2016 John Deere X590 Review

Medium-duty lawn tractor full of creature comforts

By Geof Fowler, Photography by John Deere, Jun 10, 2016
cFor 2016, the John Deere X5 series consists of four models, the X570, X580, X584 and X590. All are powered by Kawasaki air-cooled V-Twins with the X570, X580 and X584 rated at 24 hp and the X590, 25.5 hp. Choice of a 48” or 54” deck is available on all models with the exception of the four-wheel steer X580, which only comes with a 54” deck. All engines displace 726 cubic centimeters, though fuel delivery on the 24 hp models is by carburetor while the X590 subject of this review is equipped with electronic fuel injection (EFI).

2016 John Deere X590 Field

Output from the no-choke engine is sent to a Tuff Torq K72 hydrostatic transaxle, which has an 18cc pump and 23cc motor, 1” diameter axles, 405 ft lb-ft torque rating, differential lock, power steering and implement lift capability. K72 transaxles are serviceable with replaceable spin-on oil filters and suited for medium-duty applications. Operator control over the 0-7.2 forward and 0-5.2 mph reverse speed range is through John Deere’s excellent twin, side-by-side pedal arrangement. Cruise control is standard and activated by a dashboard switch.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2016 John Deere X394 4WS

A heavy-duty welded 11-gauge (.12” thick) steel frame with 1/4” thick rear hitch plate is the X590 backbone and is factory-ready to support up to four 42 lb front and four 42 lb rear weights. The front axle is also heavy-duty and made from cast iron with 1” diameter steering spindles and 1” diameter front wheel bearings.

2016 John Deere X590 Front

Our test tractor came with John Deere’s new 54A Accel mower deck. The flat-top three-blade Accel deck is stamped in one piece from 10-gauge steel and is 4.83” deep with a 54” cut width. A 5/8” diameter welded bumper rod provides left side protection and strengthens the deck. Spindles can be accessed using flip up covers. A wash-out port is included, though long-time Tractor.com readers will know our thoughts about exposing metals, bearings and components to undue amounts of moisture. For purchasers who wish to mulch, there is an optional mulch kit that uses a spring lever activated underdeck metal baffle. Going from side discharge to mulch or vice versa takes just seconds and requires no tools, though the operator is required to get off the tractor. Cut quality from the Accel deck approximates that of John Deere’s venerable 7-iron decks, though the construction is not nearly as heavy-duty. Leveling from side-to-side and front-to-back can be adjusted from the operator’s seat; the engine must be off and the deck leveling gauge and hex key are stored under the seat.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2015 Simplicity Conquest

Slide into the 21” one-piece high back seat with adjustable suspension for operator weight and you’ll find there is 7” of fore-aft travel with 15 possible adjustment points. For the ultimate in luxurious seating, purchasers can option for the professional seat used on X7 Signature Series machines. For $548 you’ll get a seat with thicker cushioning, seat back with angling, and four-bar suspension. For another $189 a deluxe armrest kit is available. Operator controls on the X590 are concentrated on the dash and floorboards. A centrally positioned, fully digital LCD dash pod provides quick at-a-glance status of fuel, engine rpm, temperature, engine hours, parking brake and PTO engagement, temperature and other warnings. On-board diagnostics are also built in. By twisting the ignition key to the left three times, screens will come up with diagnostic codes for everything from the engine to brakes, PTO, operator presence system, etc.

2016 John Deere X590 Steering Wheel

Left of the steering wheel, which tilts for operator comfort, is the throttle lever (no choke is required for EFI models) and the implement lift/lower (with float) switch. Right of the wheel is the electric PTO engagement knob, and parking brake and cruise control switches. Differential lock is engaged using a left foot pedal, while the hydro and brake pedals are located on the right floorboard. Grab handles are located on both sides with a tool box/cup holder/12V outlet on the right fender. The left fender also contains the wide 3” diameter fuel fill for the 4.4-gallon tank. One electronic feature we’re not as fond of is the reverse implement option (RIO). RIO allows the operator to reverse while mowing (or snow blowing) without the engine shutting off. RIO is rooted in our litigious society and aimed at unsafe operators as a way of reminding them to look rearward before backing up. While the intent is well-intended, it in no way means an operator using the function will indeed look rearward. Punish the majority for the sins of a few. Oh well.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2014 Gravely 460 Pro-Turn

Styling is always a subjective consideration. And while the X590 is certain to have those longing for the boxy look of the mid-70s 300/400 tractors not so keen, Tractor.com testers found the styling is refreshing, in a Cadillac CTS-like way. The one-piece Xenoy hood has vents along the top and front, molded contours and an aggressive stance, including the twin 27W headlamps that seem to say, we’ve got our eye on you.

2016 John Deere X590 Mowing

The X590 weighs 805 lbs (w/54” deck), is 79” long by 52.25” high. Tractor-only width is 41” and everything rides on a 51.2” wheelbase. Front tires are 16x6.5-8 turf while the rears are 24x12-12 HDAP (heavy-duty all-purpose). Turning radius is 22” with an uncut circle of 24”. John Deere gives its residential mowers a four-year, 500-hour bumper-to-bumper warranty.

With an MSRP of $7,899, the John Deere X590 may not be for everyone. But for a homeowner in the market for a quality, medium-duty tractor, with a long list of easy to attach/detach implements and enough creature comforts to make that time behind the wheel pleasurable, the X590 would be well-worth looking into.


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