Review Price £1,399.00
This LG GLS545NSYV, finished in rather fetching ‘premium steel’ paint finish, is an eye-catching top-of-the-range US-style side-by-side fridge freezer. With its internal reservoir for water and ice it can be installed without the services of a plumber and comes with a fairly generous 3.5 litre tank. The energy efficiency has been rated as A partly due to running a linear compressor which, comprising fewer components than a conventional compressor, makes it considerably quieter and more energy-efficient. In fact, so confident is LG with the linear technology, that this component comes with a 10 year warranty for extra peace of mind.
The LG GSL545NSYV also comes equipped with Smart Diagnosis should the fridge freezer have a problem. Just call up the LG customer service helpline and, when instructed, hold the phone next to the Smart Diagnosis symbol strangely located by the right hand door hinge. This will send a signal back to LG’s diagnostic computer which should identify the problem and ascertain whether it can be easily fixed by the user or requires a service engineer visit.
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The premium steel finish gives the LG GSL545NSYV a very contemporary look, without the fingerprint issues that you can get with a true stainless steel finish. Along with the integral flush fitting horizontal handles the look is a stunning piece of contemporary kitchen appliance. Water, crushed ice or ice cubes are dispensed via a stylish black and silver combined dispenser lit by LED lighting. Water is ready to be dispensed without touching any additional buttons, just place your glass in the dispenser and push it on the lever.
For the ice options simply touch the relevant icon on the steel button panel and place your glass as before. On opening the doors both sections have fabulously bright LED lighting and slim bezel shelving which serves to illuminate all corners of this refrigerator very effectively. We were very impressed with the blast of cold air that hits you on opening the freezer, just like a professional cold store.
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Quite a lot as there is an incredible 540 litres of storage space on offer. The huge 362 litre fridge comes with three adjustable tempered glass shelves, a 4 bottle wine rack and 2 transparent drawers. The first of these is a ‘moist balance crisper’ for storage of fresh fruit and vegetables. This incorporates a lattice box cover where excess moisture is attracted and condenses rather than gathering around the base of the stored food, helping it to stay fresher for longer.
The other drawer is LG’s 0 Zone, a great place for storing meat or fish prior to cooking as it claims to keep at a very constant zero °C. In the door there are four large door baskets to store all your milk, sodas and jars, as well as an enclosed dairy corner for eggs in their rack and cheeses separate in their own area. The 3.5 litre water tank is stored in the door but this does not hamper the storage too much as there is plenty of space all round.
The freezer delivers 178 litres of storage space consisting of four tempered glass shelves, three door baskets and two deep transparent drawers with clear fronts, making it easy to check contents. There is an Express Freeze facility which is located on the fourth shelf that enables room-temperature items to be frozen as quickly as possible. The whole machine is frost-free so gone are fiddly defrosting maneuverers and wet floors.
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The LG GSL545NSYV would be a fantastic addition to any kitchen, combining sleek contemporary styling with huge storage capacity and inspired usability. The central gloss black and silver control panel together with the water and ice dispenser add to the classy look of this machine. The internal water tank means the LG does not have to be located near a water source, although the 3.5litre tank is going to need regular refilling for larger families in the summer. The ice maker churns out plenty of ice cubes and very effectively crushes the ice if this is what is required.
On the inside the quality and attention to detail continues with bright LED lighting, large easy to remove drawers, shelves that are very simple to reposition and huge door pockets that have no problem taking numerous 2 litre bottles of your favourite soda or 4-pinter milk cartons. The wine rack is a great addition and, as it hangs from a higher shelf, still provides plenty of storage space underneath the Chardonnay.
The freezer has ample capacity but, as with most US-style fridge freezers, only has two drawers and is substantially narrower than the fridge. This will only cause a problem if you are a family that likes freezing enormous pizzas or stocking the freezer to capacity as the open shelves mean a propensity for over-packed food to fall out when you open the door. If you need more than 178 litres of freezer space we would suggest a small chest freezer as well. The four freezer shelves are easy to adjust, with the fast freeze shelf being in the middle and easily accessible. The three roomy door pockets are especially handy for smaller items like ice lollies or opened packs of vegetables. Overall, this premium product from LG is visually stunning and highly practical fridge freezer.
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In our fridge and freezer tests, this LG turned in a very good set of results, particularly in the freezer compartment. We set the fridge to 4 °C, the freezer to -20 °C and loaded compartments for medium household usage (1kg food / 10litres capacity in the freezer, 0.5kg food / 10 litres in the fridge). This included two litres of room temperature water with a middle sensor to check the fresh-to-frozen and power-off defrost rates of the freezer. We mapped the temperature in four different zones of each compartment over a 48-hour period, taking readings every minute for greatest accuracy.
