LG LPXS30866D review: LG's Diamond Collection fridge is too rough to recommend

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MSRP: $4,299.99

The Good The LG LPXS30866D is a great-looking appliance that offers consistent, accurate cooling in the body of the fridge.

The Bad There's no CustomChill Drawer or any other compartment with adjustable temperature settings. Also, at 16.8 cubic feet, the fridge interior is about as small as you'll find in a high-end refrigerator.

The Bottom Line This is a decent fridge, but there are too many shortcomings to justify the price. Don't buy in unless the four-door Diamond Collection looks are a must-have for your kitchen.

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6.8 Overall
  • Features 6
  • Design 8
  • Performance 8
  • Usability 5

LG's "Door-in-Door" feature proved popular with some fridge shoppers, and Samsung was quick to follow suit with the nearly identical Food Showcase feature. So perhaps LG's $4,300 LPXS30866D represents a little bit of payback for the Korean manufacturer, with a four-door "t-type" design that seems aimed at stealing the spotlight of similar Samsung models.

Like those other t-type fridges, the LPXS30866D is an awfully good-looking appliance, with a modern build that makes more traditional fridges look dated by comparison. LG takes things further with a striking black stainless steel finish that repels smudges, and, of course, Door-in-Door functionality. But with just 16.8 cubic feet allocated for fresh food storage, it's one of the most cramped high-end fridges we've tested, and not nearly as feature-rich as I'd like to see at this price. Unless you're all-in on the way this fridge looks, you'd do much better splurging on something else.

Don't judge this fridge by its cover

The LPXS30866D is part of LG's new "Diamond Collection" of high-end appliances, all of which boast that black stainless steel finish. It's an admittedly nice design, and it repels smudges as well as advertised.

As a four-door, "t-type" refrigerator, you get two swinging doors up top for the fridge and a matching set down below for the freezer. The handles for each door are recessed horizontally across the middle, which takes some getting used to with the fridge, where you're probably used to vertical handles. It's a minor quibble, but I much prefer the build of the Samsung RF32FMQDBSR t-type, which gives you both horizontal and vertical recessed handles.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You'll also notice a silver button on the right door. Give it a press, and the door's front panel will pop open, revealing the inside of the Door-in-Door compartment. It's an oddly satisfying approach -- a fridge with a magic button that opens a secret compartment. To that end, though, I found myself wishing the button were hidden down along the recessed handle for a look and feel that's even more streamlined.

That Door-in-Door compartment is really the key feature of the fridge. Inside, you'll be able to access the in-door shelves, along with a couple of smallish bonus shelves lining the interior of that front panel. The idea is that door-in-door offers quick access to common fridge fodder like beverages, condiments and butter.

In practice, you're still opening a door and grabbing what you want, so it's up for debate whether or not Door-in-Door actually makes things any easier. I say it doesn't. In some cases, it actually seems to cut against usability. Take the butter bin, for instance. With Door-in-Door, you can access it from the back, but it's a narrow opening -- big enough for a single stick of butter, but too narrow for a full-sized tub of margarine. Given that this is a family-sized fridge, I have to imagine that family-sized dairy products will often be in play.

I couldn't fit this tub of margarine out the back of the butter bin. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Other storage-minded features are more successful. In particular, I'm a big fan of LG's "Slim Spaceplus" ice maker, which squeezes the entire ice maker flush into the door. That frees up space in the body of the fridge, and makes the in-door shelves easier to use (though the compact design also means you'll get less ice out of it). An "EasyLift Bin" in the Door-in-Door compartment acts like an elevator, easily shifting up or down to make room for tall-sized items. You'll also find a slide-in shelf in the body of the fridge that does the same thing (a fairly common feature in high-end designs like this one.)

What you won't find, though, is a region with its own temperature controls -- a surprising omission given how much this fridge costs. Several less expensive LG models, including the LMXS30786S , feature a CustomChill Drawer that lets you select from a number of ingredient-specific temperature presets. You'll find similar drawers in fridges from GE and Electrolux . Samsung goes even further -- its four-door t-type, the RF32FMQDBSR , lets you switch the right half of the freezer up into fridge mode, giving you a good deal of additional fresh food storage space. The LPXS30866D doesn't have any such feature, and it costs more than all of those.

The refrigerator performed extremely well -- except for the Door-in-Door compartment, which ran warm. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Redemption through performance?

LG refrigerators have a very decent track record in our climate-controlled test chamber, and the LPXS30866D kept the streak going. Taking the minute-by-minute temperature in each region of the refrigerator over 72 hours, the main body of fridge came back with averages that were more or less dead-on. The left door shelves performed well, too.

However, the weak spot was the Door-in-Door compartment on the right, where all three regions averaged temperatures above 40 degrees, a benchmark for food safety set by the FDA. In fairness, the top compartment is the butter bin, where temperatures tend to run warm by design, but the middle and bottom sections are legitimate hotspots. You'll want to resist the temptation to store milk, eggs or other sensitive ingredients there, as they'd likely spoil a bit quicker.

Ry Crist/CNET

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