Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 Review: Personal Insight & Experience

By | January 2, 2024

YardSimply is supported by readers like you. We may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase through links on our site. Learn why you can trust us here.

Welcome to our comprehensive review of the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1. As a seasoned landscaper with years of hands-on experience, I bring you an informed and authoritative perspective on this popular riding mower.

My aim is to equip you with the essential information that will help you decide if the ZT1 is the right choice for your lawn care needs.

In this article, we will delve into its performance, durability, and user feedback without wasting your time with unnecessary details. Trust in my expertise as we explore the true capabilities of the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 together.

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 Review


  • Engine Power: 24HP
  • Engine Type: Kohler 7000 Series V-Twin OHV
  • Deck Width: 54-inch triple-blade high-lift
  • Weight: 585 Pounds
Ultima ZT1
Deck size54″
EngineKohler 725cc 24HP
Drive systemHydro-Gear EZT 2200
Fuel capacity3.5 gallons
Speed7 MPH
Warranty3 years

Key Features:

  • Engine and Power: The mower is equipped with a 24HP Kohler 7000 Series V-Twin OHV engine, renowned for its substantial power and reliability. This ensures that the mower can handle various lawn conditions with ease, maintaining consistent performance over time.
  • Cutting Deck and Efficiency: It features a 54-inch triple-blade high-lift deck, which allows for a precise and clean cut. This deck width is ideal for efficiently covering large lawn areas, reducing mowing time. Additionally, the adjustable cutting range of 1 inch to 4.5 inches, along with 15 different deck positions, provides versatility for different lawn heights and finishes​​​​.
  • Ergonomic Design for Comfort: The mower’s design offers excellent comfort, especially for taller users. The control center is positioned to provide maximum legroom, making it a comfortable fit for individuals over 6 feet tall. This ergonomic focus ensures a more enjoyable and less fatiguing mowing experience​​.
  • Frame Construction and Durability: Its construction includes a solid 2-inch by 2-inch tubular steel frame, contributing significantly to the mower’s durability and longevity. This robust build quality ensures the mower can withstand regular use over time.

Personal Insights and Experiences:

Having used the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 extensively, I can attest to its adaptability across different grass types. The powerful engine doesn’t bog down, even in thick, challenging grass, maintaining a consistent cut quality.

Maneuverability is a breeze thanks to the responsive controls, which makes navigating around obstacles almost effortless.

Over time, the mower has shown excellent durability with no significant decrease in performance, standing up to regular use with minimal maintenance.


  • The 24HP Kohler engine provides reliable and potent performance, never failing to deliver even under strenuous tasks.
  • A wide 54-inch cutting deck significantly reduces mowing time for expansive yards, proving its efficiency.
  • The high back seat is notably comfortable, which is a blessing during long mowing sessions, reducing fatigue and discomfort.
  • From my experience, this mower has coped exceptionally well with various grass conditions, maintaining a consistent and even cut.


  • While I’ve found the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 to be a stellar performer, its availability can be a challenge, which might be inconvenient for those looking to make an immediate purchase.

Overall Satisfaction:

In my personal opinion, the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 stands out as an exceptional choice for homeowners who prioritize lawn care. Its combination of power, performance, and comfort makes it a worthwhile investment for maintaining large yards.

The overall satisfaction among users, including myself, is reflected in its high product rating, with many echoing the sentiment of the mower’s reliability and durability. It’s a lawnmower that truly meets the demands of serious lawn enthusiasts.

Related: Cub Cadet Zero Turn Mower Reviews

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1: Mowing experience

Cub Cadet 42 in. Ultima ZT1

When I first took the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 for a spin, the power was immediately noticeable. The mower’s transmission felt smooth and responsive, handling varying lawn conditions with ease.

I’m excited to discuss how these features enhance the overall mowing experience.


Harnessing a robust 24HP Kohler twin-cylinder engine, the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 delivers ample power to tackle thick grass with ease.

The horsepower is just right for maintaining a smooth ride even when the mower encounters tougher terrain or denser vegetation.

I’ve noticed that the hydrostatic transmission plays a pivotal role in providing a consistent speed, allowing me to focus on the precision of my mowing path rather than worrying about manual gear changes.

As one of the more powerful zero turn mowers in its class, the ZT1 doesn’t falter when it comes to demanding lawn care tasks. It’s the engine’s reliable performance that gives me the confidence to take on sprawling lawns without a second thought.


Building on the ZT1’s robust engine power, its hydrostatic transmission system offers seamless control and maneuverability, enhancing my mowing experience with effortless speed adjustments.

Unlike manual transmissions, the hydrostatic system in this zero turn mower lets me change speeds and directions with simple movements, which is a game-changer for productivity and ease of use.

Here’s why I’m impressed with the Cub Cadet’s transmission:

  1. No Gear-Shifting: I don’t need to shift gears manually, keeping my focus on mowing.
  2. Smooth Operation: The transition between speeds is buttery smooth.
  3. Responsive Handling: Instantly reacts to my commands, ideal for intricate patterns.
  4. Durable Design: Built to last, ensuring reliability mow after mow.

