To Miele or not to Miele?

SchorschiJanuary 20, 2012

Hi there,

I'm new to the forum. I'm a German ex-pat of 10 years living in Florida.

Recently our GE washer broke. Made a loud thump in the middle of a wash, ever since then the drum seems to sit a couple of inches lower. Don't think it is worth fixing as it cost only $300-$400 eight years ago or so.

So, we'd like to get a Miele washer. Have an eye on the W4842 with the five year extended warranty and perhaps the RemoteVision module. All in all (and incl. tax) it would cost about US$2500 from a local dealer. Ouch!

So, today my wife and I went to Sears and looked at a Kenmore model for around $1100. I didn't count the programs it offers, but appears to have comparable features to the Miele. Sanitize cycle, 1200 rpm spin. They offer a five year warranty for $410. After tax that would amount to a little over $1600.

So, I'm asking myself, if I buy a washer with a five-year warranty, does it matter which brand I'm getting?

Looking beyond the five years it might be different, as one would expect the Miele to outlast most everything else.

So, besides that what warrants the expense of an almost additional $1000 for a Miele over a Kenmore?

Do they produce that much different results?

Other than that, I'm not impressed by the W4842's non-metal door and locking mechanism. We used to have a Miele FL when we lived in Germany, which, if I recall correctly, had an all-metal locking mechanism. Why doesn't the W4842 have that? Does the W3033 have a metal door/locking mechanism?

Other than size what exactly is the difference between the W3033 and the W4842?


Clearwater, Florida

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The door lock on my W4842 is metal. The Miele is one of the very, very machines that have a glass inner and outer door. Most machines, even the very $$$ Electrolux Wave Touch have a plastic outer door. Where are you seeing a non-metal door mechanism???

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 9:47AM
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The locking mechanism on my W4842 is definitely metal, with the exception of the plastic roller at the bottom - but that roller needs to be plastic or rubber, not metal. I can't tell anyone whether a Miele is worth an extra $900 - that's a decision you need to make based on your particular priorities. Does the Miele clean better than a Kenmore? I don't know, I've never had a Kenmore, but I can unequivocally state that it cleans better than my Asko front loader - which I used as the gold standard until the Miele came along.

You've already identified things about the W4842 that you don't like, so I would recommend that you go with the Kenmore.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 12:03PM
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"So, besides that what warrants the expense of an almost additional $1000 for a Miele over a Kenmore?"

Fabric care? Is there anything out there that is as gentle as a Miele? That's the main reason I'd buy a Miele.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 11:28PM
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Anything Else is A Compromise. I can tell you that's not a joke. Get the Miele man....

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 4:39AM
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The Miele features I like are:

Option for long wash cycles, up to an hour (just for the wash portion) in some cases.

Evenly-spaced temperature selections from 30C to 70C.

Heater use in most cycles. However, my recent experience seems to show that the temperature "guarantee" is not unconditional. There's some limit to how long it'll pause the cycle timer to allow heating to complete. This may be more of a concern for installations with a very long hot-water delay, like mine. Maybe I should try setting the water intake configuration to "cold" and see if it makes a difference.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 11:24AM
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Keep in mind that the Mieles you may have used in Germany could be quite differemt from the ones you can buy here.

To accomodate the American "Bigger is Better" and the American "I can't be bothered to think, I want Pre-Sets" attitude the US machines are different even if they still look the same as the world-wide models.

In addition Miele no longer offers 220V, true horizontal axis models here - big mistake in my view.

You might find used, older 220V Mieles for sale quite cheaply in your area. I see them on Craig's List for between $150-300 pretty regularly. Since Mieles are built to last many can be expected to soldier on for years to come.



    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 12:19PM
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Now that Miele is getting to be the most commented on equipment line here at GW, I am seeing an ever increasing number of posts by buyers that have had a problem with their unit or the service. It is starting to look like all that engineering is not producing products that are proportionately less troublesome considering the extra cost. Maybe the lower quality of new US stuff makes it unacceptable, but throwing money at a problem won't always make it go away.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 11:45AM
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@ nerdyshopper

I don't quite agree with your assessment. Granted, the Miele W48X0 had some growing pains, but the next generation - W48X2 and matching dryers - resolved most, if not all remaining issues. If I remember, Miele was quite responsive in repairing and/or replacing affected machines. My T9802 dryer was replaced due to a noise that was difficult to diagnose. The noise was just an annoyance, but Miele replaced it without any fuss. My W4842 washer has been working flawlessly now for almost 2 years.

I am extremely happy with Miele support and how they have resolved my particular issue - which, to be frank, was just a minor annoyance and not something that affected the unit's performance in any way. The other fact to consider is that people come to these forums when they have problems - not when they are satisfied with an appliance. So there will always be a preponderance of complaints here.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 12:43PM
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sshrivastava: I only meant that for a while almost all the complaints were about Bosch, Whirlpool, KA, Maytag or GE, but lately that is not the case.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 8:14PM
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Agree with @sshrivastava. I've had my machines for close to a year. The issues I had were with the install and not the units themselves. Miele was very responsive to fixing the issue. While I'd be happy if it hadn't been an issue, they came promptly (usually the next day) and gave me free credit for care products each time.

I think the statement that "an ever increasing number of posts by buyers that have had a problem with their unit" may be exaggerated. I've been reading and posting here for a few years and I can't think of many complaining posters (re: Miele). Just a slight few.

And I can tell you, that German engineering is a solid piece of equipement.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 8:30PM
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Even high end appliances develop problems. However, how the company handles those problems is where I see a big difference. I find that the higher-end appliance manufacturers like Miele, Dacor, and others step up to the plate and make the process of repairing or replacing your appliance much easier and faster than a less costly brand.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 11:58AM
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