2017 Cub Cadet XT1 – XT2 Lawn & Garden Tractor Review

Cub Cadet Lawn Tractors – 18 Tractors – One Chassis To Rule Them All!

Cub Cadet did something very unique in the Lawn Tractor world with the XT Enduro line. They designed and built one heavy-duty chassis for all of their XT1 – XT2 Enduro Tractors.  They focused on making it strong enough to handle every engine/transmission/deck combination you may need for your property. Yes, The XT1, XT2 lawn tractors and garden tractors all use the same chassis.

Is the new Enduro line of Cub Cadet tractors better than the 2014 and older LT and GT models? Yes! Is the new Enduro series less repair-prone? Yes. Are they better than the competition? So far after two seasons, they have a stellar reputation. Last year there were no issues at all with the things that caused Consumer Reports to say Cub Cadet was “repair prone” in the past.  Cub Cadet has great mowing decks. In the residential arena their decks consistently win the smooth, flat, weekly mowing category. The dome design does a great job for side-discharge, bagging, mulching. Even the newest 46 inch fabricated decks are getting rave reviews for cut quality.

In other words, Cub Cadet has gotten a tarnished reputation over the last 10 years for building lawn tractors that have problems right from the start. Because of that opinion one review organization has decided that Cub Cadet as a brand is one of the most repair prone.  The XT Enduro Series is completely redesigned and will not suffer the “sins” of the past engineers. If you now have a negative opinion of Cub Cadet – GET OVER IT!

FYI: Consumer Reports just came out, April 11, 2017, with a revised “Most and Least Reliable Lawn Tractor Brands” list. The list includes lawn tractors, and residential ZTRs. Cub Cadet is no longer the most repair prone. In general the high priced John Deere dealer only X240 and X300 models are the least repair prone (22% in the first four years) and Husqvarna ZTR’s are the most repair prone (55% in the first four years.) All the other brands including Cub Cadet fall in between with about 30%. In addition, CR verified a fact I have been telling you for years – Only about 17% of these repairs fall under the factory defect warranty!

FYI: The Craftsman Pro Tractors also use this chassis. In addition the Craftsman Pro tractors have the unique 5 inch Turn Tight Extreme steering and a few models also offer power steering!

FYI: You are also going to find the Columbia brand at some repair shops and small dealers.  Columbia is MTD’s Canadian brand. Why does your local store carry it? MTD likes to have a prime brand like Cub Cadet in an area and they restrict the number of dealers. So , if your town already has a Cub Cadet dealer and someone wants to sell their products they will let them have one of the 20 other brands like Yard Machines, White, etc. Unfortunately, they misused the reputation of most of the names you are familiar with by selling only the least expensive products. So, a couple of years ago they started bringing the Columbia name down here. Columbia has been one of the premier Canadian names in Lawn Equipment for over 40 years just like Cub Cadet is here in the U.S. MTD bought them out 20 years ago and has kept the reputation going well for the brand.  So, a Columbia tractor is just a Cub Cadet XT1 painted a different color. You will find a few dealers selling Troy-Bilt but Troy-Bilt is used primarily at Lowes today. Troy-Bilt is more complex because they also sell the smaller, inexpensive lawn tractors. 

Is the 2016 Cub Cadet Enduro Series the best for you?

If you live in a sub-division. The kind where your yard was leveled and smoothed with construction equipment the Cub Cadet XT Enduro Series is going to give you a perfect cut. If you have had commercial landscape companies mow your lawn before and your lawn really looked good when they were done, the Cub Cadet will give you a similar cut. If your lawn is highly contoured and you want a perfect cut this may not be the best choice. The frame is extremely stiff so it may gouge or scalp rough spots on an older lawn. If your old mower is a Simplicity with the ground hugging deck and the roller all the way across the back this new Cub Cadet is different. It uses the floating deck design everyone else uses.  (only Simplicity and Husqvarna Rider have the ground following deck)

My back yard is fairly smooth. The Cub Cadet will give it a great cut. My front yard on the other hand is contoured, meaning it has a lot of small dips and mounds.  It has a small ditch along the road and a swale along one side for water drainage to the backyard. A stiff framed tractor like the Cub Cadet digs and gouges the turf. My lawn can be mowed with the Cub Cadet but it looks the best when mowed with a ground-hugging deck.