The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 truly stands out for its hydrostatic transmissions, making mowing less of a chore and more of a joy.

Maintenance and Parts Replacement

Ease of Maintenance

One of the notable advantages of the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 is its design for easy maintenance. This aspect is crucial for ensuring the mower’s longevity and optimal performance over the years.

Regular maintenance is simpler, thanks to parts that are straightforward to replace. This feature is particularly beneficial for those who prefer to handle mower maintenance themselves, rather than relying on professional services.

Parts Replacement

The mower is designed with user-friendly access to key components, making parts replacement less of a hassle.

Whether it’s changing the oil, replacing filters, or attending to the blades, the design of the Ultima ZT1 ensures that these tasks can be performed with minimal effort.

This ease of maintenance not only saves time but also potentially reduces long-term ownership costs.

Weight and Size Considerations

Lighter Weight Design

At 585 pounds, the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 is relatively lighter compared to many other riding mowers. This lighter weight is particularly beneficial for more sensitive lawns, where a heavier mower might cause damage.

It also contributes to the mower’s maneuverability, making it easier to handle and operate.

Compact Size for Easy Storage

Despite its robust capabilities, the Ultima ZT1’s compact size is an advantage for storage purposes. Its dimensions make it a practical choice for those with limited storage space.

The mower’s size and weight balance also come into play when it needs to be moved manually, ensuring that it can be handled with relative ease when not in operation.

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1: User reviews

Cub Cadet 54 in ultima ZT1 54

User reviews of the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 often highlight its reliability and ease of use for efficient lawn maintenance. I’ve scoured the internet, reading what others have to say about this riding lawn mower, and the consensus seems quite positive.

Users consistently praise the ZT1 for its sturdy build and the comfort it provides during mowing sessions.

Many user reviews point out the powerful engine and precise cutting, which make the ZT1 an excellent choice for a lawn tractor.

The ease of maneuverability is another frequently mentioned benefit, with many noting how it simplifies navigating around obstacles in the yard.

I’ve noticed a few reviewers mentioning the warranty as a reassuring aspect of their purchase. Knowing that the company stands behind their product adds an extra layer of confidence when investing in a piece of equipment like this.

From what I’ve gathered, the Ultima ZT1 seems to tick all the right boxes for those looking for a durable and efficient riding lawn mower.

It’s not just about getting the job done; it’s about getting it done well, and it seems the ZT1 delivers on that promise according to the user reviews I’ve read.

Buyers Guide

Before you commit to a zero turn mower, it’s crucial to assess what you need from your machine.

I’ll help you understand the key features to look for and how to compare different brands and models.

We’ll also consider how price impacts performance and share some maintenance tips to keep your mower running smoothly.

Evaluating Your Needs for a Zero Turn Mower

Assessing your lawn size and landscape complexity is essential when considering a zero turn mower like the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1. Here’s what I keep in mind for my lawn care needs:

  1. Lawn Size: Is my property over an acre? A zero-turn mower can save time on larger areas.
  2. Landscape Features: Do I’ve lots of trees or intricate garden beds? The maneuverability of a zero-turn is a game-changer.
  3. Comfort: How important is an ergonomic design to me? Long mowing sessions demand comfort to prevent fatigue.
  4. Durability and Warranty: Am I looking for something that will last? A lifetime warranty gives me peace of mind.

I always ensure the mower I’m eyeing meets these criteria before taking the plunge.

Key Features to Consider in Zero Turn Mowers

When choosing a zero turn mower like the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1, it’s crucial to consider engine power, deck size, and comfort features to ensure you’re getting the best fit for your lawn care routine.

The steering wheel’s responsiveness can make or break my mowing experience, so I look for one that ensures precision and ease of use.

A robust suspension system is key for a smooth ride, especially on uneven terrain. I also check the tires for durability and traction, as they need to handle various surfaces without damaging my lawn.

Lastly, ergonomics play a significant role; I want a mower that won’t leave me sore after hours of work.

Each aspect is essential to find a mower that’s both efficient and comfortable.

Comparing Zero Turn Mower Brands and Models

Having outlined the key features to look for in a zero-turn mower, it’s now essential to examine how the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 stacks up against other brands and models in the market. When I’m in the market for a new lawnmower, I make sure to compare:

  • Engine Performance: How does the horsepower and torque compare to other riding lawnmowers?
  • Durability: Are the materials and build quality on par with top zero-turn mower brands?
  • Comfort and Usability: Is the ride as comfortable and controls as user-friendly as other tractors?
  • Cut Quality and Efficiency: Does it mow with the same precision and speed?

Choosing a zero turn mower can be daunting, but with thorough comparisons, I’m confident in finding the right fit for my lawn care needs.

