ariens ikon x review
Residential Zero Turns

Ariens IKON X Zero Turn Mower Review

One good thing Ariens did with one of their former additions to the Zoom line-up was making the unit to be as lightweight as possible during operations, giving the operator a wider range of controls and maneuverability. However, they had to sacrifice the ability of that machine to have looser handling, making it a poor fit for larger areas.

That is the biggest problem they fixed with the release of the current IKON-X models. Once that is out of the way, what other promise does this series hold?

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In-Depth view of the Ariens Ikon-X

Comparison

One of the closest units that the IKON-X compares to is the Zoom series, also made by Ariens. Both units have great handling that operators love, and they can cover a lot of ground.

When it comes to working larger areas, though, the Zoom might not be the most ideal choice out there. This is where the IKON-X may be better suited for you.

On the other hand, you can also see some of the IKON-X similarities when you operate a Snapper 360Z. These units are fairly similar in specs and price.

 Ariens Ikon-X 52 KohlerHusqvarna Z254 KohlerSnapper 360Z Briggs & Stratton
Cutting Width52" Deck54" Deck48" Deck
Deck TypeFabricated, 11 Gauge SteelStamped, 12 Gauge SteelFabricated, 12 Gauge Steel
Spindle TypeSteelAluminumAluminum
Engine26 HP Kohler 7000 Series26 HP Kohler 7000 Series23 HP Briggs & Stratton Professional Series
TransaxlesHydro-gear EZTHydro-gear EZTHydro-gear EZT
Speed (FWD/REV)7 mph / 3 mph6.5 mph / 3 mph7 mph / 4 mph
Fuel Tank2.8 Gallons3.5 Gallons3 Gallons
SeatHigh Back Comfort w/ Seat Springs and Arm Rests15" High back with armrests15" Mid-back, Adjustable with optional arm rests (cost extra)
Deck Lift SystemFoot OperatedHand OperatedFoot Operated
Residential Warranty3 Years3 Years3 Years
Price

Features

The IKON-X represents a series of mowers with different cutting decks. Thus, some of its features might vary by model. Irrespective of the model, here are some features you will find across all the units:

  • Multiple cutting positions – For the best cutting quality, you can select from a total of 13 cutting positions by the simple turn of a dial
  • Seats – The plush seats come fully adjustable, and are equipped with armrests for better comfort too
  • Stability – All joints on this unit are welded for better rigidity and strength
  • Support positions – A total of 4 support positions prevents excessive movement of the cutting deck
  • Fuel tank – features a 2.8-gallon tank.
  • The deck lift system is mainly operated by foot
  • All units in this series use the EZT Transaxles drive system.
IKON-X 42 KawasakiIKON-X 42 KohlerIKON-X 52 KawasakiIKON-X 52 Kohler
42″ Cutting Width42″ Cutting Width52″ Cutting Width52″ Cutting Width
Kawasaki V-TwinKohler 7000 V-TwinKawasaki FR V-TwinKohler 7000 V-Twin
18 hp/603cc22 hp/725cc23 hp/726cc24 hp/725cc
Check PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Cut Quality

Depending on what areas you will be working on, you get to choose between the 42- and 52-inch cutting models. Besides the cutting deck size, both units are as similar as they are different.

They have also been equipped with engines carrying just the right power to make their drives and operations better.

Finally, you get to adjust the cutting deck a total of 13 ways – all in ¼ inch differences from one another. This adjustment is made as easy as the turn of a dial in the control panel.

Power

The 42-inch deck model is powered by either an 18 hp Kawasaki or 22 hp Kohler engine. Each of these engines is quality built and will stand up for a long time.

On the 52-inch deck model, comes with either a 24 hp Kohler or 23 hp Kawasaki. Both of these engines are also great. The Kawasaki FR series is known for its reliability. However, you really can’t go wrong with either of these engines.

ariens ikon x top

Durability

We don’t advise making your mowers go through abuse, but if it has to, the Ariens IKON-X is built to withstand a beating.

This is a mower that has been built to stay on the ground at all times but can take a few tumbles and come out with simple scratches on the paint job. The strength of the steel cutting decks also makes it a good machine for working uneven terrain, rocky areas, and other unfriendly environments without developing any major issues along the way.

Of course, you should take good care of your mower and keep to good maintenance practices to get the best out of it.

Comfort

The IKON-X has extra padding for the seat, making it very comfortable on the back and butts when working. The armrests are not left out of this extra padding business, helping to significantly reduce fatigue on your arms when working.

This mower really stands out with the level of comfort the seat offers. For an entry-level mower, it is one of the most comfortable.

