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Lots of brands can call their models best-sellers. When it comes to the VX line, however, Yamaha has the stats to back it up. Literally since the line’s introduction, a VX model has been the industry’s best seller.
It’s a simple, but successful formula that all comes down to…
A Versatile Hull Design
The hull is truly the key to the VX Deluxe’s success. It’s stable, which is necessary for beginners, but versatile enough to be able to venture into bigger waters without running for shore. For the former, credit the shallower transom deadrise; for the latter, look to the deeper, chop-busting angle at the bow. It’s a formidable combination in an entry-level craft, but also one that will appease those with higher expectations.
Like most modern craft, the VX sports an intuitive, lean-in cornering style, made possible by the boat’s softly rounded chines. The design allows the hull to effortlessly initiate a turn. As we’ve seen with the VXR and VXS models, it’s also a design that has some serious potential on the higher end.
COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2014 Yamaha VXS
In short, just because the VX Deluxe is an entry-level craft doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck with an entry-level ride.
As to the rider interface above, the saddle sports gentle bolsters to provide support and help riders find their sweet spot on the seat. Though not dramatically tiered like higher-end models, it does sport a gentle upwards rise and three distinct levels to position each passenger a little higher than the one in front. Behind, a roomy platform makes it easy to gear up for tow sports, or just slip off the craft for a dip. To reboard, a flip-down, spring-loaded boarding step is at the ready.
The final piece of the hull puzzle is Yamaha’s NanoXcel hull material. Lightweight, yet strong, NanoXcel has migrated all the way down the line to the VX models. It promises the same durable construction, while making possible a more advantageous horsepower-to-weight ratio.
Which leads us to…
A Reliable, Workhorse Of An Engine
Below the surface, the VX Deluxe provides one of the most-reliable engines currently in production, a fuel-efficient variation of the brand’s versatile 1,052cc four-cylinder MR-1.
True, it’s no screamer. Though not rated by Yamaha, it produces only in the neighborhood of 110 horsepower, which is the lowest of its direct competitors. That may be a limitation for some, and if so, Yamaha certainly offers more powerful alternatives up the food chain. Give the craft a chance, however, and you may find those 110 horses are enough to push the craft to a top speed in the low 50 mph range (expect around 52 mph in most conditions), and get the craft to the 30 mph mark in about three seconds.
Kawasaki STX-15F vs. Sea-Doo GTS 130 vs. Yamaha VX Sport
It’s also adequate power for basic towsports use. You can haul friends and family on tubes and wake boards, or maybe even the adults on a pair of combo skis.
Fuel consumption? Yamaha boasts the VX burns little more than three gallons per hour at 30 mph, which means this is an entry-level craft that will save you long after you’ve left the showroom and put the boat to good use. It’s also an engine that purrs along happily on 87 octane.
Alone, that hull and engine would be an enough to make the VX Deluxe stand out, but as the name implies you do get…
A Few Extras
As the “middle child” in the VX lineup, the Deluxe does feature a few extras that position it above the VX Sport and just below the VX Cruiser.
One is the craft’s car-like remote transmitter, which is used to lock the ignition to prevent unauthorized use or to activate speed-governing modes for true newcomers – or when fuel conservation is a must. Storage and fuel capacity fall in the expected range, with 18.5 gallons for fuel and 15.1 gallons for storage, including a handy glovebox with cupholders. Dual rearview mirrors add a touch of safety by allowing the driver to see what’s behind before making a turn or to check on friends at the end of a towrope.
With 15.1 gallons of storage space, you’ve got room to take the essentials with you on the water.
Other nice touches? Rather than a flat, monochrome, paint is an attractive metallic in a choice of Yacht Blue or Carbon. The aforementioned saddle is also cut-and-sew, which gives it a more upscale, tailored appearance compared to simple, seamless vinyl.
COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2014 Sea-Doo Spark
And then there’s reverse. Its inclusion makes it easier to maneuver the boat around the dock, launch ramp, or any tight area, though as always be aware that Yamaha positions the lever to starboard.
The Price Is Right
Yes, there is one more key to the Deluxe’s success – its price. For 2014, the boat comes in at $9,499, a jump up certainly from the Sport’s $7,999, but a price still very competitive with offerings from its primary competitors.
But perhaps most compelling of all, the VX Deluxe backs up its price tag with a longstanding, outstanding reputation. A VX model has been the industry’s best-seller for years…and years…meaning plenty of enthusiasts have found it to be a solid, reliable choice.
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