Lawnmowers are investment pieces, so it is no surprise that the prices can go as high as north of $7000. But do you know you can spend less to afford a mower with some premium features?
The best riding lawn mower under $2000 should take care of your lawn needs, all without breaking the bank. And that is where this review and user guide come in.
We have scoured the market and identified some irresistible options from well-known brands and a few up-and-coming new players.
Read through our selection and start saving on your lawn care.
Best Riding Lawn Mower Under $2000
- Husqvarna 42-in Hydrostatic Riding Mower – Best Overall
- Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro 42-in Lawn Tractor – Best Value Under $2000
- Husqvarna LTH17538 38 in Lawnmower – Best Mid-size Ride-on Mower
- Troy-Bilt Pony 42-in Mulching Lawn Tractor – Best Budget Lawn Tractor
- Troy-Bilt TB30 Riding Lawn Mower – Best Compact Design
- Cub Cadet 30-in Rear Engine Riding Mower – Best Rear-engine Lawnmower
- Troy-Bilt 30-in Neighborhood Rider – Best Budget Riding Lawn Mower
- Snapper 2911525BVE 28-in Riding Mower – Best Riding Lawn Mower for Tight Spaces
Types of Riding Lawnmowers Under $2000
Riding lawnmowers vary in design and performance. They come in various sizes and types with different capabilities. Understanding these differences can help you choose better for your yard care needs.
This type of mower is built for comfort. As you may gather from the name, rear-engine riding lawnmowers have the engine located toward the back of the vehicle.
Naturally, this frees up the front of the unit, making them lighter and more maneuverable. The rider also has more legroom, which can make mowing less exhausting.
One outstanding feature of these riding lawnmowers is a long steering wheel that most users love for its comfort.
A rear-engine mower is hands down the best option if you’ll be cutting grass on hilly terrain.
Front-engine lawn tractors
Front engine lawn tractors, or simply lawn tractors, have their engine right in front of you, the rider. They can be heavy-duty lawn tractors such as those from John Deere or standard lawn tractors.
But with a budget of under $2000, the heavy-duty types may be out of your price range. However, both standard and heavy-duty lawn tractors are similar in design.
They feature a steering wheel and can be fitted with powerful engines capable of going 3 to 6 miles an hour. The steering mechanism sits right above the engine.
Lawn tractors like the 38-inch Husqvarna LTH17538 are equipped with adjustable ergonomic seats for maximum user comfort. Most can also cut grass in reverse, making them exciting to operate.
Zero-turn mowers are kings of maneuverability, making them among the best riding lawn mowers.
They have no steering wheels. Instead, they feature a pair of levers or lap bars, allowing for great agility.
The mowers have smaller caster wheels on the front, allowing them to pivot at much sharper angles that their peers cannot. They are the winners where navigating various obstacles is concerned.
With a zero-turn lawnmower, you can enjoy cutting grass faster and more closely around tight bends, edges, and fences. This characteristic makes these mowers a popular choice for many landscaping enthusiasts.
All three riding lawnmower types can be electric or gas-powered. Units with gas-powered engines are generally cheaper than their battery-powered cousins, which run more quietly.
Best Riding Lawn Mower Under $2000 Reviews
1. Best Overall – Husqvarna 42-in Hydrostatic Riding Mower
- 18.5 hp Briggs and Stratton Intek engine offers powerful performance
- Foot pedal-operated hydrostatic transmission allows you to change speed and direction, which lets you keep both hands on the steering wheel for optimum driving control
- Tight 16 in. turning radius allows you to mow in tighter spaces and navigate around obstacles Adjustable 13 in. mid-back seat, ergonomic steering wheel and easy step-through design provide comfort and easy operation
- 42 in. reinforced cutting deck with air induction mowing technology and dual anti-scalp wheels
- Reverse operating system allows the operator to mow in reverse with a simple turn of a switch
If you have a large yard or lawn to mow, this Husqvarna lawn tractor may be your best bet. It is fitted with a large 42-inch moving deck that lets you cut more grass with each pass, speeding up your work.
