Trying to save the planet while taking care of the lawn has been a challenge. Environmentally conscious homeowners have usually had to forgo some cutting power or pay significantly more to avoid gas-powered mowing equipment. But the battery-powered Cub Cadet RZT-S42 Zero was not only among the best performing zero-turn pilots tested by Consumer Reports, but it also sells for $ 4,000, a premium over gas-powered machines, but well in the range. a good riding mower.
The 48-volt pilot went through years of fine-tuning before its production version, which we first covered when it was sold in limited markets last year. But the latest model has old and new features. For starters, it has the same 42-inch deck as the top-rated Troy-Bilt Mustang 17WFCACS driver, at $ 2,300 CR Best Buy. You’ll also see a steering wheel instead of levers for easier maneuvering and more control, especially on slopes. This is an increasingly common feature on Cub Cadet zero turn pilots.
When you cut, the deck design reveals itself with impressive regularity in the side discharge mode. If you’d rather mulch or bag the clippings, this machine isn’t for you – it has a cutting mode – but most lawn tractor and ride-on mower owners will still throw the clippings to the side. We also rated it superb for handling and ease of use.
And even when you cut, this machine is quiet. How calm? You don’t have to take our word for it. In the accompanying video, you’ll see Chief Tester Peter Sawchuk breeze past some of the egrets and white ibises that frequent our test site in Fort Myers, Florida. But that’s when he rides the electric pilot. Just try to find a bird when it drives a gas engine.
Being a battery powered unit, it is maintenance free of gasoline models. And with the motors driving both the chainring and the continuously variable transmission, there are no belts to wear out. But after about six years, you may need to replace these four batteries at a cost (before labor) of $ 200 each. MTD, the maker of Cub Cadet, believes you will always have the edge.
One concern: Cub Cadet was among the zero-turn riders most prone to repair in our surveys of the brand’s repair history. Nonetheless, MTD brands dominate the top ranks of our ratings for zero-turn riders. Along with the number one driver Troy-Bilt Mustang 17WFCACS, a 42-inch model, the 50-inch Troy-Bilt Mustang 50 “17WFCAC, $ 2,800, scored only slightly lower for ejection consistency. lateral, but was also top notch for mulching.
Whenever you plan on shopping, be sure to check out our buying guide for walk-behind mowers, tractors and motorcycles before checking out our reviews of nearly 170 machines.