2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 review (2024)

The middle of the Sea-Doo jet ski range has had its first major overhaul in almost a decade


The three-seat, sit down-style Sea-Doo GTI series slots between the fun and affordable Sea-Doo Spark ($8000 to $12,000 in round numbers) and the top-of-the-range performance and luxury models such as the Sea-Doo RXT-X300 and Sea-Doo GTX Limited 300 (both of which cost more than $26,000).

There are three models in Sea-Doo’s overhauled middle-of-the-range series ranging from 90hp to 130hp and covering the sweet spot in the personal watercraft category, from $13,000 to $16,000 in round numbers – excluding a trailer and registration, which typically add about $2000.

2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 review (1)

The model tested here is the new flagship of the GTI series and the cheapest ticket into a high-performance Sea-Doo. It gets a subtle name change to GTR 230, a supercharged engine, and a bold black and yellow colour scheme.

Price and equipment

Powering the Sea-Doo GTR 230 is a supercharged version of the 1630cc three-cylinder Rotax engine that pumps out 230hp and has a top speed in excess of 100kmh. The previous generation GTR 230 also had 230hp but it came via a smaller 1503cc three-cylinder Rotax engine.

The 2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 tested here costs from $18,599 (excluding trailer and registration).

Add $1000 for a pair of factory-fitted Bluetooth speakers that attach to the top of the footwells. It’s the first time Sea-Doo’s audio system has been available on this model.

2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 review (2)

For 2020, the GTI 90, GTI 130 and GTR 230 all come with a new 4.5-inch digital display screen, a larger 152-litre storage area thanks to a redesigned top deck and nose, and an 8.8-litre storage pocket with a waterproof compartment for a phone, wallet or keys in the centre console (in front of the handlebars).

The waterproof pocket (at the front of the centre console) makes it easier to grab a smartphone at short notice to capture photos, and to use the optional Bluetooth audio system.

The larger and flatter rear deck can accommodate Sea-Doo’s range of Linq accessories, including a 15-litre fuel caddy and a 16-litre cool box.

The hull material has switched from fibreglass and is now made primarily from Polytec, Sea-Doo’s buzzword for heavy-duty plastic.

2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 review (3)

However, Sea-Doo says the 2020 GTI series – and the flagship GTR 230 – is made from a second-generation Polytec material embedded with strips of fibreglass on the upper sides, and parts of the hull are ribbed and 50 per cent thicker in high impact areas for extra strength.

It’s the second watercraft in the Sea-Doo line-up to adopt Polytec; the other model with a Polytec hull is the Sea-Doo Spark introduced in 2014, although it is an earlier composite design.

Sea-Doo says the advantages of its Polytec hull include better resistance to scratching and impact damage, and lighter weight. The hull material is coarse to the touch near the gunwale (similar to very fine sandpaper) but smooth at the base of the hull.

Detractors of the material say it’s difficult to repair and could be more prone to terminal impact damage. As it’s a brand-new model, we don’t yet have any real-world feedback on damage, or any known problems.

2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 review (4)

Suffice to say, no brand in the personal watercraft industry makes the perfect hull in terms of durability; they’re only as good as the care you take with them. For example, running any jet ski up a beach is a bad idea, despite that being one of the apparent advantages.

On the water

While the 2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 hull is made from new material, the overall shape and design have received only subtle changes.

There is now an extra rib along each side of the hull, near the top edges, for improved stability, and the sponsons are redesigned for better cornering grip.

One surprising difference is how much quieter the Polytec hull is versus its fibreglass predecessor when skipping from wave to wave in medium chop. I expected the material to be louder on impact and yet the opposite is true. Perhaps it’s because of the overall lighter weight, or a slight change to the trim.

2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 review (5)

That said, the GTR 230 is better suited to flat water or medium chop. If you plan to do mostly ocean riding, the longer, wider and heavier Sea-Doo RXT-X300, Yamaha FX series or Kawasaki Ultra 310s are better options.

There is no adjustment in handlebar height but trim adjustment is a fingertip away on the left handlebar.

