What if a front-loader is great at getting your laundry clean and its capacity is large enough that a comforter fits comfortably--would you buy it? This front-loader costs less than most, is stingy with water, and extracts a lot of it so drying time is shortened. But here's the catch. The front-loader is from Frigidaire, a brand that's among the most repair-prone in Consumer Reports' latest Product Reliability Survey.
That's what we found when we asked more than 92,000 readers about the washers they bought in the past five years. Our Ratings include more than two dozen recommended front-loaders. We recommended them because they're top performers and among the most reliable brands. The Frigidaire Affinity FAFS4073N[W], $800, front-loader excelled at cleaning and aced our water- and energy-efficiency tests. It has a large capacity but on the downside, is relatively noisy and vibrates more than most other top performers.
Overall, the Frigidaire scored 84 out of 100 in our washing machine tests but is no longer recommended since Frigidaire is among the most repair-prone brands of front-loaders. So is GE, but none of the GE front-loaders we tested were high scoring enough to be recommended. Among top-loaders, GE and Fisher & Paykel were among the most repair-prone brands.
Choosing a brand with a good repair history can improve your odds of getting a reliable washer, even though models within a brand may vary. So use our Ratings of front-loaders and top-loaders to get your dream machine, and our Brand Reliability to help avoid repair nightmares.
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