Whirlpool Cabrio WTW8000DW Washing Machine Review
Mix-and-match fabric care
Do you find yourself baffled by the cycles on your washer, wondering how to achieve the gentleness of a Delicates cycle combined with the speed of Quick Wash? The Whirlpool Cabrio WTW8000DW (MSRP $999) wants to provide you with that flexibility. Thanks to its Intuitive Touch Controls, you'll be able to tell the washer—in Whirlpool's words—What to Wash and How to Wash it.
Tapping just two buttons will give you access to over 25 different wash cycles–meaning whatever the laundry situation, you'll be covered. Even more convenient is the 5.3-cu.-ft. drum, which can easily handle a family of four's laundry. Given a sale price hovering around $800, we'd say this is a washer for first-time buyers and consumers who want more customization for their laundry.
To read our full review of this washer's matching dryer, the Whirlpool Cabrio WED8000DW, click here.
This video shows off the Intuitive Touch Controls on the Cabrio WTW8500DW, which has the same control system as the WTW8000DW.
Design & Usability
Your mileage may vary
Depending on how you like to do laundry, the Intuitive Touch Control system of the WTW8000DW can either save or waste time. By dividing the panel into What to Wash and How to Wash, it can take the guess work out of doing laundry. This means no reading tags.
On the other hand, if you're the type of person whose interaction with a washer consists solely of selecting the Normal cycle, the WTW8000DW's control scheme will slow you down—even if it does help your clothes look better with targeted wash cycles.
As clean as it looks, the control panel is actually quite cluttered. There are five What to Wash options ranging from Whites to Casual, and five How to Wash options. Beyond that, there are 12 modifiers for temperature, soil, and spin speed levels. Sometimes there's such a thing as too much choice.
You need to decide what kind of consumer you are. Do you want to take very precise care of your laundry? Or do you just want to press start?
Performance & Features
A compromise between cost and innovation
There are washers out there like the Maytag MVWX655DW that will give you better cleaning for less money. But that Maytag isn't going to give you any of the features and controls the WTW8000DW offers. And if you want to get stain removal and high-end features like steam cleaning, you'll have to jump up to the Whirlpool WTW8500DW, which costs $1,299. The WTW8000DW sits in the middle, like Goldilocks.
The Mixed Cycle, set to Normal with the max soil level, proved to be the best. Not only did it remove protein stains thoroughly, it also brought the right temperature at the right time.
See, when washers add hot water too early, they have the tendency to "cook" protein stains onto fabric. The WTW8000DW avoided that by starting off cool and ramping up the heat. The rest of the cycles, like Whites and Delicates, performed as well as the WTW7300DW–a washer that's 0.5 cu. ft. smaller and $100 cheaper.
The WTW8000DW does have a major weakness: it may be too smart for its own good. Load sense allows washers to use an appropriate amount of water and spin. Although it's designed to save water, it can sometimes backfire. During several of our test runs, the WTW8000DW had to rebalance its load a few times. That happens when the washer senses that the load is uneven, and the drum fills up with water in order to redistribute the laundry for a more even clean and faster spin cycle.
The process forced cycle times to go on way longer than they should've. A 53-minute Normal cycle occasionally turned into a 1 hour 15 minute wait—and that's after we loaded it according to a precise pattern that's supposed to prevent unbalanced laundry.
When it was all said and done, we estimate that the WTW8000DW will cost $81 a year to run based on national use and wash patterns. If the load balance issue were addressed, you could save as much as $20 a year on water costs.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
The Whirlpool WTW8000DW has a one-year warranty that will cover parts and labor for any defect found at time of purchase.
Before You Buy
For newcomers and veterans alike
The Whirlpool's Intuitive Touch Controls are supposed to take the guesswork out of laundry. That gives the WTW8000DW a lot of appeal to consumers new to the world of doing their own laundry. But laundry veterans will also find many useful features, like the 5.3-cu.-ft. drum and the effective wash plate.
At $999 MSRP, the WTW8000DW is a very cost-effective way to own this new approach to fabric care. Consumers looking for a mid-range washer that's huge will be satisfied by the look and feel of this Whirlpool. Just remember that other top-load washers use less water, cost less to purchase, and do a better job cleaning.
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