A Look at LG's Newest Washer and Dryer Combination

They look futuristic and have lots of features, but check the consumer reviews first

Consumers rate LG washers

When did washers and dryers start looking so snazzy?

This is the question I was asking in my head, as I wandered around an appliance showroom getting an up close gander at the new LG washer and dryer.

The LG 3.6 cu ft. Large Capacity Front Load Washer, and the LG 7.1 cu. ft. Extra Large Capacity Electric Dryer, were released earlier this year, and are among the newest of LG's laundry appliances.

On first glance, both the washer and dryer look kind of futuristic in a good way. But who needs futuristic if the appliance of the past works better? Looks are nice, but are only the start.

The washer

The coolest thing about this large-sized front load washer is its "ColdWash" feature, that allows clothes to be washed strictly in cold water with warm water washing results. Here's how it works:

The washer has a water heating component that turns cold water warm. This differs from most washers, as users normally only have the ability to select between hot and cold settings. LG has released washers with this feature in the past, but now the heater is supposed to be better and work more efficiently.

Using only cold water for washing clothes will save you some money, as using warm water can become quite pricey. Especially for those who do laundry a few times a week, or have huge families which necessitates washing bundles and bundles of clothes. Also, cold water is gentler on your garments.

But on the opposite side of the laundry coin, the heating component could extract more electricity, which would raise your bill a little, and tap into those warm water savings.

The LG Front Load Washer also has the standard warm water button, along with five other wash temperatures and motions, for those who won't use the heating mechanism. How much money ColdWash will really save you is unclear, and if there are savings, one could probably bet the savings aren't of life-style-changing proportion.

The washing machine is also supposed to automatically set water levels and wash times, so users won't have to do the actual setting. LG certainly gets points for the machine having the George Jetson, automatic pilot factor.

The huge buttons, resembling the size of a 50 cents coin, provides a user friendly feel to the machine. The washer's six cycles are supposed to provide a deeper clean, but what washing machine company wouldn't say that? What's the advertising alternative? 'The LG Large Capacity Front Load Washer washes like any other machine'? Just a healthy splash of consumer skepticism, that's all.

The dryer

The LG 7.1 cu. ft. Extra Large Capacity Dryer has the same type of electronic laundry sensors that the LG washing machine has. Its "Dial-A-Cycle" feature is supposed to remove the guess work out of doing laundry." Pretty big claim, huh?

The dryer is equipped with moisture sensors to determine when clothes are dry, so the machine will automatically turn off. This feature is also supposed to save you money.

If you set the timer for too short of a period, and the clothes are still damp, the machine will continue to operate.

The 7.1 cubic feet the dryer has will allow users to do multiple loads, or dry big items like rugs or comforters simultaneously. And like every other newly released dryer, LG says new technology allows the machine to be quiet and completely void of shaking and rumbling.

It also has a speed dry cycle that dries a few garments in 15 minutes or less, and also comes equipped with a wrinkle free button, when you don't feel like ironing. And just like the LG washing machine, the 7.1 dryer has colossal sized buttons, and bigger sized lettering for easier use.

Both the washer and the dryer ring in for $799.99 each.

Is it worth it?

Is it worth a buy? Based on research, showroom visits, and speaking to a couple of appliance experts, I would say a high maybe, depending on the type of frequency and size you wash and dry with. A unequivical yes would be premature, since the item is still new and hasn't stood the test of appliance time.

If you look at overall consumer feelings about LG appliances, the picture is fairly encouraging. A ConsumerAffairs sentiment analysis found about 3.6 million postings to social media over the last year, with net positive ratings hovering around the 60% mark, as shown in this chart.

What do consumers like and dislike about LG? The most common comments are pretty general, but here's what we found:

While that all looks fairly encouraging, before you go sprinting towards a Sears or Best Buy, it's also worthwhile to take a look at these reviews from our loyal ConsumerAffairs readers. Because a consumer should always combine their current appliance need with past customer experience.

"I purchased the LG WT5101HW Wave Series Ultra Large Capacity High Efficiency Top Load Washer with LED display, ColdWash technology, 1100 RPM, energy star compliant on January 1,2011," Joann of Terra Alta, W.Va wrote.

"I purchased the machine from Appliance Connection and even though they encouraged me to purchase the extended warranty, I did not. I now have an EO error that will not go away. I checked on the LG website and the only remedy was to remove the hose and look for blockages and to check the filter."

That's  a lot of work for Joann to do, for an appliance that's not even two years old yet. Although the machine is another model from the washer and dryer currently being reviewed, the customer's experience is still telling.

"I bought my LG washer, model # WM2016CW, on 5/17/2008, said another consumer. I have noticed all along that the clothes have this odor to them, and then it transfers to the dryer but I kept doing the cleaning cycle and it worked for about a week, then back to that smell. I tried every detergent I could find but the same results."

The best thing to do when purchasing a large appliance is to hang onto the warranty information. However, just get the basic warranties with nothing too crazy in the way of service contracts, as salespeople love to scare consumers into shelling out unnecessary amounts of money.

Both the new version of the LP washer and dryer are impressive in its design and technological features, but based on past LG reviews, it's possible the company still needs to make a couple of tweaks.

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