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Top refrigerator brands from Consumer Reports

Some manufacturers have a better track record than others

Published: May 27, 2015 01:45 PM
Samsung Chef Collection RF34H9960S4,

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With more than 300 models, Consumer Reports' refrigerator Ratings cover a big chunk of the market. But we can’t review every model out there, especially since we purchase every product we test. So what if the model you're interested in isn't in our Ratings? Our statisticians analyzed the last three years of test results to see which brands were consistent winners. Choosing from these brands will increase your chances of satisfaction, though even the best brands turn out the occasional clunker. Here are the results by category, including top-pick refrigerators from our latest tests.

Kenmore 79043

Bottom-freezers

This has become the most popular refrigerator category, thanks to the growth in French-door and four-door configurations, which both keep fresh-food items at convenient eye level. Best bottom-freezer brands include Amana, Kenmore, KitchenAid, LG, Maytag, Samsung, and Whirlpool. We really like the Kenmore Elite 74093, $3,400, and the LG LFXS32766S, $2,900, which share the highest score among all tested models. We also like the Samsung Chef Collection RF34H9960S4, $5,400, our highest-rated four-door refrigerator and the Kenmore Elite 79043, $1,510, which is tops among conventional bottom-freezers.           

Fisher & Paykel, GE, and Haier have been less consistent in our bottom-freezer tests. Electrolux and Frigidaire, meanwhile, were called out in our latest brand-reliability survey, based on feedback of almost 80,000 readers who bought a new refrigerator between 2010 and 2014.  

Samsung RH29H9000SR
Photo: Samsung

Side-by-sides

Though the side-by-side market has gotten smaller, there are still plenty of brands competing for top spots in our Ratings. Frigidaire, LG, Maytag and Samsung have been the most consistent. Samsung has several recommended models in our current Ratings, including the Samsung RH29H9000SR, $2,350, with its unique door-in-door compartment. Less consistent brands include Amana, Electrolux, GE, Kenmore, and Whirlpool. There’s only one brand to avoid: KitchenAid, which was the most repair-prone brand in the category.

Frigidaire FFHT2126PS

Top-freezers

There will always be a market for top-freezers, given their low cost. And our tests turn up many models that back the superb value with solid performance. Your best bets are Frigidaire, Haier, LG, and Kenmore. If you’re looking for maximum value, check out the $600 Haier HT18TS77SP, which offers very good temperature performance and excellent efficiency. Spending more on the Frigidaire FFHT2126PS, $850, gets you a bit more usable storage and the option of a stainless steel finish. While no brands make our ones-to-avoid list, consistency has been an issue with Amana, GE, Maytag, and Whirlpool.

—Daniel DiClerico (@dandiclerico on Twitter)

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