I was a little apprehensive about buying the Maytag Centennial MVWC400VW because it seemed like so much less washer than the very expensive, super-capacity high-end HE3 front loader I had at my old house (which was way too big and heavy to move).
Recommend this product?
One concern initially was the capacity. It sounds small, at only 3.5 cu ft. But looking inside a number of different washers at the store, it was clear the interior capacity of this "3.5 cu ft" is actually larger than the ones claiming to be "4.0 IEC" and "4.5 IEC". The difference has to do with real cu ft vs IEC cu ft.
I was further reassured about capacity in this machine when I washed a big puffy king-size comforter in it, with plenty of room left over for a few more small items without having to squash anything down.
The Maytag Centennial MVWC400VW machine has:
4 water levels: Small, Medium, Large, and Super-plus
4 temperatures: Cold, Cool, Warm, and Hot
3 cycles: Normal, Casual, and Delicate
and an Extra Rinse option.
No messy dispensers for laundry detergent; just pour it into the washer. There is a dispenser for fabric softener in the top of the center agitator, and a bleach dispenser at the top right corner under the lid above the drum.
I have used "normal" or "casual" for most loads. And clean! WOW. My old fancy HE3 never got clothes this clean. Not even close. This Centennial gets clothes cleaner than they have been in years, the first time around. As a result, it's actually cheaper and much quicker to use than the front-loader, saving water and detergent, since clothes don't have to be pre-washed or re-washed like they did with the HE front-loader. I have not yet had to re-wash a single load in this washer. (With 2 teens and 4 cats, that's saying something!)
I have read other reviews of Centennial washers which complained that the spin cycle is so efficient it wrinkles everything badly. But I have found no such problem with this model. The spin cycle on this washer gets most of the water out, without being rough on the clothes and without putting major wrinkles in everything. The clothes come out no more wrinkled than any other top-loading washer. (Note: I have a habit of shaking out every item before putting it in the dryer, which cuts down on wrinkles and decreases drying time no matter what washer/dryer is used anyway.)
As for sound, it's not super-quiet, but not annoyingly loud either. It's a good solid washer that maintains balance during spins pretty well. The only time it "walked" a little (less than an inch total) was when I had a super-plus huge load of towels and jeans along with a couple of backpacks in there.
The water fill method is a bit different than I'm used to. Instead of mixing the water temperature as it comes out, it uses various temperatures intermittently during fill: some cold, some warm, some hot, then more cold again, until the drum is to the level you specified. I like the cold vs cool option. Other washers give you cold, warm, hot, which means you're stuck with icy cold in winter. That may be much colder than you want! The cool setting mixes in just a little warm water intermittently while filling, so the wash water is cool, not freezing cold.
Overall, I am just tickled with this washer. It reminded me that bigger, fancier, and more expensive is NOT necessarily better. I used to swear by Kenmore, but I am now a Maytag convert. In 40 years of doing laundry, this is the best washing machine I have ever used.
UPDATE February 11, 2012: This Maytag is still going strong two years later. Has not required any repairs or adjustments. Still gets clothes super-clean. Hasn't eaten a single sock, ever. No funny smells from stuff getting caught in odd places. No rust. Easy to clean. I am still completely happy with this washer. In this age of disposable appliances that never last as long as they should, it's nice to have one this solid.
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Amount Paid (US$): 467.00