*Note that the WT/HP Ratio figures are based on a full tank using the listed tank volume.
Although the RFI and DI models do use better technology to conserve fuel/oil, they are a larger size so actually use more than their smaller counterparts. They also should be run with synthetic oil, which costs a bit more than the base oil you can use in non-DI / non-RFI models. When you look at the results above, I think it's obvious that the smaller the engine, the cheaper to run. Of course, that's pretty much the case with most vehicles!
Obviously, from looking at the figures, you're much better off getting one of the mid ‘90s models if you want to run cheap and aren't worried about top speed. They can be purchased for very little compared to the new ones and are easy to maintain and cheap to operate. The 1997-2004 GTI would be the one I would recommend if you're looking for a pwc that can hold several riders and gear for the best cruising cost.
I find the below comparison a bit interesting. The WT/HP ratios are almost the same for the two skis but the 2005 eats loads more fuel than the 1998. If I recall, the 1998 SPX was only 10 mph slower than the RXP, so if you want to go fast, go for the SPX. You can find them for around $3000 instead of $10K!
||FUEL USEAGE (GAL/HR)(WOT)
||TANK SIZE (INC RES)
||HR PER TANK (WOT)
||EST. WOT MPH
||COST / HR TO RUN (WOT)
||EST. MI / TANK (WOT)
|1998|| SPX || 787 || 110 || 428 || 4.545 || 11.7 || 9 || 0.77 || 57 || $42 || 44 |
|2005|| RXP SC || 1503 || 215 || 790 || 4.266 || 18.2 || 15.9 || 0.87 || 68 || $73 || 59 |
One more note as for value and possible future expenses… don't forget to consider that most models after 1996 use ignition components which are much more expensive than older models. And believe me due to recent parts requests they go bad regularly!
The newer 4TEC and 4TEC SC models also rely on many electrical components that only a dealer can properly diagnose if you have a problem. If you like working on your own machine or are planning on taking it where there aren't many dealers (most everywhere outside the US), go for the older models!
If I really get bored, I may put together some value comparison figures for the above models as well!