With a variety of riding lawn mowers on the market, Consumer Reports tested several riding lawn mower brands to help consumers find the model that’s built to last, cuts evenly and handles with ease.
"The most commonly reported problem among riding mowers has to do with the mower belt, affecting 14 percent of riding mowers," says Martin Lachter, a senior research associate at Consumer Reports. "The next most common problems are related to the engine and mower deck."
To help you find a reliable riding mower, Consumer Reports incorporates brand reliability and owner satisfaction into its Overall Scores for lawn mowers and tractors. The information is provided along with data collected during our extensive field testing, which covers everything from how well a mower cuts in three modes (mulching, bagging, and side-discharging) and its noise output at the user's ear and at 25 feet.
To calculate predicted reliability, we survey our members about the products they own and use the results to make projections about how new models from a given brand will hold up over time. Models from brands that rate Fair or Poor for predicted reliability aren't eligible for our recommended lists of products, regardless of their performance.
We also ask members how likely they are to recommend their mower to friends or family, and that question serves as the basis for our owner satisfaction rating.
These latest findings come from the Consumer Reports 2018 and 2019 Fall Surveys, which leveraged data on more than 18,000 riding mowers that members purchased between 2009 and 2019.
Lawn tractors were the most common type of riding lawn mower among Consumer Report members. Out of 9 lawn tractor brands, John Deere was the only brand that was rated Excellent for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. The top-performing machine was the John Deere E130.
Zero-turn mowers are becoming more popular. Their speed and turning ability are making it easier for consumers to mow lawn. Out of eight zero-turn brands surveyed, the John Deere Z355E ranked Excellent for both reliability and satisfaction.
To read the full Consumer Reports article click here.