When it comes to maintaining your lawn, having the right lawn equipment is crucial. The John Deere 100 Series Riding Lawn Tractor family is designed to make yard work simple, comfortable, and affordable. The S160 and the S170 are two larger models in the lineup, perfect for homeowners with large yards and small commercial operations. In this blog post, we’ll compare and contrast the John Deere S160 vs. S170 lawn tractors’ features, specifications, and performance to help you decide which model best fits your lawn care needs.

What is a John Deere S160 Lawn Tractor?

The John Deere S160 is a robust and versatile riding lawn tractor designed to help homeowners and professional landscapers maintain medium to large-sized lawns. The S160 is equipped with a 24 hp V-Twin ELS engine, providing ample power for tasks like mowing, plowing, and towing. 

What is a John Deere S170 Lawn Tractor?

The John Deere S170 lawn tractor steps up the game with its enhanced features and capabilities. It’s the larger and heavier of the two models, featuring a longer and wider mower deck and a larger wheelbase. Similar to the S160, the S170 also boasts a V-Twin ELS engine, but the S170 comes with a heavy-duty K46 heavy-duty hydrostatic transmission. The S170 also has a more comfortable operator seat and larger rear tires to help tractor users navigate challenging terrains.

John Deere S160 vs. S170: Key Features

Let’s compare and contrast the key features of the John Deere S160 vs. S170:

V-Twin ELS Engine

Both the S160 and S170 models feature a 24 hp V-Twin ELS engine, known for its reliability and longevity. This engine provides enough power to handle tough mowing conditions without compromising on performance.

John Deere Easy Change™

The Easy Change™ 30-second oil change system is featured in both tractors, simplifying maintenance and ensuring the engine runs smoothly with minimal downtime. This system offers increased oil capacity, improved filter media, and increased filtering capacity to extend the engine life.

Full-Featured Engine

Both models include a dependable and long-lasting full-featured engine, which is designed to save you time and money over the long run. The engine offers several premium features, including overhead valves for better fuel economy and full-pressure lubrication to ensure a longer engine life.

Snow Removal Advantage

Both the S160 and S170 are compatible with John Deere snow attachments, including snow blowers and front blades, making snow removal a breeze. Lawn tractor owners can further enhance their comfort and performance with weather enclosures and tire chains.

Hydrostatic Transmission

A Kanzaki® Tuff Torq® hydrostatic transmission makes changing the direction and speed of travel easier than ever. While the S160 comes with a Tuff Torq TLT200, the S170 is equipped with the more durable, powerful Tuff Torq K46. The K46 enables smoother operation and better handling, especially in hilly terrains.

Easy-Read Fuel Gauge

The easy-read fuel gauge on both models ensures that operators can quickly check fuel levels. The controls are color-coded, labeled, intuitively placed, and easy to reach. The hour meter makes it easy to tell when oil changes and other maintenance should be performed, minimizing the risk of downtime during critical tasks.

MowerPlus™ App and Connector

John Deere’s MowerPlus™ app offers a smart way to manage lawn care tasks. Both models are compatible with the app, allowing operators to check important information like key equipment health indicators, mowing history and patterns, weather forecasts based on location, safety instructions, and more.

Edge™ Cutting System

The 48-inch Edge™ Cutting System is standard on both models, offering high-quality cuts and easy maintenance with its wash port feature. It includes three-in-one blades that support a variety of tasks, including side discharge, mulching, and bagging.

John Deere S160 vs. S170: Key Specifications

In addition to the key features included in both models, it’s important to understand each equipment’s key specs:

Engine Power

Both models have a 24 hp engine, offering the power needed for various lawn care tasks.

Oil Change

The Easy Change™ system is featured in both models, facilitating quick and clean oil changes.

Fuel Capacity

Each model has a 2.4-gallon (9.1 L) fuel tank, ensuring prolonged operation times without frequent refills.

Engine Manufacturer/Model

Both lawn tractors use the 44U877 M44 engine model for consistent performance.

Transaxle Type

The S160 features a Kanzaki® Tuff Torq TLT200 hydrostatic transmission, while the S170 comes with the more powerful Tuff Torq K46.

Transaxle Control

Both transaxle types employ comfortable, side-by-side foot pedals that control the speed and direction of travel. 

Rear Tires

The S170’s larger 22×9.5-12 rear tires offer better traction compared to the S160’s 20×10-8 tires.


The S170 is slightly heavier, weighing 503 lb (288 kg). This provides more stability during operation. The S160 weighs 481 lb (218 kg). 

Charging Capacity

Both models feature a 12 V battery with a regulated, 14 amp charging system.

Lift System Type

The S160 and the S170 both boast a spring-assisted hand-grip lever lift system. 

Cutting Width

Both tractors feature an Edge™ mower deck capable of cutting 48 in (122 cm).

What Are the Differences Between the S160 vs. S170 Lawn Tractor?

The primary differences between the John Deere S160 vs. S170 models lie in their size, transmission types, and rear tires. The S170’s larger frame, deck, and tires and heavy-duty K46 hydrostatic transmission make it better suited for more challenging and diverse lawn care tasks. This model also incorporates a more comfortable seat, offering enhanced durability and stability for extended use on challenging terrain. Because of these added features, the S170 is slightly more expensive.

How to Choose Between the John Deere S160 vs. S170

Choosing between the S160 and S170 comes down to assessing your lawn’s specific needs and challenges. The S160 provides ample power and efficiency for standard lawn maintenance tasks at an affordable price point. However, if your lawn care demands include tougher terrains, challenging weather conditions, or frequent heavy-duty tasks, the S170 may be better.

Regardless of the model you choose, both the John Deere S160 and S170 lawn tractors offer high-quality performance to ensure your lawn remains in top condition. For more information, visit your local John Deere dealer or retailer.

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