Executive Summary: Failed me twice in the first two years of light use - I mean failed as in had to go back to the dealer's for repair. Wrote a very civil letter to Snapper and copied the dealer but never heard from either. Not only poorly built but poorly designed too. Terrible turning radius.
Nitty Grity: Within the first two years of light use the mower failed me twice. The first time it just quit while I was mowing and would not start again. The second time I was mowing and heard a difference in the noise it makes and discovered that the blade was no longer rotating. The first service was covered by the warranty. The second was not. Although it was still under warranty the problem was a broken belt and that is considered wear and tear. I hadn't used the mower more than about a dozen times, so that tells you something about the quality of the parts they use.
I've only owned one other riding mower. And it was a Snapper. I owned it for at least 15 years and never had such serious problems. I wish now I had kept the old one. Or bought a different brand. There are NO improvements in the new mower. They have added some safety features but they are so poorly designed that I would not call them improvements. One of the safety features shuts the engine off if you lift your weight from the seat. It starts to stall if you even shift your weight on the seat. It seems to me that they could have at least let the engine continue to run if the blade was disengaged and you had put the mower in park. Oh, but wait! That would have meant having a park gear which it does not. So if you stop on ground that is not perfectly level you have to leave it in gear - which means waiting for the engine to completely stop before getting off it - because you have to keep your foot on the clutch/brake. The other new safety feature prevents you from shifting into reverse if the blade is engaged. I can see that (although I don't like it). But the blade does not disengage automatically. So you disengage the blade, shift into reverse, back up, shift back into 1st and then re-engage the blade. Probably wouldn't be a big deal if it had a tighter turning radius. But given the turning radius you have to do a lot of backing up in my standard suburban lot.
I'll have to send it in for service this fall or early next year to have the transmission checked. Sometimes first gear simply does not work. I put it into first and the wheels do not turn. Sometimes if I leave it in first gear when the engine is off (no park remember) the mower will roll if it's not on perfectly level ground. Fortunately second gear has (almost) always worked. Unfortunately reverse sometimes has the same problem - and of course there is only one reverse gear.
I can't understand how they failed to make simple, low cost improvements which anyone who used the mower would know were desirable. One example, the seat is black vinyl - just like my old Snapper. And just like the old Snapper, if that black seat has been in the summer sun for a few minutes you don't want to sit on it if you are wearing shorts. Do they not know that black things get hot in the sun? Or do they not know that people mow grass when the sun is shinning? Sheesh! Another example, there is a large black tube which carries the cuttings from the mower deck to the bagger attachment on the rear. It can sometimes get clogged. If that tube were simply made from clear plastic you could see instantly when the tube was clogged.
Well ... I am not sure that exhausts all of the reasons I wish I had not purchased this mower but you get the idea.
This is not a newsgroup which I follow. I am contributing this report in the hope that it will prevent someone from making the same mistake I made. I may follow this group for a few days to respond to questions/comments but no promises.