We've reviewed a lot of refrigerators this year at CNET Appliances, and one of the brands that's impressed us the most is LG. Fridge for fridge, the models we've tested have all kept more consistent temperatures than their competitors, and the features, designs, and storage capacities have scored relatively well, too.
One of those well-received models was, a top-of-the-line four-door French door fridge, and one that boasts LG's "Door-in-Door" functionality, which essentially allows you to open the front panel of the right door to access sodas and condiments stored in the in-door shelves. The only problem was that we didn't find Door-in-Door to be all that compelling -- in some cases, it actually seemed like more trouble than it was worth.
This brings us to the LMXS30786S (emphasis mine). It's essentially the exact same fridge as that $4,000 model, with the same design, the same capacity, and the same features -- except for Door-in-Door, which it doesn't have. It also retails for $300 less, making it the better value of the two at $3,700. With solid performance and no serious weaknesses, it's an easy recommendation in its (admittedly high) price range, but keep in mind that other well-reviewed models, like the, can be had for less.
Designed for high-end kitchens
Like its predecessor, the LMXS30786S is a 30-cubic foot-French door fridge. At 36 inches wide, it's about as big as iceboxes get, so if space comes at a premium in your kitchen, it might not be the best fit.
If, however, you can squeeze it into your home (and into your budget), you'll be happy with how spacious it is, and with its high-end style, too. With a stainless-steel finish, sturdy, gently curved handles, and modern, metallic touch controls, it looks and feels like a premium appliance, though not one that does much to set itself apart from other top-of-the-line French door models.
Things look even better on the inside, with LED lighting, spillproof glass shelving, and helpful features like a slide-out "Glide N Access" bottom shelf and recessed "EasyReach" storage compartments at the front of the fridge. There are also three crisper-style drawers with luxurious-looking diamond contours across the bottom. They look downright fancy, but they don't have adjustable humidity vents, which is a bit disappointing.
17.3 of the LG's 30 cubic feet are allocated to the fridge compartment (the Door-in-Door model claims 17.5). That's slightly lower than the fridge capacities of other models we've reviewed, most of which claim 18 or 19 cubic feet, but once you factor in the extra 3.8 cubic feet of LG's CustomChill Drawer, you're looking at a near best-in-class capacity of 21.1 cubic feet.
The only fridge in this price range that beats LG is the $4,000 Samsung RF32FMQDBXW, which splits the freezer down the middle and lets you switch one side into fridge mode, the same trick you'll see with the $6,000 Samsung Chef Collection fridge.
That CustomChill Drawer lets you select from one of four temperature presets ranging from 29 to 42 degrees F. It's a useful luxury, but it's not quite as impressive as the similarly capable "PerfectTemp Drawer" that you'll find in. That drawer offers a greater number of presets to choose from, and did a better job of holding an accurate temperature when we tested it out.
The LG's ice maker is housed entirely within the left door. It's designed not to bulge out into the fridge interior as much as you might see in other French door models. That buys you a little bit of extra wiggle room in those in-door shelves, but the tradeoff is that you'll get less ice out of it. That's fine for someone like me who rarely needs more than a few cubes at a time, but if you throw a lot of parties and make a lot of cocktails, you might find yourself wishing it weren't quite so skinny.
Keeping its cool
Though it didn't ace our tests, the LMXS30786S continued LG's streak of strong performances in our climate-controlled test chamber, where we check to see how successfully each fridge we review holds the cold. We test each one at the default setting of 37 degrees F over three days, with thermocouples recording the minute-by-minute temperature across each main region of the interior.
With the Door-in-Door version of this fridge, the right door's shelves all ran a little warm. We wondered if that might have something to do with the extra seal around that additional door on the front panel -- and if the same model without the Door-in-Door feature would do any better.
As you can see in the heat map above, the right door still ran warm, with each of the three thermocouples measuring an average temperature above 40 degrees, a benchmark for food safety set by the FDA. The overall average was 41.2 degrees -- essentially the same as the Door-in-Door model, which registered an overall average of 42.0 degrees in the same test. Though not ideal, it isn't a terrible result for the door by any stretch. Keep in mind that the top section is the butter bin, which is built to run warmer than 40 degrees by design.