Fool to get Aga Legacy rather then Wolf, Viking, BS or American?

needinfo1December 5, 2012

We were at another appliance store again today. We went specifically to look at the American Range Performer because I want open burners and something simple without a lot of electronics, and I'd read good things about them here. Also in the running that we've already seen are Bluestar, Viking VGIC, and the basic Wolf R304. But, at the store what really caught my eye was a floor model 36" Aga Legacy that was significantly discounted.

As far as burners, the Aga is completely different from what I thought I was looking for. But, the looks are much more appealing because it would fit right in my more vintage-type kitchen. And, I'm not a big fan of stainless anyway, and all because my other applicances are white to go with the look of my kitchen! The Aga has sealed burners--5 of them (I know I said I wanted open burners). There are a 15,000; a 12,000; a 5,000; and two 9,200 BTU burners. The 2,300 watt broiler is hard to compare power on because this one is electric, and all of the other ranges I have looked at are all gas. It has the Aga characteristic three different size ovens with small capacities. But, we also have a wall oven, so this isn't as big a problem for me as it might be for others.

We are replacing a nearly twenty year old Jenn-Air open-burner downdraft with dual fuel, and I assume (maybe wrongly so) that anything I have looked at will be an improvement in burner performance.

Prior to seeing the American Range today (one 22000; a 18,000; and two 12,000 BTU burners with a 17,000 BTU broiler), we've also looked at and considered the Wolf R304 which has four 16,000 BTU burners and a 16,000 BTU broiler. We've looked at both of the newer model V1 Bluestar ranges--the higher end one with two 22,000 BTU burners while the cheaper RCS has only the 15,000 BTU burners--both have a 15,000 BTU broiler. And, we are considering the Viking VGIC with four 15,000 BTU burners and a 18,000 BTU broiler.

We could get this 36" AGA for a little less than the 30" colored Bluestar RNB. It would be about the same price as the 30" stainless Wolf or the 30" colored Viking. And, it would be more than the 30" Bluestar RNB or the 30" American Range.

I know I'd be trading off some performance for looks if I go with the Aga. But, I am also at the point in my research where I truly am starting to wonder how much difference all of these specs make and how many BTUs I really need. And, would I really even know the difference in cooking if I bought this rather than one of the more high powered models? Would I be a fool to go with this just because the appearance appeals to me as something unique? Reliability , of course, is another factor that is important to me. Anyone have any perspectives or experience? Thanks.

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I feel like I could have written this post! I went to my upteenth appliance store the other day specifically to see the American Range, saw the Aga and fell in love with it (I didn't like the AR). I need an all gas though, the DF wouldn't work for me. Can't shed any light on the Aga performance but it sure is pretty and I would love to have three ovens.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:46AM
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Yes, I'm pretty ambivalent on the American too. The raised grates with all the dead space in between them seems a litle off-putting. I woner about trying to take things from one burner actoss the range.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:29AM
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I made the same choice.

Viking has a terrible reputation. Wolf's reputation is good but I don't see what all the fuss is about; their burners are all closed so nothing distinctive. Bluestar still has issues, including safety issues, despite an energetic campaign to lie about that fact on this forum. Capitals still have simmer issues. American is unproven and not that attractive to me. On top of it all, while I love the idea of closed burners I really have little use for a blast furnace for a stove. I don't cook that way.

No appliance is perfect and no brand guarantees that you won't have problems. So I decided to get something that looks nice and also gets some good reviews from its owners (not only online, I've spoken in person to someone I know who's used one). Is it the right choice? For me, probably, but you can't know that in advance about any modern appliance.

The ovens are small but I like having two ovens, and the tall one is interesting.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 11:44AM
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Fori is not pleased

I'd get it if it were the right color. The only thing that might trouble me is the ovens, and you've got a wall oven so who cares?

I think it's unlikely that anyone using an old JA would be sacrificing any performance that she'd actually use.:) Very few of us need that kind of BTU!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Yes, the BTU question and how much one really needs is one that is bugging me. Is this just the appliance manufacturer's version of the arms race? We all offer more and more and more to entice customers.

Thanks for all of the comments. I am still mulling this over and went back to day to look at the Aga again (and the American Range). Now I am starting to think if I don't get the Aga the American might be a contender. While in the store, I compared it to the much more expensive Viking and Wolf and didn't really see how they were worth the extra money.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:21PM
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Fori is not pleased

The Aga is the prettiest. That is not unimportant!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 10:16PM
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Well, we went to a different showroom today where they had the white model Aga on display in good lighting (the place with the good-priced floor model had poor lighting and the range was a more burgundy color with a black top, so details were hard to see). I think we are now backing off the idea of the Aga no matter how nice looking it is. The quality of the construction just wasn't there, especially when compared to the Wolf and Viking ranges that were sitting right around the corner from it. I want nice looking, but I also want solid construction. This just seemed too flimsy of a construction in many areas. I really wanted to buy this but just don't know if I can justify the price when we saw how some parts of it were put together. I actually spent a lot of time on the web before we went out today and found many favorable reviews for the Rangemaster Elan in Britain which I think is nearly identical to the Legacy in the U.S. And, both of the salespeople we dealt with regarding this range did tell us that the level of quality is more equal to that of the Kitchen Aid and Jenn-Air and other similar mid-range lines rather than the truer high end pro lines.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 6:33PM
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