laundry

LG WT1201CV Washing Machine Review

A better way to top load

December 23, 2013
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

The LG WT1201CV (MSRP $899 in slate or $799 in white) is a worthy sequel to the popular LG WT1101CW (MSRP $699). The 1201 keeps the innovative front controls and has all the same cycles as the 1101, but beefs up the efficiency and capacity. We think it's one of the most interesting top-loaders on the market.

Unfortunately, though our tests showed it to be efficient and easy to use, it lagged in pure cleaning performance. If you've got really tough stains, you might be better off with another machine.

To read our full review of this washer's matching dryer, the LG DLEY1201V, click here.

Design & Usability

Designed with you in mind

As a top-loader, it's unusual that this machine has its controls at the front rather than the rear. The advantage of this is that the controls are always accessible even if the lid is open. The downside is that it’s harder to read from across a room—you have to be in front of the machine in order to see the LCD display. There's no dial either—all cycles are selected by pressing one button to scroll through the options.

You may find the drum a little shallower than other top-loaders. It’s not vanity; it’s a usability feature. The floor of the drum is higher so you can more easily reach your laundry.

Overall, this LG is simple to use. The front control design forces everything to be laid out in a horizontal fashion. The buttons that are most likely to be used (Power, Start, and Cycle Selection) are clustered to the right, while feature buttons are placed to the left.

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Performance & Features

Your mileage may vary, but you’ll still get there

Handle
The WT1201CV has a handle that bends View Larger

When looking at the performance, we found that the WT1201CV did better in some areas while worse in others. Most interestingly, we recorded a significantly low operating cost for a top-loader—just $47 a year for water and power. That’s within striking distance of more technologically advanced front-loaders.

The cleaning performance wasn't stellar, however. Though it still got the job done, many other washers outclean the 1201. If you do go for this machine, we'd recommend Heavy-Duty for tough stains. It plowed through red wine and cocoa stains, even though it still struggled with sweat and dirt.

All the other cycles followed suit to a lesser degree. Also, cycles tended to be on the longer side. Everything but Speed Wash took over an hour.

For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.

Conclusion

On the money

Design
Having the controls at the front allows for a more uniform look. View Larger

If you’re looking to get a whole new washer-dryer set, like top-loading washers, and want to save money on water, the WT1201CV and the DLEY1201V are a good pair. The WT1101CW gives a similar performance for $200 less but, the WT1201CV is a better-looking machine, is larger, and has better efficiency. If you’re willing to sacrifice a little performance for more capacity and less water usage, then the LG WT1201CV is worth checking out.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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