Kenmore Elite 74025 Refrigerator Review
Sleek looks, unique features, and superior performance.
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There’s no question the 30-cubic-foot Kenmore Elite 74025 (MSRP $3,899.99) is an excellent fridge. It’s spacious, efficient, attractive, and has some of the best performance we’ve seen in our tests. The MSRP is high, but in-store sale prices bring it down to a more reasonably competitive $3,200.
In terms of price and performance, this Kenmore comes very close to the GE Café CFE28TSHSS (MSRP $3,100), our 2014 Best of Year award-winning fridge. If you're in the market for a high-end French door, you should take a look at them both and pick whichever style best matches your taste.
The Cold Hard Facts
The Kenmore Elite 74025 (MSRP $3,899.99) aced every single one of our performance tests, making this high-end French door model one of the best fridges on the market today by our standards.
Design & Usability
Sleek and spacious, and you can order it in bisque!
While the GE Café traded on sturdiness and weight, the long, curving handles and lightly grained finish of this Kenmore lend the fridge an air of modernity. Kenmore refers to finish as metallic—distinct from stainless—and it's fairly resistant to fingerprints, making it a great choice for households with small children (or messy adults).
There is a stainless version—the Kenmore Elite 74023—which costs about $100 less. It's also available in black (74029), white (74022), and bisque (74024)—highly unusual for an upscale French door. Also unusual is that all three of the nonmetallic versions cost the same as the stainless model.
In a minimalist touch, the external controls have been streamlined down to three backlit icons: water, crushed ice, and cubed ice. While this helps keep the outer doors visually uncluttered, the dispenser’s current selection—highlighted in bright blue—will always glow in your kitchen.
The rest of the controls are located along upper internal frame of the main fridge compartment. It’s easy to read, but shorter consumers may require a stepstool if they plan to alter the fridge settings.
The interior has a clean, sterile quality to it, a result of the LED lighting shining on a sea of white plastic. Touches like stainless edging on shelf fronts and crispers, plus a backlit blue ring around the air filter add some visual interest.
If you’ve got a spacious kitchen, you’ll love the freezer. The door not only pulls out, it also tilts forward, offering ample access to all three sliding drawers and trays. Just remember: The depth needed to accommodate a fully extended freezer is double the depth of the fridge when the doors are shut.
The primary fridge compartment exhibited some truly fantastic temperature consistency. Measured averages clocked in at 37.78°F up top, 37.61°F in the middle, and 39.95°F at the bottom of the compartment—that slight bump in warmth at the bottom is better for produce. Temperature deviations of ±0.22°F keep this fridge on track.
Down in the freezer, temperatures were more than adequate for long-term storage. We tracked average temps of -2.18°F and -2.55°F from top to bottom, respectively. An even more consistent deviation of just ±0.18°F means this freezer will do a great job keeping freezer burn at bay.
Performance & Features
An Airtight Crisper is icing on a properly chilled cake
As was the case with the GE Café, we really couldn’t find anything wrong with this model's performance. Both the fridge and freezer were more than adequately cooled and temperatures remained consistent over time.
The Airtight Crisper did a spectacular job retaining moisture. This should be your go-to drawer for produce that demands a moist environment, with the left drawer acting as supplemental storage for less picky fruits and vegetables.
It’s also an exceptionally efficient fridge. Despite its ample size, the Elite shouldn’t run up your electric bill all that much, even with the icemaker running.
While the performance of this Kenmore is stellar, the feature list is relatively standard. The slim door-mounted icemaker takes up minimal space, and is bolstered by an Ultra Ice feature for when you need to crank out the cubes. The fridge also comes with a supplementary ice bucket, despite not actually having a dispenser in the freezer.
A temperature-controlled pantry drawer in the fridge offers three settings—Meat, Deli, and Produce—but aside from that, the fridge doesn't offer much in the way of extras. In an odd twist, the Kenmore comes with a control lock feature, despite the out-of-the-way placement of its control console. We also would have preferred the toggle that controls the dispenser's nightlight to be located beside the dispenser, rather than with the rest of the controls inside the fridge.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
We tested this Kenmore’s Airtight Crisper, a non-adjustable drawer designed specifically for produce best suited for a moist environment. Over the course of three days, it lost an average of just 0.5 grams of moisture each hour—the lowest rate we’ve ever recorded. The other drawer is a standard crisper with a slider controlling how much moisture it retains, but never performed quite as well as the Airtight in our testing.
High-end style and performance
The Kenmore 74025 certainly lives up to the “Elite” in its name, with some of the best performance in a standalone fridge on the market today. A sleek, fingerprint-resistant metallic finish gives the large French door model an air of class that will spruce up any kitchen.
Despite the 74025's high MSRP, you can find this fridge at Sears for just over $3,000—still expensive, but far less than a built-in luxury model. It’s also right on par with our highest-ranking French door to date, allowing you to pick whichever model best suits your personal and culinary style.
It took the Kenmore one hour and 32 minutes to bring our room-temperature test materials down to 32°F. That's dead average, but should be adequate for freezing all but the most delicate cuts of meat.
Storage Space & Energy Efficiency
The 74025 makes excellent use of its available space. Five shelves, four of which are adjustable, make up most of the usable storage options. You also get two crispers, the special Airtight drawer and the regular crisper, plus the full-width temperature adjust drawer at the bottom. With extra storage space on the left and right fridges doors, you wind up with a total of 14.45 usable cubic feet of storage—a very spacious total.
The freezer is just as roomy, proportionately speaking. Three sliding drawers of varying heights, as well as a shallow door shelf, provide ample space for frozen food. Kenmore throws in an ice bucket that you can use for the secondary ice maker in the freezer, should you want it. In total, you get 4.97 usable cubic feet.
Despite all that space, the Kenmore is exceptionally efficient. Using a fixed rate of $0.09 per kWh, we calculate that this fridge will cost you about $44.53 each year to run. This translates to a mere 0.07 kWh to cool each usable cubic foot.
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