I looked at other zero turns from Ariens, Cub Cadet. The Cub Cadet ZT2 had nice features (Kawasaki engine, auto parking brake, cut height dial, standard LED lights), wider tires at a lower price. But no roll bar and it was uncomfortably loud.Any owners of the new z500 series on here? Thinking about a z530m or z530r, 54" deck either way. Currently mowing 2.3 acres with lots of landscaping. The z700 or z900 are nice, but simply too heavy for my wet clay lawn. Current mower is a Husqvarna rz5424 ztr, but I'm at 11 years and 400+ hours, so thinking about moving up before one of the EXT units gives up the ghost.
The Z500 had larger diameter wheels, a ROPS and a longer warranty. I spoke to the JD service manager about the engine and he said that the Brigs extended life engines are very good. I ended up driving to a dealer 150km away that had one in stock and bought a Z500E. I had them add the 4 point LED lights which light the area up nicely. I am thinking of ordering the mulch kit, but have heard mixed reviews about it.
I have had the unit a couple of months and am happy with it. It performs better on slopes than expected. The one negative is the standard tires. While they don't tear up the lawn, they will sometimes slip when going up hills.