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Buyer’s Guide to Cub Cadet Enduro XT1 and XT2 Lawn Tractors

Cub Cadet redesigned their Enduro XT1 and XT2 lawn tractor line from the ground up for exceptional strength, durability and operator comfort. Cub Cadet Enduro XT1 lawn tractors are offered in a 42-inch, 46 inch, and 50 inch mower deck. Both the Enduro XT1 and XT2 tractors are on the same chassis so you’re not getting any less tractor by going to the XT1.

Cub Cadet Enduro XT1 lawn tractors

Some of the differences on the XT1 are they start with a 42-inch deck with a single cylinder engine where from this model forward they go into a twin cylinder. You get smoother operation and increased torque with a twin cylinder engine but the single cylinder engine for a smaller lawn will perform and do a great job.

Other Enduro tractors come with a five-year frame and front axle warranty and they’re able to do that because they’ve gone to a cast iron front axle. This cast iron versus stamped out hollowed steel axle is exceptionally durable. There’s not going to be any breakage with this heavy cast iron front axle. Cub Cadet also redesigned the ergonomics of the tractor, so some nice features include ease of getting on and off the tractor, a lever to slide your seat back and forth, and as the seat slides back it also goes up so to accommodate a taller operator and offer increased legroom.

All your controls are easily accessible. Cub Cadet Enduro tractors feature a key switch, throttle positioning, and brake and transmission operation pedal. The transmission operation pedal is a hydrostatic drive transmission which is a fluid drive system so it’s like an automatic transmission in the car. The way this is designed, the further you push forward on the pedal the faster the machine goes. When you release the pedal, it will return to neutral, and for reverse you push on the opposite pedal.

Cub Cadet also added a nice feature of cruise control. Push the pedal, push down on your cruise control lever and it’ll lock in that position so if you have a lot of straight areas and don’t want to hold your foot on the pedal you can lock the cruise. Release the cruise either by tapping the pedal or you can just tap your brake pedal.

There are controls for your height of cut. Your height of cut is adjustable from one to four inches. It has a spring assisted lever so with one finger you can raise your mower deck up and down. You can set the height in quarter inch increments.

On the LX42, to engage the blades, you simply push forward and lock in position. Another nice feature with this Cub Cadet, with all the lawn tractors on the market now, they have a great safety feature where if you do mow in reverse it kicks the blades. Once you’re sure that everybody’s inside Cub Cadet has a reverse switch and what this does is just by pushing the button each time you mow your tractor will be able to mow in reverse. During the whole time you’re mowing you can mow in reverse so make sure everything and everyone is safe before you use that mow in reverse switch.

Cub Cadet Enduro XT2 lawn tractors

As we mentioned the XT1 and XT2 lawn tractors are on the same chassis. The key difference when you go into the XT2 series, from the front you’ll notice the front bumper is standard. It gives you added protection if you hit something and protects the front grill and front hood. The XT2 tractors go to a turf master tire. This will give you increased traction and durability. Cub Cadet upgraded the battery on the XT2 models for longer life and better cold-weather starts, and in your front axle they use a bearing which is typically found on much higher priced tractors. This bearing in the front axle will give you much longer life. The bushing on the XT1 models is easily replaced but this bearing really should last for the life of the tractor.

Cub Cadet also added armrests. These can be added to XT1 models but is standard for XT2 tractors to give you a little added comfort. The XT2 models have larger engines so you have an increase in performance. Another nice feature is the easy maintenance. Cub Cadet has a color-coded oil drain plug and a color-coded dipstick for checking your oil; it’s easy to spot. When you need change that oil, there’s no tools required. Just push the hood forward, pop the cap off the oil drain, twist the yellow part, and the oil will drain.

The engines on the Cub Cadet Enduro tractors are all protected by an oil filter. This oil filter is easy to access, you don’t have to remove anything because it’s right out in the open.  These tractors are available in 42, 46, 50, and 54-inch deck sizes. As you go into the 46 inch and larger another feature Cub Cadet added is electric PTO clutch. Other models have a lever to push to engage the mower, but these tractors have a switch. Just pull the switch to engage the mower and push to disengage. The key advantage is you get longer belt life.

