2018 John Deere E100 Series Lawn Tractor Review

Which New John Deere E100 Series Is Right For Me?

This article will go over the differences between the old discontinued D100 Series and the new, 2018 E100 series. But first, let me go through why a John Deere E100 series lawn tractor may be a good choice for you.

John Deere E100 series lawn tractors are Deere’s most affordable riding mowers. They range from a small, inexpensive, 42-inch riding mower for flat 1/4 acre lawns to a 54-inch lawn tractor that can easily mow 3-5 acres a week. The E100 series has mowers with different engine/transmission combinations so you can pick a performance level that suits the way you mow your lawn. Review websites that actually test lawn tractors always place John Deere 100 series tractors with a 42-inch deck in the top 20% of the current residential models. In other words, you can trust that for the price John Deere E100 series mowers will give you the quality cut you want.

Click on the link below to check to see a video overview of the new mowers. Then come back and we’ll go through my opinions and recommendations for you.

John Deere E100 Series Overview

What the new E100 Series John Deere Lawn Tractor is: The John Deere E100 series is a logical progression of the D100 series you are all familiar with. Take what works on the D100 series and improve the overall lawn tractor. Take an affordable and dependable lawn tractor and upgrade it with more a more comfortable operator area and controls. The new E100 series will continue to be built in Greeneville, Tennessee.

Here are a few of the key features that are improved with the new E100 series lawn tractors

  • Improved deck lift lever raises and lowers deck easily
  • 1/4 inch cutting height increments
  • Operator station is wide and comfortable
  • Redesigned Steering Wheel
  • Redesigned operator controls are easier to use
  • Separate forward and reverse pedals
  • Cast Iron Front Axle on all models
  • Powerful battery helps with starts, even after lengthy storage
  • Same deep deck design helps lift grass for a superior cut
  • ELS extended life series engine on E160, E170, E180 (Up to 50% longer engine life)
  • Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System for fast and simple oil changes (E120, E130, E150, E160, E170, and E180) I’ll talk about this more a little later
  • 2-bin bagger for all 42 and 48-inch models.
  • You can see what accessories are available for your new John Deere E100 series here: E100 Series Accessories
  • You can see what accessories are available at The Home Depot for John Deere riding mowers here: John Deere Accessories at The Home Depot

What the new E100 Series John Deere Lawn Tractor is not:

  • The E100 series is a good, well-designed lawn tractor and is not a “Garden Tractor.” It is not a heavy duty tractor capable of pulling ground engaging equipment like a plow, disk or food plot cultivator. Even though the E170/E180 has the large rear tires the transmission and looks like a typical garden tractor is not heavy enough to pull heavy loads or last a long time mowing long slopes or steep hills.
  • I can’t recommend the E180 with the 54-inch deck for properties with hills or long slopes. The combination of the large 54-inch deck, K46 standard lawn tractor transmission, and larger 22-inch wheels will greatly reduce the life of the mower if used this way. Yes, It will probably make it through the defects warranty period but if you plan on keeping your lawn tractor for more than 5 years I strongly suggest that if you have hills and long slopes to look for a lawn/garden tractor with a stronger transmission. (My warning here includes all brands of lawn tractors and LGT riders with larger 22/23 inch rear wheels, the K46 transmission, and the 54-inch deck)
  • The E100 series is also not a “rough cut” or field mower. If you have pastures, paddocks or other areas that you mow monthly or less often the John Deere E100 series is not designed for that type of work. It is designed to mow your suburban or farm lawn well.

What’s different between the New E100 Series and the D100 series you are familiar with?

  • Other than ergonomic and cosmetic changes the new E-100 series appears to remain unchanged from the 2017 D100 series. That’s not a bad thing because John Deere has been “tweaking” this line for quite some time and it is a good, inexpensive lawn tractor.
  • I like the fact that John Deere took the “Let’s keep what works” approach and made a better lawn tractor instead of something completely new. This gives me the confidence to help you find the best E100 series for you.

What’s different between the Dealer Models, Lowes Models, and Home Depot Models?

