Yamaha VXS (2012-2013)
(w/ 1 x Yamaha 1812cc, four-cylinder, four-stroke)

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To be perfectly clear, the VXS and VXR are identical machines with one or two features. The team at Yamaha tells us that the mission of the VXS it to provide the best possible high performance watercraft in a no-frills low-cost package. With this in mind, we set out to test and review the VXS. The first thing we noticed was that the production weight of this watercraft was only 728 lbs. and that the 1812cc four-stroke, four-cylinder marine engine was NOT supercharged. What's more the dash and handle bars were not decorated like a Christmas tree with lots of things to look at and fiddle with. Yamaha certainly got the no-frills part right, but what about the performance and handling and who is the VXS really designed for?

Key Features

  • Multi-function electronic information center
  • Remote controlled transmitter
  • Low RPM mode
  • Yamaha security system
  • Dual concave mirrors
  • 15 gallons of total storage
  • Comfortable one-piece seat
  • Extra large boarding platform
  • Finger throttle lever
  • Stepped draft V-hull with integrated bow spray guard
  • Powered by a 1.8 liter high output Yamaha Marine engine


Yamaha VXS (2012-2013) Specifications
Length Overall 126.8 in
3.22 m
Dry Weight 721 lbs.
327 kg
Beam 46.1 in
1.17 m
Tested Weight N/A
Draft N/A Fuel Cap 15.9 gal.
60.1 L
Deadrise/Transom N/A Water Cap none
Max Headroom open Bridge Clearance N/A
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

Engine Options

Yamaha VXS (2012-2013) Engine options
Std. Power 1 x Yamaha 1812cc, four cylinder, four-stroke
Tested Power 1 x Yamaha 1812cc, four-cylinder, four-stroke
Opt. Power Not Available

Yamaha VXS (2012-2013) Captain's Report

Yamaha VXS

The Yamaha VXS was designed to be a no-frills performance watercraft at a reasonable price.

Test by Christopher Hughes, BoatTEST.com COO--

Yamaha VXS

On the right side of the handlebar you have just the throttle, no cruise assist. The display is simple and to the point – speed RPM, and fuel. What more do you need to know?

What you don’t get in VXS Waverunner:

Yamaha designed this as a no-frills model, with a starting price of $11,199. What has Yamaha left out of the VXS? You don’t have cruise assist, trip control, or an adjustable handlebar. But since this watercraft is intended to be driven hard, cranking and banking, those items are not needed.

You don’t get the supercharger with VXS, which at first left us wondering how this little package would perform. But after the test, we realized you don’t need a supercharger on this unit. Since the design is shorter (128.7 in), and thinner (46.1 in) and less weight (728 lbs.), almost 10 lbs. lighter than the entry level VX Sport, the 1812cc power plant is more than enough to give any rider the thrill they are looking for. Further, as we often mention, all of the leading PWC builders purposely limit their units to a top speed of about 65 mph.

Yamaha VXS

The display has large numbers making it easy to read at a quick glance.

You don’t get a fancy multifunction display, but for the way you will ride the VXS, all you need is the speed and the gas gauge. Speaking of gas: Yamaha has optimized the VXS engine to run on 87 octane regular unleaded gas, and our tests showed an advantage to not having that supercharger -- a WOT fuel burn of only 13 gph.

Yamaha VXS

15.1 gallon forward storage area under front bonnet also holds your fire extinguisher.

You also don’t get the large fuel tank -- the VXS has a 15.9 gallon tank -- but as mentioned above, fuel is not an issue on this watercraft as you can run it at WOT for over an hour. Your bottom will probably give out before the fuel does.

Yamaha VXS

The VXS likes turns and carves them like a well-honed knife. She is also very forgiving and stable at all speeds.

What You DO Get:

First and foremost you get performance; the VXS wants to go fast and wants to turn. In our test ride we spent half of our time standing and the other half sitting -- the VXS was equally comfortable in both positions. When turning the VXS is very stable and the hull's nose stays up with no plowing, even if you let the power off a bit after entering a turn.

You do get some storage, but only 15.1 gallon in the forward compartment, just enough to bring along the essentials. And since the VXS is designed for three riders, you get a seat that is ergonomically contoured for three people.

Yamaha VXS

She looks as bad as they come. The VXS reminds us of something out of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Styling and overall looks are always subjective, but we think the VXS delivers on that as well. The sharp angular bow has pleasing lines that look great even from the driver's seat (which has a scalloped backrest). In fact, of all the vessels on the water, probably nothing is as futuristic and as fast-looking as the current models of PWCs.

