Pros: Competitively French door style; ice maker contained to refrigerator door to maximize refrigerator space
Cons: Non-intuitive controls; anemic ice maker; considerably more expensive than comparably sized side-by-side models
When we purchased a new home in August 2006, my wife wanted a French door style refrigerator. I did not want to give up having a door mounted ice dispenser. After all, dispensing ice without opening up the freezer is an energy saver, not merely a convenience. I also did not like the idea of doubling over to pull ice out of a freezer drawer at floor level. As other reviewers have pointed out, the combination of French door style and door mounted ice dispenser puts all options into the $2,200 price range.
I chose the LG because of price and features. The LG appeared to have been very well thought out, including the layout of the interior compartments, shelves, and tilting freezer drawer front. I still like and appreciate all of the attributes that originally drove my purchase decision, and I have had no problems with the refrigerator.
The idiosyncrasies are numerous, however. As another reviewer commented, the ice maker is actually attached to the door, so it does not consume refrigerator shelf space. While the concept is a good one, and everything functions well, there is no doubt that this design has reduced the size and capacity of the ice maker. If you have a small household or do not consume much ice, you may never notice. But I am an ice tea fiend, so I consume a large amount of ice every day when I make tea and when I consume it. There is an ice plus option that can be activated, which the manual indicates will produce ice at a faster rate. This, of course, begs the question, Why the heck wouldnt I want ice made at full speed at all times? It could be that there is an energy efficiency trade-off, but there is no such indication in the manual. We have another much less expensive side-by-side refrigerator with ice maker elsewhere in our house, and it produces twice the ice, and it stores twice as much. Every time we have a large gathering at our house, the LG refrigerator runs out of ice in no time, and I depend on the other refrigerators ice maker. This does not have a major impact on my household, but for one without a second ice maker, it could be a problem.
The pushbutton electronic controls on the front are unnecessarily difficult to operate. 90% of our visitors, if they attempt to use the ice dispenser, must ask how to change from water dispenser to ice. There is really no excuse for this to be anything less than intuitive. One of the electronic buttons toggles between water, crushed ice, and cubed ice, complete with backlit graphic to indicate the current selection. I prefer the more primitive two dispenser spots where there is a separate dispenser for water and ice located side by side. My next choice is a conspicuous switch, but that introduces a mechanical part that must be operated frequently. This LG refrigerator eliminates the mechanical switch, but makes the electronic control difficult to understand.
For this refrigerator to be the most sensible choice, you really need a fairly compelling reason to buy the pricey French door style (such as needing the full width shelves for huge hors doeuvre platters), and you must be willing to tolerate a few tradeoffs, such as an ice maker that is a bit anemic (or in the case of other French door models, consumes refrigerator space). My wife was determined to have the French door style, but besides the difference in layout, the new $900 Frigidaire side-by-side that we have in our basement offers comparable total space and a much higher volume ice maker.