Kenmore Elite. Sears teamed up a French-door refrigerator with a dishwasher and gas range. The refrigerator and dishwasher are winners in our tests but the range didn’t make the cut. The package sells for $3,816 compared to a combined cost of $4,900.
The refrigerator. Providing French-door styling in a narrower housing, the 33-inch-wide Kenmore Elite 71032 bottom-freezer, $2,600, could be the perfect fit for smaller kitchens. It’s also quiet and delivers solid energy efficiency.
The dishwasher. The Kenmore Elite 12773 dishwasher, $1,100, is similar to the Kenmore Elite 12783 that we tested. Top-notch washing paired with stellar energy and water efficiency are chief strengths of this dishwasher. It has extra rear-mounted sprays and a turbo cycle and was also among the quietest models in our tests.
The range. If you don’t broil much, the Kenmore 75232 gas range, $1,200, with a single 30-inch oven may be a viable choice even though it didn’t make our top picks. It has impressive cooktop and baking performance, a large capacity oven, and a very good self-cleaning function. But broiling is only so-so.
Samsung. Sears is also selling a four-piece Samsung suite that lets you choose your own refrigerator and range. The refrigerator choices include our two top-rated four-door French door refrigerators. The ranges include one of our electric range picks. The dishwasher and microwave missed our picks but have their plusses. Depending on what components you pick the cost of the suite begins at $5,540 compared to a combined cost of $6,000 to $6,600.
The refrigerator. The Samsung T9000, $3,500, is our top-rated four-door model, thanks to its superb temperature control and energy efficiency. It features a fresh-food section behind traditional French-doors and two side-by-side bottom compartments that let you adjust the overall fridge-to-freezer ratio. And it’s big—nearly 23 cubic feet. The 36-inch-wide Samsung RF31FMESBSR, $2,900, boasts superb temperature control and energy efficiency. Its temperature-controlled middle drawer can go from 29° F for meat to 42° F for party platters. This is also the first-ever refrigerator with a built-in sparkling water dispenser from SodaStream.
The range. The Samsung NE58F9500WS, $1,800, electric smoothtop range is a slide-in model, offering a built-in look with controls on the front. Simmering was superb and cooktop heat was fast. The large oven was very good at baking and excellent at broiling, and the convection option can trim cooking time.
The dishwasher and microwave. The Samsung DW80F800UWS, $800, dishwasher's claim to fame is a "stormwash" zone in which you place your most soiled items. But overall, you can get better performance for around the same money and Samsung is the most repair-prone dishwasher brand. The Samsung ME21F707MJT, $500, over-the-range microwave has very good heating evenness and was excellent at defrosting. And although it was a bit noisier than other microwaves we tested, it has some convenience features that are worth considering.