I've been looking at this site for a while now and have found some of the tips very useful.
As there doesn't seem to be very much mentioned about Siemens I thought I'd add a few lines.
I've very recently replaced my dishwasher and fridgefreezer and my eight year old Bosch was starting to look a bit dated and tatty in comparison. (Although it was still going strong and worked perfectly well).
I initially went to Comet with the intention of buying another Bosch, but was very disappointed with the quality of the Classixx range, which had plastic door catches and felt very flimsy. The more expensive Bosch machines didn't appear to be of a much higher quality either, just offering more features and gimmicks. I had a look at the other brands available and Miele and Siemens appeared to be the best quality but also a deal more expensive, with AEG looking like the closest compromise.
I started researching prices and reviews on-line for AEG and by chance took a look on Ebay and noticed the Siemens XLM 1600 with a local seller. I thought it worth having a punt, so I put in a bid and eventually won it for £96. The machine is less than two years old, I have the original receipt for £500 and still comes with over three years Siemens warranty remaining.
The model is now discontinued but is still available on a few websites and is cosmetically identical to the WXLM148A which is still on sale in John Lewis.
It's a very solid machine with 1600 spin, 6kg load and AAA rating and has a large metal framed, double glazed door which opens to 180 degrees and closes easily. It has no time remaining indicator or delayed start timer, but still has an LED sequence indicator, extra rinse, intense wash and end of cycle alarm. It's cold wash only and has an anti flood device on the cold water feed pipe.
When it arrived I gave the door glass a wipe over with limescale remover, ran a few maintenance washes with soda crystals and it's now as good as new.
In operation it's almost silent on wash and very quiet on spin too, requiring minimum adjustment to make it level. I've tried it on various spin settings (1600, 1400 and 1200) and there doesn't really seem to be a lot of difference to how dry the washing is. It does wash very well and is a noticable improvement over my old Bosch.
In comparison I don't think the overal quality is that far off Miele, and if it breaks down and needs replacing after the warranty expires, it will still have cost me only £32 per year!
My advice would be consider Siemens as a strong alternative to Miele, and take a look at Ebay as you may just find a bargain.
Siemens Wxlm166agb/xlm 1600
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