Ok, now on to the full Vitamix E320 review that normally lives on this page.
The E320 has got all 10 speeds, the full 2.2 horsepower motor of more expensive models. Its containers even dishwasher safe (not so for any of the older models). Some critics said the Explorian series were cheaper in part because they were louder than newer Ascent range blenders, but our tests revealed that to be barely true; The E320 was only a couple of decibels louder than Vitamix's most expensive model!
That said, if you're willing to stretch the budget even slightly, you can get a much newer Vitamix Ascent A2300, that adds to your functionality a digital stopwatch timer, clear lids, pairing with the Vitamix app so you can create your own preset programs and an extra 3 years on the warranty. Of the two choices, we feel the A2300 is clearly better value for money.
For all the details on the E320, just keep on reading.
Ooh look at you. You're not just any old Vitamix shopper. You did the research. You know the Vitamix E320 is their newest model. You want the best. And you're in a rush. You don't want to read some wordy introduction. So let me cut to the chase.
I've owned a Vitamix for almost 10 years. I've been reviewing them for this website for 5 years. And I've helped hundreds of people decide on the right Vitamix for them. That's what we're gonna do here.
Should you really buy a Vitamix E320 or is there a better value Vitamix for you? Within the next 4 minutes, you'll know the answer.
Table of Contents
What's Interesting About The Vitamix Explorian E320?
The E320 is part of Vitamix's new Explorian blender range. There are only two blenders in the range: The E320 and the E310. There are some different package options with various add-ons, but the two blenders are the same.
First important fact: The only difference between the Vitamix Explorian E310 and the E320 is the container size. The E310 has the 48-ounce container and the E320 has the 64 oz container.
This is the first decision you have to make. To even consider the Vitamix E320... to read another word of this review... you need to be absolutely sure that you need a 64 oz container.
So do you? Let's see...
Who Needs a 64 oz Container?
Vitamix themselves say that the E320 and other blenders with the 64 oz container can make "large" batches, while the 48oz container can only do "medium" batches. What does that actually mean? It's frustratingly hard to say, but here are some benchmarks I've come up with:
If you're two people in a household, and you want to make, say a morning smoothie for the both of you, in one blend: The 48 oz container will do you just fine. If you're that same household and you want to make yourselves some soup for dinner, you'll be fine.
If you plan to make a lot of dips and salsas say for entertaining, you rarely need more than 48 oz. Think about it: It's a pretty big party if you need more than 48 ounces of guacamole.
If you have 3 or more people in your household, and you plan to make meals for all of you, with the same blend, the equation starts to flip.
There aren't a whole lot of meals - or accompaniments to meals - that will feed 3+ people that come in under 48 ounces. Owning a Vitamix is, in part, about extreme convenience. If you spent the money on this thing, you don't want to be hitting blend twice for the same meal.
Now, at this point, a lot of people say "Well, I'll get the E310, and if I find the container is coming up short too often, I'll just buy the bigger container!"
But here we have a problem.
The Explorian Blender Range Doesn't Support Other Containers
Maybe this will change in the future, but right now, if you buy a Vitamix Explorian E310 and realize you need a bigger container, you can't just buy the 64 oz container to slap on it.
There are only two 64 oz containers available to buy, and neither of them fit the Explorian range of blenders. The Explorian blender range is cheaper than other Vitamixes and this loss of versatility is part of the reason why.
So right now you're thinking, "Ok well I'll just go for the Vitamix E320. It's still cheaper than some of the other models and I'll never have to worry about this container upgrade"...
But here - unfortunately - I have to complicate things a little further... temporarily.
Key Features of the Vitamix E320
Why did I spend so long talking about container sizes?
Because in terms of features, the Vitamix E320 doesn't have the most, or the best.
Before Explorian, Vitamix unleashed their best new technology in the Ascent range. These are the ones with the touch screens, digital timers, self detect containers, auto-adjusting preset programs, and more.
But inevitably, Vitamix saw that the price of these highest tech blenders was too high for some people in their market. My theory is that they were left in a position where some segment of the market wanted one of their "new" blenders but didn't want to cough up the big money.
