Only 1 Riding Lawn Mower Comes Close to John Deere, According to Consumer Reports

In the lawn mower industry, John Deere is a legend. From riding mowers to farm equipment, John Deere dominates the competition. This couldn’t be more clear than on Consumer Reports’ list of recommended riding lawn mowers and tractors. However, there’s one mower that might be worthy of your notice for those who aren’t exactly fans of John Deere.

Is John Deere unbeatable?

A green and yellow John Deere logo on a John Deere riding mower.
John Deere logo | Getty Images

Out of 12 recommended riding lawn mowers and tractors from Consumer Reports, seven are John Deeres. The top six slots are taken up by the American lawn mower manufacturer. That should tell you about how seriously John Deere takes its quality, as well as why it has become such a popular model over the years.

The top model recommended is the John Deere X354. It starts at $4,400, which also makes it the second most expensive model on this list. The only issue Consumer Reports had with this mower is the noise level.

The second model is the X350-42. It has a starting price of $3,200. The instrument cluster provides information such as how much fuel is in the tank as well as how many hours you have before it cuts off. Overall, it’s a rather nice lawn mower.

The third top recommended lawn mower is the John Deere S240-48. The price is significantly cheaper at $2,900. Other great features include ease of cleaning clippings stuck beneath the mower deck and a comfortable seat. 

Honorable mentions from the list include the John Deere S170, S120, S140, and the S100.  

There’s a new Cub Cadet in town

Seventh place isn’t great. But when your competition is John Deere, you could do a lot worse. In this case, the Cub Cadet XT2 SLX50 managed to stand out due to its 50-inch deck, amongst other features. It comes equipped with a 2-cylinder self-branded engine with an automatic drive system and electric power take off (PTO).

If you own a lawn with a variety of terrain where the same set of blades simply won’t do, you can switch the blades out on the Cub Cadet XT2 SLX50 quickly and safely. Consumer Reports was also impressed with some of the comfort features, such as armrests. 

Other features that help justify the starting price of $2,500 include a washout port, cruise control, and the ability to cut in reverse. In fact, it managed to beat out the John Deere S100 on Consumer Reports’ list.

Honorable mentions


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Even though John Deere totally dominated Consumer Reports’ list, there were four other lawn mowers besides the Cub Cadet XT2 SLX50 to make the cut with significantly lower scores. The first was the Husqvarna TS354XD. It has a starting price of $4,500. This makes it the most expensive lawn mower on the list. Considering it came in ninth place, it might be wise to consider carefully if it’s worth the cost.

In tenth place is the Cub Cadet XT1 LT46. It costs $2,300. Consumer Reports was impressed that you can vary the speed without having to shift gears.

Eleventh place is held by the Husqvarna TS 254XG. It’s a 54-inch model with a starting price of $3,800, making it the third-highest price lawn mower on this list.

Finally, in twelfth place, we have the Cub Cadet CC30 H. In terms of look, it looks very simple when compared to the other riding lawn mowers, but for a starting price of $1,900, that’s more than understandable. It’s only 30 inches, which makes it ideal for anyone who wants a riding lawn mower, but doesn’t have the space to spare for a larger model.