Bosch SHE3AR55UC Review
A machine with questionable design and average performance.
With a $649.99 MSRP and sale price closer to $550, the Bosch Evolution Ascenta SHE3AR55UC is one of the least expensive European-made dishwashers on the market. That attractive price tag is attached to a machine with questionable design and average performance, however. Yes, it's highly efficient and performs well enough for most uses, but other dishwashers do a much better job for a little more money.
Design & Usability
In person, the shiny plastic control panel just looks cheap.
As far as design goes, the SHE3AR55UC is somewhat frustrating. The black control panel is so shiny that you can watch yourself choose a wash cycle. If you’re okay with a smudge-laden black control panel over stainless steel, then this design won’t bother you a bit. If you’re a stickler for simple, clean design—like we are—the Ascenta might not be for you.
Among the more frustrating—or at least counter-intuitive—control flaws, the wash selector scrolls only to the left and right and does not cycle back, which would allow for more instinctual operation. Furthermore, turning the machine on and off involves a confusing three- or four-second operational delay.
Inside, there's a stainless tub, two well-designed racks and room for eleven place settings including serving pieces.
Four main cycles. Lots more buttons.
The SHE3AR55UC includes a Heavy Wash, Normal Wash, Auto Wash and Half Load. While there is no “quick clean” cycle, the Normal Wash or Half Load should meet most washing needs.
Delay Start allows users to postpone the start of their wash by three, six or nine hours (not much considering some washers offer up to 24 hours), and the Sanitize option adds a high-temperature disinfectant rinse for especially dirty loads. There is also a child lock.
The filtration system includes three filters for different sized objects: a Large Object Trap, a Fine Filter and a Micro Filter. Although the system is self-cleaning during normal use, each of the devices can be easily removed for manual cleaning.
Be prepared to pre-rinse, and to wait. At least it's efficient.
Overall, the SHE3AR55UC performed well among dishwashers in its immediate price range, with one major exception: redeposits. That's when clean dishes end up dirty after a dishwasher redistributes waste food particles all over the load, and it's usually indicative of an ineffective filter. If you scrape your dishes or even pre-rinse them, it should be less of a problem.
We don't pre-rinse our test dishes, and they were still stained after an hour and a half of a Normal wash. The Heavy Duty wash did a marginally better job, but it took more than two hours.
At least this Bosch is efficient. According to national averages, the SHE3AR55UC should only cost about $25.60 per year to operate, well below what you'll pay to run most competing dishwashers.
A little more money gets you a lot better dishwasher.
Found at sub-$600 sale prices, the Bosch SHE3AR55UC is one of the cheapest European dishwashers on the market. What it claims in pedigree, however, it lacks in style and performance—like a broke, distant relation of a royal family who chews with his mouth open.
Unless you intend to do most of your dishwashing in your own sink, we say skip the SHE3AR55UC. Spend a little more, and you'll find a much better machine.
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