Pros: oversized capacity, quiet, multiple features
I love my new Maytag MAV8600 top loading washing machine. It is 3.2 cu ft. with a stainless steel tub. It has very quiet wash cycles. It is so quiet when it is spinning that I accidentally opened the door during the spin cycle. It has 7 water levels(mini, medium, large, super and one in between all of those for a total of seven) , auto temperature control, gentle, regular and super wash cycles. The temperature options are[cold/cold; warm/cold; warm/warm; and hot/cold] It has a clean light indicator option that alerts you with a red light on the machine when the clothes are clean. This machine really cleans the clothing too. I have been very happy with how clean the clothes come out.
The inside of the top loading lid features a liquid soap dispenser that works similar to a gas tank. You fill the tank with liquid soap and use the slide indicator to program how much soap you want added for each wash. You have to manually push the button on the lid to add the soap with each wash. It is recommended dismantle and clean the soap dispenser when changing detergents. The dispenser easily comes off with a half twist of four large plastic screws.
It also comes equipped with an automatic bleach and fabric softener dispenser and fingertip faucet. The fingertip faucet is nice for washing your fingertips if you get soap on them. The water fills despite the lid position while the handle is pulled out, I love this feature. Previous washing machines we have used would shut off while the lid was open. I like the machine to fill while I am adding clothing. This feature can be turned off, by pushing the handle in while loading the machine.
I find this machine quite easy to use. It even comes with a guide filled with good laundering tips. I feel that almost anyone could use this machine. Anyone with physical limitations of their upper arms may find the top lid hard to open when the dispenser is filled with soap. There is a large long and wide groove at the front of the lid, this makes it so easy to open the top loading lid. My grandmother always has to use a wooden spoon to prop open her current top loaders due to the limited space to fit her fingers in to open the door. She is able to open mine without any difficulty.
I considered buying a Kenmore, but My husband liked the soap dispenser and stainless steel barrel on the Maytag better, so we went with the maytag. Personally, I liked the appearance of the Maytag better than the Kenmore.
I purchased this product based on the Maytag reputation of washers, the consumer reports ratings, and other e-opinions ratings of Maytag products, the stainless steel barrel, and option of seven water levels
Update: Spin cycle problems
My washer is now 6 years old. There is a little rust up by the lid but you have to bend way down to see it. It has also developed a problem of skipping the spin cycle intermittently. Sometimes I find a load of clothes sitting in water. I simply have to reset the dial to spin and it will then spin back out. This is bothersome, but not to the point of paying someone $150 to come look at the problem. I feel fortunate to have had the washer run so smoothly for 6 years. It is one of the better investments I have made so far.