There's a fresh crop of fridges coming our way this year, many of them hopping on with the latest trends in order to tempt you into a splurge. We'll see plenty of models with a black stainless-steel finish, plenty of doors within doors, and even a couple of splashy new smart fridges. They're all undeniably modern -- but they won't come cheap.
If that previous paragraph elicited a yawn (or maybe an eyeroll), then perhaps the LG LFXS32726S is for you. It's a French door model from last year that missed the memos on black stainless steel, smart features and doors in all of the doors. Instead, it offers size -- a whopping 32 cubic feet of storage space, to be exact. On top of that, it's about as strong a performer as you can expect to find for your kitchen.
The suggested retail price is a hefty $3,600, but given that this fridge has been on the market for about a year, you should expect to pay a lot less than that (as of writing this, the LFXS32726S is down to $2,800 at retailers like Best Buy, Home Depot and AJ Madison). At enough of a discount, it's an easy recommendation, especially if you put a premium on performance or capacity.
The LFSX32726S is a fine-looking fridge, but it's largely derivative of the past decade or so of refrigerator design. Like so many fridges before it, it's a big, boxy, stainless-steel appliance that doesn't do much to set itself apart visually. At a time when manufacturers are looking for new ways to get people to make a fridge upgrade, the LFXS32726S is inoffensive rather than innovative.
More than anything, this fridge puts the focus on capacity. With 31.7 cubic feet of total storage space (more than twenty of which are allocated to the fridge), the LG LFXS32726S is about as big as classic French door refrigerators come. If you want something bigger, you'll almost certainly need to upgrade to a four-door "t-type" model, like the 34-cubic foot Samsung Chef Collection fridge.
But capacity is more than just a number -- design matters, too. We've seen plenty of fridges outperform larger models in our storage tests thanks to smartly designed interiors that help you take full advantage of the space. Fortunately, LG did a nice job here, with a thoughtful interior design that maximizes what you'll get out of those copious cubic feet.
Take the shelf at the bottom of the right door, for instance. It's a smaller shelf that sits tucked underneath the larger shelf above it -- a fairly common design that's largely intended to house snacks for your kids at a kid-friendly height. The only problem with these kinds of kid shelves is that they're often too skinny and too awkward to really be of use. That's not the case with this LG fridge -- I had an easy time getting pudding, Jell-O and juice boxes in and out of the shelf.
The shelves in the left door -- the ones that sit against the back of the in-door ice maker -- are even more successful. In a lot of French door models, the ice maker bulges out, making it tough to fit much of anything into the shelves. With this LG fridge (and a lot of LG's fridges), the ice maker is designed to lie flat, and as a result, the shelves are dramatically easier to use. The trade-off is that the ice maker is about 25 percent smaller, but I think that's a fair deal, given how rarely people empty their ice makers.
Inside the fridge, you'll find a few more features designed to help you save space and keep things organized. The top shelf slides in and out of the way to make room for tall items on the shelf below. Below that, you'll find a trio of crisper drawers instead of the usual two, each one taking full advantage of the refrigerator's depth to offer a surprising amount of storage space. At the very bottom sits a fourth drawer -- the temperature-adjustable "Glide N' Serve" drawer, which offered enough depth and vertical clearance to house an entire party platter during my storage tests.
The LG LFXS32726S versus the French door competition
|LG LFXS32726S||Samsung RF28HMEDBSR||GE Profile Series PFE28RSHSS||Whirlpool WRV996FDEM||Electrolux EW28BS85KS|
|Refrigerator capacity||20.9 cu. ft.||18.9 cu. ft.||18.5 cu. ft.||18.2 cu. ft.||19.0 cu. ft.|
|Freezer capacity||10.8 cu. ft.||8.4 cu. ft.||9.2 cu. ft.||7.6 cu. ft.||8.8 cu. ft.|
|Total storage space||31.7 cu. ft.||28.2 cu. ft.||27.7 cu. ft.||25.8 cu. ft.||27.8 cu. ft.|
|Yearly energy consumption||768 kWh||722 kWh||724 kWh||767 kWh||564 kWh|
|Estimated yearly energy cost ($0.12 per kWh)||$92.16||$86.64||$86.88||$92.04||$67.68|
|Energy cost per cubic foot||$2.91||$3.07||$3.14||$3.57||$2.43|
|Energy Star certification||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Suggested retail price||$3,600||$3,300||$3,100||$3,600||$3,350|
The LFXS32726S is an Energy Star-certified appliance that'll consume 768 kWh each year, adding a little over 90 bucks to your power bill. That's a relatively big number, but divide it by the refrigerator's capacity and you'll get the cost per year of cooling each cubic foot -- and a glimpse at the fridge's efficiency. By this metric, it does a better job than competitors like the Samsung RF28HMEDBSR, the Whirlpool WRV996FDEM and the GE Profile Series PFE28RSHSS. It gets beaten by the Electrolux EW28BS85KS, but that fridge didn't have enough horsepower to pass our performance tests. And hey, speaking of performance tests...