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19 February 2021

Worst-performing fridge we have tested

A fridge-freezer just has to keep food cold. Smeg’s newest model can’t even do that.

The latest Smeg fridge-freezer sure looks stylish, but it scored just 22% in our testing! It’s the worst fridge we have seen.

Are you after a retro-looking fridge to match the new Smeg knives you got from New World? Smeg sells one, but it’s earnt the dubious honour of being the worst fridge we’ve tested.

Our lab tested the Italian-made 504L fridge-freezer and it scored a truly chilling 22%, mostly because of its inability to manage temperatures.

The Smeg FAB38RCRAU fridge-freezer
The Smeg FAB38RCRAU fridge-freezer


A fridge should be able to maintain stable temperatures, but this fridge scored zero in our test for temperature swings. We would have given it a negative score if possible. The freezer compartment fluctuated by 11°C, getting very cold. The fridge varied by more than 5°C, which means it can get too warm and could lead to food spoiling.

Winter woes

The fridge couldn’t cope with the outside temperature changing. A good fridge maintains a steady temperature when the seasons change. This one was bad. It particularly has issues dealing with winter – when the outside temperature was 10°C, the temperature inside the freezer dropped to a glacial -28.9°C.

To avoid this, you’d have to regularly adjust the settings yourself – work any decent fridge should be doing.

This fridge is also a hit to the pocket, it costs almost $6000!

Don’t buy

Don’t Buy this fridge. We bought it from a store, just like you would. However, while our testing showed its faults right away, you might not notice its poor performance immediately – or at all (though you might once food starts going bad).

Take a look at our fridges test results to find a fridge that actually works.

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