The Cheapest Jet Ski, Sea-Doo, and WaveRunner in 2020

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The cheapest Jet Skis, Sea-Doos and WaveRunners are the most wanted vessels in the PWC market year after year.

Here, at JetDrift, we help you find the most affordable PWC models available in 2020!

A very important thing to note is that a rise has been seen in the price tags of new PWCs in recent years, and their size seems to grow larger than ever. As a result, many buyers are considering these large PWCs as boats, and looking for smaller and more affordable watercrafts.

In response to these market demands manufacturers released the small and nimble Rec-Lite watercraft series. You can find PWCs with the lowest maintenance costs in this category.

To make your decision even easier, we have compiled the cheapest PWC models from every manufacturer. Without further ado, let’s compare them head to head!

If you’re thinking about buying a used watercraft, don’t miss our detailed used PWC buyers guide!

Which are the Cheapest PWC Models in 2020?

Now, if you are looking for the most affordable Jet Ski from Kawasaki, the new STX-160 for you.

A very good thing about this is that besides the STX-15F it is currently the lowest priced Kawasaki available on the market, costing a total of $9,599.

On the other hand, if your preference is Yamaha and you have entry-level WaveRunners in mind, then our recommendation for you would be the Yamaha EX, carrying a price tag of $6.799.

Now we get to the question, “Which is the cheapest PWC currently on the market?

If we talk about this, then the models worth mentioning would be the Sea-Doo Spark series from BRP. Then again, the most affordable Sea-Doo model worth looking at is the Spark 2up 60 HP, which is available at an amazing price of $5,399. 

If we look at the most powerful version of this model, then the Spark 2up 90 HP is available for a price of $5,999 while the Spark 3 up and Spark Trixx are available for $6,599 and $8,099 respectively.

BrandModelMSRP (USD)HPRiders
Sea-DooSPARK 2up 60 HP$5 399602
Sea-DooSPARK 3 up 90 HP$6 599903
Yamaha Yamaha EX$6 7991003
KawasakiSTX - 15F$9 6991603

Now, we can dig deeper as how their dimensions, performances, and other specifications vary.

Dimensions and Designs

It can be seen that there is not a lot of difference in dimensions.

The widths being around 45-47” are pretty close and the lengths are around 120” for models that are 3 seaters. On the other hand, the length is about 110” for Spark 2 up with 2-seat capacity.

BrandModelCurb Weight (Lbs)Length (")Width (")
Sea-DooSPARK 2up 60 HP458 11046,0
Sea-DooSPARK 3up 90 HP474 12046,0
Yamaha Yamaha EX667 123,244,5
KawasakiSTX - 15F844 122,846,5

No different than any motorsport, the net and the curb weight of the vessel is one of the most important specifications.

This is because it has a greater impact on the power to weight ratio. The chart can help point out the differences between the weights of these models.

Sea-Doo Sparks are comparatively lightweight, weighing around 460-475 pounds while Yamaha EX is as heavy as 667 pounds. The heaviest amongst these is the Kawasaki, which weighs around 844 pounds. (all curb weights)

You can compare the models visually for better understanding.

Compare the cheapest PWC models on the market

Compare the cheapest PWC models on the market

Yamaha and Kawasaki are great models for those who like sticking to classic conservative designs.

While some might like these, others give preference to Sea-Doo Spark as their designs are more innovative and exciting. Many PWC enthusiasts admire this direction towards design while others prefer to go for classical styles offered by competitor manufacturers.

Long story short, we can conclude that Spark still has the smallest and a much more lightweight hull as compared to competitors. This gives buyers great advantage for a more playful ride while also costing them less due to minimal fuel consumption.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Spark’s hull to the competitor modes.

STX-15F Jet Ski vs. Sea-Doo Spark 2 up comparison

STX-15F Jet Ski vs. Sea-Doo Spark 2 up comparison

Yamaha EX WaveRunner vs. Sea-Doo spark 2 up comparison

Yamaha EX WaveRunner vs. Sea-Doo spark 2 up comparison

Performance and Engine

Buying a personal watercraft is an investment.

This is why due diligence is required before you finalize your decision to buy one. You must be aware of performance numbers such as horsepowers or top speeds, and the most reliable PWC models on the market.

If you want a clearer comparison amongst these cheapest PWC models then do not hesitate to click on the links down below. These links will provide you with information about performance specifications for all currently available models.

This chart provides you with highlights of the most affordable models amongst the three main manufacturers. The performance of Spark up 60HP model is notably below par when compared to its competitors. So, for a fair comparison, we have included the Spark 3up 90HP model in the chart as well.

BrandModelHPTop Speed (MPH)Acc: 0-30 MPH (s)
Sea-DooSPARK 2up 60 HP60423,6
Sea-DooSPARK 3up 90 HP90482,4
Yamaha Yamaha EX10051NA
KawasakiSTX - 15F160622

Numbers clearly indicate that Kawasaki has the biggest and the most powerful model.

We can estimate this by looking at specifications of 1498 cc, four-stroke, non-supercharged engine, which produces 160 HP. This engine gives Kawasaki the power to hit a 60-62 mph top speed while reaching 0-30 mph in just 2 seconds!

