The John Deere X304 – How good is this lawn tractor?


The top rated four wheel steer John Deere x304 lawn tractor delivers manoeuvrability and the high end specification you come to expect from the Select Series of John Deere riding mowers.

Powered by a 18 Hp (2011 onwards model) engine and with a 42 inch cutting deck as standard, this John Deere machine is recommended by Deere for mowing areas up to 2 acres (around 8000m2 ).

You’ll see from some of the reviews we’ve received from our readers (at the bottom of the page), that there is a pretty strong consensus among users about the quality of this lawn tractor.

It gets great marks for the power and effectivesness of the engine, the quality of cut, the ease of adjusting the cutting height and of handling the deck and its reversing ability.

Of course, it’s not faultless. But it is undoubtedly one of, if not the leading riding mower in its class.

John Deere x304 – Features at a Glance

Recommended for Area of 2 acres, 8000m2
Size of Cutting Deck/Size of Cut 42in, 106cm
Engine Power 2010 model: 17 hp (12.7 kW), 2011 model: 18 hp (13.4kW)
Engine Make/Type John Deere i-torque, air-cooled, full pressure oil lubrication
Transmission Type Twin TouchTM automatic transmission
Cutting Deck Material Steel
Grass Discharge Side discharge, optional rear bagger
Turning Radius 15in (38cm). Uncut circle radius: 16in (40.64cm)
Accessories Rear Bagger, Mulching System, Front Thatcher (38, 46, 54 in.), Front Blade (44 in.) Tractor Shovel (40 in.) Snow Blower (44 in.), Styled Bumper, Brush Guard, Double Bucket Holder, Various Tow-Behind Tools
Special Features
  • air-cooled John Deere iTorqueTM Power System
  • 4-wheel-steer (4WS)
  • Heavy-duty CargO MountTM System for easy installation of rear attachments
Approximate Price Approx. $3,700 US, £3408 plus VAT

John Deere X304 Review

John Deere prides itself on the quality of the Select Series of Lawn Tractors to which the X304 belongs. But how good is this particular lawn tractor?

Driving the x304

One of the principal assets of this John Deere model is the quality of the X304’s 17-hp V-twin, air-cooled John Deere iTorqueTM Power system. The engine, which satisfies most if not all of the latest global noise and emissions restrictions, is designed to give:

  • low vibration
  • even cooling
  • smooth operation
  • easy starts; and
  • a longer engine life.

The two pedal Twin TouchTm automatic transmission allows for easy speed and direction changes, with a maximum forward speed of 5.5 mph and a maximum reverse speed of 4 mph. Helpfully, cruise control comes as standard.

Braking is by internal wet disk brakes which provide increased durability and longer life.

Cutting with the x304

With a turning radius of 15 inches (38cm) and an uncut circle radius of 16 inches (41cm), the 4-wheel steer feature of the X304 means that it has manoeuvrability close to that of a zero turn mower. But since it has the stability of a lawn tractor it is suitable for more sloping and uneven terrain than a zero turn could manage.

The Edge XtraTm cutting system with 42 inch (107cm) deck can be easily switched between grass collection, mulching and side discharge, whilst the mower cut height can be adjusted from 1 to 4 inches in 1/4-inch increments (2.5cm to 10cm in 0.6cm increments).

The mower wheel has a 4 position adjustment (tool required). The level of the mowing deck can be adjusted easily with the ‘Exact Adjust’ feature, including a visible deck levelling guage that makes the process completely straightforward.

Working with the x304

To make life easier the x304 comes with:

  • A heavy duty electric power take off clutch, with dashboard control
  • The Deere Heavy-duty CargO MountTm System which allows for simple installation of rear attachments
  • A tool tray and cupholder
  • Color-coded controls
  • An hourmeter to show when maintenance tasks (such as oil or filter changes) are due
  • A high back fully adjustable seat (with adjustable suspension in the 2011 model).

Attachments and Accessories

All of the following are available from John Deere to add even more flexibility and usability:

  • 7 bushel 2 bin collection bag
  • Mulching systems
  • 38, 46 or 54 inch front thatcher
  • 44 inch front blade
  • 40 inch tractor shovel
  • 44 inch snow blower
  • 16 different tow-behind accessories

If you are looking for lawn tractor attachments or accessories for your John Deere lawn tractor, then obviously Deere offers a great, high quality range.

But you might also find some value (i.e. save some cash) by looking at some other brands, especially for the tow-behind tools like carts, aerators etc.

Check out the range of lawn tractor attachments, that I’ve reviewed here.

Good Points

Consumer reviewers praise the John Deere x304 for its:

  • Strong construction
  • 4-year/300hour warranty and 30 day return policy
  • Tight turning
  • great reliability
  • Quality of cut
  • Reversing ability
  • maneuverability.


Bad Points

Some consumers criticise the John Deere x304 for:

  • Its price compared to similar spec mowers by other brands
  • The relatively low powered engine
  • Tricky bagger connection.


Versatile, highly manouverable and with a rich spec, the x304 lawn tractor is highly regarded in the mid-range lawn tractor class and was considered a best buy in a survey.

It comes with a valuable 4 year or 300 hour warranty (whichever comes first) but also with a fairly hefty price tag.

That said, many users report that given its overall quality, the x304 still represents good value for the money. And, ultimately, that must be what we’re all looking for in any lawn tractor.

Alternative John Deere models


A much cheaper alternative is the John Deere 42 in. 17.5 HP Briggs & Stratton Single Cylinder Engine Gear Drive Riding Mower from the D100 Series. (Click links for the latest price)

This model features a similar sized engine and cutting deck to the X304, but without the all-wheel steer and the extra refinements found in the X300 Series.

Neverthless, a John Deere on a budget, can’t be a bad thing, can it?

Slightly, more expensive is the John Deere 42 in. 19.5 HP Hydrostatic model, which has a more poweful engine, as well as hydrostatic transmission.

Return from John Deere X304 to Lawn Tractor Reviews (Home Page)

Return from John Deere X304 to the main John Deere Lawn Tractors page

Go to our reviews of the X320, X324, X360, X340 John Deere Riding Mowers


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