Whirlpool Cabrio (with agitator) vs. Maytag Bravos (HE)

gardenspudsMay 27, 2010

We moved into a new house 2 1/2 yrs ago and the previous owners left their front loading Bosch Nexxt washer and dryer. I think these are probably the first generation. I don't like the washer for several reasons, and I want to now purchase a top loader.

I have it narrowed down to two. My favorite is the Whirlpool Cabrio with agitator, model WTW6200V. It has all the features I want, including the ability to select water level or use auto sensor for water. It is not an HE because of the agitator, although is Energy Star compliant and has a "good" review for water efficiency from Consumer Reports.

The other washer I'm looking at is the Maytag Bravos, model MVWB300WQ. The one thing I don't like is that it doesn't have the ability to select the water level. My main issue here is that I would like the ability to wash pillows since I have allergies, and my old Kenmore top loader machine did a beautiful job, my Bosch Nexxt HE front loader does a horrible job. I'm afraid without the ability to select water level and relying on sensor, the washer may not wash my pillows well.

Otherwise, the two machines look very comparable as far as wash options that are important to me.

My Bosch Nexxt cannot handle a thin queen quilt, but I think the drum size is close to 3.0 cu. ft., the two I'm looking at now are both over 4.5 cu. ft, so hopefully they'll be able to handle a thin queen quilt.

My main issue, however, is the reliability of either of these washers. I don't understand the mechanics of how washers are built, but is one of these more durable versus the other as far as the "guts" of the machine goes?

Also, if you own either of these, do you like them and would you buy again?



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The Cabrio and Bravos machines (and the Kenmore Oasis) all have the same mechanicals, whether agitator or not. Agitator models simply swap the wash plate for an agitator and change the motor software on the controller board accordingly. A minor difference is that the agitator models may have only one pump (for drain) whereas the HE/wash plate models have two (one for drain, one for recirculation).

Whirlpool sourced the Oasis/Cabrio/Bravos main motor and drive design from Fisher & Paykel toploaders. F&P machines have been using it for well over 10 years.

I find it difficult to believe that a quilt as you describe won't fit in your Bosch. Frontloaders are not overloaded if there's a fist's space at top of the drum without having to excessively compress the dry load. I have a couple such quilts and they easily fit in my F&P toploader, which true is rated at 3.7 cu. ft. (I think) ... but they're only about 3/4 of a full load. They also fit with room to spare in my previous 3.2 cu. ft. toploader. A thick/heavy quilted queen-size bedspread, on the other hand, is a very tight fit in the 3.7 cu. ft. toploader.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 2:25AM
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Thanks for the info dadoes!

Well, at least the particlar Bosch HE front loader I have won't properly wash my queen quilt or the cotton/polyester mattress pad I have. The issue is that neither gets completely wet on the inside- when I've taken out both, there are areas that are wet, others that are bone dry (the machine spins at 1,200 and gets clothing almost dry, but in this case, when I mean bone dry, there is no hint of wetness). I've tried a couple of times with both items, but have given up and now go to the laundry mat. In neither case is the drum completely full, loosely packed there is still space a the top of the drum. It also won't completely wash the pillows I've tried. that is a tricky one because when trying to wash one pillow, the machine does not spin all the water out properly because it isn't balanced, although the pillow does get wet, two pillows do not get thouroughly wet, but do spin okay.

I should mention that the Bosch manual on this model is a joke and has virtually no information about properly loading the clothing, detergent levels, etc. I err on the side of caution and lightly layer in the clothing and leave space at the top of the drum.

There are other reasons I don't like the machine- I find it particularly hard on my clothing- for example, several times after I've washed a brand new dark cotton shirt, the shirt comes out looking faded and worn around the collar and lower hem, something I would see in my old top loader only after several, several washes. I use Tide which does not contain an optical brightener and turn my clothing inside out. My husband's dress shirts only last about a year now, the collar takes a beating and the fabric pills. Stains are hard to remove. The top hem of my sheets have permanent creases which won't iron out- I had a sheet that was 12 years old that had this happen to it and I'm upset about that one because I rarely find sheets of that quality anymore. I won't go on, but I do want a new washer.

Right now I'm leaning towards the Cabrio, especially if the mechanics are virtuatlly the same in both the Whirlpool and Maytag.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 10:48AM
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If you want a deep fill in a HE machine like the Maytag, you have to select a cycle such as Towels, Sheets or Bulky . These cycles will fill the tub almost completely. Deep fill in a HE washer. And if you're unsure about the fill level, you can always override the lid lock.
Also, the water temperatures the Agi version uses will probably be pretty cool - as with all agitator washers these days. Hot is 110°F, I think.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 1:30PM
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One other thing to try with the quilt is a Soak cycle, if your Bosch has one. My Bosch does, and it only rotates the items about one turn every minute or two for the 2-hour duration, which should thoroughly saturate the quilt. If you soaked it with detergent you could then wash it with none (quick even) once or twice to get it all out, and that should do the trick.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 3:17PM
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Have you considered a Speed Queen? My daughter has one and loves it. I think the top of the line has more user adjustable knobs than the automated models. They may use more water but if you want a traditional washer, I think they are the closest thing left.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 10:07AM
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I have a Maytag Bravos washer, and absolutely love it. It is by far the best washer I've ever owned. I do not have the model you named, and I'm not familiar with it. Mine was bought in 2008 and it's 4.6 cu ft. It's been phased out and superseded by current models.

I have washed pillows a number of times, and it washes them beautifully. The manual says to wash them on the Bulky cycle (I also use it to wash comforters), which gives a deep fill. I have no problem washing a king-size comforter in my washer; it does a great job on them.

If you want to have true hot water (minimum 140 F), I recommend buying the Maytag Bravos (or any washer, for that matter) which has an internal water heater. I believe the Maytag model which has a water heater has the # 850 in its model number.

Unless a washer has an internal water heater, current washers which meet energy standards mix cold water with hot water even when you set your washer to wash in hot water. Which means a "hot" wash temp is actually "warm" (perhaps even cool, as true warm temp is minimum 120 F), and of course a "warm" water wash would actually be cool/cold.

If you wash all laundry in cold water, as some do, you won't need an internal water heater in a washer.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 8:00PM
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My Maytag Bravos washer will add more water to wash cycles when I wash clothes, as long as the "Add A Garment" light is on.

If you have any questions, let me know. I hope these posts have helped.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 8:45PM
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Thanks for all the help! Now I'm more confused than ever :)

The water temp thing could be an issue. Does anyone know if the Cabrio can get up to 130 degrees (I have my water heater set appropriately)? Alex above said it may only get up to 110 degrees as many of the Energy Star top loaders made today.

mysteryclock- I checked, and yes, my Bosch has a soak cycle. What I don't understand, is if it takes a soak cycle and up to two wash cycles to clean a quilt, how can that be energy efficient? I have had to run my washer a number of times on two cycles (because one wash cycle didn't clean the clothing). Maybe it's just because I have the first generation Bosch Nexxt, perhaps they have gotten better...


    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 11:11AM
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When I did my research, I found the Cabrio's lack an internal heater. That was a critical point for why I chose its twin, the Maytag Bravos. I feel an internal heater was important to wash whites and anything I wanted to sanitize.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 11:39PM
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