With demand for riding zero-turn mowers, companies have emerged trying to produce the best zero-turn mowers. However, Cub Cadet has always been famous for its quality residential lawnmowers, and the new Cub Cadet Ultima series is no different. You can rely on these mowers to mow your lawn up to five acres in a short time. Also, the mowers deliver exceptional value and consistent performance need. It's also easy to maintain compared to its other counterparts. With that in mind, let's check out a comprehensive Cub Cadet Zero-Turn review and see whether it's worth your investment.

What are the top rated Cub Cadet zero turn mowers?

What is a Cub Cadet Zero-Turn Mower?

Cub Cadet is a U.S company that usually produces outdoor power equipment, including handheld and chore products, utility vehicles, and snow blowers. The company engineers, designs, and builds these equipment using high-quality components from the states or outside. Also, the company covers all aspects of grounds care for homeowners and professionals.

A Cub Cadet Ultima zero-turn mower is simply easy to control and maneuver because of the direction levers. The zero-turn feature usually allows you to easily cut around objects like flower beds and bushes that might get your way, meaning you won't have to use more effort trimming them. Also, the Cub Cadet Ultima mower allows you to cut mowing time by up to half of a standard mower.

Now that we understand what a Cub Cadet Ultima is let's check out the best option of these mowers. Read on!

1. Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1

The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 comes with an aesthetically rich design while boasting wide tires as well and a fabricated deck for more strong riding. It's for homeowners with a 2-4 acre yard with a low budget. Besides, the 42-inch model is the only stamped deck providing in the whole Ultimate series. This Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 also offers a 46-inch, 50-inch, and 54-inch width cutting deck. So, the options of the decks give you choices to choose from. Moreover, the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 provides the Hydro-Gear EZT 2200 transaxles. These are usually the lowest grade of transaxle provided by Hydro-Gear.

Nonetheless, it's also the most famous used for zero turns in this price tag range. They're durable and long-lasting but won't hold up quite as perfectly as higher-grade transaxles provided by Hydro-Gear. The maximum speed for the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 is 7.5 miles per hour, allowing you to get to your backyard in better time. Furthermore, this unit can cut up to five acres which is excellent for someone with ample backyard space to spruce up.

The zero-turn mower has a 23 HP engine. And generally, for the price, the Cub cadet Ultimate ZT1 is one of the best residential lawn mowers in the industry. The specifications are very competitive, and the price is affordable for a quality residential riding lawn mower.

  • Pros
  • Comes with an aesthetically rich design
  • Has a maximum speed of 7.5 miles per hour, allowing you to get to your backyard in a better time
  • Can cut up to five acres
  • The options of the decks give you choices to choose from
  • Cons
  • Some users complain of vibrations and uneven cuts.

2. Cub Cadet Ultima ZT2

The Cub Cadet ZT2 has a 60 inches deck option, large tires and comes with a little more speed compared to the Ultima ZT1 model. The model also comes with a Kawasaki FR engine, an upgrade from the Kohler 7000 series engine though still a "residential" engine offering. These engines are very durable and have proven to perform well on residential mowers. The transaxles in the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT2 series are upgraded to the Hydro-Gear ZR 2800. Though they're still considered residential grade, they're some step up from the EZT transaxles on the ZT1.

Additionally, the ZT2 60-inch deck option is ideal for individuals with an open yard without many obstacles. The larger front and rear castor tires help the mower with stability on slightly rolling hills. Finally, the open-frame design and hinged floor pan on the zero-turn mower allows easy accessibility to the deck and engine for fast and simple maintenance. Generally, you will notice that the ZT2 has some upgrades over the ZT1. So, if your budget allows you, we recommend opting for this model mainly because of the upgraded engine and transaxle options.

  • Pros
  • Open frame design and hinged floor pan allows easy accessibility to the deck and engine for fast and simple maintenance
  • Front and rear castor tires help the mower with stability on hills
  • Features a long enough 60 -inch cutting deck
  • Cons
  • List Element

3. Cub Cadet Ultima ZT3

The Ultima ZT3 is powered by Kawasaki 725cc powerful engine, which usually produces 24 HP power. The upgrades of this zero-turn mower include the engine itself, seat, and transaxles. The "semi-commercial" engine is a significant improvement over the Kawasaki FR and Kohler 7000 series. On the other hand, the FS series last much longer and deliver a bit more power. Besides, the significant upgrade in the Kawasaki engine is the air filtration system.

This mower's independent suspension caster wheels usually give a smooth and comfortable ride with less vibration. As a result, you can cut grass easily. Finally, the zero mowers have a fully adjustable premium 24 inches high back seat with cushioned armrests for comfortable handling, advanced polymer seat isolators, and a ball-bearing seat slide. Conversely, the Hydro-Gear ZT3100 transaxles offer the longevity you will expect from zero-turn mowers.

  • Pros
  • Features a powerful engine
  • Cushioned armrests for comfortable handling
  • Suspension caster wheels give a smooth and comfortable ride with less vibration
  • Cons
  • The blades are not very durable.

Cub Cadet Ultima Vs. Other Zero-Turn Mower Models

Cub Cadet Ultima exceeds the basic specs of its many counterparts. However, the specifications, when matched with the price tag, prove to be a value-packed purchase. When comparing these zero-turn mower models to counterparts like Husqvarna, Snapper, and Hustler, below are some things that will be outstanding on the Ultima.

