EGO E-Steer Vs Ryobi iDrive Zero-Turn Lawn Mower Review

EGO E-Steer Vs Ryobi iDrive Zero-Turn Lawn Mower Review

Two of the biggest names in battery-powered residential lawn care developed zero-turn lawn mowers with non-traditional drive systems to make owning a ZT an easier transition for folks that don’t want lap bars. We’re considering the EGO E-Steer vs the Ryobi iDrive in this zero-turn head-to-head to help you decide which of these mowers is the best fit for the way you mow.


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EGO E-Steer Vs Ryobi iDrive Zero-Turn Lawn Mower Size Options

One big area where EGO and Ryobi differ is in deck size options. EGO only has the E-Steer available with a 42-inch deck.

EGO E-Steer Vs Ryobi iDrive Zero-Turn Lawn Mower Size Options

Ryobi has 30, 42, and 54-inch deck options. EGO followed up its original 42-inch ZT with a 52-inch model, so we may see that in the future.

Ryobi 80V iDrive Zero Turn Riding Lawn Mowers

There are some differences in power equivalency between the two brands and also depending on the deck size. Each model has plenty of power to get the job done—it’s mainly a question of how much battery capacity you’re going to need. The higher the power equivalence, the higher the current the mower needs to operate at its peak performance.

Max Power EquivalenceRuntime w/ Included
Battery Loadout
Runtime w/ Max
Battery Loadout
EGO E-Steer 42-Inch22 HorsepowerUp to 2.5 AcresUp to 3.75 Acres
Ryobi iDrive 30-Inch28 HorsepowerUp to 1 AcreUp to 1.5 Acres
Ryobi iDrive 42-Inch31 HorsepowerUp to 3 AcresUp to 5 acres
Ryobi iDrive 54-Inch42 HorsepowerUp to 4 AcresUp to 4 Acres

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EGO E-Steer Vs Ryobi iDrive Zero-Turn Lawn Mower Battery System

Conceptually, both EGO and Ryobi use a removable battery system design. The advantage is that you can swap batteries to continue mowing rather than waiting for a full charge. From an execution standpoint, they’re very different.

EGO uses its standard 56V battery that works in its entire range of lawn care and lifestyle equipment. The mower comes with four 12Ah batteries and those high-capacity packs are ideal for it. You can use any EGO 56V batteries to operate the mower, but keep in mind you need a combination with at least 15 total amp hours to run.

EGO E-Steer Battery Compartment

Even though EGO’s 12Ah batteries can run any of its equipment, they’re heavy, so don’t plan on running one of EGO’s string trimmers unless you’re looking for a workout while you’re trimming. Those batteries are a good fit for its backpack blowers and walk-behind mowers, though.

Ryobi turns to its recent 80V suitcase-style batteries for its primary power source and supplements them with 40V battery slots. The 80V batteries work in the iDrive mowers and the 30-inch self-propelled mower. The 40V batteries are the same ones that work with Ryobi’s high-performance lawn care tools.

EGO E-Steer Vs Ryobi iDrive Zero-Turn Lawn Mower | Ryobi Battery Compartment

Here’s a look at what you need to know about each mower’s power supply:

Included BatteriesMaximum Battery Loadout
EGO E-Steer 42-Inch(4) 56V x 12Ah (2688Wh)6 x 12Ah (4032Wh)
Ryobi iDrive 30-Inch(2) 80V x 10Ah (1440Wh)(2) 80V x 10Ah
(2) 40V x 12Ah (2304Wh)
Ryobi iDrive 42-Inch(2) 80V x 10Ah
(2) 40V x 12Ah (2304Wh)
(3) 80V x 10Ah
(4) 40V x 12Ah (3888Wh)
Ryobi iDrive 54-Inch(3) 80V x 10Ah
(4) 40V x 12Ah (3888Wh)
(3) 80V x 10Ah
(4) 40V x 12Ah (3888Wh)

Charging

Both mowers use an onboard charging system. Similar to an EV, you plug the charger into the wall and directly into the mower. Compared to some of the early battery-powered riding mowers we saw, the charge times are much faster.

Charge Time
With Included Batteries
Charge Time
With Maximum Battery Loadout
EGO E-Steer 42-Inch2 hours, 30 minutes3 hours, 45 minutes
Ryobi iDrive 30-Inch1 hour, 30 minutes2 hours, 30 minutes
Ryobi iDrive 42-Inch2 hours, 30 minutes5 hours
Ryobi iDrive 54-Inch5 hours5 hours

EGO E-Steer Vs Ryobi iDrive Zero-Turn Lawn Mower Drive System

Deciding between the two drive systems has one of the biggest effects on your experience as the operator. One thing to note is that both mowers can feel jumpy in their directional movements. As you get more practice with them, your muscle memory will help smooth them out significantly.

EGO’s Steering Wheel

EGO E-Steer Drive System

EGO’s E-Steer system is an electronically controlled racing-style steering wheel with power steering. With the exception of the power and blade engagement buttons, the controls and relevant information (such as battery levels) are right there on the wheel where they’re easy to see and adjust.

