I've got a 2007 Cub Cadet 524 SWE that was used and abused for 8 years before I bought it for $100. After much TLC and surprisingly few new parts it has been very reliable. Only parts I have replaced are the impellor bearing, drive plate spring, and carburetor gaskets. I did replace the original Torch brand sparkplug and the nuts and bolts the previous owner used as shear pins. The quality of the powder coat paint is not good, has peeled off in many places. The wheels had rusted solid to the axles because they never lubed them at assembly. The cables are original, never replaced while my neighbor's TroyBilt, virtually the same machine, 3 years newer, has had the cables replaced. As sscotsman has said the quality and reliability is statistically lower with any MTD product. The Chinese engine, a Powermore, isn't really! Although it did run better once I adjusted the valves and rejetted it. The bottom line is used or new any of these MTD products are dependent on your willingness and ability to perform maintenance. Grease and oil are your friend!