An 18.5 horsepower Briggs and Stratton Intek engine provides enough power and torque to take on any mowing assignment.
We particularly love the hydrostatic transmission operated by a foot pedal and designed for smooth and comfortable operation.
Despite its relatively large size, the unit boasts a tight 16-inch turning radius, making it among the more maneuverable options on the market.
You can mow tighter spaces relatively easily with this machine as long as the space can accommodate it.
- An adjustable seat offers the desired comfort.
- an ergonomic steering wheel makes it easier to operate the mower.
- The supported reverse operation allows for more versatility in mowing.
- Front engine position reduces legroom.
2. Best Value Under $2000 – Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro 42-in Lawn Tractor
With an engine capacity of 547 ccs, this lawn tractor packs enough power to cut through any grass type without a sweat.
Its powerful engine runs a wide 42-inch cutting deck that helps you cut more grass in one pass. This can go a long way in helping you finish your mowing session sooner.
Even better, the engine on the Cub Cadet XT1 riding mower has IntelliPower technology that can instantaneously amp up its power to provide up to 20 percent more.
So if you want to get through your mowing session sooner than usual, this lawnmower can make it happen.
Since the XT1 supports various attachments, you can accessorize it differently to take on other tasks all year. Its utility continues beyond the mowing season, thanks to a versatile design.
- Twin-blade cutting deck helps double its cutting capability.
- Responsive handling with an enhanced steering system offers a 16-inch turning radius for easier maneuvering around obstacles.
- A hydrostatic transmission system ensures a smoother and simpler operation.
- The design is incredibly comfortable.
- The warranty on this mower is nontransferable, which can be a problem when buying it used.
3. Best Mid-size Ride-on Mower – Husqvarna LTH17538 38 in Lawnmower
- Adjustable 13 in. mid-back seat, ergonomic steering wheel and easy step-through design provide comfort and easy operation
- 17.5 hp Briggs and Stratton Intek engine offers powerful performance
- Foot pedal-operated hydrostatic transmission allows you to change speed and direction, which lets you keep both hands on the steering wheel for optimum driving control
- Reverse operating system allows the operator to mow in reverse with a simple turn of a switch
- 38 in. reinforced cutting deck with air induction mowing technology and dual anti-scalp wheels
While Husqvarna LTH17538 does not have the widest mowing deck on the market, the 38-inch wide deck is big enough for most residential lawns and yards.
This deck is coupled with a 17.5-horsepower Briggs and Stratton Intek engine cranking out more cutting power than most mowers.
If you are working in a large yard, this machine’s adjustable 13-inch mid-back seat will be handy. The comfort it offers will help make long hours of mowing not just bearable but enjoyable.
The ergonomic steering wheel makes operating these Husqvarna riding mowers more comfortable and healthier.
This is coupled with an easy step-through design to simplify operation and guarantee comfort.
This mower uses a hydrostatic transmission system that eliminates the need for shifting gears while operating it—push a foot pedal, and you are good to go.
- Hydrostatic transmission allows the rider to hold the steering wheel with both hands and keep it there, ensuring optimum control throughout.
- The mower supports the reverse operation.
- 38 inches of reinforced mowing deck provides an adequate cutting width.
- Air induction technology ensures precise and clean cuts by raising grass blades during mowing.
- Large wheels make it challenging to navigate tight corners.
4. Best Budget Lawn Tractor – Troy-Bilt Pony 42-in Mulching Lawn Tractor
- Powered by a 420cc single Troy-Bilt foot-pedal automatic CVT (continuously variable) 7-speed transmission for ease of use
- 42-inch mowing deck and 13-gauge steel Step Thru frame for easy access and comfort
- Five position deck height adjustment to meet your lawn cutting needs
- 15 x 6-inch front and 20 x 8-inch rear wheels for easy maneuverability
- Backed by a 2-year limited warranty
Are you looking for a 1-acre riding lawn mower? Troy-Bilt Pony 42 may be the most inexpensive lawn tractor of its kind, but it packs some handy features found on pricey high-end tractors.
