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Did you know you can get some of the best zero turn mowers for under $3000? We’re here to show you which models are worthy of your time and money. We’ve compiled a list of the top mowers in the industry to make your search easier.

Each entry passed our testing with flying colors. Whatever your mowing needs are, we’re sure there’s one for you. Before we move on to the reviews, check out a couple of our favorite entries below.

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Out of all the units we tested, Troy-Bilt’s Mustang Fit impressed us the most. In our opinion, it’s the best overall. It comes at a reasonable price, and it mows lawns exceptionally well. And it sports a compact design that makes it easy to haul.

Husqvarna’s Z246 offers some of the best performance among zero turns. This powerful mower delivers speed, user-friendliness, and comfort. It comes equipped with a 46-inch deck for faster mowing time.

Top 10 Best Zero Turn Mowers under $3000

If you’re looking to save money, you’re right where you need to be. We have 8 more budget-friendly models to go. We’ll take a closer look at our top picks, too.


1. Troy-Bilt Mustang Fit Review - Best Overall

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  • Fast mowing power
  • Compact design
  • Affordable
  • Versatile
  • Small mower deck
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Armed with a 452cc engine, Troy-Bilt’s Mustang Fit is an exceptionally good buy. This peppy little unit will make short work of any lawn.

Thanks to its hydrostatic transmission, even tall, rough grass doesn’t stand a chance. Its mowing deck isn’t the largest out there, but it gets the job done.

Turning feels great and never once bogged down on us during our testing. It rides smoothly and the seating is very comfortable. It also sports a high back that makes mowing more manageable.

This is a good-looking mower, too. It’s nice and compact, making it easier to haul from yard to yard. If you’re in the professional mowing business, the Mustang Fit is definitely worth a look.

Features

  • 78 x 45 x 34.75 inches
  • 34-inch mowing deck
  • EZT transmission
  • 616 pounds

Ease of Use

We had a lot of fun with this one. Operation is a breeze, and mowing is heavy-duty. It’s a solid investment if you need to cut grass that is often rough and uneven.

Sure, the deck is a bit on the small side. But considering the excellent price of the Mustang Fit, it’s worth this one drawback.


2. Husqvarna Z246 Review - Best Performance

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  • Wide mowing deck
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use
  • Well-made
  • Pricey
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Looking to cut down on mowing time? Let Husqvarna’s Z246 take the lead. This powerful zero turn comes equipped with a 46-inch deck. This ensures that you’re getting fast mowing performance.

We were mighty impressed with the Z246. It has a comfortable seat that allows you to mow longer with less fatigue. And mowing itself is made more manageable thanks to a 20 HP Briggs and Stratton motor.

Engaging the mower deck is a cinch, too. Simply use the electric clutch to lower the blades. It has a max forward speed of 6.5 miles per hour, while reverse is 3.5. We found this to be a well-rounded mower for yards of all shapes and sizes.

At 580 pounds, the Z246 is surprisingly lightweight for such a heavy-duty zero turn. If you’re looking for a mower that’s easy to haul, you’ll be pleased with the Z246.

Features

  • 75 x 48 x 40 inches
  • 46-inch deck
  • Electric PTO
  • 580 pounds

Ease of Use

With its variable transmission and comfortable seating, operating the Z246 is a breeze. It sports a very user-friendly design. And yet it performs at a professional level.


3. Husqvarna Z142 Review - Best for Mulching

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  • High-quality mower
  • Durable deck
  • Lightweight
  • Fast
  • Low on power
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Husqvarna made the grade again, this time with the Z142. This 17 HP mower sports a Kohler engine for reliable cutting. And with a max speed of up to 6.5 miles per hour, you’re looking at less time spent on the mower.

We’re big fans of the build quality here. Husqvarna consistently produces top-grade equipment, and the Z142 is no different. It’s a well-crafted system from top to bottom.

The mower deck is made using reinforced steel. You’re getting exceptional durability you can count on to last. This is the kind of quality you want in a zero turn machine.

And with its 3-in-1 system, you can either discharge, bag, or mulch grass clippings. It also has an air induction mowing system that cuts grass better. This leaves your lawn looking healthy throughout the mowing season.

The only downside is that it feels a bit underpowered. It certainly mows well, but taller grass might see the mower struggle along the way.