  • Powerful Kohler or Kawasaki engine
  • Three precision-engineered blades
  • More excellent deck with a cutting width of up to 60 inches
  • Easy access to essential maintenance points
  • 15 height of deck positions

This is a good mower than virtually every residential zero-turns on the market. The price is also fair.

1. Engine power

When looking for outdoor power equipment for your lawn care, the engine is a crucial consideration. Luckily, the Cub Cadet Ultima hits hard with great engine quality, specifications and performance. You have the assurance of the FS series, twin-cylinder Kawasaki FR series, Kohler 7000 series on the Ultima riding mower. Each model has a 3.5-gallon gas tank, meaning you can finish your owing on a single tank.

Moreover, the Ultima series riding mower will feature ZT 2800, ZT 3100, or Hydro-Gear EZT 2200. However, as you go up in the lawn mower's line up you will notice the transaxles usually improve. Besides, the ZT 3100 is the only viable grade transaxle available on the Ultima zero turns.

 2. Features

Outstanding features usually offer reassurance that this mower's build quality and engineering will offer you lasting performance.

  • Comes with excellent rubber floor mats
  • Has 3-way adjustable ergonomic lap bar
  • Dual-LED headlights
  • It performs well on hillsides for a residential lawn mower
  • Features 2-inch by 2 -inch tubular steel frames
  • The powerful AeroForce cutting deck usually ensures outstanding cutting
  • Maintenance is easy with an open-framed design that comes with a hinged floor pan for accessibility to the mower deck
  • High back seats that have a polymer seat suspension system
  • Features integrated parking brake system
  • 3-year and unlimited hour warranty
  • Comes with a triple guard corrosion defense system

3. Comfort

If you have been using zero-turn riding lawn mowers, you know that comfort makes a huge difference in getting the job done perfectly. Luckily, Cub Cadet hasn't overlooked this fact; they come with a deeply upholstered and adjustable command center fitted with seat suspension and everything upfront that you need. The seat is very comfortable to ensure a great ride. Although some premium commercial zero-turn lawn mowers are not quite the ride quality, it's better than other residential zero-turn mowers.

The seat has extra padding for added comfort. The lawn mower is also fitted with armrests on the seat. The padded lab bar is three-way adjustable to reduce user fatigue from prolonged use. Also, it has a rubber floor mat that offers you anti-shock for your feet. Moreover, you have easy access to the deck with deck lift and deck height adjustment.

4. Durability

With the Cub Cadet Ultima riding lawn mower, you enjoy great longevity because of the materials used in fabrication and super build quality. The square tubular frame that makes this series of zero-turn mowers has been designed for lasting service. With the large motor and tubular design, it's a durable machine. Also, the advanced-traction rear tires and rubber front wheels help it feel stable too. For instance, since mowing in reverse is naturally unsafe, Cub Cadet lawn tractors are made to discourage the practice. If you combine all of that and the Sure-Start High-Output battery, then you have a durable machine.

5. Cut quality

With the Cub Cadet Ultima Zero Turn Lawn Mower, you can enjoy an outstanding cut quality with fewer stragglers, a more even cut, and less clumping. The mowing deck of these mowers has been independently assessed and found to deliver a superior cut for a residential mower. Conversely, the fabricated deck is built for longevity and is outstanding in typical grass-cutting environments.

Furthermore, the maintenance-free aluminum spindles are convenient, and they seem to hold up for not less than 500 hours. Most of the mower decks in the Cub Cadet Ultima series feature triple-blade decks perfect for a quality cut. Generally, we can agree that the ct quality of this model is excellent.

6. Cutting blade speed

The Cub Cadet Ultima mower is designed to support a 50-inch cutting deck. This enhanced size usually allows the mower to be fast when it comes to cutting grass. However, it's worth mentioning that the fabricated deck is not the only feature that plays a role in the mower's cutting speed and engine power. The power or the engine usually helps grant the mower a much-need consistency and enough power to maneuver through smooth and rough terrain.

7. Timing

The 7.5 mph ground speed of the Ultima Series allows you to cut grass 50 percent faster than with a typical lawn tractor, thanks to the Kohler and Kawasaki engines. As a result, you can expect to cut your mowing time back by 30-45 minutes. Also, it has a 50" cutting deck. Additionally, the aero force and turn radius system help to get the job done fast and efficiently.

The aeroforce deck offers a perfect cut through advanced aerodynamics. By maximizing airflow, it can get rid of clumping during grass clippings discharge while increasing suction. This feature allows you to cut grass with a better bagging performance.

8. Build quality

The Cub Cadet Ultima riding mowers offer a three-year, unlimited hours warranty and an additional lifetime warranty on the deck and the frame. These units are one of the best zero-turn mowers on the market. Though the warranties are exciting, the build quality is more exciting.

9. Appearance

These riding lawn mowers have the same great aesthetics you have come to expect from Cub Cadet Ultima, with a signature yellow frame, elegant design, and black accents. Besides, the Cub Cadet Ultima zero turns to have one of the best looks in the garden equipment industry.

Additionally, the half rollover bar design gives it a cool look, making other manufacturers adopt the same design.

10. Safety

When it comes to safety measures, Cub Cadet Ultima is not left out. Here are safety measures for this riding lawn mower. The brake pedal lock mechanism ensures that the brake is always engaged when starting the engine; blades disengage immediately come off the seat. The seat safety switch doesn't allow you to start the lawn mower before sitting on it.