- Riding Comfort
- Mower Handling and Performance on Hills/Rough Terrain
- Quality of Cut
This is one of the cheapest zero turns you will find in the 42″ variety. Let’s take a closer look at the good and bad of this machine.
The seat on this mower is a high back seat however it looks pretty basic. So while it will be slightly more comfortable than a normal riding mower seat I wouldn’t expect much protection from bumpy terrain.
However, with that being said, Troy Bilt has rigorously tested their frame and worked to remove as many vibration points as possible. That and the lower center of gravity will hopefully help reduce some of the bumps transferring to your body.
Additionally, this Mustang Z42 mower comes with the usual creature comfort of a cup holder. An hour meter and battery voltage meter are nice additions.
This engine is a “Troy-Bilt” branded motor which is 679cc. This motor is Chinese made by a company called Loncin, built to Troy-Bilt (MTD’s) specs.
How many HP is this engine you may be asking? Well, no one really knows as they don’t release this info. Best guess is about 20-21 HP.
The 3.5 gallon gas tank should provide plenty of range with this mower. This mower is designed for yards around 2 acres or less.
Mower Handling and Performance
The Troy Bilt Mustang Z42 has a max forward speed of 7 MPH and a reverse speed of 3.5 MPH. 11 inch front wheels and 20 inch rear wheels along with a lower center of gravity should keep this mower plenty stable.
For those of you wondering about getting getting this mower through a gate, it is 44″ wide with the chute raised up.
Probably the most interesting thing about this mower to me is how the frame is assembled. Troy-Bilt uses full one piece solid frames for their mowers instead of the normal tube (or square) style you see on most mowers.
Quality of Cut
An easy adjust lever on the left side controls the deck height which can be adjusted to between 1.25″ and 3.75″ in 9 increments.
The 42″ deck is equipped with two grass chopping blades engaged via electric PTO.
This mower does an admirable job with its cut. The acid test is always tall grass which it handles fairly well, a few mohawks left behind but that could be expected when mowing pretty tall grass like in the video below.
You can see how the 42″ Troy-Bilt handles some pretty tall grass by watching the video below:
This mower does not appear to come with a hitch attached probably because it isn’t really recommended to tow much weight. Troy-Bilt’s recommended towing capacity is figured like this…1/2 the machine weight (605 lbs/2=302.5) minus the operator’s weight (let’s assume 200 lbs) minus weight of gas (3.5 gal capacity so 21 lbs). 302.5-200-21 = 81.5 lbs of towing capacity not even counting the weight of the attachment itself. Really, what could that tow?
This is basically a similar formula for all zero turn mowers. The moral of the story is basically don’t buy a zero turn mower to tow things. You’d need a more regular riding lawn tractor for that.
Anyway, as far as accessories go, there is a bagger unit available: Part Number 19C700200EM Bagger and also a mulching kit available for this particular zero turn mower: Part Number 19A700410EM Mulching Kit
This mower is a tough one for me as it is a relatively new addition to the Troy-Bilt lineup. The reviews online are all glowing but the earliest is from March 2019. At the time of this writing that is about 7 months old. I think it is just too early to tell how this engine/transaxle combo holds up. I will probably update this review after next mowing season to see how it fairs under some actual use.
If you can get past that, there are some things to really like about this mower. It is probably just about the cheapest 42″ zero turn mower you will find. The Troy-Bilt Mustang Z42 is backed by a 3 year bumper to bumper warranty (limited lifetime on the frame.)
If the engine/transaxle combo is particularly concerning to you, there is a different unit in the Cub Cadet ZT1 42″ Zero Turn Mower which has a Kohler motor and ZT-2200 transaxles for a couple hundred bucks more.
All in all, this seems like a very nice budget mower. Time will tell the full story on it through.