Which Model is Best For You?

There are three different lines in the Enduro Series.   The XT1, XT2 and XT3. I’ll give you a summary description of the XT1 and XT2 models in this article.

XT3-GSX

XT3-GSX

The XT1 Series is Cub Cadet’s base line. But understand that Cub Cadet does not have a “cheap” line.  The least expensive XT1 Cub Cadet lawn tractor has the same tough frame as the most expensive XT2 Garden tractor. The entire line is built to last.  Feature-wise the XT1 is comparable to the John Deere 100 series, the Craftsman Yard Tractors, Husqvarna YTH, and the Simplicity Regent.  It is designed for strength, comfort and durability. There are models available for lawns ranging from 1/2 to 4 acres. This series uses Kohler engines for long life and Tuff Torq foot control transmissions for ease of use. There is one model that has a heavy-duty garden tractor transmission.

The XT1 Series is available at The Home Depot, Tractor Supply Corp, many Farm Supply stores and your local Cub Cadet Dealer,

The XT2 comes with the same strength, durability and comfort as the XT1.  They come with slightly different features than the XT1. Specifically, you get ball bearing front wheels, a front bumper, different tires, arm rests, larger battery and a larger alternator. The XT2 models use the same frame and transmissions as the XT1 series. Marketwise the XT2 Enduro Series belongs in the group of mowers like the John Deere X240-X300, the Craftsman Pro Tractors, Husqvarna LS, and the Simplicity Regent.

The XT2 Series is only available at Cub Cadet Dealers.

The XT3 Series is a dealer exclusive model and has no comparison to any other brand. The XT3 is a completely separate, heavy-duty machine with completely different decks and attachments from the XT1 and XT2 lines. It’s a true garden tractor. It is the only lawn/garden tractor made in the U.S. that still uses a horizontal engine, full length driveshaft and cast iron hydrostatic transmission. It’s actaully one of the best value garden tractors because it’s half the price of a comparable Deere or Simplicity.

The XT3 Series is only available from select Cub Cadet Dealers.

XT1 & XT2 Lineup

Cub Cadet’s website is extremely confusing. The only way to compare the XT1 Series to the XT2 is to use the compare buttons. In addition, I keep hearing horror stories where some Cub Cadet dealers state the XT2 is heavier duty, better, or the Home Depot version is inferior. The truth is the only difference is the XT2 has a few different engine options and has the following as extra/different features. Ball bearing front wheels, a front bumper, different tires, armrests, larger battery and a larger alternator.

Cub Cadet dropped the Kawasaki FR engine in 2016 and has added two new EFI (electronic fuel injection) engines to a XT1 and a XT2 42 inch model.

For the rest of this article I am going to compare the XT1 and XT2 together based on deck size and price so you have a better reference of the differences.

Remember, the $200-$300 difference between the XT1 and XT2 is only ball bearing front wheels, a front bumper, different tires, armrests, larger battery and a larger alternator.

Warranty: 3-YEAR UNLIMITED HOURS (INCLUDES POWERTRAIN) & 5-YEAR CHASSIS & FRONT AXLE UNLIMITED HOURS/LIMITED LIFETIME FABRICATED DECK SHELL

CARB: There are California Compliant models available at The Home Depot

Feel free to ask questions in the comments below.

