I recently sold my X350 and purchased an X495 so I thought I'd share my thoughts on the two. I had purchased the x350 new when I moved to a 3-acre lot that's very hilly. At that point I didn't really know how I would use it beyond mowing, and I didn't have a full understanding of the x350s limitations. In addition I wanted an easier way to turn my boat/trailer around and park it in my shop. The X350 was not up for that task. When I found a used X495 with about 650 hours for $3600 I jumped on it.
The X350 is a fantastic machine with a very good 48" deck. For mowing only I really couldn't imagine wanting more out of it in most cases. 4-wheel steering is about the only thing I ever thought about it not having and I still wouldn't have paid for it for my use.
The X495 immediately stood out as having better ergonomics. I didn't buy it for this reason but its size, power steering, and hydraulic deck lift make it much more comfortable and convenient to use for extended times.
Both are very capable mowers of course. The x495's 60" deck and the power of the diesel allow me to mow much more quickly. Thick grass at full speed is no problem for this thing. The X350 is a strong mower but no where near the 495. I do have problems with the wide deck scalping at times. I've starting mowing with the deck a notch higher and that helps of course. I also am trying to approach hill crests head-on rather than mowing along them. That seems to help a little as well. The X495's weight tends to leave tire tracks when the ground is wet more than I ever noticed with the 350. That's just a product of weight of course. Naturally the bigger tractor and wider deck keep me from mowing some tight spots but only a couple in my case.
It shouldn't surprise most that these are in two completely different categories when it comes to pulling. I've never used a garden tractor to any extent and without demonstrating it, it's hard to describe how effortlessly the x495 pulls whatever I connect it to. So far it's only been limited by traction from the turf tires, not by engine or transmission. I've pulled a felled tree that was heavily entangled in vines up an embankment without hesitation. I've pulled small cedar stumps. I've pulled a trailer full of gravel up my fairly steep drive. And I moved my boat around. All effortlessly.
Limitations/downsides of the X495
Some times I wish I had 4WD. I occasionally climb up steep, rocky hills, and get it in some situations where I risk getting it stuck (I haven't yet, fortunately). I would feel better if the front wheels were helping out.
As I mentioned, it's more inclined to leave tire marks when it's wet. And the town I live in has had 32.3 inches of rain in the last 90 days! :rain:
For some reason the grass cuttings ends up back on me and the tractor a lot more than with the 350. I have to clean the air intake grills often and the top of the mower deck is always caked with grass. I find this frustrating.
The hydraulic deck lift is convenient but it has a fairly slow reaction time. By that I mean that I pull the lever and there's a second or so before it come up. On the X350 I could approach a rock/root/stump and press the pedal to immediately lift the deck and go over it. That's not really possible with the hydraulic lift without coming to a stop first.
So while the x350 is a great mower for most applications, no doubt about that. But it didn't quite meet my needs. I'm very happy with the x495 even if I had to get an older one. I'm looking to put a 3-point hitch on it to pull a box blade over my poor rutted out gravel driveway. Did I mention how much rain we've had?