Hotpoint’s Ultima S-Line RPD10477DD still lingers at the top spot of our washing machine hierarchy. It isn’t pricey, and it’s nice and cheap to run in the long term, too. Now it’s seen a 2017 upgrade, in the shape of the Ultima S-Line+, but is it as noteworthy as its predecessor?
Best to address that £200 elephant in the room first. This year’s Hotpoint flagship is significantly more expensive than the last: at a costly £600. We praised the 2016 Ultima for sticking under that crucial £400 price point, but Hotpoint clearly has its sights set on the high-end, here. The fault of Brexit? Possibly, but I wouldn’t get your pitchforks out just yet.
Hotpoint Ultima S-Line+ review: features
There’s plenty on offer here that seems worthy of your hard-earned cash, though. For starters, the Ultima S-Line+ comes well-equipped for heavy loads, thanks to its sizeable 10Kg capacity and Hotpoint’s fancy direct injection technology, which pre-mixes the detergent and water to get rid of tougher stains. This should, in theory, remove the need for pricey stain removers.
There’s also Hotpoint’s “Drive Me” technology built-in. Unsure of the right setting to do your washing on? Just pick the fabric type and level of dirt and it’ll choose the best cycle, intensity and water level. This is a considerably handy feature and one I wish I had in my washing machine at home.
It’s a simple enough machine to use, too. That large central dial cycles through the different wash cycles, speeds and intensities, all displayed on a small LCD display. There’s also a specific direct injection button to the right of that, as well as a button for power and energy usage stats.
Hotpoint Ultima S-Line+ review: Cleaning performance and running costs
It’s easy to use then, but cleaning performance also needs to be up to snuff at this price. Thankfully, the Ultima S-Line+ impresses on both fronts when it comes to both cleaning and energy efficiency.
Using the standard rate of electricity in the UK, which is 13p per kWh according to the Energy Savings Trust, based on six two-and-a-half hour 40C Eco Cotton washes per week, you’ll pay roughly £39 per year to run this machine. For context, the EU Energy Label says the least-efficient washing machines will cost you 20% more. Likewise, If you’re billed the average of £3.50 per cubic meter, water costs should sit at around £34 a year.
Of course, the ability to actually clean your clothes is what’s most important. When putting washing machines to the test, we use special cotton test strips pre-stained with common laundry stains such as red wine, blood and black ink. It’s a seriously rigorous test and one where only the best washing machines come up trumps.
And the Ultima S-Line+ did a great job at this. Red wine stains were lifted easily, even on eco washes, while tougher stains such as blood and ingrained dirt did require a touch more oomph on lengthier Cotton and Synthetic power washes. It wasn’t quite so even across the board, and cleaning was a little patchy in places on the strips, but performance was good nonetheless.
Because it uses magnets to spin the drum, rather than your typical brush motor, the Ultima S-Line+ shouldn’t wake the baby either. Even at its maximum 1600 RPM spin setting, noise levels rarely rose above 56dB. It’s dead quiet.
Hotpoint Ultima S-Line+ review: Verdict
Hotpoint’s Ultima S-Line+ is the complete washing machine package. It isn’t the cheapest and this is definitely one for the affluent consumer, but it’s crammed with useful features that should make your clothes-cleaning chores significantly easier.
Both washing performance and annual energy efficiency levels are on point and noise levels are dampened to a bare minimum, too. If you’re lucky enough to have the extra cash lying around to splurge on a near-perfect, but pricey washing machine, Hotpoint’s Ultima S-Line+ is a rock solid choice.