My local JD dealer says they don't recommend putting a FEL on anything smaller than a 1025R. He's quoted me a 1025R with the JD D160XLV FEL. I've seen 1023E's with a FEL. I know the 1023E is less HP than the 1025R (at slightly less cost - about $1800). I'm also wanting a finishing mower and a box blade. I've got about 5 acres to attend to - nothing extreme - mowing, mulching leaves, moving dirt, mulch, and gravel around. Any strong opinions for one model over the other? Is the 1025R worth the extra cost? Will the 1023E perform okay with the FEL?