Liebherr CS1360 Apartment Refrigerator Review
You don't have to sacrifice floor space for luxury.
There is a variation of the Liebherr CS1360 called the Liebherr CS1361. It is very similar to the Liebherr CS1360 in most respects.
Tall, skinny, bottom freezers like the Liebherr CS1360 (MSRP $3,300) are commonplace in Europe but relatively rare in the U.S. Here, they're a great fit for the kitchens of small-but-upscale apartments and condos in places like San Francisco and Manhattan.
The design makes sense: When real estate sells for upwards of $1,000 per square foot, you don't want to waste any of it on a refrigerator. That's why the CS1360 is only 24 1/8" wide and stands 79 3/16" tall. It's takes up only a small footprint while using vertical space to make room for groceries.
But is this high-end, German-made compact fridge worth the many thousands of dollars it costs to purchase? We brought one in to our lab to find out, and—unlike many expensive appliances—it delivered performance results so good we have to say yes, it actually is. If you plan on living large in a small space, you can't do much better than this Liebherr.
Design & Usability
The look of elegance
This is a visually stunning appliance. Double doors—fridge on top, freezer on the bottom—are covered in a stainless steel finish with a horizontal grain. The manufacturer logo, emblazoned across the front of the fridge door, is made up of slightly raised lettering that's classy and unobtrusive.
The slim door handles are actually hinged to allow for an inch or so of give—like a car door handle, but vertical. This mechanism requires minimal force to open the door, yet ensures it won't pop open accidentally. If the door is only open about a foot or less, it will always glide quietly closed on its own, and a damper keeps it from slamming shut.
And if you want a 48-inch refrigerator, you can actually combine two CS1360's with a separate kit to build your own four-door model.
Inside, two long columns of LED’s illuminate frosted glass shelves and metal accents. For extra flexibility, Liebherr provides a removable bottle rack, sliding organizers for all the door shelves, and a small tray for storing eggs.
On the downside, this fridge is tall. If you aren't, you'll need a stool to reach the back of the top shelf or to adjust the top-mounted controls.
Down in the freezer, there’s no interior light or door storage, and the sliding drawers sit loosely in their moorings. Sliding open the bottom shelf, in particular, was always frustrating. You can actually remove the drawers entirely, however, as shelves are hidden under each row of drawers.
We were also impressed that Liebherr managed to fit an unobtrusive icemaker into this already dense package. When it’s running, the entire upper left drawer turns into an ice tray, complete with plastic scoop. It requires a little more effort to connect to a water line than the average fridge, so we'd recommend paying for installation if you're pressed for time.
Performance & Features
Freezing food properly
In the world of kitchen appliances, you don't always get what you pay for. Plenty of expensive fridges have left us underwhelmed, but this Liebherr proved the exception to that rule.
We were particularly impressed by the freezer. Most freezers display temperature fluctuations over time, which can lead to freezer burn. However, this Liebherr's temperature stayed constant within two tenths of a degree over 72 hours. If you spend lots of time away from home, you can rest assured that this Liebherr will keep your steaks and frozen veggies well preserved.
Also surprising was the excellent crisper drawer. Though it lacks a user-adjustable humidity control, it retained plenty of moisture and should keep greens fresh until you're ready to use them.
We set the fridge to 37ºF and measured temperatures very close to that throughout most of the compartment. However, the sensor we placed on the top shelf recorded temperatures above 41ºF. It’s something we’ve noticed before in other apartment models we've tested, and it's likely due to the difficulty of keeping a uniform temperature throughout a tall, skinny column. It's not a deal-breaker—just make sure not to put sensitive perishables near the top.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Towering Above the Competition
High-end, small footprint
After testing numerous high-priced appliances that promised the world but failed to deliver, it was refreshing to get a product in the lab as honest as the Liebherr CS1360 refrigerator. Real stainless won't look out of place in an upscale kitchen, and if you travel a lot, you'll appreciate its ability to preserve both fresh produce and frozen foods better than nearly all other fridges on the market.
If you've got a small space but don't want to compromise when it comes to kitchen appliances, this Liebherr is truly an excellent product. Still—and we can't stress this enough—it's expensive. Even among the handful of similarly-sized fridges on the market in the US, it sells for thousands more than the competition. If money is no object, though, you can't do any better than the CS1360.
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