Yamaha vs. Suzuki Outboards: Is the Choice Really That Obvious?
Suzuki isn’t new to boat engines, but the Japanese brand has been making an extra effort to develop a full line of outboards available in more marine retailers. While Suzuki has been selling motorcycles, ATVs, and other power sports equipment in the U.S. for decades, its reputation for marine engines isn’t as strong as Yamaha’s.
Yamaha has been a top name in outboard engines for many years. Right up there with names like Mercury and Honda, Yamaha outboards have a well-earned reputation for reliability, performance, and value.
Now that their lineups are pretty evenly matched on paper, which outboard marine engine is a better buy?
Which is more affordable?
Across the board, Suzuki outboard engines are about 10 percent cheaper than their closest Yamaha counterparts. This is typical for the brand, which often undercuts its competitors on price.
In the motorcycle world, Suzuki has an old reputation as a “budget Honda,” which isn’t far from the truth. As for marine engines, one could call Suzuki a “budget Yamaha,” but we don’t mean that as an insult since the engines themselves are proving themselves on the water at a lower price point.
Suzuki has a longer warranty
As of this writing, every Suzuki outboard motor has a 5-year warranty. As for Yamaha, the XF425 and F350C engines have a 5-year warranty, but a 3-year warranty backs the other engines.
You can buy an extended warranty through YES at an extra cost.
Which has more power?
For the most part, Suzuki has its own version of the most popular Yamaha outboard engines. However, the latter has a mighty V8 option with performance that Suzuki can’t match.
The most potent Suzuki V6 outboard makes up to 350 hp, but the Yamaha XTO Offshore is a 5.6-liter V8 pumping out up to 450 hp. Most outboard engine shoppers aren’t in the market for a V8, but this is an advantage to keep in mind.
Yamaha has a stronger reputation
One of the main reasons to go with Yamaha is its reputation. It’s been a trusted name in outboard engines for decades. This is because of its rock-solid reliability, the latest engineering and technology, and consistently strong performance. Suzuki doesn’t have a bad reputation, but most boating enthusiasts would be prouder to show off the Yamaha name on their engine.
Yamaha also has more service centers nationwide because of its established reputation for quality, reliable outboard engines. Depending on where you live, a Yamaha marine dealer and service center might be easier to find.
Which is a better buy?
At the end of the day, Suzuki is a better value. This is because Suzuki’s impressive full line of outboard motors is available at a lower price point with a longer warranty than Yamaha. However, if you’re willing to pay a little more and don’t mind the shorter warranty, you can’t go wrong with a Yamaha outboard motor for your boat.