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LG LFXS32726S review: This supersized fridge is a strong performer, too

This massive, 32-cubic-foot LG fridge aced our cooling tests -- but is it too boring to merit the asking price?

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Ry Crist
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Ry Crist

Senior Editor / Reviews - Appliances

Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, and home networking.

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There's a fresh crop of fridges coming our way this year, many of them hopping on with the latest trends in order to tempt you into a splurge. We'll see plenty of models with a black stainless-steel finish, plenty of doors within doors, and even a couple of splashy new smart fridges. They're all undeniably modern -- but they won't come cheap.

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8.3

LG LFXS32726S

The Good

This LG French door model performed extremely well in our cooling tests. The thoughtfully designed interior takes full advantage of the fridge's abundance of storage space.

The Bad

An uninspired exterior design and lack of interesting features make it tough to get excited about spending thousands of dollars on this fridge. The adjustable temperature settings on the deli drawer barely made a difference, if at all.

The Bottom Line

If you want a high-end French door fridge with powerful performance and plenty of storage space, then the LFXS32726S deserves strong consideration.

If that previous paragraph elicited a yawn (or maybe an eyeroll), then perhaps the LG LFXS32726S is for you. It's a French door model from last year that missed the memos on black stainless steel, smart features and doors in all of the doors. Instead, it offers size -- a whopping 32 cubic feet of storage space, to be exact. On top of that, it's about as strong a performer as you can expect to find for your kitchen.

The suggested retail price is a hefty $3,600, but given that this fridge has been on the market for about a year, you should expect to pay a lot less than that (as of writing this, the LFXS32726S is down to $2,800 at retailers like Best Buy, Home Depot and AJ Madison). At enough of a discount, it's an easy recommendation, especially if you put a premium on performance or capacity.

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Chris Monroe/CNET

Flat-out big

The LFSX32726S is a fine-looking fridge, but it's largely derivative of the past decade or so of refrigerator design. Like so many fridges before it, it's a big, boxy, stainless-steel appliance that doesn't do much to set itself apart visually. At a time when manufacturers are looking for new ways to get people to make a fridge upgrade, the LFXS32726S is inoffensive rather than innovative.

More than anything, this fridge puts the focus on capacity. With 31.7 cubic feet of total storage space (more than twenty of which are allocated to the fridge), the LG LFXS32726S is about as big as classic French door refrigerators come. If you want something bigger, you'll almost certainly need to upgrade to a four-door "t-type" model, like the 34-cubic foot Samsung Chef Collection fridge.

But capacity is more than just a number -- design matters, too. We've seen plenty of fridges outperform larger models in our storage tests thanks to smartly designed interiors that help you take full advantage of the space. Fortunately, LG did a nice job here, with a thoughtful interior design that maximizes what you'll get out of those copious cubic feet.

Take the shelf at the bottom of the right door, for instance. It's a smaller shelf that sits tucked underneath the larger shelf above it -- a fairly common design that's largely intended to house snacks for your kids at a kid-friendly height. The only problem with these kinds of kid shelves is that they're often too skinny and too awkward to really be of use. That's not the case with this LG fridge -- I had an easy time getting pudding, Jell-O and juice boxes in and out of the shelf.

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The "Glide N' Serve" drawer was big enough to fit this party platter -- a better result than we've seen with similar drawers in competing models.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The shelves in the left door -- the ones that sit against the back of the in-door ice maker -- are even more successful. In a lot of French door models, the ice maker bulges out, making it tough to fit much of anything into the shelves. With this LG fridge (and a lot of LG's fridges), the ice maker is designed to lie flat, and as a result, the shelves are dramatically easier to use. The trade-off is that the ice maker is about 25 percent smaller, but I think that's a fair deal, given how rarely people empty their ice makers.

Inside the fridge, you'll find a few more features designed to help you save space and keep things organized. The top shelf slides in and out of the way to make room for tall items on the shelf below. Below that, you'll find a trio of crisper drawers instead of the usual two, each one taking full advantage of the refrigerator's depth to offer a surprising amount of storage space. At the very bottom sits a fourth drawer -- the temperature-adjustable "Glide N' Serve" drawer, which offered enough depth and vertical clearance to house an entire party platter during my storage tests.

