Speed Queen TR5 review: Bad performance slows Speed Queen's TR5 washing machine way down
I'm gonna jump straight to the recommendation: Do not buy the $1,039 Speed Queen TR5 top-load washing machine.
It has limited features, a small internal capacity, an outdated design and, worst of all, terrible cleaning performance. The TR5 came close to matching the $1,049 Speed Queen TR7's stain removal score, which is the worst we've ever seen (by a lot). Save your money and buy a different washing machine.
(Note: The TR5's model number is technically AWN63RSN115TW01, but Speed Queen washers are better known by their product codes -- in this case TR5000WN, shortened to TR5.)
Get to know the TR5
Check out the chart below to see how the Speed Queen TR5 compares to the TR7 and to the Kenmore Elite 31433. As you can see, the TR5 has fewer cleaning cycles than its top-load competition:
Comparing washing machines
|Speed Queen TR5||Speed Queen TR7||Kenmore Elite 31433|
|Capacity||3.2 cubic feet||3.2 cubic feet||5 cubic feet|
|# of cycles||6||8||6|
|Energy consumption||64 kWh/year||64 kWh/year||150 kWh/year|
|Dimensions (width, height, depth)||25.6 x 42.8 x 28 inches||25.6 x 42.8 x 28 inches||27x 40.8 x 28.4 inches|
The TR5 has the same dimensions and drum size as the TR7, but the its display panel is even more basic. Rather than a digital display that lets you know how much time is left on your wash cycle, the TR5 has three knobs for selecting the wash cycle you want, the size of your laundry load and the water temperature. There's a small rocker switch if you want to enable an "Extra Rinse" function and a button for starting a wash cycle. The TR5 does have status lights for wash, rinse, spin and lid lock to give you a sense of its status, but again, it doesn't tell you exactly how much time is left.
Beyond features, this washer looks like something straight from the '80s or '90s. That isn't as important as a washer's performance, but there are so many models nowadays that perform well and look nice, and the TR5 is completely missing that design component. Example: The Editors' Choice Award-winning Electrolux EFLS627UTT.
To test a washer's performance, we measure two things: how well it removes stains and how gentle it is on clothes. To measure stain removal, we calculate the percentage of stains on treated strips of fabric that remain after they go through a normal wash cycle. The higher the number, the worse the washer performed.
The TR5 had 68 percent of its original stains remaining, compared to the TR7's 71 percent and the Kenmore Elite 31433's 51 percent. Most washers score in the 44- to 48-percent range, which makes all three of these models poor performers. But the TR5 (and the TR7) are especially bad at removing stains.
To measure a washer's gentleness, we run thin squares of fabric through the same normal cleaning cycle. The fabric squares have circles punch in the middle in the shape of an "X" and after a single cleaning cycle, fibers inside the circles begin to fray. We count the number of frayed threads still attached to the fabric that measure at or more than 2 millimeters long. The higher the number, the tougher the washer is on clothes.
Speed Queen's TR5 had a 129-count, the Speed Queen TR7 had a slightly lower 113-count and the Kenmore Elite 31433 had a 234-count. While a lower score is technically "better," there's often a correlation between stain removal and gentleness -- if a washer's normal cycle is too gentle, it typically doesn't get a great stain removal score. Again, that isn't always the case, but it's certainly true for the TR5.
The $1,039 Speed Queen TR5 was hugely disappointing. It doesn't have enough features, it has a small internal capacity, it looks outdated and it does a poor job removing stains. If you're searching for a great washing machine, check out our favorites for 2018 or this roundup of washer and dryer pairs if you're shopping for both and want a matching set.