2012 Husqvarna 54 in 25 hp MZ5424S Zero-Turn Review

Executive Summary: Consumer Reports, myself and anyone who ever tried to mow a side-hill with a residential zero-turn will tell you to stay as far away from them as you can get. This is not a residential zero-turn.   This is an estate level (Husqvarna calls it a Landowner) mower with a commercial, heavy-duty frame and transmissions. It has the same great deck found on the GT6000 Craftsman garden tractor. If you have 2 to 6 acres to mow every week seriously look at this zero-turn before buying anything else.  I’m going to put this mower in the same class as the new Craftsman Premium Tractors for comfort, ease of use and ruggedness.

by: Paul Sikkema

This zero-turn will mow 2 to 2.5 acres an hour under just about all conditions.

Brand/Manufacture: Husqvarna / Husqvarna
Model/Series: Landowner Series Zero Turn 
Item Number:  MZ5424S with Kawasaki
Where To Buy: 

Your Husqvarna Power Equipment Retailer  (Independent Dealer)

Street Price: $4499.99 

Basic Quality: (Cheap, Good, Best, Premium, Don’t Buy)  This is Premium Quality. The RZ5424 is less quality.  The P-ZT5224 is better.

Type: (Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor, Yard Tractor, Garden Tractor, Estate Tractor, Sub-Compact, Zero Turn, Stand-On) Zero-Turn Handles some attachments. This is Husqvarna’s “Landowner Series” This mower is heavy enough for all homeowner needs and even some commercial use (MZ5225ZT is the commercial version)

Husqvarna MZ5424S

Kohler Pro Engine
ZT 3100 HydroGear Trans
Foot Assist Deck Lift
Big, Non-Mar Tires


Deck cuts great but mulches average.

My Review:

This is a “hybrid” zero-turn.  It has a really strong, commercial frame, huge tires, good motor, and transmission with a good residential deck.  This zero-turn will handle slopes better than all of the residential zero-turns. I really, really liked the larger MZ6128ZT but it was too big and expensive for most homeowners.  This zero-turn takes all the best features of that mower and gives you a smaller deck at a reasonable price.

The Zero-turn: This is the same frame found in the MZ6128ZT.  The frame is stronger than all of the other residential zero-turns and has a great history.  Owners love the ease of starting, simple deck height adjustment, easy fine tuning of tracking and control levers, and excellent routine maintenance accessibility. This machine is built like a tank and will cut your mowing time in half over using a garden tractor.  The ZT 3100 Hydro-Gear transmissions are stronger than the other transmissions on the other brands of residential zero-turns. These hydros are much stronger than the ones found in the Z245, Z425, Z445, Z465 John Deere.

Z245 – HydroGear EZT transmissions – Residential
Z425, Z445, Z465 John Deere – ZT2800 transmissions – Medium duty residential
MZ5424S – ZT3100 transmissions – Heavy duty residential, light duty commercial –
MZ6128ZT, MZ5225ZT – ZT3400 transmissions – Commercial use including municipalities and entry level landscapers.

The Engine: The 25 hp Courage Pro has proven itself to be a dependable and high-torque engine.

The Deck: Commercial Cutters feel you need a “fabricated” deck.  Do You? Probably not.  Why? A fabricated deck is reinforced at specific points to take the beating of loading the zero-turn on and off a trailer many times a day.  It is also reinforced so the operators can bang into foundations, lamp post and other obstacles 40 hours or more every week.

This deck is a “stamped” deck similar to the decks on the John Deere zero-turn mowers.  It is designed to mow well and it will give you many years of use around your acreage.  This is the same deck used on the 8 mph Craftsman GT6000 Garden Tractor.  Husqvarna has increased the blade tip speed so it will mow well at 6 to 7 mph.  You are going to get your lawn mowed faster than you ever thought you could with this mower.

This deck does side-discharge mowing as good as any other brand.  It bags ok with the standard residential bagging system. The stamped deck gives you better airflow than a fabricated deck and this allows the addition of a bagger without the cost of a power driven blower. This reduces the cost for clippings and leaf removal tremendously for the noncommercial customer. It does not mulch as well as a 42 or 46 inch deck. Why? This deck is a “vented” deck.  A lot of air is pulled in through the vented spindles and allows the grass to stand up and get cut evenly.  All this air makes for a great cut, but when you block the side discharge (use a mulch plug) that air has to go somewhere and it does.  It goes out the right front corner of the deck. If you are mulching dry grass on a windy day or leaves in the fall expect to be covered in debris.  I don’t consider this a problem, but be aware to get the best cut when side discharge mowing there is always a trade-off when mulching.

This zero-turn will mow in reverse.  You can also pull the same attachments as your lawn tractor. 

MZ5424S Rear

 People who buy this zero-turn know what they are buying and this is just what they want. There are no reviews available yet, but I know the owners will love this mower.

