For instance, the shelves and drawers feel cheap and flimsy, and there were a few holes in the overall performance that brand this fridge as “good enough.” There’s no denying the 70313 is a relative bargain, but you’ll want to look elsewhere for high style and intuitive performance.

Clear cost cutting

A stainless steel finish is one of the only real eye-catching aspects of the 70313. Ironically, the handles are the only parts where fingerprints show up. Their smooth finish also clashes with the grained doors.

The control console looks rather bulky, with lots of empty space dwarfing the rather small buttons. What’s more, the touchpad was surprisingly finicky.

The interior isn’t much better: Dim incandescent bulbs cast a pale yellow glow over white plastic trim. Door buckets could hold a gallon of milk, but were flimsy and hard to move. Shelves slide forward for easier rear access, but were quite heavy and difficult to adjust. Pricier fridges sport bright LED lighting and shelves that can move like a yoga master.

In the freezer, you find a standard two-level layout with wire shelves that sat loosely in their moorings—yet another example of the 70313’s functional-yet-rough design.

Rough, but it gets the job done

The Kenmore 70313 passed most of our tests without major complaint. The biggest issue we had was temperature accuracy—both the fridge and freezer exhibited substantial fluctuations. That said, the average baseline temps were cool enough that your food should be okay in the fridge and free from freezer burn.

Crisper drawers lost more moisture than average—bad news for produce—but the freezer chilled room-temperature items quickly—good for storing meat and fish. Overall, the fridge overall was quite energy efficient.

For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.

You can easily find better, but you’ll need to pay for it

On sale for a mere $2,079, the Kenmore 70313 is one the cheapest stainless French door models with a full feature set on the market today. Its performance is okay, but the fit and finish left a lot to be desired.

If you aren’t willing to make that tradeoff and have a little extra money to spend, only a few hundred dollars more can net you a much more effective fridge that both looks and performs at a higher level.
The Kenmore 70313 (MSRP $2,599.99) passed many of our tests, but never with flying colors. The real strength of this budget French door lies in its freezer, but even then it’s susceptible to caveats.

Close enough

The main fresh food storage compartment—like most of the 70313—did fine. From top to bottom, average temperatures clocked in at 38.58ºF, 36.27ºF, and 37.98ºF. It never quite nailed the desired 37ºF, and on the whole ran a bit warm, but that shouldn’t harm your food in any way. The disappointing part is that it experienced fluctuations of ±0.82ºF—more than twice what we usually see. Temperatures stayed below 40ºF, which should inhibit spoilage, but swinging temperatures could shorten the shelf life of sensitive food items.

A similar story is found in the freezer: We measured average temperatures of -3.81ºF and -2.16ºF at the top and bottom, respectively. That’s noticeably colder than the 0ºF setting, so you shouldn’t have to worry about freezer burn despite temperature fluctuations of ±1.15ºF.

Moisture retention issues

Over the course of 72 hours, the test material we placed inside the 70313’s crisper retained less moisture than average, losing about 0.2 grams of moisture per hour. The best fridges can lose just half as much, doing a better job preserving your salad.

Fast freezing

The only true highlight of this fridge is its freezing time. Room-temperature test materials reached 32ºF after just one hour and 17 minutes inside the 70313. That’s definitely faster than normal, and good news for folks who like to stockpile meat and fish. The fact that it remained frozen after 36 hours without power—it had thawed to just 23.49ºF—is icing on a chilly, chilly cake.

A bit tight, but very efficient

Storage space in the 70313 wasn’t as plentiful as other similarly designed models, but should be enough for all but the largest of families. Adjustable shelves in the main fresh food section and on the doors provide flexibility, but are cramped by the bulky icemaker.

The freezer is very straightforward, with two levels of wire shelving drawers. They're easy to take out, but getting to items at the bottom is as tricky as ever with a bottom-freezer. In total, our measurements show that this Kenmore gives you 12.48 cubic feet of usable fresh food storage and 4.86 cubic feet of frozen.

The 70313 is also energy efficient. Using an average rate of $0.09 per kWh, we calculate that this fridge will run you $34.55 per year, using only 0.06 kWh of energy to cool each usable cubic foot. Depending on your local electric rates, or how much you use the icemaker—we had it fill up once from empty—that figure could change.

Meet the testers

Matthew Zahnzinger

Matthew Zahnzinger

Logistics Manager & Staff Writer


Matthew is a native of Brockton, MA and a graduate of Northeastern, where he earned a degree in English and Theatre. He has also studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and spends most of his free time pursuing a performance career in the greater Boston area.

See all of Matthew Zahnzinger's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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