In general, front-loading washing machines get better ratings than top loaders in professional sources. One exception is the LG WT4801CW, which gets positive reviews from professionals and users alike. This 3.7-cubic-foot washer gets excellent scores in comparison tests for its cleaning performance, low energy and water use and low vibration. It is not as gentle on clothes as most washers, however, and some owners complain that clothes can become severely tangled and wrinkled during the wash cycle (a common problem with high-efficiency top-loaders).
Owners praise this machine's cleaning performance, quietness and ease of use, but we did see several complaints about its reliability. Some also say LG's customer service could be more responsive to customer complaints about breakdowns and repairs. If you are looking for an even more efficient washer, the front-loading Maytag Maxima MHW6000XW (*Est. $1,100) is a top performer, but it will set you back about $350 more.
We found the most thorough test of the LG WT4801CW at ConsumerReports.org, where it is measured up against more than 50 other top-loading washers. Each washer is rated on a multitude of factors, including cleaning performance, energy and water sue, quietness and gentleness to clothing.
We also found more than 350 reviews from users at retail sites, including HomeDepot.com, BestBuy.com and AJMadison.com. These reviews are useful for evaluating the washer's long-term performance and reliability. The annual Appliance Survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates provides information about customer satisfaction with the LG brand as a whole.
The LG WT4801CW is one of nearly 60 top-loading washers tested at ConsumerReports.org. Each washer is rated on its cleaning performance, water and energy use, capacity, gentleness to clothing, noise level and vibration.
Review: Washing Machines, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of June 2012
The LG WT4801CW receives more than 250 reviews at HomeDepot.com, with an overall rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. Users praise its cleaning performance, quietness and low waster use, but we saw several complaints about reliability and poor customer service from LG. Overall, 86 percent of users say they would recommend this washer.
Review: LG Electronics 3.7 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White, Contributors to HomeDepot.com
We found more than 70 reviews for the LG WT4801CW at BestBuy.com. Users give this washer 4.3 stars out of 5 on average, with praise for its quietness, ease of use and low vibration. However, we saw some complaints here, as at HomeDepot.com, about malfunctions and unsatisfactory customer service.
Review: LG - 3.7 Cu. Ft. 8-Cycle Large Capacity High-Efficiency Washer - White, Contributors to BestBuy.com
There are about 45 reviews for the LG WT4801CW at AJMadison.com. It scores better here than at other retail sites, earning a near-perfect rating of 4.9 stars out of 5. Owners say the machine is easy to use and cleans well with low water use. We did not find the reliability complaints at this site that we saw at other sites.
Review: LG WT4801CW, Contributors to AJMadison.com
5. J.D. Power & Associates
In this survey, more than 5,600 consumers who have recently bought washing machines rate their overall satisfaction. Though individual models are not rated, the LG brand as a whole is one of the highest scorers overall, with top marks in every category except price.
Review: Home Appliance Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, Aug. 3, 2011