Related Articles:

Understanding Price vs. Performance in Zero Turn Mowers

In the realm of zero turn mowers, balancing cost with engine strength, build quality, and added features is key to securing value for your investment.

When I’m eyeing a garden tractor or a zero turn mower, I’m not just looking at the price tag; I’m weighing the machine’s performance too. Sure, a lower price might be tempting, but I’ve learned that it often means a trade-off in longevity and capabilities.

High-performance lawn mowers, with robust engines and durable frames, tend to carry a heftier price.

Yet, they’re designed to handle more demanding work and larger areas efficiently. It’s about finding that sweet spot where the price reflects the performance and the expected tasks.

That’s how I ensure I get a reliable workhorse without breaking the bank.

Maintenance Tips for Zero Turn Mowers

Cub Cadet mower

To ensure your zero turn mower runs smoothly for years, regular maintenance is crucial.

Here’s a quick guide I follow to keep my machine in top shape – it’s not just about making my yard look great with mulch, it’s about longevity and performance, much like you’d care for lawn tractors or any other garden machinery.

  1. Check the Tire Pressure: Uneven tire pressure can affect the mower’s handling and cut quality.
  2. Clean the Deck Regularly: Remove grass clippings and debris to prevent corrosion and ensure optimal mulching performance.
  3. Maintain the Transmissions: Check the fluid levels and change them as recommended to keep those turns sharp and responsive.
  4. Battery Care: For battery-powered models, ensure the battery is charged and the connections are clean to avoid power issues.

Safety Guidelines for Operating Zero Turn Mowers

While regular maintenance is key for enduring performance, adhering to safety guidelines is just as crucial when operating any zero turn mower.

Before I ever start my lawn mower, I ensure the area is clear of debris that could be thrown by the blades.

I’m always cautious to keep my hands and feet away from moving parts, and I never bypass the safety features, like the lap bar, which is essential for control.

When I’m mowing on slopes, I take extra care to avoid tipping, moving up and down rather than across the slope.

I also make it a point to wear protective gear, including sturdy shoes and eye protection.

Warranties and Service for Zero Turn Mowers

Understanding the warranty and service options is essential when investing in a zero-turn mower, as it ensures peace of mind and protects your purchase. Here’s what I’ve learned about what to consider:

  • Duration of Warranties: Most mowers, including turf tractors, come with limited warranties. Check how long the warranty lasts and what it covers.
  • Coverage Extent: Understand what parts of the mower are covered. Some warranties mightn’t cover all components.
  • Service Network: Ensure there’s a reliable service network. Quick access to service can mean less downtime if repairs are needed.
  • Transferability: If you’re considering selling your mower, find out if the warranty is transferable to the new owner.

Always review the warranties and service agreements thoroughly to avoid any surprises down the road.

Our Verdict

After spending a good amount of time with the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1, I must say, I’m thoroughly impressed. The 24HP Kohler engine is a powerhouse, making mowing large areas not just efficient but enjoyable.

I’ve tackled various grass types and lawn conditions, and the ZT1 has consistently delivered a clean, even cut. Its 54-inch deck, offering an adjustable cutting range, adds to its versatility.

And I must mention, as a taller individual, the ergonomic design has been a blessing. It’s incredibly comfortable, making long mowing sessions a breeze.

But what really stands out for me is the mower’s ease of maintenance. The design for simple part replacement and the overall lightweight yet durable build make it a practical choice for anyone.

And as for maneuverability, it’s exceptional. Navigating around obstacles has been effortless, thanks to its responsive controls.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a reliable, high-performing mower for your lawn care needs, the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 should be at the top of your list. It’s not just a mower; it’s an investment in making your lawn maintenance quicker and more enjoyable.

The overall satisfaction I’ve experienced, echoed by numerous user reviews, confirms that the ZT1 is indeed a lawn mower that meets the demands of serious lawn enthusiasts.

Ethan Dixonete Avatar

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 be used for commercial landscaping, or is it strictly for residential use?

I’m not sure if it’s intended for commercial use, but I’ve heard the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 is mainly designed for residential landscaping due to its durability and performance features.

What is the expected lifespan of the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 with regular maintenance?

I’d expect the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 to last about 8-10 years with regular maintenance, though actual lifespan can vary based on usage intensity and adherence to the recommended service schedule.

Are there any environmentally friendly features or eco-friendly models available in the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 series?

I’m not aware of any specific eco-friendly features or models within the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 series. They’re primarily gas-powered, which doesn’t align with the most environmentally friendly options available.

How does the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 perform on uneven terrain or hills compared to flat surfaces?

I’ve found that the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 handles uneven terrain well, maintaining stability and control. On hills, it’s less effective than on flat surfaces, but still performs admirably for its class.

Can attachments be added to the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 for tasks other than mowing, such as snow removal or leaf collection?

Yes, I can add attachments to my mower for snow removal or leaf collection. It’s versatile, allowing me to tackle various yard tasks beyond just mowing.