The Panasonic NA-148VG4 is a mid-range 8kg capacity machine with plenty of features designed around a busy household. With 16 programmes it caters for a wide range of family laundry loads including an eco wash to reduce water and energy consumption and a useful 15-minute speed wash for those in a hurry for clean clothes. This claims to reduce wash time by around 40%.
The NA-148VG4 features Panasonic’s latest HydroActive technology, which consists of five multidirectional shower jets that spray water into the laundry, deeply penetrating the clothes in both wash and rinse modes. Panasonic’s 3D Perfect sense technology detects precisely the amount of clothes placed inside ensuring greater energy efficiency and improved wash performance, too.
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Loading the NA-148VG4 is made easier with its wide opening, even though the 8kg capacity drum is not ‘huge’ by today’s standards. The digital display, while not as funky as the LCD display found on Panasonic’s top-end models, clearly shows the programme chosen with the temperature, time, spin speed and any extra options chosen. These are back-lit for additional clarity. Programming is aided by a beep sound on each button press so you can hear that your selection has registered. With the wash time displayed digitally in countdown mode the machine quietly begins its cycle.
With plenty of programmes at your fingertips, you are spoilt for choice for wash options. There are settings for denim, bedding, baby clothes, sportswear, a quick 15-minute wash and, of course, an eco-wash. The usual settings for cottons, easy-care and woollens have a range of temperatures and spin speed options for superb wash flexibility. A child lock and 24-hour delayed start are available at the touch of a button and the countdown timer gives you a fairly accurate representation of total time left to end of the wash.
A handy Memory function enables you to design your own programme based around the default Cotton settings. Just select the Memory programme and set other settings you require, for example an extra rinse, decreased spin speed and a cooler wash temperature, and then run the programme. Later, this preset programme can be run by simply accessing the Memory programme.
Thanks to the Inverter brushless motor and the ‘silent arch’ design, which absorbs the noise and the vibrations, this is an incredibly quiet machine. It also has a double glazed front door, which further dampens down the noise of the water and clothing splashing about in the machine.
Our test results measured just 59dB on a wash cycle and 73dB on full 1,400 spin. While the spin noise is very close to Panasonic’s own figures of 72dB, the wash noise is a fair bit louder than the 53dB quoted in the literature although still very quiet. To put that into perspective, around 60dB is the volume of most people's speaking voice and 72dB is no louder than some of the quietest vacuum cleaners on the market, so an impressive result all round.
For our tests we ran three different wash cycles; a 30-degree cotton wash with a 6.4kg (80%) full load at 1400 spin speed, a 40-degree cotton wash with a 3.2kg (40%) load at 1,200 spin speed in normal wash mode and then the same wash but this time in eco mode. We did not use the manufacturers maximum 8kg wash load as this is the maximum capacity measurement and 80% is regarded as more realistic for day-to-day usage. We also included a test stain strip in the first wash, which featured dried on ketchup, coffee, blood, red wine and used engine oil. We used a non-biological detergent to ensure there was no added biological help in the wash cycle.
The 3D sensor accurately calculated the wash load placed in the drum and displayed the wash time on the digital display in countdown mode. For the first wash this time was fairly accurate, only being 6 minutes longer than the one hour 25 minutes indicated at the start, with the countdown adjusting and becoming more accurate as the wash progressed. The cycle complete buzzer, which can be turned off for night-time use, alerts you when the wash has finished.
After a very effective maximum 1,400 spin the 6.4kg wash load retained an extra 2.2kg ( 34%) of water, which is a very good result. It coped well with removing all of the stains apart from the engine oil which, to be fair, needs at least a biological powder or stain remover to shift it. Using an average energy price of 15p per KWh at the time of the review, this cycle worked out costing a mere 16p per wash.
For the next two wash cycles using a 3.2kg (40%) load, normal and eco wash, we could not see any difference in the wash results, but the eco took longer so would be ideal running overnight, especially if you were on a cheaper night-time electricity tariff. Both cycles ran 10 minutes longer than the 1hr 25 minutes or 2hrs 45 minutes initially indicated, but once again the buzzer was there to tell you the machine had finished its cycle.
The 1,400 maximum spin was not so effective in these modes with the lighter load, leaving a 2kg ( 62.5%) and a 2.8kg ( 87.5%) weight of water behind after the spin, which means you’re clothes will take longer to dry. On the plus side the eco used almost half the amount of energy to get this result. This made the eco wash a competitive 7p compared to the 15p normal wash.
Based on an average UK household use (200 x 30 degree 80% max load and 40 x 40 degree 40% half load with a 50/50 split on normal and eco programmes), the Panasonic NA-148VG4’s annual running cost is a very acceptable £35.28. Specific figures for power and water use are listed at the bottom of this review.
If you are looking for a mid-range large, but not huge, capacity washing machine with lots of programmes at a reasonable mid-price point, then this may be the machine for you. It has a larger than usual opening for easy loading, easy to use features and the memory programme is ideal for a “specific to you” programme.
It is highly energy-efficient and is one of the quietest machines currently available with only the below average half-load spin performance and the lengthy eco wash times giving it a mark down. While Panasonic is more famous for TV sets, this washing machine is certainly one to watch.
A very good mid-range option for any family – it’s quiet, decent value and the rapid 15-minute wash mode is super convenient.
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40% Load (Norm/Eco)
|Power Consumption||1.033KWh||0.974KWh / 0.456KWh||235.20KWh*|
|Cost to Run @ 15p/KWh||16 pence||15 pence / 7 pence||£35.28|
|Water Consumption||68.1 Litres||49.6 Litres / 42.3 Litres||15,458 Litres|
|Time to Complete Wash||1hr 31mins||1hr 35mins / 2hrs 56mins|
|Noise During Wash||59dB||59dB|
|Noise During Max Spin||73dB||72dB|
|Moisture After Max Spin||2.2kg ( 34.4%)||2.0kg / 2.8kg ( 62.5% / 87.5%)|