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LG LDCS24223S Bottom Freezer Refrigerator review: LG's biggest bottom freezer fridge gets a lower price, but higher temps

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"Near-perfect performance." That's how the headline starts in my review of the LG LDC24370ST, our top-scoring bottom freezer refrigerator from last year. It was a truly impressive fridge, but this year, LG's replacing it with a less expensive one: the LDCS24223S.

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7.2

LG LDCS24223S Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

The Good

The LDCS24223S offers plenty of room for groceries and a well-constructed interior. It also features a better warranty than large bottom freezers from other manufacturers.

The Bad

Cooling performance wasn't as sharp as we've seen in other models -- including LG's previous generation of the same fridge. The stainless steel is also especially prone to fingerprints.

The Bottom Line

This is a decent bottom freezer that deserves consideration, but it's not a complete slam dunk.

By and large, this is the same refrigerator as before. It's the same design with the same capacity, the same energy consumption and most of the same features. The only notable difference aside from the lower price ($1,600, down from $1,800) is that the performance isn't nearly as sharp as before. That makes the LDCS24223S less of a slam dunk than last year's model, but it's still a decent bottom-freezer fridge and worth a look if you're in the market for a simple upgrade.

This king-size LG bottom freezer puts the fridge up top

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You're looking at a combined 24.1 cubic feet of storage space.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Design and features

If you asked me to draw a sketch of the prototypical bottom freezer refrigerator, it would look a lot like the LDCS24223S. It's a straightforward build that doesn't try to set itself apart with any extra design flourishes. The result is a basic-looking bottom freezer aimed more at blending in than standing out.

Bottom freezers like the LDCS24223S flip the script on the traditional top freezer build by putting the freezer down below and the fridge compartment up top. The result is easier access to fresh ingredients, though you might have to stoop over a bit to dig through the drawer-style freezer. A drawer is the right way to go, though -- bottom freezers with hinged-doors pretty much force you to kneel down on the floor every time you want to grab a Popsicle.

One other note: The stainless steel on this fridge is just as fingerprint-prone as last year's model was. To that end, opting for a model in black or white (which, by the way, will save you $100) might be a bit more tempting than usual.

King-sized bottom freezer fridges


LG LDCS24223SGE GDE25ESKSSWhirlpool WRB322DMBMKenmore Elite 79043
Fridge capacity 16.4 cubic feet17.6 cubic feet15.6 cubic feet16.4 cubic feet
Freezer capacity 7.7 cubic feet7.3 cubic feet6.5 cubic feet7.7 cubic feet
Total capacity 24.1 cubic feet24.9 cubic feet22.1 cubic feet24.1 cubic feet
Energy Star-qualified YesYesYesYes
Yearly energy consumption (kilowatt hours) 608 kWh610 kWh584 kWh608 kWh
Yearly energy cost ($0.12 per kWh) $73 $73 $70 $73
Efficiency (yearly cost per cubic foot) $3.03 $2.93 $3.17 $3.03
Warranty 1-year parts and labor, 7-year sealed system, 10-year linear compressor1-year parts and labor1-year parts and labor, 5-year cavity liner and sealed system1-year parts and labor, 5-year sealed system, 10-year linear compressor
Suggested retail price $1,600 $1,750 $1,500 $1,300
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The fridge interior looks good and feels sturdy to the touch.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Inside, you'll find a combined 24.1 cubic feet of storage space, 16.4 of which is allocated to the fridge. That's about as big as bottom freezers get, but it's not the biggest -- the GE GDE25ESKSS edges it out thanks to an extra cubic foot or so of space in the fridge. Still, expect to find plenty of room for your groceries.

Speaking of the interior, it's well-built and sturdy to the touch, with smooth-gliding drawers and spill-proof shelves that aren't too tricky to rearrange. Feature-wise, the main point of interest is the Glide N' Serve drawer that runs the width of the fridge beneath the crisper bins, though there's also a shelf in the upper right corner of the door that folds flat to make room for tall items in the shelf below.

I'll also note that the sliding dividers in the door shelves of last year's model are gone in this new one. That's a tiny shame -- I kind of liked being able to section things off as I saw fit.

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At the default, 37-degree setting, the LDCS24223S ran a little bit warmer than we'd like.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Performance

The previous-gen LG bottom freezer was a performance standout, so I had high hopes for this year's fridge, especially considering that neither the power consumption nor the interior design changed from model to model.

The same can't be said for the cooling performance, though. After testing at the default, 37-degree setting, temperatures were a few degrees higher than last year throughout the near entirety of the fridge, with hot spots above 40 degrees F in some of the door shelves -- and even in both of the crisper bins.

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Temperatures were better at the coldest setting, but still not great.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The door shelves are more or less forgivable, since you're likely only storing soft drinks and preservative-heavy condiments there (at least, you are if you're a regular reader). The warm crisper bins are a more legitimate point of concern. If you keep a regular stash of fresh fruits and veggies on hand, then you'll want to be sure to dial the fridge down a degree or two.

As for us, we went ahead and dialed it all the way down to its lowest setting of 33 degrees F, then ran the test again. Section for section, temperatures came down, but only by about two degrees. That was good enough to eliminate those hot spots -- but only just barely. One crisper bin even flirted with orange, averaging out at 39.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

That means that at any setting above the minimum setting (the least energy efficient setting, mind you), you'll run the risk of at least one crisper bin averaging a temperature above 40 degrees F, an FDA food safety benchmark. That's a pretty unimpressive result, and not one that inspires a whole lot of confidence in the refrigerator's cooling power.

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The verdict

File this fridge under "not bad, but not great." It's a storage champ with plenty of room for groceries, and the interior feels sturdy and well-built. But the performance falls short enough for me to say that this fridge represents a bit of a step backward for LG.

At $1,600, the LDCS24223S is a little easier to afford than LG's older bottom freezer models were, and that certainly helps its cause. But I think you'll want to be sure and shop around. I'm particularly interested in the $1,300 Kenmore Elite 79043, a rebranded version of that top-performing LG bottom freezer we liked so much last year. King-sized bottom freezers from GE and Whirlpool are probably worth considering, too.

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7.2

LG LDCS24223S Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

Score Breakdown

Features 7Design 7.5Performance 6.5Usability 8