Features

  • Hydrostatic transmission
  • 75 x 43.5 x 34.5 inches
  • 474 pounds
  • 17 HP

Ease of Use

We love the 3-in-1 mowing system. You have much greater flexibility over your lawn maintenance. The Z142 is very user-friendly, too. And it’s a breeze to ride thanks to its comfortable seating.


4. Husqvarna Z242F Review - Best Mowing Deck

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  • Great build-quality
  • Fast mowing
  • Comfortable
  • Powerful
  • Heavy
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Seeming to right the wrongs of the Z142, Husqvarna delivers a mower with more power in the Z242F. It ups the horsepower to 23, giving you better mowing over rough terrain.

It’s equipped with a ClearCut 42-inch fabricated mowing deck. It feels really heavy-duty, providing you with both durability and reliability. We tested the Z242F on thick grass. Never once did it bog down or struggle.

The transmission is maintenance-free, leaving you with less hassle and upkeep. We also really appreciate the top-notch build-quality on board here.

The Z242F is built like a tank. No part of it feels like it was just slapped together. If you want a zero turn that’s made to last, the Z242F is a solid investment.

This too, however, is also one of the downsides to the Z242F. It’s mighty heavy. If you are planning on frequently hauling your new zero turn, you might want to consider another option. We had quite a bit of trouble when it came time to unload it.

Features

  • 75 x 40 x 51 inches
  • Electric clutch
  • 42-inch deck
  • 770 pounds

Ease of Use

With a max forward speed of 6.5 miles an hour, the Z242F will make short work of any yard. Its high HP ensures even tall grass is mowed with ease.


5. Snapper 360Z 46-inch Review - Best for Beginners

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  • Fast performance
  • Nice turning
  • Well-made
  • Compact
  • Uncomfortable seating
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Snapper enters the fray with the 360Z. This compact zero turn is, for lack of a better word, snappy. It performed admirably in our testing thanks to its fast performance.

It’s not as comfortable as other models, as its seating feels stiff and unforgiving. Those mowing large yards might want to consider another option. But when we mowed small areas, the 360Z was more than capable.

It comes equipped with a 22 HP Briggs and Stratton engine. You’re sure to have no trouble with rough grass.

Helping speed things along is a 46-inch mowing deck. Coupled with a top speed of 7 miles an hour, we found this to greatly reduce our overall mowing time.

Features

  • 72 x 55 x 42 inches
  • Electric starter
  • 46-inch deck
  • 525 pounds

Ease of Use

This is a fun little zero turn to scoot around in. Beginners will love its user-friendly design. Although those who have lots to mow might want to steer clear.


6. Snapper 360Z 42-inch Review - Best Build-Quality

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  • Comfortable seating
  • Quick mowing
  • Wide base
  • Powerful
  • Extra for mulching/bagging
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A bit beefier version of the standard 360Z, the 42-inch variant is a nice ride. With a wider body and tougher frame, you’re getting a well-rounded mower.

The steel frame is fully welded, giving you far greater durability. If you want a zero turn you can trust to last for years, Snapper delivers the goods.

At 23 HP, you’re also getting a slightly more powerful motor. Coupled with its foot-operated mower deck, this machine is quite user-friendly.

The deck itself takes a bump down in size, from 46 to 42 inches. But we were happy that the wider body also saw more comfortable seating.

This goes a long way in reducing mowing fatigue. We were able to mow longer as a result. If you’re looking at big yards, you’ll be pleased with Snapper’s zero turn.

At 525 pounds, it’s relatively lightweight for such a well-built mower. If you have to haul your zero turn often, you’ll want to give this one a look.

Features

  • 72 x 55 x 42 inches
  • Steel mower deck
  • 42-inch deck
  • 525 pounds

Ease of Use

If you’re looking to mulch or bag your grass clippings, the 42-inch 360Z is certainly capable. However, you’ll have to buy separate attachments and adapters to make it work.


7. Snapper 360Z 19HP Review - Most Budget-Friendly

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  • Fast mowing
  • Turns easily
  • Easy to use
  • Compact
  • Not for large yards
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Snapper makes the list again. As another 360Z, this model sees a slight downgrade across the board. Gone are the 22 and 23 HP engines. It’s been replaced by a modest 19 HP Briggs and Stratton.

But don’t let the lower horsepower deter you from giving this one a look. For those with smaller yards who need a quality zero turn, this is a great choice.