For starters, this Troy-Bilt riding mower boasts a 7-speed transmission with an 11.5 horsepower engine for efficient mowing.
In addition, a dash panel control on this mower makes it a breeze to see and adjust the 7-speed transmission settings.
Its 42-inch cutting width is not the widest but becomes extremely handy in tight areas with obstacles. The smaller size allows the mower to maneuver more easily in tight spaces. It is also easier to store.
A mulch kit included with this riding lawnmower helps keep your lawn healthier by returning grass clippings to the lawn in mulch form.
The mulching option for grass clippings also means less work-no clippings or debris to collect after mowing.
- Its powerful Briggs and Stratton engine guarantees faster speeds, strong performance, and reliability.
- Automatic headlights on this mowing truck help increase visibility.
- The machine is compatible with attachments like spreaders for added capabilities and functionalities thanks to a rear hitch.
- 18-inch turn radius makes it easier to get around obstacles.
- You enjoy up to 5 possible positions for deck height adjustment.
- The mower comes created fully, but it requires some assembly before you can use it.
5. Best Compact Design – Troy-Bilt TB30 Riding Lawn Mower
- Powerful 382cc OHV engine packs enough power to mow large lots of rough grass
- 30-Inch single blade cutting deck mows a wide path
- Operator-controlled mow-in-reverse capability for ultimate maneuverability
- Comfortable, padded high-back seat and ample leg room for a Smooth ride
- 1.3 gallon fuel tank holds enough gasoline to make refueling less frequent
Troy-Bilt TB30 is a compact, rear-engine riding lawnmower offering plenty of legroom, thanks to the engine’s position at the rear.
It packs a high-performance 382cc OHV engine capable of cutting the grass of any thickness.
Its 30-inch cutting deck is small enough to fit through tight spaces but large enough to let you complete a mowing session quickly.
A reinforced heavy-duty frame makes this unit durable enough and a good value for the money. It is relatively long-lasting and will serve you for years before requiring a replacement.
- The compact size makes the unit easy to store and move around.
- The unit comes with a mulch kit that ensures your lawn gets a decent supply of organic fertilizer.
- The mow-in-reverse capability allows you to cut grass in the reverse direction for added maneuverability.
- A padded seat with a high back makes this unit more comfortable to operate.
- An automatic transmission makes this gas-powered unit stress-free to operate.
- It is suitable only for a small yard due to its small 30-inch deck fitted with a single blade.
6. Best Rear-engine Lawnmower – Cub Cadet 30-in Rear Engine Riding Mower
According to the manufacturer, this small riding mower is powerful enough to wield the same strength as the company’s larger, more expensive riders.
Its rear engine position allows you to enjoy ample legroom, which is incredibly helpful given the small size of this mower.
Still, the small size is advantageous for users with little room in their garages or other storage areas. The small size means the unit can easily fit in small storage spaces.
The 30-inch cutting deck also makes the unit more easily maneuverable, especially in hilly terrains and yards with obstacles.
Mowing with this machine is a smooth, comfortable experience due to its hydrostatic transmission and ergonomically built Cub Comfort seat.
- The 10.5-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine on this unit is powerful.
- The mower has an LED headlight for added visibility in suboptimal weather conditions.
- The mow-In-Reverse system makes the unit versatile in its operation.
- A mulch kit with the lawnmower ensures no debris remains for you to deal with after mowing.
- A fuel sight window lets you see the fuel level without opening anything.
- 1.3-gallon fuel tank may require frequent refills.
7. Best Budget Riding Lawn Mower – Troy-Bilt 30-in Neighborhood Rider
- Powerful and dependable 382cc Troy-Bilt single cylinder engine with electric start
- 30in. cutting width with adjustable 1 1/4in. to 3 3/4in. cutting height offers compact, easy-to-maneuver rider performance
- Versatile 6-speed transmission allows you to mow at your own pace
- Manual PTO for fast and easy blade engagement
- 18in. turning radius for impressive maneuverability
The Neighborhood riding mower from Troy-Bilt boasts a 382cc OHV engine suitable for smaller yards but dependable enough to provide precise cuts each time.
