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Thursday, October 6th
KitchenAid is one of several brands in our review that are owned by Whirlpool. This label in particular comes with some of the highest-end appliances on the market: a basic under-counter fridge will cost you about $1600, and their top-of-the-line Professional model is jaw-droppingly priced at a MSRP of $11,299. Fortunately, you've got about three dozen other refrigerator styles to choose from in the $2,000-$4,000 range.
More models than most brands - if available
If you've got the right cabinetry, KitchenAid can provide you with built-in refrigerators that some other brands don't offer. Otherwise, there are plenty of freestanding designs to consider. Either way, you may have some challenges with product availability: at the time of this evaluation, many fridges in colors other than stainless steel were out of stock.
How about features? We took a look at KitchenAid's top-of-the-line freestanding fridge on the market with an MSRP of $4,299 and found a few things we liked. This particular model has a five-door configuration with two soft-close drawers; one with several preset temperatures for drinks, cheese/deli, or thaw/marinate, and another specifically for produce. It also uses under-shelf LED lighting that makes it easier to see everything you've got inside (no more lurking, expired items staying hidden way in the back). Finally, the water dispenser on this KitchenAid refrigerator lets you do a measured water fill: get exactly the ounces, cups or liters you need for your bottle or recipe, and customize up to two amounts for anything you fill regularly (like a favorite water bottle or coffee pot).
Poorer performance than we expected
How do these refrigerators perform? Because KitchenAid is a Whirlpool subsidiary, it shares the same BBB rating: an "A+" and accreditation. Overall, Whirlpool has a fairly solid reputation, but that doesn't necessarily carry over specifically to KitchenAid refrigerators. Customer feedback on this brand is lackluster: it's hard to find any models with a rating over 4.2 out of 5 stars, and many wind up with averages in the three-star range. That's one thing if you're buying a small undercounter refrigerator for $1,600, but if you're shelling out over $11,000 for KitchenAid's top-of-the-line 48" wide side-by-side? You're probably not going to appreciate paying that kind of money for an appliance that may need a half-dozen repairs in the first year that you own it (if owner reviews are any indication).
Room for improvement
Worse than that, KitchenAid support reps don't seem terribly anxious to help customers get their fridges fixed. We found more than one person who had issues like a produce drawer failing to get below 48 degrees and were told "that's not a problem, that's just the way the refrigerator works" . Add that to several class action settlements against Whirlpool that included KitchenAid fridges - false advertising about energy efficiency, defective control panels, leaky bottom freezers, and so on - and you'll understand why KitchenAid refrigerators earn a less-than-impressive rating from us.
Whether you're equipping the kitchen in your brand-new home or replacing the trusty appliance you've had for years that finally gave up the ghost, you're making a major purchase that needs to be reliable and give you a good value for your money.
Today's refrigerators range from your basic side-by-side (or even a more old-fashioned freezer-on-top, fridge-on-bottom style) all the way up to cutting-edge designs that have a touchscreen in the door - for displaying recipes, checking the weather, or even listening to your favorite Spotify playlist.
Choosing the right fridge requires taking several factors into account. First, what's your budget? Believe it or not, you can find models for less than $500 and for more than $5,000, so having an idea of what you want to spend can help you narrow down the possibilities.
Next, how much room do you have? Taking accurate measurements is a must, otherwise your fridge may not fit on installation day - and don't forget to account for the room needed to open the doors. Also, how much room do you need inside? A good rule of thumb is four to six cubic feet of interior space for every adult in the household. Finally, what features are must-haves (or must-avoids)? Not everyone wants an in-door water/ice dispenser or a Wi-Fi capable appliance.
Once you've come up with a general overview of the refrigerator that will best suit your needs, it's time to see which brands fit the bill. Some manufacturers are more reliable than others: a few makers have a reputation for dropping the ball when it comes to customer service after the sale, and at least one has experienced major recalls due to fire hazards. No matter which brand and model you eventually decide, it's a smart idea to see what extended warranty coverage is available to help mitigate any costly problems you might experience down the road.
To recap, here are the criteria you should have in mind as you shop for a new refrigerator:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular brands of refrigerators on the market today. We hope this information helps you choose the right model for your next major appliance purchase!
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