While the new Spark has certainly stolen the early spotlight, Sea-Doo also unveiled the remainder of its 2014 line, and the craft that will be in showrooms for 2014 look quite a bit like the brand’s existing lineup.
As in previous years, Sea-Doo breaks down the line into four basic categories, Recreation, Tow Sports, Luxury, and Performance. A fifth category has been added – Rec Lite – to handle the Spark line.
COMPARISON: Read about the new 2014 Sea-Doo Spark
The Recreation category is once again the territory of the GT models, including the base GTS 130 ($8,199), GTI 130 ($9,499), GTI SE 130 and GTI SE 155 (starting at $9,999), and the GTI Limited 155 ($12,099). While the GTS model will likely once again be the rental favorite, it’s the variations of the GTI that still prove some of the most compelling models in the recreational class. The reason has to do with a solid, predictable hull and reliable engine, naturally, but more so with just what you get that the competition doesn’t offer – namely Intelligent Brake & Reverse. The system allows GTI models to start in a stationary position at the dock, be easily shifted into forward or neutral via a handlebar-mounted lever, and yes, offers a certain degree of stopping power out on the water. All but the GTS also offer electronic throttle, enabling Sea-Doo to offer two different acceleration curves to fit the driver.
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The Tow Sports category returns the same two models for 2014, the WAKE 155 ($11,699) and WAKE Pro 215 ($14,199). As the names imply, each craft features a different horsepower, but they’re also based on different models. The 155 shares the GTI platform, the 215 the GTX platform. Both offer ski and wake-friendly amenities, including a gunwale-mounted board rack to keep boards from cluttering up the footwells when not in use and an aft tow pylon. Does a pylon make a difference in the ride? Yes. It might not dramatically boost airtime like a boat’s extended pylon, but it does get the towrope up and out of the jet wash, which translates into a more predictable pull at the other end of the towrope. WAKE models also include a SKI mode, which allows the driver to program a set speed for towing, and even choose how aggressively the craft pulls on deepwater starts.
New for ’14 is a bright new dayglow color and matching graphics.
COMPARISON: Read about the 2014 Kawasaki Jet Ski Lineup
The Luxury lineup continues to be held down by the GTX platform. Three models return for 2014, the GTX 155 ($12,199), GTX S 155 ($13,199), and GTX Limited iS 260 ($16,999). A fourth model, the GTX Limited 215 ($14,499), debuts to offer a “Limited” configuration at a lower horsepower and price point. All share the proven GTX hull design, which feels surprisingly agile for its size, yet tames rough water with relative ease. The S model gets a manually adjustable variation of Sea-Doo’s now-familiar suspension concept. The iS gets the full on automatic suspension. Limited models include a host of extras, including depthfinder, high-performance variable trim, custom cover, removable dry bag, safety kit, and a time/distance to empty addition to the fuel display.
All models include Intelligent Throttle Control, Intelligent Brake and Reverse, and the addition of an ECO mode to the standard Touring and Sport acceleration profiles.
The Performance line also returns mostly intact. Starting with the GTR 215 ($11,899), it adds the RXT 260 ($13,799), RXT-X 260 ($14,999), RXT-X aS 260 ($16,499), and RXP-X 260 ($14,799). The GTR exploits 215 horsepower in a lightweight hull, while the remainder of models utilize the supercharged 260 hp version of the Rotax 1,494cc engine. The aS model continues to stand apart for its offshore focus; its suspension can be dialed in for more extreme conditions. All models include iBR and iTC, as well as high-performance variable trim.
One change for ’14 is a new Viper Red color scheme on the X models.
COMPARISON: Read about the 2014 Yamaha WaveRunner Lineup
And that, naturally, leaves the Rec Lite category. The much-hyped Spark will start at $4,999 in its 60hp variation, but can be upgraded in a multitude of ways, including the addition of a bolt-on rear platform and extended seat to make the craft a three-seater, a choice of an upgraded 90 hp motor, the addition of Intelligent Brake and Reverse, and a convenience package which adds a front storage compartment and simplified aft boarding step.
Will the Spark steal sales from the existing line? Of course, but Sea-Doo is betting it will generate enough new sales to more than make up for any cannibalization. The craft should also bring plenty of new PWC enthusiasts into the fold...who will find plenty more to like in the always expansive Sea-Doo lineup.