The 42-inch Snapper 150Z ZT2142 is a zero-turn mower, meaning it speeds mowing, steers easily around obstacles and leaves no circle of uncut grass at the ends of rows. Objective comparison tests give this model high marks for performance even in bagging mode -- unusual for a zero-turn mower. Another unusual advantage compared with competing zero-turn mowers is the Snapper's cast-iron front axle. This helps stabilize it on slopes, though the Snapper 150Z isn't recommended for steep slopes. An electric, variable cutting height adjustment is another nice touch, reviewers say.
This zero-turn mower is CARB-certified to meet California's strict emission controls but is also available in other states. Switching to mulching mode requires a blade change, but the main drawback is that it can take an hour or so to get used to steering with two levers instead of a steering wheel. The same is true of the faster but less convenient John Deere Z225 (*Est. $2,900), which can mow at 7 mph but doesn't earn high marks for handling or for cutting in bagging mode.
We found the best review of the Snapper 150Z at ConsumerReports.org, where it's ranked in comparison with 11 other zero-turn mowers plus 42 other riding mowers and lawn tractors of various sizes and types. Tests here are objective and thorough based on weeks of mowing tests. We also found an earlier review of a similar Snapper 150Z at ConsumerGuide.com. Since Snapper zero-turn mowers are sold mostly through independent dealers rather than at big-box stores, we didn't find any owner-written reviews at Lowes.com or HomeDepot.com.
This review, based on objective mowing tests, compares the Snapper 150Z with 11 other zero-turn mowers ranking them based on ratings for handling and ease of use as well as on performance in specific cutting modes. A handful of owners also rate and review the Snapper 150Z and a similar Snapper model here. Editors also compare the Snapper 150Z with 42 other riding mowers and lawn tractors of various types. The report on brand reliability (based on a survey of readers) doesn't cover Snapper.
Review: Tractors and Riders, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
This 2008 review covers an earlier version of the Snapper 150Z equipped with a larger 58-inch deck, but several points made here also apply to the 42-inch Snapper 150Z ZT2142. The reviewer praises the cast-iron front axles, saying they help stabilize the Snapper on slopes, and gives this mower top marks for smooth controls and overall ease of use. The maximum cutting height of 3.75 inches is the main drawback.
Review: Expert Review: Snapper 150Z 24/50 Zero-Turn Mower, Editors of ConsumerGuide.com, April 11, 2008