The fuel filler is conveniently mounted up high near the handlebars (which is handy if you need to refuel on the water) and under the hood cover – unlike some watercraft that have a fuel filler on the nose, increasing the risk of water ingress.

2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 review (6)

The single biggest difference on the 2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230, however, is the epic improvement to agility. Despite its size, the GTR 230 is almost as nimble as a Spark, able to turn on its own axis in a heartbeat with a pull on the handlebars, a quick dab of the throttle, and a decent shift in your bodyweight.

It’s not quite as quick from a standing start as the flagship (and much larger) Sea-Doo RXT-X300, but it’s not far off it.

The 230hp supercharged engine might be a touch down on power versus the 300hp of the larger Sea-Doo, but they’re line ball in the power-to-weight race.

Unlike the big 1.8-litre four-cylinder engines in the Yamaha FX Series and GP1800R (both of which have wide bodies), the more compact Sea-Doo three-cylinder Rotax engine has enabled the designers to create ample knee room on the GTR 230’s top deck in front of the seats.

2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 review (7)

While there is no padding for the knee area on the GTR 230 (it’s optional) like there is on the RXT-X300 and GTX Limited 300, there is still plenty of clearance so you’re less likely to get abrasions after a long day on the water.

Both Sea-Doo and Yamaha have the convenience of reverse levers on the left handlebars (opposite the throttle trigger on the right) but it is worth noting the incredible braking performance of the Sea-Doo. The bucket design and the speed with which it deploys gives the Sea-Doo about half the braking distance of most rivals.

For those who want to share the craft with family members, there is the option of programming ‘Eco’, ‘Slow’ or ‘Sport’ modes. Another nice touch: there is a clock in the digital instrument display (a small but helpful feature that Yamahas lack, for example).

2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 review (8)

The front cargo area is massive (152 litres) and the plastic panels inside seem sturdier than some rivals, though it’s still advisable to cushion the load with towels or spare life jackets.

It’s also worth noting if you plan to access the front storage area while on the water, you need to lean over the handlebars (unlike the Sea-Doo ST3 hull which lifts the handlebars and hood cover as a single unit). That said, the lower position of the GTR 230’s handlebars means you’re less likely to bruise your ribs while reaching over.

Room for improvement? The fuel tank is 60 litres rather than 70 or 78 litres on most rivals, and the larger digital instrument display from the Sea-Doo ST3 platform would be welcome on this model, too.

Access to the engine bay is extremely limited, even for routine maintenance, so if you’re not mechanically minded you’re obliged to take it to a Sea-Doo service centre every 50 hours or 12 months, whichever comes first.

2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 review (9)

Be sure to not run the engine for longer than 90 seconds to two minutes when out of the water (even when flushing) to prevent damage to the carbon seal.

And Sea-Doo’s two-year warranty versus three-year coverage offered as standard by Yamaha and Kawasaki seems a bit short-changed. That said, Sea-Doo regularly offers a three-year warranty during seasonal promotions, so keep an eye out on their special offers page online.


The 2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 is one of the most thrilling jet skis for the money. It’s nimble and accessible in novice hands, and an absolute weapon in experienced hands, but better suited to flat water rather than ocean riding.

Model: 2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230
Length: 3.4m
Width: 1.2m
Weight: 351kg (dry)
Power: Supercharged 1630cc three-cylinder four-stroke petrol, 230hp
Top speed: 100km/h-plus
Fuel tank: 60L
Seating capacity: 3
Warranty: Two years (check for three-year warranty offer)
Service intervals: 12 months or 50 hours, whichever comes first

Priced from: $18,599 (not including trailer and rego)

Price as tested: $19,599 (not including trailer and rego) including factory-fitted Bluetooth audio speakers ($1000)

Supplied by: Cronulla Sea-Doo

2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 review (2024)


Is the Sea-Doo GTR good? ›

Share. The 2024 Sea-Doo GTR-X 300 is a high-performance personal watercraft that offers thrilling rides for adrenaline-seeking riders. With its powerful ACE Rotax engine, nimble mobility, and predictable hull, the GTR-X 300 delivers inspiring power and agility.

