I own two 72" Lazer Z XS mowers with 35 BVG and took delivery of a 72" Next Lazer Z with a 34hp Kawasaki engine yesterday. I ordered the Next Lazer Z back in early February and had been anxiously awaiting its arrival to see how it stacked up against my XS mowers with 35 BVGs. I was concerned about whether I should have purchased another Lazer Z XS being that they are still offered or try the new design. All I can say at this point is that I have absolutely no regrets. I've read a lot of negative posts about dislikes with the Next Lazer design and the company moving away from something that was proven. I own four Exmarks total not including the new Next Lazer and I can honestly say that I think they have made an improvement with this machine. The drive system is as smooth as can be with no whining pump noises to be heard. The seat is super comfortable for normal mowing conditions but in super bumpy conditions it would be a toss up between the new seat and the Michigan full suspension seat. The top speed for the Next Lazer Z that I purchased was supposed to be 11.5 mph but I think it is faster than that. I had one of my employees line up beside me with him on a Lazer Z XS with 35 BVG and me on the Next Lazer Z to see which was faster. The top speed for the XS is supposed to be 12mph. When we both took off my casters came off the ground to the point that the back end of the machine bumped the ground. I pulled ahead of him right off the get go and stayed ahead of him. The Next Lazer is a little faster than the XS from what I've seen. Its not 15 mph but its in the 12.5-13mph range. To say the new hydro design is responsive would be putting it lightly. The power is there when you want it but its not jerky its very smooth. The thing I was most curious about in comparing them was engine power. At this point I give the nod to the 34hp Kawi. On paper it has more torque than the 35 BVG but I wanted to see how it was in the field. When you have the throttle up all the way on the 34hp with the PTO engaged it is an awesome sound. I haven't cut anything really thick yet with the Next Lazer but when I do I will post the results of how it does with the Ultracut 6 against the 35 BVG with the Triton. I have however mowed around some really large live oak trees with a lot of leaves accumulated on the ground. We mow in a circular pattern around the trees blowing the leaves toward the trees. It moved a substantial volume of leaves and the engine didn't even show a hint of wanting to bog or lose rpms. The cut quality I would say is what most have come to expect from the Exmark Ultracuts of the past. I've never had issues with the Triton deck but we cut warm season grass at low heights in my neck of the woods. I haven't put enough hours on it to give fuel consumption numbers yet but I will later. I do wish the tank had a little more capacity than 12 gallons. If the hydro system proves to be reliable and the machine overall is as durable as my older Exmarks I will be extremely happy. In my opinion Exmark will be at the cutting edge of innovation if this new design proves to be reliable and durable like the original design.