Based on our research, the 10 best outboard motor brands in the marketplace are as follows:
- Minn Kota
If you want to find out more about these companies and their products, you’ve come to the right place.
We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know under one roof!
10 Best Outboard Brands Compared
1. Mercury Outboards
Many boaters agree that Mercury Marine is one of the best outboard motor manufacturers, and with good reason.
The Massachusetts-based company offers high-quality motors with an engine power of 2.5-600 HP. What’s more, this brand has by far the largest fleet of outboards designed for many different purposes.
In a nutshell, the key categories of Mercury outboards are as follows:
- FourStroke (Standard 4-stroke motors)
- Pro XS (Professional-level performance)
- Verado (Supercharged)
- SeaPro (Heavy-duty components)
- Jet (25-80 HP)
These popular products are commonly used by business owners, governments, and countless individual buyers in and outside the US.
Another key advantage of this manufacturer is an extensive dealer network that covers the entire US.
It’s a fun fact that Mercury entered the snowmobile market in the late ‘60s!
2. Yamaha Outboards
Besides Mercury, another big player in the outboard industry is Yamaha.
The Japanese company is well known for its powersport vehicles such as motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles, and WaveRunners.
Yamaha offers 4-stroke outboards with an engine power of 2.5-450 HP, including jet outboards with 40-150 HP engines.
What’s more, the manufacturer entered the electric boat motor market with a special propulsion system labeled Harmo.
Just like its main competitor, Yamaha’s dealer network literally covers the entire US and many other countries worldwide.
Thanks to this availability and their outstanding durability, Yamaha products stand out in the crowd.
3. Suzuki Outboards
The engine power of these motors ranges from 2.5 up to 350 HP, and two 350 models come standard with a dual-prop drive.
Generally, Suzuki outboard motors are noticeably cheaper than competitor models made by other members of the “Big Five” (Mercury, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Tohatsu).
4. Honda Outboards
Honda Marine markets outboard motors with 2.3-250 HP engines, including jet outboard motors from 40-105 HP.
The Japanese manufacturer produces prop-drive outboards with 2.3-250 HP power heads, as well as jet outboards with 40-105 HP engines.
Although the brand has many fans nationwide, it’s at a competitive disadvantage due to its small dealer network and narrow product range.
As an example, the most powerful Honda outboard produces 250 HP while competitor brands offer motors with 300-600 HP depending on the brand. (Most powerful models: Mercury – 600 HP, Yamaha – 450 HP, Suzuki – 350 HP.)
Because of these disadvantages, customers often turn to rival brands, especially Mercury and Yamaha.
5. Tohatsu Outboards
Although the Tohatsu Corporation is often referred to as one of the “Big Five” outboard manufacturers, it has a significantly smaller market share than its rivals.
The company offers prop-drive outboards ranging from 2.5 to 250 HP and jet outboards with 25-40 HP engines.
What’s more, the fleet includes a portable LPG outboard with a 5 HP power head.
6. OXE Outboards
OXE Marine is a Scandinavian outboard manufacturer that entered the market in 2014.
The company designs and produces diesel outboards with commercial users in mind.
Compared to standard outboards, OXE motors come with heavy-duty components and a diesel power head, which ensures outstanding durability and low running costs.
The latest model in the OXE lineup is the innovative OXE Hybrid 450, claimed to be the first diesel-electric hybrid outboard ever built.
Besides their hefty price tags, OXE outboards are known for their heavy weights and narrow dealer network.
7. COX Outboards
COX Marine is a smaller British startup established in 2007.
The company’s main goal is no less than to revolutionize the outboard motor market with the help of digitalization.
COX develops and manufactures efficient and durable diesel outboard engines. Powered by a 300 HP powerhead, the COX300 is the most powerful turbo-diesel outboard motor in the marketplace.
8. Torqeedo Outboards
Torqeedo is arguably the largest outboard motor manufacturer and has been on the market since 2005.
The German company offers electric outboards with 1-80 HP engines, electric inboard boat motors, pod drives, batteries, accessories, and more.
9. Minn Kota Outboards
Minn Kota produces a great line of electric trolling motors, producing about 1.5-2 HP.
These outboards are primarily designed for trolling, but they also do a good job of pushing tiny vessels.
The Minnesota-based company was established in 1934 and quickly became the biggest player in the trolling outboard marketplace.
10. MotorGuide Outboards
MotorGuide is another well-known electric outboard motor manufacturer, offering many great trolling motors for fresh and saltwater environments.
It’s good to know that the products of MotorGuide are exclusively manufactured in the US.
This company belongs to the Brunswick Corporation, which also owns many reputable boating brands, including Bayliner, Sea Ray, Boston Whaler, Mercury Marine, Lund, Lowe, and many more.
Conclusion – Which Outboard Brand is The Best?
Which outboard brand is the best? We get this question frequently and the answer is it depends.
If you are looking for a gas-powered outboard, the best brands are arguably Mercury and Yamaha.
These companies have the largest lineups and the widest deal networks. So, it is no surprise that these manufacturers dominate the outboard market in the US.
Suzuki, Honda, and Tohatsu are also known for their high-quality and reliable motors, but they have smaller product ranges and far fewer dealers in the states.
Compared to the “Big Five”, OXE and COX are relatively new players in the field. These boutique manufacturers offer innovative, fuel-efficient diesel outboards.
When it comes to electric outboard manufacturers, the most reputable companies are Torqeedo, Minn Kota, and MotorGuide.