400 Corpus
C400 CS
C400 Lowrider
C400 PS
C400 Stander Jr
C400 Vertical
C500 Aeron
C500 Corpus
C500 Lowrider
C500 PS
C500 Stander
Chairman 2 Corpus
Chairman 2K Aeron
Chairman 2K Lowrider
Chairman 2K Stander
Chairman 2K Stander Jr.
Chairman Corpus
Chairman Entra Stander Jr.
Chairman HD
Chairman Minivertical
Chairman Vertical
Entra Corpus
Entra Miniflex
Entra Mps B
Hexior
K300 PS Jr
K450 MX
Koala
M300 Corpus 3G
M400 Corpus 3G
Playman
Playman Robo
Street
Trax
Trax Corpus
Trax Miniflex
X850 Corpus
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