With only 336 pounds, the Neighborhood rider is lightweight and easier to handle or move around and store in small storage spaces.
The unit supports up to 5 different adjustment options for the deck height. This feature allows you to cut grass to your desired level.
This lawnmower allows you to check the fuel level through a fuel sight window. This can go a long way in helping you plan your refueling on time.
- A small 30-inch deck allows it to fit in smaller spaces when mowing.
- The adjustable cutting height allows for more control of the desired cut.
- A 6-speed transmission system lets you choose your desired mowing pace.
- An 18-inch turning radius may be too tight for lawns with multiple obstacles.
8. Best Riding Lawn Mower for Tight Spaces – Snapper 2911525BVE 28-in Riding Mower
If you have a yard with trees around, this is the perfect mower for you. Instead of using a walk-behind option and taking forever to make your way around those obstructing trees, this compact mower will do the trick.
Most users love how much it cuts the project time by making it easy and stress-free to maneuver through the tightest spaces.
Despite the small size, the unit features a sturdy build that makes it pretty durable. Its adjustable seat makes it quite comfortable, allowing you to operate it without hurting your back.
- You can fold the Snapper for storage.
- It steers easily and turns quickly, making it a breeze to maneuver with.
- You can mow with this riding mower backward.
- The unit is easy to start and operate.
- It features an oil change hose that simplifies draining the oil.
- Snapper’s Stand-on-Edge capability is a unique feature that allows you to store the unit in a vertical position. This makes it easy to store in the garage or access the blades for cleaning or changing.
- Cutting close to objects is difficult since the mowing deck is narrower than the wheels.
What to Look for in a Riding Mower
Whether cutting tall grass, short grass, or flat or hilly terrain, certain features are must-haves in your next mower.
Let’s dive right into them.
A wide-cutting deck
The deck size represents the cutting width of your lawnmower—or how much grass you can with each pass.
You want a wider deck because it allows you to cut more grass with every pass. This quality can significantly cut down your mowing time.
Of course, you will not likely find 60 inches of cutting width with a budget of less than $2000, but you can still opt for the widest cutting width within your budget.
For instance, a 42-inch lawnmower deck will cut more grass than a 30-inch deck in one pass. Notice that the wider the deck, the more efficient the machine is.
Unfortunately, such large decks also require more powerful engines, which means higher costs.
So, ensure you look more toward the largest deck you can afford for better efficiency, as long as your lawn does not have narrow areas where it cannot pass.
A comfortable seat
Mowing can take several minutes or hours, depending on the size of your yard. Spending such prolonged periods on an uncomfortable seat can wear you out and hurt your spinal health.
You want an ergonomic seat with a high back for proper lumbar support. The seats can also have armrests to keep you comfortable for longer.
The right engine size
Big is not always better when it comes to riding lawnmower engines. What you need is to match the engine size with your yard. Here’s more on what size mower engine you need.
Naturally, a bigger yard will benefit from a bigger, more powerful engine operating a larger mowing deck. Such a combination will ensure you finish the work sooner.
Using a smaller, less powerful engine running a smaller deck may mean spending longer mowing your lawn.
However, if you have a smaller yard with tight spaces, a smaller riding mower with moderate engine power will do the job.
The smaller deck associated with such less powerful engines may also be more beneficial in tight spaces where a larger machine cannot fit.
If you have to go for a more powerful engine, prepare to spend more money. More engine power on a mower often comes at a cost.
High top speed and power
The purpose of a lawn-mowing vehicle is to cut grass. Faster speeds mean the ability to work faster, allowing you to complete large lawns in less time.
This way, a machine with a higher top speed can speed up your lawn mowing and help you avoid spending several hours on the same task.
Often, higher top speeds are associated with more powerful engines and greater blade torque. That power helps the machine work as fast as it moves.
So, go for a powerful engine that will let you work more efficiently and faster. Of course, you will have to play within your budget, but still, you can consider the most powerful option within your price range.