  • There is no difference between the E100 series lawn tractors sold at your local dealer or the ones sold at Lowes and Home Depot.
  • But – Home Depot carries more models than Lowes including the California Compliant models for sale in California.
  • And – Home Depot includes free delivery, free assembly, free inspection from a local authorized John Deere dealer. The local dealer actually brings the new lawn tractor to your home for free. This “White Glove Delivery” includes Unpack Rider and Setup, Remove All Packing Debris, Connect and Check Battery, Test Starter Function, Set Correct Tire Pressure, Check – Fill Fluids, File Mower Warranty for you, and show you how to use your new John Deere lawn tractor. (In my opinion, this is a $150 value that you don’t get with many other brands) See all John Deere Lawn Tractors at The Home Depot here: John Deere Lawn Tractors

A List Of The New E100 Series Lawn Tractors. Which one is best for you?

John Deere E100 Lawn Tractor

John Deere E100 Lawn Tractor

Model: E100
Type: Lawn Tractor
17.5 HP* single cylinder engine
42 inch Edge Cutting System: Edge Cutting System: Deep deck design helps lift grass for a superior cut
Improved deck lift lever raises and lowers deck easily
Operator station is wide and comfortable
Powerful battery helps with starts, even after lengthy storage
LIST PRICE: $1,499.00 USD

Note: This lawn tractor replaces the retiring D105.

Who is this lawn tractor for? The E100 is a basic lawn tractor and will work for small, 1/4 acre lawns that you mow every week. If you like to putt around your yard, pull a small cart to pick up sticks and leaves this is a good choice. It is not designed to mow long slopes or hills. You can attach a bagger or pull a sweeper but I strongly suggest only using them for fall cleanup – not for weekly green grass collection because of the weight.  John Deere does offer a mulch plug, mulching blades and bagging blades for this tractor. If your lawn is very thick southern grass or very lush I strongly suggest moving up to the E120 or E130 twin cylinder engines.

Link to read more and purchase at The Home Depot: E100 42 in. 17.5 HP Gas Automatic Lawn Tractor

John Deere E110 Lawn Tractor

John Deere E110 Lawn Tractor

Model: E110
Type: Lawn Tractor
19 HP* single cylinder engine
42 inch Edge Cutting System: Deep deck design helps lift grass for a superior cut
Redesigned deck lift lever raises and lowers deck easily
Operator station is wide and comfortable
Powerful battery helps with starts, even after lengthy storage
LIST PRICE: $1,699.00 USD

Who is this lawn tractor for? The E110 is a good lawn tractor with an economical single-cylinder engine. It will work for lawns up to one acre that you mow every week. If you pull a small cart to pick up sticks, leaves or a few bags of mulch this is a good choice. It is not designed to mow long slopes or hills. You can attach a bagger. John Deere does offer a mulch plug, mulching blades and bagging blades for this tractor. If your lawn is very thick southern grass or very lush I strongly suggest moving up to the E120 or E130 twin cylinder engines. Moving up also gives you a better seat.

Link to read more and purchase at The Home Depot: E110 42 in. 19 HP Gas Hydrostatic Lawn Tractor

Before I go through the rest of the new E-100 series I want to spend a little time discussing the Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System.

The new Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System is an excellent idea and really simplifies changing your oil. But is it something you really need? I’m going to 4 reasons why it’s a good choice and 3 reasons why it may not be the best choice for you.

  1. Today’s good synthetic oils don’t go bad – they just get dirty. For example, Mobil One has a semi-truck running around the U.S. that never gets an oil change. Every 10,000 miles they take the oil out of the truck and filter the dirt out of it. They then put the oil back into the engine and at the last count I’ve read they have over 3 million miles on that same oil.
  2. So it makes sense that if you use good synthetic oil in your lawn tractor and then use a good filter to keep the oil clean you should also never have to change the oil. (Most owners use their lawn tractor 50 hours a year or 500 hours in 10 years – That only 30,000 miles in an automobile.)
  3. This system is environmentally friendly because you are only recycling .75 quarts of oil instead of over 2 quarts.
  4. So changing the oil is easy with the Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System but this is not the only maintenance you will have to do on your John Deere E100 series engine. You will still need to change the air filter and fuel filter at the recommended intervals.

