The Bennington R25 Fastback proves a true neighbor-impresser. Mercury’s new V-8 packs the punch, pushing the R25 Fastback to 45 mph at 6,000 rpm turning a 14.7-by-16-inch three-blade stainless-steel prop. The Merc is as stingy as it is throaty, delivering an economical 17.1 mph, netting 3.25 miles per gallon and burning just 5.3 gallons per hour.
This is a hot horse out of the gate. We clocked zero to 30 mph times in 6.84 seconds, which felt even quicker due to the Merc’s sudden and authoritative throttle response. Thanks to the deep cockpit, our decibel meter registered just 74 dB(a) at cruise speed, making for easy conversations without raising voices. Our tester had optional power-assist hydraulic steering to keep effort at the wheel smooth and manageable.
It’s hard not to gush over the typical Bennington quality, and this R25 didn’t disappoint. It’s clear the company thinks of everything, from concept to design to execution. The little touches are everywhere, evident in the plush Simtex vinyl seating with diamond stitching; the high-polished stainless-steel windscreen trim, boarding ladder and entry gates; the clean under-console and transom rigging; and the neat arrangement of under-seat cushion storage with easy-access dual-action seat hinges.
Deep and cushy facing loungers create a large conversation pit in the bow section, easily handling a small party. The driver’s console is a swept curved fiberglass helm station. The dash is arranged with a Simrad digital monitor and Mercury VesselView monitor, giving more vital information than most captains should ever need. Our passenger console sported a Corian countertop and stainless-steel sink. An upgraded Kicker sound system with great bass and crisp sound seemed above the average for those offered in competitive rigs.
Abaft, the R25 Fastback cockpit fairings give a high-finish look to the stern, which is also fitted with speakers to entertain those lounging or swimming. The seating in the stern section is tighter due to the larger bow section and ample cockpit, but it's still plenty comfortable for a group of three or four people.
- The R25 has a sporty, low-slung feel at the helm.
- Under-seat storage is easy to access and seemingly never-ending. Center-pontoon in-floor storage is a yawning cavern that can swallow multiple
- water toys.
Price: $148,479 (as tested)
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury 300 V-8 FourStroke
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Mercury Enertia 14.7" x 16" 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 12 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Bennington Pontoon Boats - Elkhart, Indiana; 888-906-2628; benningtonmarine.com