You don't need to spend $4,000 on a fridge. Yes, I'm going to say a lot of nice things about the LG LMXS30776S here. It's the top performer in our initial run of fridges. It looks high-tech without being gaudy. A drawer with separate and accurate temperature settings rounds out a short but impressive list of features including a door-in-door panel that lets you easily access commonly needed items without fully opening the fridge.
Still, it's not without flaws. The ice bin is tiny and the door-in-door feature dings the reliability of the temperature in the attached compartments. Still, the accuracy of the rest of the fridge can make it worthwhile to adjust to those minor issues.
Again, though, you don't need to spend four grand on a fridge. French door models can be had for as little as $1,200 to $1,500 and highly rated models with a top freezer can cost as little as $700 to $900. That said, if you're ready to spend for designer style and features, and you want great temperature performance to go along with it, the LG LMXS30776S 30 cu. ft. French door refrigerator makes for a solid option.
A door within a door, and other small wonders
The LG French Door model LMXS30776S looks the part of a premium appliance from top to bottom. It's impressive, and that's the point. Since its 36-inch width will command a prominent place in your kitchen, I can understand the desire to make such an important part of your kitchen's decor a statement piece, and the LMXS30776S will make that statement loud and clear.
It's not meant for small kitchens or small budgets. The handles curve outward from the stainless steel finish of French doors, which curve as well. An LG logo adorns the upper-right corner and an in-door ice and water dispenser breaks the surface of the left door. Simple LED buttons line up next to the dispenser, letting you switch between cubed and crushed ice, letting you adjust the temperature in the fridge or freezer, even offering customization of how often the fresh air filter turns on and how quickly ice is made.
With the subtle curvatures and prominent controls, the LG LMXS30776S feels high tech. Yet those LEDs fade when not in use and make the fridge easy to customize without losing the simple elegance of the rest of the unbroken silver. It looks great. This is a high-end fridge with well-integrated features in a refined and beautiful package.
None of those features revolutionize the basics, but they're easy to show off and provide little conveniences that help make the hefty $4K price tag easier to stomach. The French doors themselves allow you to access one side of the fridge or the other without exposing the whole cavity to cold air, while still giving you plenty of eye-level width to work with should you need it. LG took the idea of easy access with flexible space farther with a door-in-door compartment.
The headliner of the LMXS30776S's features, the door-in-door lets you open a panel on the right door to access its own small bins, as well as the main bins in the right door, without opening the full door entirely. A plastic panel covers the inside to help keep cold air from escaping the main compartment.
I understand the reason for that plastic, but when I had the fridge door open to load groceries into it, I found it annoying. The bins on the outer panel are also quite small and the temperature of all of the right door compartments suffers because of the door-in-door feature.
The mechanism to open the panel works well, with a small extra button on the handle triggering its release and the full handle opening the main door as normal. You'll have a hard time reaching the outer panel's bins from the main fridge, which will help force you to use the feature, but again, it will prove annoying at first.
The -- you'll have to forgive me for this -- coolest feature for immediate practicality is the CustomChill Drawer. A separate, full-width compartment beneath the fridge and above the freezer, the CustomChill Drawer gives you almost 4 cubic feet of space to keep items at a completely different set temperature from either the fridge or the freezer.
You can pick from four presets with a push of a button on the lip of the drawer: 29, 33, 37, and 42 degrees Fahrenheit (or -1, 1, 3, and 5 degrees Celsius). Since it spans the whole width and depth of the main body, it offers plenty of room for drinks, cheeses, pizza boxes, or whatever item you want to keep separate at a specific temp. Better yet, it works well, holding steady when we tested it both above and below the set temp of the fridge.
You can purchase the LG LMXS30776S 30.0 cu. ft. French door refrigerator from LG's website at its $4,000 list price. It's also available from Sears, Best Buy, Home Depot and other appliance retailers. As is typical with large appliances, you can readily find the LMXS30776S for well under the MSRP. A quick online search turned it up for $3,000 or less at each of those retailers.
Overseas, LG isn't currently planning to bring this model to Europe. It will be available in Australia soon, as model number GF-AD910SL, however specific dates and prices haven't been confirmed. A similar model, the GF-5D712SL, costs AU$5,199 at its recommended retail price. The list price of the American model converts to approximately £2,698 and AU$5,223.
An inside look at 30 cubic feet
Silver gives way to white as you pull the handles and open the fridge. Cleverly, the horizontal handles for both the CustomChill Drawer and the freezer pivot upward slightly as you pull, making them easier to maneuver from a standing position.
The freezer offers plenty of depth, with a sliding plastic divider running front to back and splitting the main compartment in two for organization. Two pull-out drawers sit at the top, one with a plastic barrier across the front, and neither with much depth to speak of. However, I didn't mind the approach. They're stacked one atop the other so both are full width, and the limited depth of the drawers lends more room to the main area.
In total, the freezer contains 8.8 cubic feet of space, plenty for stacking all kinds of ice cream containers, pizzas, leftovers, and TV dinners, and I like the minimal organizational pieces, letting you use the mostly open space as you see fit.
With 8.8 cubic feet in the freezer, and just under 4 more in the CustomChill drawer, the main fridge compartment still has a plentiful 17.5 cubic feet of space. It's a lot, but not quite the gaping chasm of emptiness that 30 cubic feet might suggest. In fact, the LG fridge has less room than the comparable Electrolux French Door EI28BS80KS4A or the . The former totals to 27 cubic feet, but dedicates 18.9 of that to the fridge. Frigidaire's main compartment comprises 18.5 of its total 27.2-cubic-foot capacity.
Fortunately, the LG makes the most of the space it has. At the bottom, a drawer split into three compartments gives you places for cheese, meat, and veggies. The shelf that tops the compartment glides out to make it easier to reach the back. Two more sets of shelves fill the space moving the rest of the way up, and these can be moved for your particular spacing needs.
Adjusting the shelves requires a bit of finesse. You pivot them upward to get the hooks free and reverse the process to put them back. It's a standard process, neither overly easy nor notably difficult.
Of the four shelves -- two rows split into two -- one offers a front that slides under the back, giving you more room for tall items. It works well, never moving when you don't want it to, but responding easily when you need a shift. If you never end up moving the shelves after getting your fridge set up, you'll find this folding option a handy convenience in a pinch.
The edges of the shelves protrude slightly upward to protect against spills. To see how well they worked, we dumped an 8 ounce glass of water on the top shelf. Surprisingly, the lips of the shelf held the water in place for the most part. A few drops escaped down the middle -- that's understandable; this was intended to be a stress test. Even more overflowed when I agitated it while cleaning up.
Thus, the spill protection works well enough, but it didn't prove exceptional. A slight rearward tilt to the shelves resulted in water gathering at the back, the cause for the overflow on cleanup. The Frigidaire FGHB2866PF's spill-protection lips aren't as high and more spilled during the initial spillage as a result, but an even surface let the water spread out as we cleaned instead of dripping over the back. Electrolux nailed this test as its shelves curve gently toward the middle. Not a drop escaped.
Aside from the shelves in the main body, both doors offer bins for various items. The ice compartment sits behind the dispenser on the left, so you won't be able to fit anything wider than a ketchup bottle on those three shelves. The right door -- the door-in-door side -- has plenty of room. Again, you have to press open a pivoting plastic shield to get to these bins, but the depth is plenty big for jars of mayo or bottles of juice.
Smaller bins sit behind the main ones on the right door. They're tough to reach via the main compartment, so you'll need to swing open the door-in-door hatch.