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 the $4,000 LMX30776S , 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 GE Profile Series French door model , can be had for less.
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 comparably-priced Electrolux French door models . 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.
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.
As for the bottom two sections, they'll typically hold things that don't require such stringent refrigeration, like 2 liters of soda and preservative-heavy condiments. In fairness, though, LG labels the shelves as "Gallon Storage Bins," which might tempt you into keeping your milk in them. It'd be better off in the body of the fridge, where the temperatures are consistently a few degrees cooler.
The minute-by-minute graph of the test offers a closer look at the results. There's the right door up top above the 40 degree mark: those two light green lines and the yellow line representing the butter bin. The rest of the regions do a lot better, with the blue lines representing the body of the fridge staying below 40 for the majority of the test, the dark green lines representing the left door shelves doing even better.
As for the drawers, they averaged out below 40 as well, though the right drawer ran slightly warmer than the others. The CustomChill Drawer, which we dialed down to 33 degrees, did its job and held steady below the rest of the fridge, but it finished with an average that as was almost three degrees warmer than the target.
All in all, it's an acceptable result, though not an exceptional one. As a whole, the fridge ran a bit warmer than the target, but not excessively so, and I was impressed with how tight things stayed from region to region. Take the butter bin and the CustomChill Drawer out of the equation, and the difference between the coldest moment of the coldest spot and the warmest moment of the warmest spot is only about 6 degrees. Compare that to the GE Profile Series fridge , which saw a region-to-region swing of about 10 degrees in the same test, or even worse, the Electrolux Wave-Touch fridge , where the temperature difference was roughly seventeen degrees.
We also test each fridge at 33 degrees. Again, the LG kept things tight across all regions, but finished a few degrees warm, with the body of the fridge yielding an overall average of 35.2 degrees F. You're really splitting hairs at this point -- shift the above graph down by a degree or two, and you'd be looking at a near-perfect result. Also, erring on the warm side at the 33 degree setting isn't the worst thing -- if the fridge came in low, you'd potentially have frozen milk to deal with. It's also worth noting that the CustomChill Drawer did a lot better in this test. This time, we dialed it up to 37 to see if it could keep things warmer than the rest of the fridge. Like before, it got the job done and held steady throughout all 72 hours, but it also finished much closer to the target temperature, with the final average falling within one degree of 37.
Down below, the freezer came out looking strong and steady. We left it set at 0 degrees F in each test, and it held true in both of them, with the main body of the freezer and the glide-out drawer both yielding average temperatures within half a degree of the target each time.
You can see that steadiness in the minute-by-minute graph above. The red line representing the drawer is slightly more susceptible to temperature changes, but it still stays right in sync with the blue line representing the freezer's main body. Those intermittent spikes are our regularly scheduled door openings, and whenever one occurs, the temperature only jumps about 7 or 8 degrees. From there, the freezer is always able to bring things right back down in quick fashion. Can't ask for much more than that.
The LG LMXS30786S is one of the roomiest fridges we've tested. It had no problem fitting our standardized load of test groceries whatsoever, and when we added in our six large-sized stress-test items (a casserole dish, a roasting pan, a party platter, a pitcher and an extra large pizza box), it held all of them, too. We didn't even need to rearrange the shelves.
That's as good a result as we've seen in our capacity tests, and a lot of it comes down to flexibility. The CustomChill Drawer is a key helper here. Not only does it run the width of the fridge, but it offers plenty of height, too, with roughly 6 inches of vertical clearance -- enough for me to squeeze in that roasting pan from my tests with room to spare. For comparison, you get about 5 inches in the drawers of comparable French door models from GE and Electrolux , and with the Samsung RF30HBEDBSR's "CoolSelect Pantry," you only get about 4 inches to work with.
Other features pitch in for more flexible storage, too. The Glide N' Serve Drawer on the bottom shelf makes it easy to get ingredients tucked away in the back of the fridge, and the slide-in shelf up top helps create extra room for tall items.
The EasyReach bins at the very front of the fridge help out as well, but I found myself wishing that they weren't fixed in place. Each one is great for holding things like freshly chopped veggies and grated cheese, but they'd be even better if you could lift them out of the fridge to transport those ingredients straight to your kitchen countertop. The glass lids were also awkward to handle, and since they aren't fixed in place by a hinge, it'd be easy to lift one off, fumble it, and watch it shatter on your kitchen floor. The fact that they're at a low, kid-tempting height only exacerbates my anxiety.
The LG LMXS30786S is one of the most well-rounded refrigerators we've tested. It boasts a high-end design, strong cooling performance, and a solid mix of features, all of which add up to an appliance that feels appropriately top-of-the-line. If the small icemaker and the lack of Door-in-Door functionality aren't dealbreakers, it's an easy recommendation.
At an asking price of $3,700, it won't come to your kitchen cheaply, but keep in mind that you're likely to find it discounted by at least a few hundred dollars at retail, if not more. That's still more than you need to spend to get a decent French door model (well-reviewed ones like the GE Profile Series fridge can be had for less), but as a premium refrigerator that's priced accordingly, the LMXS30786S makes sense.