Kenmore Elite 74025 Refrigerator Review
Sleek looks, unique features, and superior performance.
There’s no question the 30-cubic-foot Kenmore Elite 74025 (MSRP $3,899.99) is an excellent fridge. It’s spacious, efficient, attractive, and has some of the best performance we’ve seen in our tests. The MSRP is high, but in-store sale prices bring it down to a more reasonably competitive $3,200.
In terms of price and performance, this Kenmore comes very close to the GE Café CFE28TSHSS (MSRP $3,100), our 2014 Best of Year award-winning fridge. If you're in the market for a high-end French door, you should take a look at them both and pick whichever style best matches your taste.
Design & Usability
Sleek and spacious, and you can order it in bisque!
While the GE Café traded on sturdiness and weight, the long, curving handles and lightly grained finish of this Kenmore lend the fridge an air of modernity. Kenmore refers to finish as metallic—distinct from stainless—and it's fairly resistant to fingerprints, making it a great choice for households with small children (or messy adults).
There is a stainless version—the Kenmore Elite 74023—which costs about $100 less. It's also available in black (74029), white (74022), and bisque (74024)—highly unusual for an upscale French door. Also unusual is that all three of the nonmetallic versions cost the same as the stainless model.
In a minimalist touch, the external controls have been streamlined down to three backlit icons: water, crushed ice, and cubed ice. While this helps keep the outer doors visually uncluttered, the dispenser’s current selection—highlighted in bright blue—will always glow in your kitchen.
The rest of the controls are located along upper internal frame of the main fridge compartment. It’s easy to read, but shorter consumers may require a stepstool if they plan to alter the fridge settings.
The interior has a clean, sterile quality to it, a result of the LED lighting shining on a sea of white plastic. Touches like stainless edging on shelf fronts and crispers, plus a backlit blue ring around the air filter add some visual interest.
If you’ve got a spacious kitchen, you’ll love the freezer. The door not only pulls out, it also tilts forward, offering ample access to all three sliding drawers and trays. Just remember: The depth needed to accommodate a fully extended freezer is double the depth of the fridge when the doors are shut.
Performance & Features
An Airtight Crisper is icing on a properly chilled cake
As was the case with the GE Café, we really couldn’t find anything wrong with this model's performance. Both the fridge and freezer were more than adequately cooled and temperatures remained consistent over time.
The Airtight Crisper did a spectacular job retaining moisture. This should be your go-to drawer for produce that demands a moist environment, with the left drawer acting as supplemental storage for less picky fruits and vegetables.
It’s also an exceptionally efficient fridge. Despite its ample size, the Elite shouldn’t run up your electric bill all that much, even with the icemaker running.
While the performance of this Kenmore is stellar, the feature list is relatively standard. The slim door-mounted icemaker takes up minimal space, and is bolstered by an Ultra Ice feature for when you need to crank out the cubes. The fridge also comes with a supplementary ice bucket, despite not actually having a dispenser in the freezer.
A temperature-controlled pantry drawer in the fridge offers three settings—Meat, Deli, and Produce—but aside from that, the fridge doesn't offer much in the way of extras. In an odd twist, the Kenmore comes with a control lock feature, despite the out-of-the-way placement of its control console. We also would have preferred the toggle that controls the dispenser's nightlight to be located beside the dispenser, rather than with the rest of the controls inside the fridge.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
High-end style and performance
The Kenmore 74025 certainly lives up to the “Elite” in its name, with some of the best performance in a standalone fridge on the market today. A sleek, fingerprint-resistant metallic finish gives the large French door model an air of class that will spruce up any kitchen.
Despite the 74025's high MSRP, you can find this fridge at Sears for just over $3,000—still expensive, but far less than a built-in luxury model. It’s also right on par with our highest-ranking French door to date, allowing you to pick whichever model best suits your personal and culinary style.
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