Tractor is small, but very strong on power with turbo engine. I can't express how nice it is to have the power of the 55 horsepower and I am glad I did not get a lesser machine.
I have the front end loader and it is nice, however the bucket required an extra reinforcing plate be welded to the bottom of the pan to stop flexing of the bucket. It just was not made heavy duty enough for my uses.
I also got the 4 wheel drive which I would not be without even though you do not need it 99% of the time. It's that 1% that makes you glad you got 4 wheel drive; uses like pulling items, skidding firewood trees, extra traction when pushing up dirt in the bucket.
The 55 horsepower really shines when bushhogging in tough, high Bahia grass. For instance, you don't have to go down to a granny gear with the power this tractor has pulling a 6' cutter like you would with a 35 horse. The result, you can finish jobs faster with less fuel and wait longer between pasture cuttings because you have the power to cut down higher grass with ease. You can haul more in the bucket of this tractor also resulting in fewer trips.
The short of it is, the price difference from a 35 to a 55 horse tractor will be something that you will be able to justify on paper in time and fuel savings, not to mention the pure pleasure of operating a machine that is so much more fun to drive. The tractor will handle as well as any 35 horsepower and probable give you a slightly better ride because it weighs a little more. Get the 55 horse model, trust me, you will never regret making this purchase. Don't listen to any crap about any 35 horsepower being able to do the job. Nothing can replace the added benefit of the extra hp in the instances I mentioned. Even if you don't need the extra power a lot of the time, you will be proud to have it when you need it.
Also, my tractor sips fuel. I guess it is because the engine is rarely under a strain to perform most tasks. I have no facts to back it up, but I feel that my fuel consumption is close to that of a 35 horse which would be working harder at higher rpms to perform like tasks.