Boat Test: 2024 Bennington S20 Swingback SPS

Boat Test: 2024 Bennington S20 Swingback SPS
Bennington S20 Swingback SPS running fast
The S20 Swingback SPS combines performance with style.
Courtesy Bennington Marine


Known for top-tier pontoons, Bennington Marine has long offered more-affordable models. For 2024, Bennington is shifting that paradigm, and pushing some models to the fore. This includes revamping the S and SV lines with more of the panache for which its ­six-figure models are known. The S20 Swingback SPS that we tested is the poster boy for this new philosophy. The most noticeable difference is the ­cleaner styling. Gone are the “jailhouse” vertical exterior fence supports that crossed over the stylish horizontal swoosh, and at the bow, there’s a subtle dip that gives the fence’s silhouette a sportier look. Our test boat featured a bold new color scheme with Midnight Black fencing slashed with an ­Orange Flare accent.

Bennington S20 Swingback SPS helm
The helm has room for a pedestal-mounted GPS screen to port.
Courtesy Bennington Marine

Interior and Accessories

New furniture with open lumbar supports adds storage space, and its Serene Soft Touch upholstery lives up to its name. Our test boat featured a Swingback double-wide stern lounger with a reversible backrest, previously available only on higher-end models. This year, the helm is all-new and is far more comfortable, with an added 8 inches of legroom and a throttle binnacle that’s relocated from the dash to the side with an armrest for added comfort and control. The console is wider and has room for a pedestal-mounted GPS screen to port. It even has an optional wireless phone charger. Other upscale available features include an artfully curved power Bimini top.

Bennington S20 Swingback SPS anchored
The Lillipad Revo five-step boarding ladder makes it easy for two- and four-legged ­crewmembers to reboard.

Courtesy Bennington Marine


Our test pontoon featured the magic formula for entry into performance pontooning: three Sports Performance ­System tubes and a Mercury 150 FourStroke. This configuration gives it a top speed of 38.7 mph and puts all ­watersports into play. With this engine choice, mandatory hydraulic power steering is added and makes the S20 easy to drive, even when the kids want the whip endlessly cracked when tubing. A slight inward lean-in during turns will feel familiar for those used to runabouts. Standard features include a ­Lillipad Revo five-step boarding ladder with wide steps angled outward, making it easy for two- and four-legged ­crewmembers to reboard.

Style, function and brand swagger converge at a surprisingly affordable price on the Bennington S20 Swingback SPS.

Read Next: Bennington 25 Q Fastback

Bennington S20 Swingback SPS interior
The Serene Soft Touch upholstery lives up to its name.
Courtesy Bennington Marine

How We Tested

  • Engine: Single 150 hp Mercury FourStroke
  • Drive/Prop: Outboard/15″ x 15″ Enertia stainless steel
  • Gear Ratio: 1.92:1 Fuel Load: 24 gal. Water on Board: 0 gal. 

High Points

  • Gate Glide innovation keeps the gates from banging when open and makes them easier to close.
  • The new helm is one of the roomiest and best laid out in its class.
  • The Swingback Lounge rates high in comfort and versatility.

Low Points

  • No center-tube storage is available on the S20.
  • The non-adjustable headrests for the captain seats are too low for taller ­occupants.

Toughest Competitor

The Harris Sunliner 210 SL ($72,306 with a Mercury 150 FourStroke) offers another entry-level portal to pontoon luxury that is slightly larger and a bit more expensive. Its three-tube option features a 2-inch-larger center tube than the Bennington, which gives it a one-person-larger payload. Harris is a Brunswick company, so Mercury is the only engine option. Bennington also offers Yamaha and Torqueedo engine options.

Pricing and Specs

Price: $69,152 (with test power)
LOA: 22’4″
Beam: 8’6″
Draft (max): 22″
Displacement (approx.): 2,568 lb.
Bridge Clearance: 5’6″
Fuel Capacity: 32 gal.
Max Horsepower: 150
Available Power: Mercury, Yamaha and Torqeedo outboards

Speed, Efficiency, Operation

Bennington S20 Swingback SPS performance data
Bennington S20 Swingback SPS Certified Test Results
Boating Magazine

Bennington Marine – Elkhart, Indiana;

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