An affordable Kenmore side-by-side with style

Review of the stainless steel Kenmore 25.4 cu. ft. side-by-side refrigerator w/ PUR water filtration

Kim Girard
Kim Girard has written about business and technology for more than a decade, as an editor at CNET News.com, senior writer at Business 2.0 magazine and online writer at Red Herring. As a freelancer, she's written for publications including Fast Company, CIO and Berkeley's Haas School of Business. She also assisted Business Week's Peter Burrows with his 2003 book Backfire, which covered the travails of controversial Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. An avid cook, she's blogged about the joy of cheap wine and thinks about food most days in ways some find obsessive.
Kim Girard
2 min read

For buyers looking for something a bit more affordable than the higher-end Kenmore Elite refrigerator line,this Kenmore 25.4 cu ft. stainless steel side-by-side refrigerator(about $1,149.99) is a space-efficient option.

This model, like all side-by-sides, is a good pick for kitchens that can't accommodate a wide swinging door.

Kenmore side-by-side refrigerator with PUR water filtration Kenmore
But like all side-by-sides this model has narrower shelves than their top- or bottom-freezer counterparts, which makes it hard to store things like pizza boxes and big/awkward-size dishes.

Yet with a 15.4 cu. ft. refrigerator section, this Kenmore is pretty roomy for a side-by-side and priced lower than many models, which tend to be more expensive to start, ranging from $800 to $2,500.

The doors have three bins designed to fit a gallon of milk.

For storage inside the fridge, there's a clear pan for meats, adjustable, spill-proof glass shelves, a snack and deli drawer, and a convenient wine rack.

A humidity-controlling feature keeps fruits and vegetables in the crisper from spoiling.

On the outside of the fridge, a lighted water and ice dispenser serves both cold water and ice through the PuR water filtration system. The water filter on this model should be replaced every six months.

Of note to many side-by-side buyers: If reliability is a buying priority, these water and ice dispensers, which require plumbing to install, represent the majority of side-by-side refrigerator repairs industry-wide. (Here's an About.comarticle that weighs the value of buying a fridge water and ice dispensers.) Ice on this model is available cubed or crushed from the front of the fridge.

The freezer on this model measures 10 cu. ft. and is equipped with a plastic slide-out freezer bin.

The handle, cabinet and water dispenser on this fridge are black.

It costs an estimated $55 a year to operate this model, which doesn't qualify as an Energy Star. (This similarKenmore model is an Energy Star, which retails at about $1,749.99.) Refrigerators range between 578 (low end) and 732 (high end) for energy consumption and this model uses an estimated 613 KwH annually.

This Kenmore comes with a one-year general limited warranty.