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What Appliances are the Most Reliable?

Updated on August 8, 2019

Sooner or later, we all need to buy home appliances - the range, fridge, dishwasher, microwave, washer, and dryer. If you walk into any appliance store and ask the sales staff which is the best brand to buy, you will get opinions. Opinions based of their experience and so on. But appliances are like cars, if you had nothing but problems with a make of car, you will never buy another one of them and vice versa. The quality varies considerably with appliances and manufacturers are NOT making them as good as they did 10+ years ago. The components are plastic and motors are made in China and inferior. A GE appliance made in the 1990's will last much longer than one made today. A few years ago, GE appliances division was bought by China, mainly to get Chinese products available via the GE distributors.

Consumer Reports just released their first reliability study on appliances after looking over thousands of repair reports of the major brands.

The Results

CR used a scale of 0 to 100 to rate brands, with scores higher are the better brands. It does not account for a products performance only in how few or how often does a brand need repairs. This is very important because nearly all brands come with only a one year parts and labor warranty.

In the top tier group = Very Good:

  • Speed Queen (83)
  • Miele (75)
  • LG (68)
  • Bosch (63)

In the middle group - Good:

  • GE (60)
  • Kenmore (60)
  • Whirlpool (59)
  • Maytag (58)
  • Frigidaire (56)
  • Hotpoint (55)
  • Amana (55)
  • Kitchenaid (53)
  • Samsung (46)

In the last group - Poor:

  • Jenn-Air (37)
  • Electrolux (28)
  • Viking (15)

Keep in mind that it deals only with service calls and some brands, like Samsung, have good washer and dryers generally, but not so much with other appliances. The same can be said with some of the brands in the middle group and poor brands. For instance, Electrolux is bad unless you buy their washer or dryer, which are highly rated by consumers. But overall, this brand is a problem. At the high end, there is LG, which constantly has good ratings for the least problems, however, some of the fridges with a 10-year warranty have this warranty because every 2-4 years, the compressor fails. The LG people know this weak link but instead of getting a good compressor they stay with a cheaper one that fails.

Bottom line is be a smart consumer and see what others have said about a model that interests you by reading their reviews.


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