Maytag Top-Load Washing Machine Review/Rating - Bravos XL
A large capacity, high-efficiency top-load washing machine that has real trouble with the washing part.
Design and Styling7.5
Ease of Use8.5
Build Quality6
Target Function0.5
  • It says "Maytag" on the front
  • Doesn't clean your clothes
  • High-effiency badge looks nice, but both HE and regular detergent doesn't help
  • With a name like "Maytag" we expect a better Warranty

I can think of no other company name that breeds such die-hard followers as the Maytag name — and with good reason. For more than half a century Maytag manufactured in the USA some of the most well-built laundry appliances money could buy. Our grandfathers and grandmothers all still revere any appliance with the brand “Maytag” on it for this reason.

Unfortunately for them, the company they once knew bears little resemblance to the Whirlpool-owned “Maytag” of today.

Maytag Bravos XL Washing Machine with PowerWash

In the early 2000’s, Maytag switched their production of the Neptune line of washers and dryers to Samsung Electrics. When faced with increasing competition from the Korean competitors such as Samsung and LG, Maytag starting designing and building low-cost washers and dryers in the USA.

In 2006, Whirlpool acquired the Maytag Corporation, and integrated it into their appliance line up.

Maytag Washing Machine Review / Rating

The Maytag Bravos XL series of Washers and Dryers are marketed on the notion of having both a Extra Large capacity and still clean clothing with “High Efficiency” detergent. Maytag prices them between $900 – $1,200. The model we had for testing was one of the better variants, the MVWB855DW paired with the matching Maytag Dryer MEDB766FW.

We spent seven days with a brand new set of these machines in our vacation home.

What follows is my impressions after running 10+ loads on them.

Our Test Pair for Our One Week Vacation

The Maytag’s promising feature set

Let’s start by looking at the feature-set claims from Maytag on the Bravos XL Washing Machine.

  • Best Cleaning in Its Class Driven by the PowerWash® System (Based on 18-lb load, among leading top load brands, 5.0-5.9 cu. ft. capacity impeller washers, PowerWash® cycle vs. comparable cycles and default settings.)
  • PowerSpray – PowerSpray enhances cleaning by recirculating water and detergent from the bottom of the load back on top, so clothes get a highly concentrated treatment for difficult stains.
  • Steam-Enhanced Cycles – Steam enhances the cleaning power of your washer to give you stain-fighting action you can count on with cycles like Deep Clean with Steam and Sanitize with Oxi and Steam.

Controls are easy and well laid out.

Maytag also is on the “direct drive” train.

Invented purely by the marketing divisions of Samsung and LG, “Direct Drive Technology” is now being touted by every washing machine manufacturer in the segment as some kind of “new” and “inherently superior” motor technology.

Nevermind the fact that the technology is older than you or I. There are (and have always been) two types of motors implementations on washers and dryers: belt drive and direct drive. Their name implies their method of turning the drum. Belt drive uses a motor and a belt to turn the drum. Direct drive couples the motor directly to the drum.

Neither is inherently “superior”, as both have pros and cons to them – but marketers needed something “new” to tout on their washing machines as they’ve run out of features to harp on.

Maytag Bravos XL in Set – Our Dryer Worked Perfectly BTW

The warranty that Maytag offers on the unit is the typical 1 year limited warranty, which pays both parts and labor, and a 10 year parts only warranty on the motor and drum. To be honest, with such an ironclad name like “Maytag” we expected a better than average warranty.

Does the Maytag Powerwash® System live up to name?

Short answer is: No..   Not even close.

There are only two main feature claims on this machine: You should be able to do a large load and the machine should clean the clothes well. We found getting clothing to come out clean to be very difficult on this machine.

We have two young children. Every day on our vacation we are doing something outside. This leads to a mound of soiled clothing. Put simply: this machine could not handle dirty clothes.

It could barely handle cleaning clean clothes. This is surely due to it’s agitator-less design.

Smooth as a baby’s bottom, this drum has a BIG problem.

Stare down the epic drum on this washing machine and you will notice very few ridges and no center agitation spindle. Fill the drum with dirty clothes and turn it on. What do you see? A giant drum fill with water and soap. It turns and swirls and shakes, but the clothing doesn’t go anywhere. It does not rub against any fins or bumps, there is literally nothing in this washing machine to get dirt off your clothing.

And while this design is an epic failure on Maytag’s part, if you visit your local Best Buy you will find countless new washing machines with this same design from big name brands like Whirlpool, Samsung, LG, and more.

No center agitator, no side agitators, nothing to pull and separate the clothing from each other or create any kind of disturbance which breaks up dirt on clothes.

