The mixer performs as expected. The scraper edged beater that we bought is very helpful. The plastic splash shield is the biggest problem because it is completely useless. It was warped when it arrived in the box and completely misfits the bowl. On a $400+ item, that is unacceptable.
It gives the item a cheap, low-quality appearance.
Upon my request, Kitchenaid replaced the shield, which is vastly superior in both design and construction. Apparently, they include a crappy one with the machine and will send the real one only if you complain.
Regarding how it functions. All comparisons are made to the Sunbeam Mixmaster, which was our previous mixer. Although I can’t say the Kitchenaid is significantly better than the Sunbeam, it does mix things up well. When preparing bread dough, it performs admirably while the sunbeams struggle and even burn out.
Whipping: The Sunbeams easily win because of their superior whipping speed. The KA is fine, but it takes a lot longer. The KA wisk is also more difficult to clean.
Small quibbles aside, we like the machine despite how little storage space it has. Our old Mixmaster could be stored more conveniently.