I have a 1025r and after reading your post I would go right to the 3 series r models. I love mine but the next one will be a 3039r and no belly mower. Maintaining your driveway will be a chore for anything smaller, it’s not all about hp but weight also. I had my 5’ landscape rake stop my 1025r leveling out topsoil. A land plane or box blade is really going to work a smaller machine obviously depending on the size.