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Outdoor-gear preview: Cub Cadet cuts cost of power steering

Consumer Reports News: November 02, 2010 01:12 PM

Lawn tractors with power steering can cost as much as $5,100 for a John Deere X360. But this week, MTD announced that its Cub Cadet brand will feature power steering on models costing as low as $2,500. The news was reported at the Green Industry and Equipment Expo (GIE+Expo), a trade show for outdoor power equipment and related products.

The Cub Cadet SLTX1050, with a 50-in. deck, is at the lowest-end of the new lawn-tractor lines that will come with power steering. We found it easy to operate during a few quick drives in a demo meeting at the trade show. Three 1000-series models will have the feature, along with three from the 2000 GT series. The highest-end model with power steering will be the 54-in. GTX2154LE, $7,000, which can also be fitted with decks as small as 42-in

Also coming in the spring for the Cub Cadet brand will be an upgraded Z-Force zero-turn rider. When we tested the $4,000 Z Force S 48 17AI5BHB, which includes a steering-wheel option for safer, less intimidating control, we found the fabricated deck with the sharp corners wasn't the best for airflow. We judged that model mediocre for most cutting tasks—and only fair for bagging clippings.

Some of next year’s Z-Force models come with stamped decks that we expect will score better in our cutting tests. They range in size from the $2,500 i1040, with a 42-in. deck, to the $3,000 i1050, which has a 50-in. deck.


—Ed Perratore

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