2017 Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155 Review

The upscale GTI

Fast Facts

Engine: Three-cylinder 1,494cc

Fuel Capacity: 15.9 gal.

Stowage Capacity: 30.8 gal.

Seating Capacity: 3

MSRP: Starting at $12,399

Sea-Doo shook up the GTI line for 2017, unveiling a new PolyTec (think the Spark’s polyethylene/glass fiber construction) hull and introducing the more affordable 90hp ACE HO engine to the platform, but one GTI model was left as is — the 2017 Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155. The higher horsepower positioning may seem like the obvious reason, but so too is the Limited designation. Think of GTI Limited 155 as the upscale GTI, or perhaps the GTI that can still flirt with 60 mph.

Just don’t think of it as a GTX Limited Lite. The Limited 155 has its own distinct personality…and that’s a very good thing.

Limited Stock

2017 Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155 Front

Sea-Doo applied the same “limited” model thinking to the GTI that it has put to good use on other models over the years. That equates to a package of extras and a one-off paint scheme. Those extras include the obvious items most owners would soon find themselves buying, including trailerable storage cover, safety kit, and a trick removable dry bag that can be carried like a backpack. Additions to the ski itself include expanded functions on the info display, including time/distance to empty, altitude indicator, and cruise control/slow mode indicators, along with the high-performance version of Sea-Doo’s electric trim. Trim is great for keeping the bow low for best acceleration or raising it for improved top speed. It can also be used to compensate for a heavy passenger load, or to keep the ride a little drier in rough water. The advantage of the high-performance version is presets. Riders can store their preferred bow-low/bow-high positions, and then quickly toggle between them with a double-tap of the trim button. Eyes stay on the water, rather than looking for a position on a gauge.

2017 Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155 Gauges Cruise

As to that extra-special color, for 2017 it’s Jet Black Metallic and Deep Pewter Satin. Yes, it is the same shade from 2016, but it’s a rich metallic that evokes hues used by upscale auto manufacturers. It’s attractive, although like all similar colors, a little harder to see when out on the water.

Proven Hull/Engine Combo

2017 Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155 Beauty

In addition to price, buyers gravitate toward the GTI platform because of the ride. Hull deadrise is only 16 degrees, meaning this is a much shallower hull angle than the flagship GTX models. Conventional wisdom would dictate that means the hull is loose and playful, and it is. You can ride a little old-school on the GTI, slipping the stern through a turn while leveraging the hull’s lighter feel. The GTI can grip when desired, however, cornering with precision. The key is weight placement and learning how far to push the craft to get the desired result. Beginners needn’t worry; it’s stable and predictable, which is why Sea-Doo positions the GTI for the recreational audience. GTI design choices, including canted footwell chocks, flowing footwells with no abrupt angles, and a narrower saddle allow riders to get the most out of the craft while also increasing comfort.

Of course, more than ever before riders also gravitate to the Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155 because of the engine. The 155hp variant of Sea-Doo’s 4-TEC is the first four-stroke model produced, and until recently the building block of nearly all engines in the line. Think of it as the 4-TEC without a supercharger, meaning speed will be slightly less but so too will fuel consumption. Acceleration is still strong enough for watersports duties; top speed averages just under 60 mph. That’s a considerable jump over the rest of the GTI line, particularly now that Sea-Doo’s current GTI models feature the 90hp engine.

Feature Up

Other features, while standard issue, also fit the Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155’s focus. The saddle features a prominent bolster for the driver to ease long-distance touring and offer lower-back support when cruising or pushing the craft through its paces. An elevated aft portion positions passengers above the driver for comfort and better forward visibility. The craft also gets the Touring/Sport dual acceleration profiles, offering a tamer or wilder ride, ECO mode for fuel savings, the digitally encoded lanyards for theft protection and a speed-governed mode, ski tow eye, spring-loaded boarding step, and Sea-Doo’s new-style handgrips with palm rests. The aforementioned cruise control and no-wake mode are also present.

2017 Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155 ErgoLock Seat

The most useful of the standard features, however, continues to be Intelligent Brake & Reverse (iBR). It’s noticeable immediately upon startup; rather than surge forward or force you to guesstimate a reverse lever position, the craft simply stays stationary, the reverse bucket deflecting just enough thrust to prevent movement. Pull the throttle to go forward, or the iBR lever to go into reverse. The two levers can then toggle the craft between forward, neutral and reverse in intuitive fashion, while keeping hands on the handlebars and eyes on the water. The braking element of iBR comes into play at higher speeds. Pull the iBR lever and that bucket and spoiler redirect thrust to provide rapid deceleration without excessive “diving” at the bow.

Alternative Choice

Sea-Doo does offer one other alternative for those that like the GTI hull and 155hp engine platform, the WAKE 155 ($11,999). It trades the Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155’s list of extras for a tow pylon, removable board racks, and a “ski-specific” mode added to the acceleration profiles. It also gets the polar opposite color scheme, a bright White/Belize Blue with lime accents.

The target audience is obviously different…but the end result much the same.