Scag Cheetah vs Turf Tiger

Scag Cheetah vs Turf Tiger

Riding mowers are something that those with large lawns and vast expanses of properties will feel is essential. There are so many different options out on the market that it may seem like a gargantuan task when it comes down to choosing the right riding mower for you.

We have picked out two riding mowers manufactured by Scag in order to make the choice a bit easier on you. The Scag Cheetah and Scag Turf Tiger are both a beast in the field when it comes to mowing large areas, and each has unique qualities that make them special machines.

To learn more about these two Scag mowers and see how they match up against one another, keep on reading. Hopefully, after getting an idea of what each brings to the table you will be able to come to a decision.

The Big Cats of Riding Mowers

The Scag Cheetah

To begin our review of these two Scag mowers we will start with the Cheetah. This is a fine machine that many in the industry praise for its performance in the field.

One of the biggest draws about the Scag Cheetah is that it is widely agreed upon to be the fastest zero-turn mower in the entire industry. That in and of itself is a huge draw for this mower, as you will want to shave off as much time as possible when mowing the lawn.

Being able to save yourself a lot of time when cutting the grass is not the only thing that the Cheetah excels at, though. It is also impressively fast when set to transport mode, meaning that it is extremely efficient when traveling between yards that need cutting.

This is achieved via its high range and low range settings, which can be activated and utilized at will in order to make travel a breeze when not cutting the grass. Indeed, this riding mower is right at the top of Scag’s lineup of mowers and is comparable to the Turf Tiger, which we will review later.

The Scag Cheetah has two different variants and each possesses a strong and extremely competitive engine within it. The Kawasaki FX921 is a strong and hardy 31hp engine. This is already a very high horse-powered engine for riding mowers and knocks most riding mowers out of the water, but the other variant packs even more of a punch.

With a 37hp Vanguard EFI engine loaded into it, this engine option for the Scag Cheetah is not to be scoffed at. Holding such a powerful engine this version of the Cheetah will have no issues at all powering through fields and up hills even in the harshest of conditions.

For deck sizes the Cheetah comes in a 61” and 71” variant, while the transitions between both versions are shared. That transmission would be the Hydro-Gear ZT-5400 Transaxles. These are known to be super smooth when controlling the mower.

You will be riding comfortably should you choose the Cheetah, as it comes with a suspension seat as well as a suspension platform, making the bumpiest and roughest fields a breeze to get through.

Fuel capacity also is a strong point of the Scag Cheetah, as it comes with a 15-gallon tank, which is larger than any other tank that Scag riding mowers offer. If you need to get through very large fields and do not want to have to go back to refuel as often as other riding mower models, then this is a great choice.

Among the many unique features that the Cheetah holds, there is one that truly sets it apart from other riding mowers. It comes with a lever which you may adjust between two speeds. With a low range and high range gear, you can adjust the speed that you go at with no hassle at all.

The low range option allows for you to drive at a steady 12 miles per hour which is perfect for mowing the grass. The high range setting, on the other hand, is known as the transport mode and speeds the mower up to a speedy 16 miles per hour.

That boost that is provided in transport mode is a massive advantage for those who need to travel between yards, and especially cuts down on time for very large commercial properties. Cutting areas such schools and large complexes will see a significantly reduced time with this mower due to its transport mode.

The drive tires on the Scag Cheetah are big 24-inch tires that offer great traction. The front caster tires are 13×6.5-6 which assist even further in the traction of the mower. Hills are no match for this machine, and the ride has added traction due to its center of gravity being quite low.

As with all Scag machines, the Cheetah is extremely durable. This will last a very long time, and that is backed by its long warranty time of either 2 years with unlimited usage hours or 4 years with 400 usage hours.

Looking at the Cheetah from a comfort standpoint, it’s the very best that you can get from the Scag lineup. Due to the smooth controls and suspension system that it boasts it offers exceptional comfort no matter where you’re cutting.

And of course, the most important part of a mower is how well it cuts. The Cheetah does not skimp on quality when it comes to how well it cuts, and with either the 61” or 72” deck you will get a superior cut – one that is arguably the very best in the industry.

You can expect to pick up the Scag Cheetah for prices ranging from $12,417 up to around $14,009. That’s right around the norm for mowers of this class, and you get so many more unique features with the Cheetah than competitor models offer.

The Scag Turf Tiger

The Scag Turf Tiger is built tough and durable as you would expect with any Scag machine. With the most engine options out of almost any other riding mowers, the Turf Tiger is quite competitive.

The engine options that the Scag offers range from as low as 25hp up to 35hp. These engines come in the option of being liquid or air-cooled, and the liquid-cooled engines are amazing at preventing overheating even during extended cutting periods.

When it comes to power, the Turf Tiger is no slouch. You will be able to power through anything with this machine, and they are amazing for mulching as well.

Another unique feature about the Turf Tiger is the fact that it has engines that run on diesel if that is more your thing. The diesel engine that is offered is a 25hp Kubota engine. If you know your engines then you know that this will last an incredibly long time. 

The cut that the Turf Tiger offers is amazing, as well. One of the best cuts in the industry, the Turf Tiger can handle anything thrown at it, and its spindles will not suffer as they can take whatever the engine throws at them.

While it is not the most comfortable ride in the industry, the suspension seat that is included with the Turf Tiger will get the job done and do so without flinching.

With a price range of around $13,300 to $18,000, you can pick this mower up and not have to worry, as the warranty ranges from 2 years with unlimited usage time or 5 years with 1,200 hours usage time.

Which to Pick?

While both of these riding mowers are excellent choices for anyone who wants a reliable, durable, and powerful riding mower to cut their grass, there are things about the Cheetah and Turf Tiger which make them unique and better picks in some categories.

For starters, the Cheetah is the fastest riding mower on the market, and if you want to get the job done as fast as possible without compromising on power then the Cheetah is the right pick for you.

The Cheetah also offers superior comfort due to its dual suspension seating system. Even on bumpy and uneven terrain, you will get a reasonably comfortable ride. 

The Cheetah is also quite a bit cheaper than the Turf Tiger while allowing for faster cutting times and less time between transport.

If you are looking for a riding mower that gets the job done as quickly as possible while still offering a good amount of power and comfort behind it, then the Scag Cheetah is most likely what you will want to shoot for.

The Turf Tiger is an amazing machine as well, though unless you need to power through very thick and troublesome yards you probably will not need to spend the extra couple thousands of dollars that it takes to purchase one.


Scag offers two amazing riding mowers in the form of the Cheetah and the Turf Tiger. With some background information on how each operates and what they bring to the table, you can now make a decision on which is best suited for you.

The Turf Tiger is tough and can tackle any situation, albeit with a bit slower pace and a less comfortable ride than the Cheetah. The Cheetah is a quick and speedy machine that does its namesake proud, and the added comfort of its suspension seating system is hard to pass up.