So how well does the 300-series stack up to the rest? The short answer: Surprisingly well…
Bosch hasn't typically dabbled in the low end of things – for example, they're virtually non-existant in the $300-$500 space. All their dishwashers have stainless-steel interiors, and are designed for silence & low-energy usage, and this includes the “low-end” 300-series.
The comparison section is broken down into 2 major categories. If you already plan to buy a Bosch dishwasher and want to compare the 300-series to other Bosch models, we have that.
On the other hand, if you want to compare Bosch to other manufacturers (Whirlpool, GE, etc), we have that too.
To read the detailed page for each comparison, click the blue button you see below.
Bosch versus itself. The 300-series…
(SHE23R52UC, SHE23R55UC, SHE23R56UC)…
vs Bosch 300-series
vs Bosch Ascenta
vs Bosch 500-series
vs Bosch 800-series
|No, it's not a typo. There are 2 lines within the 300-series – the budget line we've focused on, and the line with controls on the top. You might consider it to be the “300 plus” version. Hit the button below to see the comparison.||Bosch carries another budget line, called the “Ascenta”. It sports a slightly more modern look, but “trades” features with the 300-series. You lose a few things, and gain a few other things.||There are 2 versions of the 500-series, and we look at both. One offers an even quieter dishwasher with better racks and more wash options. The other… well… you'll have to click the button below to see!||Enter the 800 series. This is the top-line model, with improvements in each area. There's also an “800 plus” series we talk about, for those who want the bells and whistles you might not have known existed in a dishwasher!|
|Learn More(SHE43RL2UC SHE43RL5UC SHE43RL6UC)||Learn More(SHE3AR52UC SHE3AR55UC SHE3AR56UC / SHE3AR72UC SHE3AR75UC SHE3AR76UC)||Learn More(SHE55M12UC SHE55M15UC SHE55M16UC / SHE55R52UC SHE55R55UC SHE55R56UC)||Learn More(SHE68R52UC SHE68R55UC SHE68R56UC / SHE7ER55UC SHE8ER55UC SHE9ER55UC)|
Bosch versus “the rest”
So after trying to figure out how I might present this in a “Bosch vs Whirlpool” and “Bosch vs Kitchenaid” format, I decided that's not going to work so well after all. To do it right, I'd have to compare specific models at specific price-points, and that's beyond the scope of this site.
So, I'll generalize a little…
In terms of reliability, Choice.com.au does annual dishwasher surveys, and in the 2012 survey, Bosch tied for top place with Miele with 90% of respondents saying they had no problems with reliability. Bosch also topped the brand loyalty with 95% saying they'd repurchase. This fits in with much of what I've read around the web – people really tend to like Bosch. So if reliability is your big concern, Bosch is usually a good bet. Note that everything I've read tends to indicate that Miele is a very well-liked brand as well, though their appliances tend to be pretty high-end (and expensive).
As for design/features, the nice thing about Bosch is that their product line-up is pretty consistent. All their machines are on the quiet-end of the spectrum. They all have the stainless-steel tub and utilize condensation/evaporation drying. They all rate very competitively for energy efficiency. And if “word on the street” is enough to go on, they all do a pretty darn good job of actually getting the dishes clean.
Weaknesses start with price. You're probably not going to find a budget $300 Bosch. Their “cheap” models are often twice that. They also aren't going to pump out multiple loads per hour – part of the efficiency comes from using the same hot water for a longer period of time, and the “condensation” drying takes time as well, so plan on cycle times of at least 60-90+ minutes. Finally, while condensation drying doesn't waste electricity and doesn't tend to melt plastic dishes the way element heating does, it also isn't guaranteed to get 100% of your dishes 100% dry 100% of the time and this goes especially for plastic items. Brands that utilize element heating can get that stuff dry nearly each and every time.
So if you're comparing brands, start out with those strengths and weaknesses. Determine what's important to you. For all the differences in models, what I've said above generally holds through throughout Bosch's line-up.