Why put Vitamix E320 vs 5200 to the test? Well, these two machines are at the top rung of performance blenders and deserve a good look!
Vitamix 5200 is a trusted machine whose performance many swear by. It has been around for years. And, it can safely be considered the benchmark for quality blenders. Why bother with something else when there’s the 5200?
The company has been trying to improve on the success of the 5200. Vitamix E320 is a next-generation model that aims to take performance and features a step further. Explorian E320 is determined to carve its own niche.
This detailed analysis should help you figure out which blender is more suited for you and your family.
The Pros and Cons
Here’s a quick summary of the main features each blender can offer you:
The Vitamix 5200 has many of the features people look for in a high-end blender. Plus, its base features a 2.0 horsepower motor. So you’ll have no trouble blending even hard ingredients like almond nuts and dry grains.
At the highest speed setting, the stainless steel blades of the 5200 will heat up (due to friction), which is perfect for making hot soups. The combination of the variable speed control and the ‘high’ feature allows you to get a wide range of blend consistencies and textures while radial cooling fans and thermal sensors prevent the unit from overheating.
The biggest downsides of this flagship Vitamix blender are the lack of a pulse button and the pitcher being too tall.
- One of the most durable blenders you could buy
- Enough blending power to handle any hard ingredient
- Radial fans and thermal protection system prevents the blender from overheating
- You can get the 5200 in white, red and platinum
- A free recipe book is included.
- Lacks a pulse button
- More expensive than the E320 even though it’s the older model
- Has a classic pitcher which gives the blender a height of 20 inches, making under-cabinet storage quite difficult
The Vitamix E320 is labeled one of Vitamix’s ‘budget blenders’, despite the fact that it is more expensive than the typical entry-level blender. Despite the lower price, it has the same build quality as the flagship 5200. It is, in fact, slightly more powerful than the 5200, with 10% more horsepower and larger blades. Additionally, it has a pulse feature and its pitcher isn’t as tall.
- Has a pulse button. This gives you more variety in terms of consistencies and textures
- It is less expensive than the 5200
- It has a more powerful motor and larger blades, making it slightly more efficient
- It’s just as durable as the Vitamix 5200
- Its wider low-profile pitcher makes under-cabinet storage much easier
- Free recipe book included
- Very loud
Quick comparison: Vitamix 5200 vs E320
Now that you’ve got a fairly good idea about what each blender offers, let’s take a closer look at the differences in their features.
The E320 takes the features that made the 5200 so popular and improves on them, making it one of the best Vitamix blenders you can buy today. It also addresses the biggest concern users had with the 5200, which is the overly-tall pitcher that made storage a bit difficult.
With a motor that’s capable of 2.2 horsepower, the Vitamix E320 is undeniably the more powerful blender. However, when we observe its performance against that of the 5200, they both seem comparable.
The reason for this is simple. Due to the wider profile of the E320’s container, the blender has been fitted with larger, 4-inch diameter blades in order to cover the extra cutting area.
The additional horsepower drives these larger blades and allows them to reach the same speed as the Vitamix 5200. The greater diameter also increases the overall efficiency of the blends, giving you more even consistencies.
In contrast, the Vitamix 5200 is equipped with 3-inch diameter blades, resulting in a slight dip when it comes to blending efficiency.
The Vitamix E320 is slightly less noisy than the 5200. This is because of the differences in motor housing: the latter has the classic C-series housing while the former has the next generation suspending housing. However, neither blender has the quietness of a Vitamix 7500 or 750.
Both the Vitamix E320 and 5200 are well-protected against overheating and equipped with radial cooling fans and thermal sensors. These sensors will automatically shut down the blender when the temperature becomes too high.
There are also similarities and differences between the interfaces of the Vitamix E320 and 5200. They both contain:
- On/Off Switch – makes the blades start and stop running
- Variable Speed Dial – allows you to select from speeds 1 to 10. Keep in mind that the blades tend to heat up at speed 10, which is actually useful when you’re blending the soup.
And now the differences:
- The Vitamix E320 has a pulse button which allows you to get chunkier consistencies. The 5200 lacks this
- The Vitamix 5200 has a ‘high’ and ‘variable switch. When the ‘variable is engaged, you can use the variable speed dial. When you switch to ‘high’, the variable speed is disabled and the blender goes into an even fast mode.
