Saturday, June 22, 2013

Choosing a Range (Cooktop and Oven): by the Numbers

I have been designing my kitchen. I have only had a kitchen for about a year, defined as a room that contained a kink with running water and drain, a full-size refrigerator, a dishwasher and a microwave. Previously I had a room in the house with a mini-fridge, a microwave and a sink with running water (no drain). After I reconstructed the joists under the previous kitchen floor, put in subfloor and tile, I finally had the beginnings of a real kitchen. I recently made a built-in for my dining room, and learned how to make drawers and cabinet doors. With these skills I should be able to make my kitchen cabinets. But I can't do that until I have my final appliance--a range.

I went to Consumer Reports, where I compiled their list of 161 reviewed ranges from May 2013. I won't reproduce the entire list here, but I will produce a statistical summary I created. Rather than focus on a specific range to purchase, I wanted to evaluate the companies that made them. Consumer Reports listed these 161 ranges, along with the list price for each, and a "score" of their quality based on 5 specific features. These scores ranged from 48 to 87 on a 100pt scale. I analyzed the percent of ranges that each company produced that scored above 75 on this Consumer Reports Scale, along with the average price for the evaluated ranges. The list is sorted from best to worst based on the percent of evaluated ranges with a score above 75. This list does not represent all 161 Consumer Reports evaluated ranges, but just the smooth-top ranges (n=65).

CompanyAverage ScorePercent of Ranges Above 75ptsAverage PricePercent of Ranges Below 70pts
Electrolux81.7100% $ 2,000 0%
LG79.688% $ 1,279 13%
GE80.980% $ 1,505 0%
Kenmore77.367% $ 1,155 17%
Frigidaire72.255% $ 1,030 27%
Maytag68.840% $ 1,010 60%
Samsung73.733% $ 967 17%
KitchenAid71.033% $ 1,483 33%
Whirlpool66.911% $ 833 78%
Jenn-Air70.00% $ 1,600 0%
Amana54.70% $ 533100%

(Notes: Jenn-Air just had one reviewed range, at 70pts. Also, while Kenmore scored 4th on the list with the average highest ratings, they had the top 2 scoring ranges on the list, at 87 pts each.)

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