The Best Fridge in NZ and How To Buy One That Your Family Will Love

For the majority of my life, I’ve not had to worry about buying a fridge. Several years ago, the older fridge I got with an old unit decided it was time to retire, not that I had any say on it. Instead, I scrambled to put the contents into a series of ice chests in the meantime. I knew I didn’t have too long and had to make a quick decision.

I had to learn quickly. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen to you. But regardless, we seek to provide a concise guide that would help you if you were to be in that situation. With this in mind, below are our picks for the best fridge NZ has available.

The Top Five Fridges in NZ

We have an affinity for narrowing our selection down to the top five list. Below are the five we have selected.

  • Westinghouse WHE6060SA
  • LG GB-455WL
  • Panasonic NR-CY54BGSAU
  • Sharp SJ-XE624F-SL
  • Mitsubishi MR-CX402EJ-ST-A1

With fridges, our primary focus involves the consistency of temperature between different locations. One of the worst experiences that you can have with a refrigerator is the back half freezing. Otherwise, we will also be looking at other ease-of-use features and energy-efficiency.

Westinghouse WHE6060SA

Westinghouse WHE6060SA
  • Energy consumption 440 kW/yr
  • Capacity 605 L
  • Energy Star Rating 3.5 stars
  • Dimension 1725 x 896 x 781 mm

The Westinghouse WHE6060SA is a great start. As one of the most reliable producers of appliances in New Zealand, This fridge is no exception to the rule. It is our second most massive fridge at 605 L, but the “fridge” part is the largest among our list. It also includes two crisper doors.

It means that if you have a large amount of non-freezer perishables, it’s excellent for you and your larger household. The French door style also means that the most substantial part of your fridge requires no bending down. The freezer is in the bottom half of the unit.

This machine is for the forgetful. It has a door alarm for when you forget to close the door. It also has automatically closed doors if it were to be too long. The only way the doors could close on you is if you decided to live in the fridge. It also has an ice and water dispenser, another convenience feature.

There is decent uniformity throughout the fridge. The bottom half does have the potential to freeze if the freezer were to be at lower temperatures. The door is where the temperature drops below acceptable levels.

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LG GB-455WL

LG GB-455WL
  • Energy Consumption 300 kWh/year
  • Capacity 455 L
  • Energy Star Rating 4.5 stars
  • Dimension 1720 x 700 x 700 mm

The LG GB-455WL is known to come from a company that has a high standard of technology. The LG is no different, as its ability to maintain a wide variety of temperatures with limited freezing is a good option. However, it does lack a chiller section, meaning that you are between “fridge” level and “freeze” level without a happy medium with about 160 of that being

The availability of the fridge is 460 L, with 160 L of it being freezer space. It’s a bottom-mount fridge, meaning that the freezer is on the bottom instead of the top. So it does know that the priority lies with the refrigerator.

It also has an automatic door shut, meaning that it will eventually close shut if nothing is blocking its way. All of the shelves can are removable for easy cleaning, which is not the case with the Westinghouse model we reviewed.

These two fridges run into the same issue; the door doesn’t chill to acceptable temperatures for perishable items. It also has a 4.5 energy star rating, which makes it near the top of where it needs to be. Overall, this is a good fridge for a lot of different people.

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Panasonic NR-CY54BGSAU

Panasonic NR-CY54BGSAU
  • Energy Consumption 455 kWh/year
  • Capacity 547 L
  • Energy Star Rating 3.5 stars
  • Dimension 1714 x 770 x 743 mm

The happy middle between the LG and Westinghouse is the Panasonic NR-CY54BGSAU. It is slightly smaller than the Westinghouse model at 547 L, the bulk of this is fridge as it has a 160 L freezer. It does also have a chiller for goods you like to keep at lower temperatures.

It takes away some of the convenience features which include an ice and water dispenser. It also only has one crisper drawer, which is surprising for a fridge of this size. But the drawer is more substantial than other “two-drawer” models. Given that it is a French door style, the freezer is still at the bottom.

It has a bit less temperature variance compared to other models we featured. But it does stay relatively uniform in all of its slots, with some issues near the bottom half occasionally freezing. It has a striking stainless steel finish with its standard model.

The energy star rating is at the same level as the Westinghouse, three-star. It makes it better than most, but not as good as the LG. It is a good middle-of-the-road option that can support larger families easily.

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Sharp SJ-XE624F-SL

Sharp SJ-XE624F-SL
  • Weight 114 kg
  • Capacity 624 L
  • Energy Star Rating 3 stars
  • Dimension 1720 x 892 x 771 mm

The Sharp SJ-XE624F-SL is a French door fridge with a twist: it has a double door at the bottom as well. As you can see through images, the French door is usually a single pull-out option. Given that they are small, they don’t have the “wide swing” issues that you have in double-sided fridges, so it’s just a smart design choice.

For everything else, it has a high-quality chiller that is for anything. You could even put a chicken in there without any issues. Again, the “warm door” issue seems to plague any fridge we come across. Do not put perishables in this section.

