Premium Cooking Appliance Features: Consumer Reports vs. Viewpoints


Premium kitchen appliances can make your kitchen experience much quicker and more convenient – but some features fall short of manufacturers’ promises.

Premium Appliance Features

When it comes to buying kitchen appliances, few things are more important to consider than the convenience that the machine provides and the appliance features. Consumer Reports recently highlighted many kitchen ranges, microwaves, wall ovens, and cooktops that make preparing meals easier and more efficient. They tested popular claims made by manufacturers about the newest and most improved features of their upcoming products. We crosschecked this information with our own Viewpoints consumer data to see what the real scoop was—and were surprised by the results.

“Double ovens let you cook separate dishes at different temperatures”

CR Top Double Oven: Whirlpool WOD93EC0AS

CR says: “Double-oven ranges come in two configurations: a smaller top oven paired with a larger one below and two ovens that are the same size — all in 30-inch-wide models. They do let you cook different dishes at different temperatures.”

VP Top Double Oven Pick: KitchenAid Architect II KEBS207SSS

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“Cooking dinner is 100x easier! You almost NEVER have a meal where everything you are cooking is set to the same degree and same time. This causes you to “wing it” in some cases and adjust the cooking temperature and try and remember which dish to pull out. This eliminates all of that!”—AlyRenae, Reviewer since 2010

“Five burners offer the ultimate flexibility”

CR Top Cooktop: Thermador SGSX365FS

CR says: “More 30-inch gas ranges and cooktops have five burners instead of four. Some of the fifth burners are small and are just for simmering; others are oblong and can be used with griddles for added functionality. Using all five at the same time could require some careful maneuvering.”

VP Top Cooktop: KitchenAid Gas Cooktop KFGU706VSS

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“The KitchenAid 5 burner gas cooktop is terrific. 1 burner is for light cooking or keeping things warm, while 2 other burners are for normal everyday cooking, boiling, etc. 1 burner is for large pots and higher intensity cooking while the center burner is great for a griddle.”
onespecialgal, Reviewer since 2010

“Induction heats much quicker than conventional electric and gas.”

CR Top Induction Cooktop: KitchenAid KECC604BBL

CR says: “Induction cooktops and ranges, which use electromagnetic coils under the cooktop’s glass-covered surface, do deliver the fastest heating, about 25 percent faster than electric smoothtops and even faster when compared with gas models. Induction also provides precise simmering and control, but those ranges and cooktops usually cost more.”

VP Top Induction Cooktop: Whirlpool 30 in. 4-Burner Induction Cooktop GCI3061XB

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“It heats irregularly; it starts very slow then heats to too hot and will burn the food if I am not right there at every moment.”
blewbuble, Reviewer since 2012

We currently need more induction cooktop reviews to publish their scores on our site. If you have used induction technology to cook before, write a review about it!

“AquaLift cleans your oven in less than an hour with odor-free, low-temperature technology.”

CR says: “The only self-cleaning ranges that scored poorly in oven cleaning out of the more than 140 tested were five Maytags and two Whirlpools with AquaLift. Though the technology can effectively clean the bottom of the oven, you may have to run more than one cycle or manually clean the oven to remove grease from the walls and window.”

Although Viewpoints doesn’t have any reviews for the new AquaLift technology yet, Whirlpool oven ranges have an average “Ease of Cleaning” score of 3.9/5.0. If you have used AquaLift technology to clean your Maytag kitchen range, write a review on our site!


Premium cooking appliance features often lead to increased convenience and quicker cook times. Double ovens and 5-burner cooktops immediately add value to your kitchen, whereas more innovative technologies like induction cooktops and AquaLift cleaning seem to vary with users in terms of their effectiveness.

Matt Schley Matt Schley (6 Posts)

Matt Schley is an intern at Viewpoints and a student at Northwestern University studying computer science. He will graduate in the spring of 2015.