The Frigidaire FGTR1845QF surprised me in a good way. I found the $3,100and the $3,500 disappointing. Electrolux owns Frigidaire and those fridges tried hard to play the part of the premium fridge but overstepped their capabilities and fell flat. The $1,000 Frigidaire Gallery FGTR1845QF 18.3 Cu Ft Top Freezer Refrigerator doesn't have any such lofty pretensions.
It's simple in design and doesn't offer much in the way of features, but that's fine and typical for the price. The Frigidaire FGTR1845QF also did well on our performance tests, outdoing the models from the same company that cost an extra $2,000.
The problem with this fridge is that it doesn't outdo the similar, $800. Frigidaire's budget-friendly model gets edged out by GE's comparable fridge in just about every way. The Frigidaire FGTR1845QF will make you happy if you're a brand loyalist. For anyone who's comparison shopping, I have trouble recommending it because there's a better fridge out there that's $200 less.
Freezer on top, fridge on the bottom and the pieces of a $1,000 appliance
The overall aesthetic of the Frigidaire FGTR1845QF is similar to the more expensive models by the same company -- the $2,600and the $3,500 Frigidaire FPBC2277RF in particular. It didn't quite do enough for me at those prices, but it looks polished and striking on this $1,000 model.
The smudge-proof stainless finish resists fingerprints well. The outer surface has a pleasant and gently reflective sheen, unbroken except for the curved handles and the Frigidaire Gallery logo. The door comes with the handles on the left and the logo upper right, but these can be reversed along with the door opening itself to best fit the layout of your kitchen.
Open the doors, and bright white LEDs illuminate all 18.3 interior cubic feet. The fridge on the bottom gets 14.2 cubic feet of that space, the freezer holds the remaining 4.1 cubic feet.
In the fridge, three full-width shelves split the space from top to bottom. Each has a clear glass center surrounded by white plastic. The white plastic sits a little above the glass, providing some spill protection. We dumped an 8-ounce glass of water on the top shelf, and found the shelf has enough surface area and the lips are high enough that it could contain all 8 ounces without letting a drop over the side. When I spilled with more force, however, the water that splashed over those rims found its way onto every lower shelf, and even beneath the drawers.
That cleanup was a pain, but we've yet to see a fridge that can properly contain splashing. If you knock over a glass, expect some cleanup, but if something merely springs a leak, this fridge will keep the mess contained.
In the main body of the fridge, a half-width deli drawer slides under the right side of the second shelf, and two deeper crisper drawers rest under the bottom shelf. Sliders to adjust each drawer's airflow and humidity sit on the upper front corners of that shelf.
You can adjust the position of the shelves by sliding them out of and back into four different rails spaced apart evenly, though the bottom shelf with the humidity drawers doesn't move, and moving the other two causes more aggravation than the simple mechanic would suggest.
The shelves get stuck in their rails, the middle shelf in particular. Getting it out takes a lot of force. I felt like I was going to crack the glass or the plastic, or tip over the whole fridge. It's a pain.
It's easier to move the bins on the door. Squared plastic hooks on the back of each bin can slide into or out of one of four hook rails with reasonable ease. The fridge comes with four movable bins -- two that are exactly half the width of the door, one a little narrower and the other a little wider. The thinner bin at the bottom of the door runs its full length and is immovable.
You can buy extra bins for the door, and Frigidaire's site boasts about this model's "Custom-Flex" feature with over "100 ways to organize." That's nice and all, but each extra bin costs from $10 to as much as $36 for a dairy door that lots of fridges include in the initial package.
Being able to customize is a good thing, and specific organizers like the vertical can tray might be nice if your family uses a lot of a given item, but it's tough for me to give this fridge much credit for features it doesn't include. And not having basics like a butter bin in the initial package is stingy.
Still, butter bin aside and even without any extras, the Frigidaire has enough options for space customization to keep up with top freezers in this price range. Overall, it's a simple but sufficient fridge.
The freezer and the controls
The freezer is simpler still. A single, white grated shelf divides the main compartment. Its ends stick into holes in the side of the freezer, with two height options. Two full-length door bins give you a little extra space for items.
A slider sits on the back panel, letting you adjust the temperature of the freezer. The middle, starred position is the recommended setting. You can move up to "coldest" or down to "cold." The fridge has a similar slider on the inner left side. Neither lets you set the temperature to an exact degree, but that's typical for top freezers in this price range.
Finally, in a small but nice touch, if either the fridge or freezer door is left open long enough, a beeping alarm will sound to remind you to shut it.
You can buy this fridge and all of its accessories on Frigidaire.com. In addition to extra door bins, you can add an automatic ice maker to your freezer for $115. The Frigidaire FGTR1845QF retails for less than its $1,000 MSRP at most major appliance retailers. Specifically, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Sears sell it for around $600 to $700. Discounts of this sort are typical for major appliances.
On a few of these sites, customer reviews of this fridge have made particular note of its operating volume, but I sat near it through several of its compressor cycles and didn't find it any louder than normal.
The Frigidaire FGTR1845QF is not currently available overseas.
Pushing to capacity
The Frigidaire FGTR1845QF is a simple fridge, and that simplicity helped it when it came time to test the space. Without a lot of extra organizational pieces thrown in for the sake of upping a feature list, the 14.2 cubic feet of space in the fridge gave plenty of height between the shelves to work with, even in its standard arrangement, and fit more of our groceries than I thought it would.