Top rated appliance brands disputed

Don't Waste Your Money

If you can afford a new home appliance, you have plenty of high tech choices these days.

So which brands top the charts?  Two reviews by respected publications give some very different results.

JD Power Findings

JD Power and Associates has just released its 2011 survey of appliance brands based on customer satisfaction surveys sent to buyers.

  • For washers and dryers, Samsung gets the highest rating.
  • For refrigerators, SubZero tops the list.
  • For dishwashers, top ratings go to Miele and Fisher and Paykel.
  • And for cooktops and ranges, LG and Wolf topped the charts.

Many of those, such as SubZero and Wolf, are considered high end brands, and can cost several thousand dollars.

But these results are different from the findings of Consumer Reports magazine, which physically tests appliances, and looks at long term repair records.

Consumer Reports Findings

  • For refrigerators, Consumer Reports gives top marks to Kenmore and Whirlpool.
  • Kenmore and GE top the ratings for ranges.
  • And for washing machines, it's Whirlpool and Kenmore.

In particular the magazine recommends the Whirlpool Cabrio washer, a Best Buy at $600.

Consumer Reports' choices are far less sexy, but the magazine bases its choices on its tests and repair records, as opposed to customer surveys.

In addition, Consumer Reports picks cost a lot less, for the most part.

Bottom line:  research any appliance before you buy, consider several reviews, and read consumer reviews posted online at sites like Epinions.com and Amazon.com as well. Then make an informed decision, so you don't waste your money.

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