The 3.5 cu. ft. Maytag Centennial MVWC215EW ($599) prides itself on being simple and powerful. Although we didn't test this model directly, we did spend a lot of time with its slightly larger brother, the Maytag Centennial MVWC415EW (MSRP $649).
Both washers feature old-fashioned pole agitators. From such a setup, you can expect good stain removal, but high clothing wear, especially on the PowerWash cycle. Also, where other washers have many cycles for precise clothing care, the MVWC215EW only has brute force.
Top-load washers have some inherent drawbacks—we've tested hundreds, and they almost all use more water than their front-load or high-efficiency top-load competitors.
If you're budget-minded, that excess water use might cost you in the long term. But as far as an up-front price is concerned, don't get turned off by the high MSRP: the 215 can be had for under $400 at select retailers.
The MVWC215EW only has three minor differences between it and the MVWC415EW. Chief amongst them is the lack of a soak feature. The 415 has a soak cycle and a presoak option, while the 215 has nothing of the sort. If you do want to soak your clothes before washing, you'll either have to use a utility sink or pause a cycle after the drum fills.
The second most consequential difference is size. The 215 is .1 cu. ft. smaller than the 415. To put that in perspective, .1 cu. ft. is about three liters, so one-and-a-half soda bottles. That's a fair amount of socks and other small items, but not the difference between having to do one or two loads of laundry.
The final difference we could find was aesthetic: Unlike the 415's stainless drum, the 215 has a less pleasing white-enamel interior. It's still made of steel–as evidenced by our magnet test. Depending on how hard your water is, stainless steel does have some durability advantages, but for most people, the enamel is just as good.
For much more information, refer to our full review of the nearly identical Maytag Centennial MVWC415EW.
Meet the tester
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
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