By Christopher Hughes
If you are going to use the word luxury then part of that needs to be comfort. Comfort for a rider starts at the seat and Sea-Doo has put work into designing a seat that is ergonomically shaped and well-upholstered for maximum comfort. Notice how the seat narrows where your knees are, creating a more comfortable and natural position. The backrest is firm and designed to support the driver's back while also providing a soft ride.
Turning our attention to the handlebars we found ergonomically shaped handgrips positioned so that when you are in the driving position your hands and your knees are in a more natural, tucked-in position. The handlebar is also fully adjustable. And, being a luxury machine, you expect to have features, and the features are there. On the port handle grip are thumb controls for the VTS or Variable Trim System which allows you to adjust the attitude of the bow angle by changing the position of the jet pump nozzle. The lever forward of the grip is the iBR or Integrated Brake and Reverse. This allows you to switch from forward to reverse without removing your hand from the grip, give you a true neutral, and when you deploy the brake, allowing you to stop in less distance. On sthe tarboard side are the thumb controls for cruise control.The display is feature rich with a mix of a large analog display and digital multi-function displays that provides 35 different bits of information including fuel level, tachometer, speedometer, hour meter, compass, clock, fuel consumption meter, time/distance to empty, altitude, water temperature, depth finder, touring / sport mode, ECO mode, cruise control, and slow mode, to name a few.
The “iS” stands for a feature called intelligent Suspension. This system allows the hull to move independently of the upper deck, acting as the shock absorber and suspension to smooth out the ride for the driver. It is electronically controlled so you can set it manually or in automatic mode. Our tests have shown that this system works as advertised.
A clever feature Sea-Doo's dry bag. It fits into the console storage and can be removed and converted into a backpack, perfect for landing on an island and taking a stroll.
Another clever item we especially like is the speed tie. The speed tie is a set of spring loaded retractable docking lines. Not only does this prevent you from forgetting lines, it means they are easily accessible when needed.
The GTX comes with iControl which is an all-encompassing term that Sea-Doo uses to describe the major technological features which include the iBR and iS we have discussed above. Others include: iTC, intelligent Throttle Control which operates electronically to allow you to start in neutral, then select activity-specific, Cruise Control like Touring/Sport mode or ECO mode, and control the Variable Trim System. In our opinion this allows for a more interactive riding experience.Since the GTX is electronically controlled there are some other features like the iControl Learning Key. This allows you to program the machine to limit the performance based on the experience of the rider. There is also a digitally encoded security system, one of the first in the industry. That allows you to electronically lock your machine, making it impossible for anyone else to start or operate.The heart of the GTX is the engine and a luxury PWC cannot be built without providing a powerful propulsion system. The GTX Limited iS 260 has a 1503 XHO Rotax 4-TEC engine. This is a 1,494 cc four-stroke multiport injected engine with a supercharger that has an external intercooler and a closed loop cooling system.
Looking at the aft end of the GTX Limited iS 260 there is a lot to talk about. Centered just above the deck is the tow point, and note the cupped indents to either side; these are where the observer places their feet when facing aft to keep an eye on the action at the end of the tow line.On the back edge are two hand grips to assist in re-boarding along with the fold down extended re-boarding step. Centered on the aft deck is another speed tie location, just pull out the dock line and raft up or tie off to the dock.
When the aft deck is raised you'll find two dry storage areas. To port is a deep side compartment and to starboard is more storage with a dedicated spot for your required fire extinguisher. Something we should point out about this storage is that you can access it easily while on the water since it opens facing the driver. This also makes it easy for the driver access the fire extinguisher faster should it be needed.
You can’t talk about the GTX without talking about the S3 hull. This hull is specially designed with a step feature and other subtle elements to provide a ride that hugs the water, turns smooth and responsively, and helps reduce the overall weight of the machine. The hull is made using the closed mold process and the new redesign provides the strength and durability needed for a high performance PWC, but with a lower weight.With the goal of designing a luxury performance watercraft, in our opinion the team at Sea-Doo hit their mark. The GTX Limited iS 260 offers comfort, features, and performance in a great looking package. Starting at $16,899 the Limited package also includes a custom cover, sandbag anchor, glove box organizer and safety kit. There is even an option for a wakeboard rack. The GTX comes with a BRP limited warranty which covers the watercraft for one year. If you are in the market for a PWC, we think the GTX should be on your short list.
Standard and Optional Features