It isn't anything too flashy, but this highly efficient LG fridge offers top-notch performance at a very fair price.
If I were in the market for a side-by-side refrigerator, the LG LSXC22436S would be right at the top of my list. At a retail price of $2,099, LG's newest side-by-side model isn't anything flashy, but it offers efficient cooling and pitch-perfect performance -- specifically, temperatures that are extremely accurate and consistent from shelf to shelf. It's also less expensive than any of the counter-depth side-by-side refrigerators you'll find from key competitors like Samsung, GE and Whirlpool.
It's not an especially interesting design, and you won't find many features of note hidden inside apart from the on-board Wi-Fi radio that lets you sync it up with Alexa or the Google Assistant, then check things like the status of the water filter with a voice command (yawn). But if you're buying this fridge, it isn't because you're looking for the latest features -- it's because you want the best performance for the price. That's what this side-by-side offers, and that makes it a very worthy purchase.
Clad in classic stainless steel, the boxy LSXC22436S won't do much to modernize your kitchen aesthetic. Instead, it's the sort of inoffensive appliance that's designed to blend in, which is a nice way of saying that it isn't much to look at. But the counter-depth build, which shaves a few inches off the front of the appliance to help it sit flush with your countertops, at least gives it a high-end feel.
Inside, you'll find a total of 21.9 cubic feet of storage space, 14.5 of which are allocated to the fridge and 7.4 of which are allocated to the freezer. Those numbers are all right on par with what you should expect from a counter-depth side-by-side fridge, but I wish that LG had done a little more to keep things from feeling cramped. Shelves that slide in or fold up and out of the way to make room for tall-sized items would have gone a long way, but you won't find them in this refrigerator, nor will you find any other features aimed at mitigating the narrow, shallow build.
|LG LSXC22436S||Samsung RS22HDHPNSR||GE GZS22DSJSS||Whirlpool WRS970CIDM|
|Fridge capacity||14.5 cubic feet||14.4 cubic feet||14.2 cubic feet||12.9 cubic feet|
|Freezer capacity||7.4 cubic feet||7.9 cubic feet||7.7 cubic feet||7.0 cubic feet|
|Total capacity||21.9 cubic feet||22.3 cubic feet||21.9 cubic feet||19.9 cubic feet|
|Height||70 5/16 inches||70 1/8 inches||69 1/4 inches||69 inches|
|Width||35 7/8 inches||35 15/16 inches||35 3/4 inches||36 inches|
|Depth||29 3/8 inches||30 inches||29 1/2 inches||29 3/4 inches|
|Yearly energy consumption||520 kWh||646 kWh||669 kWh||648 kWh|
|Yearly energy cost ($0.12 per kWh)||$62||$78||$80||$78|
|Yearly energy cost per cubic foot||$2.83||$3.50||$3.65||$3.92|
|Warranty||1-year overall parts and labor||1-year overall parts and labor, 5-year sealed system parts and labor, 10-year parts and 5-year labor for compressor||1-year overall parts and labor||1-year overall parts and labor, 5-years sealed system parts and labor|
|Suggested retail price||$2,099||$2,110||$2,399||$2,499|
|Lowest retail price as of 5/14/18||N/A||$1,899||$2,159||$2,159|
In layman's terms, this means that you won't be able to store tall items like wine bottles and milk jugs in the body of the fridge unless you lay them sideways or start yanking shelves out to make room. Fortunately, you'll find plenty of room for tall items in the door (along with an enormous butter bin, for good measure).
Aside from that, there's not a whole lot to say about this refrigerator's design, but I do want to mention the built-in Wi-Fi radio. LG is packing those Wi-Fi smarts into more and more of its appliances as part of an effort to link all of them to its SmartThinQ app and to voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. The use cases are still pretty limited -- checking the filter status from your phone, sending diagnostic data to LG ahead of a maintenance visit or tweaking a temperature setting with your voice, for instance -- but I appreciate the fact that the fridge will send your phone an alert if someone ever leaves the door open.
That, directly above, is one hell of a heat map. Specifically, it shows the average temperatures in each section of the LSXC22436S from a 72-hour test at the default 37-degree setting. As you can see, they're about as spot-on as it gets, including a couple of bull's-eyes in the main body shelves and absolutely no hot spots up above 40 degrees F, a benchmark for food safety used by the Food and Drug Administration.
What's really impressive about that is that LG gets you there while using about 20 percent less energy than its closest counter-depth side-by-side competitors. With an energy draw of 520 kWh, it'll add about $62 to your power bill each year. With most comparably sized side-by-sides, that number is a lot closer to $80.
On a related note, here's a quick efficiency tip: To get a good, relative sense of a refrigerator's efficiency, take the yearly energy cost and divide it by the fridge's total capacity in cubic feet. That'll give you the yearly cost of cooling each cubic foot in the fridge -- a helpful efficiency metric when you're comparing refrigerators of different sizes.
Anything less than $3.50 per cubic foot is a decent, below average number -- especially when paired with good performance. In the case of the LSXC22436S, that yearly cost per cubic foot is $2.83, which is one of the lowest, most efficient numbers I've seen from a full-size fridge. And, again, the performance is pristine.
That includes the coldest setting of 33 degrees. Over another 72-hour test, LG's side-by-side continued to deliver consistent, accurate temperatures that all averaged out to just above freezing, which is precisely what you want. Meanwhile, performance in the freezer stayed steady, hugging the target temperature of 0 degrees F nice and close, no matter what we set to fridge to.
With essentially zero design departures from the side-by-sides that came before it, the LG LSXC22436S is not the most exciting fridge money can buy. It doesn't set itself apart with flashy features, and it won't do anything to give your kitchen a more distinctive appearance. The smart features -- even the voice integrations with Alexa and Google Assistant -- are, for the most part, snooze-worthy.
For a lot of folks, none of that matters nearly as much as performance and efficiency -- and on both fronts, this is a best-in-class appliance. At $2,099, it's also one of the least expensive counter-depth side-by-sides you can find. If you're willing to wait until later in the year when it isn't quite so new to the market, then there's a good chance you'll be able to find it for even less. But even at full price, this fridge is an outstanding value.