Kabota ZD221 or ZD323


LawnSite Member
Hey there!

I have been reading online (mostly this site) for 6 months trying to decide on a good Zero turn for the 2012 season. You guys have a ton of good info.

I have looked at many brands and decided to go with Kubota ZD series. I shopped around and found two candidates from a local dealer.

2012 ZD221 54"(new) for $9800
2011 ZD323 60"(300hrs). for $8900.

Dealer says the ZD323 is pristine but I have not looked at it yet. (also don't know if it qualifies for the 0% or not)

I drove a ZD326 60" last year and it was quite the machine but thought it might be overkill for a 3 acre yard. It's also quite heavy at 1600lbs so I thought it might tear up the yard more but I dunno...

Both machines look well build however the 300 series is defiantly commercial built. The price difference does not bother me too much. Both will last me forever.

What do you guys think? Should I go for the used bigger machine or stay with a new ZD221? I'm kind of leaning towards the ZD221 just because its smaller and more fit to what I need.


LawnSite Member
SE Michigan
If it was me I would go for the 300 series used. I've always followed the general rule of buying the best that you can afford.
Since I do not know what kind of yard you have I can't give you a concrete answer.
I can only go by my personal experience.


LawnSite Member
Victoria TX
I think the type of yard you have may dictate which mower will better fit your needs. If you have a lot of trees and / or flower beds, buildings, etc, to mow around, the 221 may feel quite a bit more nimble than the 323. If your yard is pretty open, the 60" deck will shorten your mowing time, and the ride of the larger frame mower is definitely less jarring.

I have the 221 w/ a 54" deck, mowing about 2 1/2 - 3 acres of a 6 acre tract. I don't have what you would call a real yard, more of a cleaned up pasture! Not real smooth in places, with lots of small live oak trees to mow around. I test drove a 323 before I decided, and while the ride was much better, the larger mower felt a whole lot less maneuverable. I think the 221 is about 1200 pounds, which isn't exactly light, and if the 323 is 400 pounds more, you'll have to be careful if you're mowing after a rain to avoid creating ruts.

I don't have that many hours on mine yet because the drought seemingly started about the time I got it here in south Texas; I'd guess I have less than 60 hours in about 1 1/2 years. I had it back to the dealer one time because the deck didn't want to lift after it was hot. They did something to adjust the pressure in the hydraulic ram, and while it is now better, it still raises slowly after I've been mowing for several hours. Other than that, no issues. It doesn't use much diesel, maybe a gallon an hour when running wide open, probably less. It is heavily built, definitely not like anything at the box stores. I bought mine with the intention of being able to have it for 15-20 years, hopefully it will last with decent care.

Hope this helps,



LawnSite Senior Member
I run a zd326 and like it a lot. No problems with running or manueverability. I will not say it is the best mower for everyone, but i will say it is built like a tank, cuts as fast as you can hang on, and doesn't damage the turf. I definitely like the hydraulic deck, enclosed engine (quieter than most mowers), and high torque for handling heavy spring grasses. Good luckwith your decision. :usflag: