Maytag Centennial MVWC415EW Washing Machine Review
This washer is old school.
Living up to its name, the Maytag Centennial MVWC415EW (MSRP $649) draws inspiration from last century. Open the lid and you'll see a pole agitator–a feature that wouldn't have gone amiss in a laundry room 30 years ago. The MVWC415EW also uses a significant amount of water, has dials for controls, and sports a tiny 3.6-cu.-ft. drum—just like washing machines from the '80s. In this age of endless technological sophistication, it's nice to see a stalwart design that's lasted through the ages. This simple washer will endear itself to laundry veterans and newcomers alike.
To read our full review of this washer's matching dryer, the Maytag MEDC415EW click here.
Design & Usability
You've seen this before
Look up "washing machine" in an old dictionary and you might see a picture of an appliance that looks just like the Maytag MVWC415EW. The pole agitator is a blast from the past: Sure, it beats stains out of laundry, but also takes up a lot real estate in the already cramped drum.
The control panel also uses rather retro design language. Instead of buttons, the MVWC415EW's panel is all dials. Soil Level and Water Temperature settings are located on the left, and the more situational Extra Rinse and Pre Soak options are on the far right. And if you just want to pick a cycle from the main dial and hit "start," that's fine too.
The older style lid means no soft-close hinges, so watch your fingers. This washer also requires users to add detergent directly to the drum, rather than a dispenser that would automatically distribute it through the water.
Performance & Features
A design that ventures nothing, gains nothing
There's a reason why pole agitator washers have stayed around for so long–consumers swear by them. The MVWC415EW doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it uses what's worked over the last five decades to good effect.
PowerWash impressed us the most, as it should have. Maytag's advertising claims PowerWash offers the best stain removal in its class, and our tests proved it can remove stains with the best cycles out there. Using 21 gallons of water but taking an hour and 20 minutes, this cycle removed stains better than ones found on machines twice the price.
If you're in a hurry, the Normal cycle is a faster choice. We clocked this cycle in at 50 minutes, half an hour shorter than PowerWash. But in the absence of other options, the Normal cycle is going to serve as your Quick Wash as well. Even though it was quicker, Normal used just as much water as PowerWash. In fact, when we reviewed all the data from this washer, a pattern of high water usage began to emerge.
We estimate that the MVWC415EW will draw $70 in utility costs out of your pocket per year, about double what the average front loader would. It might not sound like much, but if the machine lasts 10 years, that's $700 in utility costs—even more than MSRP!
You also need to consider clothing wear and tear when thinking long term. Although a pole agitator might be good at removing stains, it's harsh on laundry. We observed instances of loose threads catching on the agitator, and all that mechanical action prematurely wore down fabric surfaces.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
The Maytag Centennial MVWC415EW has a three-year warranty from the date of purchase, covering parts and labor. After that, there's a ten-year warranty on the drum and drive motor covering only parts, no labor.
Before You Buy
A solid entry-level washer
Although the MVWC415EW uses technology from a generation ago, it works well enough. This washer's stain removal is more than adequate considering the low sale price of around $500. However, the MVWC415EW's long term value is less defensible. High water usage over the lifetime of the machine could cost you $700 over a decade, and pole agitators tend to damage clothing.
If you plan on PowerWashing sturdy clothes constantly, those up-front savings are fine. But if you wash a variety of clothes that you plan on keeping, even the low sale price makes less sense. We recommend following those care guide tags on your laundry. If you do, the Maytag Centennial MVWC415EW will treat you right.
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