Acceleration and speed come in the form of a “gas” pedal like a car. To reverse, you hold down the reverse paddles the entire time you want to drive backward.

Because the system is so car-like, there’s a very short learning curve. The big thing to get used to is how far the wheel turns in order to get to the true zero-turn point. Especially when you’re in Sport mode, the zero-radius turn can be aggressive enough for the inside rear wheel to big dig into the grass a bit. For most folks, 15 to 20 minutes of practice is all you need to get comfortable behind the wheel.

Ryobi’s Joystick

EGO E-Steer Vs Ryobi iDrive Zero-Turn Lawn Mower Size Options | Ryobi's Joystick

Ryobi’s iDrive system is solely controlled using the joystick. Both your direction and speed are generated from it. The controls are on the left and right sides of the seat.

With the joystick, you have full 360° directional management in your hand along with speed and acceleration control. The learning curve does take longer, but not to a point we consider burdensome. You’ll need to go slow with your turns at first as you get used to how the joystick controls your maneuvers. However, you’ll notice you get quicker and more precise with each week’s mowing. If you’re used to playing video games with analog sticks or a joystick, or you fly drones, you can get used to the system in 15 to 30 minutes. If that’s not you, an hour or two of mowing should get you pretty comfortable and confident.

One of the odd things to get used to is that there’s nothing for your left hand to worry about while you’re cutting. You can let it relax on the armrest (it adjusts up and back) or task it to hydration management since the cup holders are on the left side.


EGO E-Steer Vs Ryobi iDrive Zero-Turn Lawn Mower Additional Considerations

It’s no surprise to discover that both EGO and Ryobi have feature-rich designs. Here’s a comparison of some of the most important factors to consider:

Deck

  • EGO E-Steer: 12-gauge stamped steel
  • Ryobi iDrive 30-Inch: 12-gauge stamped steel
  • Ryobi iDrive 42-Inch: 12-gauge stamped steel
  • Ryobi iDrive 54-Inch: 10-gauge fabricated steel

Blades

  • EGO E-Steer: 2 x 21-inch
  • Ryobi iDrive 30-Inch: 2 x 15-inch
  • Ryobi iDrive 42-Inch: 2 x 21-inch CrossCut stacked blades (4 blades total)
  • Ryobi iDrive 54-Inch: 3 x 18-inch CrossCut stacked blades (6 blades total)

Top Speed

  • EGO E-Steer: 8 MPH
  • Ryobi iDrive 30-Inch: 7 MPH
  • Ryobi iDrive 42-Inch: 8 MPH
  • Ryobi iDrive 54-Inch: 8 MPH

Cutting Height

  • EGO E-Steer: 1.5 to 4.5 inches (10 positions)
  • Ryobi iDrive 30-Inch: 1.5 to 4.5 inches (12 positions)
  • Ryobi iDrive 42-Inch: 1.5 to 4.5 inches (12 positions)
  • Ryobi iDrive 54-Inch: 1.5 to 4.5 inches (12 positions)

Cutting Options

  • EGO E-Steer: Side discharge, mulch, or bag
  • Ryobi iDrive 30-Inch: Side discharge, mulch, or bag
  • Ryobi iDrive 42-Inch: Side discharge, mulch, or bag
  • Ryobi iDrive 54-Inch: Side discharge or bag

Seat

  • EGO E-Steer: Adjustable for rider height, adjustable seat tension, and pivoting armrests
  • Ryobi iDrive 30-Inch: Adjustable for rider height, adjustable seat tension, and pivoting armrests
  • Ryobi iDrive 42-Inch: Adjustable for rider height, adjustable seat tension, and pivoting armrests
  • Ryobi iDrive 54-Inch: Adjustable for rider height, adjustable seat tension, and pivoting armrests

EGO E-Steer Vs Ryobi iDrive Zero-Turn Lawn Mower Price and Warranty

Now that you have the primary details about the mowers, it’s time to answer the big remaining question… how much do they cost?

Included BatteriesPrice
EGO E-Steer 42-Inch(4) 56V x 12Ah$5999
Ryobi iDrive 30-Inch(2) 80V x 10Ah$4999
Ryobi iDrive 42-Inch(2) 80V x 10Ah
(2) 40V x 12Ah
$5999
Ryobi iDrive 54-Inch(3) 80V x 10Ah
(4) 40V x 12Ah
$6999

On the warranty side, you need to register the mowers, batteries, and chargers to get the longest coverage and easiest service after the sale.

EGO covers the mower and the batteries for 5 years. If you don’t register the batteries, the warranty is good for 3 years.

Ryobi’s warranty is 5 years on the mower and the 80V batteries. Those batteries get a 3-year warranty if you don’t register them. The 40V batteries have a 3-year warranty.

It’s Your Call

There are advantages to both the EGO E-Steer and the Ryobi iDrive. The biggest might be that you have more than one option if you don’t want lap bares. Given what you now know, which battery-powered zero-turn lawn mower best fits your needs? Let us know in the comments below!

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