Miele Washing Machines: Touchtronic v Novotronic

regantJuly 13, 2009

We are looking at buying a replacement Miele washing machine - our old Miele is 15yrs old and starting to make a nasty sound.

We only have two choices of model because the washing machine is installed under our kitchen cabinets and that limits the width. We are therefore looking at the Touchtronic W3033 or the Novotronic W1612.

Does anyone have an opinion as to whether the Touchtronic W3033 is worth nearly $1000 more in than the Novotronic W1612?

There are only two of us in the family and our old Novotronic W1930 did all that we needed for 15 yrs

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I am also looking into getting a Miele. Other than price, the 1612 doesn't have a drum light and doesn't have the honeycomb drum (and therefore your clothes will face more wear and tear, and show more lint). It also doesn't have the sanitize setting that steams, so won't get your white stains out as well as the 3033. I'm in the same boat as you, as the 1612 retails for $1395 while the 3033 retails at $2299. That's quite a difference! Let me know which you go for.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 2:15PM
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Would it be possible for you to look at the two machines in a dealer showroom somewhere?

If not, maybe you could email Miele and ask them this question. I know I would be curious to hear what they say.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 9:18AM
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Miele washer model numbers have gotten extremely confusing over the past year or two. To some extent, it's difficult make comparisons between different models in the North American line-up, particularly from the Miele websites.

If you have a Miele model W1930, you have what used to be called a a 5Kg machine. It is 23-1/2" wide X 22-1/2" deep X approximately 34" tall (the height is somewhat variable by adjusting the leveling feet). Current models conforming to these same dimensions are now called "standard capacity".

Other models in the current model line-up are referred to as "large capacity", and share the same dimensions as models previously referred to as 6Kg capacity. The large capacity models are also 23-1/2" wide, but they are 4" deeper, measuring 26-1/2" from front to back. The height on these machines is the same as the standard capacity models.

If you want to replace your current model W1930 with a model of the same dimensions, you need to make sure that you go with a "standard capacity" model.

I wasn't aware that any Novotronic models were in the current model offerings from Miele. I thought all current models were Touchtronic. Consequently, I'm not sure what the Novotronic model W1612 might be. Is it perhaps an older model that's been in storage in your dealers warehouse? If so, and if it's brand new, it could be a very good deal.

The old Novotronic models were in my opinion more user friendly, allowing more versatility on program selection. The Touchtronic controls were essentially dumbed-down, allowing the user to select only factory preset programs assigned to various buttons.

Your most important consideration should be the actual dimension of the machine. You don't want to end up with a washer that is too deep to fit under your counter. Beyond that, I'd be inclined to go with a Novotronic machine, as long as it's new and fully warranteed. I much prefer the Novotronic controls.

I wouldn't worry about the difference in wash drums. Wear and tear on your clothing is going to be indistinguishable between the old-style drums with holes, and the new honeycomb drums. The reason Miele went to the honeycomb drums wasn't because of improved performance. The honeycomb drums use thinner stainless steel than the old-style drums, are cheaper to manufacture and look more modern. Miele makes all sorts of claims about the new drums....but it's mostly marketing hype.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 1:57AM
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Thanks to missyoka, cryptandrus and wa8b for taking the time to reply. We found the information from wa8b particularly helpful.
We live in New Brunswick - one of the Canadian Maritime Provinces and no-one sells Miele in our province (we have to get them shipped from a neighboring province). So we cannot see them "in the flesh" but the Miele Canada website (http://www.miele.ca) shows the range and includes downloadable brochures.
We spoke to Miele and just got a sales pitch for the Touchtronic, without any real rationale except the supposed benefit of the latest features etc. The customer service rep said that the Novotronic didn't have the energy star rating (when we looked at the website, it did, even though it does apparently use about 50kwH ($5!!) per year more than the Touchtronic). She also said that you couldn't sanitise with the Novotronic, but we pointed out that the maximum temperature for the Novotronic was 95C while the Touchtronic was only 70C. So as I said, we were not impressed.
In Canada, the new "large" models are 27" wide, so we are limited to the two models we have described.
We are almost certainly going to go for the Novotronic, because it is dramatically cheaper, appears to offer more control over the wash cycle and doesn't have as many things to go wrong.
We are assuming that the strength and quality of the components will be the same. If anyone knows of any lower quality in the construction of the cheaper of the two models, we would like to know

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 8:26PM
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Outlined below is my experience with the Miele W1612 washing machine:

I ordered a W1612 in May and had one by mid-June. At the time I was looking to replace a broken washer and had seen an entry in MieleÂs price guide for the yet-unannounced 1612. Upon further inquiry, I was informed that it was not available in Canada and wouldn't be until July.