It is the enormous fridge on our list sitting at 624 L. The freezer takes up 250 L of this total, making it the giant freezer on this list. It does not have the convenience of including a water or ice dispenser.

It does many of the things we would expect from modern refrigerators. As a result, it is an easy pick for one of the best fridges in New Zealand.

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Mitsubishi MR-CX402EJ-ST-A1

Mitsubishi MR-CX402EJ-ST-A1
  • Weight 76 kg
  • Capacity 402 L
  • Energy Star Rating 3.5 stars
  • Dimension 1820 x 600 x 656 mm

The Mitsubishi MR-CX402EJ-ST-A1 is a mouthful to say out loud, but the size of the fridge doesn’t follow suit. At 402 L, it is the smallest fridge on our list. The freezer barely makes 100 L total. So why does this small refrigerator make it on this list?

It is related to the cooling ability of this fridge. The door issue that every other model that we came across is not present in this. Granted, the solution, in this case, was a smaller space, but we’re hoping that this serves as an example. Other appliances should follow suit with this habit.

Otherwise, this Mitsubishi has a 3.5 energy star rating, making it the second most efficient fridge on this list. It will still have the lowest cost, as the score is concerning the available space. If you are a single person, or someone with a smaller family, this might be the winner for you.

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fridges features

Fridge Features That You Want in Your House

With our list out of the way, we are now going to dig into different features. With a comprehensive knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of each, it will enable you to make the right decision.

Different Types of Fridges

The style of their doors generally defines different refrigerators. Below is a list of changes that occur with different styles.

Top Mount

Top-mount fridges are those with the freezer located at the top. They are generally the least advanced and cheapest brands of refrigerators, making them the most common.  These are commonly plagued by freezing issues in the top back corner of the appliance.

Bottom Mount

With the knowledge that cold air sinks, bottom-mount fridges became popular over time. It avoids many of the issues of frozen components. Still, it will run into a higher likely hood of underserved locations with unsafe temperatures. You do spend less time bending down with these; people tend to be more likely to be seeking something from the fridge part. The LG and the Mitsubishi are the only two bottom-mount fridges we reviewed.

Side-by-side

When you have a fridge split vertically down the middle, you have a side-by-side. These tend to have equal space for freezers and refrigerators, which is a nice feature for those who use more freezer space. It also is more likely to have dispensers for ice and water. It is a bit more convenient to put those features in sensible locations when both components are on the same level. 

French door

A French door is one of the most popular designs in the modern world of fridges. It combines the convenience of a side-by-side with the awareness of a bottom-mount refrigerator. As a result, these units combine the best of both worlds. Generally, these units are a lot more expensive than other models as a result. The Sharp, LG, and Westinghouse are all examples of French door fridges.

Mini Fridge

A mini-fridge is just a small version of a conventional refrigerator. It might have a freezer, but the freezer section is more than likely just a chiller door. It is excellent for your college dormitory or to hold some sodas in your garage; it is not great for anything else. 

Without Fridge or Freezer

A fridge without a freezer is great for those who store a great deal of food. For people who have incredibly large families, a separate fridge and freezer are like a side-by-side in two different units. Expect to pay more for the convenience.

Energy Star Ratings

The highest energy star rating on this list is 4.5, which is coming from the LG model. Most others are sitting around 3.5 or 3. The energy star rating dictates the yearly cost of electricity associated with your model. Expect more significant overall savings fridges that score higher on this list.

Fridge Size

The size of your fridge is modified depending on your available house space and the size of your family. It is always a good idea to measure your open space before shopping. Here are the measurements and available space of these fridges.

  • Westinghouse WHE6060SA: 1725 (H) x 896 (W) x 781 (D) with 605 L
  • LG GB-455WL: 1720 x 700 x 700 with 454 L
  • Panasonic NR-CY54BGSAU: 1714 x 770 x 743 with 547 L
  • Sharp SJ-XE624F-SL: 1720 x 892 x 771 with 624 L
  • Mitsubishi MR-CX402EJ-ST-A1: 1820 x 600 x 656 with 402 L

While there is no “set number” for the size of the fridge per size of family, I would suggest 500+ L per family of four or more. Base that decision upon how your current fridge is meeting those needs.

Conclusion

After an extensive review, energy savings won the day with the LG GB-455WL. As the most cost-efficient energy savings model, it will save you more over a year. With an ample 454 L of space that works for most families, it is an excellent choice.

As the best fridge in NZ in 2020, LG also has the most uniform temperature available. It easily beats out the convenience of including an ice and water dispenser. As always, make your decision based on your families needs.

I’m a Consumer Review Specialist that loves to gab about the latest in appliances. As a dad, a lot of my energy goes into keeping up with my four-year-old.

I’m one of those people that needs his appliances to work. As a writer, I’d take some of the burden from your hands with my research. You can check me out on copysmith.org if you want to see any of my other work.

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