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Last year we in the Rooster household bought a new cooker and in the review I wrote about it at the time I mentioned that we specifically went for a stainless steel model to match in with our grey/silver Fridge Freezer, specifically the Beko CDA554S and the focus of this, my latest review. Up until the purchase of this particular fridge freezer we had always favoured white appliances but as they are prone to showing dirty fingerprints and often end up looking grubby we decided to go for something a little different to what we were used to and so settled for this Beko silver one at price of just under £300.00. Three or so years later and our Fridge Freezer has ended up becoming the place we stick family photographs, magnets and notes to so its colour has become irrelevant really but in the spaces between our added extras (or memories as we like to call them) and the sides its Matt silver finish can still be seen and as this review will attempt to explain it was a superb buy which gave us almost exactly what we were looking for even if there are a couple of niggles that have become apparent over the course of our ownership of it.
As illustrated in the supplied picture the Beko 554S is a freestanding Fridge Freezer with a 60/40 split ratio. The Fridge section is at the top and the Freezer below, it stands 172cm in height, measures 54.5cm in width and 60cm in depth and is an A rated appliance. For the purpose of this review I'll cover each section separately and mention the features you can expect to gain if this model is the one you are thinking of buying:
Starting at the bottom of the fridge there are 2 removable transparent drawers which are most commonly used for storing fresh food and salad items, we tend to use one of the drawers for cans of drink as they fit perfectly and allows easy access to them whilst keeping them cold. Above the drawers are three adjustable glass shelves which sit on moulded plastic 'runners' which are located on both sides of the interior of the fridge, these are easily removed if required and can be placed in whatever position suits your own individual needs depending on the thickness of whatever it is you are wanting to keep refrigerated. The door has a bottle rack which can easily hold 2 x 4 pint milk cartons along with a little space left over and sitting above that further up is a shelf and also an egg rack located near to the top of the door. Beko have certainly maximised the space available for storage with this model and for a family of 2 we find that we can pack a good deal of food into the fridge and make good use of what is offered to us. The total available fridge space according to Beko is 176 litres, I have no idea if that is accurate or not but felt it worth mentioning as this would make this fridge a little smaller than some other models available and could be a deciding factor in whether this is one that other people would consider buying.
There are 2 deep-ish drawers in the freezer section along with a drop-front compartment and ice cube tray, the drawers are of decent depth to allow bread to be frozen without being squashed and the drop front compartment is ideal for storing bags of ice cubes, ice cream and other items you want easy access to. We don't use the ice cube tray as we buy bagged ice (lazy, I know) so can't really comment on its usefulness. We tend to not use the freezer very much to be honest as the majority of food we eat is fresh and therefore stored in the fridge, however the freezer drawers are handy and used more over Christmas where we freeze bread and ready-made party food that just needs putting into the oven to cook. Again Beko advise that the total freezer space available is 71 litres which doesn't sound all that much to me but as already stated is enough for what we use the freezer for.
**In Everyday Use**
Basics covered and like any other houshold appliance all I expected and wanted from this was something that was reliable and would do the job it was designed to do and all in all I have very little to complain about with this fridge freezer from Beko. I make the space available work for me, it keeps my fresh food cold and my frozen food frozen and as its still going strong 3 years or more since its purchase then I cannot fault its reliability. There are niggles with the fridge it has to be said, the most annoying aspect for me comes down to something as simple as storing bottles, as they have to be positioned on the left hand side of the fridge otherwise they end up coming in contact with the milk that is stored in the door and prevents the fridge from shutting. It's a stupid little foible of this fridge that you can't actually fit a 2 litre bottle of pop on the right hand side but every week I have to juggle what I buy to make sure I can get everything to fit. It would have been a better design had the depth of both the fridge and freezer been a little more generous and I know it is a picky little fault but it is the most annoying thing about the fridge as a whole. Similarly over time I have noticed that the unit has become a little louder than it originally was, it will judder for no apparent reason and whilst not noisy it is still noticeable in the kitchen, I do put this down to age and the fact that it has been switched on permanently for years and years so this is to be expected I guess. On the positive side the fridge does have a very responsive temperature control which does work remarkably well and is put to good use in the summer months when it is decidedly warmer outside, I did notice one year when we had a very hot summer that food was going off quicker in the fridge so adjusted the temperature control to a cooler setting and this did eradicate the problem so again is a really good feature to be aware of. As with any fridge there is an internal light which comes on when the door is opened, I'm not going to say too much about this as it's obvious what it's there for and isn't anything unexpected from an appliance of this nature.
Unfortunately the freezer does need to be defrosted from time to time to prevent a build up of ice and unlike some models which have self regulating controls this model from Beko doesn't, be aware therefore that there will be times when you have to take everything out of the freezer and defrost it. It's a hazard of owning such an item that this a requirement and in retrospect I do wish we had opted for one with an auto-defrost setting but for the price this model retails for it's a minor inconvenience in what is otherwise a very impressive buy.
I don't think this would be the first choice I would suggest a larger family go for as the space you are given might not be sufficient for your needs. It suits us as there's only two of us at home and for the food we buy we have enough room, if you have children or have a regular stream of people coming in and out of your home then you may struggle as I don't think 176 litres of space in the fridge and only 71 in the freezer (250L it total, apparently although that equals 247 from my calculations) is very much when compared to other models. For a couple on their own this is a fine choice and overall I would recommend this fridge freezer but shop around and check out other models would be my advice if you are wanting something that will keep enough food fresh for a larger family.
**Conclusion, Availability and My Rating**
Overall I have been very pleased with my fridge freezer from Beko, for a brand who has to compete with the likes of Samsung, Hotpoint and Indesit they have produced a reliable and well made piece of essential kitchen equipment with this model and for the time we have owned it I have very few complaints. It isn't as spacious as some other models but for us it is fine and at well under £300.00 as it currently retails for I couldn't ask for anything more. There are a few niggles as explained in this review but nothing is perfect and I'm sure higher priced fridge freezers would have some reasons for complaint, if it's reliability you're looking for then there's little to complain about with this one and its on that basis that I'm awarding an excellent 5 star rating as far as this review is concerned. In an ideal world I'd have a large American style fridge freezer which defrosts itself but until I move into a bigger property that has the space for one or win some money to actually buy one then I'm happy to stick with what I have, although saying that I do keep reading reviews on here about black fridge freezers which do look visually appealing so may in time be tempted to upgrade.
The CDA554 from Beko can be found at Argos where it is currently retailing for £239.99 and is available either in white or, like mine, silver. For that price I think its a steal and would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who has a limited budget but is on the look out for a functional yet reliable fridge freezer that is easy on the eye.
Thanks for reading my review, please note that this may also appear on ciao under my username.
Defrost / Short name: Beko CDA554S