Grundig is back with a new line-up of kitchen products that look well specified and great value. At 60cm wide and 185cm tall, this fridge freezer offers a large amount of refrigeration space split 60% fridge and 40% freezer. It's a frost-free model that's elegantly designed, packed with features and, available exclusively at Currys, comes bundled with a five-year guarantee.
Fresh Guard technology and fan-assisted cooling is claimed to neutralise harmful bacteria, keeping the air in the fridge cleaner and hence the food fresher for longer. The system maintains humidity for extended shelf life and there's an odour filter in the cooling system to reduce the chance of strong-smelling foods tainting other groceries. One of the fridge drawers is a dedicated Super Fresh zone that keeps at just above freezing, so it's ideal for meat, fish and dairy.
Available in gloss white with brushed stainless steel handles or in a full stainless steel finish, the GKN16820X is a classy and well-featured large-capacity fridge freezer.
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We received the rather attractive stainless steel model and it immediately felt right at home with some much more expensive models we tested it alongside. The stainless steel does pick up finger marks, but not as badly as some stainless finishes we've tried. The digital display on the front offers complete control with a row of logical touch buttons beneath. Control of each compartment is straightforward and easy to adjust. The fit and finish is excellent, with a solid engineered feel to the door handles and a Grundig badge embossed into the metal rather than just a sticker.
The interior of the fridge is very functional, with a great variety of door pockets, adjustable shelves and salad drawers, all softly illuminated by white LED lighting placed on both sides of the fridge compartment. We like this arrangement rather than top-down lighting, as it allows you to place items on the top shelf without throwing the rest of the compartment into shadow. The hanging wine rack makes the most of largely unused space beneath the mid shelf, or it can be removed if you require more overall space. The freezer drawers have integrated handles rather than simply an extension of the drawer plastic, which is a nice touch.
That 60/40 storage split gives 219 litres of fridge space and 99 litres of freezing capacity. In the refrigerator you get three shelves, a wire rack, and two salad drawers. The upper one of these is the Super Fresh zone and, due to clever placement of door pockets, the lower drawer is the full front-to-back depth of the fridge. The shelves are easy-clean glass and the door pockets include one especially designed for larger milk or juice bottles. There are two additional smaller door pockets.
The freezer has a relatively small capacity, which may be a challenge for the larger family if a second freezer isn't available. This space is well utilised, however, with three transparent plastic drawers making it easy to see what you've got. As with most upright fridge freezers, though, the bottom drawer suffers a reduction in capacity to allow for the compressor on the back.
Some clever ideas have gone into the usually mundane freezer compartment, too. In addition to the three drawers, you get a shallow floating shelf that acts as a lift-out drawer lid. This can be used for smaller items such as ice cubes or ice lollies that may otherwise get lost in the deeper recesses.
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The Grundig GKN16820X, as with most modern fridge freezers, is incredibly quiet running. If your current fridge freezer is around 10 years old or more, the Grundig will sound almost silent by comparison. In our tests it recorded just 43dB (A-weighted to best replicate the sensitivity of human hearing), which is the same figure claimed by Grundig. As that's about the same as a quiet whisper in a library, noise is not going to be an issue with this machine.
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The fridge section of the GKN16820 produced a good consistent temperature over the two-day test. However, the air temperature throughout the compressor cycle – the compressor switching on, cooling and turning off again, which takes about every two hours for this machine – had quite a wide swing. The top shelf averaged 5 degrees C but would rise to nearly 7 degrees and dip to 3 degrees ( /-2 degrees C) and the mid shelf recorded a temperature of 3 degrees at /-1.5 degrees.
The larger bottom drawer was very consistent and averaged around 2 degrees C with very little variation throughout the test, making it ideal for fruit and vegetables. The Super Fresh upper drawer did indeed hover just above freezing at about 0.5 degrees. It also showed quite high temperature fluctuation during the compressor’s cooling cycle, going up to 3 degrees and down to -2.5 degrees every couple of hours. As the cooler end of this scale could frost-damage soft fruit, this drawer would be most suitable for meat, dairy and fish – which is precisely what Grundig recommends.
The freezer compartment brought our 2 litres of room-temperature test water down to -18 degrees in a respectable 16 hours and showed relatively good consistency in average temperature. All three compartments averaged -19 degrees (with the thermostat set to -18 degrees), albeit with a relatively large swing through the cycle. The top drawer showed the greatest variation at /- 5 degrees C, with the lower drawer varying just /- 2 degrees C. Our frozen food remained within a degree of -19 degrees throughout. As is consistent with a well-insulated A machine, in the three-hour fail test the top drawer temperature raised slowly to -6 degrees and took just 27 minutes to get back down to temperature when the power came back on. Overall the test results were solid if not remarkable.
Not too much at all and, unusually, even less than Grundig suggested in their literature. We calculate that it would use around 236kWh per year in average UK household use, which at the current cost of electricity equates to just over 10p per day. For this amount of refrigeration storage, the classy build and all those great features, that's a very good result.
The Grundig GKN16820X has easily established itself as one of our favourite upright 60cm fridge freezers. While its £649.99 initial asking price puts it firmly in the ‘premium’ category of home appliances, the design, features, build quality and solid test results easily justify the cost. If you're looking for a premium stainless steel fridge freezer, this Grundig should certainly be on your shortlist.
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