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November 15, 2006

Husqvarna's z4217: Is the z4218 better?

Whenever a later model is superseded you expect the technology to increase exponentially - well, at least a little anyhow.

With Husqvarna's z4218 you won't find too many differences to its predecessor the z4217. A slightly more powerful engine (18hp up from the original 17hp) now made by Kohler instead of the Briggs & Stratton. They're both electric start and both have the same Ogura GT1 Electric Clutch blade engagement. Both sport the Twin EZT transmission and will get you there at the same speed - which, BTW, doesn't say much for the upgraded engine.

Or was it an upgrade?

So what's different? Are you sitting down for this? The Hour Meter came standard on the z4217. Not only that but the price has increased nearly US$300. For what?

The z4217 retails for US$2,690 (A$3,550) while the z4218 will set you back US$2,990 (A$4,000).

I'm not going to argue that Husqvarna make great zero turn mowers and they're affordable machines but I can't see the value in updating. I personally prefer the B&S motor over a Kohler but while Kohler fans will see this as a plus I'm not sure it's a US$300 plus.

So, one has to ask the question was Husqvarna losing money on the z4217 and had to make a few modifications, including the engine, to make money out of the z4218? I'm not sure we'll find out but I'm keen to hear from those who might know.

April 21, 2006

Husqvarna's New 155 AWD Rider Lawn Mowers

husqvarna-AWD-155-ride-on-m.jpg Sporting articulated steering and a Kohler 15hp engine the new Husqvarna consumer model, the R155, is set to be a winner. The All Wheel Drive (AWD) feature, which is still new technology for most cars, has now headed onto our lawns with the arrival of this new riding mower. Where it was once difficult to mow because of slippery lawn slopes or soggy grass patches, the 155 can now easily navigate through them. The AWD function is automatic and engages once it senses a loss of traction.

The R155 comes with a 103cm (41in) cutting width with an optional 112cm (44in) width and 3 cutting blades and with its front mounted cutting deck makes this is a great option for the home gardener. The mower is so versatile with these two options (AWD function and the front cutting deck) that most lawns would easily accommodate it, even lawns that would not usually permit many riding mowers to access.

The R155 is the base version mower, which most gardeners looking for this type of mower will purchase, but there are other versions available. The 15-V2 is a similar but more expensive version of the R155 with the major difference being the V-Twin engine. Two other versions the PR18 and PF21 are much larger mowers carrying 18hp and 21hp engines respectively and are more aimed at the commercial lawn mower.

If your lawn has multiple obstacles, including low lying shrubs and garden beds, then the R155 would more suited to you than a mid-mounted ride-on. However, if your lawn is large with few obstacles then a cheaper tractor mower may be a better option.

Husqvarna do offer a non-AWD version of the R155, the only difference being the lack of the AWD function. However, if your lawn doesn't have slopes or areas where traction is important it may be a cheaper alternative.

Price: The R155 retails in Australia for A$6,995 and approx US$4,000 in the States.

Source: The Husqvarna International Site

  • Stuart Robinson
  • Busselton, Australia
  • Email Me

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