Engine Power and Terrain Mastery – A Cub Cadet XT2 Review

Cub Cadet XT2 Lawn Tractor Review

The Cub Cadet XT2 offers efficient engine performance and a durable build, but potential buyers should be aware of occasional belt tension issues and its sensitivity to varied terrains.

Positioned as a prominent player in the market, this lawn tractor from Cub Cadet has garnered attention for its unique selling points, such as the LED headlights and the fabricated deck, which are not always standard in similar models like those in the Enduro series.

Its popularity can be attributed to features like the Kohler engine, known for reliability, and the mulch kit that enhances its mowing capabilities. However, when stacked against competitors, such as some big box store offerings, the Cub Cadet XT2 stands out with its steering wheel design and the inclusion of armrests for added comfort.

The Cub Cadet XT2 LX46 has been a topic of discussion among tractor owners for its balance of price and features.

Cub Cadet XT2 LX46

Deep Dive Into The Cub Cadet XT2


At the heart of the Cub Cadet XT2 lies a powerful Kohler engine, renowned for its reliability and performance in the lawn tractor segment.

This engine not only ensures consistent power delivery but also boasts fuel efficiency, a trait often sought after by lawn tractor enthusiasts. When compared to some models in the Enduro series, the Cub Cadet XT2’s engine stands out for its balance of power and fuel economy.

Cutting Deck

The XT2 features a fabricated deck, which is known for its durability and precision. With a size that caters to medium to large lawns, this deck is designed to offer efficient cuts in fewer passes. The material used ensures resistance to wear and tear, making it a step above the standard decks in some other lawn tractors.

Additionally, including a mulch kit enhances its mowing capabilities, allowing for finer grass clippings and a neater lawn appearance.


The transmission system in the Cub Cadet XT2 is designed for smooth transitions and optimal power distribution. This ensures the mower can handle varied terrains without compromising speed or efficiency.

One of the advantages of this transmission is its responsiveness, allowing for quick changes in direction or speed, a feature that sets it apart from some big box store models.

Speed and Maneuverability

With top speeds that cater to efficient mowing, the Cub Cadet XT2 doesn’t just rush through the job; it ensures precision with each pass.

Its turn radius is commendable, allowing easy navigation around obstacles like trees or garden beds. The steering wheel design, combined with the mower’s overall build, ensures good handling, even on uneven terrains.

When pitted against the new Cub Cadet models, the Cub Cadet XT2’s maneuverability, especially with its LED headlights, ensures mowing even in low light conditions is a breeze.

Design and Build Quality

Cub Cadet XT2 on green lawn

Materials and Durability

The Cub Cadet XT2 predominantly uses high-grade steel for its chassis and deck, ensuring a sturdy build. The fabricated deck, specifically, is designed to withstand the rigors of regular mowing. However, while steel offers strength, it’s susceptible to rust if not adequately maintained, especially in humid conditions.

In contrast, models like the John Deere E120 use a combination of metals and alloys, potentially offering better corrosion resistance but sometimes at the cost of overall rigidity.

User-Friendly Design Aspects

User-centric features are evident throughout the Cub Cadet XT2. Including LED headlights is particularly noteworthy, facilitating mowing in low-light conditions. The washout port, while common in many modern lawn tractors, is strategically placed in the XT2 for optimal deck cleaning.

The steering wheel’s design, with its ergonomic grip, stands out, especially when compared to some models from brands like Toro, which might prioritize function over user comfort.

Comfort Features for the Rider

Several features accentuate rider comfort in the XT2 features. The adjustable armrests, for instance, are padded to reduce fatigue during extended mowing sessions. The seat, with its cushioning and contouring, is designed to minimize jolts and bumps.

However, when compared to the Husqvarna YTH18542, the XT2 lacks certain advanced suspension features that can further enhance ride comfort.

Performance in Action

Mowing Efficiency and Quality of Cut

The Cub Cadet XT2 boasts a cutting width of 46 inches, ensuring expansive coverage with each pass. This width, combined with its well-designed sharp blades, provides a precise and even cut. The mower’s efficiency is evident in its ability to tackle medium to large lawns with minimal passes.

Its mulching kit, an added advantage, ensures fine grass clippings, enhancing lawn health. In comparison, the XT2 LX46, another model in the Enduro series, offers a similar cut quality but with a slightly more expansive 50-inch deck.

Handling Different Terrains and Grass Types

The XT2’s differential lock and optimized weight distribution make it adept at navigating varied terrains. Whether it’s the flat landscapes of a suburban lawn or the challenging slopes of a country property, the mower’s 16-inch turn radius ensures smooth handling.

The mower’s design, combined with adjustable cutting heights ranging from 1 to 4 inches, allows it to tackle various grass types efficiently. However, models like the John Deere E120, with their advanced traction systems and wider cutting height range, might offer more versatility on diverse terrains.

Fuel Efficiency and Tank Capacity

The Cub Cadet XT2, powered by a 24 HP Kohler engine, is designed for optimal fuel combustion, ensuring efficient usage. Its fuel tank, with a capacity of 3 gallons, is strategically placed to reduce the center of gravity, enhancing stability.

