I don't know the ins and outs of the 04 197 . . . but I recently owned an 01 X5 (195) which is very similar. My wife and I have twin 12 year olds. It served us well -- tournament-level skiing wake for the kids and I, and an OK wake for beginning wakeboarding. We upgraded to the X2 mostly because our boys are now wanting to bring their friends with them and the X5 was getting a bit cramped. The X2 wake WITHOUT ballast scared them at first when we tried kneeboarding and wakeboarding behind it!
The MCX is a desirable option, for the bling factor if nothing else. (The standard engine was the 310 HP RTP-1 which is more than adequate. That's what my X5 had.) Having all the vinyl replaced is a definite plus since the MC's from the early 2000's are notorious for upholstery issues.
I think the price is in the ballpark. I just checked on OnlyInboards.com and there are a couple 03's in that range -- one actually over $30k.
You may outgrow the 197 eventually, but for now enjoy the incredible slalom wake, the barefoot boom, and the ease of working on a direct drive.
2005 X2, Viper Red, MCX, OJ TZ-X5 prop, PPass, rear 750 sacs, KGB, IBS, Bennett Wake Plate, custom wake shaper
(previous) 2001 X5, 1991 TriStar 190
Last edited by wheelerd; 11-20-2012 at 02:03 AM.