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Frigidaire FGID2466QF review: Not perfect, just right -- Frigidaire dishwasher outshines its price

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One of these days, we'll find the perfect dishwasher. Until that day comes, I present to you the $650 Frigidaire Gallery FGID2466QF. It joins a trio of budget dishwashers we've reviewed recently that prove you don't need to shell out big bucks for good cleaning capability. Like the others -- the $600 GE GDF610PMJES and the $700 Kenmore 13699 -- this Frigidaire model has drawbacks. In particular, it has an upper rack that makes loading your bowls and glasses painful, it's louder than its more expensive counterparts and it has a plastic inner tub instead of stainless steel.

The Good

The smudgeproof stainless-steel finish helps the $650 Frigidaire Gallery FGID2466QF look like a much more expensive dishwasher. It backs up those looks with quality cleaning performance and plenty of cycles to choose from.

The Bad

The interior of the FGID2466QF doesn't have a lot of features to help you load your dishes. In fact, the arrangement of the upper rack makes fitting your bowls and glasses particularly tedious.

The Bottom Line

If you're willing to work with the tedious upper rack, sleek design and solid performance make the FGID2466QF a fine budget-friendly dishwasher.

Also like the others, this Frigidaire Gallery dishwasher cleaned as well as models that cost twice as much. If you don't mind spacing out your dishes on the top rack, it's worth your consideration. In fact, if you prioritize looks, I'd recommend this model over both the GE GDF610PMJES and the Kenmore 13699. The smudge-resistant stainless finish and fully integrated control panel look great. The GE GDF610PMJES has the best feature list of the group and the Kenmore 13699 cleans the best of the trio, but the Frigidaire FGID2466QF isn't far behind on either, making it a well-rounded option at a reasonable price.

Stain-free shine from the Frigidaire Gallery Dishwasher

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Got no stains to hold it down

We've seen it on other Frigidaire appliances, but I was still impressed by how well the smudgeproof stainless finish on the Frigidaire Gallery FGID2466QF dishwasher kept fingerprints off of the front of the machine. Especially for $650, its appearance held up remarkably well throughout our rigorous testing.

As usual with large appliances, you can find this dishwasher for less than that $650 price. You can use the Frigidaire site to find retailers in your area. It's available at major appliance retailers such as Best Buy, Home Depot and Amazon. Best Buy and Home Depot both have it for just under $400.

Spider leg surprise

Despite the plastic tub, I still liked the look of the interior of the FGID2466QF. The stainless tubs of higher-end models do save energy, but with this dishwasher, I didn't notice a big difference as far as style was concerned.

The blue wheel of jets at the bottom of the tub accents gray racks and tines that look professional but not boring. Loading dishes into the racks, however, was less pleasant.

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The blue wheel of jets at the bottom of the tub looks good and does a good job of covering every dish with water.

Chris Monroe/CNET

A few of the tines on the top rack look like spider legs. Folded in, they're spaced such that you can fit bowls between them. Fold them out and the tines line up next to the exterior columns, leaving an open spot in the front middle of the upper rack where you could fit larger serving dishes. It's a creative idea, but the spacing never actually made it easier for us to load the dishwasher in practice.

We follow the recommended loading pattern in our dishwasher tests, and doing so with this model resulted in tight spacing and awkwardly placed bowls. We had to squeeze glasses into the second and fourth columns and the sound of glass scraping glass as we shoved them past the bowls in the middle column wasn't pleasant. The bowls themselves weren't sitting securely in their spot, and ended up nesting next to each other often, though we did our best to prevent them from doing so.

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The spider-leg-shaped tines make it tough to load your dishes.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The nested bowls resulted in missed spots on the cleaning tests -- since the water couldn't get between them. For the most part, the Frigidaire FGID2466QF is a good cleaner, but the poor upper rack tines prevented it from shining the bowls.

The arrangement of tines on the bottom rack is more run-of-the-mill and less offensive. The back two rows fold down, and the two middle rows of tines are shorter, encouraging you to fit small dishes between rows of larger plates on the outside.

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The lower rack tines don't add much, but don't make it harder to load your dishes.

Chris Monroe/CNET

You'll need to use those center rows to make the most of the space. The Frigidaire FGID2466QF holds 14 place settings in theory. We were able to fit our test load of 10 place settings without running out of room, but you'll want to put less than that in the dishwasher, especially on the upper rack, to ensure that everything gets clean and your fragile dishes don't get scraped.

