Among the six new built-in refrigerators currently humming away in the Consumer Reports refrigerator lab is the 42-inch-wide LG LSSB2791ST. The $8,500 side-by-side fridge represents LG's first foray into the built-in market, where it will go up against such established brands as KitchenAid, Sub-Zero and Thermador.
Our final take on the LG LSSB2791ST—based on a battery of tests covering temperature performance, energy consumption, noise and more—won't be ready for a few weeks. But we can tell you the LG boasts several impressive features, including an extra-tall through-the-door ice and water dispenser whose slim in-door ice maker maximizes storage space inside the unit. Indeed, the LG's 26.5 claimed cubic-foot capacity is the biggest of any 42-inch-wide refrigerator on the market. Of course, the presence of a dispenser means you can't do integrated panels with the LG, which is the whole point for many built-in buyers since it allows the appliance to disappear into their kitchen cabinetry.
If you're okay with the stainless steel look, the LG LSSB2791ST also offers dimming LED interior lights; temperature-controlled crisper drawer; and dual evaporators, which our tests have found maintain higher humidity levels in the fresh food section. The Energy Star-qualified model is said to consume 591 kilowatt hours per year, thanks in part to an innovative linear compressor, which conserves power by limiting its temperature swings.
As for brand reputation, LG has established itself as a premier player in the refrigerator market in recent years. In the ever-popular French-door bottom-freezer category, LG has a number of models on Consumer Reports' current recommended list. And the issue with dubious energy consumption that dogged LG in the past, to the point where several models were stripped of their Energy Star status, have gone away.
All that bodes well for LG's chances of making our winners circle for built-in refrigerators. But it will have to perform very well to unseat our current favorites from Thermador and Jenn-Air, which both performed superbly in our tests and cost $1,100 to $1,300 less than the LG.
LG will also have to beat out the other models we're currently testing, including two models from Sub-Zero, two from Liebherr, and one from Bosch.