Cub Cadet Enduro Series Model LT42 XT1 Review

The Cub Cadet Enduro Series LT42 XT1

This garden tractor is a “Cub Cadet.”  It doesn’t sound like much, does it?  …”cub”…”cadet”.  But, don’t sell this potent “cub cadet” short because, it is a real “bear of a soldier” that can muscle through any job you give it and turn on a dime without hesitation!  That’s one of the reasons I chose this Cub Cadet Enduro Series lawn tractor to review!
Cub Cadet LT42 XT1 Enduro Series

A Great Engine

Being powered by a very reliable 18 HP Kohler OHV engine prepares this tractor for all types of light and heavy hauling and yard work from the get go….day in…and day out.  Forward speed tops out at a fast paced 5.5 mph and reverse speed is a swift 3.1 mph.  Power on the cruise control and away we go!


Turning Radius And Cutting Deck Width

The 16 inch turning radius is so tight it will make you dizzy…probably an end result of the new steering system design.  But, slow down beforehand or you may fall out of your seat.  It is noteworthy that the front pivot bar has a 5 year, “unlimited use” warranty.

Cub Cadet LT42 XT1 16" turning radiusThis XT1 Enduro Series model has a 42 inch cutting deck controlled by a 12 position, spring assisted lever that will increment the cutting height from 1 to 4 inches…to crisply cut your yard uniformly for both level and uneven areas.

Cub Cadet LT42 XT1 Enduro Series 42" cutting deck

A couple of owners said that this tractor “…will tackle even their 3+ acre grass and make short work of it…”

The deck is not only stamped and fabricated but, it has Cub Cadet’s trademark E-Coat rustproofing for automotive grade corrosion protection.

Cub Cadet LT42 XT1 E-Coat rustproofing

Even though there is a reverse safety switch, you can manually set the tractor to mow in reverse.

NOTE:  As I have been saying several times before in other tractor reviews, take the time to wash the cutting blades and under belly of the cutting deck after every use to keep it free and clean from the mass of gunked on grass that can accumulate.  Cub Cadet’s trademarked high pressure deck washing system makes this chore a piece of cake.


Hydrostatic Transmission With Rear Locking Differential

Lest I forget, rest assured that this little tractor is also equipped with a hydrostatic transmission and a rear locking differential.  No shifting required.  Stomp on the gas and go!

For comparisons of the different types of transmissions available for lawn and garden tractors, visit Garden Tractor Reviews and gain an appreciation for the importance of having a hydrostatic transmission in your machine.

I also place a high value on a rear locking differential, too, because it greatly increases the traction for navigating wet grass and steep slopes.


Brakes, Tires, and High Back Seat

The disc brakes are the same design as the ones in your auto and they include a pedal lock.

With 20 inch x 8 inch rear wheels and 15 inch x 6 inch front wheels, you can be confident of a stable drive up and down steep slopes.

Enjoy the comfort of the high back seat while you “ride to glory” towing your various yard and garden paraphernalia such as electric or gas tillers, hula hoe or push-pull hoe…or heavier stuff like rocks, wood, or compost.

Cub Cadet LT42 XT1 hauling wood


Some Other Good Things

Standard on this model is the use of LED high illumination headlights.  Most of the new tractors have them nowadays.  It is hard to find incandescent headlights anymore.

A cup holder is customarily available to keep a cold drink within easy reach.  And, there is a small bin next to the cup holder which, in my humble opinion, is a good place to ice down an extra cold one if needed on an extra hot day.

The Cub Cadet LT42 XT1 is covered by a 3 year, “unlimited hours” warranty to include the powertrain, as well as a 5 year, “unlimited hours” warranty for the chassis and front axle.  Included, too, is a lifetime warranty on the cutting deck shell.


A Few Shortcomings…

Those springs under the seat are tight when new and the seat bounces more than it should.  But, after getting worn in a bit, this issue goes away.

That side discharge can throw grass a long way, 6 feet or more, so be careful around the house and cars.  Be sure to adjust the discharge chute when mowing close to objects that you don’t want to bury in grass clippings.

The driver’s seat is a bit flat which means you can slide in the seat when mowing across a slope…so hang on or get yourself a set of armrests!

Then there is the throttle control position being close to your leg so, on a bouncy ride, you can bang your knee into it.  Wrap it with some foam insulation and…problem solved.

Lastly, the headlight covers need to be better sealed.  Occasionally, water will get inside and the covers are awkward to remove when clearing out the H2O.  But, that’s why I keep a few tubes of clear silicone caulk around…just for nagging issues like this.  One more thing…no light turn off switch.  This seems to be a common shortcoming with many yard tractors.


And, Finally

Even with these nitpicky issues, I still have to say that the Cub Cadet LT42 XT1 Enduro Series tractor is the best bang for the buck!  You’ll love this tractor so much that you will be volunteering to cut all of your neighbors’ yards!  Do yourself a favor and check it out.


19 August, 2018, UPDATE

There is now a replacement for the LT42 XT1 – it is the XT1 Enduro Series LT 46 in. 22-HP V-Twin KOHLER Hydrostatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower.  Same great perks with a 46 inch wide cutting swath,  and a more powerful 22 horsepower V-Twin Kohler.

I don’t know where you can find a better deal than you have with this tractor considering the perks it comes with.  If you know of any or, if you have any questions or thoughts, please let me know in the comments below or shoot me an email,

Take a trip over to the main Garden Tractor Reviews page for more delightful choices.


Jim, the Life Long Gardener






4 thoughts on “Cub Cadet Enduro Series Model LT42 XT1 Review

  1. Machevrier Reply

    I really did like your review about the Cub Cadet all the information you give is right and well written. You provide us with lot’s of links and great image to match the info. I’m not a specialist in the tractor industry but by reading your post I was interested in knowing more about it. A really good review over all . Nice job!

    • Jim Reply

      I’m glad you liked it!

      I do my best to give accurate information and honest, down-to-earth assessments.

      You may be interested in reading about some of the other tractors listed on my Garden Tractor Reviews page!

      Thanks, for stopping by.


  2. Robert Pointer Reply

    My Cub Cadet LT 42 XT1 throws the mower deck belt. It has less than 10 hours on it. Springs are all in place. Home Depot has no idea who does service and Cub’s web page says none within 30 miles. Cub Cadet phone number gives very long waits until you give up. Chat is the same way. Email takes several days. I can’t cut the whole lawn without putting the belt back on. This requires removing a pulley guard to to so.

    • Jim Post authorReply

      There are a number of reasons that a belt will pop off of any tractor mower:

      Mowing high grass at too low of a setting. In this case, mow the area several times starting at the highest setting – dropping the mower deck a notch or two with each pass.

      Starting the mower blades too quickly. You should start the mower blades slow and easy. Too quick of a motion will damage the belt. The end result will be that it will, as a minimum, pop off. And, this hasty action could cause a belt burn – which will not bode well for future mowing.

      The deck leveling adjustment procedure was not done correctly. Refer to the owner’s manual and ensure that the deck is leveled according to instructions.

      The spring-loaded tension idler pulley may not be properly positioned. Again – refer to the owner’s manual.

      If that doesn’t fix your problem, and you are tired of scratching your head trying to figure it out – then since the Cub Cadet is probably still under warranty, with only 10 hours on it, trade it in on a Husqvarna YTH18542.


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