KitchenAid KFXS25RYMS Refrigerator Review
A four-door favorite
When you think of a conventional French door refrigerator, you probably picture a huge appliance with twin doors up top and a pull-out freezer underneath. Despite their wide recognition, four-door French doors—those that have an extra drawer between the upper and lower compartments—are becoming increasingly popular. The KitchenAid KFXS25RYMS (MSRP $2,899) is without question one of the best four-door models around. It's also one of the most affordable.
This KitchenAid, part of the manufacturer’s Architect Series II, is a stellar product. The Kenmore 72383 is another four-door model that's a few hundred dollars cheaper, but the KitchenAid's superior performance makes the extra expense worth it. Yes, KitchenAid made small tweaks to the traditional layout with this fridge, resulting in marginally less storage space, but it's a small price to pay for a substantially improved hands-on experience.
If you can afford the slight price increase but would rather not break into the $3,000+ range, then this KitchenAid is the way to go.
Design & Usability
A familiar layout, with some twists
From the outside, this fridge looks like a fairly typical stainless French door. Open those doors, however, and you’ll notice some unusual alterations from the norm.
For instance, the main fridge section only has one crisper. It’s attached to one of the adjustable shelves, similar to what you’d expect with a deli drawer. That leaves the entire bottom shelf open for storing whatever you’d like.
If the idea of one shallow crisper doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry: there's a handy dial control with settings ranging from Produce to Deli. You can turn the entire compartment into a massive crisper and stock up at the local farmer’s market.
The pullout freezer has received a makeover that places accessibility over capacity. Instead of full-width drawers that can be tough to dig through, the KFXS25RYMS splits freezer storage into symmetrical upper and lower bins.
True, the extra plastic and sliding mechanisms mean the freezer has a little less usable space than other similarly sized models. That said, the upper bins slide very smoothly, and the overall layout makes it much easier to keep track of the food you're storing there.
We found the icemaker a bit bulky, and we aren't in love with the incandescent bulbs KitchenAid used in the freezer, especially in contrast with the fridge's LED lights. However, these are just minor aesthetic flaws in an otherwise clever design.
Performance & Features
Shortening the gap
When we wrote about the Kenmore 72382 last year, we said you’d be hard-pressed to find another four-door fridge so affordable with similar performance. Well, after testing this KitchenAid KFXS25RYMS, it's time to eat our words. Like the Kenmore 72383, this KitchenAid is slightly outclassed by most of the top products in the $3,000+ bracket. Unlike the Kenmore, though, that performance gap is much smaller.
Our temperature readings ran just a hair on the warm side. Extremely steady output over time means air inside both sections is being cooled evenly and consistently, which is excellent.
Energy efficiency proved spectacular in this model. The smaller crisper drawer's ability to retain moisture underwhelmed us a bit, but at this price point you can’t have everything.
The feature set is pretty standard. You get through-the-door ice and water, Max Cool for rapidly chilling groceries you just schlepped home, and a control lock. Supplementing this set is a precision water fill feature, complete with a small plastic measuring cup for ...good measure.
KitchenAid also includes a beverage rack, but—full disclosure—we couldn’t figure out how to attach it. It’s too narrow to hook onto the shelving racks, and there’s no picture in the manual to offer any guidance.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
A True Bargain
A little extra gets you a lot more
The KitchenAid KFXS25RYMS has everything you need: above-average performance, a user-friendly layout that helps keep food organized, and several unconventional—but useful—features. Throw in the exceptional energy efficiency and high-end design, and this is a deal that's difficult to fault.
Of course, deals and bargains are all relative. You'll find cheaper fridges out there, but high-end French door fridges under $2,800 are few and far between. This makes the KFXS25RYMS—which retails at $2,200-$2,600 at most retailers—an excellent deal.
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