This is my second Hobie tandem mirage kayak. I used my previous boat since 2009. The new seats are terrific, keeps you dry unless big wave comes over the side. There is a drain you can easily open to let wave water flow out. I've added the larger rudder so I can also sail.
As a photographer, I do love having my hands free when on the water. Pedaling is easy on my knees, and I frequently tow kids on a tube or smaller kayak behind the boats with no issues. Biggest challenge for me is the out-of-water weight. I'm using the boat a lot on a lake with a rocky shore where I can not store the boat on the beach because it will get bashed by waves. Thus the kayak has to be lifted up onto a dock and carried to the shore-- very heavy for two people. Loading on to top of my van is cumbersome as well. But the boat is so fun much I overlook this once on the water.
Why did I upgrade? The earlier model had stress problems in the front well where the mirage drive is installed. Also, thedry well was never dry. I'm VERY hopeful these issues will not happen with 2016 model. The new model feels slower, (which I know is subjective) it just seems to sit heavier in the water. I'm not sure if it is wider. The new seats have elastic straps on the side for adjusting seat angle. If any of your users have even slightly wide thighs, you may want to test the seat first to see if the straps annoyingly rub your thighs. I know Hobie has upgraded the scupper wells to add the scupper cart as those were also stress points. I find that cart difficult to use on land because I have to tip the heavy kayak over to install them. In water the carts is great.