Bosch larder fridge KSV36AWEPG full review

The first thing to say about this Bosch appliance is that it is a larder fridge. That means there's no freezer compartment.

You could be forgiven for asking why anyone would buy a 186cm tall fridge with 346 litres of storage if there's nowhere to put frozen pizzas, but if you have a large household or eat fresh a lot, and you have a separate full-size or chest freezer, a larder fridge is a good purchase.  

In our experience, you get used to full-size fridges very quickly, and it's hard to go back to a 70/30 or 50/50 fridge/freezer split.

The space means you have fantastic sightlines over your groceries, makes organisation a breeze, and changes your shopping habits purely because you have more room. You can relegate to the past the piled-up meat trays, stuffed-in vegetable bags, and tubs of hummus atop boxed quiches.

We think that if you're considering a larder fridge, this Bosch appliance is a good option.

Design and appearance

  • Traditional white finish
  • Reversible door
  • Long 75cm door handle

The KSV36AWEPG is a tall column with a glossy and slightly stippled finish. It's in stark contrast to the more industrial feel of stainless-steel or dark models.

Stainless steel fridges and fridge freezers have come to dominate the market, and this larder fridge is the first white appliance we've tested. But although it's more traditional, it radiates quality thanks to subtle design touches: the discreet brand tag on the top right-hand side and the slight curve to the door surface.

The standout feature, however, is the long (75cm), brushed silver handle that runs down the side of the door. What Bosch has designed here is a fridge that's easy and comfortable to open, no matter your height. The downside of this, of course, is that the handle starts at only 58cm from the ground, meaning you might not be able to keep your five-year-old from raiding the yoghurt tubes.   

This appliance would look terrific in a kitchen with white or pastel accents and would also brighten a room that suffers from a lack of natural light.

You can also reverse the door, which is always a handy option.

Door alarm

  • 39dB
  • Irritating door alarm
  • Door needs a good push to close

Bosch states the operating sound level of the fridge is 39dB, or the equivalent to a babbling brook or a quiet computer. This seemed high to us, as we couldn't really discern any operational noise at all.

Unfortunately, the door alarm is an irritating, constant, monotonous tone. That's all well and good if you've wandered off leaving the door ajar, but less so if you're just mulling over lunch options, You have the option to switch the feature off in the control panel, but you might find you need the alarm because a soft, absent-minded push doesn't always close the door properly.

This is largely due to the door seal being somewhat over-effective; the seal cushioning and suction is one of the best we've seen across the appliances we've tested. 

Running cost

  • E energy rating
  • 166KWh/pa
  • 346 litres of refrigerator space

This larder fridge has an E rating on the new 2021 energy rating scale (A++ on the old scale), and Bosch states the total annual energy consumption is 116KWh/pa. This means it'll cost roughly £17 a year to run the appliance, although this depends on your payment scheme, supplier, and where you live in the UK. 

This kind of operational cost is incredible value for 346 litres of chilled storage. As most households will probably require some sort of freezing space, it's worth working out whether a smaller chest freezer, alongside this larder fridge, could deliver you a lower operating cost in terms of cold storage space than a split appliance.     

Bosch also gives you a two-year free warranty with the option to extend it to five years for £99 if you apply within 28 days of purchase. They also include a quirky visual information sheet with tips to help you reduce power consumption and spend; interestingly, they suggest you place your groceries inside the fridge in storage containers.

Control panel

  • Easy to reach control panel
  • Temperature range: 2°C – 8°C
  • Super cooling function

The black control panel is at the top of the fridge cabinet and easy to reach, though a little tricky to see if you are shorter than average. There is a power push button, which we like as it means less ambiguity over whether you've turned the appliance on or not. The temperature range goes from 2°C to 8°C. The fridge also has a super cooling function that drops the temperature as low as possible for fifteen hours to quickly chill large amounts of food.

Cool down and warm up

  • Fridge retains its temperature for hours in the event of a power cut

This appliance went from 11°C to 4°C in the body of the fridge and 8°C in the door in thirty minutes. After an hour, all zones were at 4°C. This suggests the fridge will cool from 21°C down to normal fridge temperature in two hours, which is standard for a fridge at this price point.

The stability of the fridge temperature appears to be the result of the Bosch “fresh sensors” that constantly monitor the ambient and fridge temperature, creating a constant in the fridge that is independent of the external temperature.

What was remarkable, however, was how the fridge retained its frosty air. Fifteen hours after switch-off, the cabinet was still only 8°C across all zones, so a mere increase of about 4°C. We were very impressed with this, as it suggests you won't lose any groceries in the event of a power cut.