This article was first published at TodaysMower.com 

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on this review.  If you have specific questions leave a comment below and myself or the readers will be glad to answer them.  This is a great tractor and if you want one to last this should be at the top of your list.

Comfort – Ease of Use:  Deluxe high-back seat, easy to use operator controls, good field of view.  This zero-turn is easy to drive.  The steering levers are easy to adjust and all the controls are right at your fingertips.

Power For Mowing:  This tractor has plenty of power for side discharge mowing every week.  It also has plenty of power for mulching and bagging.

Reliability – New to 3 yrs: There are no reviews available yet, but I know you will love this mower. This mower is serviced by Sears.  One thing to know – Sears takes the mower out of the shipping crate but they do not “setup” the tractor. (John Deere dealers are the only retailer who does) You have to put gas in it, and run it for the first time. If there is an assembly problem you call 1-800-469-4663 and a service tech comes out to your home and fixes the issue. The store where you picked it up from or the delivery team does not repair the tractor. If you buy another brand make sure you understand the repair policy if you have a problem.  Many of the other brands make you take the mower to an “authorized service center” for adjustments and repairs.

Handling – Traction/Steering:  This mower has good traction for a zero-turn and has better traction than any of the residential zero-turns (Under $4000) It will handle moderate slopes well and excel on flat, uneven and rough terrain.  I recommend you never use a mower like this on wet or drought-dry slopes.

Mow – Mulch- Bag:  This deck gets high marks by owners for mowing. Husqvarna increased the blade speed on this mower so it will mow faster than you are used to with your lawn tractor. I expect it to mow well at 5 to 6 mph.  With this mower/deck you set the height of cut using a lever on the right side of the frame.  You can preset the height.


Specifications, Features, Benefits

The rest of this article is taken from the retailers website. Specs subject to change.

MZ5424S Front

 Type:  Zero-Turn Mower
Maximum mowing area per hour (acres): 3.5 acres at 6 MPH
Recommended for moderate slopes? Yes, Moderate slopes
Excels in mowing around obstacles? Yes!

Will Mow In Reverse? Yes

Manufacturer: Husqvarana
Brand: Husqvarana
Engine Power: 25 hp* 
Displacement: 725 cc. 
Manufacturer: Kohler Courage Pro
Cylinders: Twin, cast-iron liners
Type: OHV, oil filter, Pressurized with automotive style oil pump
Charging System: 15 amp regulated
Battery: DieHard
Choke/Speed Control: Integrated One Lever
Fuel Tank Capacity: 5 U.S. gal. 
Transmission: Twin hydrostatic  ZT 3100 Hydro-Gear
Transmission Control:  Direction/speed – dual lap bars
Cruise Control: NA Lap bars have dampeners
Forward Speed: 0-8 mph
Reverse Speed: 0-3.5 mph
Chassis: Welded heavy-duty tube
Front Tires: 13x5x6
Rear Tires: 22×9.5×10
Front Axle: Cast Iron
Hood Material: Steel
Hourmeter: Yes
Tool Tray: Yes

Cupholder: Yes
Headlights: No
Translucent fuel tank or Fuel gauge: Yes
Deck washout port: NA
12-volt outlet: No
Steering: 2 lever
Turning Radius: 0 in.
Uncut Circle Radius: 0 in. 
Spindle Bushings: Metal, greaseable, replaceable
Seat Back Height: Deluxe high back
Fore-aft Adjustment: 6 in. while seated
Seat Suspension: Two coil springs
Deck Lift System:  Foot assist, Fender
Mower Cut Height: 1.5 in. to 4.5 in., 12 position
Cut Height Increments: .25 in.
Preset Cut Height: Yes!
PTO clutch: Electric

Mower Deck

Type: Side discharge
Mower Cutting Width: 54 in.
Blades: 3
Mower Deck Material: 11 ga.
Mower Wheel Adjustment: Yes
Mower Level Adjustment: Exact
Mower Drive System: In-line belt, Electric PTO
Mower Attachment: 4 point Not EZ-Off
Mower Drive: Belt Tension Spring
Mower Wheels Rotate For Deck Removal: No


Wheelbase: 49-in. 
Overall Length: 75.5-in. 
Width without mower: 49-in. 
Width with mower: 67-in. 
Width with mower: (deflector raised for storage) 57-in. 
Height: 42-in. 
Weight: 700 lb with mower, no fuel

U.S. Warranty: 3 year limited / 5 year fram and axle / 1 year professional, 3 and 5 year optional protection plan

Optional Attachments

Mowers: 54X (standard)
Material Collection System: Yes
Mulching System: Yes
Front Thatcher: NA
Front Blade: NA
Tractor Shovel: No
Snow Blower: NA
Front Bumper: NA
Brush Guard: NA
Bucket Holder: NA
Tow-Behind Tools: All non-ground engaging are ok. You can teach yourself to back up your yard cart 🙂

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