It’s not easy to put the quantity of seating you’d usually only find on a pontoon into a svelte 20-foot deck boat, and then give it the exciting speed and agility you’d usually only find in a performance runabout. But Crownline partnered up with Suzuki in the E 205 XS to do just that.
Top speed, acceleration, low bow rise and enough torque to power through turns without falling off plane are the most noteworthy characteristics of this combination. Stability and good idle-speed tracking are also tops, as we experienced in our tests. The latter trait comes thanks to what Crownline calls “power chines,” a term to describe hard reverse chines or proud chines, which enhance lift and improve hookup in turns. The Suzuki power was plenty to enjoy watersports using the standard tow pylon.
The E 205 XS we tested was set up as a luxury runabout ideal for trailering to your favorite waters with a midsize SUV, and it wasn’t too thirsty on gas. There’s a Fish Upgrade Package available too, which adds rod holders, trolling-motor panel and mount, three-bank battery charger, rod storage and more, giving boaters additional versatility.
Both packages feature the same deck plan. The walk-through design has wraparound seating on the starboard side, divided by the helm station. Forward benches are well-cushioned and nicely upholstered in Crownline’s own shop, ensuring that every E 205 XS off the line will have the same kind of custom look and fit we experienced.
Forward seating is divided by a step to the bow platform, under which there’s an anchor locker that shares space with a boarding ladder. The transom platform, accessible by a starboard walk-through, can be secured with a stainless-steel frame door. Impressive for an outboard, the platform offered easy passage from starboard to port.
The Crownline E 205 XS also comes with a standard Bimini top, which can be equipped with a curtained changing room that secures to the deck with snaps and zippers — creating an ideal compartment to deploy at the sandbar for all-day convenience.