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LG LDC24370ST review: Near-perfect performance from this LG fridge

On top, an $800 top freezer from GE. On the bottom, the LG LDC24370ST. The LG's overlapping lines makes the graph tough to read, but it's actually a terrific result. Ry Crist/CNET

It's really that second metric, the consistency from region to region, where this fridge truly shines. Take a look at those two graphs above. They're admittedly pretty wonky, but stick with me, because they actually paint a very clear picture of what's so great about this fridge.

The top graph shows the temperature of each region inside of the GE GTE18GMHES top freezer during our 72-hour test at 37 degrees. The lines are a little all over the place -- which tells you that its cooling capabilities aren't totally consistent. Even between the adjacent shelves in the main fridge compartment (those blue lines), you'll find differences of as much as two degrees. That's not bad for an $800 fridge, but it's not great, either.

Now look at the second graph. That's the LG LDC24370ST during the same 72-hour test. It's kind of a nightmare to look at, with all of the lines sitting more or less on top of each other -- but that's actually the really important part. The temperatures in each region -- even the door, drawers, and butter bin -- are all much, much closer to one another than in any other fridge we've tested. That tells us that the LDC24370ST cools with outstanding consistency, and it's the main reason I give this fridge a 9 out of 10 for performance. If that colorful cluster of lines sat about two degrees lower, right at the target temperature of 37, I'd have given it a 10.

In the GE graph, the difference between the coldest moment of the coldest region (the lowest point on the graph) and the warmest moment of the warmest region (the highest point) is nearly 14 degrees. Even if you take the butter bin out of the equation, it's still a jump of almost 11 degrees. With the LG fridge, the difference is less than 6 degrees. That's a very, very tight window for a large-capacity refrigerator.

At 33 degrees, the fridge still ran a bit warmer than the target temperature, but it remained consistent from region to region. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

We saw similar results when we repeated the test with the fridge set to 33 degrees. Again, the averages ran a few degrees warmer than the target temperature, but they also stayed remarkably consistent throughout each region, with no notable hot spots. It's a better result than we've seen with other bottom freezers, including the $1,200 GE Artistry refrigerator, which performed well save for a clear hot spot in the door's bottom shelf.

The freezer performance was also a strong point for LG. Like the fridge, each region held a very steady temperature, but unlike the fridge, they each sat right on the money at the target temperature of 0 degrees. That held true in both tests, with the fridge set to 37 and the fridge set to 33. That makes for the best performance we've seen from any of the freezer compartments that have made their way through our climate control chamber to date.

We had no problem fitting our test groceries inside at the default configuration -- but we were forced to store our milk jugs in the door. Ry Crist/CNET

In addition to testing each fridge for its cooling capabilities, we make sure to take a good, close look at how well it stores groceries, both large and small. With 24 cubic feet of storage space, 16.3 of which is allocated to the fridge compartment, LG calls this refrigerator a large capacity model. Those numbers put it in a virtual tie with the largest models from GE and Kenmore, while Whirlpool's largest bottom freezer is just slightly smaller.

We start our tests with a standardized mix of common grocery items, and LG did fine here, easily accommodating all of them. Then, with the fridge more or less full, we test to see how many stress-test items we can squeeze in, too -- bulky things like a cake tray, a casserole dish, and an extra-large pizza box.

At first, we try and fit everything in without moving their shelves out of their default positions or reorganizing any of the groceries. In this test, the LG bottom freezer was able to fit four out of the six stress test items individually: the pizza box, the casserole dish, the cake tray, and a roasting pan. Since none of the shelves are terribly tall in their default positions, fitting a tall-size pitcher was a no-go, as was a bulky party platter. When I tried squeezing as much in as I could all at once, I was able to fit three of those four items at the same time (the roasting pan ended up squeezed out.)

We were able to squeeze five out of six large-sized stress test items into the fridge after we reorganized the shelves and moved the groceries to optimize storage space. Ry Crist/CNET

Our final step is to repeat the large item test, except that this time we're allowed to move the groceries around and rearrange the shelves as much as we want. After creating a little more vertical space on the bottom shelf, I was able to get the pitcher in, and with the groceries shuffled around to free up space, I fit the party platter in, too.

That's six out of six items on their own, though I was only able to fit five of the six all at once -- the pizza box and party platter each fit on their own, but not at the same time. Still, I was satisfied that there wasn't anything the fridge couldn't fit outright, and that I was able to fit so much inside all at once. For most needs, I think it offers plenty of space.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The verdict

The LG LDC24370ST is a simple-looking fridge that offers exceptional performance, and that's enough for me to tell you that it merits your consideration. At $1,800, it's about as expensive a bottom freezer as you'll find, but it earns the price tag with its large capacity, user-friendly features, and consistent cooling capabilities.

It's not a perfect fridge, though. At the price, I'd have liked to have seen a finish that doesn't smudge quite so easily, and maybe a more unique build. The $1,200 GE Artistry bottom freezer hits both of those points with style to spare, and might be worth a look for design-minded shoppers. That said, if it's performance that matters most, then the LG LDC24370ST belongs at the top of your list.

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