Whirlpool WTW8700EC review – CNET

Whirlpool’s WTW8700EC, also called the “Smart Cabrio,” is a seriously stylish $1,399 washing machine. In addition to its integrated touchscreen, transparent lid and glossy gray finish, this top-loader also excels at removing stains. Its large 5.3-cubic-foot capacity holds a lot of clothes, and its app features are actually pretty smart. The Smart Cabrio is a solid washer, but you can find models that perform better for less money — if you don’t mind giving up the Wi-Fi smarts.

A smarter washer?

The Whirlpool Smart Cabrio’s glossy gray finish, transparent lid and integrated touchscreen stand out alongside less design-focused washers. But how does it compare to other high-end models when it comes to specs? Let’s take a look:

Comparing washing machines

Whirlpool WTW8700EC Kenmore Elite 31633 LG WT1801HVA Kenmore 29133
Price $1,399 $1,530 $1,150 $1,100
Color finish Chrome shadow Metallic, white (model No. 31632 for $1,420) Graphite steel, white (for $1,050) Metallic, white (model No. 29132 for $1,180)
Capacity 5.3 cubic feet 6.2 cubic feet 4.9 cubic feet 5.3 cubic feet
# of cycles 10 10 12 9
Energy consumption 196 kWh/year 290 kWh/year 135 kWh/year 259 kWh/year
Water consumption 17.4 gallons 15.6 gallons 15 gallons 17.7 gallons
Dimensions (width, height, depth) 27.5 x 42.3 x 28 inches 29.5 x 43.5 x 30 inches 27 x 40.2 x 28.4 inches 27.5 x 42 x 27.9 inches
App Yes, Android and iPhone No Yes, Android and iPhone No
img4094.pngEnlarge Image

Get alerts when the washer finishes a cleaning cycle.

Screenshot by CNET

In terms of capacity, the 5.3-cubic-foot Smart Cabrio is comparable to Kenmore’s 29133. Kenmore borrows design templates from other appliance manufacturers, but typically makes subtle tweaks to their appearance and list of features. The Kenmore 29133 was actually modeled after another Whirlpool washer — the WTW8500DC. While the WTW8500DC isn’t identical to the Smart Cabrio, the Kenmore 29133 and the Smart Cabrio have very similar specs and performance (we’ll get to that part later).

I do wish the Cabrio Smart had a few more settings on its display, though. It doesn’t have an “extra hot” water temperature option and 10 cleaning cycles is on the low side for a high-end model like this.

The Cabrio Smart uses roughly the same average amount of water per cleaning cycle as Kenmore’s 29133 — 17.4 gallons, compared to the 29133’s 17.7 gallons. But the Kenmore Elite 31633 used just 15.6 gallons of water per cycle, while having a significantly larger 6.2-cubic-foot capacity and the best cleaning performance to date.

The Cabrio Smart also adds in smart functionality. The related Whirlpool app for Android and iPhone gives you access to your washer’s status straight from your phone. You can also start and stop cycles remotely, but you have to make sure to enable the “Remote Start” button on the washer first. Having to physically push a button on the washer to use it remotely somewhat defeats the purpose of remote access. Still, it’s the best app-washer integration we’ve seen yet. You can also get alerts when a cleaning cycle ends. I love that feature because I regularly forget I have clothes in the washer.

The Smart Cabrio can be linked with the Nest Learning Thermostat’s home and away status, too. If the washer knows you’re away from home, it will spin your clothes periodically to keep them fresh. There’s also a Whirlpool IFTTT channel for smart washers. But when I tried to download it, I got the following message: “The item you’ve requested is not currently available in the U.S. Store, but it is available in the U.K. Store. Click Change Store to view this item.” Too bad.

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