Lighting

A 13.5cm by 3cm LED strip at the top front of the internal cabinet lights the inside of the fridge well. 

Fridge capacity

  • Huge 346 litre capacity
  • EasyAccess shelves
  • Adjustable humidity drawer

There's a whopping 346 litres of capacity in this fridge, which is roughly 17.3 supermarket bags of shopping, working off the basis of a 20-litre supermarket bag. Considering this appliance is a single door model, this kind of capacity is extraordinary. Normally, you would need to invest in a multi-door or American-style model, with double the footprint, to reach anything over 300 litres of chilled storage. 

Bosch shelves

There are five internal glass shelves, all adjustable downwards by about 5cm, and one wine rack with five notches, which is removable. The top of the humidity bin also provides an extra shelf, but you risk losing the sightline down into the contents of the bin if you use it. As the appliance height is 186cm, the top shelf is eminently reachable for those who may be shorter than average.

And all the six shelves are “EasyAccess”: a brilliant feature that allows you to pull the shelves out by 15cm as a matter of course, so you can easily reach groceries at the back.

There are two fruit and vegetable drawers: one is a traditional bin and the other is the "VitaFresh Plus" compartment with two humidity settings: a low humidity "best for fruit" or a high humidity "vegetables and fruit". 

Bosch humidity drawer

Both drawers have a “wave” bottom to prevent roll and provide roughly 14 to 15 litres of storage each, so a good one and a half bags of shopping. We managed to fit two iceberg lettuces, a kilo of carrots, two cucumbers, two packs of tomatoes, and two packs of peppers into the bins with a decent amount of space to spare, so there’s enough room for most household needs. 

And we must mention the egg trays. You get three, each fitting four eggs apiece, and they are possibly the cutest egg holders we've seen. Four little cups connected in a square, they are a piece of design loveliness. They also stack up together tidily when you don't need to use all three.

Egg trays

Door storage

In keeping with the excellent chill capacity of this model, the door also possesses incredible storage capacity. There are four door racks and one compartment high in the door with a top-open lid for dairy and cheese that you can't adjust.

You can, however, adjust the first open door rack downwards by 5cm, but it is the second door rack that boasts a design solution that we are surprised other appliance manufacturers haven't pursued: namely, an easier way to shift door racks up and down the internal door fitting.

Bosch has obviously considered this issue and come up with "EasyLift": a sliding mechanism, activated when you depress two side buttons on the rack itself, that can click into a series of grooves that span 20cm in height along a side frame, depending on how high or low you want the rack to be. 

Bosch EasyLift

The feature is very easy to use, and completely banishes the awkward wiggle and pull involved in removing and replacing conventional fridge door racks.

Although the lower two racks are non-adjustable, the 20cm adjustability of the second rack means you can fit two supermarket six-pinters in the lower three door racks, which gives you space to keep an astonishing 36 pints of milk in the door. Each rack also gives you room for eight 500ml water bottles or six 400ml jars.

All in all, if you need serious door storage space, this Bosch appliance fits the bill.

Price and availability

This appliance is part of the Bosch Serie 6 range and has an RRP of £799. But at the moment you can buy it for around £750 from AO.com, Currys and Boots Kitchen Appliances. However, the best price we can currently find is from Donaghy Bros, where it costs £698.

Bear in mind that there are no other other colour options. All models in this range are white; if you fancy a black or “inox-look” larder fridge, you will have to choose a Serie 4 model – which, for the same price, means you will lose the long handle, door alarm and the first vegetable bin. A white model in the Serie 4 range costs approximately £699.

If you drop down to a Serie 2 model, you'll pay around £550 for a white model. You'll lose the long external handle, the door alarm, the wine rack, and you only get one vegetable bin, without the VitaFresh technology.        

Verdict

A standalone fridge isn't for everyone but if you have the space, it may be worth considering whether a separate fridge and a large chest freezer will work for you. The KSV36AWEPG has a very low operating cost, a consistent temperature and huge storage space. 

We also enjoyed the design touches such as the long door handle, EasyLift door storage and EasyAccess shelves that make this fridge accessible and simple to organise. 

For more fridge and fridge freezer buying options, and to see how the Bosch measure up, check out our round-up of the best fridges and fridge-freezers we've tested.    

Specs

Bosch larder fridge KSV36AWEPG: Specs

  • Energy rating E (A++ pre-March rating)
  • Dimensions: 1860mm x 600mm x 650mm
  • Noise level: 39dB
  • Annual energy: 116 kWh
  • Total capacity: 346 litres
  • Fridge capacity: 346 litres
  • Reversible door

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