Written on: 15/03/2010 by Owch (2 reviews written)
I bought my Liebherr CUN3513, sorry Miele KDN12823S, to replace a 5 year old Samsung that would do nothing but freeze, even on the 'holiday' setting. First things first, Miele don't make fridge freezers, they get Liebherr to make them for them, which is probably why they are so inexpensive (compared to other Miele products). Speaking of which Liebherr looks like an unusual company - they make industrial construction machinary (cranes and big diggers) and domestic fridges - and that's it! The retailer we were buying from didn't have any Liebherr's in stock so we paid £30 more and got the Miele. The 'N' in the product number means that it's frost free. This feature adds about £100 to the price and knocks you down an energy rating (from A+ to A). The A+ rating on a non-frost free model isn't as good as it seems when you have to empty and defrost/re-freeze every three months.
The fridge is about 6 feet tall and 2 feet wide & deep. It should be ideal for a family of 4. We looked at bigger fridges with A energy ratings but settled on this (so I can keep my radio on the top!). We had toyed with the idea of one of those 'american' ones but they cost double to run - best way to save energy - buy the size you actually need!
The fridge is delightfully understated, no 6 inch high black letters proclaiming it's (pretend) manufacturer, simply raised white lettering. The handles are ugly but beautiful to use. They're also a doddle to swap over from left to right (Liebherr's instructions are marginally better than Miele's in this respect - a powered screwdriver is a good idea). One slight issue about the handles is that they're so big that if you're installing it next to a wall you've got to leave a gap so you can open the doors fully.
The door storage is particularly good. You can fit big cartons of milk in easily as well as cartons of fruit juice - and you've still got a couple of door pockets left for eggs and butter and things. The full width wine rack is a bit of overkill - unless you are particularly fond of wine - but you can store bottles of pop or cans in it. The open door alarm is revealing - it's surprising how long I am used to having the door open for - the new fridge encourages you to open it for shorter to try to 'beat the beep'!
Everything else is pretty standard but is well thought out. It's very quiet, no characteristic frost free whines or gurgles that I can make out. The build quality looks decent (looks like it had took a battering from the courier when it arrived!). Hopefully it's cheap to run and hopefully it'll last a while.
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