cant speak for the 217, but I can tell you that ive really enjoyed the 216. Its a caddy for a 21 inch mower. It mulches very well, and bags just as good. Its been a great reliable mower for me, and I think for the homeowner who doesn't mind spending more up front, it will provide years of great services. not only that, for my own small lawn, I find it an absolute joy to use.
Good luck on your decision, but if you go with either the 216 or 217, I don't think either would be a bad choice.
Equipment Stolen/ Please Help and watch for:
6.5x12 Dual Ramp Trailer with 3 place trimmer rack and two blower racks
2012 21" Honda HRC-216 mower
2013 Exmark Commercial 30
2014 Exmark Lazer Z S Series EFI 52
2008 Stihl FS250R Trimmer
2010 Stihl FS90R Trimmer
200? Stihl FC75 Edger
2014 Stihl KM130R edger and trimmer shafts
2013 Stihl BR600 Backpack blower