How fast does the Sea-Doo GTR 230 go? ›

Even in sports mode it tops out at 60 mph.

How much fuel does a 2020 Sea-Doo GTR 230 hold? ›

Dry Weight774 lb. (351 kg)
Fuel Capacity15.9 US gal. (60 L)
Height44.8 in. (113.7 cm)
Length130.6 in. (331.8 cm)
Width49.2 in. (125 cm)
2 more rows

Does the GTR 230 have launch control? ›

High-Performance VTS™ (Variable Trim System) Launch Control.

What is the average life of a Sea-Doo? ›

Running Hours

Taking the Jet Ski to a mechanic and running the diagnostics is the last resort, as it can be costly. Since the average lifetime of a Jet Ski engine is 300 hours, anything above 100 hours is considered high mileage.

How long will a Sea-Doo engine last? ›

Whether you're looking to buy a new Jet Ski and wondering how long it'll last or deciding if it's worthwhile to purchase a used one, generally speaking a 2-stroke engine lasts around 200-300 hours, while a 4-stroke should last around 300-500 hours.

What kind of gas does a GTR 230 take? ›

This powerful engine comes standard with a supercharger and external intercooler. It is optimized to run on regular fuel, which lowers fuel costs.

Is the Sea-Doo GTR 230 supercharged? ›

This watercraft is one of the easiest ways to get into the musclecraft scene. It comes with an affordable power on the water thanks to its supercharged Rotax engine. Equipped with the exclusive LinQ® System for cargo and an optional 100W Bluetooth Audio System.

How far can a Sea-Doo go on a tank of gas? ›

The distance of how far a Sea-Doo personal watercraft (PWC) can go on a tank of gas varies widely depending on its fuel consumption, tank capacity, riding speed and weather conditions. Generally speaking, the average PWC can go around 60-120 miles on a tank of gas, and the average PWC uses 3-4 gallons of gas per hour.

How many times can you use launch control on GT-R? ›

The GT-R's new version of launch control does come with one operational caveat – you can't use it more than four times in a row before it shuts down for a "cooling down" period. If the acceleration runs, or surface friction, have been particularly severe the system might not re-engage for quite some time.

Does GT-R have remote start? ›


Use your compatible smartphone, compatible smartwatch, or your favorite voice assistant. My Car Finder – Find your GT-R's location anywhere using the NissanConnect® Services app and MyNISSAN Owner Portal map. Remote Horn & Lights – Now, where did I park?

Is a GTR reliable? ›

Common issues with the GT-R

We should start by saying the Nissan GT-R is without doubt the most reliable and sturdy performance car we have had the pleasure of working with but like any mass-produced vehicle, the R35 GT-R has a number of common issues which can occur during it's lifetime.

Is a GTR good on gas? ›

The EPA estimates that every GT-R will earn 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

How reliable are Seadoos? ›

BRP's Sea-doo and Yamaha's Wave Runner have earned their reputation for building reliable watercraft that can withstand the rigors of frequent use. Sea-doo utilizes robust materials and advanced manufacturing techniques to ensure the longevity of their PWCs.

What is better WaveRunner or Sea-Doo? ›

WaveRunner has a broader range of model options to cater to beginners and pros alike than Jet Ski and Sea-Doo. Sea-Doo is the favored PWC alternative for affordability and for beginners, but it's been known to fall behind WaveRunner and Jet Ski in performance and features.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nathanael Baumbach

Last Updated:

Views: 6070

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nathanael Baumbach

Birthday: 1998-12-02

Address: Apt. 829 751 Glover View, West Orlando, IN 22436

Phone: +901025288581

Job: Internal IT Coordinator

Hobby: Gunsmithing, Motor sports, Flying, Skiing, Hooping, Lego building, Ice skating

Introduction: My name is Nathanael Baumbach, I am a fantastic, nice, victorious, brave, healthy, cute, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.