Thermador or SZ 48" side by side

wardmanMarch 23, 2013

Hello All,

Does anyone have either of these fridges and have an opinion to provide? Seeing the SZ in person is not a problem, the Thermador is harder to find.


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The Thermador is a corporate cousin of the KitchenAid and JennAir.

You will find many more complaints for the Subzero than Thermador because SZ has a much much larger market share.

Unless you are getting a really big discount on the Thermador I would get the SZ. Thermador is not a bad fridge I just think SZ is better overall with cool features like the ultraviolet air scrubber to make produce last longer and have the fridge smell nice.

When/if it comes time to sell your home nothing says high end kitchen to a potential buyer like a SZ fridge, it is the number one appliance if re-sale value is a priority.

BTW There is a veteran poster here who swears by his JA and tells just about every SZ intender they should consider the JA. He really likes the JA/Whirlpool variable speed compressor. The SZ has two smaller compressors each dedicated to the fridge or freezer made by a Whirlpool subsidiary.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 4:12PM
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You're right as usual, deeageaux.

I'm a bit surprised to hear that Thermador is a "Corporate Cousin" to Kitchenaid and Jenn-air (who are owned by Whirlpool).
I had no idea Thermador is/was even under the "Whirlpool Umbrella"

As far as SZ goes, yes they use the Embraco Compressors, a Whirlpool owned company,

What bothers me is they use the old style "full on/full off" instead of the newer and more efficient and quieter variable speed compressors, (assuming the usually knowledgeable poster) was correct in his post about SZ compressors---Said poster is gone now, and it is VERY Hard to find what compressors the new SZ's have. Maybe You can tell us deeageaux?

I know for sure that Liebherr uses 2 variable speed compressors, and I'm pretty sure Miele does too.

So if I'm spending money on "High End" Fridges, "To Me at least", they should have the latest and greatest and up to date technology---hence the reason The "Veteran Poster" swears by his JA.

Also it used to be you could get a "Deal" on JA Fridges. Not anymore! Unfortunately Whirlpool took lessons from SZ on "Marketing Strategy" and pricing.

Back in 2006, my 48" built in SxS fridge cost me $4588, now it's over $8000.00. Not only that, now they hide the price, like SZ used to (SZ does list MSRP on their website now) JA does not, and as I mentioned in another post, "To ME" this is Sleeze Bag Marketing and I recommended to folks to Pass on Jenn-airs until their MSRP prices show up on the JA Website.

Some of you folks that have been here for a while will recall that I mentioned, after seeing SZ's prices, that other companies would follow what SZ put up the pole and unfortuntately, I was right. All the companies are saluting those prices now and following them---I just don't think that's fair to folks that want a little more than your "Common Everday Fridge" but Now they really have to "Pay through the nose" to "Join"!!


    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 6:08PM
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I should have added this to my above post.

Thermador is owned by Bosch, which is a German company, alto some of their fridges are/were built in Turkey
Bosch also owns Gaggenau.

Whirlpool is a US company and like SZ, their fridges are built in the US.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 6:17PM
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@deeageaux said: "The Thermador is a corporate cousin of the KitchenAid and JennAir."

Like dodge59, I am puzzled by that statement, because Thermador is part of the Bosch/Siemens group, which has nothing to do with Whirlpool SFAIK. In the USA, Thermador is a sibling of Bosch and Gaggenau products.

Here is a link that might be useful: BSH group

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 7:26PM
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If you can spare an extra 6" and some more $$, you might find that the 24" all-freezer + 30" all-fridge Thermador "Freedom" columns are a good choice. We liked them better than any of the SBS units we saw. One big advantage of two columns is that you can have both doors hinged on the same side, which means you do not have to step around a door if you only have a landing zone to one side.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 7:29PM
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That particular fridge, the 42" and 48" SxS is made by Whirlpool in the USA. In MI I believe. Same plant as the KitchenAid and JennAir. It looks like a duck and quacks like a duck.

Yes, Thermador is owned by Siemens Bosch Home Appliance group and their towers(Freedom Refrigerators and Freezers) are made by Bosch(BSH) in Turkey. Not the SxS.

In my book that fills definition of "Corporate Twin".

Nope, warranty service would be handled by a BSH company not a Whirlpool brand.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:21PM
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So we are saying the Therm SxS is made in the ame plant/place as the JA and KA?

On the towers - I liked but was not a fan of how high everything gets, especially for a 5'2" wife.

Decisions, decisions....

