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Miele W864 washing machine review (W 864)

Independent washing machine reviews by a repairman with 30 years experience.

Review Summary

My impression of the Miele W864 washing machine is that it is a Rolls Royce of washing machines [ Related: Miele build quality ] My only real concern is that independent repairers can't get parts and technical information as easily for the German washing machines. This means its unlikely that you'll find a competent independent repairer. I would advise that if investing in a Miele washing machine, you need to be prepared to use Miele's own engineers or dealers for any future repairs. Miele's engineers don't charge more than many other manufacturers - it's just that independent engineers (if you can find a good one) usually charge a lot less.

Of course parts are likely to be expensive too because they are high quality parts though even accounting for the quality it's hard to justify some of the prices of some spare parts, which franky can be astounding (eg. £500 for a motor, £200 for a pump). The idea though is that breakdowns should be far fewer, and overall, over a long period, the cost of owning and maintaining a Miele should be cheaper than buying cheap washing machines. However: Miele currently have really long guarantees that reflect their confidence in the quality - although these guarantees swap and change all the time because Miele use them for promotion instead of price cutting. [ Miele's extended guarantees section ]

Latest info:

The Miele W864 has been superceded but the basic entry level Miele washing machine should be very similar to this one, but with more features including a larger 6Kg drum.

Price range:

Top end price range £500+

Clearly this standard of build isn't cheap, but it is designed to last at least 20 years. In the long run it should work out cheaper than regularly buying, repairing, and replacing many other makes of washing machine ( Do washing machines have built-in obsolescence? ) plus it's a high class product that should serve well and be a pleasure to use.

Main review

Removing the lid from the Miele W864, I was immediately struck by its simplicity inside. I was impressed to see a stainless steel outer tub. This is very rare for a washing machine these days. The outer tub holds all the water and the inner drum revolves inside it. In the past, tubs always used to be made of vitreous enamel, which was strong, but susceptible to rust. Vitreous enamel tubs often started leaking after 10 years or more, or if damaged by a coin. Most washing machine manufacturers have long since moved onto plastic outer tubs. Plastic tubs are cheaper to make and they don't rust, but coins left in pockets can punch a hole right through. This can write a cheap washing machine off, and as leaving coins in pockets is something most people do sooner or later, it's not ideal to have a plastic tub.

Stainless steel outer tubs are the ideal answer. They are metal, substantial, won't be damaged easily by coins, and will never rust. Apart from the cost, you can't beat a stainless tub.

Continued on next column ...

Best Retailer

John Lewis John Lewis are a great place to buy a washing machine from. They give at least 2 years guarantee on all washing machines and other appliances - and even 3 years on their own brand (plus 5 year guarantees on TV's).

Free standard delivery on all orders over £30

They've also been voted top of the customer satisfaction polls by Which? consumer association. John Lewis - the best? (external link to my Blog).

Miele washing machines section at John Lewis | Miele washer Dryers section at John Lewis

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