hustler raptor zero turn mower review

Hustler Raptor Zero Turn Mower Review

The Hustler Raptor mower series is a collection of zero-turn residential mowers that are perfect for homeowners with larger yards. All models mow at a speed of at least 7-8 mph, have deck sizes of 42” or more, and can be easily financed through the Hustler website.

The Hustler brand itself has been around for over 55 years, developing a great reputation for producing quality zero-turn mowers for both residential and commercial use. As one would expect from a top-tier mower manufacturer, Hustler offers a warranty on all of the mowers in the Raptor series (3 years or 300 hours of use).

Hustler has revamped the entire Raptor lineup for 2021. They've made several improvements, including appearance, better/larger tires, and new seats. These mowers were due for an update, and Hustler really outdid themselves with these mowers. I was able to demo a couple of these mowers, and they are really great.

Comparison of the Raptor Lineup

MowerRaptor XRaptor XLRaptor XDRaptor XDX
Deck Size42″ and 54″42″ and 54″42″, 48″, 54″, and 60″48″, 54″, and 60″
Deck Type11 Ga. Fabricated11 Ga. Fabricated11 Ga. Fabricated10 Ga. Fabricated
EngineKawasaki FR600 or FR651Kawasaki FR651 or FR691Kawasaki FR651, FR691, or FR730Kawasaki FR651, FR691, or FR730
TransmissionHydro-Gear ZT2200Hydro-Gear ZT2200Hydro-Gear ZT2800Hydro-Gear ZT3100
Speed7 mph7 mph7.5 mph8 mph
Fuel Tank3 gal.3 gal.3 gal.3 gal.
ComfortMid-back seatHigh-back seat; flex forksHigh-back seatHigh-back seat
Warranty3-year/300 hours3-year/300 hours3-year/300 hours3-year/300 hours
PriceStarting at $3,899Starting at $4,299Starting at $4,899Starting at$6,099

*Pricing updated as of July 28, 2022. Check with your local dealer for the most accurate price.


The zero turn mowers in the Raptor series use a small variety of engines and transmissions. The specific options available will vary by model, so we’ve included a list of the various options below. They are exclusively Kawasaki for engines and Hydro-gear for transaxles. This makes the lineup very simple and easy to compare. The power options are below.

Engine Options

Kawasaki FR600 – This 18HP 4-cycle V-Twin motor is available only in the Raptor X. It has a maximum torque of 32.3 ft-lbs at 2,200 RPM, and a compression ratio of 8.1:1. 

Kawasaki FR651 – This 21.5HP 4-Cycle V-Twin motor is available in all models of the Raptor series. This engine produces a peak torque of 39.3 ft-lbs at 2,200 RPM and has a compression ratio of 8.2:1.

Kawasaki FR691 – This 4-Cycle V-Twin motor puts out 23 horsepower. It’s used in the Raptor XL, XD, and XDX models. With a compression ratio of 8.2:1, this engine has a maximum torque of 39.3 ft-lbs at 2,200 RPM.

Kawasaki FR730 – At 24HP, this is the most powerful 4-Cycle V-Twin engine used in the Raptor series. You can find it in the XD and XDX models. It has a compression ratio of 8.2:1 and a maximum torque of 39.8 ft-lbs at 2,400 RPM.

kawasaki fr730 engine

Transmission Options

Hydro-Gear ZT2200– This transmission is used in both the X and the XL models. It can support a gross vehicle weight of up to 900 lbs, runs up to 7 mph, and can produce up to 215 lb-ft of torque.

Hydro-Gear ZT2800– This transmission is only used in the XD model. It can run at speeds up to 8 mph (although the Raptor XD only has a top speed of 7.5 mph), can support a maximum gross vehicle weight of 1,000 lbs, and produces up to 300 lb-ft of torque.

Hydro-Gear ZT3100-Used only in the XDX model, this transmission can run at speeds of up to 9 MPH (although the Raptor XDX’s top speed is limited to 8MPH). Perfect for larger machines, it outputs up to 350 lb-ft of torque and can support a gross vehicle weight of up to 1,200 lbs.


Although specific features vary by model, all of the Raptor series models share some basic features. Every model has an adjustable height deck, which is adjusted by pushing a foot pedal on the right and then choosing the height by using the pin system (also on the right side). You won’t even need to get off the mower, thanks to the convenient location of the adjustable pin!

Each model also includes an automatic parking brake, which is activated whenever the steering arms are fully separated. Available deck sizes vary by model, but Hustler currently offers 42”, 48”, 54”, and 60” deck sizes.

Every mower in the Raptor series comes with an adjustable seat, which has two armrests and a cup holder on the left. The seats are designed to provide lumbar support but also feature an air hole to increase the airflow on your back. Behind the seat, you’ll find storage spots for additional small items such as gloves or clippers on either side of the mower.

