Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 Riding Lawn Mower review

This Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 riding lawn mower gives an excellent all-round experience, with faster zero-turns and aero force cutting technology.

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 riding lawn mower review
(Image: © Home Depot)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 riding lawn mower combines a 50-inch cutting width, a fabricated deck, and a 23 horsepower engine for power and rigidity.


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    Wide cutting path

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    Twin-cylinder OHV Engine


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    Requires some assembly on purchase

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The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 riding lawnmower has an aesthetically rich design while also boasting wide tires and a fabricated deck for more sturdy riding. It aims to cover all bases to create the best riding lawn mower experience, and definitely ticks one box when it comes to power, with its 23 horsepower engine. There’s also an aim within the design to make the seat as comfortable as possible, so that you’re raring to get behind the wheel. 

The maximum speed of the Cub Cadet Ultima is 7.5 miles per hour, to help you get around your backyard in better time. This model can cut up to five acres, which is excellent for anyone with a lot of backyard space to spruce up. 

For more insights to help you find exactly which tool you need, check out our guide on what to consider when buying a rider lawn mower. And to get technical, why not dive into the difference between rear riding lawn mowers, lawn tractors, zero-turn mowers, and more. 

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1: Mowing experience 

The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 riding lawn mower aims to provide the “ultimate all-around mowing experience”. It aims to do this through both its comfortable design and emphasis on power with its Kawasaki engine. The 50-inch cutting path of this model makes it ideal for vast expanses of land and means the number of times you’ll need to pass over the same patch will be much lower. The 3.5-gallon fuel tank should hold enough in order to minimize refueling trips too, and let you have more time getting the job done.

The deck lift on the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 is controlled by a pedal and ranges through different deck positions from 1.5 to 4.5 inches so that you can get the perfect cutting height for your specific lawn. There’s also an 11-gauge fabricated aero force deck with reinforced leading edges that makes for finer clippings and fewer clumps in the final results of your mowing. 

This is a zero-turn model, meaning that taking care of your backyard should be speedier than ever. And given that it’s suited to larger outdoor areas, this will be super handy for shaving the hours it takes to mow the lawn. In terms of comfort, the over-molded rubber handgrips are designed to create less vibration and therefore a more pleasant riding experience. This is alongside the ergonomic, fully adjustable 20-inch seat, which works with a polymer seat suspension system to ensure that you feel confident in your riding lawn mower abilities. 

Dual LED headlights will also allow you to use the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 more frequently, and get about at dawn or dusk. They aim to provide ultimate vision in low-light conditions, though riding lawn mowers should never be used in complete darkness to ensure your safety.

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1: Main features 

Power is an essential element of riding lawn mowers and the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 aims to provide with its 23 horsepower 726cc Kawasaki twin-cylinder engine. This allows you to get up to speeds of 7.5 miles per hour and cover an extensive amount of terrain. It also boasts a premium tire set, with large front and rear tires in order to prevent turf damage. These tires are also designed to provide a better ride on uneven ground at higher speeds. 

This mower is particularly suited to yards with slightly rolling hills, and has features, such as those tires, to prevent a bumpy ride. Another such feature is its tubular steel frame which makes it even more durable as it makes its way around your space. The vibration-dampening soft rubber floor mat also ensures better footing than other models without it.

Maintenance is also designed to be easier with the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1, as it has an open-frame design and a removable floor pan. That means you can get straight into any problems within the deck and undertake quick and easy repairs to get your mower back to business faster. Another excellent feature of the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 is its warranty. The three-year guarantee promises that no matter the hours you’ve racked up on your mower, you can seek help from the manufacturer. Plus, there’s a lifetime warranty on the frame and fabricated deck shell, so you know you’re protected for as long as you need it on those counts.

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 riding lawn mower review

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1: User reviews  

The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 has a 4.6-star rating out of five on Home Depot, which has been accumulated from 2,255 reviews. 93% of users would recommend this mower, making it pretty popular with users who know it best. Lots of reviewers commented on how it cut down the time it took to mow their lawn. 

One impressed reviewer said it was the “Most fun I’ve had sitting down in a long time”, adding that it “cuts great and starts first time every time”. Another reviewer said, “it made a two-hour riding mower job just 45 minutes with the zero-turn”. In terms of power, one user said that “The Kawasaki engine is a force to be reckoned with” and that after having it for two weeks, they had “drastically cut down mowing time and increased family time”.

Less impressed reviewers had complaints of “vibration at the time of cutting the grass”, despite extensive measures to prevent this. This might be due to the fact that there is still some assembly to be done at home upon purchasing this model. Another reviewer called these “noticeable vibrations”. At the same time, there were many reviews that commented on the high quality of the riding experience, so this might come down to individual preference and home construction.

Should you buy the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 riding lawn mower? 

The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 is a popular choice among users thanks to its features designed to ensure sturdiness and excel when it comes to power. The zero-turn technology and 50-inch cutting path make it ideal for larger gardens or outdoor spaces, and the 20-inch adjustable seat goes a long way to create a comfortable ride by all accounts. 

If you want something that’s a little better for the planet, then check out the Ryobi RY48111 which is a battery-powered riding lawn mower alternative, or our top pick the John Deere E180 which is excellent for heavy-duty jobs.

Molly Cleary

Molly is the Staff Writer for the Home Section at Top Ten Reviews, joining the team after finishing college. When she's not writing she enjoys baking and embroidery, as well as getting stuck into a good book. She now enjoys writing about kitchen appliances, gardening tools, and will even dip her toe into writing about fridges and ovens.