42 Inch /Twin Blade

XT1 LT42″ C $1499

 Engine: Cub Cadet 547cc OHV Single Cylinder

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K46) 3/4 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

Wheels: Front 15″ x 6″ sleeve bearing  Rear 20″ x 8″

Turning Radius: 16″

Deck: 42″/Twin Blades Stamped Deck, Lever engagement

Battery: 230 cold crank amps

Available at a Cub Cadet Dealer: Where To Buy

XT1 LT42″ $1499

XT1 LT42

XT1 LT42

Engine: 18 HP Kohler® Courage OHV Single Cylinder

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K46) 3/4 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

Wheels: Front 15″ x 6″ sleeve bearing  Rear 20″ x 8″

Deck: 42″/Twin Blades Stamped Deck, Lever engagement

Battery: 230 cold crank amps

Weight: 410 lbs

Buy Here From The Home Depot: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series At The Home Depot

Buy Here From Tractor Supply Co: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series At Tractor Supply Co

XT1 LT42″ EFI $1749

Engine: Cub Cadet 547cc EFI Engine

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K46). 3/4 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

Wheels: Front 15″ x 6″ ball bearing  Rear 20″ x 8″

Deck: 42″/Twin Blades Stamped Deck, Electronic fingertip engagement

Battery: 300 cold crank amps

Cub Cadet Dealer Locator: Where To Buy

XT2 LX42″ $1799

XT2 LX42 KH

XT2 LX42 KH

Engine: 22 HP Kohler® 7000 Series V-Twin with Smart-Choke™

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K46). 3/4 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

Wheels: Front 15″ x 6″ ball bearing  Rear 20″ x 8″

Deck: 42″/Twin Blades Stamped Deck, Electronic fingertip engagement

Battery: 300 cold crank amps

Weight: 450 lbs

Cub Cadet Dealer Locator: Where To Buy

XT2 LX42″ EFI $1999

Engine: Cub Cadet’s 679cc electronic fuel injected V-Twin engine. Keyless push button engine start.

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K46). 3/4 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

Wheels: Front 15″ x 6″ ball bearing  Rear 20″ x 8″

Deck: 42″/Twin Blades Stamped Deck

Battery: 300 cold crank amps

Cub Cadet Dealer Locator: Where To Buy

46 Inch /Twin Blade

XT1 LT46″ $1699

XT1 LT46

XT1 LT46

Engine: 22 HP Kohler® 7000 Series V-Twin

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K46) 3/4 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

Wheels: Front 15″ x 6″ sleeve bearing  Rear 20″ x 8″

Deck: 46″/Twin Blades Stamped Deck, lever engagement

Battery: 230 cold crank amps

Buy Here From The Home Depot: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series At The Home Depot

Buy Here From Tractor Supply Co: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series At Tractor Supply Co

XT1 LT46″ EFI FAB $1999

Engine: 547cc EFI Cub Cadet OHV engine

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K46) 3/4 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

Wheels: Front 15″ x 6″ sleeve bearing  Rear 20″ x 8″

Deck: 46″ heavy-duty fabricated, twin-blade cutting deck

Battery: 230 cold crank amps

Buy Here From Tractor Supply Co: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series At Tractor Supply Co

XT2 LX46″ $1999

XT2 LX46

XT2 LX46

Engine: 24 HP Kohler® 7000 Series V-Twin

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K46). 3/4 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

Wheels: Front 15″ x 6″ ball bearing  Rear 20″ x 8″

Deck: 46″ Twin Blades Stamped Deck, Electronic fingertip engagement

Battery: 300 cold crank amps

Cub Cadet Dealer Locator: Where To Buy

XT2 LX46″ FAB $2499

Engine: 24 HP Kohler® 7000 Series V-Twin engine with Smart-Choke™.

  • Keyless engine start: Easy push-button control.

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K46). 3/4 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

Wheels: Front 15″ x 6″ ball bearing  Rear 20″ x 8″

Deck: 46″ heavy-duty fabricated, twin-blade cutting deck

Battery: 300 cold crank amps

Cub Cadet Dealer Locator: Where To Buy

XT2 LX46″ LE $2599

Engine: 21.5 HP Kawasaki FR Series

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K46). 3/4 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

Wheels: Front 15″ x 6″ ball bearing  Rear 20″ x 8″

Deck: 46″ heavy-duty fabricated, twin-blade cutting deck

Battery: 300 cold crank amps

Cub Cadet Dealer Locator: Where To Buy

50 Inch /Three Blade

XT1 LX50″ $1999

Engine: 24 HP Kohler® 7000 Series V-Twin engine

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K46). 3/4 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