All of the mowers feature BigBite™ tires, which should provide adequate traction on most surfaces. There are also a variety of accessories you can purchase for these mowers, such as a light kit (for nighttime mowing), a variety of baggers, Flex Forks® (which are front caster forks that provide additional suspension), a stripe kit, and a mulch kit.

BigBite tires

Cut Quality

All the mowers in the Raptor series provide a near-commercial-grade cut at a residential price. These mowers handle thick grass well and can mow most grass effectively at near or maximum speed. This is due to their deep decks, which range from 4.5” on the X, XL, and XD models to the 5” deep deck on the XDX. All of the models have the same height range of 1.5” to 4.5”. It’s extremely hard to find fault on these models, but this would be our only complaint since most commercial mowers can cut up to 5”. 

hustler raptor deck

A common complaint about previous Raptor models was grass getting caught in the belt cover, eventually derailing the belts. Hustler addressed that problem with these models, adding ports to the belt cover, which makes it easier to clean and less likely to fall off due to a buildup of grass underneath.


You can reasonably expect to get a long life out of these mowers. It uses parts from reputable brands and also features some heavier duty parts (such as upgraded spindles) compared to previous models. These mowers are still relatively new, but there aren’t any specific weak points that we could find so far.


Most people will enjoy mowing with their new Hustler Raptor mower. Comfort starts in the seat, which is adjustable, provides lumbar support, and features an air hole in the back of the seat. You also get a cup holder on the left-hand side and two storage bins behind the seat on either side of the mower. If big bumps are a concern while mowing, Hustler has you taken care of. Although you need to purchase it as an accessory for most models (with the expectation of the Raptor XL), Hustler offers shock absorption in the form of their proprietary front caster forks, called Flex Forks®. These are designed to reduce bumpiness during your ride and provide a more even cut on rough terrain.


This mower carries the standard Hustler color scheme. Visually, it’s nothing special, but it doesn’t look bad either. There is a lot of plastic near the seat, but when you take the metal engine guard on the back (found on all models except the X)  into account, we think it’s an acceptable amount.

hustler raptor mower

Build Quality

The Hustler Raptor series mowers are well-built, providing proper seating, upgraded spindles, high-traction tires, a variety of deck sizes, and a small selection of motor/transmission options. We did find it somewhat disappointing that the Flex Forks® was only included on the Raptor XL, though. You’ll need to purchase them as an accessory for the other models, despite both the XD and the XDX costing $500-$1,800 more.

Pros / Cons

✅ Deep decks perfect for cutting thick grass

✅ Available in a wide variety of deck sizes

✅ Automatic parking brake comes standard on all models

❌ Flex Forks® aren’t included with the higher-priced models

❌ Gas tank stays at 3 gallons across all four models

❌ Cutting height limited to 4.5”

Our Rating

Performance:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Cut Quality:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Durability:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Comfort:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Price:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Overall:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)


The price of the Hustler Raptor mowers is very competitive. They compete with many of the other brands like Ariens, Husqvarna, and Cub Cadet in this category. There is a fairly wide gap in the price between each of the mowers within the lineup, but they also come with many different features.

  • Raptor X – $3,899+
  • Raptor XL – $4,299+
  • Raptor XD – $4,899+
  • Raptor XDX – $6,099+

Wrapping It Up

The Hustler Raptor series has the perfect mower for you if your lawn is of a larger size. That said, we think most homeowners will be satisfied with the Raptor XL and can save some money instead of opting for a larger (and more expensive) model. Hustler is a well-known brand, and since they’ve partnered with other reputable brands to create these machines, we don’t anticipate any issues when using these models. That said, should it happen, you won’t have an issue, as Hustler covers all of these models for three years (or up to 300 hours of runtime).

Read also: Hustler Super 88 Stand On Mower Review

What do you think?

Do you want to get this mower? Let us know in the comments below what you think about the Hustler Raptor.

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For more information on this mower, check out Hustler's official site. To find a dealer near you, check out their dealer locator.

Images are from hustler.

9 Replies to “Hustler Raptor Zero Turn Mower Review

  1. last mouth we bot the hustler xdx raptor im really happy with it it,s got the power too mow about anything being the back yard was not mowed in 3 years it was tall like 3 fee with dead grass under that 4 akers of it and it did a dam good job doing it i mowed it the frist time just too knock it down then let it dry out for a few days then mowed it agen pushing all that old dead grass too the end of the 4 akers it,s a bad ass mower i have too say that the only thing iv seen on it that i dont really like is the gas tank i cant fell it all the way unless i set it side ways on a slant bad dezine on it just what i though becuse i would have too go get more gas in less time mowing i ran it for 25 hour,s so far and no prob,s as of yet grate job buliding a mower happy with it

  2. there seems to be one more prob other than the gas tank it,s clicking like it will not start dose that about 4 times then start,s but it,s a good mower i think nothings busted yet lol and if it,s going too brake something im surely the guy that can do that hahahaha i try too be ez on it nt too hard of job,s just alot of grass too cut now it,s done it will not have to work so hard grate job on your mowers hustler

  3. Stay away. I bought this based on all the commercials on the radio. I got this and within a month the plastic chute off the mower deck snapped off. Also the two front tire could never hold their air. I contacted the dealer and they said it’s not under their warranty. I contacted hustler telling them this…twice because the first time they didn’t reply. Guess what? Second time they didn’t reply either. Don’t waste your money because the company has poor…actually no customer service.

