Updated: March 20, 2014
NordicTrack C900 Pro
The NordicTrack C900 Pro tops the list of best cheap treadmills due to its strong workout programs and entertainment options, in addition to its low price of $849. This treadmill comes equipped with weight loss, interval, and preset distance options, along with heart rate and endurance workouts. For those who need even more variety, this treadmill is also equipped with iFit, allowing you to access workouts powered by Google Maps so you can walk or run anywhere in the world. In addition to iFit, the NordicTrack C900 Pro comes with several other entertainment features that are sure to be appreciated. Speakers and an audio port make it easy to listen to music while exercising and an Internet browser can help keep you from getting bored. This machine also has a 3.0 CHP motor, which should be able to handle the demands of most long workouts, even for runners. If saving money is really important to you, the free curbside delivery will also be appreciated. With features like these, it's clear that the NordicTrack C900 Pro has earned its spot at the top, and is definitely a treadmill worth considering, regardless of your budget.
Coming in at $629.99, the Horizon T101 is a solid choice for those looking for a cheap treadmill. It has an easy-to-use console and some solid warranties given the price, including lifetime frame and motor warranties and a one-year warranty on parts, electronics, and labor. Onboard programs are limited to preset distance, weight loss, and interval workouts, but that should be sufficient for most people. The Horizon T101 also has a built-in audio port and speakers for listening to music or audio books during your workout. Horizon Fitness does not offer any in-room delivery or assembly options, which may be a disappointment for some, though the treadmill is very easy to assemble according to user reviews on Amazon.com. For those looking for a treadmill to run on, this motor may not be quite powerful enough, though it should be perfectly fine for walking. While this treadmill may be missing a few features that keep it from the top spot on the cheap treadmill list, it certainly shouldn't be counted out and may make a great fit for your budget and your needs.
Horizon Evolve SG
For less than $600, the Horizon Evolve SG offers a good, basic treadmill well-suited to walkers and those looking to save space. This treadmill offers weight loss workout programs and limited warranties on the motor, frame, parts, labor, and electronics. An audio port and speakers built right in to the treadmill are another nice bonus of this machine. If saving space is key when purchasing a treadmill, you will have a hard time finding a better deal than the Horizon Evolve SG as it can be stored horizontally or vertically depending on which better suits your needs. This treadmill falls behind the others on this list because it fails to offer some common features, such as incline/decline ability, a built-in console fan, and a chest pulse sensor for measuring heart rate. In addition, the 6 mph top speed and 1.5 CHP motor will be a turnoff to runners. However, user reviews for this machine are largely positive, indicating that this machine could still be a good choice for some, depending on what features you value the most.