Frigidaire Gallery FGHT1846QF Custom-Flex Top Freezer Refrigerator review: A fridge full of features spoiled by poor performance

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
MSRP: $1,099.00

The Good There's more to this fridge than meets the eye, with helpful, high-end features hidden inside and a smudge-proof stainless-steel exterior.

The Bad Cooling performance was pretty awful, with sections in the body of the fridge that come in above FDA-approved temperatures even at the coldest setting.

The Bottom Line This refrigerator's performance disqualifies it from consideration, which is a shame, since the features are so good.

Visit for details.

6.1 Overall
  • Features 9
  • Design 8
  • Performance 3
  • Usability 7

The Frigidaire Gallery FGHT1846QF is a good-looking top-freezer fridge that sells for $1,100 (or $1,000 if you skip the stainless steel). It's filled with features you don't often see in top freezer models, it feels sturdy and well-built and it offers a relatively ample 18.3 cubic feet of storage space. On paper, it's the perfect pick for someone who wants to splurge on a noticeably nicer-than-average top freezer refrigerator.

It's a splurge I can't recommend, though. For all it's got going for it, the Frigidaire Gallery FGHT1846QF is a weak performer -- so weak that we found average temperatures up above 40 degrees F in the body of the fridge even at the coldest setting. Even if you dial it all the way down, it's still too warm. For me, that's a deal breaker.

A top freezer with panache

This Frigidaire's top shelf slides in and folds up to make room for large items.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Top freezers are the classic freezer-on-top, fridge-down-below refrigerators that most of us probably grew up with, and they're obviously nothing fancy. Still, the FGHT1846QF might surprise you with just how many features it comes with.

For starters, there's a the "smudge-proof" stainless-steel exterior. It's a finely contoured version of the popular finish that's just as shiny and metallic as you'd expect, but noticeably better at repelling fingerprints. Then there's the interior, where you'll find a top shelf that slides in or folds up out of the way, along with a pantry drawer that runs the width of the fridge. Both are rare features for top freezers, and ones that you'd more commonly expect to see in French door models.

On top of that, Frigidaire takes a modular approach with the "Custom-Flex" in-door shelving. Each shelf hangs on a rail, making it easy to rearrange things as you see fit. Even better, you can swap any of those shelves out for different modular accessories, which include things like a water bottle holder and a can dispenser. You'll have to buy those modular accessories separately, but none of them cost much more than $15.

Top freezer fridges for around $1,000

Frigidaire Gallery FGHT1846QF GE GAS18PSJSS Whirlpool WRT511SZDM LG LTCS24223S Kenmore 79432
Fridge capacity 14.2 cubic feet 13.5 cubic feet 15.2 cubic feet 17.6 cubic feet 17.6 cubic feet
Freezer capacity 4.1 cubic feet 4.0 cubic feet 6.1 cubic feet 6.2 cubic feet 6.2 cubic feet
Total capacity 18.3 cubic feet 17.5 cubic feet 21.3 cubic feet 23.8 cubic feet 23.8 cubic feet
Notable features Slide-in shelf, Custom-Flex door shelves, full-width pantry drawer, smudge-proof stainless steel Autofill Pitcher Flexi-Slide Bin Full-width pantry drawer, automatic ice maker Full-width pantry drawer
Energy Star-qualified Yes No No Yes No
Yearly energy consumption(kilowatt hours) 363 kWh 399 kWh 443 kWh 501 kWh 547 kWh
Yearly energy cost ($0.12 per kWh) $44 $48 $53 $60 $66
Efficiency (yearly energy cost per cubic foot) $2.40 $2.74 $2.49 $2.52 $2.77
CNET Performance Score (out of 10) 3 6.5 6.5 7 9
Suggested retail price $1,100 $1,000 $1,100 $1,200 $1,420
Lowest retail price (as of 8/8/16) $900 $800 $900 $1,095 $1,000

The fridge features a storage-minded design that does a good job accomodating groceries of different sizes.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Those storage-minded features came in handy when it came time to start cramming in the groceries. All of my test goods fit inside just fine, with enough room left over to fit in five of our six large stress-test items, too.

That's a strong result for an average-sized top freezer, and further evidence that capacity is more than just a number. Design has a role to play, too, and in this fridge, the design does a great job.