Such a higher-horsepower lawnmower engine is especially important if you cut wild undergrowth or thick grass.
Some riding lawn mowers are versatile and designed to be compatible with a wide range of attachments, giving them additional capabilities.
Most commonly, such mowers will have carts and other attachments allowing you to use the mower for other purposes when you are not mowing.
For instance, your riding mower can feature a cart attachment for hauling lawn debris and other items.
It can also have the option of attaching a snow blower or snow plow to get you through snowy winter months.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Riding Mower Under $2000
Aside from the must-haves, a few other factors should come into play when choosing a suitable riding lawnmower. The more boxes the mower ticks, the more suitable it should be for you.
Here are the factors that will guide you in determining the lawn mower that is right for you.
Lawn or yard size and terrain
This is a question of how much grass you will cut with your mowing machine. The lawnmower size and power should directly correspond to the yard or lawn size for obvious reasons.
If you use a smaller machine on a bigger yard, it will take you forever to complete the task. On the other hand, buying a massive lawnmower for a tiny yard will be overkill.
For one, the machine may struggle to fit through some tight areas, killing your efficiency. So, buy a smaller lawnmower if your yard is small and a bigger one if your yard is big.
Ideally, a ¾ acre yard or larger will require a standard lawn tractor or rear-engine riding mower. However, these two options do a good enough job on medium-sized mowing projects.
Rear-mounted engines are also ideal for working around flowerbeds, trees, and other features characterizing the landscapes around living areas.
A small deck measuring anything from 28 to 42 inches should be ideal for this task. If your yard is bigger, ranging from one to three acres wide, a heavy-duty tractor with a bigger deck or a zero-turn mower may be more beneficial.
The transmission determines whether you will change gears while mowing. Just like in regular cars, a manual transmission requires you to change gears from time to time.
On the other hand, an automatic transmission changes the gears for you as you accelerate. Therefore, a manual mower is ideal for clear terrains with fewer obstacles affecting movement while cutting grass.
The biggest advantage of such mowers is their lower prices. You can get one more cheaply than an equivalent machine with an automatic transmission.
Nonetheless, an automatic transmission will be more helpful if your yard is characterized by obstacles that require a constant change in speeds and shifting directions.
Here is a breakdown of all three transmission types available with riding lawnmowers under $2000.
Manual transmission is also known as gear-drive transmission. As already explained, this transmission requires you, the rider, to change gears with speed changes.
So you must shift gears whenever you accelerate or decelerate. Like in cars, this option gives you the most control over the mower.
This one shifts gears for you. If your mower has an automatic transmission, you can accelerate and decelerate at will, and it will select the right gear for you throughout.
Some mowers with automatic transmissions also come with reverse pedals that reverse the vehicle when pressed.
This is the ideal transmission for a hilly terrain or one with several obstacles.
This is a mix of automatic and manual transmissions. The system transfers power from the mower’s engine to the wheels through a fluid, typically water.
As such, these machines do not have internal belts as in automatic transmission systems. Additionally, the hydrostatic transmission does not require pedaling or shifting of gears.
Therefore, the result is a smoother ride without the jerks experienced on manual transmissions. You will, however, pay more money for this cool feature.
The physical size of the riding mower
The physical size of your mower determines how easy it is to store. A compact riding mower may be ideal for homeowners with limited space for storage.
So while you go for more power and a bigger mowing deck often available with a larger machine, you also want to consider how you will store it.
The size of the riding mower is also a consideration if your yard has tight spaces that will require you to maneuver.
You want to ensure the mower you buy can pass through those spaces and get the grass out.
Your mower can have a steering wheel, pair of levers, or lap bars for the same purpose. The type of machine you buy will determine the steering method available for you.
If you choose a mowing tractor or rear-engine mower, it will come with a steering wheel. These are comfortable, especially for rear-engine riders.
However, if you buy a zero-turn mower, you will have two levers for steering the mower instead. While these may not offer a place to rest your forearms, they provide great agility and exceptional maneuverability.
The levers allow you to easily maneuver tight corners and cut grass more closely around tight bends and edges, thanks to smaller caster wheels at the front and a unique design.