Whenever you have idler pulley with a mechanical engagement, when you’re pushing the lever it’s swinging an idler pulley over to tighten the belt and you get little bit of belt slap and that’s where you will get a little more wear to the belt. With an electric PTO system, the belt is tight all the time so you’re just engaging a clutch to start and end and stop the blade so that’s going to give you longer belt life for your mower drive belt.

As you move up the LX46, Cub Cadet offers some enhanced engine and deck features such as an electronic fuel-injected engine or EFI for short. The electronic fuel injection gives you enhanced features including a little better fuel economy and better cold weather starts. Also, this model comes with a fabricated mower deck. This is what you’ll find on a lot of commercial equipment, a deck fabricated out of steel, fabricated and welded so it’s structurally a stronger deck. If this deck is kept clean it should last the life of the tractor. If you have a little rougher terrain or a little tougher condition this deck is just a exceptionally durable deck and not found on a lot of lawn tractors.

As we move up Cub Cadet has what they call SLX which stands for “super lawn tractor.” This is available in 54-inch mower decks and the first thing to note is the much larger tires. Typically, this tire size is found on a garden tractor. The advantage you have with this is if you have rough terrain, those bigger tires give you a little smoother ride. If you’re planning on adding a snow blade or snow blower it gives you better traction with the larger tires. To handle the larger tires Cub Cadet upgraded the transmission for a longer life and you still get that tight turning radius and exceptional performance.

Cub Cadet Enduro XT2 lawn tractors are very easy to operate. To round out the XT2 line Cub Cadet has the GX series. The GX is a garden tractor and the advantage you have with the garden tractor is an upgraded transmission. The garden tractor is designed for heavier use. The GX54 comes with a differential lock. To engage, just push down on the pedal with the heel of your foot. This will lock both wheels together. Differential lock is very useful in snow conditions, it gives you increased traction. Additionally, if you have some areas that are a little slippery on your lawn and you need to increase traction to eliminate that tire slip that’s where differential lock comes in handy. This feature is available on the GX models in the XT2 line.

Cub Cadet offers many attachments for their Enduro XT1 and XT2 series tractors. A bagger is a very popular attachment. It’s very easy to take on and off, you have the chute clipped on to your mower deck and a couple of wing nuts holding it in place. Simply remove the chute and the nuts to take the bag off. It’s a twin bag design, with a nice clear opening so you can see when your bags are full. Just pop the top of the bagger open, it flips up so it’s out of the way and there’s a couple bags to just slide inside so it’s easy to dump and keep mowing.

For spring cleanup when you get all the grass and leaves leftover from the fall, you can pick them up using this bagger attachment. You can bag leaves in this attachment but they’re not going to be cut up as fine so sometimes what people will do is go through and cut the grass without the bagger, chop the leaves up a little bit, then put the bag on and pick up the leaves. This way you’ll pack more into the bag but you can bag the leaves whole as well.

Another option for spring cleanup is a mulch kit. The mulch kit is designed for both grass and leaves, it’s just a plate that covers your discharge and different blades, mulching blades are available. If you want to just mulch your grass or for mulching leaves the kit is a very popular option on the Cub Cadet Enduro lawn tractors.

As we mentioned, Cub Cadet offers snow attachments as well, both the snow blade and a snow blower. Cub Cadet came out with a new feature about a year ago called the Fast Attach System. With the Fast Attach System there’s a latch and lock system so you can easily attach, easily take off and attach different attachments. You can add your bagger to the Fast Attach System, there’s a fertilizer spreader, and a little cargo hauler for when you want to haul things around your yard like topsoil.

Cub Cadet also recently came out with a sprayer, so you can add a little sprayer for some added versatility to your tractor. This year Cub Cadet introduced, on a couple of select models, a tool-free blade change. If you’re switching back and forth from your standard blade to a mulch blade or in the area where you need to replace your blades a little more often there’s no bolts needed, you just push the collar forward and drop your blade off. Again, it’s very easy to change blades. That’s something new on a couple of models but you’ll probably see that on more models going forward. It’s a nice little feature.


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