Whirlpool Cabrio WTW5000DW Washing Machine Review
Laundry used to be so simple...
Now that Whirlpool's debuted its innovative control panels for washing machines, we're relieved to to see the company hasn't forsaken simpler appliances, like the Cabrio WTW5000DW (MSRP $649).
No extra features adorn this 4.3-cu.-ft. top loader, which can be found on sale for as low as $539. It has dials that adjust soil level, temperature, rinse, and presoak. That is all. The only touch of modernity this machine has inside is its drum.
Instead of a traditional pole agitator, there's a high-efficiency washing impeller at the bottom of the drum. It's this new system (and a lot of extra water) that gives the WTW5000DW an edge over many other traditionally styled top loaders. However, there's a host of more efficient and more effective machines on the market. If you aren't feeling particularly nostalgic, we recommend you keep searching.
To read our full review of this washer's matching dryer, the Whirlpool WED5000DW, click here.
Design & Usability
Like an old friend
The WTW5000DW likely looks and feels like the washer you're replacing—or the one your mother replaced decades ago. Other than the push-to-start button, all the controls are dials. Design-wise, we see a lot of similarities to the Maytag MVWC555DW. The two machines are made in the same factory and share a similar, traditional construction, with no extras to clutter the control panel.
That complete lack of clutter is a blessing and a curse. It's nice to look at a washer and know what everything does intuitively. You certainly won't have to spend hours poring over the owner's manual (although we recommend you still give it a read). Of course, no extras means no steam, no sanitize cycle, etc. But if you want a laundry experience that's as simple as possible, you'll find it here.
Performance & Features
Much of the technology inside the WTW5000DW existed thirty years ago. If you've ever owned a top loader in that time, you'll know what to expect.
This Whirlpool, while more efficient than its predecessors, uses a lot of water. In fact, we calculate that the WTW5000DW will cost around $93 per year to run. The Heavy Duty cycle alone used 46 gallons of water in one of our tests, a significant amount compared to some of the more efficient machines we've tested that get similar or better results. It's also not Energy Star certified.
In some ways, this formula works. The WTW5000DW has better cleaning than some washers that cost twice as much. We got the best results when we used the Heavy Duty cycle on warm with two extra rinses. The Normal cycle on the hottest setting with two extra rinses followed close behind. But Normal is the better deal: It requires only an hour and 15 minutes, while Heavy Duty needs an hour and 40, with only a single extra percentage point of stain removal to show for it.
Compare that with more efficient machines that take under 45 minutes—and sometimes as little as 29 minutes—and you'll see why we think this older technology lags behind.
Contrast the cost of ownership to machines that cost a third as much to run, and suddenly this inexpensive washer seems like even less of a bargain. You could make up the $300 initial cost difference bewtween the WTW5000DW and more efficient Kenmore 41583 in water usage alone after just five years of ownership.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
The WTW5000DW has a standard one-year warranty. This covers parts and labor for any defects found at the time of purchase.
Before You Buy
A stalwart machine in changing times
Aside from the lack of a pole agitator, the WTW5000DW is your mother's washing machine. With better-than-average cleaning, very high water usage, and a plain design, consumers with classic taste will be attracted to this model. Our lab tests show that the WTW5000DW does as advertised: It removes stains.
If that's what you're looking for, and all that you're looking for, then this Whirlpool is worth checking out. But if you care about water usage—or a fast wash cycle—you should keep shopping.
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