Review: Mercury Verado 175 outboard motor

By: Andrew Norton

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  • Trade-A-Boat

What a difference a supercharger makes on an engine like the muscled-bound Mercury Verado 175 outboard motor.

Review: Mercury Verado 175 outboard motor
Top speed in just 15 seconds. Thanks to the supercharger, the Mercury Verado 175 can do just that.


Originally published in TrailerBoat #262, October / November 2010.


When Mercury Marine released its range of supercharged four-stroke multipoint EFI outboards motors some years ago, it created a unique niche in the market for boaters wanting DFI two-stroke performance from a four-stroke outboard.

And the Mercury Verado 175 is no exception — its combination of holeshot performance and bottom-end to mid-range fuel efficiency are simply unmatched by any other four-stroke 175 on the market.



The Mercury Verado 175 comes with standard features such as integrated power steering and DTS ("fl y-by-wire"). The standard SmartCraft instrumentation, which has digital rev rate, speed, fuel flow and range-to-empty functions, is also very user-friendly. While the powerhead is a supercharged version of the naturally-aspirated four-stroke Mercury F115 outboard, the piston displacement is the smallest of any 175hp outboard on the Aussie market. Yet because of the electronically-managed supercharger with charge air-cooling and electronic boost control, at low rev rates the Mercury Verado 175uses little more fuel than the F115.

Because the Verado 175 uses substantially more fuel above 4000rpm than its direct two or four-stroke low emission competition, it has an OEDA "2 Star" exhaust emissions rating.

The hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen emissions are only 15.4g/kW/hr (grams per kilowatt hour), although its carbon monoxide emissions are a whopping 336g/kW/hr. Powerhead access is very good for such a complex engine, with the sump oil level dipstick, spark plugs (with integrated ignition coils in the caps) and belt-driven alternator easily reached. Mercury Marine recommends servicing intervals are every 100 hours or annually after the first 20 hours or three months. The recreational usage warranty is fi ve years provided servicing is undertaken by an authorised Mercury Marine service centre.


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The review Mercury Verado 175 outboard was mounted on a Stacer 589 Easy Rider bowrider supplied by NSW Central Coast Stacer dealer, In-Tune Marine.

It was factory-approved to 175hp and the review extra-long shaft Mercury Verado 175 was perfectly matched to this hull. The engine started instantly hot or cold with no oil smoke appearing and power astern was very good, providing the antiventilation plate was kept at least three quarters immersed.

The combination of power steering and DTS gave precise control at low speeds, which was very handy in a tight access channel with a stiff crosswind at the launching ramp.

Spinning a 19in pitch stainless steel Quicksilver Vengeance prop and pushing 1400kg including three adults, the 175 trolled us at an almost vibration-free 1.6kts (3.0kmh) and 680rpm using a mere 1.4lt/h. At 1000rpm the averages were 3.2kts (6.0kmh) and 2.6lt/h, while at 2000rpm we averaged 5.4kts (10.0kmh) and 6.5lt/h.

A clean plane was achieved at 12.4kts (23.0kmh) with a minimum planing cruise speed of 14.0kts (26.0kmh) at 3000rpm using only 13.0lt/h. At this rev rate there was still no boost from the supercharger and the engine was incredibly quiet.

Only when the throttle lever was "floored" from a trolling rev rate was there a noticeable whine from the supercharger as we planed in a mere 2.5 seconds. And we achieved maximum speed in 15 seconds. Yikes!

The maximum planing fuel efficiency zone for the Mercury Verado 175 is from 3000 to 4000rpm. At 4000rpm the averages were 22.5kts (45.0kmh) using 22.5lt/h with the same fuel efficiency as at 3000rpm. Through tight fi gure-of-eight turns at 4000rpm there was some prop ventilation but this was quickly eliminated by dropping the rev rate and heading in a straight line.

At 5000rpm (my recommended maximum four-stroke cruising rev range) the averages were 58.0kmh (31.3kts) and 40.0lt/h. At WOT with the leg trimmed well-out we averaged 41.5kts (77.0kmh) and 6330rpm using 67.5lt/h. Despite the supercharger whine we could still talk normally at the helm at WOT, again with hardly any vibration from the engine.

I must confess I’ve long preferred DFI two-strokes to four-strokes in outboards over 100hp. However, in my opinion the combination of holeshot performance, quietness and great fuel efficiency up to 4000rpm makes the Mercury Verado 175 the only real competition to the E-TEC 175 and Mercury OptiMax 175.



• Blistering holeshot and top-end performance.

• Very quiet running.

• Power steering.

• Excellent low speed to mid-range fuel efficiency.

• Digital Throttle and Shifting (DTS).




Honda BF175

Suzuki DF175


08/2010 $24,599






5 years

5 years

OEDA Stars




Originally published in TrailerBoat #262, October / November 2010. Why not subscribe today?



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