Electrolux EFLS617SIW Washing Machine Review
Better cleaning with better technology
UPDATE: The Electrolux 617 series has been replaced by the 627 series. Read our review of the 627 washer.
Ever since we first tried it out earlier this year, we've been waiting to test the Electrolux EFLS617SIW (MSRP $1,099). Electrolux promised its all-new washer would wow with a superior user interface, quick cycles, and a better clean than the competition. That's a tall order—but could it deliver?
Well, after two weeks of testing, 160 lbs. of clothes, and 20 loads of laundry washed in the Reviewed.com laundry labs, we can say that Electrolux's new flagship washing machine truly impressed us in every way. In fact, at a sale price of just under $900, there's no better washing machine for the money, and its matching dryer—the EFME617SIW—is just as good.
Traditionally, Electrolux washers have had a cult following, but we think these new machines are good enough to reach the masses. If you're serious about clean clothes, give the Electrolux EFLS617SIW a spin. If you want to learn why we love it, keep reading.
Simplify and Save
All the right choices
A washer is a simple machine that fills with water and spins. But there's a man behind the curtain pulling all the levers, telling the washer how to get your clothes clean. In the case of the EFLS617SIW, that man is particularly talented.
At first glance, you might notice that Electrolux seriously cut the number of cycles on this machine. While others might have more than 20 cycles, the EFLS617SIW makes do with just eight. Options like Sanitize are there, but they have to be added to an existing cycle.
Since most users choose "Normal" and walk away, we're fans of this simplification. But if you're upgrading from an entry-level top loader, you might get peeved by what the '617 won't let you do. Yes, you get functions like an extra rinse or wrinkle release. You can also adjust soil level, temperature, and spin speed, but it requires scrolling through a long menu of presets. Additionally, certain options just aren't available on certain cycles.
For instance, on a washer like the Kenmore 22342, you can set the Delicates cycle to hot, even though it might wreck your clothes. The EFLS617SIW won't let you do that. It limits your choices, but only for the benefit of your clothes.
In our tests, we've estimated that the EFLS617SIW will cost just $29 a year to run. That makes it one of the most efficient front-load washers we've ever tested. If you're replacing a top loader, expect at least a $300 lifetime savings.
But the EFLS617SIW can help you save even more. A little leaf symbol pops up on the display if you've picked the most eco-friendly combination of spin speed, temperature, and additional options.
A Better Mouse Trap
Advanced tech—but does it work?
Washers clean with a combination of water, detergent, and mechanical action. The EFLS617SIW doesn't deviate from this path, but it takes extra care to reach every thread of every sock.
For instance, the SmartBoost function—exclusive to the EFLS617SIW—premixes water and detergent so that they're both applied more evenly to clothes. Indeed, our tests showed that the system helped destroy stains indiscriminately. SmartBoost will also keep fabric softener or bleach from concentrating in one spot and discoloring fabrics.
A unique spray pattern promises to soak through even large loads. Sure enough, once a cycle started, we noticed a torrent of water, powerful and diffuse enough to dampen every inch of laundry. If you've ever worried that front loaders don't get your laundry wet enough, this Electrolux will assuage your fears.
At the end of a cycle, we weigh laundry to find out how much moisture remains. We found that the EFLS617SIW's 1300 RPM spin got most excess water out of a load, which means less work for your dryer. Despite the fast spin, Electrolux guarantees that its washers can be installed on a second floor without excess vibration.
Our only complaint? Cycle time, which varied greatly based on the amount of laundry we placed in. With an 8 lb. load, the Normal cycle needed 51 minutes to finish—4 minutes longer than the stated time, and between 5 and 15 minutes longer than LG's excellent TurboWash.
That being said, we found the clean on all these cycles to be above average–even on the Fast cycle. Heavy Duty led the pack, though that's no surprise because it used the most water and took the longest. The Whitest Whites cycle came in second, and Normal came in third.
When we took a step back, our test results showed that the 617 had no holes in its cleaning repertoire. To combat greasy stains, this washer's internal water heater can reach temperatures north of 125°F. For set-in stains, the 617 comes with a StainSoak feature that customizes tumble, detergent concentration, and temperature.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Like most washing machines, the EFLS617SIW gets a one-year warranty against manufacturer defects. Electrolux guarantees the machine for second-floor installation, too. The manual and warranty information can be found on Electrolux's product page.
Buy This Washer
New technology means cleaner clothes
Having tested hundreds of laundry machines, we can say that the Electrolux EFLS617SIW's design is meant to please a very diverse crowd–from tech-savvy millennials to old-school laundry enthusiasts.
Normally, a machine designed to please everyone fails in some way, but the EFLS617SIW juggles all its hats without dropping one. Its Nest-inspired display and advance programming actually make it easier to chose cycles. It has the fastest Fast cycle for people on the go, and its two-hour Heavy Duty cycle cleans better than the competition.
If you absolutely need a larger drum, or if you want a super-fast Normal cycle, we still recommend competitors from Kenmore and LG. But if you just want the cleanest clean for your clothes and need a 27-inch wide washer that will fit in your laundry room, we're confident that you'll love this washing machine, too—especially with its $890 sale price.
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