No ridges, just dull, rounded fins at the base. What were they thinking?

The result is predictable. Dirty clothes exit… “less dirty”. When we did a load of mostly clean clothes, we would get clothing with soap still stuck on them. A one hour “Powerwash” cycle wasn’t enough to even wash the soap off the clothes.

You can imagine how much trouble it has with real dirt on the clothes.


This new shift to giant drums with less agitation may sound good on paper, and look good in marketing materials – but in real life its a real loser. We could not wait to get away from this washer and dryer at the end of day seven and get back to our trusty Electrolux Front-Loader at home.

My recommendation, if you absolutely MUST have a top load, large capacity washing machine – make sure it’s an older design model with a central agitator. Both GE and Speed Queen sell washing machine models with this tried and true design for far cheaper than this Whirlpool Bravos XL machine. They may not look as fancy, or come with exotic cycle options – but they will get the job done.

Maytag Bravos XL = Hard pass.

Anthony Rocco

About The Author

Founder and Editor of Appliance Buyer's Guide. With over 10 years experience selling appliances and designing kitchens, and having grown up in the business, I have a unique perspective on todays offerings in the Appliance world. Currently Managing Director at The Kitchenworks in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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7 Responses

  1. george

    Maytag bravos xl We bought the pair washer & dryer about 6 months ago y wife told me today that their the biggest piece of crap she has ever used and wants them out of the house she said take them to the dump and she will tell everybody she can find to never buy that brand. The washer dose not use enough water to get anything clean. You could get more agnation by hand than the washer puts out
    George Tubbs

  2. Diane Perissinotti

    I have the Maytag bravos xl top loader. It is the biggest pc of garbage I ever owned.. Barely enough water to even wet your clothes unless you only wash 10 pair of socks. I have to add water to every load and move the clothes round so they get clean. The clothes do not move in the wash cycle, however, they spin and get twisted in the final spin cycle.. Most of my clothes are ruined because of this washer. I’ve had nothing but problems from the start. I find it far from energy effecient.. The cycles take too long to just turn round and round using much more electricity then my old 30 year old washer (which by the way was far more energy efficient then this pc of crap.) old washer used more water with less time in each cycle hence far less electricity and it actually cleaned my clothes.. I wouldn’t even dare to sell it to someone for fear of persecution and heartache. I would be better off taking my clothes down to the Detroit river and beating them on a rock. Worse by of my life.. Mytag is out for me.. I have 5 of there major appliances and only like stand up freezer.. Stay away from Maytag!!! Their appliances sick and so does their customer service!!

    • Diane Perissinotti

      I failed to mention that my bravo xl top load washer spews black chunks of I don’t know what regardless of how often or how well I use my clean washer cycle.. Most of the time, those black chunks are on the clothes when they come out of the washer.. I have to shake them prior to drying.

  3. Karl Dellinger

    Having used the ‘real’ Maytag machines for 30+ years, and, not knowing they had been bought by Whirlpool. This has been one of my more regrettable purchases. The washer controls locks the lid and it takes a genius to figure out how to release it to re-balance the load when it starts to shake the universe on spin. It takes FOREVER to run a cycle, takes FOREVER to fill, the drain hose is directly connected to the drum somehow so when it is spinning out of balance the hose jumps and flops all over the place, again, you can’t just open the lid to stop it and re-position things.
    For what these things cost, all this is entirely unacceptable. Not at all in the Maytag way.

  4. djfox

    Mold builds up in the drum “divots”. That’s the black stuff that comes off on your clothes. Not to mention the serious amount of mold that builds up under the drum because the water doesn’t completely drain. (Check out the repair videos on YouTube.)
    Does not clean clothes well, especially large loads.
    Drum is so high I have to practically stand on my head to reach the clothes at the bottom.
    Yes, we regularly run the clean cycle (in addition, I have to clean it with a scrub brush and sponge to clean the mold from the drum divots.)
    Yes, we leave the lid open to allow the drum to dry out.
    Yes, we use the machine often, almost every day.
    NO, I do NOT recommend this washing machine.

  5. Justhe-Wayicit

    We’ve had our Bravo’s XL for less than a year and I’m going to take the motor and electronics out of it too build a lathe, use the metal in the shell for some shelves or whatever, and I’m thinking I can turn the drum into a piece of yard art. At least I’ll get something out of this incredibly useless piece of expensive garbage. This is the worst washing machine my wife and I have every seen. We had the Neptune front loading machine for 12 years and it was incredible. We just wanted a top loading machine and choose Maytag because of the name…. But never again.

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