  4. I purchased a Hustler Raptor XD in 2018. I am new to zero-turn mowers so don’t have much to compare it to. Pro’s: It is fast and does a good job mowing. I have about two acres to mow with fruit trees to go around and it takes me about 1.5 hours (54″ deck). I like the Kawasaki engine. I have a bad back; I find the seat and driving position comfortable and it has never bothered my back at all. Con’s: it spins out and digs up the grass easily (although I don’t know how this compares to other zero turns). This is hard to avoid on sharp turns or any turn on a hill. Mower height is adjustable and it is not hard, however, it is not easy either—I wish I could adjust the height on the fly. And, the heights are labelled A, B, C, D, etc. I’m guessing they are 1/4 inch steps (1/2 cm). Why not just show the height in inches or centimeters so I don’t forget which is up and which is down? The biggest problem I had, after two years and 75 hours, was that the chassis mounting brackets (not sure that’s the correct terminology) broke. The machine stopped dead as the belts came off the drive mechanism for the wheels. The guy who towed it away for me said this was a common problem on the XD and that the 2021 model had sturdier mounts. This cost $360 to fix and Hustler did not cover what seemed to me was a defective part. If you mow when it is at all wet, it gets clogged-up and you have to put it up on a ramp and chip out the clumps of grass; again, I’m not sure how tis compares to other zero turn mowers of this size. I’d give it 3.5/5 stars.

    1. I bought this mower for the tire width, and i still slide around. but my question is would this not happen with other machines ?

  5. Save your money and buy another mower. Stay away from Hustler and Bad Boy. The company does not back their product. I will give them credit in the fact that they have fixed the lengthy list of design flaws. However, if you were unfortunate (like me) and bought one of the earlier models, you’re screwed. I have experienced and continue to experience every single one of the issues that plague the older models. I’ve gotten 600 hours out of my Hustler Raptor, but it has been painful. Constant repairs and have spent a small fortune repairing this thing over and over. If you own one, you better own a welder as well. You’ll need a stockpile of bolts to replace the constant breakage and will have a frame and brackets full of welds. I’ve contacted the company twice. No response after the first one and then got an email after the second. I called the provided number and was basically told “sorry about your luck”. I expected more for what I paid for the mower and the Hustler name. I was fooled. Save yourself the trouble and buy from someone who backs their product. It certainly is not Excel Industries.

  6. My mom purchased this mower recently.
    The dealer should have made her see if she could raise and lower the deck. Its the 60″ model.
    The dealer had the deck all the way up when delivered.
    She was able to lift the deck release handle and the deck dropped down to where she wanted to cut.
    After she cut grass for 0.8 hours, she was unable to lift the deck.
    I tried lifting the deck and it was very difficult.
    You can actually see the foot pedal peg torque a bit when tried to lift it. Over time I bet this peg breaks.
    Very poor design.
    We were hoping Hustler would take it back but they won’t.
    So now my 74 year old mom is stuck with a mower that she can’t lift the deck on.
    Shame on you hustler. We did try the stupid spring they recommended as a jerry rig, but all that does is make it difficult to lower as well as they deck won’t go back down on it own.

  7. I sold my Exmark 42inch for a larger Hustler 52″ from the local lawnmowers repair guy recommendation. The Exmark i never had problems with it was just small. I bought this Hustler and though with the big tires i was done sliding around.
    I still slide around on the hills, but the thing that disappointed me the most, is if you hit the deck on a tree it bust the mounts and the back deck falls and now your grading your field. I bought some eye bolts and fixed it and seems to be working for the last 3 mows at 5 ackers. I like the motor, easy access to belt, that i have not had to access yet. comfort is pretty dang good if you have a bumpy mow, but only at like 6-7 MPH after that you start getting beat up. I noticed that the blade speed was not as fast as the EXmark, so i have to go over a few spots because it did not cut the grass all the way. I want to give notice on this though. i have 5 acers and the yard gets tall as i only mow every 2-3 weeks, and i don’t have grass, my yard is a country mow down so please do not take this review as it did not cut grass because it does great and mows even if mow every week, but i have only done that twice.
    So bottom line, i feel it is a really good mower, but i had to fix a few design flaws. Motor is one of the best on the market, moving deck plate is easy. Access to belts is easy. I have not had to talk to customer service, so i don’t know about that. Overall once you fix the mounting flaw with the deck plate, it seems to be so far 1 year into this mower a great mower, although don’t let the big tires fool you, it did no better on hills with big tires than the 42in Exmark.

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