Bosch Ascenta SHE3AR56UC Review

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Perched right at the edge of the Cheapism range, this model from Bosch stands out for its quiet and efficient operation. The Ascenta features four wash cycles and two options, including a half-load wash, a delay start up to nine hours, and a child lock. Users like its cleaning performance but chafe at the rack layout.

If quiet efficiency is what you seek in a dishwasher, Bosch Ascenta SHE3AR56UC reviews proclaim this is the model for you. Reviews posted at several sites crow about the near silent operation of this budget-priced appliance while marketing materials stress its energy-saving technology. The Ascenta SHE3AR56UC (starting at $490, Amazon) is no slouch when it comes to cleaning performance, either -- most users say it cleans well, even with hard water, but recommend a good prerinsing (there is no hard-food disposer). Predictably, a few find residue to grumble about.

What's notable, however, is that Bosch Ascenta SHE3AR56UC reviews at sites such as Lowe's and Home Depot discuss cleaning and energy efficiency almost as an aside; they're far chattier about the rack layout. Quite a few reviews rail against the slanted tines that they insist accommodate only flat plates -- one suggests this is because Europeans don't eat cereal -- and in a very restricted arrangement, adding that tall stemware doesn't fit in the top rack. A good number of reviewers also grumble that the drying cycle (no-heat is the only option) leaves the contents far too wet and the long cycle time (in the three-hour range) is far too long.

The 50 dBA decibel rating is the Bosch Ascenta's standout feature, but other elements also hold appeal. In addition to the usual wash cycles, this model can run a half load (on the upper rack) and an auto cycle with so-called EcoSense, which measures how soiled the dishes are and uses only as much energy and water as necessary, increasing energy efficiency. There is also a high-temperature sanitize options. Specifications say the tall stainless-steel tub can accommodate up to 14 place settings but some users say it seems less roomy than comparable American-brand dishwashers. One reviewer appreciatively highlights a detergent dispenser that slides rather than the usual latch arrangement and others point to the fold-down tines on the top rack. Users can also move or remove the silverware basket. Start time can be delayed 3, 6, or 9 hours. This model is available in black, white, and stainless steel, but the latter is priced above the Cheapism cutoff.

Quirks aside -- including a price at the very top of the budget range -- the Bosch Ascenta SHE3AR56UC claims a second-tier finish on the strength of near silent and energy-saving performance.

Elizabeth Sheer

Elizabeth Sheer is a Brooklyn-based writer and researcher. In addition to researching and writing about household appliances and other consumer items, Elizabeth draws on her history of preparing cooking-related articles to conduct taste tests on all things delicious.

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