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- KitchenAid KDFE454CSS
- When "good enough" actually isn't.
KitchenAid KDFE454CSS Review$1,549.00
When "good enough" actually isn't.
The KitchenAid KDFE454CSS (MSRP $1,549) really didn’t live up to our expectations. One of the most expensive dishwashers we’ve tested, it offers a large number of cycle choices and extra options for people who like to customize their washes. Unfortunately, it neither looks nor performs like other dishwashers in its price range. There is very little fundamentally wrong with the KDFE454CSS, but when you’re up against the likes of the Bosch SHE8PT55UC, or all the other dishwashers that clean better but cost half as much as this one, “good enough” isn’t going to cut it.
Design & Usability
The plastic panel cheapens the look.
At the end of the day, the KDFE454CSS really doesn’t have any faults when it comes to design or usability. Our main gripe is that we paid more, so we expected more. We’ve gotten features like a third rack, chopstick holders, and even an LCD screen from other $1,500 dishwashers, so there are really no excuses here. It can't even spare the expense for a numeric timer; isn't that one of the main reasons for having a forward display?
You have control.
While there aren’t that many ways to adjust the inside of the KDFE454CSS, it has plenty of options when it comes to how it washes dishes. For starters, there are six cycles to choose from: ProWash, Heavy Duty, Normal, Light/China, 1-Hour Wash, and Rinse Only. This covers practically every kind of load, and the ProWash cycle uses soil sensors to determine the right amount of washes and rinses to use in case you’re feeling indecisive.
Clearly outclassed by other dishwashers
The Normal cycle on the KDFE454CSS gave us high hopes. Even though it took a snooze-inducing two hours and 27 minutes, most of the test stains were removed. Unfortunately, we found that the dishwasher had a small problem with redeposit, which is when food particles from one item get stuck to another during the wash. Other than the long cycle duration, though, we were mostly happy with the Normal cycle.
With such long Normal and Heavy Duty cycles, it was a relief that the 1-Hour Wash clocked in at 68 minutes. Not quite an hour, but we can be forgiving. In that short period, the KDFE454CSS did a decent job with the stains. We were pretty satisfied with how well this cycle did, and it can definitely be used to clean light soils in a pinch. The machine’s overall efficiency is pretty good, too. We estimated an annual running cost of $30.71.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Not the best high-end KitchenAid
While our overall evaluation of the KDFE454CSS is positive, it isn’t exactly a glowing review. And for $1,549, we expect it to do more than just glow. With a plastic control panel, long cycle times, and an issue with redeposit, this machine really doesn’t live up to its price. The ProScrub high-intensity jet sprays aren’t even exclusive to this particular dishwasher. In fact, if you want a high-end dishwasher, you don’t even have to look outside the KitchenAid family: the KUDE48FXSS will serve you better, and costs about $300 less.