Lawnmower manufacturers now include additional utility features with their machines that can make mowing more enjoyable or comfortable.
For instance, your lawn tractor can come with USB chargers to help you power your handset while working, or cup holders to help you stay hydrated during those prolonged mowing sessions.
Other lawnmower models also have anti-vibration wheels for smooth steering, leaf bags, or mulching kits for debris collection.
You could also get rubber pedals or additional legroom, depending on which model you buy. All these features are unique to specific riding mower models and ensure a better bang for your buck.
Modern lawnmowers tend to have adjustable mowing decks, an excellent feature. They allow you to set your preferred height to cut the grass at different heights seamlessly.
If you want the grass slightly taller, all you have to do is set the height accordingly. Similarly, if you want it shorter, you can select a 2- or 3-inch deck height to get precisely that result.
Mowers allowing for height adjustments from 1.5 inches to 4 or so inches are now commonplace, so you can choose the options with the deck height settings you find most appealing.
Price and your budget
Ultimately, you must shop within your budget, so the price of the machine you wish to buy is among the crucial factors you want to pay attention to.
In this case, we are looking at mowers under $2000, which can be as little as $1400 or as much as $1999.
This broad range should allow you some significant wiggle room based on how much you intend to save on your purchase.
Options for grass clipping
The grass you cut while mowing must go somewhere. Different lawnmowers handle this grass differently, resulting in three primary options for grass clippings.
Baggers are riding mowers with an attachment where the grass clippings go. Once you cut grass, the machine channels them into the attached bag, where you can dispose of them afterward.
Most of the time, the debris collection bag does not come with your purchase; you must acquire it separately.
Bagging allows your yard to remain clean with no grass clippings or debris in sight. It also saves you the trouble of raking debris after mowing.
If your yard has stubborn weeds, the bagging method can help prevent their spread by keeping their buds from falling in other locations.
However, you must stop from time to time to empty the bag if you have a big lawn or lots of grass to mow.
As the term suggests, these mowers release the clippings onto the lawn via a side discharge conduit.
As you must have figured, this method makes your mowing a two-step process—you must return to the lawn and rake away the clippings afterward.
Otherwise, your lawn will not be well-manicured until you finish that final step. Still, side-discharge lawnmowers are a perfect option for tall and coarse grass.
This type of mower mulches the grass clippings before releasing them right back onto the lawn as organic fertilizer.
Immediately after mowing, your lawn will have a thin layer of mulched grass clippings. This mulch eventually decomposes and enters the soil to fertilize it.
This is probably the best option if you want no additional work after mowing because it leaves nothing to collect or dispose of.
Riding Lawn Mower Under 2000 FAQs
Who makes the most reliable lawn mower engines?
Briggs & Stratton is recognized as the largest manufacturer of quality lawnmower engines in the world. The company has been producing these engines for at least 100 years, making it the preferred engine manufacturer for lawnmowers.
What is the most reliable riding lawn mower?
Most users agree with independent tests that Husqvarna YTH18542 is the most reliable riding lawnmower in its price range. It boasts a powerful Briggs and Stratton Intek engine and multiple other useful features.
What is the best budget ride-on mower?
Snapper 2911525BVE is our best budget ride-on mower. It has a compact design and packs a lot of power for such a small mower. Many users love it for its quality of cut.
What is the best month to buy a riding lawn mower?
Late May, mid-June, and early July have some of the best opportunities for discounts on lawnmowers and other lawn care equipment. The offers typically run from late spring through early summer.
What is the Best Riding Lawn Mower Under $2000?
Most riding lawn mowers under $2000 come with smaller cutting widths unsuitable for expansive yards.
However, some of them still pack premium features often found in higher-end, best riding mowers, enabling them to do an excellent job in small and medium-sized lawns.
Our best riding mower under $2000 is Husqvarna YTH18542. Despite being inexpensive, the mowing tractor has a large 42-inch cutting deck and a powerful engine suitable for any mowing job.
It also supports various attachments making it extremely versatile.