Mercury Marine wins three Consumer Digest "Best Buy" accolades
Mercury winners included the Verado 175hp in the 150-199hp category, the 15hp Bigfoot in the Below 50hp models and the 75hp OptiMax in the 75-99hp division.
Mercury Marine is headquartered in Fond du Lac, Wis.
Mercury's Verado 175hp supercharged engine was acknowledged for its power, speed and lack of vibration. The Verado 175 is a four-cylinder FourStroke and is a key element in the 10-engine family, the only supercharged production engines in the world. Verado engines include 135, 150, 175 and 200hp in the four-cylinder model, and 200, 225, 250, 275, 300 and 350hp (recently introduced) in the six-cylinder model.
Verado revolutionized four-stroke outboard expectations, delivering the first true powerful hole shot for a four-stroke, as well as the industry's lowest noise, vibration and harshness.
Supercharging allows Mercury to deliver high horsepower with a smaller engine block-1,732 cc in this case-with low emissions and high fuel efficiency. Verado also features integrated digital throttle and shift and controls, gauges, sensors and power steering. The Verado 175 comes with a three-year warranty.
Mercury's 75hp OptiMax direct-injected engine was recognized for its superb acceleration, great value and low emissions. The 75hp model is perfect for entry-level bass boats and small open skiffs. Direct Injected engines are two-strokes-typically lightweight and relatively simple-that offer many of the amenities of four-strokes. The OptiMax provides great hole shot, impressive fuel efficiency, great top speed and no smoke. The 75hp weighs only 375 pounds and comes with a three-year warranty. It's a direct-injected three-cylinder with 1,562 cc of displacement.
Mercury's 15hp BigFoot offers surprisingly powerful punch due to an extended lower section, a large anti-ventilation plate and an over-sized, high-thrust propeller. Gear size and ratio are boosted, so the engine can turn the larger prop at proper rpm levels. That makes it particularly effective at pushing boats that are heavier and larger than a 15hp engine typically can handle, such as pontoon boats or skiffs up to 18 feet in length. The 15hp Bigfoot is a two-cylinder FourStroke with 323 cc of displacement. It weighs just 128 pounds and comes with a three-year warranty.
Consumer Digest says it chooses not to highlight premium, midrange and economy selections because of the limited size and price range of the outboard-engine market for each of six groups based on hp. The groups follow National Marine Manufacturers Association statistics-below 50hp, 50-74hp, 75-99hp, 100-149hp, 150-199hp, and 200hp and up.
"Best Buy" outboard engines were selected based on design, efficiency, performance and price. In all cases, the number in the model name reflects the amount of hp for each engine.