When Consumer Reports tests major kitchen appliances, we find that price and performance rarely go hand in hand. It’s a fact that routinely surprises readers, but for our in-house engineers and appliance experts, it’s just another day in the labs.

“We see ranges under $1,000 near the very top of our performance ratings,” says Tara Casaregola, the CR test engineer who leads our testing of ranges, cooktops, and wall ovens. And just as often, she sees pro-style ranges that cost five times as much fall flat. The same can be said for our test results of refrigerators and dishwashers.

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That’s good news if you're on a budget and want to upgrade your key kitchen appliances, especially if you don’t care about buying a matching appliance suite from one brand. If you do, you may end up with a great refrigerator but a lackluster range, for instance. 

To give you just a peek into how we rate kitchen appliances, CR's test engineers collected 5.4 million temperature readings for each model refrigerator to detect warm and cold spots, baked 2,400 cookies and 400 cakes in a year to test the ovens in ranges, and soiled 53,312 dishes to test the dishwashers currently in our ratings.

We set a budget of $2,500 for a new refrigerator, range, and dishwasher, and then scoured our ratings for the best-performing models at the best price. (We didn’t include over-the-range microwaves, the fourth appliance in a suite, because many cooks prefer countertop models or have a range hood instead.) The winning models in our tests of kitchen appliances span major brands including Frigidaire, Blomberg, Kenmore, Samsung, LG, KitchenAid, GE, and Bosch.

Below are three winning combinations that will leave you wanting for nothing in the way of performance. And all three came in well under budget.

Best Stainless Trio With an Electric Range

A stainless suite with an upscale look

The Range: Frigidaire Gallery FGEF3035RF, $650
This range offers speedy heating, steady simmering, and exceptional broiling. It has two high-powered elements and a warming element.

The Refrigerator: Blomberg BRFT1522SS, $999
A premium-looking top-freezer fridge, this model maintains excellent temperature uniformity throughout the fridge and freezer compartments.

The Dishwasher: Kenmore 14573, $650
Offering impeccable cleaning and drying, this ultra-efficient dishwasher has some hidden controls and a time-remaining display, both nice extras.

Total: $2,299

Best Stainless Trio With a Gas Range

A stainless set with a feature-packed range and dishwasher

The Range: Samsung NX58F5500SS, $600
This stellar range is packed with features. It's got five burners, two of which are high-powered, and a central griddle burner. Plus continuous cast-iron cooking grates, often found on pro-style ranges, allow you to slide pots and pans from one spot to another.

The Refrigerator: LG LTCS20220S, $944
This energy-efficient top-mount fridge has steady temperature control and quiet operation, both of which are more typically found on pricier models.

The Dishwasher: KitchenAid KDTM354ESS, $850
This budget-friendly dishwasher earns the top spot in our ratings with quiet and efficient operation, and top-notch cleaning and drying performance.

Total: $2,394

Best Trios in White

A budget-friendly bundle with traditional white finishes and options for a gas or an electric range

The Electric Range: Kenmore 95052, $1,000
This classic-looking range is the best electric smoothtop in our ratings. It heats quickly, holds a simmer perfectly, and provides beautiful baking.


The Gas Range: Kenmore 74132, $705
Despite its white shell and low price, this gas range offers features more often found on expensive models, including a five-burner cooktop and dual high-power burners.

The Refrigerator: GE GTE15CTHRWW, $539
You’d be hard-pressed to find a top-freezer that costs less than this model. Despite its price, this GE has perfect temperature uniformity and is energy efficient, too.

The Dishwasher: Bosch Ascenta SHE3AR7, $510
This energy-efficient dishwasher provides top-tier cleaning and has a speedy 95-minute cleaning cycle. Models costing three times as much often take 2 hours or more to wash and don’t leave dishes nearly as clean.

Total: $2,049 for Electric; $1,754 for Gas