• The door-in-door feature on LG's LFX31945ST is a neat novelty, but it'll cost you.

LG LFX31945ST Refrigerator Review

review

The door-in-door feature on LG's LFX31945ST is a neat novelty, but it'll cost you.

Introduction

The LG LFX31945ST (MSRP $3,499.99) takes an already good French door refrigerator design and adds a nifty feature: A "door-in-door" that puts frequently-used items close at hand, behind a panel on the front of the right-hand fridge door. The fridge also gets points for having tons of room and good temperature consistency, but beware its built-in temperature display — it's more of a suggestion than an imprimatur.

Design & Usability

The same sleek elegance we've come to expect.

LG has yet to drop the ball when it comes to the design of their high-end fridges, and the LFX31945ST is no exception. This fridge has the features we've come to expect from a top-tier LG: bright LED lighting, an on-the-door ice maker that frees up space in the fridge cavity, a temperature controlled drawer with three different settings, and plenty of open access for easy-to-reach storage. While it lacks the lighting and shelving innovations found on the recently reviewed LG LFX33975ST it does have one industry exclusive: door-in-door shelving.

A button located on the right-hand handle allows you to pop open the "door within a door" for quick and easy access.
The major selling point for this fridge is that you can access food without having to open the main doors. A button located on the right-hand handle allows you to pop open the “door within a door” for quick and easy access to smaller items like bottled drinks and condiments that you choose to keep there. You can even store a gallon-sized container, so the kids can get access to their milk, juice, or soda.

The catch? Space-wise, there isn't one. The extra shelving does mean that air does have a few more obstacles around which to circulate, though it didn't seem to have an effect on temperature consistency over time.

Performance & Features

$3,500 could buy a more accurate temperature display.

While this LG generally impresses, it does have a few inconsistencies. To run our tests, we calibrate our fridges the same way you would: by setting the external thermostat to standardized specifications, specifically 37 degrees in the fridge and zero in the freezer. When we examined our results, however, they showed the fridge averaged 42 degrees, while the freezer hovered around -2.5. An overachieving freezer isn't great—typically it means your fridge is working harder than it has to—but it was the warm fridge that raised our eyebrows. A five degree discrepancy is pretty substantial, and is one of the largest variances we've ever seen on a fridge with a temperature display that corresponds to an actual degree scale. That's not great for a fridge this expensive, but luckily the readings proved to be steady over time. Crank the display down a few degrees, and you should be fine.

An overachieving freezer isn't great, but it was the warm fridge that raised our eyebrows.
The rest of the fridges performance was pretty good. Moisture retention in the crisper drawers was some of the best we've seen from a high-end LG, though there's still some room for improvement. Generally, you may find yourself encountering less food waste and crispier vegetables for longer, but they still won't last indefinitely. The time it took to freeze items from room temperature wasn't the best we've seen, but it didn't take so long that it would affect the quality of food when thawed. If the indicated temperature were more accurate, this could have been the best LG we'd have tested to date.

Conclusion

In the end, this LG is trading on novelty.

A door-in-door option is an interesting way of making a big French door fridge seem a little more manageable. It puts the stuff you and your family use most frequently on shelves that are accessible not only by opening the fridge door, but also through a thin panel on the front that lets out less cold air while still allowing you to get at what you want. Ingenuity aside, at this point a door-in-door is a novelty in the American market, and the fridge is priced accordingly — $3,500 according to LG's posted MSRP, with sale prices landing around the $2,800 mark. For a few hundred dollars less, you could get LG’s LFX31925ST, which is essentially the same machine with conventional doors and our Best Fridge of the Year award winner for two years running.

Matthew Zahnzinger 6a7c2d75511135d422defd182b909c0a?s=48&d=mm
Matthew is a native of Brockton, MA and a graduate of Northeastern, where he earned a degree in English and Theatre. He has also studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and spends most of his free time pursuing a performance career in the greater Boston area.