We had a front load washing machine prior to this Kenmore Elite version, and while I loved that it didn't use as much water, it also didn't clean the clothes very well either. Just freshening up items was fine, but sweaty, stinky clothes and cloth diapers didn't come as clean as I would have liked. Then we bought the Kenmore Elite and it made a huge difference. I LOVE the sanitizing cycle, which I use on my cleaning rags. I knew it was working very well, when my dingy hand towels I had begun to use as rags since they were used long enough to begin looking grimy even once they were clean, actually came out of the sanitizing cycle looking better than my currently-in-use kitchen towels! I also love all of the different cycle options and the ability to save one cycle as a custom option (I like to use cold water for most washes, and it will save that default setting on the custom button). I don't use most of the all the time, but I use them often enough that I'm glad they are there. Especially like the gently, handwash cycle for sweaters and delicates. The soaking cycle isn't as long as I would prefer, so when something really needs a long soak, I will just pause the washer after all the water and soap are mixed up and leave it for the amount of time I want to soak it. Which also brings me to the pause button--love that I can add an item with it at the beginning of the wash cycle with that button. Energy Efficiency You will definitely use less water. It also gets a LOT of the water out of the clothes before you put them in the dryer, which means less energy use drying them. I like that my washer has options for using cold water or using even just tap water temperature, which is a feature I use quite a bit to save on heating the water. It has an extended spin option as well, the get even more water out if you choose. Cleaning Time Sometimes the digital display that indicates the time left on the load is not very accurate. I suppose it readjusts as the cycle goes on, but when I am working around when the load will be done, and then it isn't done, it is a little irritating. I do like that the machine has an express wash option for a few article of clothing (any more than a few and the time goes up to a regular wash cycle). That has been helpful when I've forgotten to wash a soccer uniform until the last minute :) A light cycle is about 40 minutes on my machine, and the express cycle is about 30. Performance As I mentioned in the beginning, this thing will clean well if the clothing is on the correct cycle. The only things I have to soak in order to get really clean are unusually dirty items--like when my son has soccer practice for 2 hours in 90 degree heat. I generally have to soak his shirts or the sweaty smell doesn't come out, but I consider that out of the norm circumstances (and it might come out if I used hot water on the cycle in the first place--I don't). The sanitizing cycle is amazing. I also find that if I pretreat stains like grass (I just use diluted laundry detergent), they will generally come out in a warm water cycle set at a longer length than the light option. The only real issue I have on performance is when I wash 1 sweater at a time. It doesn't do this well at all because the sweater really holds a lot of water and the washer can't distribute the weight with just one item that is heavy, so it won't go into the spin cycle and the sweater comes out soaking wet. Only option is to wash a couple of large towels with it, and that's just a pain. Despite this one quirk (not sure any front load washer could do this though), I really love this washing machine! Ease of Use Nothing hard about using it. Hardest part would be setting the custom cycle and all you do is set the cycle how you want it and hold the custom button down until it beeps. Design I like the look of the washing machine. I do not use a pedestal under it because I use the top of the washer and dryer as a folding station. You will see the hook-ups behind the machine if it isn't on a pedestal, but I have cabinets over them and I installed a shelf under the cabinets that swings up so you can still get to the hook-ups. You can see it on Pink Toes and Power Tools (dot) com search "shelf behind washer and dryer". That way I still have a place to fold the laundry and I'm not looking at ugly hoses and fittings. I love how much the washer holds as well. I've washed a king-size comforter in there with no problems. Durability We had to have someone come out and fix the part that spins the washer once. We've had the washer for several years now. Honestly, I don't know how that part doesn't wear out even more (knocking on wood right now) given the amount of laundry I do in this house and given how much wet laundry weighs and it takes a beating sometimes when it is redistributing the load in order to go into the spin cycle.