The pitchers are one of the biggest differences between the Vitamix E320 and 5200. While they’re both 64-ounce containers, their design differs. The E320’s pitcher has a low-profile, wide-base design, which allows the blender to fit under kitchen cabinets with ease.
On the other hand, the 5200’s pitcher is around 4 inches taller and narrower, making under-cabinet storage quite difficult in a lot of cases.
However, the 5200’s container is more convenient when you’re blending smaller servings of food. This is because the narrower profile allows a vortex to form more easily while requiring less liquid. In contrast, it’s easier to get a vortex going for much larger quantities of food when you use a wider base.
Ease of Use
There isn’t a huge difference between the two blenders when it comes to ease of use. The controls are easy to figure out and the guide that comes with each blender gives instructions that are easy to follow.
However, the lack of blending presets for making hot soups, frozen desserts, purees and so on makes them less convenient to use than some of the other Vitamix models such as the 780, the Professional Series 750 and a couple from the Ascent Series.
Manual cleaning is a bit easier with the Vitamix E320. This is solely because the wider profile of the pitcher allows easier hand movement when you’re scrubbing.
Self-cleaning is easy with both blenders. You simply fill up the pitchers halfway with water, add a drop of dish soap and turn on the blender to speed 1. Gradually turn up the variable speeds dial until the froth reaches the lid and keep the blender running at this speed for a couple of minutes.
It is important to remember that neither blender is dishwasher safe.
Both the Vitamix E320 and 5200 come with seven-year warranties when you buy them brand new. This includes both labour and parts.
Both blenders come with free tampers and recipe books. The tampers help you hold downlighter ingredients like leaves at the bottom so that they’re blended properly. The cookbooks contain several great recipes that you can tackle easily with your new blender.
The Vitamix E320 is cheaper than the Vitamix 5200.
Buying Refurbished Vitamix blenders?
Vitamix blenders are no doubt expensive. Hence, if you want to knock at least a $100 off an E320 or a 5200, we suggest you buy one that has been ‘certified refurbished’ or ‘renewed’.
‘Certified reconditioned’ is Vitamix’s way of saying refurbished. However, their refurbishing process is definitely more thorough than what most other blender brands subject their returned units to. Under a rigorous 17-step process, Vitamix checks whether each blender component is functioning perfectly and replaces any parts that are not. They also replace any missing extras such as tampers and cookbooks and finish up with brand new packaging.
The advantage of buying a reconditioned Vitamix E320 or 5200 is that you basically get a brand new blender for a much lower price. The only downside is that you only get a five-year warranty. However, considering how durable Vitamix blenders are, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Similarly, ‘renewed’ is Amazon’s program for pre-owned products. These are backed by an Amazon guarantee. This is often valid for 90 days, but may vary, so do check before you buy. Products in this program are fairly cheaper than their new counterparts.
What Customers Are Saying About The E320 And 5200
4.7 out of 5.0 Stars
No. of 5-star Reviews
87% out of 3704 total ratings and reviews
What Customers like about the 5200
- Blending Power
- Ease of Use
- Build Quality
What Customers dislike
- Noise level
- Pitcher Height
4.5 out of 5.0 stars
No. of 5-star Reviews
84% out of 24 ratings and reviews.
What Customers like
- Build Quality
- Ease of Use
What Customers dislike
- Some customers have received faulty devices, which tends to happen with any appliance.
Who is the winner: Vitamix E320 vs 5200
Both blenders are nothing short of powerhouses and can blend pretty much anything. In addition, they have variable speeds, are easy to use, easy to clean and built to last a long time, even with regular heavy use. On top of that, they each come with a seven-year warranty.
However, if we had to pick the best Vitamix blender out of the two, we’d go with the E320. We have a few reasons for doing so:
- The E320 is $100 less than its rival and gives the same performance as the more expensive 5200.
- You can slide it under kitchen cabinets with ease
- It’s got a pulse feature to get a chunky consistency in sauces and salsas
- It blends slightly more efficiently thanks to the larger blades.
In Conclusion: Which Blender Should You Get?
Although the E320 is the better overall blender, the 5200 may suit some people better.
You Should Buy The Vitamix 5200 If:
- You want more color options than black
- You make food in small batches
You Should Buy The Vitamix E320 If:
- You make salsas and sauces very often
- You cook for a larger household
- You want a cheaper blender