Enter the Explorian range. Here you have a blender that gets you the best of Vitamix in terms of "hidden" features like the newest 2.2HP motor base, the new containers (but not the newest), but without any of the glam features of the new technology.
So the "key" features of the Vitamix E320 are
New Low Profile Containers
While you can't switch them around - as discussed above - the low profile containers really are great. They mean you can fit the blender under your kitchen cabinets more easily, but even more than that, they mean you can get all the contents of your blend out of the container more easily. They are wider, so there is more space between the blades at the bottom and the side of the jug. If things get stuck, you can poke a spatula around the sides of the container to get more stuff out more easily.
Just note that these aren't the "newest" Vitamix containers from the Ascent range, that are dishwasher safe and have clear lids.
Powerful 2.2hp Motor
The Vitamix E320 is the cheapest way to get a new Vitamix blender with a 64oz container and Vitamix's latest, most powerful motor. As mentioned above, there's no other way you can get those features cheaper, The next closest option is the 7500 at which is another bump up in price.
The motor base on the E320 comes with the variable speed control dial. It means that as well as having 10 variable speeds, the dial doesn't click between speeds, making it have literally 10 settings. You can hover between speeds so the blades gradually increase in speed all the way up to 10 as you turn the dial. This feature wasn't available in older models.
The switch on the left of the speed control is for pulse. This means whatever you set the speed dial at, you can turn the blender off, then just hit that pulse button for one quick "pulse" of the blades at that speed. This is useful for more delicately chopping certain ingredients without pulverizing them completely. Older Vitamix models (like the 5200) don't have this feature, but most newer models (5300, 750, Ascent etc) do.
What Comes in the Box?
Here's a handy little unboxing video for you:
Or I can just tell you that it comes with
- The motor base (6ft long cord)
- Low profile tamper
- Low profile 64oz container
- First Blends recipe guide.
- Lots of protective cardboard and packaging stuff. Too literal?
What do the Reviews Say?
User reviews of Vitamix blenders are notoriously hard to interpret. People are either happy because they've never experienced the power and convenience of a Vitamix or grumpy because they had a vague expectation that wasn't met. << This, by the way, happens a lot with the noise. "It was too noisy" doesn't mean anything unless followed by a "compared to...". But that's another issue.
The reviews (other than my own :)) that I take most seriously are the users that upgraded to the Vitamix E320 from other blenders.
These users generally comment that:
- a) The newer containers are much more convenient than the old ones because the size and proportions (a point I noted above).
- b) The power is better than the older ones (because it is. By .2hp) which means slightly quicker blending times with fewer accidental chunks leftover at the end of a blend.
- c) They love that they can do everything with it.
On the negative side, the only consistent and meaningful comment (that's also accurate) is:
Some of the smaller parts around the controls have replaced metal parts with plastic ones in the Vitamix E320. This doesn't affect the performance, but it does change the "handle"; what it feels like to use it. It also makes the blender a few decibels louder than the pro models (750 and A3500).
For most people, that's a tiny cost in exchange for what you save with this purchase. For some, it's frustrating.
What Can You Make With the E320?
You can make the same things with the Vitamix E320 that you can make with any Vitamix blender, especially since it gives you the new 64oz container.
The only difference is how easily you'll make things. For example, it will be marginally less easy because you don't have pre-set programs. But in general, you can go wild. I love this part of the article so indulge me...
If you're thinking smoothie, don't just think of the grim green ones. Look at this swirled fruit and honey smoothie:
Or... these white chocolate peanut energy balls:
But yes, as well as all that, you'll have no issue with your hot soups (done and heated in 6 minutes or less), frozen desserts, nut butter, pizza doughs, or any kind of fruit/vegetable smoothie you can dream up.
What's the Difference?
Any final questions about how it's different from other Vitamix models? Here are all of those questions answered.
Let me start with a little table, then we'll break them down one by one.
