Has your heart been set on a Vitamix blender but getting sticker shock at a price? The Vitamix 5200 isn't necessarily cheap, but costs a decent amount less than the other Vitamix models. The 5200 performs quite well across the board, only delivering a somewhat lackluster performance in our convenience metric. This blender does a great job at making smoothies and blended drinks for a slightly lower price than the other top-tier Vitamix models.
Vitamix 5200 Review
Pros: Good at making smoothies, great at crushing ice
Cons: Less convenient to use, no presets
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Vitamix 5200 did thoroughly outperform the KitchenAid Diamond, the best value option and winner of our Best Buy award. The 5200 is far superior when it comes to pureeing and making smoothies, as well as grinding hard food. However, the Diamond only costs about a third of the 5200, making a much better choice when shopping on a budget. The 5200's performance was only exceeded by our trio of top performers, the Hurricane Pro, Vitamix A2500, and the Vitamix Pro 750. The A2500 and the Pro 750 are substantially more expensive than the 5200, while the Cuisinart retails for roughly the same.
To determine which of these kitchen appliances came out on top, we bought the best and put them head-to-head to find our winners, judging their performance in five weighted rating metric. These were Grinding, Pureeing, Smoothies, Ice, and Convenience, with the performance of the Vitamix 5200 described in the sections below.
The most important metric of our review, our Smoothie metric takes credit for the largest portion of the score at 30%. We selected four common smoothie recipes — green, berry, fruit and oat, and Oreo — to rate the performance of the 5200. This product did very well, earning a 9 out of 10 and tying for the top spot with the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, Vitamix A2500, and the Pro 750.
The 5200 made an awesome green smoothie that essentially poured right through the sieve without any issue.
The texture was exceptionally smooth, with no flakes or chunks of unblended greenery and a consistent flavor profile throughout the drink.
The berry smoothie was also fantastic, with no unblended chunks of fruit in the final drink and an incredibly consistent texture.
The 5200 also completely destroyed the seeds, with the finished mixture cleanly pouring through the sieve.
This blender did struggle a little with the fruit and oat smoothie, forcing us to use the tamper a decent amount to actually get it to blend. The final mixture wasn't as smooth as other models, being a little on the grainy side. However, this blender's performance did rebound when it came to the Oreo malt, creating an exceptionally smooth and creamy milkshake. It did take a little bit of tamping to get the mixture to start blending and there were one or two little clumps of ice cream that the blade missed, but all in all, it was an excellent shake.
Taking responsibility for the next largest portion of the score, our Ice metric is worth 20% of the final score for each blender. We based the scores for each product on its performance in two tests: mixing an excellent margarita and crushing a full pitcher of ice. The 5200 again did very well, earning a 9 out of 10 for its results.
This blender had no issue crushing ice without any liquid present, demolishing an entire pitcher in less than 20 seconds or so.
The 5200 did slightly worse when tasked with blending a margarita, performing about on par with the KitchenAid Diamond. This blender took a little bit more time and required us to vary the speed and stop and shake the pitcher occasionally to keep the mixture blending.
Ranking on the same level as our Ice metric, Convenience also takes credit for 20% of the final score for the Vitamix 5200. We determined scores for this metric on how easy it is to clean each blender, take the lid on and off, or use the preset functions. The 5200 delivered a middle-of-the-road performance, earning a 5 out of 10 for its efforts.
The 5200 gave us a little difficulty when it came to cleaning, as it is not recommended to place it in the dishwasher. This model is also a little more difficult to manually clean, giving us much more difficulties with its taller and narrower pitcher than the other Vitamix models.
This blender does lack a digital timer and preset functions, making it a little more difficult to use. However, the controls are clearly and intuitively labeled.
It's also very easy to remove the lid, but this blender is a little on the loud side compared to the rest of the pack.
Accounting for 15% of the total score, our Pureeing metric is comprised of a trio of assessments, testing how well each blender made mixed soup, heated it, and made nut butter from almonds and peanuts. The 5200 did very well, earning an 8 out of 10 — just slightly behind the perfect 10 of the Vitamix A2500, Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, and the Vitamix Pro 750.
This model did an excellent job at mixing tomato soup, creating a silky-smooth soup that effortlessly poured right through the sieve in just under six minutes.
The 5200 easily heated the soup to the point that it was hot enough to be served, reaching just over 153°F at the conclusion of its blending cycle. However, this blender severely struggled with making nut butter. The mixture never became smooth and creamy like the other Vitamix models, remaining thick and grainy. The motor also became exceptionally warm — enough for us to feel the need to give it a rest. We even added a little extra oil and never got satisfactory results.
For the remaining 15% of the final score, we judged how well each blender handled grinding hard food. The 5200 concluded our test with a solid performance, earning another 8 out of 10. This appliance did a great job at milling corn flour, creating a mixture that almost entirely passed through the sieve, with only a tiny bit of residual caught.
The 5200 also did very well when tasked with making powdered sugar, matching the performance of the top models. The 5200 finished with a solid performance in our parmesan cheese challenge, though it couldn't match the Cuisinart or the KitchenAid. It produced a relatively fine blend of grated cheese, but not quite pizza parlor shaker quality.
The 5200 is a good value pick if you want a Vitamix and can deal with the lack of presets. However, there are comparably priced models that matched or even outperformed this one if you are fine moving outside the Vitamix brand.
The Vitamix 5200 is a solid blender that does quite well for the vast majority of uses. It still is quite a pricey product, but it is substantially less expensive than other Vitamix models and is a good pick for those that want a Vitamix but are shopping on a budget and don't mind the lack of presets.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer