Ariens Ikon x vs New Xd 42" and bagging issues


Forum Newbie
Feb 10, 2020
Hi all,
I found an ICON x 52" leftover at my local Home Depot for 2499 in 52" which I think is too big for my 1 acre property. Now for a story and some questions. I have recently retired and will need to let my landscaper go for financial reasons. Plus, he runs his mowers too quickly and doesn't sharpen them as needed so the lawn doesn't look great. When I cut with my little 21" Toro is looks spectacular. So I think I can get the IconX or XD for about 2500 and if I get it from Lowes I get a 10% mil discount. Now I mulch all season long but in the fall I pick up leaves with my Toro and it mulches leaves right into the rear bag beautifully for compost. A rear bag assembly for the IconXD costs 1000.00 and is assisted by a belt which drives and internal fan creating extra suction. THAT however requires much mechanical work to change it over aS their mulching blade will not do the necessary to get the stuff into the bag for 2 or 3 autumn mowingsand that also adds 1000 to the price. I really liked the cut of the Ikon but this looks like just too much. It was suggested to me that I put gator blades on it and not do all the mechanical change over for the bagging system. So, who makes a mower that can mulch and Vacuum EFFECTIVELY for autumn leaves for under 2600. Any suggestions?