Quick Navigation:

  1. Overview
  2. Riding Comfort
  3. Engine
  4. Mower Handling and Performance on Hills/Rough Terrain
  5. Quality of Cut
  6. Accessories
  7. Conclusion




The rugged frame of the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 42″ zero turn mower meets “Ultima” comfort with their very comfortable high back seat. Comfort isn’t everything though. At the end of the day this mower has a job to do. Is it right for you? Read on to find out.





Quality of Cut







Riding Comfort

The comfort of these Ultima series machines is what really stands out to me. The automotive inspired 18″ high back seat is really nicely done and is fully adjustable. I’d say it is the next best thing to an expensive suspension seat. The armrests are a nice addition also.

This Ultima ZT1 mower also features 3 way adjustable lap bars so you can find the sweet spot that works for you.

Dual LED headlights operate while the mower is on…so you can mow at night…because why not?

You can get an up close and personal look at the seat in the video below:




The engine on this 42″ model is the 22HP 725cc Kohler 7000. The big brother to this model, the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50″ Zero Turn Mower comes equipped with a 23HP Kawasaki engine.

The debate rages on about which one is better. It’s like team sports. There are a lot of people on Team Kohler and a lot of people on Team Kawasaki.

Honestly, I don’t think either one is a bad engine, both are going to be very good for a residential mower of this size.

In my personal opinion I’d give a slight nod to Kawasaki though.

The 3 gallon gas tank on the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 42″ should be more than adequate to mow at least 2 acres.

The engine is equipped with a super simple oil drain system so changing the oil is a breeze on this engine. Have a look:


Click here to read the full warranty for the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 42″ Mower
Service Manual for the Cub Cadet ZT1 With 22HP Kohler Engine


Mower Handling and Performance

WARNING: You should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for mowing hills, usually that means don’t mow a slope over 15 degrees. Try to attack the slope in an up and down manner instead of side to side (if you have to lean halfway off the mower to feel stable you’re probably exceeding recommendations!)

This mower has plenty of power with its 22 HP engine. There should be no problems with hills of any sort with under 15 degree slopes.

The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 42″ Mower is driven by two EZT-2200 transmissions. While definitely far from the best these transmissions should hold up just fine for normal residential use.

11″ tires sit up front while the back is riding on 20″ tires. This is a nice balanced setup for this sized mower.

Max forward speed is 7.5MPH and max reverse speed is 3.5MPH. You are mowing any time the blades are engaged so no need to worry about if it will “mow in reverse.”

The Cub Cadet 42″ Zero Turn Mower is meant for properties 2 acres or less.

For those of you concerned about squeezing this zero turn mower through a gate, it is about 44″ wide with the discharge chute up. So if you have a 48″ gate you should be good to go.


Quality of Cut

Pretty much all of the Cub Cadet mowers have a very nice cut. I especially like the front offset castors that line up with the blade edge so you know where you’re driving is where you’re cutting. Very helpful in maintaining nice straight lines.

I’m a little disappointed that this only has a stamped deck since its big brother comes with a 50″ fabricated deck, though I’m not surprised. Anyway, under the 12 gauge stamped steel deck there are 2 blades to slice the top off those little grass blades.

Two anti-scalping wheels will try to keep your lawn looking like it should, nice and even.

There is an easy adjust knob to raise or lower your deck height and you can choose from 12 different positions anywhere from 1″ to 4.5″ in height.

The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 42″ Deck also comes equipped with the Smart Deck Wash system to easily clean out the underside after a nice day of mowing.



This Cub Cadet zero turn mower does come with the normal pinned garden style hitch for towing most accessories such as a sprayer or spreader. Towing a trailer is generally not recommended because it will wear out the transmissions a lot quicker than normal.

A bagger attachment is also available for this model: 19A70054100 Bagger Attachment



This is a really nice mower. The frame is as sturdy as you’re going to find on a mower in this price range. If you have a smaller yard or a 48″ gate you need to fit through then I think this mower would do a great job for you.

If you can handle a larger mower (50″ deck) then I’d highly recommend taking a look at the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50″ Deck With 23HP Kawasaki – it is basically the same mower as this.

The difference is you get a fabricated deck and a Kawasaki engine which I feel both would be worth the added $400 to upgrade.

An 8″ larger deck is going to drastically lower your mowing time also so you can spend more time on other projects or with family. Just a thought.

Anyway, if you do not want a bigger mower, this Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 42″ is still a very good mower.



Affiliate Disclaimer – if you decide to purchase a mower based on my review, I do get a small piece of the sale. It helps to keep the lights on around here. I am very passionate about lawns and mowers and offer my unbiased review towards everything that goes on this site. I research several pages, specs, videos, forums and other reviews of each mower before I post about it so you don’t have to. If I wouldn’t buy it myself, I wouldn’t recommend it to you either.

– Brandon


I am very passionate about lawns and mowers and offer my unbiased review towards everything that goes on this site. I research several pages, specs, videos, forums and other reviews of each mower before I post about it so you don't have to.