The LG LFXS32726S versus the French door competition

LG LFXS32726SSamsung RF28HMEDBSRGE Profile Series PFE28RSHSSWhirlpool WRV996FDEMElectrolux EW28BS85KS
Refrigerator capacity 20.9 cu. ft.18.9 cu. ft.18.5 cu. ft.18.2 cu. ft.19.0 cu. ft.
Freezer capacity 10.8 cu. ft.8.4 cu. ft.9.2 cu. ft.7.6 cu. ft.8.8 cu. ft.
Total storage space 31.7 cu. ft.28.2 cu. ft.27.7 cu. ft.25.8 cu. ft.27.8 cu. ft.
Yearly energy consumption 768 kWh722 kWh724 kWh767 kWh564 kWh
Estimated yearly energy cost ($0.12 per kWh) $92.16 $86.64 $86.88 $92.04 $67.68
Energy cost per cubic foot $2.91 $3.07 $3.14 $3.57 $2.43
Energy Star certification YesYesYesNoNo
Suggested retail price $3,600 $3,300 $3,100 $3,600 $3,350

The LFXS32726S is an Energy Star-certified appliance that'll consume 768 kWh each year, adding a little over 90 bucks to your power bill. That's a relatively big number, but divide it by the refrigerator's capacity and you'll get the cost per year of cooling each cubic foot -- and a glimpse at the fridge's efficiency. By this metric, it does a better job than competitors like the Samsung RF28HMEDBSR, the Whirlpool WRV996FDEM and the GE Profile Series PFE28RSHSS. It gets beaten by the Electrolux EW28BS85KS, but that fridge didn't have enough horsepower to pass our performance tests. And hey, speaking of performance tests...

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The LFXS32726S performed like a champ in our cooling tests.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Consistent cooling power

We spend weeks testing each refrigerator we review in a climate-controlled chamber where we can take a cold, hard look at performance. The LFXS32726S came through with flying colors -- namely, all of the shades of blue in that heat map up above.

With zero hot spots in any of our tests and accurate, generally consistent temperatures throughout the entirety of the fridge, it's hard to imagine how the LFXS32726S could have done much better. Crunch the numbers, and you'll see that both the body of the fridge and the two doors average out to 36.7 degrees at the 37-degree setting. That's a bull's-eye, as far as iceboxes are concerned.

How we test refrigerators (pictures)

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Those results aren't without a few notable quirks. Take a look at the green lines in that color-coded, minute-by-minute graph of that same 37-degree test. Those are the shelves in the left door -- the coldest section of the fridge, overall. That's a big surprise, as the door shelves in refrigerators -- even ones with in-door ice makers, like this one -- typically run warmer than the body of the fridge.

And sure, it's tough to fault a fridge that does too good a job of keeping things cold, but it's worth noting that the pattern persists at lower temperature settings. At the fridge's lowest setting, those left door shelves spent much of the 72-hour test below freezing.

I was also surprised to see that the butter bin -- typically the warmest section of the fridge by design -- was actually colder than the rest of the shelves in the right door. If you like your butter soft and spreadable, you'd actually be better off keeping it in the right door's bottom shelf.

My only other performance qualm lies with that Glide N' Serve drawer I mentioned earlier. You can dial it between three presets ("Meat," "Deli" and "Produce") and presumably, the temperature changes with each one. My tests showed otherwise, though, with little more than a 1-degree difference among the three of them. Unless there's something going on with the humidity that I'm missing, those presets don't do much for the drawer other than label what you're storing inside.

This LG fridge sticks to the fundamentals (pictures)

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For a closer look at the cooling test results, including a look at how the fridge fared when we dialed the temperature down to its minimum setting of 33 degrees F, check out our product gallery.

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The verdict

The LG LFXS32726S is one of the top-performing fridges we've tested, and the interior is built to take full advantage of the massive amount of storage space it offers. If capacity and cooling performance are key concerns in your kitchen, then it's a worthy upgrade.

That said, I'd be reluctant to spend more than $3,000 on a fridge that didn't offer any truly notable features or an especially good-looking design. Shop around, and you'll find plenty of simple refrigerators that perform almost as well and cost a lot less. That makes the LFXS32726S a stretch at its full retail price of $3,600 -- but if you catch it on sale, I say go for it.

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8.3

LG LFXS32726S

Score Breakdown

Features 7Design 7Performance 9Usability 9