Whirlpool WRS571CIDM Counter Depth Refrigerator Review
Affordable, counter depth fridges are hard to come by.
The Whirlpool WRS571CIDM (MSRP $1,699) is one of the least expensive counter depth refrigerators on the market. At just 27.5 inches deep (not including the handles), it's shallow enough not to stick out from your counters and cabinetry. And with 21 cubic feet of storage space, it will also fit your groceries.
On sale, the WRS571CIDM can dip as low as $1,439. By comparison, most counter depth side-by-sides will easily cost over $2,000. If you’re desperate to fill that 27-inch-deep niche but don’t have tons of money to throw around, this Whirlpool may be your best bet.
Compared to more expensive models, like the $2,699 Samsung RH29H9000SR, this Whirlpool's temperatures run warm and fluctuate over time. It also lacks Energy Star certification. That said, if you're willing to take the time to tinker with the fridge's thermostat settings and don't mind spending another $10 or $15 a year in electricity costs, then you'll be hard pressed to find a better counter depth bargain.
Design & Usability
Style, plus a little bit of substance
If nothing else, this Whirlpool certainly has a touch of upscale style. A stainless finish with long, tapered handles lends it an elegant overall appearance.
The control panel uses physical buttons instead of a touch screen—likely to keep costs down—but it's also easy to use, and the bright blue indicator lights look modern.
On the inside, you’re greeted to bright LED lights in not only the fridge but both compartments. In fact, this is one of the few models we've seen where the freezer seemed better lit than the fridge.
Shelves can be adjusted in the fridge and freezer, but there’s a catch: Since this is a counter-depth model, the adjustable drawer in the fridge can’t sit at the same level as any of the buckets found on the fridge door. Therefore your customization options are limited, and may make for awkward storage areas that might be hard to access.
Performance & Features
Turn down the thermostat
Inexpensive counter depth side-by-side fridges aren't known for optimal performance. A lot of the flaws we noticed in this Whirlpool have been seen before, as was the case with this Electrolux model. It scored about average in our performance tests, but its relatively low price means you should forgive some of its flaws.
In terms of specifics, we noticed that temperatures ran warm and were somewhat inconsistent over time, which can lead to premature food spoilage. Turning down the thermostat about two or three degrees in each compartment will help, but there's nothing you can do to make temperatures steadier.
The lone crisper was also rather lackluster, even though we had it set to its most retentive setting. As long as you don't plan on saving produce for too long, though, you should be more or less okay.
A lack of Energy Star certification means you're definitely not getting one of the more efficient fridges on the market. That said, the difference between an efficient and inefficient fridge these days could be a difference of just $10 or $15 a year in electricity costs. Our lab tests determined that it should cost just over $40 a year to run at a rate of $0.09 per kWh; adjust your expectations accordingly based on local power rates.
The feature set is fairly standard, and the main selling point is a door-mounted icemaker equipped with a Fast Ice setting. A through-the-door dispenser with twin paddles and a control lock help pad the list.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Quite Literally a Niche Product
A low price and shallow depth make this fridge worth a look
It's hard to deny that a counter depth fridge for less than $2,000 is appealing; with average store prices hitting about $1,599, this one is a steal. Temperature and efficiency issues may mean the Whirlpool WRS571CIDM isn't everything we hope for in a good refrigerator, but if you need a decent counter depth and don't want to spend a fortune (or wait for a special order) this should do the trick.
If you don't mind spending more, check out the LG LSC22991ST. It is easily the best counter-depth we’ve tested to date, and can be found in stores for about $2,500.
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