2016 Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155 Review

The GTI at its most refined

The GTI Limited 155 occupies a unique spot in the Sea-Doo lineup. For starters, it acknowledges that the appeal of the GTI platform isn’t limited to just introductory or cost-conscious buyers. Yet at the same time, it also acknowledges that some consumers just want more than the next, added features and luxurious appointments that go beyond the standard fare.

See yourself in that description? Read on.

So…What Makes It Special?

With a name like Limited, buyers can obviously expect more than the basic GTI platform, and most of that is contained within the Limited package. It starts with an exclusive upscale coloration – Jet Black Metallic & Deep Pewter Satin – which is as attractive in person as it sounds in print. Along with minimal bright blue accents, the effect puts this GTI right alongside the GTX flagships. Buyers also get a cover to keep that paint job looking pristine, a safety kit, a removable dry bag that functions as a backpack for shore excursions, and a list of additional functions added to the info display, including time/distance to empty (helpful), altitude indicator (not so much), and cruise control and slow mode indicators.

Arguably the most useful feature, however, is Sea-Doo’s High-Performance VTS, or Variable Trim System. Trim’s advantages should be obvious. You can plant the bow low in the water for best acceleration, raise the bow to increase top-end speed, and play with settings in between to compensate for passenger load or rough water. The advantage of the high performance trim is that is allows the driver to choose pre-set positions and quickly switch between them with just a double-tap of the button.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2016 Yamaha VXR

Standard-issue features also continue to impress. Sea-Doo’s Intelligent Brake & Reverse is now in its second generation, and continues to provide both reverse and braking power with just the pull of a lever. iBR lets the craft assume a no-movement, neutral setting at startup. Pull the throttle to go forward, or the iBR lever to go into reverse. Docking, launching and loading, and maneuvering in tight quarters has never been easier. Pull the iBR lever at speed and it becomes a brake, shortening the stopping distance by a generous margin. Improvements to the design now make switching between the settings much quicker and more seamless.

2016 Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155 Action RightWith a playful hull and enough power to keep you smiling, the GTI Limited 155 is a fun craft to operate.

Other standout features include cruise control, no-wake mode, and a choice of acceleration profiles aimed at providing the engine’s full response, taming that response for more casual riding, or operating most economically. A secondary safety lanyard can also limit top speed, while both are digitally encoded to a particular craft to prevent theft. Also expect a full-featured info display, spring-loaded aft boarding step, rearview mirrors, and new for ’16, grips that incorporate a useful palm rest.

2016 Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155 Palm RestSea-Doo added to grips to the GTI Limited for 2016 that offer a palm rest, which comes in handy on long days in the saddle.

Common Core

As to handling and performance, the familiar hull offers a more playful 16-degree deadrise. It corners with confidence and has proven a favorite in rough conditions, but play around with your weight placement and you’ll find a boat reminiscent of the looser designs of yesteryear. It can slide, change direction with ease, even showcase a little spin if you’re talented. In short, it’s got multiple personalities, yet will always prove stable and predictable for the beginner.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2016 Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra LX

It’s also decidedly upscale, even without the Limited colorations. Sea-Doo’s choice to redesign the GTI platform years back resulted in a boat that looks right at home with its flagship siblings. In Sea-Doo parlance, its edgy styling and multiple curves are “flowing facets,” designed to give the boat a trendy vibe. Fit and finish is also improved over the GTIs of old.

2016 Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155 Action LeftThe fit and finish of the GTI Limited 155 has it looking at home with its much more expensive siblings.

Comfort is also above average, thanks to clever design choices. The bolstered, tiered, touring-style saddle offers more of an hourglass profile to avoid forcing your thighs uncomfortably wide. A narrower stance lets you transfer some of the load in turns from your upper body to the stronger leg muscles. Canted footwells add additional leverage in turns, and won’t put as much pressure on your knees. A constant “flow” to the footwell surface keeps your feet in constant contact.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2015 Sea-Doo GTX S 155

As to what’s below the seat, find the 155hp variation of Sea-Doo’s 1,494cc Rotax 4-TEC. This is the version that foregoes the supercharger and intercooler, saving fuel while still delivering strong acceleration and a top speed just shy of 60 mph.

French’s…or Grey Poupon

If there’s one knock against the Limited, it’s that Sea-Doo charges an upscale price and picks the accessories that warrant it. Savvy buyers will note that the $12,299 Limited is pretty much the $10,999 GTI SE 155, just with a fancier paint job and a package of extras that you don’t really get to choose. While that may be somewhat true, don’t overlook the fact that many of those features are things that are truly useful. A cover, safety kit, and dry bag are items you’d probably pick up anyway. And then consider the high-performance trim. Electric trim is great; being able to jump between your favorite settings without ever having to take your eyes off the water is better.

2016 Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155 GaugesA Variable Trim System is electric, so you can change the feel of the craft on the fly.

In the end, it comes down to whether or not you’re willing to pay more to have a craft that’s not your average ride. And if that describes you, We’re betting you’ve already made your choice.

2016 Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155 Specs
Length 132.6 inches
Beam 48.5 inches
Curb Weight 790 lbs
Engine Naturally Aspirated Three-cylinder
Displacement 1,494 cc
Bore and Stroke 100 mm x 63.4 mm
Compression Ratio 10.6:1
Fuel Capacity 15.9 gal.
Combined Stowage Capacity 30.8 gal.
Colors Jet Black Metallic & Deep Pewter Satin
Price $12,299