Most and Least Reliable Gas Riding Mower Brands
How to pick a model that will keep cutting for years
Consumer Reports tests riding lawn mowers to help you find models that cut evenly and handle with ease. And though performance is key, you’ll also want a riding mower that’s built to last. After all, these machines can cost from $1,300 to $5,500.
Our latest member survey shows that the experience isn’t always problem-free. Almost 28 percent of riding mowers are likely to develop problems or break in their first five years of ownership.
"The most commonly reported problem among riding mowers had to do with the mower belt, affecting 13 percent of riding mowers," says Martin Lachter, a senior research associate at Consumer Reports. "The next most common problem was related to the bag not filling or attaching to the mower properly.”
Lawn tractors are your quintessential riding mower, with a big engine in front and a seat and steering wheel mounted over the cutting deck. In CR’s survey, they make up 57 percent of the riding mowers purchased in 2021.