The ultimate 5hp outboard engine group test

We pit six of the best 5hp outboard engines against each other in a head-to-head group test on the Solent to find out which is best

Suzuki 5hp outboard engineSuzuki DF5 outboard

  • Price: £1,095
  • Top speed: 5.2 knots
  • 0-top speed: 6 seconds
  • Noise (idle/cruise/top): 66/77/88dB(A)
  • Weight: 25kg
  • Warranty: 5 years
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The Suzuki 5HP is the lightest petrol outboard on test at just 25kg, which makes a big difference when lifting it. Suzuki is big on weight saving, although this can raise questions about durability.

Suzuki 5hp outboard engine - running shotBuild quality – 3/5
It doesn’t take much digging to find where the weight saving has been made. The height adjustment lever is bare metal, and the choke pull switch feels flimsy.

Those requiring power can opt for a 6A alternator. A decent five-year warranty is included.

Performance – 3/5
It managed 5.2 knots, which is a bit slower than the Tohatsu and Mariner duet but faster than the Honda and Lehr.

It took six seconds to reach its top speed which is about average for this group. Bar the Yamaha, it has the largest cc engine (138) on test, so we did expect more grunt.

Suzuki 5hp outboard engine - fitting to transomRefinement – 4/5
Measuring the decibels saw identical results as the similarly priced Yamaha of 66dB(A) at idle, rising to 77dB(A) at a comfortable cruise.

However, at maximum power it rises to 88dB(A), four more than the Yamaha. The sound was pleasant, and wouldn’t get tiring even for long periods of time.

Ease of use – 4/5
There is nothing to hold the engine down when going in reverse, and it did pop up a couple of times when reversing, which was irritating. The gear lever on the side of the engine is sufficiently sized and placed for easy reach.

The low weight counts in its favour and it’s also a compact engine, which should make stowing it in a locker more convenient.

Suzuki 5hp outboard engine - cowling offTank size – 5/5
With a 1.5 litre in-built fuel tank, the Suzuki has the longest range of the internal petrol engines. There are fitments to allow for an optional external tank if further range is required.

Verdict – 4/5
If weight is your main concern then the Suzuki is a great purchase. It also runs quietly, performs pretty well, has the largest internal fuel tank for longer journeys and a five year warranty at a competitive price. However, it doesn’t feel quite as robust as some.

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