I like this concept and I like the idea of saving time, but there are three things that bother me about the new John Deere System.

  1. The cost of the John Deere 30-Second Oil Change System: Filter with Oil is $39.99! at The Home Depot. Rumor is the retail price of this system is $60! For me, that price is outrageous and makes me want to run away from an otherwise great lawn tractor.  Why? Because I can get a 5-quart oil/filter change for my 2015 Dodge Caravan at my car dealership for $20 and even a full synthetic oil/filter change for $55. Good synthetic oil and filter for my current V-Twin zero-turn is less than $25!
  2. I don’t know if John Deere is using synthetic oil in this system because they still want you to change the filter every 50 hours. If they were using good synthetic oil and this new high capacity filter they should be able to extend the filter replacement out to 150-200 hours.
  3. It locks you into the Deere “Universe” for something you have always been able to have a choice with over the years. I’ve seen way too many unique systems that didn’t pan out for a brand disappear and then you ended up scrapping an otherwise good product because the brand no longer supported it. Since this new system is on a Briggs & Stratton supplied engine block I’m hoping that this is a Briggs & Stratton patent and it will become more widely available (and cheaper) in a few years.

To beat this topic to death – the following is from John Deere’s dealer website http://salesmanual.deere.com

The John Deere Easy Change 30-second oil change system makes changing the engine oil easy, quick, and clean. Changing the oil is as easy as twisting on a new oil-filled filter. Oil does not need to be drained from the engine.

The John Deere Easy Change filter is an additional engine oil reservoir. Changing the filter removes the captured contaminants and replaces about 0.8 qt (0.76 L) of the engine oil. 

Compared to the 100 Series traditional oil filter, the Easy Change oil system uses a synthetic filter media material, has more filtering capacity, and has more oil flow capacity, — and the engine system has 40 percent more oil volume.

Everyone who uses the John Deere Easy Change system saves time and avoids the mess of a traditional oil change. In the past, many 100 Series Lawn Tractor owners rarely or never got around to changing their engine oil. With John Deere Easy Change, even owners who previously would not consider changing the oil themselves can easily do it now. The Easy Change 30-second oil change system is a no-mess, no-fuss solution the competition cannot match.

Installation instructions are in the Operator’s Manual and in the John Deere Easy Change service part box.

Please recycle. Many local government recycling programs, authorized retailers, auto-service centers, and auto-parts stores will puncture and recycle used oil filters 

Ok, Back to the new E100 Series Lawn Tractors. 

John Deere E120 Lawn Tractor

John Deere E120 Lawn Tractor

Model: E120
Type: Lawn Tractor
20 HP* V-Twin smooth running engine
42 inch Edge Cutting System: Deep deck design helps lift grass for a superior cut
Improved deck lift lever raises and lowers deck easily
Operator station is wide and comfortable
Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System for fast and simple service
LIST PRICE: $1,899.00 USD

Who is this lawn tractor for? The E120 is a good lawn tractor with an economical twin-cylinder engine. It will work for lawns up to one acre that you mow every week. If you pull a small cart to pick up sticks, leaves or a few bags of mulch this is a good choice. It is not designed to mow long slopes or hills. You can attach a bagger. John Deere does offer a mulch plug, mulching blades and bagging blades for this tractor. This lawn tractor will handle southern grass or very lush well.

Link to read more and purchase at The Home Depot: E120 42 in. 20 HP V-Twin Gas Hydrostatic Lawn Tractor

John Deere E130 Lawn Tractor

John Deere E130 Lawn Tractor

Model: E130
Type: Lawn Tractor
22 HP* V-Twin smooth running engine
42 inch Edge Cutting System: Deep deck design helps lift grass for a superior cut
Improved deck lift lever raises and lowers deck easily
Operator station is wide and comfortable
Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System for fast and simple service
LIST PRICE: $1,999.00 USD

Who is this lawn tractor for? The E130 is just different enough that a competitor of The Home Depot can state: EXCLUSIVE! (My guess is it uses a different carburetor and comes with a front bumper.)

