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2014 vs 2017 VLX


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Greetings Bu Crew!

Lurker exploring the potential of purchasing a Malibu VLX (size matters for storage and ease of being a first time boat owner).  Looking at two very nice VLXs, one a 2014 and one a 2017, both with under 170 hours.  Both appear to be in great shape.  Both priced fairly close. Other than the three years, Is one model year better then another?

Greatly appreciate any insight you might afford me.

Malibu wannabe

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To clarify, the '14 has the 5.7 and the '17 the 6.2.  Also, I get the '14 is "rated" for 14 with a table and the '17 rated for 13 w/o a table.  Since we'll be relative newbies (family boaters), guess what I'm more interested in understanding is which one might have less "potential" for having issues (e.g. the '14 w/potential screen delam and surf gate issues and the '17 likely louder w/potential motor issues???).

Just wanting my eyes wide open with hopes of avoiding the more potential problematic and/or more compromised resale value when we eventually move up.

Again, appreciate the insights...

Edited by 4221
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2017 for a variety of reasons would be the better value.  Namely the better screens and resale value going 3 years newer.  Lots of other good reasons too, but fwiw a 2014 would be a solid performer as well. 

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Is the '17 a 21 VLX or 22 VLX.

22 VLX is easily the winner (which came out in 2015 replacing the 21 VLX).  The 2017 21 VLX was Malibu's entry level addition.  The problem is these '17 VLX owners "know what they've got" charging more for them than they were new 4 model years ago.  Malibu was doing the "80k, all day" type of marketing, yet I see a lot asking well over 80k for a four year old used boat.  

The '14 VLX will be bigger than the '17 21 VLX.  2" wider beam, 6" longer...that makes a real difference.  Otherwise, the '17 will overall be better.

'16+ boats guarantee better motors, as so many buyers cheaped out - regardless of boat size, and went with the ancient GEN-I SBC, then complain later about being underpowered or excuse the motor as being "enough."

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Thanks for responding.  Both are 21s (though I guess the '14 is a  21.5').  Interesting comment about the 350SS in the '14, I thought those were the solid motors and the 6.2s had various issues?

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1 hour ago, 4221 said:

Thanks for responding.  Both are 21s (though I guess the '14 is a  21.5').  Interesting comment about the 350SS in the '14, I thought those were the solid motors and the 6.2s had various issues?

hes talking about power though they are reliable as well after its issues are dealt with in early warranty repairs. the 14 from a power plant view was probably the easiest to work on and very few if any sensor or other issues ( almost 1000 hours and a thermostat was my only repair or symptom no codes or anything else). it was Indmar/Malibu most debugged  power plant drive mechanism version and the last of the 5.7 indmar GM

if you are a lousy mechanic but want to do your own work pick the easiest model and price in your screen issues that new replacements are available from dealers/service managers on this sight, electrical but very reliable SG, faster than ‘13 for transfers snd reliable actuators that are stupid easy to diagnose and easy to purchase direct from Lenco  as well as control boxes (also easy to diagnose  for SG with one fuse, one relay ). 

you want better tech and more power and more value, pick the raptor and supposedly more sound insulation in 17 but a surf pipe that boat probably doesn't have would be nice , hydraulic even faster SG,  see the current post about a 17 25 lsv that was real nice to show you if your up to maintaining this SG system ,  you also have power wedge 2 with lift mode


Edited by granddaddy55
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