Whether the style of the kitchen is more modern, contemporary, or anything in between, having a professional style refrigerator (even more than a professional range) is the single best design statement in your kitchen.
Sub-Zero and Thermador really dominate this niche, but Liebherr and Viking both have different value propositions. However, they may both be somewhat flawed in their approach.
We will look at both companies, their products and compare at the end.
The Liebherr Group was established in 1949. Headquartered in Germany, Liebherr’s engineering provides the widest range of freezers, refrigerators & wine cabinets in Europe. They have been able to introduce a European flair to the American Market.
Liebherr is recognized as one of the most energy efficient manufacturers of refrigeration. Besides appliances, they also manufacturer aerospace, earthmoving and mining equipment.
Their lower price is their sales strategy. Many Liebherr refrigerators are 80’’ tall. For many customers looking to replace older integrated 80’’ tall Sub-Zero units, Liebherr is a popular, low cost choice.
However, it is somewhat difficult to service the machine because the controls are in the back. If you buy a Liebherr, just insure there are service technicians available to fix it.
Viking Range Corporation was founded by Fred Carl, Jr., a fourth-generation building contractor, as a speculative venture aimed at developing the first commercial-type range specifically designed and certified for home use.
The Viking refrigeration plant was totally renovated in 2000 and produces Viking built-in refrigerators, freezers, wine storage units and an entire line of outdoor refrigeration products. Viking was acquired by the range manufacture Middleby in February of 2013.
However, Vikings’ reliability problems are not really a secret with their refrigeration being their Achilles Heel. To be transparent, we no longer sell or service Viking products.
Liebherr 36" Counter Depth Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator
CS2062 - $6,799
Viking 36" Built-In Bottom Freezer Refrigerator
VCBB5363ERSS - $9,049
Both of these models have dual compressors, so the cold air from the refrigerator will not be caught in the freezer. In other words, there will not be any crossover of tastes.
Liebherr has their Bio-Fresh designed to keep humidity at an optimum level, whereas Viking uses Sharp's Plasmacluster Ion Air Purifier to eliminate airborne mold, bacteria and other impurities, while removing odors.
Viking has two high-humidity zone drawers as well as an adjustable cold zone drawer which can be set for either produce or long-term fresh meat storage with separate temperature controls.
Viking can be ordered in many different colors, such as white, black, burgundy, eggplant, and more.
Which Should You Buy?
Liebherr is obviously the better price, but is more of a “semi” professional without the compressor top like a Sub-Zero or Viking. The look is very different.
I also like the Viking color offerings and their warranty is three years parts and labor.
Liebherr is more reliable than Viking, but it is extremely hard and time consuming to fix. The unit is repaired from the back and needs to be pulled out.
We had to train three people just on Liebherr due to its complicated systems.
I like their prices, but service needs to be addressed, before you buy one.
We have not sold Viking for over a year, and service was their big issue. Over time, Middleby will try to rectify their problems, but that could take years.
For now, I would consider another product.
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A Note About Pricing