This makes it simply stand-out amongst non-supercharged models as it is powerful and has amazing speed. It’s an interesting fact that this model and Kawasaki’s 4 stroke stand up Jet Ski, the SX-R 1500 are both powered by the same engine and propulsion system.

The numbers are pretty similar if you compare Yamaha EX and Sea-Doo Spark. 90-100 HP is the performance range whereas the displacements are in the 900-1050 cc range.

The top speeds of these models are also nearly the same, around 50 mph. It is important to note that the main difference in these models is the cooling system. Sea-Doo uses closed-loop cooling; on the other hand, its competitors use open-loop cooling systems.

Not to forget that the power to weight ratio is one of the main focuses nowadays. You can find out all about the power to weight ratios for all models in this chart. Keep in mind that a higher number means better performance!

STX-15F is the cheapest Jet Ski from Kawasaki

STX-15F is the cheapest Jet Ski from Kawasaki

Fuel consumption

It is no surprise that if you are here to look for cheapest watercrafts then fuel consumption would be a major factor for you, and it should be!

Maintenance costs are also something that you should be mindful about. You can find more information regarding to owning costs by reading our article on the topic. The charts below are here to help you compare the most affordable model’s fuel consumption at WOT separately.

BrandModelGPH at WOT
Sea-DooSPARK 2up 60 HP2
Sea-DooSPARK 2up 90 HP2,4
Yamaha Yamaha EX7,9
KawasakiSTX - 15F12

Some additions to the chart:
GPH at WOT – Gallons Per Hour, it means the hourly fuel consumption at full throttle (WOT) in gallon

It is really important to keep in mind that these fuel consumption numbers are for PWCs riding at full speed.

Beyond the full speed, many owners prefer to ride at best cruise speed. This is the speed when fuel consumption is the most efficient, which is why it is the optimal speed.

We regret to inform you that there are no reliable sources available with regards to fuel consumption numbers for Sea-Doo Sparks or the Kawasaki SXT-15Fs at the best cruise speed.

On the bright side, we can compare the fuel consumption of Yamaha EX at both speeds. It consumes around 3.2 GPH at best cruise speed while consuming a still moderate 7.9 GPH at full throttle.


Initially, capacities might not seem to be something important but you will realize its importance once you use your PWC.

Capacities can be an issue when it comes to watercrafts. There are so many capacity specifications one has to know of, that you will be surprised. These include passenger, storage, fuel and weight capacity – these are all notable factors I’ve mentioned above.

We can take a closer look at all these with the help of this chart to better understand what the models provide.

BrandModelStorage Capacity (Gal.)Weight Capacity (Lbs)Fuel Capacity (Gal)
Sea-DooSPARK 2up 60 HP0,43527,9
Sea-DooSPARK 3up 90 HP0,44507,9
Yamaha Yamaha EX7,752913,2
KawasakiSTX - 15F23,549616,4

The differences in the storage capacities are huge as Spark models come with only a small glove box. As an add-on, you can also purchase extra front storage, suitable for those who might need the extra 7.42-gallon storage space.

Sea-Doo Spark is the cheapest PWC on the market

Sea-Doo Spark is the cheapest PWC on the market

Yamaha is not much different as it offers nearly the same 7-gallon storage space for all EX models. On the other hand, Kawasaki has the best storage space amongst them with a whopping 23.5 gallons!

The sizes of fuel tanks vary greatly as well but it is important to regard the fuel consumption each model has and judge accordingly.

By keeping the fuel consumption in mind, even though Kawasakis have more than twice the size of storage tanks, you can expect shorter riding on it without refueling it as compared to the Sea-Doo Spark.

Stand Up PWC Category

We cannot miss the stand up category when looking for a cheap Jet Ski or WaveRunner.

It is true that these watercrafts are rather unique and different as compared to the sit-down models but they still have pretty amazing characteristics that makes them desirable amongs PWC fans.

You can discover these models below, or don’t miss our detailed stand up PWC comparison here.

What to buy – New or Used?

As we all know, buying a new watercraft is a huge investment. So, it goes without saying that if you are a buyer on a budget, you should definitely consider a used PWC over a brand new one. The biggest pro would definitely be the price factor, otherwise used PWCs have their own drawbacks.

PWCs with non-supercharged engines, such as STX-15F, Yamaha EX or Spark series carry a lower risk when buying them second hand.

On the other hand, if you prefer a powerful, supercharged model then you should go for a brand new one. All these factors should be considered before you decide on buying a new or used PWC.

Yamaha EX is the most affordable WaveRunner model available

Yamaha EX is the most affordable WaveRunner model available

Conclusion – The Best Cheap PWC Models

Now that we have consumed all the hard numbers and information, let’s take a look at what your PWCs can do on water. We have collected videos of each model so it is easier for you to compare them. So, do take a look!

Yamaha EX:

Kawasaki STX-15F:

Sea-Doo Spark:

When buying their first PWC, most people will focus on the price tag and try to find the cheapest PWC but soon they will realize that there are many other factors to consider, which is exactly what you need to do.

It means the final decision never boils down to prices or maintenance costs. If you’re planning on buying a PWC, it’s always wise to do your research to avoid the most common mistakes of PWC buyers!

This was our short review of the cheapest PWC models. We hope you find it useful!

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