KitchenAid Superba EQ KUDE60FX Review
Proof that there's not a ton of correlation between cost and performance.
Big-time prices don't always make for big-time chops, and here's the proof. With a whopping $1,549 MSRP and sale prices that rarely dip below $1,400, this KitchenAid is among the most expensive dishwashers we've ever tested. It's not, however, among the best performing units we've tested. In fact, it falls squarely in the middle of the pack.
Sure, it has a few nice cycles, but nothing that makes up for that huge price difference over similar machines—including a few other KitchenAid models—that cost significantly less and do a much better job. And worse, the spending doesn't stop when you install it, as this is a relatively inefficient machine.
Design & Usability
Back in black (or white), but stainless adds $150
The KUDE60FXBL has the look and feel of a high-end dishwasher. The controls are all located on the top of the door. This means that, for most kitchen worktops, the buttons will be hidden out of sight under the edge of the counter. Be careful—we found that the buttons were fairly sensitive, so you may accidentally trigger a wash when you close the door.
Inside, there's a stainless interior to speed up drying and keep washes quiet. There's a third, upper rack for cutlery—good for cleaning lots of serving spoons and steak knives, but it cuts into the headroom of the second rack, making it harder to wash wine glasses and other tall items. All in all, we could only fit nine full place settings in there. There's no hard food disposer, either—just a washable filter. That means quieter operation, but you will have to clean it out or risk redeposits of dirty food particles floating around your "clean" dishes.
Lots of options for customizing a cycle
First and foremost is the ProWash Cycle, which uses sensors in the water to determine when the dishes are clean (and, as such, when to stop running). A Top Rack Only feature uses less water by only washing the top portion, if you don’t need a full wash. Other options allow you to add extra rinses to the cycle, such as the Hi-Temp scrub (which increases the temperature of the main wash water) and the Sani Rinse, which heats the water for both the wash and the final rinse, to sterilize dishes.
The only issue here is the limited delay: with a fixed four hour delay, this dishwasher is not as flexible as some that let you schedule the wash at a more convenient time, or which save money by using cheaper electricity.
It'll do an OK job of cleaning your dishes, but it'll do an even better job of cleaning out your wallet.
The KitchenAid Superba offers a range of cycles that run for very different lengths, from the appropriately named 1-Hour cycle to the ProWash mode, which takes a rather long three hours and 14 minutes. When it came down to it, we found a mix of performance results between the various cycles. Having tested other Whirlpool-built machines with a similar feature, we weren't surprised that the "1-Hour" Quick cycle offered rather disappointing results. At least the Normal and ProWash modes provided plenty of cleaning power.
We were shocked to see how much water this machine consumed for a standard load of dishes, though. On average, a year's worth of water and electricity for this dishwasher would cost a household $47.45. That's about $20 a year more than some machines we've tested.
A high-end price for low-end performance
The KitchenAid Superba EQ KUDE60FXBL performed acceptably well in all of our tests. It was especially easy to load and did a fine job cleaning dishes on all cycles other than the limited quick wash. However, with a selling price north of $1400 and high water and energy consumption, many dishwashers offer the same results at a lower cost. Move on.
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