In control

Find spacing that works, and you'll have plenty of cycle options to choose from once you're ready to run the Frigidaire FGID2466QF. The touch controls on the upper lip show you your selection with a green light, and the estimated time to completion shows on the right, and counts down once you hit start.

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The FGID2466QF has plenty of cycles to choose from.

Chris Monroe/CNET

I appreciate all of the cycle options. Again, it's a great selection for the price. The quick wash is suitably fast at 30 minutes, and the top-rack- only wash is a nice extra among otherwise standard fare.

That said, the wealth of options you can add on to your cycle felt like overkill. I don't need or want to pick whether the water scours, surges or sprays during the cycle. Likewise, I had to use the instruction manual to figure out what the various heating options meant.

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All of these options make the control panel a little cluttered.

Chris Monroe/CNET

I'd have liked more straightforward terminology. As with the upper rack, Frigidaire tried to be creative, but the effort to be different gets in the way more than it helps. I'd call this issue more of a nitpick, though. In all, I'm glad this unit has too many options instead of too few.

Cleaning redemption

For our performance tests, we selected the normal cycle and the default options for water pressure, wash temp and dry -- surge, normal and heat respectively. When you hit start, the timer prompts you to close the door by showing the letters "cd." Then, you'll hear the dishwasher whir into action.

The FGID2466QF runs at a manufacturer-rated 52 decibels. That's louder than a lot of premium models we've tested, and you can certainly hear it while it works. It's not deafening, by any means, and if it's been a while since you've replaced your dishwasher, you'll probably think it's as quiet as a mouse.

More expensive models might be quieter, but not many clean dishes more effectively. Given that the $1,100 Frigidaire FPID2497RF only scored a 55.4 percent clean on our tests, we didn't have high hopes for this model. After fighting the top rack while loading our dishes, our expectations were even lower. Lo and behold, the $650 Frigidaire FGID2466QF not only bested that $1,100 Frigidaire, but several other dishwashers that cost more, too, including the $1,200 GE PDT750SSFSS and the $900 LG LDF7774ST.

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Frigidaire performs well for the price, but the Kenmore 13699 bests it.

Steve Conaway/CNET

We're tough on our dishwashers when we test them, tasking them with ridding plates, bowls, silverware and glasses of all manner of food that's been sitting on them for 24 hours. Except for missing whole sides of bowls on the top rack, the Frigidaire FGID2466QF did a great job of getting tough stains unstuck and covering every surface of almost every dish.

It falters a little with redeposit. The filter keeps up admirably with bulky foods like spinach and mac-and-cheese noodles, but we still found little green flecks on the occasional plate or glass.

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This Frigidaire did especially well cleaning glassware and silverware.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

When we let the dishwasher take a little extra time to get the dishes dry with the Sahara dry option, it upped its dry score to a respectable 56 percent. We found lots of water spots on both the default dry option and Sahara dry, despite the fact that we used rinse aid. Most water spots, though, were on our plastic dishes. Our glasses and our porcelain plates came out of the dishwasher with more of a shine.

If you scrape your dishes before you load them and space out the dishes on the top rack a little bit, all of your dishes will come out looking good. The FGID2466QF is an impressive cleaner, if not quite as good at the $700 Kenmore 13699.

The verdict

The $650 Frigidaire FGID2466QF doesn't do quite enough to separate itself from similarly priced models from GE and Kenmore, but it's a good enough cleaner to stand with them and be worth your consideration.

If you want a dishwasher with a stainless-steel tub and a whisper-quiet sound rating, you'll need to spend a little more. I recommend the still reasonably priced $800 Bosch SHS63VL5UC -- our current cleaning champ. The GE GDF610PMJES would be my pick if you rinse your dishes thoroughly and want lots of useful features. Go with the Kenmore 13699 for the best cleaning performance for the price.

The Frigidaire FGID2466QF is the best option if you're shopping for a good deal, want a competent cleaner and want something that looks like a premium machine. It even has lots of cycles and options to pick from and cleans relatively quickly. Be ready to wrestle with the upper rack, but you'll get clean dishes as a reward for your efforts.

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7.7

Frigidaire FGID2466QF

Score Breakdown

Performance 9Features 7Usability 5Design 8