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Summer is around the corner, and for some owners, riding lawn mowers are the only way to stay on top of lawn maintenance. However, the market is full of options, from EFI-equipped large-deck options to fully-electric mini mowers. Fret not; one of these five riding mowers can deliver what you need to conquer your grass in 2023, like the John Deere S130, S120, and Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT. 

What are the top five riding lawn mowers?

A yellow and black Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT shows off its two-tone paint scheme.
Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT | Cub Cadet

When it comes to well-rounded riding mowers for small to medium lawns, these five are some of the most capable on the market.

  • Husqvarna YTH18542
  • John Deere S130 
  • Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT
  • John Deere S120
  • Ryobi RY48111

Depending on your needs, these five models have varying deck sizes and everything from an 18.5-horsepower gas-powered engine to electric power. For instance, the Husqvarna YTH18542 and John Deere S130 offer 42-inch decks for well-rounded performance in small to medium-sized lawns. Moreover, the John Deere S120 and Ryobi RY48111 provide great bang for your buck when tackling your small yards. 

What size deck is a Husqvarna YTH18542?

The Husqvarna YTH18542 riding lawn mower shows off its orange paint.
Husqvarna YTH18542 | Husqvarna

The Husqvarna YTH18542 features a 42-inch deck, hydrostatic transmission, and a narrow turn radius for negotiating tight lawns. Moreover, the Husqvarna lawn mower model has a helpful mow-in-reverse feature, so riders can mow in both directions without turning around and approaching a patch from the opposite direction. 

Additionally, the Husqvarna YTH18542 boasts two sets of cutting blades instead of a single cutting surface. However, the deck can be difficult to dismantle for sharpening, per ZDNet. Further, the YTH18542’s 18.5-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine is more than enough to handle challenging lawns and hills. The Husqvarna model starts at around $2,399.00. 

What engine is in a John Deere S130?

A green and yellow John Deere S130 shows off its fascia.
John Deere S130 | John Deere

John Deere’s S130 riding lawn mower packs a 22-horsepower, 724cc Briggs & Stratton engine. As a result, the S130 is a more powerful riding mower, albeit more expensive than the Husqvarna YTH18542, per Bob Vila.

Moreover, the John Deere model will mow in reverse, packs multiple blades, and delivers easily controlled throttle via a hydrostatic transmission. Better yet, Bob Vila says the S130 will eagerly handle a two-acre lawn, but anything over three acres might be pushing it for the green machine.  

Is a Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT one of the best riding lawn mowers?

A Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT riding lawn mower shows off its front-end styling.
Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT | Cub Cadet

With a 19.5-horsepower Kohler engine and a 42-inch deck, the Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT is an excellent gas-powered alternative to the John Deere S130 and Husqvarna YTH18542. Moreover, with starting price point of $2,399, the Cub Cadet XT1 model is comparably priced in the segment. 

Better yet, potential owners won’t be compromising compared to close competitors; the Enduro LT packs a smooth hydrostatic transmission and twin-blade cutting system.

How much is a John Deere S120?

A green John Deere S120 lawn mower shows off its green and yellow paintwork.
John Deere S120 | John Deere

The John Deere S120 starts at $2,699.00, making it a pricier option than a comparable Husqvarna YTH18542 or Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT. However, the S120 shares many of the features of the S130, like the 22-horsepower engine and a 42-inch cutting deck.

Moreover, the V-Twin-powered John Deere model has a two-year, 120-hour bumper-to-bumper warranty for peace of mind. Of course, the warranty coverage extends to two years or 120 hours, whichever comes first.

Is a Ryobi RY48111 a good electric riding mower for small lawns?

The Ryobi RY48111 is an excellent option for potential owners seeking an electric mower to tackle their small to mid-size lawns. With a low-maintenance, fully-electric 100 amp-hour battery system, the Ryobi model can continuously cut up to 2.5 hours.

What do you use for your lawn? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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