Aesthetics

The IKON-X has an awesome look to it. The mower is very sleek and has a modern feel to it. This tells you of all the hours which would have gone into the design of the IKON-X series.

Fortunately, they have managed to stay functional while not just basing their selling points on aesthetics.

ariens ikon x aesthetic

IKON X VS IKON XL VS APEX

The IKON X mower is the smallest of the three mowers. The only smaller zero turn in the lineup is the Zoom series. So what does the upgrade to the IKON XL or APEX mower offer?

With each step up you will notice a larger machine, better engines, better transmissions, faster ground speed, large fuel capacity, and larger decks.

Determining whether or not it is a good idea to upgrade to the next zero-turn mower in the lineup will depend on your needs. The size and terrain of your lawn will be the biggest factor. The larger your yard, the more of a need you will have for the IKON XL or APEX mowers.

The warranty will be slightly different from the APEX mower as well. It will offer a 1-year commercial warranty on top of the 3-year residential warranty that the IKON X and IKON XL offers. This mean the APEX zero turn mower may be appropriate for the part-time landscaper or for just starting out.

Below is a chart highlighting the difference between each of the Ariens zero-turn mowers.

Mower:IKON XIKON XLAPEX
Engine:Kohler 7000 or Kawasaki FR22hp/24hp/25hp Kohler 7000 or 24 hp Kawasaki FR23hp/25 hp Kohler 7000 or 24 hp Kawasaki FR
Transmission:Hydro-Gear EZTHydro-Gear
ZT-2800
Hydro-Gear
ZT-3100
Deck Size:42″ or 52″42″, 52″, or 60″48″, 52″, or 60″
Ground Speed:7 mph / 3 mph7 mph / 3 mph8 mph / 4 mph
Fuel Capacity:2.8 gallons2.8 gallons5 gallons
Deck Type:11 gauge fabricated / 4.5 in deep11 gauge fabricated / 4.5 in deep10 gauge fabricated / 5.5 in deep
Warranty:3-year residential3-year residential1-year commercial / 3-year residential
Price:Check PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

As you can see, there are quite a few differences between these machines. The big differences are the transaxles, fuel tank, deck design, and warranty.

We’ll start with the transaxles… both the EZT and ZT-2800 transaxles are considered residential grade according to Hydro-Gear. The ZT-2800 will be slightly better and a little more durable. The ZT-3100, as seen on the APEX, is considered commercial transaxles. These will definitely outlast the transaxles found on the smaller units.

The fuel tank may not be a huge factor if you’re only mowing your lawn. The larger fuel tank on the APEX may be a bit more convenient and will definitely be important if you are using the mower for any commercial use.

The deck design is a big one. Besides the IKON XL offering a 60″ deck, the IKON X and XL have the same style of deck. It is an 11-gauge, 4.5-inch fabricated deep deck. This will be fine for most residential users. The APEX mower features a 10-gauge, 5.5-inch fabricated deck. This will offer a noticeably better quality of cut. The extra depth of the deck will create better suction and airflow for mowing thick or wet grass.

The warranty is slightly better on the APEX mower since it offers a 1-year commercial warranty. Otherwise, all three units offer a 3-year residential warranty. This is in line with most other residential zero-turn warranties in the industry.

New IKON XD 2020

Ariens has updated its lineup of residential zero-turn mowers for 2020. They have combined the IKON X and XL to create the IKON XD. This makes sense because the two mowers were so similar. The overlap between models was unnecessary.

The XD model will basically be the same as the IKON X mower but have a 60″ deck offering. The one downside is the 60″ deck will have EZT transmissions instead of the Hydro-Gear ZT-2800s that the IKON XL had. This isn’t a huge loss, but still, something to take into consideration.

The Ariens XD series does have larger rear tires across each mower. The deck is also slightly different with a 4-inch depth instead of 4.5-inch. This also is a minor detail but may affect the suction and airflow a little.

Outside of these changes and a few design changes the mower appears to be fairly similar to previous models. One noticeable design change is the short “ROPS” (rollover protection system) that the mowers have now.

Once we are able to demo the new IKON XD we will update this article!

For more info on these mowers check out Arien’s website for details on the IKON XD models.

Our Rating

Performance:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Cut Quality:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Durability:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Comfort:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Price:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Overall:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Price

The price of this mower is extremely competitive. When comparing it to other mowers in the same price range this one beats most.

Check out the reviews!

Wrapping it up

Overall, the Ariens IKON-X is an amazing homeowner’s zero-turn. It is definitely one of the top-rated in the industry. The mower has a ton of great features and comes in at an amazing price. We highly recommend checking this mower out if you are in the market for a mower.

What are your thoughts on this mower? Leave us a comment below!

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