The E130 is not available at The Home Depot but is available at your local John Deere dealer.

John Deere E140 Lawn Tractor

John Deere E140 Lawn Tractor

Model: E140
Type: Lawn Tractor
22 HP* V-Twin smooth running engine
48 inch Edge Cutting System: Deep deck design helps lift grass for a superior cut
Improved deck lift lever raises and lowers deck easily
Operator station is wide and comfortable
High-back seat is easily adjustable
Does NOT have the Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System
LIST PRICE: $1,999.00 USD

Who is this lawn tractor for? John Deere makes four 48 inch E series lawn tractors that are very similar. At first glance, this can be very confusing so I’ll list the differences here:

  • All work well for up to 2-acre lawns that you mow weekly. The 48-inch deck mows well and will side discharge, mulch and bag (with mulch cover, special blades and/or 2-bin bagger)
  • All will handle thick southern grasses
  • The E140 has a 22 HP V-Twin, high back seat and DOES NOT have the Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System
  • The E150 has the 22 HP V-Twin, high back seat and DOES have the new Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System
  • The E160 has the 24 HP ELS V-Twin, super-duper Comfort Plus lumbar seat and DOES have the new Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System. The extended life series (ELS) engine gives you 50% more life over the 22 HP V-Twin.
  • The E170 has the 25 HP ELS V-Twin, super-duper Comfort Plus lumbar seat, larger 22×9.5-12 tires, and DOES have the new Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System.  The extended life series (ELS) engine gives you 50% more life over the 22 HP V-Twin.

Link to read more and purchase at The Home Depot: E140 48 in. 22 HP V-Twin Gas Hydrostatic Lawn Tractor

John Deere E150 Lawn Tractor

John Deere E150 Lawn Tractor

Model: E150
Type: Lawn Tractor
22 HP* V-Twin smooth running engine
48 inch Edge Cutting System: Deep deck design helps lift grass for a superior cut
Improved deck lift lever raises and lowers deck easily
Operator station is wide and comfortable
Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System for fast and simple service
LIST PRICE: $2,099.00 USD

Note: Replaces the D155

Who is this lawn tractor for? John Deere makes four 48 inch E series lawn tractors that are very similar. At first glance, this can be very confusing so I’ll list the differences here:

  • All work well for up to 2-acre lawns that you mow weekly. The 48-inch deck mows well and will side discharge, mulch and bag (with mulch cover, special blades and/or 2-bin bagger)
  • All will handle thick southern grasses
  • The E140 has a 22 HP V-Twin, high back seat and DOES NOT have the Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System
  • The E150 has the 22 HP V-Twin, high back seat and DOES have the new Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System
  • The E160 has the 24 HP ELS V-Twin, super-duper Comfort Plus lumbar seat and DOES have the new Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System. The extended life series (ELS) engine gives you 50% more life over the 22 HP V-Twin.
  • The E170 has the 25 HP ELS V-Twin, super-duper Comfort Plus lumbar seat, larger 22×9.5-12 tires, and DOES have the new Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System.  The extended life series (ELS) engine gives you 50% more life over the 22 HP V-Twin.

Link to read more and purchase at The Home Depot: E150 48 in. 22 HP V-Twin Gas Hydrostatic Lawn Tractor

John Deere E160 Lawn Tractor

John Deere E160 Lawn Tractor

Model: E160
Type: Lawn Tractor
24 HP* V-Twin extended life series engine
48 inch Edge Cutting System: Deep deck design with three blades lifts grass for a superior cut
Improved deck lift lever raises and lowers deck easily
Deluxe high back seat with lumbar support adjusts easily
Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System for fast and simple service
LIST PRICE: $2,299.00 USD

Who is this lawn tractor for? John Deere makes four 48 inch E series lawn tractors that are very similar. At first glance, this can be very confusing so I’ll list the differences here:

  • All work well for up to 2-acre lawns that you mow weekly. The 48-inch deck mows well and will side discharge, mulch and bag (with mulch cover, special blades and/or 2-bin bagger)
  • All will handle thick southern grasses
  • The E140 has a 22 HP V-Twin, high back seat and DOES NOT have the Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System
  • The E150 has the 22 HP V-Twin, high back seat and DOES have the new Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System
  • The E160 has the 24 HP ELS V-Twin, super-duper Comfort Plus lumbar seat and DOES have the new Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System. The extended life series (ELS) engine gives you 50% more life over the 22 HP V-Twin.
  • The E170 has the 25 HP ELS V-Twin, super-duper Comfort Plus lumbar seat, larger 22×9.5-12 tires, and DOES have the new Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System.  The extended life series (ELS) engine gives you 50% more life over the 22 HP V-Twin.

