A well-built washer dryer with plenty of smart features, the LG TurboWash FWV796STSE is a capable all-in-one.
- Excellent build quality
- Very quiet
- Thorough clothes drying
- Good stain removale
- Amazon Alexa Dash reordering not that useful
- Relatively high running costs
- UKRRP: £669
- CapacityThis washer-dryer can wash up to 9kg of clothes and dry up to 6kg.
- App controlThis washer dryer is LG ThinQ compatible, which means you can control it from your smartphone and Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant.
Washer dryers are often a series of compromises, with an overall cheaper build and fewer options than with separates. The LG TurboWash FWV796STSE tries to redress that balance, with LG’s usual build quality, including a direct drive motor, and smart control.
Decent performance and quiet operation are the two features that make it stand out but running costs, particularly for the tumble dryer are a little higher than the competition.
Design and features
- Exceptionally well built
- Direct drive motor
- Handy light inside the door
- Smart app gives extra features
LG is known for its direct drive washing machines rather than using a belt, and it’s good to see that design make it over to the LG TurboWash FWV796STSE. Direct drive means that the drum is controlled directly by the motor, which helps reduce vibration and keep the noise down, as well as being more reliable generally. Decked out in silver, the LG TurboWash FWV796STSE certainly looks good, too.
Controls are fairly standard for this type of machine, with a programme dial letting you select the washing cycle that you want. These are all labelled in English, which makes them very easy to understand, so you shouldn’t have to refer to the manual too often.
As well as the standard programmes, you get Baby Steam Care for washing and cleansing babywear, plus wool and delicates, and a special 14-minute cycle for quickly dealing with lightly soiled garments.
As this is a washer-dryer, there’s also a standard wash and dry programme (limited to the drying capacity of 6kg), plus a dry only mode.
There’s an LCD panel that shows the estimated wash time, plus it’s awash with symbols and buttons that let you override the default options, including wash temperature and spin speed. Here, you can also add drying (if you haven’t selected the wash and dry or dry only programmes), picking from regular, eco, iron dry or low heat (for delicate items).
There’s an Add Item button, too. Provided the water level and internal temperature are low enough, hitting this button pauses the wash cycle and unlocks the door so that you can add a missing item. Samsung’s AddWash, on models such as the WW9800, work at any point in the wash cycle. To be fair to LG, you’re more likely to notice a missing item at the start of a wash, say a dropped sock, so its system works for most cases.
As this is an LG ThinQ machine, you can add it to the LG ThinQ app for remote control. As with all smart laundry products, remote control is only available with the machine loaded, the door shut and Remote Start enabled via the control panel. This is for safety reasons.
It’s a neat app that lets you quickly set the wash (and/or dry) programme to use and override any default settings. It’s useful if you want to see what each cycle does, plus you can download extra cycles for specialist clothing, such as jeans, sportswear and swimming wear.
LG ThinQ will notify you when a cycle is done, so you can remotely monitor a cycle. You can also link to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Both let you get the status of your machine, which may be useful, but it’s far easier to use the control panel or app to start/stop a wash and choose the best wash programme.
Alexa has one additional trick: Dash reordering. Using this service, you can be notified when you’re running low on laundry detergent and even reorder automatically. It’s a rather basic system, though, as you, first of all, have to tell the system how many laundry capsule items you have, then one is deducted per wash; if you use laundry liquid or powder in the pull-out detergent tray, the system doesn’t work as well.
With its 9kg drum, the LG TurboWash FWV796STSE has a fair amount of room for washing, and a large porthole.
- Slightly higher running costs than the competition
- High running costs in tumble dryer mode
- Good stain removal, particularly at 40C
To test how well the washer dryer performed, I put it through my standard set of tests. First, I began with a 30C cotton wash, loading the machine with my test washing and inserting a stain strip. Here, the LG TurboWash FWV796STSE used 0.38kWh of power and 43.1-litres of water, which is very competitive.
Weighing the washing at the end, 40% additional weight was added through water retention, which is in-line with other washer-dryers but high compared to the best standalone washing machines.
Stain removal was pretty good. Starting from left to right, we have red wine, cooking oil, ketchup, orange juice and gravy. As you can see, the red wine stain was still very visible but the other stains were gone.
Next, I moved to the Eco 40-60 wash, which used 0.59kWh of power and 27.4-litres of water. This is a touch higher than the competition. Water retention wasn’t that good here, either, adding 43% to the dry clothes’ weight.
Stain removal was excellent, though, with the red wine stain largely gone. On a darker garment, you’d have no idea that it was even there.
I tried out the drying programme, next, which used a massive 1.69kWh of power and 5-litres of water. Still, the clothes were completely dry, although total removal accounted to 108% of the dry weight, showing that a fair amount of fibre was lost through the process and that the LG TurboWash FWV796STSE isn’t as gentle as some.
To get a level playing field, I use the EU energy label to work out the average cost per full cycle. I then work out how much washing in total weight is done in the UK, assuming 274 loads per year, and individual cycles of 6kg (high use, 1644kg per year), 4.5kg (medium use, 1233kg per year) and 3kg (low use, 822kg per year).
With its 9kg drum, the LG TurboWash FWV796STSE can complete these washes in 182.87 loads (high), 137 loads (medium) and 91.33 loads (low). This gives us yearly running costs of £37.39 (high), £28.05 (medium) and £18.70 (low). A B-rated appliance, these figures a bit higher than from the A-rated competition.
I work out similar running costs for tumble drying, although this time the assumed load is for 160 cycles per year. As the LG TurboWash FWV796STSE has a 6kg drying capacity, it takes 160 cycles for high use, 120 for medium and 80 for low. This results in running costs of £90.36 (high), £67.77 (medium) and £45.18 (low).
With its low E rating for washing/drying, these figures are quite high and are a combination of high cycle cost and relatively low drying capacity. A standalone tumble dryer will have a much larger capacity, requiring fewer loads to dry the same amount of clothes, and lower running costs.
High tumble drying costs are the main problem of washer dryers, as they both consume more electricity than heat pump dryers, and they also use water to condense the vapour for drainage, adding to the cost.
One area where the washer-dryer really wins is with sound. Thanks to that direct-drive motor, I found this machine exceptionally quiet, at 50.5dB on the regular wash and 70.1dB on spin. It was rock solid, too.
As always, it’s worth pointing out that if you buy a separate washing machine and tumble dryer, you’ll get better results and lower runnning costs. Still, if you want an all-in-one machine for space or convenience, the LG TurboWash FWV796STSE is a good choice.
It’s a little more expensive to run than the competition, such as the Candy ROW4964DWMCE, but it has good stain removal, particularly at 40C, a neat app and it thoroughly dries clothes, too.
Should you buy it?
If you want a well-built washer dryer, this is a great choice. With the direct drive motor, you’re less likely to get issues with this model and it also makes it incredibly quiet in operation. The simple app is great, too, giving you more choice on washing cycles.
It’s a little expensive to buy and the running costs are quite high, particularly for tumble drying. There are other washer dryers that have lower running costs.
With its direct drive motor, the LG TurboWash FWV796STSE is very quiet and stable in use. Thanks to the LG ThinQ app, you add even add extra cycles to this machine. Good stain removal and thorough drying show its quality, but running costs are relatively high.
This washer dryer has a 9kg drum for washing and it can dry 6kg of wet clothes.