By James Corns
Polaris EX2100: Performance Test
Polaris EX2100 looks like a million bucks and rides like it, too.
Dad always used to say, “It’s just as easy to fall in love with an ugly girl as it is a pretty girl” — and yet he married Mom, a woman who looked like she might have just stepped from the cover of a fashion magazine.
It’s all good and well to say that looks don’t matter, but you’d have to be buried under 6 feet of delusion to think that’s true in the real world. Pretty equals popular — whether you’re a person or a boat — and when you add an excellent ride to the package, you have the Polaris EX2100. This new boat is sure to be the belle of the ball.
Polaris introduced the EX2100 to the world in March and began shipping the boat in April. This is Polaris’ first entry into the sportboat market, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the EX2100. The boat’s fit and finish is some of the best we’ve ever seen.
Known best to the boating community for its personal watercraft, Polaris has created the EX2100 through a strategic alliance with Baja Marine and Mercury Marine, both of which are divisions of Brunswick Corp. Polaris chose Baja because of the company’s experience incorporating modern technology into the boat building process, and Mercury Marine was chosen for its industry-leading jet drives.
The boat is available with either a 240 hp EFI or 250 hp OptiMax Mercury Sport Jet engine. Our test boat was equipped with the 250 hp OptiMax.
We took off across the water with two people and half a tank of fuel on board. The water was very calm that day.
The first thing we noticed about the boat’s ride was its excellent hole shot. The power was immediately evident. In fact, the boat hit plane in 5 seconds. After a bit more time on the water, we noticed that the EX2100 stayed on plane at 4,000 rpm and 29 mph.
We hit a top speed of 49.2 mph at 5,400 rpm, but Mercury claims the boat is capable of 50.2 mph. That definitely seems feasible, especially when you consider that we never hit the 250 hp OptiMax’s maximum rpm of 6,000.
The ride was very comfortable at all speeds. We couldn’t even spin it out at wide-open throttle — and we were still writing legibly (or at least as legibly as our handwriting gets) when the boat was running at 40 mph. If you could see our handwritten notes for most of our boat tests, it would be easy to tell when things get rough because our letters and numbers become an incomprehensible jumble of hieroglyphics and chicken scratches.
Jet drives are often noisier than their stern drive or inboard counterparts, and that was the case with the 250 hp OptiMax jet drive. We were always able to feel and hear the motor during the test.
However, jet drives excel at handling turns, and the EX2100 was very maneuverable even at slow speeds. We did a 180 and slid up to the dock at the end of the test.
When you see pictures of the Polaris EX2100, it almost doesn’t look real. It looks closer to an artist’s rendering, because the lines are so clean and unfettered.
Polaris must realize that this boat is its make-or-break entry into the sportboat market, because every detail, down to the hand-stitched premium-grade upholstery, has been carried out immaculately.
The port console’s glove compartment has an AM/FM stereo and CD player with two marine speakers — and it is pre-wired for an optional second pair of speakers. Armed with two bow settees, two bucket seats and a three-person aft settee, the boat can seat up to seven people, which is its passenger capacity. Moreover, EX2100′s load limit is 1,600 pounds.
Behind the aft settee, you’ll find a large sunpad, which covers the engine and additional storage compartments. At the very back of the boat, there is a swim platform with an automatically retracting boarding step. The boarding step makes it easy for passengers to make the transition from the water to the swim platform. A ski tow pylon sprouts forth from the transom.
A ski and knee/wakeboard storage locker is built into the deck. Additional stowage is provided in both side areas, inside the helm and passenger consoles and under the front settees.
Polaris deserves a lot of credit for being able to jump into the sportboat market so adeptly. The fit and finish is beyond all expectations.
We definitely recommend the EX2100 to families looking for an all-in-one boat. A pretty face will only take you so far, but with its excellent handling and its comfortable ride, the Polaris EX2100 can take you virtually anywhere.
MORE INFO: Polaris Sales Inc.; (800) POLARIS; www.polarisindustries.com. Circle TK on reader service card, page TK
Polaris EX2100 Specifications
|Draft (drive down)||1’2″|
|Dry weight||2050 pounds|
|Fuel capacity||50 gallons|
|Maximum power||250 hp|
|Price (w/240 hp EFI)||$23,999|
|Price (w/250 hp OptiMax)||$24,999|
|Model||Mercury 250 OptiMax Jet Drive|
|Bore and stroke||3.625″ x 3″|
|Maximum engine speed||5,400 rpm|
|Fuel system||Direct Fuel Injection|
Available Engine Packages
|Model||Mercury 240 EFI Jet Drive|
|Model||Mercury 250 OptiMax Jet Drive|
Padded/bolster seating, glove compartment, AM/FM stereo with CD player, set of speakers and wires for two additional speakers, horn, painted trailer, full instrumentation, skid-resistant decking, navigational lights, bilge pump/switch, foam flotation, operator’s guide, safety handbook, warranty, one-year full warranty on engine (w/three-year corrosion protection warranty), five-year warranty on hull, three-year warranty on gelcoat blister defects and one year on boat parts
Galvanized trailer ($200), Bimini top, custom carpet kit, ski/tow wakeboard pylon, mooring cover, front toneau cover, second set of speakers. NOTE: Polaris is currently offering a free Bimini and carpet kit free on orders received through July 31, 2003.
For More Information
2100 Hwy. 55
Medina, MN 55340