Engel MT45FP vs Engel MR40F Comparison

It's a common question from those looking to purchase a new 40L Engel - what's the difference between the MT45FP and the MR40F Eclipse? With the Eclipse coming in at a much cheaper price point, but still offering Engel's build quality and reliability, is the MT45FP really worth it?

Let's take a look.


Case

Engel's MT45FP Digital Series is arguably the most popular fridge on the market, and for good reason. There are a number of key features it has going for it that make it a real standout in the hotly competitive 40L bracket, one of which is it's sturdy steel case. The solid steel case construction gives the fridge a potential decades-long lifespan as opposed to the cheaper polyproylene plastic that can crack or split. The MT45FP can happily take a few knocks and dents without issue. It's worth mentioning that all of the hinges and latches are also stainless steel.

The MR40F falls short here, as Engel has gone for a cheaper polypropylene case and lid to save on manufacturing costs, though ultimately lowers the expected lifespan of the unit.

Winner: Engel MT45FP

mt45fp win


Compressor

Engel has chosen to stick with it's famed Sawafuji Swing Motor, an incredibly reliable and long lasting motor that the company has been using across a number of generations of portable fridge. With only a single moving part, it's one of the best compressor's on the market, and the reason Engel has become the market leader in portable fridges.

Both the MT45FP and the MR40F can boast the Sawafuji Swing Motor compressor, making this round a draw.

Winner: Draw

mt45fp mr40f draw


Controls

With the release of Engel's gold MT45FG 50th Anniversary Edition portable fridge, they included new digital features not found before in any of their previous models. The MT45FG proved so popular that Engel released a new line of fridges, the MT Digital Series, featuring the same digital upgrades across the range.

The MT45FP Digital Series features a built-in Battery Monitor Cut-out system, ensuring your vehicle battery will always be well protected and never in danger of being drained. Along with this, the MT45FP also features a new digital thermostat, allowing you to set the exact temperature of the fridge instead of using the older dial-based controls of the previous models. They were both welcome upgrades that helped to catapult the MT45FP to the forefront of popularity.

Unfortunately, the MR40F Eclipse missed out on these new digital features, with no Battery Monitor Cut-out, and still using the high-low dial based controls of the previous generation of fridges - another liberty taken to keep the price point low, but the MT45FP is the definite winner here.

Winner: Engel MT45FP

mt45fp win


Size & Weight

Weight, size and handling can often end up making the decision for you when it comes to portable fridges, and the two Engels are similarly sized.

The MT45FP measures 648L x 364W x 508H, and weighs in at a modest 24kg empty, making the fridge quite light and manageable given it's steel case. It is quite tall though for a 40L at just over half a metre, which could be the deciding factor if you have limited space to store it.

The MR40F Eclipse measures 636L x 366W x 483H, and weighs a slightly lighter 22kg empty that it's steel cased counterpart. It's much shorter than the MT45FP, and slightly more compact overall, though you do lose 2L of space, as the MR40F is marketed as a 38L fridge. Still, if size and weight is an issue, the MR40F comes out on top.

Winner: Engel MR40F Eclipse

mr40f win


Price

When buying a new portable fridge, most of us mere mortals have a budget that we need to stick to, and the hunt for a good deal can be a painstaking one to get the most for our dollar.

The MT45FP comes in at a more premium price point, often retailing between $1200 - $1300 with a Transit Cover at the best price. Still, we're talking about a fridge that could quite easily last you decades - something that can't be said for most models, so it's great value for money.

The MR40F Eclipse, however, gives you great bang for your buck. It makes some sacrifices in build quality, but delivers a 40L portable fridge with all of Engel's trusted reliability packaged into an attractive $700 - $800 price tag with Transit Cover - a great option for those looking to get the Engel name on a budget.

Winner: Engel MR40F Eclipse

mr40f win


Longevity

Engel has a reputation for building well-made, quality fridges that can last up to 30 years or more. This can be attributed to their steel case construction, and the reliable Sawafuji Swing Motor.

The MT45FP has longevity in spades here, possessing both features to ensure your fridge will be able to go the distance, no matter where you take it.

The MR40F suffers a little in the lifespan department, mostly due to the polypropylene casing, which, while durable, can crack or split on heavy impact. The plastic is irreparable - once it's cracked, it's cracked. Polypropylene can also gradually deteriorate from prolonged exposure to the sun and elements, though no fridge should be getting kept in direct sunlight anyway, so it shouldn't prove to be a big issue.

Winner: Engel MT45FP

mt45fp win


 

Overall

Which fridge is best for you really depends on your circumstances and needs. If you don't mind paying a little extra to get a top-of-the-line, market leading unit that will keep going strong year after year, decade after decade, no matter what's thrown at it, you'd be hard pressed to go past the excellent MT45FP Digital Series. If you want to get a quality Engel unit on a tighter budget, and don't mind making a few sacrifices in terms of bells and whistles, the MR40F Eclipse will serve you well.

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