Belinda Feek is a NZ Herald reporter

Expensive appliances not always the best, survey finds

Consumer NZ's latest survey shows which household appliances perform best and are easiest to use. Photo / iStock
Consumer NZ's latest survey shows which household appliances perform best and are easiest to use. Photo / iStock

You may have bought a fancy, expensive new appliance. But it doesn't mean it's any good.

That's the crux of Consumer NZ's latest survey about which household appliances perform best and are easiest to use.

More than 8700 people responded to the survey in relation to 31,000 appliances.

Consumer NZ's head of testing, Paul Smith, said there were questions about the reliability of some higher-priced brands - including Smeg and LG - but others were standouts.

Bosch came out on top of most kitchen appliances - rangehoods, ovens, cooktops - as well as clothes dryers, in this year's survey.

"If there's an area where Bosch aren't quite good it's in their washing machines, and we've noticed that in performance as well," Mr Smith said.

"So when we've been testing them we've found there's two levels of product there. We haven't delved into whether they're manufactured in different places or what, but we've found again that some of their products perform exceptionally well and some are not good at all.

"But ... they're one of those that are consistent across most of the things that they do."

Mr Smith said Smeg appliances never tended to feature high in Consumer rankings, partly because not as many people owned them as other brands, but also because they weren't that reliable.

"They come up in some categories, including the dishwasher category. They do a good line in very retro, colourful design but I think it's probably fair for me to say that they never set the reliability scores alight."

LG performed well in some categories - televisions and washing machines - but not so well for dishwashers.

"LG are exceptional at washing machines ... but then with dishwashers the same brand is down near the bottom.

"You'd think a dishwasher and a washing machine were reasonably similar technology ... but it seems that one of them they seem to get right and one of them they don't."

Smeg, Bosch and LG could not be reached before deadline.

Finding the right dishwasher was a good example of not having to spend a lot of money to find a reliable product, Mr Smith said.

"Two brands that don't command a premium price also returned strong reliability results: Haier and Simpson. Their most expensive dishwashers cost less than $1000 - cheaper than the least expensive models from Miele and Bosch."

With rangehoods, customers found noise the most annoying thing. But Mr Smith praised Australian brand Schweigen for its work in creating the quietest rangehood available.

As for TVs, all brands had a reliability rating of more than 95 per cent, apart from The Warehouse brand Veon which was the lowest at 85 per cent.

But Kiwis seem to be the most forgiving about the poor performance of their lawnmower.

"Lawnmowers aren't reliable at all compared to other things," said Mr Smith. "The average is 81 per cent across all brands and yet it had really high owner satisfaction. It's like 'we expect our lawnmower to cause us trouble ..."

Most reliable appliances - NZ Consumer Survey

Washing machines

Photo / iStock
Photo / iStock

Miele
Reliability rating - 92%
Up from its score of 84% last year, Miele comes out on top again. Result coincides with 97% reliability score.

Ovens

Photo / iStock
Photo / iStock

Bosch
Reliability rating - 91%
This category had a poor overall owner satisfaction rating, with freestanding stoves scoring 82% - the lowest score surveyed.

Microwaves

Photo / iStock
Photo / iStock

Panasonic
Reliability rating - 95%
More than half in the survey were Panasonic, LG owners were the most likely to be very satisfied and to recommend the brand to others.

Rangehoods

Photo / iStock
Photo / iStock

Bosch
Reliability rating - 96%
Of the 1601 surveyed, 93% had not needed repair, but only 83% were happy with it.

Dishwashers

Photo / iStock
Photo / iStock

Miele
Reliability rating - 92%
Miele brand wins in both the reliability and satisfaction sections of the survey, unlike other brands.

Cooktops

Photo / iStock
Photo / iStock

Bosch/Ariston
Reliability rating - 97%
Parmco's reliability is rated below average with 19% of cooktops needing repair. Unlike Bosch and Ariston, with just 3%.

Clothes dryers

Photo / iStock
Photo / iStock

Bosch/Simpson
Reliability rating - 95%
These are reliable appliances, with 92% of respondents never having to get theirs repaired.

Blenders

Photo / iStock
Photo / iStock

Nutri Ninja
Reliability rating - 98%
Good results, but products are generally new with 76% less than 18 months old onto the market.

Electric heaters

Photo / iStock
Photo / iStock

Kent
Reliability rating - 99%
Of the different types of heater, oil column models are the most reliable, with only 2% needing repair.

Lawnmovers

Photo / iStock
Photo / iStock

Ryobi
Reliability rating - 92%
Were the most unreliable products surveys, with almost one in five needing repair.

- NZ Herald

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