Vitamix Explorian E320
Vitamix Ascent A2300
Vitamix Explorian E310
|Digital Timer||N||Count up||N|
|Noise (dB)||> 106db||> 98db||> 106db|
|Dishwasher Safe Containers||N||Y||N|
|Fits Baby Food Container||N||Y||6|
|Fits Food Processor Attachment||N||Y||N|
|Height||18 Inches||17 inches||18 inches|
|Warranty||7 Years||10 years||7 years|
|Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon|
E310 vs E320
Hopefully this was clear from the above, but if not, it's simple:
E310: 48oz container.
E320: 64oz container.
Both have the pulse feature and the variable speed control dial. Everything else the same.
E320 vs A2300
It might seem like a hard decision because these two blenders are very close in price. They both have 10 speeds and a 64oz container. But the A2300 has Vitamix latest features like a digital countdown timer, touch screen, the ability to place other containers on it, and dishwasher safe containers at that. In short: For a similar price, the A2300 has many more features. No brainer.
E320 vs 750
These two blenders are very different in price, with the 750 being significantly more expensive. That money gets you pre-set programs, the commercial-grade motor, all-metal finish, and a less noisy machine. Both the Vitamix E320 and 750 do have 64oz containers and the 10 variable speeds though.
E320 vs 5300
The features of these two machines are almost identical. Both 64oz container. Both 2.2HP motor. Both don't have presets.
When I talk about the 5300 I only talk about the reconditioned 5300 because I don't think the new 5300 is really worth buying. If you're ok with a reconditioned blender, you can save between a couple of bills by getting a reconditioned 5300 here. If you really don't want reconditioned for some reason (maybe you want the longest full warranty at 7 years rather than 5 years), you get a Vitamix E320.
E320 Vs 5200
Here you're comparing a much newer blender to a much older model, yet both are almost the same price. The 5200 doesn't have the newer, low-profile container. It has the 2HP motor rather than the 2.2HP. But the 5200 has the slightly sturdier construction and is slightly less noisy (a few decibels that most people won't notice).
If I were choosing between these two, I'd pick the E320. But if I were me, I'd also pick the 5300 reconditioned instead of both of them :)
E320 vs A3500
Here you have very little comparison. The A3500 is a professional machine from the Ascent range (along with the A2500 and A3300), and much more expensive depending on the day. The A3500 gets you pre-set programs, plus all the latest features: dishwasher safe container, self-detect containers, digital timer, touch screen, and wifi connectivity. The A3500 is top of the line, where the E320 is middle of the range.
E320 vs Venturist
The Venturist blender is an even bigger jump up in price. It's basically the Ascent blenders with a tonne of extra tools and containers added on. I personally don't think anyone needs a Venturist for their first Vitamix, but that's another story.
What's The Warranty?
The E320 comes with the Vitamix standard 7-year full warranty. It's been quoted that only .5% of machines get returned to Vitamix for warranty claims. It makes sense then that the warranties are so long. Vitamix knows they could make 'em longer and it wouldn't cost them anymore. These machines are built to last.
It's worth noting that Vitamix actually did increase the full warranty on the Ascent range of blenders. Those have 10 years. And if you're buying a reconditioned machine, you get a 5-year full warranty instead. You now know everything you need to know about Vitamix warranties :)
Can You Buy a Reconditioned Vitamix Explorian E320?
Yes, you can. If you're open to a reconditioned blender and want the same features, get a reconditioned Explorian on Amazon here. Have I said that too many times already? :)
Verdict: Should You Buy a Vitamix E320 Blender?
My research says there is only one scenario where you should buy a Vitamix E320, and that is:
- a) You absolutely want a 64oz container.
- b) There's no way you'll tolerate a reconditioned Vitamix and a shorter warranty (5 years instead of 7 years).
That's it. If that's you, grab your E320 on Amazon here and enjoy!
But as a final cautionary word, I'd like to remind you:
If you wait till your next paycheck (or cough up an extra bill) you can get an A2300 also from Amazon, which has the dishwasher safe 64oz container, touchscreen, and digital timer.
I leave the decision with you. I trust you've found this review helpful. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave them in the comments below.