It has a top forward speed of 6 miles an hour. It’s only slightly slower compared to its heavier-duty variants. We found it to be plenty acceptable, especially in contained spaces.

The mowing deck also sees a reduction, now dropping down to a 36-inch unit. Again, this isn’t a problem on smaller yards.

Features

  • 12-gauge steel frame
  • 66 x 39 inches
  • 36-inch deck
  • 500cc

Ease of Use

We’re pretty fond of the compact design of the 19 HP unit. It’s perfect for smaller areas, and performs adequately over rough terrain.


8. Simplicity Courier 23HP/42-inch Review - Best Suspension

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  • Excellent suspension
  • Comfortable seating
  • Compact design
  • Versatile
  • Not for large yards
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Simplicity’s Courier is a zero turn that delivers where it matters most. Those looking for a comfortable mowing experience will be blown away. This little machine performs wonderfully on uneven surfaces.

It’s equipped with incredible suspension, allowing you to travel smoothly on rough yards. There’s even an optional cargo bed for hauling brush and yard debris.

When we first saw the mesh-like seating on the Courier, we weren’t very confident in its abilities. But after spending ample time on it, it’s an impressively comfortable arrangement.

And thanks to a steel frame that’s been fully welded, you’re investing in a reliable zero turn. You can even choose between a Kawasaki or Briggs and Stratton engine before purchase.

So, how is the actual cutting? It proved to be a commendable mower in our testing. We enjoyed our time with it. The Courier is perfect for smaller yards. And if you need a heavier-duty model for larger yards, Simplicity offers those, too.

Features

  • 72 x 55 x 42 inches
  • 42-inch deck
  • 577 pounds
  • 23 HP

Ease of Use

Those looking for a user-friendly zero turn that won’t break the bank need look no further. The Simplicity Courier is a respectable mower that makes short work of smaller yards.


9. Husqvarna Z254F Review - Widest Deck

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  • Huge mowing deck
  • Comfortable ride
  • Even cutting
  • Well-built
  • Struggles on inclines
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The Husqvarna Z254F is equipped with a 23 horsepower Kawasaki engine. It has some of the most reliable starting of any zero turn we tested.

If you’re looking for a mower that requires little maintenance, you’ll want to give this one some serious consideration. It has a hydrostatic transmission system. This provides a hassle-free mowing experience, making this a great unit for beginners.

You’re getting a massive 55-inch mowing deck that will make short work of any yard in its path. It features ClearCut’s steel fabrication, so you know it’s a deck you can rely on. It cuts evenly to ensure your grass stays healthy throughout the mowing season.

The build-quality is most excellent, as well. Husqvarna once again delivers a well-crafted mower that’s made to last.

Features

  • 75 x 43.75 x 34.48 inches
  • Hydrostatic transmission
  • 55-inch deck
  • 595 pounds

Ease of Use

Thanks to its huge mowing deck, you’ll be able to spend more time on other things. Both large and small yards are much easier to mow. The only drawback is that it sometimes struggles on steep inclines.


10. Husqvarna Z254 Review - Best for Large Yards

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  • Even cutting
  • Nice speed
  • Comfy ride
  • Powerful
  • Headlight is a separate purchase
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Not to be confused with the Z254F, the Z254 has some noticeable differences. The Kawasaki engine has been replaced with a more powerful Kohler. You’re getting 26 HP and a top speed of 6.5 miles an hour.

The 54-inch mowing deck remains, allowing you to zip through large yards with quickness and ease. And thanks to an air induction system, your lawn will look healthier after mowing.

If you want to mulch or bag your clippings, the Z254 is plenty capable of handling your needs. You’ll have to spring for the attachments, but this zero turn is designed to accept them.

We really like the reinforced steel deck. This goes a long way in prolonging the life of the mower. Combined with its exceptionally tough build-quality, you know you’re getting a mower that lasts.

Our only complaint is that there’s no headlight. If you want one, it’s a separate purchase. This is a shame considering how well this mower is designed for large yards. Since they obviously take longer, a headlight is a must.

Features

  • 72 x 61.49 x 34.48 inches
  • 54-inch deck
  • 542 pounds
  • 26 HP

Ease of Use

This unit might be a bit much for first-timers. It’s pretty powerful and can easily get away from you if you aren’t acclimated to zero turns. It has great speed, which makes it a solid choice for bigger yards.