Has your heart been set on a Vitamix blender, but you find yourself getting sticker shock from the price? The Vitamix 5200 isn't necessarily cheap, but costs a decent amount less than the other Vitamix models. The 5200 performs very well across the board, only delivering a somewhat lackluster performance in our convenience metric. This kitchen appliance excels at making smoothies and blended drinks for a slightly lower price than the other top-tier Vitamix models.Editor's Note: This review was updated on May 4, 2022, to give additional advice on what other blenders we recommend.
Vitamix 5200 Review
Pros: Good at making smoothies, great at crushing ice
Cons: Less convenient to use, no presets
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|Pros||Good at making smoothies, great at crushing ice||Excellent at crushing ice, perfect at pureeing, superb at smoothies, durable||Fantastic smoothies, great at crushing ice, silky-smooth purees||Great blended drinks, excellent at pureeing, solid at making nut butter||Very inexpensive, solid for smoothies|
|Cons||Less convenient to use, no presets||Pricey||Blade showed signs of wear and tear||No presets, no digital timer, food sticks under blade, motor overheats and smells||Can catastrophically leak if base isn't attached, struggled with grating hard cheese|
|Bottom Line||While this blender is still very high performing, it is slightly inferior to the other Vitamix models that we tested||This burly blender earned the top score overall but comes at a premium price||This is one of our all-around favorite kitchen appliances and we highly recommend it for all of your blending needs||This budget blender holds its own with the top-tier products fairly well||If you are shopping for a blender on the tightest of budgets, this one will do the job|
|Rating Categories||Vitamix 5200||Vitamix A2500 Ascen...||Cuisinart Hurricane...||NutriBullet Blender||Hamilton Beach 58148A|
|Specs||Vitamix 5200||Vitamix A2500 Ascen...||Cuisinart Hurricane...||NutriBullet Blender||Hamilton Beach 58148A|
|Power||Peak 2 HP||Peak 2.2 HP||Peak 3.5 HP||1.6 HP||Peak .94 HP|
|Dimensions||20.5" x 8.75" x 7.25"||11" x 8" x 17"||10.05" x 8.50" x 17.55"||16.5" x 9.8" x 7.5"||14.7" x 6.5 " x 8.7"|
|Jar size||64 oz||64 oz||64 oz||64 oz||40 oz|
|Dishwasher safe||No||Yes||Yes||Pitcher; top rack only||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
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 metrics. These were Grinding, Pureeing, Smoothies, Ice, and Convenience.
The most important metric of our review was our Smoothie metric, which takes credit for 30% of each blender's score. We selected four common smoothie recipes — green, berry, fruit and oat, and Oreo — to rate the performance of the Vitamix 5200. This blender is a smoothie maker's dream, landing at the top of the pack in this metric.
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, a task that only the top-performing blenders can tackle, with the finished mixture cleanly pouring through the sieve.
We had to use the blender's tamper to get the fruit and oat smoothie to blend, but this is what the tamper is for. The final mixture was a bit grainier the some of the other product's fruit and oat smoothies, but it was still very good. The 5200 also produced an exceptionally smooth and creamy Oreo malt milkshake. We employed the tamper here too, and there were one or two little clumps of ice cream that the blade missed, but all in all, it was an excellent shake.
The Ice tests in this review are weighted at 20% 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. This premium Vitamix model again scored very well here. It had no issue crushing ice without any liquid present, demolishing an entire pitcher in less than 20 seconds.
The 5200 took a little bit more time when blending a margarita and required us to vary the speed and stop and shake the pitcher occasionally to keep the mixture blending.
Convenience takes credit for another 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.
We had a bit of difficulty cleaning this model. It's not recommended for the dishwasher, and it's a bit tougher to manually clean than other Vitamix models due to its taller and narrower pitcher.
The 5200 also does not include a digital timer and preset functions as we would hope. 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 here, just slightly behind the other premium blender models.
The 5200 created an excellent and silky-smooth tomato soup that effortlessly poured right through the sieve in just under six minutes.
It 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. Unfortunately, though, the 5200 severely struggled with making nut butter. The mixture remained thick and grainy, never becoming smooth and creamy like the other Vitamix models. 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, doing great 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, producing a relatively fine blend of grated cheese, but not quite pizza parlor shaker quality.
Should You Buy the Vitamix 5200?
The 5200 is a great choice if you want a Vitamix and can deal with the lack of presets. It's more affordable than the other Vitamix models we tested and performs similarly; just note that the pitcher on this model is taller and slimmer than the other Vitamix blenders. However, if you're okay moving outside of the Vitamix brand, there are comparably priced models that matched or even outperformed this one.
What Other Blenders Should You Consider?
If you're sold on the Vitamix brand, the A2500 Ascent Series is our favorite of the bunch. We think it's one of the best blenders on the market today. With a similar overall score, the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro is an excellent model that comes highly recommended, and it's a bit more affordable than the A2500 Ascent. These models are outside of the price range for many, though, and if that's the case, we recommend the NutriBullet Blender, which also lands high on our list and scores very well in smoothie making, ice crushing, and pureeing.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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