Miele’s KFN12924SD-1 is a tall, elegant frost-free fridge freezer with easy to open doors, A+ efficiency and ultra-quiet running. At two metres tall it’s not an appliance for the vertically challenged, but the fridge/freezer split is much nearer 50/50 than many of its peers go for. While the freezer volume is reduced by the thick insulation to the sides and rear, it still includes four good-size drawers and over 120 litres of freezing capacity.
The bright fridge interior is well appointed with plenty of storage options, adjustable shelves and dynamic air cooling for fast and even cooling performance on any shelf. The controls are push button with LED indicators, which are easy to use as long as you can reach to the very top edge where the controls are situated. From the outside it has an air of solidly built class, and the doors are the easiest to open of any appliance we have yet to test. Overall, it’s a very good fridge freezer that’s worth serious consideration.
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The bold, grey colour handles stand out from the satin polar white finish – there’s certain to catch the eye of visitors. They’re cleverly designed not to catch anything else, however, as the smooth design running back to the door makes it almost impossible to catch your clothing on them as you walk past.
Their real beauty is in their use, though. Pull on the handle and it pivots forwards engaging a mechanism that releases the door seal before the door moves. While we have seen similar systems before, nothing has worked quite as well as this and it’s quite uncanny how little effort it takes to open the doors.
The uppermost shelves will be hard to reach for some
The doors are a joy to use, and would be absolutely ideal for the elderly or those with health issues such as arthritis in the hands. Anecdotally, a neighbour popped in during the test and tried the doors. They commented that is was like using ‘the Rolls Royce of fridge freezers’. We can’t argue with that.
On the inside Miele’s build quality and attention to detail is clear wherever you look, although ‘wow’ features like independent temperature drawers are absent. The freezer is fan-assisted for even cooling and the drawers are solidly build with clear fronts and ‘bucket’ type body that ensures spillages and small items are contained.
In the refrigerator compartment, the shelving, racks and door pockets have a solid feel and plenty of adjustment. One nice touch is that the shelves do not have to be removed fully to change position as little cut-outs in the glass allows them to be moved up and down easily.
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The downward firing light feels a little old fashioned compared to the LED strip lighting in rivals
We do have some small criticisms, though – the kind we’d forgive on cheaper fridge freezers. The rather obvious fan at the top is a little clumsy looking, and the simple overhead light is old school compared to the modern side and column LED lighting found in some other premium appliances – the recent Haier A2FE635CFJ is a great example of this.
The control panel presents some problems, too. While the control panel is neatly hidden at the top behind the door when closed, that puts them at nearly two metres off the ground – too high for many people. The adjustments you can make are simple, although strangely in odd numbered two-degree steps for the fridge (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) and in frankly peculiar steps for the freezer (-15, -18, -21, -25 and an absurdly cold -32.). Quirky, but effective.
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The controls are simple but hard to reach
This Miele model’s crowning glory for capacity is undoubtedly its four drawer freezer that offers around 20% more storage than the majority of 60cm wide tall fridge freezers on the market – the similar size and price Samsung RL60GZEIH has just 112 litres of freezer space.
For those that do not have a second freezer, such as a chest freezer in the garage, this should be enough room for most families. While the drawers are not on ‘runners’ they do seem to pull out very easily and by lifting the front can be removed completely for a better rummage.
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The freezer drawers pull right out
Thanks to the Miele being so tall, the larger freezer does not rob the fridge of too much space and it offers a good 231-litre capacity. The lower drawer is split into two side-by-side drawers that makes accessing them when full or removing them completely much easier.
With four shelves and a wire bottle rack we found this a little too much furniture and limited storage of taller items, so we ousted the bottle rack. That will be a personal preference depending on your needs, but it is great that Miele offers the option.
The lower door pockets are deep enough for tall bottles and there is admirable range of adjustment on the upper door boxes. Unfortunately, the cheese box at the top of the door is not moveable and it is a long way up – I am 5ft 10 and it is above my head, which will make looking for items in a crowded cheese box tricky. There were only a few items in this compartment during the test and we found it was quite easy to locate items looking up through the clear plastic base of the box, though.
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There are white and silver versions
If there is one brand of products whose claimed performance numbers almost always match our test results, it is Miele. Absolutely no surprise then that the Miele KFN12924SD-1 emitted just 41dB of noise when running – exactly as Miele states.
Much of that noise is fan noise from the dynamic cooling system. You can turn this off from the control panel for even quieter running at below 40dB. That really is very quiet and no louder than a library. Moreover, unlike some models we have tested there were no ‘odd’ noises in terms of pops, clicks or gurgling – just a gentle hum.