The Top 5 Recommended Riding Lawn Mowers From Consumer Reports Are All John Deere Models

You just can’t beat a John Deere lawn mower. Well, you can if you’re Mahindra, but for the rest of the lawn mowing manufacturers, it probably feels that way. Consumer Reports proved this when John Deere took the top five slots on its most recent list of recommended riding lawn mowers and tractors. 

Is the seventh place really that bad?

john Deere written on the traditional green John Deere lawn mower on a yellow strip in black.
John Deere | Getty Images

Before we talk about which John Deere models managed to lock out the competition, we will talk about the one lawn mower that managed to outdo the John Deere S100. It’s the Cub Cadet XT2 SLX50 at seventh place.

The XT2 SLX50 impressed Consumer Reports thanks to thoughtful features such as a comfortable seat with armrests. It may not seem like much, but it makes a significant difference on your back and arms when cutting grass for hours. Other features include the 50-inch deck, which makes the process faster.

Even though it’s impressive, especially for $2,500, the Cub Cadet XT2 SLX50 still couldn’t match up against John Deere.

John Deere proves it’s the best of the best

John Deere is a force of nature in the lawn and garden industry. From lawn tractors to harvesting equipment, if it has to do with upkeep around the home or farm, John Deere probably has something to help make the task easier.

The John Deere to take the top spot with Consumer Reports was the X354. With a starting price of $4,400, it’s more expensive, but if you’ve got a large lawn to mow, it may be worth it.

In second place is the X350-42. With the turn of a dial, you can adjust the deck height, which is a nice feature. Consumer Reports was slightly alarmed that the foot pedal and brake can easily be mixed up for drivers unfamiliar with the X350-42, but this is quickly sorted out.

Third place goes to the S240-48. It comes with a starting price of $2,900. Consumer Reports was impressed with the side-discharging, mulching, and bagging performance.

The John Deere S170 landed the fourth place. It got decent scores, but the review site was less than pleased with the noise level. The S170 has a starting price of $2,600.

Finally, in fifth place is the S120, with a price of $2,300. Like the S170, the noise level helped bring it down when it came to scores. 

The John Deere S140 took sixth place, and the S100 took eighth.

Craftsman failed to impress

The competition is stiff in the lawn and garden world, and Craftsman fell way behind this year. In fact, it didn’t even make Consumer Reports’ list of recommended lawn mowers and tractors. Even more devastating is that the Craftsman T110 came in dead last on the list of lawn mowers.

While it’s not a terrible choice, especially if you’re on a budget, it’s not a great choice either. For anyone who takes pride in how their lawn looks, the Craftsman T110 is probably not for you.

Some of the complaints leveled at it by Consumer Reports include a lack of comfortable seating, lackluster mulching, bagging, and handling. For $1,950, it might be a good idea to save up a little more and get a John Deere. Knowing you’ve got a quality machine makes up for the price increase. When you get done, your lawn looks fantastic.

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