The 10 best Mercury outboards according to Engine Man

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

Here are 10 of the best Mercury outboard motors (two-stroke and four-stroke marine engines) on the market right now.

What’s the best Mercury outboard motor? Here are the 10 best current-model Mercury Marine engines — or rather, here are 10 of the best Mercury outboards according to Trade-a-Boat’s resident marine engine expert, Andrew ‘Engine Man’ Norton.


The best Mercury four-stroke motors…

Mercury 2.5 hp FourStroke

Mercury 2.5 hp portable outboard motor

This little Mercury portable outboard motor has the torque to easily push a 3.4 metre punt carrying two hefty anglers and fishing tackle. It also suits displacement rowing dinghies to 3.8 metres and because of its big cylinder bore and short piston stroke has very low vibration levels. It runs on the smell of an oily rag and being made in Japan has an excellent build quality.


Mercury 6 hp FourStroke

Mercury 6 hp FourStroke portable outboard motor

The most powerful of a range of single-cylinder marine engines from 4 to 6 hp, this torquey outboard motor easily planes two hefty adults and fishing tackle in flat bottomed punts to 3.5 metres. It has an upfront gear shift and is easy to maintain and service. Its fuel efficiency is excellent and it will troll for hours without missing a beat. Again it's made in Japan.


Mercury 80 hp FourStroke

Mercury 80 hp Four Stroke outboard motor

This four-cylinder boat engine has an under-stressed power head that features a single-chain-driven overhead-camshaft and roller cam followers to eliminate valve clearance adjustments. It has a ton of grunt and doesn't need to rev hard to return good performance. It suits aluminium boats and tinnie to 4.5 metres or longboats to six metres and would make an excellent marine engine for towing duties in a sailing club.


Mercury 150 hp FourStroke

Mercury 150 four stroke outboard motor

A beautifully balanced four-cylinder outboard engine with twin gear-driven harmonic balance shafts, the 150 hp Mercury FourStroke has a single chain-driven overhead camshaft and roller cam followers. Again it has tons of grunt and suits offshore fibreglass trailer boats to around six metres. It's completely under stressed and simple to maintain and service.


Mercury Verado 175 hp

Mercury Verado 175 hp outboard motor

For boaters wanting frugal trolling fuel consumption and brilliant hole shot performance this engine is the way to go. Its small displacement four-cylinder power head doesn't need balance shafts to reduce engine vibration and roller cam followers are fitted — though having double overhead camshafts, these are chain driven. The super charger cuts in quietly when needed though in normal usage the 175 hp Verado uses no more fuel than a naturally-aspirated 115 hp four-stroke outboard motor. This engine suits fibreglass trailer boats to six metres.


Mercury Verado 400R

Mercury 400R Verado outboard motor

This top-of-the-line Mercury outboard is one of the best marine engines you can get. It has a silky smooth in-line six-cylinder power head that just loves to rev hard. The double-overhead camshafts are chain-driven and roller cam followers are fitted. Even with the super charger working hard, the outboard motor is no noisier than that the 80 hp four-stroke and maximum planing fuel efficiency is reached well up in the rev range, perfect for maxi trailer boats to 8 metres. And yet, it's straightforward to maintain and service. Its low trolling to mid-range fuel consumption makes it definitely the way to go compared to a big-block V8 naturally-aspirated four-stroke outboard motor.


The best Mercury two-stroke engines…

Mercury 5M

Mercury 5hp two-stroke portable outboard motor

This single-cylinder Mercury portable outboard has been around for decades, yet it still has appeal. It's light to carry, has good fuel efficiency and easily planes a 3.4 metre flat bottom punt, carrying two hefty adults and fishing tackle. It's noisier and vibrates more than the 6 hp Mercury FourStroke it’s is way easier to maintain and service and is great value for anglers who only fish salt water. It's also made in Japan.


Mercury 40 hp LW

Mercury 40 hp LW outboard motor

This three-cylinder marine engine has been around a long time too but still appeals, thanks to its light weight, good fuel efficiency and ease of maintenance and servicing. It's made in Japan and suits tinnies and forward control runabouts to 4.5 metres. It's available in manual or electric-start models but hand-starting is easy due to the well-balanced power head. The Mercury 40LW has been a very outboard motor and is good value for anglers who fish salt water.


Mercury 60 hp ELPTO

Mercury 60 hp outboard two stroke ELPTO

Fitted with variable-ratio oil-injection and power trim and tilt, this the 60 hp two-stroke Mercury outboard suits aluminium runabouts to 4.8 metres. Its smooth-running three cylinder power head has plenty of grunt down low for easy planing at surprisingly low revs, yet its top end performance is excellent. The fuel consumption is low for a 60 hp two-stroke marine engine and the single-point oil injection is way simpler to service than multipoint injection systems.


Mercury 90 hp ELPTO

Mercury 90 hp two-stroke ELPTO marine engine

The top of the Mercury Marine three-cylinder carbie two-stroke outboard range, the 90 hp outboard motor suits aluminium runabouts to five metres and has low overall fuel consumption. Single-point variable-ratio oil injection and power trim and tilt are standard and this boat engine represents good value for salt water anglers. It has plenty of bottom end grunt for easy planing and is straightforward to maintain and service.


Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.