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If you live in suburbia and you're thinking of buying a riding lawn mower, here's something to consider. A lawn tractor may be your first instinct, but a wiser choice might be a much smaller riding mower, like this Troy-Bilt TB30R Hydro Neighborhood Rider.

Here's why. With this riding mower, the engine is under the seat, not in front of you, so its wheel base is much shorter than a lawn tractor's. That gives you a tight, 18-in. turning radius—better for maneuvering around trees and gardens. It also has a much narrower mowing deck, 30 in., so you can easily drive through 3-ft.-wide gates.

And consider the space you'll save in your garage or shed. The TB30R (about $1,400) also features a hydrostatic transmission with smooth speed control and adjustments and can be purchased here.