Product Reviews
Take Action
Back
SIGN THE PETITION

Fight for Fair Finance

Tell the administration and Congress to stand up for the consumer watchdog that protects you from financial fraud and abuse.
Take Action
Why Do We Have Campaigns?
We're fighting to ensure you and your family can get a fair deal in the marketplace, especially on the choices that matter most: health care, privacy, automobiles, food, finances and more. Join our campaigns and together, we'll hold corporations and lawmakers accountable.

Nothing runs like a Deere you buy at the dealer

John Deere tractors sold at home centers cost less and here's why

Published: May 06, 2015 02:45 PM
John Deere X310

Find Ratings

The deep-voiced announcer on a current John Deere commercial makes it plain: “When it’s time to pick a mower, you gotta get on one,” a practice Consumer Reports routinely recommends. The commercial ends with the company's slogan, "Nothing runs like a Deere." But in our tests we discovered that even though John Deere lawn tractors and riders are among the best you can buy, some run a little better than others.  Deere's dealers sell machines that you can't find at your local home center. Here's the difference.

At the dealer

Select Series X-class John Deere lawn tractors ($3,000 to $4,000), sold by authorized dealers, have long been top picks in our lawn tractor Ratings. The John Deere X300, John Deere X304, and John Deere X310 sport twin-cylinder Kawasaki engines, considered among the longest-lasting; heavier-duty transmissions that are well-suited to towing or pushing; and sturdy construction you can feel when you're driving it.

John Deere D110

At home centers

Deere's D-class tractors such as the John Deere D125 or John Deere D110, sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s, typically make our top picks list yet cost under $2,000. These models feature Briggs & Stratton engines, capable transmissions, and lighter-weight construction all-around. Unfortunately, while you can sit on one at the home center, you can’t give it a test drive except on certain “demo days.”

How to compare

If you’re committed to the Deere brand, which is among the most reliable lawn tractors, you can visit an authorized dealer to get some perspective. Dealers, especially those that service machines sold at home centers, often stock D-class as well as Select-Series tractors. So you can drive tractors of both tiers to see which you prefer. True, the Select-Series tractors cost more. But in addition to their sturdier parts and construction, dealer-sold machines have warranties that are twice as long.

An affordable option

The attraction of home-center tractors, of course, is the price but Deere fans will be happy to hear there's an in-between choice—the John Deere Sport Series S240—that's not a compromise. You can buy it at the dealer for $2,500. This recommended model offers a twin-cylinder Kawasaki engine and other components similar to what you find in the Select-Series tractors. But it’s built on a D-class frame.

Our lawn tractor Ratings represent 10 brands, including Deere. If it's been years since you last shopped for mowing gear, be sure to see our mower buying guide.

—Ed Perratore (@EdPerratore on Twitter)

Find Ratings

Lawn mowers Ratings

View and compare all Lawn mowers ratings.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Home & Garden News

Cars

Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more