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Push mowers are very useful, and are great for small lawns, but many of them are in a similar budget range. When you start looking at riding mowers, however, there are some clear budget ranges, and the step up from one range to the next is much more severe. With push mowers, you are talking $100 – but with riding mowers, you’re looking at steps of $1,000, even $1,500 sometimes. Today, we start out looking at the best riding mowers for when you have a budget of $2,000.
John Deere D130
Nothing runs like a Deere – they’re well-known for being tough and reliable, and have built up a good fan base over the years. It starts with a 22-horsepwoer Briggs & Stratton engine – you’ll see quite a number of these engines feature in our top budget picks. The hydro/automatic transmission with cruise control is smooth and strong, and gets the Deere up to 5.5 miles per hour. The fully-welded steel frame and cast iron front axle make this an incredibly tough and durable mower. It is fairly priced, fitting into the budget with a list price of $1,899.
Cub Cadet LTX 1050
Unfortunately, Cub Cadet will be discontinuing the wonderful LTX series in favor of the XT1, XT2, and XT3 series. Of course, there are plenty of LTX models still around, and that’s to your advantage – the LTX 1050 is one of the best riding mowers in this budget range. With a massive 50-inch cutting deck, it can greatly reduce your mowing time. The 24-horsepower Kohler V-Twin engine is powerful, and the LTX series has one of the best reverse-mowing systems on the market, featuring an interlock connected to the ignition switch. This model is available now within your budget for $1,899, but if you keep an eye out, that price may drop as the new XT series is rolled out into stores – meaning you can use the remainder of your budget for other lawn and garden gear.
If you don’t want to eat up all of your budget, this options near the lower end might just work out well for you. Featuring a 20-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine, you know that the guts are good in this mower. The 46-inch deck provides some good cutting passes, and it has a fairly tight 16-inch turning radius, great for working around obstacles and landscaping. The deck also offers 10 cutting positions. The well-padded, ergonomically-designed, high-backed seat is fairly comfortable to sit in for long periods as well. All of this comes with a price tag of only $1,399, so you’ll have plenty of money left over in the budget for attachments.
Husqvarna Fast Tractor YTH24V48
Our top choice in the price range, the YTH24V48 shows that Husqy doesn’t just make great chainsaws. The Fast Hydrostatic Transmission is the highlight of this tractor, providing good ground speed and easy speed and direction changes. Of course, it’s helped along by the 24-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine, which allows the mower to reach a top speed of 7.4 miles per hour. The transmission also features cruise control, for lawns where you have a lot of wide open space. The one disadvantage the Husqy has is relative inflexibility in cutting height – the 48-inch deck only has 6 height settings, adjusted with a fender-mounted lever. The YTH24V48 comes in right at the top of the budget, at $1,999.95, but we still feel it is the best buy for the budget – this is helped by a great warranty, that includes a 10-Year Limited Deck Shell warranty.