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Viking D3 vs Jenn-Air vs KitchenAid Shallow Counter Depth Refrigerators

Steve Sheinkopf  |  September 29, 2015  |  8 Min. Read

Jenn-Air  |  Viking  |  Refrigerators  |  Counter Depth Refrigerators  |  KitchenAid

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Editor's Note: I wrote this 3 years ago to show you the relative few manufacturers for the many brand names. At that time Viking D3 was all the rage. Now it is discontinued. KitchenAid and Jenn-Air have changed their refrigerators to be compliant with the 2014 energy regulations.

So, lets see where these brands are as of October 2015 and whether they are still viable for your consideration.

Counter Depth Refrigerators

Counter depth or shallow refrigerators do not protrude from the cabinet and offer a more linear and cleaner look in the kitchen. This is the difference in actual depth.

counter depth vs. full depth refrigerator
This is our display in Framingham

counter depth refrigerator installed in kitchen
This is how it will look in your kitchen

Counter Depth vs Professional Refrigerators

Many people confuse counter depth with professional refrigerators. Pro refrigerators are way more expensive and have the commercial look with the compressor on the top.

At first glance, these companies look very different. Let's look at each brand.

Short on time? Get our free Counter Depth Refrigerator Buying GuideLearn More

Viking D3

Viking is an independent company in Greenwood Mississippi. They are known for their professional cooking equipment. D3 is Viking's third generation designer line.

Update: The Viking D3 line was discontinued in June 2013

D3 was their last ditch effort with a bold new look including customizable handles and a flashy design. We sold the most D3 in New England, and it failed miserably because the underlying service problems were never addressed. It was discontinued in 2014.

Viking was never the same as well. After many years of declining market share, they were sold to Middleby, a commercial manufacturer out of Ohio for 380 million in 2013. Their struggles continue, but eventually they should be OK.

Soon after Whirlpool stopped manufacturing counter depth products for Viking. Their new products are manufactured by Electrolux.

Jenn-Air

Jenn-Air was purchased by Whirlpool as part of their ill-fated Maytag acquisition. Access to Maytag's French door products was the only tangible benefit to the deal.

Flash forward to 2015, Jenn-Air has gained market share, mostly because they have a reasonably priced suite of appliances with decent features.

They have struggles of their own lately, mostly because their new products have been so late in shipping. Their high end proposition has been sullied somewhat as it shares many products with KitchenAid.

KitchenAid

Another Whirlpool acquisition in the early 1990s. KitchenAid was a great dishwasher and a surprisingly good cooking company. Whirlpool has rebranded KitchenAid in 2015 as a affordable luxury line to compete with Electrolux, Bosch and surprisingly Jenn-Air.

Viking D3 vs. Jenn-Air vs. KitchenAid

Viking D3 RDDFF236SS - DISCONTINUED

viking d3 french door counter depth refrigerator RDDFF236SS

  • Four adjustable tempered glass spill-proof shelves and one stationary glass shelf offer a variety of storage configurations
  • Create your own look with customizable knob and handle inserts
  • Industry leading 3-year Viking Signature Warranty
  • Water dispenser located inside refrigerator compartment provides filtered, chilled water on demand
  • Electronic controls with digital temperature readout
  • Temperature adjustable drawers

Jenn-Air JFC2290VEM

$3,199 after rebates

jennair french door counter depth refrigerator JFC2290VEM

  • Electronic climate control
  • SmoothClose drawer track system
  • Automatic moisture control
  • Electronic controls with LED Display
  • Energy Star qualified
  • Automatic ice maker with storage bin
  • Adjustable, spill-proof glass shelves
  • Gallon door storage 

KitchenAid KRFC302ESS

$3,299 after rebates

kitchenaid french door counter depth refrigerator KRFC302ESS

  • Automatic ice maker for constant supply of ice
  • Pull-out freezer drawer with slide-out baskets
  • FreshChill temperature management system
  • Adjustable SpillClean glass shelves contain spills
  • Humidity controlled crispers with adjustable controls
  • Freezer baskets and crispers slide out with ease

Comparison

3 years ago, these products were actually the same except for the label. Viking had the three year warranty and cheaper price, so I said to buy Viking. It was strange. They outmarketed and undercut the price of their own supplier.

Jenn-Air and KitchenAid are still identical, so the comparison is really against Electrolux. The Jenn-Air/KitchenAid (maybe I should call it Jenn-Aid) has the ice and water through the door, which is convenient.

However, the rate of repair jumps with ice and water on a French door, because sending freezing ice through a refrigerator door will eventually have problems on any brand. Whirlpool is redesigning their refrigerators with a new plant in 2016.

Before you rush out to buy the new Viking, it is way cheaper to buy it under the Electrolux label….so some things do change.

Additional Resources

Read the Yale Counter Depth Refrigerator Buyers Guide for unbiased up to date information on appliances, lighting and plumbing. Over 100,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

View our counter depth refrigerator buying guide

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

 

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Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

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Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

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