If I were in the market for a side-by-side refrigerator, the LG LSXC22436S would be right at the top of my list. At a retail price of $2,099, LG’s newest side-by-side model isn’t anything flashy, but it offers efficient cooling and pitch-perfect performance — specifically, temperatures that are extremely accurate and consistent from shelf to shelf. It’s also less expensive than any of the counter-depth side-by-side refrigerators you’ll find from key competitors like Samsung, GE and Whirlpool.
It’s not an especially interesting design, and you won’t find many features of note hidden inside apart from the on-board Wi-Fi radio that lets you sync it up with Alexa or the Google Assistant, then check things like the status of the water filter with a voice command (yawn). But if you’re buying this fridge, it isn’t because you’re looking for the latest features — it’s because you want the best performance for the price. That’s what this side-by-side offers, and that makes it a very worthy purchase.
Clad in classic stainless steel, the boxy LSXC22436S won’t do much to modernize your kitchen aesthetic. Instead, it’s the sort of inoffensive appliance that’s designed to blend in, which is a nice way of saying that it isn’t much to look at. But the counter-depth build, which shaves a few inches off the front of the appliance to help it sit flush with your countertops, at least gives it a high-end feel.
Inside, you’ll find a total of 21.9 cubic feet of storage space, 14.5 of which are allocated to the fridge and 7.4 of which are allocated to the freezer. Those numbers are all right on par with what you should expect from a counter-depth side-by-side fridge, but I wish that LG had done a little more to keep things from feeling cramped. Shelves that slide in or fold up and out of the way to make room for tall-sized items would have gone a long way, but you won’t find them in this refrigerator, nor will you find any other features aimed at mitigating the narrow, shallow build.
LG LSXC22436SSamsung RS22HDHPNSRGE GZS22DSJSSWhirlpool WRS970CIDM Fridge capacity 14.5 cubic feet 14.4 cubic feet 14.2 cubic feet 12.9 cubic feet Freezer capacity 7.4 cubic feet 7.9 cubic feet 7.7 cubic feet 7.0 cubic feet Total capacity 21.9 cubic feet 22.3 cubic feet 21.9 cubic feet 19.9 cubic feet Height 70 5/16 inches 70 1/8 inches 69 1/4 inches 69 inches Width 35 7/8 inches 35 15/16 inches 35 3/4 inches 36 inches Depth 29 3/8 inches 30 inches 29 1/2 inches 29 3/4 inches Yearly energy consumption 520 kWh 646 kWh 669 kWh 648 kWh Yearly energy cost ($0.12 per kWh) $62 $78 $80 $78 Yearly energy cost per cubic foot $2.83 $3.50 $3.65 $3.92 Energy Star-qualified Yes Yes No No Warranty 1-year overall parts and labor 1-year overall parts and labor, 5-year sealed system parts and labor, 10-year parts and 5-year labor for compressor 1-year overall parts and labor 1-year overall parts and labor, 5-years sealed system parts and labor Suggested retail price $2,099 $2,110 $2,399 $2,499 Lowest retail price as of 5/14/18 N/A $1,899 $2,159 $2,159
In layman’s terms, this means that you won’t be able to store tall items like wine bottles and milk jugs in the body of the fridge unless you lay them sideways or start yanking shelves out to make room. Fortunately, you’ll find plenty of room for tall items in the door (along with an enormous butter bin, for good measure).
Aside from that, there’s not a whole lot to say about this refrigerator’s design, but I do want to mention the built-in Wi-Fi radio. LG is packing those Wi-Fi smarts into more and more of its appliances as part of an effort to link all of them to its SmartThinQ app and to voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. The use cases are still pretty limited — checking the filter status from your phone, sending diagnostic data to LG ahead of a maintenance visit or tweaking a temperature setting with your voice, for instance — but I appreciate the fact that the fridge will send your phone an alert if someone ever leaves the door open.
That, directly above, is one hell of a heat map. Specifically, it shows the average temperatures in each section of the LSXC22436S from a 72-hour test at the default 37-degree setting. As you can see, they’re about as spot-on as it gets, including a couple of bull’s-eyes in the main body shelves and absolutely no hot spots up above 40 degrees F, a benchmark for food safety used by the Food and Drug Administration.