microwaves

Frigidaire FFMV164LS Over-the-Range Microwave Review

The little microwave that almost could

$309.00
https://reviewed-production.s3.amazonaws.com/attachment/f0b1bfc38e3d4573/frigidaire-ffmv164ls-hero.jpg
6.2 score Tested by Experts
Advertisement

The Frigidaire FFMV164LS (MSRP $309.00) microwave packs a surprising punch for the price. On sale, we found it for just over $209, which makes it one of the least expensive over-the-range microwaves on the market.

Despite its entry-level status, this microwave surprised us with effective performance in our tests and a cool heat-sensing extractor fan. That alone would sell for over $150, which makes the FFMV164LS an even better value.

Design and Usability

A fan that knows when to turn on

Quick! Think of a microwave! Imagine its shape, color and control panel. Chances are, you're picturing the Frigidaire FFMV164LS, the archetypal over-the-range microwave. That's not a bad thing: We're fans of the simple control panel that puts cooking modes on the top and a number pad on the bottom. Frigidaire's "smudge-proof" stainless is a shade darker than other stainless finishes, so keep that in mind.

Frigidaire FFMV164LSA Front
The Frigidaire FFMV164LS over-the-range microwave. View Larger

The FFMV164LS features a good, old-fashioned door handle, which we far prefer to the chunky, stiff "Door Open" buttons found on some contemporary microwaves.

There's even a cool feature: The Auto-Start vent can automatically switch the fan on when a built-in sensor detects heat. If you tend to set off the smoke alarm when you make fajitas, you'll appreciate the help.

Advertisement

Performance

Not bad for the price

Despite its borderline budget pedigree, the FFMV164LS's performance was a pleasant surprise. It won't make your oven obsolete, but it did well in a few important areas. Despite not having much in the power department, this Frigidaire proved fairly adept at boiling water fast and heating foods relatively evenly. We found a few hot and cold spots in our mac and cheese, but they weren't anything a few quick stirs couldn't fix.

However, a pound of ground beef took over ten minutes to defrost. Other microwaves do it in almost half that time and don't leave as much frozen as this Frigidaire. The FFMV164LS's most egregious shortcoming was its lack of a cooking sensor, which means you'll have to follow recipes or use trial-and-error. We used a preset to cook a baked potato, but the result proved unevenly heated.

Comparable Products

Before you buy the Frigidaire FFMV164LS, take a look at these other microwaves.

Conclusion

Best Supporting Actor

The Frigidaire FFMV164LS will never be the star of your kitchen. It lacks dazzling design or special features—save for the Auto-Start heat sensor fan.

It performs reasonably well, however, and that's enough for folks who spend most of their time cooking on a range. So if you want some help steaming veggies, popping popcorn, or warming up a cup of coffee, you could do far worse than this inexpensive Frigidaire.

News and Features

Thermal microwave hero

This Former NASA Engineer Just Built A Better Microwave

A new prototype lets you watch your food cook in realtime.

Ge micro living hero

Downsizing Goes Modular With GE’s Micro Living Concept

GE is packaging smaller appliances for smaller living spaces.

New electrolux logo hero

Electrolux Debuts New Logo for New Era

A bold new look for what's shaping up to be a big year for Electrolux

Frigidaire pro hero 1

Frigidaire Goes Pro With New, No-Nonsense Appliances

The Frigidaire Professional line now looks "restaurant inspired."

Cyclonic microwave hero

Could This Be the Best Microwave Ever?

New microwave may solve the problem of uneven cooking forever.

Sunset bronze hero

Up Close With Whirlpool's New Sunset Bronze Finish

We put a magnifying glass to this subtle stainless steel finish.

Panasonicha hero

Panasonic's New Kitchen Gadgets Share the Stage

Panasonic is debuting a new microwave, bread maker, and juicer.

Many%20washers%20hero

The 12 Best Black Friday Appliance Deals of 2014

We've collected the best Black Friday deals for upgrading your home.

Ge pvm9179sfss hero alt

2014 Best of Year Microwave Awards

From over-the-range to built-in, these are the best microwaves we tested.