While its fuel pump ensures a consistent fuel supply, regular use of fresh gas is recommended to maintain peak performance. In comparison, specific models from Husqvarna offer tanks with capacities reaching up to 3.5 gallons, providing slightly longer mowing durations between refills.

Safety and Additional Features

Safety Mechanisms

The Cub Cadet XT2 has several safety features to ensure the operator’s well-being. One notable feature is the automatic shut-off system, which turns off the engine if the operator leaves the seat while the mower operates. This is a standard safety mechanism in lawn tractors, similar to those found in models like the John Deere E120.

Additionally, the Cub Cadet XT2 has a reverse safety feature that requires a specific key position to mow in reverse, preventing accidental backing into obstacles.

Additional Features

The Cub Cadet XT2 stands out with its versatility in lawn care tasks. Its mulching kit is efficient, turning grass clippings into a fine mulch that nourishes the lawn. The mower also supports bagging attachments, although these are sold separately.

The LED headlights are a thoughtful addition for low-light conditions. In comparison, the Husqvarna YTH18542 also offers mulching and bagging capabilities but lacks the standard LED headlights found in the Cub Cadet XT2.

Optional Attachments and Their Utility

Cub Cadet XT2 with snow blower attactchment

Cub Cadet offers a range of optional attachments for the Cub Cadet XT2, enhancing its functionality. One popular attachment is the snow blower, which transforms the mower into a snow-clearing machine during winter. This versatility resembles the Cub Cadet XT2 LX46, which supports various attachments.

However, the Cub Cadet XT2’s front bumper and washout port give it an edge in durability and maintenance ease.

Maintenance and Longevity

Maintenance Requirements and Ease

Maintaining the Cub Cadet XT2 requires a hands-on approach. Regular tasks include oil changes, blade sharpening, and air filter replacements. The washout port aids in deck cleaning but doesn’t eliminate the need for occasional manual removal of stubborn debris.

Compared to the John Deere E120, the XT2’s maintenance is slightly more user-friendly due to this feature, but both require a similar level of attention.

Expected Lifespan and Warranty Details

The XT2’s lifespan hinges on maintenance diligence. Typically, with proper care, it can last over a decade. The 3-year limited warranty is standard in the industry, similar to what’s offered by brands like Husqvarna. However, warranty claims can be a hassle, with some users reporting difficulties getting timely service.

Common Issues and Their Solutions

The XT2 isn’t without its flaws. Users have reported issues with the steering wheel alignment and the lawn mower deck’s leveling. These require technical know-how to adjust correctly.

The fuel pump has been a point of contention, with some experiencing failures. Using fresh gas and avoiding ethanol blends can mitigate this. Belt wear is another common issue, more pronounced than in some competing models like the XT2 LX46. Regular inspection and timely replacement of belts are crucial.

Personal Experience with the Cub Cadet XT2

First Impressions and Unboxing

When the Cub Cadet XT2 arrived, it was a sunny Saturday morning. The delivery truck pulled up, and it was mostly assembled and ready to go. The vibrant yellow paint caught the eye immediately.

It felt like a step up from my old Craftsman mower, which had served well but was showing its age. The XT2’s build quality was evident, even compared to my neighbor’s Toro TimeCutter, which always seemed flimsy.

Handling and Ease of Use

The first test drive was around some old oak trees in my backyard. The Cub Cadet XT2 maneuvered smoothly, its steering wheel offering a level of control I hadn’t experienced before. It wasn’t quite as agile as my friend’s XT2 LX46, but for a lawn tractor, its turning radius was impressive.

The dashboard was intuitive, with all controls within easy reach, a welcome change from the awkward layout of my previous mower.

Efficiency in Different Mowing Scenarios

One particular challenge was the sloped section of my lawn, notorious for its thick, stubborn grass. The Cub Cadet XT2, powered by its reliable Kohler engine, tackled it with less strain than expected.

However, during a stormy week, the mower struggled with the wet, tall grass, requiring a slower pace. This was a bit disappointing, considering my brother’s commercial-grade Husqvarna seemed to plow through similar conditions with ease.

Overall Satisfaction and Challenges Faced

After several months of use, the Cub Cadet XT2 has proven to be a solid investment. It’s not without its quirks, like when it clogs during a heavy mowing session after a storm, but these are minor compared to the overall performance.

Regular maintenance, especially cleaning after mowing in damp conditions, has kept it running smoothly. It’s a reliable workhorse, well-suited for my one-acre property.

Final Thoughts And Would I Recommend It?

The Cub Cadet XT2 stands out for its robust build quality and user-friendly design. Its Kohler engine delivers reliable performance, and the mower handles well in most scenarios, though it can struggle with very tall or wet grass.

Compared to similar models like the Toro TimeCutter or Husqvarna’s commercial-grade mowers, the Cub Cadet XT2 holds its own, considering its price point.

However, it’s not without its shortcomings. The mower could benefit from improved handling in challenging mowing conditions and a more efficient system for dealing with clogs. Regular maintenance is crucial to keep it running smoothly.

Based on my experience, I would recommend the Cub Cadet XT2 for those with medium to large lawns looking for a dependable, no-frills lawn tractor. It’s a solid choice, offering good value for money, but for those dealing with more demanding terrain, exploring higher-end options might be worthwhile.

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Michael Harrison

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