I've only just received this fridge, so it is far too early to determine long-term reliability. I previously had a side-by-side KitchenAid that failed after 3-years and had to be replaced, so I opted for this French Door design. It's my first french door, and I must admit that the added fridge space is quite impressive.
Onto the review:
Exterior style is quite impressive. While it looks almost 'odd' to not have exterior water/ice, it also creates a very clean look and I'm hoping the trade-off of added interior space, greater ice capacity and long-term ice/water reliability is worth it.
Interior is rather 'basic' for such an expensive fridge, with simple shelving, exposed screw heads (in both the fridge and freezer), visible 'plumbing' (ie. you pull out the crisper drawers and you see the hoses behind it), and just two LED lights shining from the top. There are no fancy features: no temperature controlled cooling drawer (it is fully manual, meaning you just twist a dial to open or close cooling vents - that's it; I was expecting it was digitally controlled), no elaborate LED lighting, no multi-adjustable shelving, no door-within-a-door… not even a concealed area for eggs.
The shelving is perhaps the most disappointing part. Many have already commented on the fact that there is a 'gap' at the back of each shelf allowing items to fall down, but I presume this is done to aid cooling circulation. Still annoying as other fridges don't do this. Rather than my old GE (or even my old KitchenAid Side-by-Side), the shelving is a 'ratchet' system, that provides rather limited range of flexibility. Like store shelves at Target or Wal-Mart, they lock into place in two spots per side (see images), but since the railing does not come all the way down, you can't put the shelf at a lower setting as the bottom ratchet will be loose (making the shelf unstable) and one stop up makes the bottom ratchet stick out, again making it unstable. It’s difficult to explain in words, so I hope the pictures help.
The freezer is a bit small, which is common for any French Door Counter Depth Fridge, but it does have a deep bin, one full-width rolling tray and another rolling tray, along with a good-size ice tray. That’s the one benefit of the way the water and ice is set up in this fridge. The water is MUCH colder than my old side-by-side and the ice holds 2-3 times a typical French door, and the added benefit of more space in the fridge. The Samsung Fridges have an ice maker in the top left of the fridge and a ‘shute’ on the left door, heavily restricting actual fridge space. This fridge is great in that regard.
So why four stars? It’s not fancy on the inside, but it’s functional, looks premium from the outside and KitchenAid offers strong support. So long as it proves reliable, it will have earned the four stars.