3 best deals on riding lawn mowers, according to Consumer Reports

There are many great brands of lawn mowers out there, but like most products, prices are rising fast. Consumer Reports tested a number of lawn mowers and found what they thought would be best for your budget, provided you move quickly in April, which they say is a good time to buy. Which three models do they recommend for price and performance? Let’s find out what they thought were the top three to consider when buying lawn mowing equipment.

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John Deere S120 Lawn Mowers

The S120 model performs great for a side-discharge driver, delivering all the performance you could need with a lower price. You get a 42 inch deck, which is enough for many square footage. Plus, you get a washout port, cruise control, and the ability to cut grass in reverse.

It is powered by a Briggs & Stratton two-cylinder engine producing 22 hp. Along with the motor, it also comes with a hydrostatic drive, which we know is generally easier to use than your typical belt-driven models.

According to Consumer Reports, this model scores 85 points out of a possible 100 for its predicted excellent reliability, owner satisfaction, and chipping capabilities. The only issue they had was the noise level, so they recommend having hearing protection on hand.

As for the price, you can expect to pay around $2,300, depending on where you buy it. Some places might offer it for a little more, so be sure to shop around.

John Deere S140

The S140 works well, as does the S120 mower. The main difference is that this model has a 48 inch deck against the 42 of the other.

With this model, you can pay around $2,300, but you can shop around to see if you can get an even better deal. You get the same predicted excellent reliability, owner satisfaction, and powertrain as the other model, but it tends to cut the grass more evenly than the other mower.

The downsides are few, but they could be deal-breakers for some buyers. You won’t get cruise control with this model and the noise level is high, so make sure you have ear protection when using it.

John Deere Z335E-42 Lawn Mowers

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The John Deere Z335E-42 is a zero-turn mower with a 42-inch deck. With this model, you get side discharge and mulching capabilities that you can easily switch back and forth with a lever. The predicted reliability isn’t as good as the other two racers on this list, but a four out of five rating is still pretty decent.

Overall, Consumer Reports gave this zero-turn mower an 82 rating based on its excellent scores for owner satisfaction, side discharge, mulching, maneuverability, and smoothness. The only issues they encountered were noise levels and refilling the recessed gas tank, which they said would cause problems with those with a short-nozzle gas can.

Price-wise, the Z335E-42 offers great value for the $2,800 price tag, which is pretty good for a popular mower with a tight turning radius. With this model, you won’t get cruise control or power steering, but the 20hp Briggs & Stratton engine makes up for that with its outstanding performance.

Despite the high prices we see in the lawn mower market, you can still find great deals that won’t break the bank. John Deere delivers those savings while giving you a great machine that performs long term.

RELATED: 5 Best John Deere Zero-Turn Mowers According to Consumer Reports

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