Smart design and germ-defeating tech collide in Siemens’ classy mid-range washing machine
- Good washing performance
- Quiet operation
- Easy to load
- Rival machines offer more features for similar money
While most of us look to spend as little as possible on our home appliances, our constant reliance on the dirt-banishing, germ-killing talents of a washing machine are a good reason to consider stretching the budget a little. The Siemens iQ500 WM14T790GB is one such option: it costs around twice the price of our favourite budget machine, but aims to justify the outlay with a gamut of clothes-cleaning tech and a dash of modern style.
Siemens WM14T790GB review: What you need to know
The Siemens WM14T790GB tackles up to 9kg loads, and combines A+++ energy efficiency with Siemens’ array of buzzword-laden clothes-freshening tech.
Siemens makes particularly bold claims for its sensoFresh technology, which is designed to combat bad odours and germs, even for sensitive and non-washable fabrics. With an ‘active oxygen’ generator and an odour-defeating carbon filter, it’s designed to banish the smells and bad bacteria which might build up in lesser machines – and it claims to do so more gently than rival machines which use steam generators to produce similar results.
Siemens WM14T790GB review: Price and competition
The WM14T790GB is going toe-to-toe with the very best of the mid-range washing crop. This is a very competent machine, but then it has to be – models from rivals such as Samsung, Bosch, Miele and LG are all keenly vying for the mid-range washing machine crown.
For this kind of money, Bosch’s Serie 8 WAWH8660GB (£799) is a good alternative which delivers similar washing performance – and this comes as no surprise given that both brands are owned by the same company. However, the Bosch’s ingenious i-Dos feature means you only need to fill the liquid detergent and softener tanks every week or so, and that combines with Wi-Fi remote control to make a machine that’s perfect for busy lifestyles – you can fling clothes in and set the wash going on your smartphone once you’ve left the house. Needless to say, wash performance is very good too.
If you don’t need the fancy features, then spend less. Bosch’s Serie 4 WAN28201GB costs a mere £399, but wash performance is comparable with both the machines we’ve just mentioned. It takes a fair bit longer on a 40C wash, and is a little noisier, but if you don’t need the bells and whistles it’s the one to buy.
Siemens WM14T790GB review: Features and design
The WM14T790GB’s front fascia leans back ever so slightly to make it easier to read and operate from above, and a large, clearly-labelled dial sits alongside a sizable touch-sensitive display.
The rest of the machine is all white, and the huge door is ringed with brushed metal. If you’re putting together a slick new kitchen with the latest bells and whistles, the Siemens will not look out of place.
And for those sick of arcane, complicated washing machine fascias, the Siemens is a sight for sore eyes. The simple dial allows you to choose from the various main programs and a quick tap on the screen’s touch-sensitive buttons selects the options you want. It is very easy and intuitive in use – and much more so than machines which require you to cycle through myriad options with a single button.
Loading and unloading the washer is a breeze thanks to the huge, solid-feeling door, and large illuminated drum makes it almost impossible to forget small items of clothing which so often get lodged in the nooks and crannies. The reload feature is handy, too: press the button and you can add a forgotten item of clothing to a wash even after it’s already in progress.
READ NEXT: Bosch Serie 4 WAN28201GB review
Siemens WM14T790GB review: Washing performance
We test wash performance with industry-standard cotton test swatches that are impregnated with nine key stains: grass/mud, mustard, carrot baby food, tea, cooked beef fat, red wine, tomato puree, sheep’s blood and coffee. We test three wash programmes: 40˚C cottons, 60˚C cottons, and the machine’s fastest quick-wash. Many manufacturers claim to give good results from their 15- and 30-minute wash cycles, so we think it’s important to put those claims to the test.
The Siemens is a classy performer with precious few issues. It’s a pleasingly quiet machine, too. We were impressed by just how quiet it is in general use, and this is no doubt helped by Siemens’ decision to employ a brushless induction motor.
Overall wash performance is good, and while its stain-tackling talents at 40c are marginally inferior to Bosch’s Serie 8 WAWH8660GB, the Siemens just nudges the balance in its favour at 60c.
As with most modern machines, though, program times do take a little longer than many people might expect. Under two hours for the cottons programmes isn’t miles off the pace of the faster models we’ve tested so far, but it’s still not blazingly quick by any yardstick.
There are a variety of very short programs, but don’t expect these to do a thorough clean. They’re effective for freshening up items that are a bit stale from being in a cupboard or drawer for a while, but they’re not intensive enough to clean garments that have been worn. The 15 minute wash did precious little to fade the stains on our test swatch – so don’t expect it to tackle anything other than the lightest marks.
As ever, the Siemens didn’t reach the indicated water temperatures in our tests, but that’s no different to most washing machines these days. That’s why we were pleased to see a dedicated drum cleaning cycle. This is essential for keeping your washing machine working at peak performance, and also for keeping bacteria and mould at bay.
Siemens WM14T790GB review: Repairability
The WM14T790GB comes with a two year warranty as standard, but register that and you’ll get an extra three years. It’s essential you do this: if parts break outside of warranty you’ll incur huge a sizable repair bill. It is highly reassuring that the motor is guaranteed for a total of 10 years.
If any of the other components fail outside of warranty, however, expect a large bill. If you tot up the price of the top panel section alone with the other electronics, it may cost almost as much – if not potentially more – than buying a whole new machine.
And if you’re hoping that a high-end machine like this will be more repairable than a cheaper one, you may be out of luck. The sealed drum means that bearings cannot be replaced, so when they eventually wear out you’ll have to shell out for a whole new £300 drum – and that’s before you even consider the labour costs involved.
Thankfully, the filter is easy to access, which is a boon for regular cleaning. It’s just a shame that the access panel is so flimsy: we suspect some people will manage to break that flap in time.
On closer internal examination there are quite a few parts in this machine that are cheaper than we’d expect, but if anything major fails outside of warranty you may not want to pay the repair costs. If you can extend the warranty beyond the standard five years at a reasonable cost, we’d recommend you seriously consider doing so.
READ NEXT: Bosch Serie 8 WAWH8660GB review
Siemens WM14T790GB review: Verdict
This is a very capable washing machine that performs well and is supremely easy to use. The burning question, as ever, is whether it’s worth shelling out the extra for.
Our gut feeling is probably not: you can get similar washing performance for a lot less money, or you can spend a little more on Bosch’s Serie 8 for the handy i-Dos and Wi-Fi remote control features. If you find the Siemens on offer though, then buy with confidence – it’s a high-quality machine.