Link to read more and purchase at The Home Depot: E160 48 in. 24 HP V-Twin ELS Gas Hydrostatic Lawn Tractor

John Deere E170 Lawn Tractor

John Deere E170 Lawn Tractor

Model:
E170
Type: Lawn Tractor
48 inch Edge Cutting System: 25 HP* V-Twin extended life series engine
Deep deck design with three blades lifts grass for a superior cut
Improved deck lift lever raises and lowers deck easily
Operator station is wide and comfortable
Deluxe high back seat with lumbar support adjusts easily
LIST PRICE: $2,399.00 USD

Who is this lawn tractor for? John Deere makes four 48 inch E series lawn tractors that are very similar. At first glance, this can be very confusing so I’ll list the differences here:

  • All work well for up to 2-acre lawns that you mow weekly. The 48-inch deck mows well and will side discharge, mulch and bag (with mulch cover, special blades and/or 2-bin bagger)
  • All will handle thick southern grasses
  • The E140 has a 22 HP V-Twin, high back seat and DOES NOT have the Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System
  • The E150 has the 22 HP V-Twin, high back seat and DOES have the new Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System
  • The E160 has the 24 HP ELS V-Twin, super-duper Comfort Plus lumbar seat and DOES have the new Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System. The extended life series (ELS) engine gives you 50% more life over the 22 HP V-Twin.
  • The E170 has the 25 HP ELS V-Twin, super-duper Comfort Plus lumbar seat, larger 22×9.5-12 tires, and DOES have the new Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System.  The extended life series (ELS) engine gives you 50% more life over the 22 HP V-Twin.

The Home Depot does not carry the E170. Please see your local John Deere dealer for more information.

John Deere E180 Lawn Tractor

John Deere E180 Lawn Tractor

Model: E180
Type: Lawn Tractor
25 HP* V-Twin extended life series engine
54 inch Edge Cutting System: Deep deck design with three blades lifts grass for a superior cut
Improved deck lift lever raises and lowers deck easily
Operator station is wide and comfortable
Deluxe high back seat with lumbar support adjusts easily
LIST PRICE: $2,799.00 USD

Who is this lawn tractor for?  It is listed as “heavy-duty” compared to the D170 yet the only difference is the deck. Be careful – this lawn tractor is not for everyone. Why? There are a bunch of lawn tractors with high wheels and big decks and at first glance, they look like a heavy duty garden tractor. But they are not. The Husqvarna LGT54DXL, Troy-Bilt XP Super Bronco XP 54, Cub Cadet ST54 FAB and this John Deere E180 are not garden tractors because they use a Tuff Torq K46 medium duty lawn tractor transmission found in many of the 42-48 inch lawn tractors instead of a heavy-duty garden tractor transmission. (With a John Deere you have to move up to the $3999 X370 to get the heavy duty transmission) 

What does that mean for you? These lawn tractors ride a little better than their smaller siblings and the large 54-inch deck will cut large areas faster than the standard 42-inch riding lawn mower but they are not designed for mowing long slopes, steep hills, pulling heavy loads or using ground engaging attachments.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a nice, large deck lawn tractor. I recommend it for up to 5-acre smooth lawns – mowed weekly. It’s large enough and wide enough that it will ride well and mow well. If you don’t like lap-bar zero-turn mowers this is a very good choice.

Link to read more and purchase at The Home Depot: E180 54 in. 25 HP V-Twin ELS Gas Hydrostatic Lawn Tractor

See all the John Deere Lawn Tractors including the California Compliant Models at The Home Depot here: John Deere Lawn Tractors

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