• Comfortable, fully adjustable
• Impressive list of standard
• Low price
• Lack of power steering allows
some kickback through steering
on bumps, but power steering is
HOW DOES IT HANDLE HILLS?
Big, steep climbs call for all the power
the 550 can muster, but we topped
every hill that looked makable for a
machine this size. Having the option to
lock both differentials gave us all the
grip we could ask for. Thanks to strong
brakes and engine braking that works
on all four wheels in four-wheel drive,
the Challenger is easy to control on
HOW IS IT IN ROCKS AND MUD?
Rocky washes send a fair amount of
feedback through the steering on this
non-power-steering machine, but with 12
inches of ground clearance and lockable
front and rear differentials, rocks and mud
never slowed our progress. The air intake
is under the hood to keep water out of the
engine, and the bodywork and full doors
do a great job of keeping mud off the
IS IT A HARD WORKER?
Yes. The 550 can tow up to 1200
pounds from its 2-inch hitch receiver, and
it can carry 500 pounds in its tilting bed. A
3500-pound winch is standard.
HOW ARE THE DETAILS?
Very impressive, especially considering
the Challenger 550’s price. The Cub Cadet
comes with doors, a roof, windshield,
mirrors, aluminum wheels, winch, and
even a horn and turn signals. The
automotive-like instruments are excellent,
and the seats are comfortably shaped and
well padded. The range selector could
be more positive, but the Cub Cadet’s fit,
finish and feel are very good overall.
WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
The Challenger 550 comes with
adjustable suspension and a long list of
useful standard features, and it’s priced
like the plain base models from some