Wheels: Front 15″ x 6″ sleeve bearing  Rear 20″ x 8″

Deck: 50″ heavy-duty stamped, triple-blade cutting deck

Battery: 230 cold crank amps

Buy Here From The Home Depot: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series At The Home Depot

Buy Here From Tractor Supply Co: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series At Tractor Supply Co

XT2 LX50″ $2299

Engine: 24 HP Kohler 7000 Series V-Twin OHV with Smart-Choke™

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K46). 3/4 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

Wheels: Front 15″ x 6″ ball bearing  Rear 20″ x 8″

Deck: 50″ stamped heavy-duty, triple-blade cutting deck

Battery: 300 cold crank amps

Cub Cadet Dealer Locator: Where To Buy

XT1 GT50″ $2699

Engine: 25 HP Kohler V-Twin OHV engine

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K58). 1 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

  • Ground-engaging attachment capabilities

Wheels: Front 15″ x 6″ sleeve bearing  Rear 20″ x 8″

Deck: 50″ heavy-duty stamped, triple-blade cutting deck

Battery: 230 cold crank amps

Buy Here From The Home Depot: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series At The Home Depot

Buy Here From Tractor Supply Co: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series At Tractor Supply Co

54 Inch /Three Blade

XT1 ST54″ $2499

Engine: 24 HP Kohler V-Twin OHV engine

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K46). 3/4 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

Wheels: 16″ X 6.5″ BALL BEARING/22″ X 9.5″

Deck: 54″ heavy-duty fabricated, triple-blade cutting deck

Battery: 230 cold crank amps

Buy Here From The Home Depot: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series At The Home Depot

Buy Here From Tractor Supply Co: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series At Tractor Supply Co

XT2 LX54″ $2999

Engine: 25 HP Kohler 7000 Series V-Twin OHV with Smart-Choke™

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K46). 3/4 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

Wheels: Front 15″ x 6″ ball bearing  Rear 20″ x 8″

Deck: 54″ heavy-duty fabricated, triple-blade cutting deck

Battery: 300 cold crank amps

Cub Cadet Dealer Locator: Where To Buy

XT2 GX54″ $3299

Engine: 25 HP Kohler 7000 Series V-Twin OHV with Smart-Choke™

  • Keyless engine start: Easy push-button control.

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K58). 1 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

  • Ground-engaging attachment capabilities

Wheels: Front 16″ X 6.5″ BALL BEARING Rear 22″ X 9.5″

Deck: 54″ heavy-duty fabricated, triple-blade cutting deck

Battery: 300 cold crank amps

Cub Cadet Dealer Locator: Where To Buy

XT1 GT54″ D $3299

 Engine: 25 HP Kohler 7000 Series V-Twin OHV

  • Keyless engine start: Easy push-button control.

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K62). 1 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

  • Ground-engaging attachment capabilities
  • PEDAL ENGAGEMENT REAR DIFFERENTIAL LOCK

Wheels: Front 16″ X 6.5″ BALL BEARING Rear 22″ X 9.5″

Deck: 54″ heavy-duty fabricated, triple-blade cutting deck

Battery: 230 cold crank amps

Buy Here From The Home Depot: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series At The Home Depot

Buy Here From Tractor Supply Co: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series At Tractor Supply Co

XT2 GX54″ D $3599

 Engine: 26 HP PROFESSIONAL-GRADE KOHLER 7000 SERIES V-TWIN OHV WITH SMART-CHOKE™

Transmission: Tuff Torq® foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission (K62). 1 inch axle. Cast aluminum Transmission Housing

  • Ground-engaging attachment capabilities
  • PEDAL ENGAGEMENT REAR DIFFERENTIAL LOCK

Wheels: Front 16″ X 6.5″ BALL BEARING Rear 22″ X 9.5″

Deck: 54″ heavy-duty fabricated, triple-blade cutting deck

Battery: 300 cold crank amps

Cub Cadet Dealer Locator: Where To Buy

*This article is my opinion only. Please go to cubcadet.com for specific, up-to-date details.

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