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:29PM
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I went through this last summer as part of doing a full Thermador package. The companies are completely different. Thermador has Kitchenaid produce their 48" SXS models. They are re-badged "Thermador" with a few different features. The column models and the the 36" models are the "real" Thermadors made by Thermador. They have dual compressors, huge hinges, LED lighting, etc. Very different than the 48" models made for them by Kitchenaid. It's easy to see the difference. I have a 36" Thermador I'm happy with.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 6:34PM
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I think what dee MEANT to say was that particular (48" t'dor) fridge is a "kissin cousin" to the 48" built in fridges made by Whirlpool and their subsidiaries - JA and Kitchen Aid.

BSH - Bosch's global appliance division does own Thermador and Gaggenau. They also set up a factor in Turkey to built their new(ish) fridge platforms and the first units to show up in this country from this factory were badged Thermador and came with a big splashy Freedom Collection ad campaign. Later, similar models came here with the Bosch moniker - but were discontinued in pretty short order. Gaggenau units were next and are still available with the principle diff. being a stainless interior with frameless glass shelving and a $$$ price tag. 10 year parts AND 5 year Labor warranty though.

I think some took it as Thermador, the company ,being related structurally to to whirlpool - which I don't think he meant.

bonus tidbit :

Miele's USA fridges are made in that same factory, but on a separate line and with a significant percentage of the parts coming from Miele themselves rather than the BSH supply chain.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 7:47PM
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We had the T'Dor columns and absolutely loved them. The quality is awesome. We were sold on SZ until we saw the T'Dor. Albeit both are great. My wife is also 5'2" and when shopping was concerned but never became an issue. We moved into a new house with a builtin 48" JA and it isn't half the fridge that the Columns were. Now she complains about the JA and wants me to swap them for another pair of T'Dor Columns. I miss my Columns...


    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 1:28PM
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Hmmm, must be a "cheaper" JA than mine.

The shelves on mine, crank up and down, both in the fridge and the freezer, really handy as you don't need to unload a shelf first, if one needs to adjust it up or down for a tall bottle or whatever.

I don't think the Thermador has 3 different settings for the different areas of the fridge, all with digital readouts and controls.
One for the meat keeper, one for the chrisper and one for the main fridge.

When I looked back in 2006 there were only 3 48" built in Fridges available, GE, SZ and Jenn-air,
(Pre maytag Whirlpool Days).

We didnt like the gills on theSZ at the top, I didnt want 2 compressors, and of course, I did not like the price.

Right now, I do recommend that folks skip the Jenn-air due to their "Hidden Price Marketing Strategy", but I still find it hard to believe the T Dors have all the features that the JA does, and I would not bet on it having the laterst variable speed compressors.
The JA was made in the Good Old USA, not Turkey.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 5:42PM
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I just purchased 30" fridge freezer thermador columns (oh and a 24" wine column too :)). Not installed yet, but my research and shopping showed me this.... The new GE monogram fridge/freezer column, the thermador columns, the Miele columns and the Gaggenau columns all come from the Turkey plant. Each company does something a little different afterwards. Miele does more with electronics, and nicer lights, Monogram made the drawers below different (and less efficient in my mind), Gaggenau treats everything in Stainless steel. I liked the Thermador best for the value versus quality side. I tip my hat to the Turkish factory for designing/building a quality unit at the core. As such, I would suspect all of these units share the same compressor, insulation, hinges (I can verify the hinges at least). Clearly these brands all do other models (OK, maybe not Miele) from other factories as well. Most of these brands started with an appliance, got a reputation, and then found ways to stick their name on other appliances which helps with marketing, and design style to an extent. Its no surprise that Whirlpool makes most of the US fridges, doesn't mean that you are getting deceived if its really labelled kitchen aide....

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 10:52PM
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I really "doubt" they share the same compressors.

After hours of googling Thermador Columns, Freedom Columns etc etc, and even after downloading all the Operator's and Installation manuals , All I can find is "Dedicated Compressor & Evaporator" BIG DEAL all my cars , even my 59 has a "Dedicated Engine".

It was also very difficult to find the energy ratings of the TDors, but I finally did, 465kwh/yr for the 18" freezer and 319kwhr/yr for the 24" Fridge = 784 Kwhr/yr. The 48" JA uses 680kwhr/yr.

I'm sure like Miele, and Liebherr, if TDor used the VSP compressor, they would say so, but just like SZ who I'm told quit using the VSP's, they tell you nothing about the Compressors now. VSP = Variable Speed Compressor

"To Me", That's like buying a very expensive car, asking the Salesman, what engine does the car have, the Salesman replies, "Yeah It has an Engine". "A Dedicated One" Sheeshh


    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 6:26AM
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