Riviera's 395 SUV is More than a Little Sister

Why Riviera's smallest SUV might be its best.

riviera 395
Power for the Riviera 395 SUV is twin 370 hp Volvo Penta D6 IPS500s.Riviera

Australian boatbuilder Riviera has been exporting vessels to U.S. yachtsmen for 35 years. Its latest is the Riviera 395 SUV, the smallest in the builder's SUV line, which includes a 445, 525 and 575.

Riviera’s SUVs are sedans with fishing-friendly cockpits that are ready for outdoor entertaining. The 395 SUV’s cockpit is on the same level as the aft galley, a setup that makes it easy to pass out plates for alfresco dining at the teak cockpit table. A pop-up window near the cockpit door connects guests at the interior dining space, to port, with those in the cockpit. For large gatherings, optional fold-down side seating can be installed to port or starboard in the cockpit. Aft-facing cockpit seating is standard.

The outdoor seating is Sunbrella fabric, as is all the seating on board. The cockpit table turns, and when it’s folded down, stainless-steel drink holders appear. The seating around the table has a “cool” box underneath that can be swapped out for a refrigerator or freezer. To keep the party going out here, the 395 SUV has a Fusion Marine stereo system.

The swim platform holds a RIB on snap davits and has a pullout compartment in the transom for outboard stowage. A sink and electric grill are under a lighted lid, and a hip-high railing aids with safety. Rod holders and a cutting table for light fishing can be added. Up front is a bolstered foredeck sun pad with stainless-steel drink holders.

riviera 395
The helm, starboard settee and dinette with high-low table are all raised one step from the cockpit level. The design creates more headroom in the staterooms belowdecks and provides excellent visibility for people sitting inside underway. Standing headroom at the helm is about 6 feet.Riviera

The 395 SUV has sporty performance thanks, in part, to her twin 370 hp Volvo Penta D6 IPS500s, which are accessible via a hydraulic cockpit hatch. (A smaller cockpit hatch just abaft the salon door allows for daily engine checks.) In calm seas, my test vessel averaged 30 knots on the top-end. Cruise speed was 23 knots. At that clip, the motors burned 26.7 gallons per hour. Based on the vessel’s 396-gallon fuel tank and considering a 10 percent reserve, range at cruise speed is about 307 nautical miles.

riviera 395
The 395 SUV has several social spaces. Her cockpit and adjacent swim platform are for open-air entertaining. Inside, there’s a dining table for formal affairs, while a second settee along with a pop-up TV allow for family movie night on the hook. The foredeck Sunbrella sun pad (shown above) with recessed stainless-steel drink holders has wide views.Riviera

Acceleration was notably smooth, and visibility at the helm was unobstructed with limited bow rise. The leather double helm seat to port was comfortable, although I found that the left-hand throttles along the opening window took some getting used to. Joystick docking is available at the helm and in the cockpit.

She might be the baby sister in Riviera’s SUV line, but the 395 packs a lot of versatility into her length overall. She has yacht-level fit and finish, stout fiberglass construction and a good turn of speed. Those are qualities that should appeal to yachtsmen from Brisbane to Biscayne Bay.