After several calls to the local dealer and Miele, and since I was only interested in the 1612, it was agreed upon that one of three pre-launch machines air-freighted ahead of the boat-load would be sold to me (a prime example of MieleÂs exemplary customer service).

The Novotronic and Softtronic machines are MieleÂs current European offerings. Touchtronic machines are for the North American market only, and consequently lack the level of control found on the domestic ones. Also, the 1612Âs maximum temperature is the same as the European and older 220v North American machines, 95 C.

Build quality and performance are top-notch. As opposed to numerous fixed programs, the more precise interface allows you to easily modify the basic programs to suit any situation. For example, with the Cottons / Normal program, you can raise the temperature to 95C and achieve a more effective result than the "Sanitize" program on the Touchtronics. The programs are selected with a Âjog dial and consist of: Cottons/Normal, Wrinkle Free / Easy Care, Delicates, Woolens, Express, Colors / Automatic, Dress Shirts, Denim / Jeans, Dark and Express. Both the spin speed and temperature may be adjusted within all of the programs (some limit the maximum temperature, for obvious reasons). Additional options are Short wash, Water Plus (labeled as ÂSensitiveÂ) and Pre-wash (labeled as ÂHeavy SoilÂ). Wash temperature and spin speed are displayed quantitatively (degrees and rpm), as opposed to ÂwarmÂ, ÂhotÂ, slow, fast, etc.

Overall, IÂve been exceptionally pleased with the W1612 and matching T7644C condensing dryer, and wouldnÂt hesitate to recommend it over the costlier Touchtronics.

Let me know if you have any additional questions.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 6:43AM
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Any idea if the 1612 will be available down here in the US?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 11:33AM
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Is W1612 120v or 240v?

how can you get 95C boil wash with 120V!?

BTW, Miele Canada always have some special for us like Chocolate color W48xx and those 24" and 30" European refrigerators....

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 12:59PM
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We have decided to purchase the Miele Novotronic W1612, based largely on the helpful feedback from our fellow forum members.
The machine is due to arrive early next week and we will let people know after a month or two how we are making out with it.
As it happens, we are also planning to replace our cooktop and stove. We are putting an entry in the kitchen forum with a few questions - have a look if you are interested.
Thanks again for your feedback

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 10:38AM
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You're lucky to live in Canada where this machine is available. It seems to me Miele thinks Americans are too dumb to use a machine that let's one do more than push a button. I would have bought this machine if it were available in the U. S.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 2:13PM
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I am going to order the W1612 to replace my 9 year old W1926 since it just crapped out on me and not worth the repair costs ($1100 through Miele).

I have researched the W1612 extensively and it is the only current model Miele that I would consider purchasing at any price. The reason for this is that, it is the Only model that heats the water to 95 deg. this is just like my W1926 and it makes all the dirrefernce in the wash results on whites. I beleive the reason for this is because since it is a Novotronic 1000 series, it is a european model and not the crap they came out with for North America. Also the W1612 is Made in Germany. Not all the current models are made in Germany, some of the touchtronic/softronic stuff are assembeled in Mexico with German made parts... for example, I saw a 2011 softronic, the washer was assembeled in Mexico with german parts and the matching dryer was totally made and assembeled in Germany. Some people don't care about where it's assembeled but I DO - it's cheaper for Miele to assemble in Mexico but they are not passing any savings on to the consumer... hmmm is that fair? We are paying full pop for a premuim product that is not made and assembeled in the country of origin. Anyways the W1612 is definately old school European Miele and I would not hesitate to grab one of these. Get one before they change it up and add a line to assemble the W1612 in Mexico, too! haha

Good Luck and happy washing!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 10:22AM
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All mieles are made in Europe. The plate on the machine indicates accordance to Mexican electrical regs

Your only decision is 220v vs 110v

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 9:18PM
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The Miele W1612, while being only a 110v machine, is still able to heat water to 95C/203F using a 1,000W heating element. If this is possible with a 110v machine, why doesn't Miele allow all of their machines to have a high 95C wash temperature?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 10:40AM
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