In the freezer compartment, the LG brought our 2litres of water to -18 °C in a very swift 14 hours, proving the effectiveness of the central freezer shelf’s fast freezing capabilities. Over the 48-hour running test (opening the doors 6 times per day) the air temperature range measured just 2/-1 °C away from -18 °C, with the upper of the two drawers providing an incredibly stable freezer temperature (-18 /- 0.5 °C) throughout.
That said, the user thermostat is a little wayward as we had set the target temperature to -20 °C. Only the top shelf showed any noticeably peaks in air temperature when the door was opened, but even then it was brought back down to temperature in a matter of minutes on closing the door. Most impressively our frozen food remained pretty much spot-on -18°C throughout the test irrespective of when the door was opened – a fabulous result.
Over the 3-hour power-cut test the internal air temperature showed a steady rise to just -10 °C on the mid shelf and -7 °C on the top shelf. Both drawers raised by less than 6 °C over the three hours, which would give a food safety limit (before food has effectively begun to defrost) of close to 20 hours. You could not wish for a better set of test results from a freezer compartment.
The refrigerator compartment was almost as impressive as the freezer, yet let down a little by the top shelf and to some extent the 0 Zone compartment. The latter compartment offered a spectacularly even temperature, with a variation of less than /- 0.5 °C throughout the test, yet it was a long way from being at zero °C. In fact the 0 Zone might be better called the 5 Zone as it maintained this temperature incredibly well.
The moist balance crisper compartment was equally as stable as the 0 Zone even though it was at exactly the same temperature of 5 °C throughout. Open shelves generally suffer higher temperature fluctuation than drawers as the cool air simply rolls out when the door is opened. Yet the LG’s mid-shelf remained impressively stable at 5 °C, briefly cycling down to 3 °C when the compressor was running and up to 6 °C when the door was opened. Sadly the top shelf really lets the side down. Not only did it average nearly 7 °C throughout our tests, when the compressor kicks in it briefly dips down to freezing point, potentially causing surface frost damage to sensitive foodstuffs like soft fruit.
Clearly, to get this LG refrigerator compartment to average 4 °C and dip towards zero in the 0 Zone it will need to be set to perhaps 2 °C lower than indicated – and that would show up as more energy used than indicated in our tests.
Ignoring the top shelf in the refrigerator, where we would recommend you only stored jars, drinks and tins, the LG GSL545NSYV actually turns in an exceptional set of test results. It delivers remarkably consistent and stable temperatures in both freezer and most of the fridge compartment, is well insulated keeping food fresh for longer in a power cut, and very quiet in operation. Be aware that you will need to set a lower target temperature for both compartments than indicated and the 0 Zone drawer is unlikely to achieve its ‘0’.
Noise, what noise? It really is very quiet indeed. The only noise you can hear is when the ice maker turns to deliver more cubes to the ice cube container. LG’s own literature claims 39dB and we could not argue with that. In fact it is so quiet you are unlikely to hear it in a standard kitchen with other ambient noise. For comparison 40dB is the noise measurement for a library – and that’s quiet.
Surprisingly very little indeed considering its sheer size and capacity. We calculated the LG was going to consume around 351KWh per year (£52.65 per year*) which was even more economical than LG’s published figures of 463KWh (£69.45 per year*). Of note if you wanted the freezer to genuinely hit -20 °C and the refrigerator to average 4 °C you would need to set the thermostat temperatures a couple of °C lower than indicated. This would increase energy consumption, potentially raising the energy consumption figures to nearer those quoted by LG. Even so, unless you live in the tropics or have your kitchen heated to oven like temperatures, the LG is a very economical fridge freezer.
The top shelf fridge inconsistencies and 0 Zone issues aside, yes you should. Yes for performance; yes for huge storage capacity, especially within the fridge; yes for sheer contemporary style; yes for on-demand water and ice, and yes for the convenience of not having to bother a plumber to install it.
Provided style preference doesn't come into the equation, it also slightly edges the also excellent Panasonic NR-B53V1. The LG costs half as much to run per year (£52.65 vs £105). We also like the fact installation doesn't require a visit from a plumber. On paper the LG also has more storage space, though this is slightly deceptive as the LG favours fridge space (362 litres vs 324) but has less freezer space (178 litres vs 206). Which you need more of will largely govern which is the best one for you.
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|Approx. annual power consumption||351KWh|
|Approx. annual running cost||£52.65|
|Running Noise (A weighted)||38-39dB|
|Max freezer (air)temp after 3hr fail||-7°C|
|Max freezer (food) temp after 3hr fail||-16°C|
|Frozen safety limit (food to 0 °C)||Approx. 20hours|
|Recovery time to -20 (air) after 3hr fail||28 minutes|
|Average Freezer temp variation||-16° to -19°C|
|Average Fridge temp variation||5° to 7°C|
*Based on an average 15p per KWh at time of review
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