Kenmore 70322 French-Door Refrigerator Review
Usability and performance over luxury
If the Kenmore 70322 (MSRP $2,849) looks like a straightforward, French door refrigerator, that's because it is. There aren't any trick compartments or special water dispensers—just 17.2 cubic feet of space, excellent cooling, and a through-the-door water/ice dispenser. If you're not wiling to cough up for the more luxurious Kenmore Elite 72052, this is a very satisfactory substitute.
Design & Usability
Easy access—after you customize.
Aesthetically, the fridge has a clean look—especially considering the straightforward, uncrowded display panel—but lacks the heft or sturdiness of luxury fridges that cost thousands more. That means you can get big capacity for relatively little money. If you fancy this exact fridge with a stainless exterior, the Kenmore 70322 (MSRP $2,599) is available for $200 more.
It takes a little finesse to customize shelf positions, but once configured, access is easy throughout the fridge's generous cavity. The dual crisper drawers and wide pantry drawer slide easily, but aren't as smooth as those in the Elite model. In the pull-out freezer, the top drawer occasionally derailed during testing. It jumps back on its rails as easy as it comes off, but it's certainly annoying when it happens.
Performance & Features
Excellent freezer, average fridge.
As is the case with most fridges we test, the thermostat indicated a temperature that's cooler than the internal temperatures of our food substitute packages. The reasonably consistent fridge ran three degrees warmer than the normal 37°F setting. Despite that, it did produce the desired profile of a cooler top and warmer bottom—a setup that keeps milk and more perishable products cooler than the produce in the crisper drawer. Unfortunately, that drawer really disappointed us, failing to lock in the moisture.
Besides the crisper drawer's ineffective variable humidity selector, the Kenmore 70322 has a few other features. The water dispenser delivers water in three forms—crushed, cubed, and liquid—controlled by one paddle. It's tough to get a big container under the nozzle, which seems intended for glasses.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
We Like It.
Kenmore seems to know what to include and what to leave out.
There's a lot to love about the Kenmore 70322, despite the derailing freezer drawer and ineffective crispers. It's a spacious fridge with good options for shelf placement, a few useful features, and a reasonable price tag (around $2,130 on sale now). Kenmore plays the 70322 well to the crowds who prioritize the basics: performance, capacity, and usability. If that sounds like you, this fridge is worth your consideration.
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