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Remember those old Grey Poupon commercials? They promoted the idea that the discriminating buyer, the elite buyer, wants better than the average product on the market. It’s a theme that Sea-Doo borrows with its Limited models. They look a little more distinguished, offer features you can’t get on “lesser” models, and just carry a certain cachet that separates them from the pack.
That cachet once carried a hefty price tag, but Sea-Doo trickled down the Limited concept to the GTX 215 several years back. It returns for 2016 with all the familiar bling…plus more than one notable new feature.
We won’t keep you in suspense. The “something new” for 2016 is primarily the ErgoLock seat, an idea that was first unveiled on the sporty RXP-X, but has now found its way into several three-passenger models.
ErgoLock is all about control. The saddle is narrower, primarily to not force your legs as wide and allow them to take some of the load off the upper body in the turns. It also features flared pockets for your knees to further encourage riders to grip the saddle with their legs. On the RXP-X, it pays big dividends when aggressively cornering. GTX Limited 215 buyers, however, will also note they can grip the saddle better during rough-water speed runs. As to passengers, the saddle is also tiered and bolstered, giving each successive passenger a better view forward and allowing them to lock into their own little nook for comfort and security.
COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2016 Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra LX
Another less-obvious, but equally welcome addition? Storage. Once limited to less than 15 gallons, the boat now jumps to a 42.8-gallon storage capacity and features a removable watertight bin.
As to what else the Limited designation gets you, think of many of those items you might add on at the dealership, or head to the local marine store to buy. On the Limited 215, they include a high-performance electronic trim system with dual presets to quickly trim the hull to your favorite settings for both acceleration and top speed; additional gauge functions like a depth finder, time/distance to empty, altitude indicator and water temp; removable dry bag; safety kit; glovebox organizer; custom cover; exclusive coloration; and handy Speed Tie docking lines. The latter retract into a small housing to make tie-ups simple at the dock.
The biggest bang-for-the-buck feature, however, is something shared by every Sea-Doo – iBR. Intelligent Brake and Reverse electronically links the reverse gate to a portside handlebar lever similar to the throttle. At speed, activating the system drops the bucket to act like a parachute behind the craft, grabbing a load of water to rapidly slow the boat. Once speeds come down, reverse thrust is then applied to finish the process. The result is like braking on the water, with the craft rapidly slowing to an eventual stop much quicker than it would just by releasing the throttle. iBR also, however, gives the craft the feeling of gears. The Limited 215 starts in a neutral mode and can then be shifted between forward, neutral and reverse with corresponding input at the throttle or iBR lever. iBR offers a smooth, precise feeling of control that takes all the tension out of docking in tight confines, launching at the ramp, or maneuvering around other boats. It’s also highly intuitive. Spend a few minutes practicing and you’re good to go.
A GTX at Heart
As you’ve probably guessed from the name, behind the Limited tag is a GTX 215, a craft that no longer exists in the normal Sea-Doo lineup. It shares the familiar deep-V, stepped GTX S3 hull design, a choice that is both comfortable for cruising and ready for big water conditions. Up top, the GTX deck features the same stylish angles and facets that have come to define the brand of late. Below the seat sits the familiar 1,494cc Rotax with a supercharger and intercooler. At roughly 215hp, this is a tamer variation of the engine, but it still propels the boat to the magic 65 mph mark. Electronic throttle enhancements mean you can have all of the engine’s power on tap in Sport mode, or tame things for those who prefer a gentler ride with the Touring setting. As Sea-Doo owners have come to expect, an ECO mode is available to choose the best fuel conservation.
COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2016 Yamaha FX Cruiser SVHO
Electronic throttle also means you get cruise control and no-wake mode. Both are great for long-distance rides as they take the strain out of holding a steady finger on the throttle, but remember to also utilize cruise control for tow sports. The computer’s “steady hand” will be appreciated by your riders.
Additional features stand out. The 215’s saddle is hinged and raises on a pneumatic strut, making it easy to check on the engine. Tilt steering adjusts to four positions to further dial in rider fit. A fold-down boarding step makes it easy to climb back aboard after a swim, rider switch, or other dismount. The lanyard does double-duty as a security device, and features a radio-frequency connection. Use a secondary lanyard to limit performance if desired.
And then there’s the little things. The gas cap doesn’t unscrew, but rather “pops” open on a hinge for quick access. Grips now feature an extended palm rest that should prove more comfortable for lengthy rides.
Pardon Me…Do You Have Any GTX Limited?
Any Limited review will always come back to one key point: you could put together your own Limited package, get the things you specifically want, and maybe even do it for less. That may be so, but Sea-Doo obviously thinks some buyers don’t want to bother. Plus, the lack of a normal GTX 215 adds a little more incentive.
COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2016 Sea-Doo GTX Limited 300
Ultimately it all comes down to what you value in your watercraft…and perhaps what brand of mustard sits on your refrigerator shelf.
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