Boat Test Monday: Sylvan 8522 Mirage LE

April 2013 Boat Test Monday Brady L. Kay

Our First Impression

Nothing appears to be an afterthought when you first come aboard. From the plush carpet to the soft-touch vinyl upholstery, there is just an inviting look and feel to this `toon. Plus the family-friendly layout has just enough amenities, especially for a boat that comes in at such a favorable price point.

Consumer Test

Priced like an entry, but with qualities like a mid-level, there are a lot of great features worth noting on this Sylvan. The blue exterior panels are very attractive, and inside, the two-tone tan seats flow well for an inviting look.

There are a total of three chaise lounges onboard and the backs are extra wide with a great-looking contour design. The seat benches taper off from the high backs, providing a lot of great floor space as well as a unique look. Below the bow lounges is a great storage area, but if we had to be picky, we'd like to see an actual door here instead of vinyl snap-in cover.

In the back of the rear-facing lounge is an easy-to-use pop-up enclosure that stands over five feet tall when fully extended. We love the net storage for the curtain for the changing room as well as the designated spot for a portable toilet if you choose.

At the helm is good-looking console that is spot-on with the color scheme and flows well with the look of the boat. Complete with a JBL Marine stereo, 12-volt, MP3 port as well as round tube glove box, this helm is as attractive as it is functional. For the captain is a comfortable helm chair that slides, swivels and reclines and is truly one of the best seats onboard. When you think about it, shouldn't the helm seat be the most comfortable? We're glad Sylvan agrees. 

In the stern is a small vinyl platform with just enough room to towel off before coming aboard. The rungs on the three-step boarding ladder are nice and wide and there are good handholds for easy entry.

The LE package provides you with upgraded Berber carpet, an extra tall back on the captain's chair, tilt steering, mood lighting as well as the upgraded dash panel and upholstery. Yes, this is optional, but we really like all that it offers, which only helps add to the overall value of the boat.  

Inspection Test

The two modified Revolutionary Planing Technology V-shaped pontoons are chambered with a keel and the weld quality is good. The hat-shaped cross-members throughout with Z-shape in the center are bolted to the plywood deck and are on 22-inch centers overall and 16-inch centers near the transom.

Above deck there is over 16 feet of usable deck space from inside the bow gate to the rear bench seat. The wiring below the fiberglass helm console is average and the fit and finish work and craftsmanship earned high marks on this 22-footer.

Performance Test

For about three or four years, Sylvan's exclusive Revolutionary Planing Technology V-shaped tubes have been providing more top speed per horsepower and dramatically improving fuel efficiency. On this specific model with an Evinrude E-TEC 115hp engine, we liked how quickly the `toon jumped out of the hole and easily reached speeds over 30 miles per hour. For a two-logged pontoon she turns well and in tight corners the turns are mostly flat depending on your speed.  

Who Should Buy It

Other than maybe a ski/tow bar and a depth finder, this `toon is ready as-is for a day of family fun. We love the value that you get with this particular model, and after a closer look, we're still not sure how Sylvan is able to pack so many high-quality features into a boat priced this well. 

Number of Occupants             13

Price As Tested With Power   $26K

Maximum Speed:                    32.7 mph

Wild Ponies:                            115hp

No. of Gates                           3

0-20 MPH                               6.7 seconds               

Ladder Measurement:             2' 10" deep      

 Why we love this boat.The LE Package adds a lot of value to this Sylvan, yet it's still priced extremely well. This is an attractive boat with a well-thought-out layout and design.

Just being picky.Despite the low price there are a lot of high-end amenities found throughout the boat, but there should be actual doors instead of the snap vinyl pieces below the chaise lounges to cover the storage entries. 


All-aluminum transom, painted exterior panels, 22-oz. sculptured carpet, custom molded console, AM/FM stereo w/auxiliary port for MP3 player with two speakers, docking lights, 12-volt, rear entry ladder and through-bolted deck cleats.


Revolutionary Planing Technology (RPT) Tubes and the LE Package (wood grain gauge package, tilt steering, high-back helm seat. mood lighting, premium upholstery and Berber carpet).


LOA                            22' 3"

Beam                           8' 6"

Hull Design                 RPT Tubes

Dry Weight                 2,100 lbs.

Fuel Capacity              24 Gallons



Engine                         Evinrude E-TEC 115

Cylinder Type             V4

Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower           105.4ci/115hp

Lower Unit Gear Ratio           2.25:1

Propeller                      15 X 17 Viper SS


RPM      vs.     SPEED     vs. D-A    

700                  2.5 mph           76                   

1000                3.2 mph           74       

1500                4.6 mph           81

2000                6.6 mph           87                               

2500                7.9 mph           91       

3000                11.3 mph         91.5    

3500                14.3 mph         88                               

4000                17.3 mph         86.5    

4500                20.7 mph         89.5    

5000                23.5 mph         92

5500                29.4 mph         96

6000                32.7 mph         99.5

New ParisInd.

Phone: 574-831-2950


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