You may remember a few months back that I reviewed a new freezer we had bought. Well, thanks to our old fridge freezer packing up, we also had to buy a new fridge at the same time. For the first time (following a house move), we were able to get a separate fridge and freezer, which was ideal, as we were always running out of fridge space previously.
The model we selected was the Matsui MTL2507GS. Matsui is the own-brand of high street store Currys, so goods tend to be a little more basic than branded models. They also tend to be a little cheaper, but that's no reflection on the quality - you're simply not paying for a "name". As our refrigeration needs are fairly basic, we didn't need anything fancy, so this was ideal and has proved a sound purchase.
Even if you end up buying it on the internet, I'd strongly recommend you go into the shop to view it in person before you make your purchase. It's a larder fridge, so is quite big, measuring 148cm high by 60cm deep and 55cm wide and you need to bear in mind that you need to leave room for a separate freezer.
At 9 cubic feet, it offers a good amount of storage. Certainly, after our old combined model, opening it up was like looking through the doors of the Tardis. It has a storage space of 275 litres. I have no idea what that means from a technical point of view, but in practice, it means it's pretty big! There seemed to be so much extra space that we thought that we would never fill it (although, of course, we have). However, it does mean that stuff doesn't have to be piled on top of each other to the same extent.
It couldn't be much easier to set up. We plugged it in, left it for a few hours to get cold and it was ready to use. Since then, apart from having to wipe away the odd bit of condensation (more on this later), we have left it to its own devices.
If you are concerned about your electricity bill then it comes with an A Energy rating so it's not going to cost a fortune to run. According to the product specs it should consume around 165 kWh of energy per year... whatever that means! Certainly, we have not noticed any sudden rise in our bill as a result of running a separate fridge and freezer.
The layout inside is is also excellent, making maximum use of the available space. The main body has four adjustable shelves, which provide plenty of storage space for bigger items. These internal shelves are made of glass which on the one hand, is a positive, as I feel these are better able to support the weight of heavier items. However, it also means that you need to be slightly careful not to break them when putting certain items on them.
The inside panel of the door holds a number of shelves of different shapes and sizes. These are ideal for storing jars and bottles and I'm always amazed at how many things can be fitted into these compartments - they are deceptively spacious!
There are a couple of downsides. Firstly, there's no icebox. We don't need one, but it might be an important consideration for you. Secondly, the vegetable drawer is rather small. We tend to buy a lot of fresh veg and find it inadequate, so some of the fresh produce just has to be put wherever it fits, rather than all being stored together.
There is also a slightly tendency for the inside of the fridge to get condensation on the back panel. This is particularly true if you push your food all the way to the back so it sits against this panel (this is a speciality of mine and drives poor Mrs SWSt mad!) It's not a major issue, but you can occasionally find little pools of water have dripped onto the shelves if you don't keep an eye on it.
There are also questions over the build quality, which reflects the fact it is a cheaper model and the interior and exterior feel a little cheap and tacky, as though they might break. Having said that, we've been using it for over 18 months now and it has not suffered any knocks or damage in that time (despite my best efforts).
The one exception to this is the door handle which feels incredibly flimsy. Even when fitted properly, you get the impression it may fall off at any moment. Indeed, the handle has come off a couple of times (although it is easy enough to fit back on) and other users of this model have reported similar problems.
The other major design flaw is that the door has no stopper on it. If you open the fridge door and let it go, it will swing all the way back as far as it will go, before bouncing back in alarming fashion. This can't be good for the hinges and I can imagine after prolonged use it might become an issue. Certainly, I try and remember to hold the door when I open it to avoid placing it under unnecessary stress.
Available in silver or white (we got the silver) it should fit into the décor of most kitchens and the silver one doesn't show up scratches or dirty marks as much as a white one would. Definitely something to think about if you have kids running around with sticky fingers!
We've now been using this fridge for well over 18 months and, beyond the small niggles outlined above, we have had no real issues. Certainly, it has proved very reliable and worked fine to date. Already it's lasted longer than our old fridge freezer did, so we've no complaints!
The MTL2507 is an older model now, so it can be a little tricky to get hold of. However, if you can find one, you won't regret it. At around £150 new, it's a solid, reliable (if unspectacular) fridge that won't let you down. If your refrigeration needs are basic, it represents an excellent buy.
© Copyright SWSt 2010
Energy Efficiency / Short name: Matsui MTL2507GW