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Volvo Penta vs. Mercruiser

CaptainChris Member Posts: 31 ✭✭

No, I am not attempting to 'start something' here. I realize this is a Ford vs. Chevy kind of thing, and most folks have an opinion that it staunchly one way or the other. My 2001 SD 2100 has a Volvo Penta 5.0/SX Drive. I've read many forums about the difference between the two brands, and from what I've read, it boils down to VP being a bit more bulletproof, while Mercruiser has an advantage due to their larger network of dealers/mechanics. I know most of the engines are the same with either, but VP seems to have a better rep for durability on their outdrives. The only reason I'm bringing it up is because most of the newer I/O models I've seen for sale all seem to be Mercruisers. I don't plan on trading up anytime soon, but I'd like to get some opinions for when the time comes that I'm looking for a new/newer boat. I'm totally happy with my VP, I'm just wondering if I should stick to that going forward or if it is a 6 of one, half a dozen of the other kind of thing.


  • cjjjdeck
    cjjjdeck Member, Moderator Posts: 1,872 ✭✭✭✭

    I had to make a choice between these two manufacturers when I ordered my boat.  Frankly, I don't think you can go wrong with either manufacturer.  Both have excellent reputation.

    Although I had a great previous experience with a Volvo Penta equipped boat, I'll tell you the reasons why I went with Mercruiser this time around.

    1) Although my dealer had no problem servicing both, sometimes I like trailering my boat to different bodies of water.  I wanted to increase my chances of having  a dealer available wherever I went.  Mercury has a much larger dealer base.

    2) Although Volvo does use the same GM based engines as Mercrusier, often the parts are more expensive.  This is also true for their drives.

    3) Mercrusier parts are usually more readily available and often in stock.

    4) The Volvo equivalent to my Mercruiser was significantly (to me) more money

    I do believe that the warranty coverage for VP is two years and the Mercruiser is one at this time.  That wasn't as much a consideration for me as I planned on and got an extended warranty (7 years) when I purchased my boat.  So far, in my third season, I have been very pleased with the reliability and performance of the Mercruiser.... time will tell.

    2012 SD237 I/O Mercruiser 5.0L MPI ECT/ Bravo 3
    2012 Load Rite Elite Tandem axle trailer

  • CaptainChris
    CaptainChris Member Posts: 31 ✭✭

    @cjjjdeck‌ Thanks for the feedback. Your experience/reasons see to line up with most of what I've heard elsewhere. Glad to know that I can be relatively comfortable with either down the road. :)