Malibu’s 23 LSV has long been the company’s most popular boat model. The new, 2020 model-year 23 MXZ adds another alternative at this size range but with the added benefits of a pickle-fork bow and a host of new, innovative performance and luxury features.
The MXZ suffix translates to maximized, a nod to the 23 not only maximizing performance but also passenger comfort and space. Start with the space created by that pickle-fork bow. Malibu uses it to turn the bow cockpit into a 4-by-6-foot playpen, relocating batteries and the walk-through, wind-block door below the center cushion to open up stowage possibilities aft.
Like in the main cockpit, inwale nooks feature all the necessities the target audience requires, with dual USB ports, dual phone holders and a 12-volt outlet ready to both port and starboard.
In the main cockpit, nearly 16 linear feet of seating rings the perimeter, with storage below and extending under the port console. The aft bench can slide forward into the cockpit; the seatback pivots 180 degrees to focus on the wake. Flanking seat bottom cushions hinge upward to do likewise. When not in watersports mode, pivot that central seatback over to reveal a small table with cup holders.
At the transom, two inset, upholstered seats await passengers gearing up to ride or surf, with wet storage below and stereo remote close at hand.
While comfort is key, wakes will ultimately define the boat. The MXZ offers wakes and waves for all levels of riding. Up to 3,170 pounds of ballast can be added to build them from mild to wild. The Surf Gate—vertical tabs adjacent to the swim platform that disrupt water flow—groom and perfect those wakes for surfing on a rider’s preferred side.
Malibu’s Power Wedge III further customizes wakes and waves to your liking. Trim it up for a bigger wave face, or drop it down to lengthen it out. There is plenty of push, which is great for beginners learning to drop the rope the first time, or advanced riders looking to add tricks to their repertoires. The symmetrical wakes provide a substantial platform for big air.
⋅G3.5 tower has integrated board racks, tow point, Bimini, speakers and light.
⋅New mOS Command Center touchscreen controls ballast, wake shaping, speed and audio.
⋅Wake Plus hull displaces more water to boost wakes.
Draft (max): 2′8″
Dry Weight: 5,400 lb.
Ballast: 4,670 lb.
Seat/Weight Capacity: 16/2,256 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 58 gal.
Price: $138,806 (with test power)
How We Tested
Engine: Malibu Monsoon M5 Di
Drive/Props: V-Drive/Acme 3077 17″ x 15″ 4-blade Nibral
Gear Ratio: 2.0:1
Fuel Load: 45 gal.
Crew Weight: 360 lb.
Malibu Boats – Loudon, Tennessee; 865-458-5478; malibuboats.com