For well over the past year now, Viking has been quietly selling a new dishwasher. And when I say new, I mean completely, from the ground-up, new. For years, Viking sourced their dishwashers from Asko, a company which has been making perfectly respectable dishwashers for decades. Unfortunately their Viking counterparts were priced a good few hundred dollars more than same exact Asko units they were built from. It became – for most consumers – an expensive premium for the simple addition of Viking badge. But luckily, Viking (unlike most companies) doesn’t enjoy sourcing their products from other manufacturers.
There is more to a dishwasher than many people think. And building one from the ground up is no easy task – just ask the engineers at Dacor. The Viking VDB450E Professional Dishwasher was a project that was completely designed and built by Viking themselves – and it shows. From the second you open the machine, it has their fingerprints all over it. No-nonsense styling. Easy to read, easy to use control panel – with 5 cycles and three options in all. If it were any more minimalist, there would be nothing but a lone start button. The unit features a proprietary Intelli-Wash system which adjusts the water temperature, pressure, and spin speed to each spray arm depending upon the conditions of the wash environment and the wash cycle chosen. What this enables it to do is provide a stronger cleaning to the bottom rack when you’ve loaded pots and pans, and a gentle cleaning to the fragile glasses and china on the top rack.
The first thing you notice when you open the door of the new Viking dishwasher is the dish racks. They are heavy-duty racks unlike any I’ve seen before. Easily twice as thick as most dish racks, they look and feel like they will easily last the life of the machine. Even the rollers are large and industrial. The wash arms are made entirely of stainless steel, which is rare these days in even some of high end dishwashers. Everything inside screams “built to last”.
The unit is extremely quiet, moreso than its predecessor. It sports a 5-stage water filtration system that keeps food particles from reentering the water supply. It uses force jets along its mesh to force the food particles down into the filter and has a large removable mesh for getting rid of any food particles that may get caught. The dishwasher also has a blue LED on-light that emanates from the toe panel to let you know its cycle is in progress.
There are some caveats. The top rack is not adjustable. It does come out, but it is a tall tub dishwasher and unless you’re washing your car inside there, we doubt you will need to remove the top rack. Be warned however, if you do take out the top rack regularly for perhaps a giant pot or cutting board the top rack is very heavy. A woman might be uncomfortable lifting it up and out, even when empty.
Overall, the unit is priced well and competes with the lower end Miele and Bosch units very well. It is, in our opinion, a very respectable choice at this price range, and only seems to sacrifice the usual plethora of cycle options that the other units boast.
Pros: Complete and welcome redesign, heavy-duty racks, stainless spray arms, intelligent wash system, over 20 different colors!
Cons: Only 5 wash cycles, top rack not adjustable up or down, could use a better lighting alert system.