What a dilemma…how do you choose between two well-known brands? To answer this question, let’s start at Consumer Reports.

With 11,217 subscribers, the biggest winner was John Deere for lawn tractors, and Deere ranked near the top for zero-turn mowers as well.

The most popular reason cited: reliability.

Which brand offers better reliability, Husqvarna or John Deere?

By the time your tractor is 4 years old, about 22% of John Deere lawn tractors will break down and require service. In comparison more than 30% of Husqvarna lawn tractors will need repair.

For zero turn mowers, John Deere wins again. John Deere ZTRs come in at a 30% chance of necessary repairs in 4 years, and Husqvarna proved the least reliable ZTR on the list, with 55% of mowers requiring repair by the fourth year.

Nothing runs like a Deere.

Comparing features and price

To evaluate what you get for your money, I chose comparably priced models for head-to-head comparison on price and features:

Husqvarna YTH24K48FT vs John Deere D130-42

Each of these mid-priced models costs about $1,900. How do they stack up, and what do users think?

Specs/featuresHusqvarnaJohn Deere
Deck size48 in.42 in.
Engine power24 hp22 hp
Drive TypeHydrostaticHydrostatic
Cylinders22
Forward speedsVariableVariable
Warranty3 years2 years
Power steeringNoNo
Cuts in reverseYesYes
Cruise controlYesYes
Easy mode changeNoNo
Blade change to mulchYesYes
Blade change to bagNoNo
Washout portYesYes

 

What consumers complained about:

We checked several review websites to see what customers had to say. Here’s what we found.

The Husqvarna had a number of very similar complaints about expensive transmission repairs early in ownership, and several people mentioned that the warranty information is misleading. It only covers engine and transmission for 1 year, leaving owners on the hook for the cost of the repairs, which are likely to be $900 to $1,500.

The John Deere model had a few fairly minor complaints, but there were no consistent complaints, and the overwhelming majority of comments were positive.

Bottom line: The Husqvarna offers a wider cutting deck and more hp for the price, but is likely to cost you a lot more in the long run. The same size John Deere lawn tractor – John Deere D140-48 – would run you $100 more, but offer much better reliability and lower repair costs.

As you go up or down in price, the findings are fairly consistent. John Deere costs a little more, with its top-tier models earning high praise for comfort, style, and reliability, while Husqvarna struggles with reliability issues.

We think the choice is clear. We’re partial to John Deere green.

Image Credit: Deere.com