Shopping for the best riding lawn tractor for the money can be as complicated as purchasing a new car. First, you need to pick the standard design you require, then compare deck and engine sizes, transmission options, and power and accessory alternatives. And, given that even the stripped-down designs can cost more than a thousand dollars, you can’t manage to make an error and purchase the wrong device for your backyard.
Best Riding Lawn Tractor for the Money 2023
Riding mowers are the method to trim for lawns of a certain size, usually one-half acre or more. If your property is even more baronial, you might want to consider a tractor with a broader cutting deck. And if you have to cut around trees and other landscaping features, consider a zero-turn-radius rider, which has an enjoyable element not generally discovered in lawn mowers. Customer Reports tested more than 60 tractors and riders, and here are the best from our tests.
Lower-priced usually than zero-turn-radius riders for properties larger than a half-acre, tractors are the much better bet for bagging clippings– and they’re simpler on grass and more stable on hills. Top ratings and top quality features make the John Deere X350, $3,200, well worth its price. For $1,000 less, the Craftsman 20442, $2,200, a CR Best Buy, has a larger deck, mulched better, and can turn more tightly. You might also like its 6 1/2- mph ground speed. John Deere, however, is more trusted than the majority of other lawn-tractor brands. Another Deere, the John Deere S240 Sport, $2,500, comes with an extra-wide, flat chute that, for side-discharging, reveals some improvement in dispersal of clippings over older Deere tractors; it’s also priced more competitively.
Top wider-deck tractors
Wider-deck yard tractors haven’t traditionally fared too at cutting consistency as their smaller siblings have, but this trio has altered the rules with exceptional cutting. The Craftsman 20445, $3,500, has the biggest deck, at 54 inches, and offers tight turning around trees and other challenges. An imagine 50-inch cutting, the Troy-Bilt Super Bronco 50, $1,900, a CR Best Buy, matched the Crafstman for cutting and provides the same electrical power takeoff, automated drive system, and other features. The John Deere D155, $2,200, is a little smaller sized, with a 48-inch deck, however provides excellent cutting in all modes.
Top zero-turn-radius riders
Zero-turn-radius riders offer the best ground speed– though you must be cutting at about 4 mph– and simple reversing obstacles on fairly flat lawns. We’ve called the 42-inch deck of the Troy-Bilt Mustang 17WFCACS, $2,300, a CR Best Buy, the supreme in cutting efficiency, and the 42-inch Cub Cadet RZT L42, $2,500, another CR Best Buy, follows that custom– making both the highest-scoring riding machines in general. For more stability on hills, the Troy-Bilt Mustang Pivot 17ARCBDT and Toro SW4200 74784, both $2,900, have a guiding wheel and steerable front wheels instead of the normal control levers and caster-style front wheels, an innovation we first saw in the Cub Cadet RZT-S42, $4,000, the Cub Cadet RZT-S 17WF2BDT, $3,000, and other MTD-made models.
Alternative Rating of Riding Lawn Tractor on a Budget
- Husqvarna YTH21K46 ($1600)
- Cub Cadet LTX 1045 ($1900)
- John Deere D110 ($1700)
- Craftsman YT 3000 ($1740)