Did I tell you that the VXS is stable? Stability is probably this vessel's most outstanding characteristic, so pardon me if I repeat myself. And frankly, I can't think of any attribute for a PWC that is more important, particularly one this narrow. Stability is what keeps you out of trouble and it is the element that makes the VXS so "forgiving" when you do something stupid. Our test included hardover turns at 10 mph, 25 mph, 40 mph, and 55 mph, all delivering the same predictable stable, carved turns without sliding or digging in. Now it is a jet drive and a short-based watercraft, so we don’t suggest hard over turns below 10 mph with anyone else on board, unless you like testing your balance.

Yamaha VXS

You need to put some real effort into tipping the VXS on her side when at rest, her most vulnerable state.

Now, all of this is not to say that it is impossible to fall off the VXS. In fact, one of our crew managed that trick. That's when we put to the test the VXS's reboarding step -- this one swings down low enough actually to be helpful. Inadequate reboarding steps on PWCs have been a pet peeve of some of the crew at BoatTEST.com for years. I'm happy to report that the one on the VXS actually makes reboarding relatively easy.

Some Cons

If I couldn't find something to quibble about on the VXS I wouldn't be earning my paycheck. What I don’t like: First off are the rearview mirrors. I appreciate that they are set inboard of the rub rail and up out of the dock strike zone, but if you are going to have them, then they should be adjustable. Who ever heard of rear view mirrors that are not adjustable?

Another item is the latch to open the forward storage cover; we would like to see the small latch replaced with the same style as on the FX series. These are much easier to open while sitting in the driver’s seat and leaning forward.

Yamaha VXS

Compact design yet enough room to get to all parts of the engine. We feel this will also benefit airflow around the engine.

Some Pros

The engine compartment is very well laid out; aft of the divider bulkhead is an easily accessed battery, which is protected and convenient. There is enough space between the engine and body of the PWC to allow you to get your hands on everything, especially the oil filter, which can easily be removed without spilling oil. The engine oil dipstick is convenient on the starboard side, forward of the engine, and the air filter is right on top. What could be better than that?

Yamaha VXS

Another "must mention" is the VXS's speed and fuel consumption. Her top end speed of 68.4 mph is nothing to sneeze at and getting from 0-30 mph in 1.8 seconds is also commendable. Now add to that a starting price under 12K and the economical fuel burn (be sure to study the "Performance Tables") you get because there is no supercharger, and you have a nice package, indeed.

Yamaha VXS

In the lower left hand corner you can see the hasp for the air filter cover.

Yamaha VXS

Note the different textures of seat fabrics that Yamaha uses to make sure the material employed fits the task required of it. This is a level of attention to detail that is important in other more critical areas such as the fuel system.


Don't take Yamaha's "no-frills" approach to the VXS to mean that it has cut corners. It has not. Everything that is there, with the exception of the two things I mentioned above, is top notch. If you are a beginner or even a reasonably proficient PWC rider, and want something fast, simple, stable, and affordable that can hold three people, you won't go wrong with the Yamaha VXS.

If you are looking for the cheapest PWC on the market, the VXS at $10,889 isn't it, so perhaps you should look elsewhere. Our suggestion is that you take a look at the VXS first, so that you will be able to tell exactly what you are not getting with the lower-priced units. If you are a veteran PWC rider and you like all of the bells and whistles on more expensive PWCs and won't be confused by them -- and will actually use them -- then the VXS might be too basic for you. Nevertheless, even in this case, I would recommend that you carefully examine the VXS and use its price as a benchmark when researching bigger, far more loaded PWCs.

Yamaha VXS (2012-2013) Test Result Highlights

  • Top speed for the Yamaha VXS (2012-2013) is 68.5 mph (110.2 kph), burning 13.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 51.1 liters per hour (lph).

  • Best cruise for the Yamaha VXS (2012-2013) is 24.2 mph (38.9 kph), and the boat gets 7.67 miles per gallon (mpg) or 3.26 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 110 miles (177.03 kilometers).

  • Tested power is 1 x Yamaha 1812cc, four-cylinder, four-stroke.

  • Time from 0 to 30 of the Yamaha VXS (2012-2013) is 1.8 sec. seconds.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels
go to our Test Results section.

Standard and Optional Equipment

Yamaha VXS (2012-2013) Standard and Optional Equipment

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Yamaha VXS (2012-2013) Warranty

Yamaha VXS (2012-2013) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
Hull Warranty
Years 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)

Yamaha VXS (2012-2013) Price

Yamaha VXS (2012-2013) Price
Pricing Range $11,199.00
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

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