What's this? Based mostly on cutting performance, handling, and ease of use. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
Approximate retail price:
Summary:This 42-inch John Deere lawn tractor comes with a 2-cylinder Kawasaki engine with an automatic drive system and electric PTO. It includes a more comfortable high-back seat but lacks a washout port.
The John Deere X304 is part of the lawn mower & tractor
test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, lawn tractor
models like the X304 are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.
A combination of evenness, which is how close the tractor or rider came to even, carpet-like mowing, and how evenly clippings were dispersed from the side-discharge chute.
Reflects a combination of evenness, which is how close the tractor or rider came to even, carpet-like mowing, and how completely the mower distributed its clippings over the lawn's surface.
Denotes a combination of evenness, which is how close the tractor or rider came to even, carpet-like mowing, and a measurement of the effective capacity of the grass bag, determined when the bag was full or when the chute clogged and stopped collecting clippings.
About This Brand
John Deere makes and markets one of the best-selling lines of lawn tractors at retail. John Deere lawn tractors are fully featured and have deck widths from 42 to 54 inches. Most models have hydrostatic drive and Briggs & Stratton engines. John Deere lawn tractors are sold at dealers, Home Depot, and Lowe's. The company markets a small line of three very similar lawn mowers through dealers and at Lowe's. Those mowers are also available in a California-emissions version. All models feature rear-wheel drive, a 21-inch, and a Briggs & Stratton engine and are priced from $400. John Deere also markets a line of garden tractors and zero-turn riders.
Deck size (in.) The manufacturer's claimed cutting width, or swath, in inches. Rear-engine riding mowers are about 30 inches, and lawn tractors are about 38 to 48 inches or more. Mowers with larger decks take up more storage space, but cut proportionally faster and therefore reduce cutting time.
Deck size (in.)
Engine power (hp) The manufacturer's claimed horsepower for the engine. All other factors being equal, an engine with more power will be able to handle tougher jobs (such as tall grass) without bogging down.
I have had this tractor for about 5yrs and have 415 hrs on it. I use it for about 4 months every yr and store it inside the rest of the yr. At about 340 hrs the transmission started to slip a little when it was warm so I would do the level areas first. After that I would do the areas that had a small incline first then the level areas next. That seemed to work until now. At 415 hrs I took it into the John Deere dealer and they said it is more likely that the transmission is done. He said we can try and change oil in it and replace a leaky seal. That didn't work. So new transmission $1500.
How long have you owned it:
More than six months
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
By Man Machine
from Mequon WI
Easy to Push & Steer
Poor Seat Cover
This is my fifth Deere. I had the LX277 prior to this one for several years and I loved it. That one would scalp the lawn when turning tightly around trees due to the root shoulders of the tree. This unit doesn't scalp the lawn. I have the 42 deck. The wider decks could scalp the lawn if not adjusted properly or you turn to tightly (there are anti-scalping roller kits available to fix that). Maintenance on Deere's is simple. Simply can not beat it.
How long have you owned it:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
By Alan the unhappy customer
from Allentown PA
(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)
I would not buy this product again
Requires Constant Maintenance
I bought this tractor because Consumer Report gave it a good rating. My experience has been disappointing. The deck level needs frequent adjustment. It does not cut evenly. It scalps the lawn when mowing in short circle. The cheap vinyl seat has already ripped. The service man told me that John Deere has cheapened the construction. I certainly have learned that first hand. One good thing about the tractor is that it has an excellent engine.