Westinghouse vs Champion Generators: Which is Better for You?
Ok, this is a toughie! I’ve written several of these articles comparing two different brands of electric generators, but this time it comes down to two of my very favorite companies – Champion versus Westinghouse.
I love both companies’ generators for many different reasons, and I’m especially impressed with the value they offer for the money, but which is better overall? Are you better off with a Champion or Westinghouse generator?
We’ll get into this question in a bit more detail below, but ef you’re in a hurry, and want to get to the key takeaways, here you go:
Champion vs Westinghouse: Executive Summary
Westinghouse is one of the oldest and most important electrical product companies in the world,though they haven’t been making consumer-level portable generators for that long. Still, in this relatively short time their generators have become known for exceptional quality and value, and especially for their reliability.
Champion generators have also quickly become something of a legend for their extreme material and build quality and their reliability – both long term and day to day – and in this way are in fact widely considered to be even better than Westinghouse.
We here at The Final Kit really love both companies, for their design and ease of use, their features and specs, and in fact, at all levels we would strongly recommend Champion or Westinghouse.
The difference, then, often comes down to priorities – if you value the price/performance quotient over other considerations, Westinghouse is an obvious choice – above Champion or pretty much any other brand – but if absolute quality, reliability and security are your top priorities, Champion is the way to go.
This can be seen in the head-to-head comparison of specific Westinghouse vs Champion generators we will get into below – the Westinghouse iGen4500DF is a very affordable generator that is superbly built, very reliable and has amazing features and performance – actually better than the more expensive Champion.
The Champion 200988, on the other hand, is more expensive, and truthfully is not quite competitive with the Westinghouse in terms of performance, but is a better made machine, and the better choice for ultimate reliability.
These are two of the companies’ most popular models, but if you compare roughly equivalent models from Champion and Westinghouse all the way up and down their product lines you tend to see the same thing – Champion generators are the best built and highest quality you can get at their very affordable prices, and Westinghouse are even more affordable and offer almost unbelievably good specifications and features for that money – and are still very well made and reliable products.
Westinghouse Generators vs Champion Generators: How to Choose?
In the first section of this article I will take a look at Champion generators and Westinghouse generators overall, comparing the companies and their product lines in general terms.
Then, in the second section, I will look more closely at two of the most popular portable inverter generators for each company – the Westinghouse iGen4500DF versus the Champion 200988 – in a direct comparison.
Even if you are looking for a different model, the direct comparison between these two models should prove interesting and helpful, as the points made there do tend to apply up and down both product lines, and by the end of the article you should have a good picture of which is best for you and your needs.
Champion vs Westinghouse – The Big Picture
Westinghouse is one of the oldest and most important manufacturers of consumer and industrial electrical equipment in the world today. Among many other major inventions and innovations, they made the first commercial electrical generator in the world, over 120 years ago, although they have been making portable consumer generators for little over a decade now. In that short time Westinghouse generators have become known as among the most dependable you can get, as well as offering exceptional value for the money.
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Champion is a bit newer on the scene, but actually they’ve been making consumer-level generators for longer – around 20 years now. Much like Westinghouse, Champion has earned a reputation for low priced equipment that is almost unbelievably high quality – way more than you would expect for the money – and is known to manufacture generators that are well designed, well made, exceptionally stable and quiet and that offer extreme long-term reliability.
Both companies are known for the quality of their products, and customers regularly praise both Westinghouse and Champion generators for their supreme reliability, build quality, smooth and stable running, fit and finish.
That said, Champion is even more well known in this regard, and in fact their consumer-level generators can be considered essentially industrial grade, and are among the most reliable and best built on the market – indeed, you will probably have to go to a much higher price level to match or beat their overall quality.
Westinghouse products are also very good quality, and their typically less expensive generators are almost certainly going to be the best you can get at their lower price levels. But an even bigger advantage enjoyed by Westinghouse electric generators is their amazing performance and features for the money – they often, in fact, outperform the slightly more expensive Champion generators in key ways.
As far as design goes, both Champion and Westinghouse offer the most important and popular features, like electric start, carbon monoxide monitors, an ideal complement of controls and outlets (including RV-ready outlets), quiet running and great running time, dual-fuel capability and a lot more, and with each company’s models you can usually include or exclude some of these features – like dual-fuel or CO monitors – and thus reach an ideal price for your budget.
It’s important to note here that, while both companies’ generators are especially well designed, feature rich and excellent performers, the less expensive Westinghouse products are actually usually a bit better in this regard.
In terms of build quality, fit and finish, and the very important factor of reliability, again both companies are especially well regarded, and make very dependable and long lasting generators. Westinghouse is widely considered to make the best quality generators at their very affordable price level, and the more expensive, though still affordable, Champion generators are the best of the best, and markedly better than even the excellent Westinghouses.
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With such well made and dependable generators – and, with both companies, generators that are remarkably well designed and easy to use – you may never need customer support, but it’s important to note that Champion and Westinghouse are both exceptionally proud of their service, and customers consistently rave about the quality and availability of the support they receive – in this regard Champion is a bit better, but both companies are outstanding.
Bottom Line: Champion or Westinghouse Generator
From what we see above, and from my own personal experience with both companies and lots of their generators, we can say in very general terms that Westinghouse generators are less expensive, and are better performers, and Champion generators are a bit more expensive, and are the best quality by far at their level.
Westinghouse makes some of the best value generators on the market today – really amazing, in fact, considering their features and performance for the money, their overall quality and reliability. They aren’t the cheapest on the market, but we can just as easily say that they are not, in any way, ‘cheap,’ and at their very low price level they are quite often the very best choice you can make.
Champion generators may not perform quite as well as Westinghouse – this is not always true, and not in every way, but is generally the case – and yet Champion are as good as it gets in terms of material and build quality, and the most reliable generators available without spending a lot more money.
Both companies are wonderful to work with, and provide exemplary customer service and support, and the machines themselves are a joy to use – beautifully designed and laid out, fast starting and very easy to use.
These general considerations – Champion being the highest quality and still a great value, and Westinghouse being the best value and still excellent quality – are pretty consistently true when comparing similar models up and down their product lines, and is particularly well illustrated in a head-to-head comparison of two of their most popular generators, as we’ll see just below.
Champion 200988 vs Westinghouse iGen4500DF: Head to Head Comparison
The Westinghouse iGen4500DF is one of the most popular generators on the market today, and is that ideal size that works perfectly for so many people, with 3700 watts of running power and 4500 surge watts – this makes it ideal for RV use and camping, parties and tailgating, for most job sites and for basic hom and emergency backup. The iGen4500DF is an exceptionally well made generator and known for its reliability.
Similarly, the Champion 200988 is an enormously popular generator, and offers an ideal 3500 watts of running power, with surge/starting power rated at 4500 watts. It too is an exceptionally well made and well designed product and, though a bit more expensive than the Westinghouse, is also a bit better built and reliable over the long term – though again they are both great in this regard.
Both are inverter generators, meaning they offer much more pure, clean and stable AC power than standard generators, making them suitable for use with even the most sensitive electronic gadgets and gear, like computers and laptops, smartphones, tablets, televisions and gaming systems, smart appliances, CPAP machines and medical equipment and more.
And, given their size and power output, both are great for basic home power backup, and really ideal for RVs (even with aircon), work sites and lots of other applications. Both are also fully RV ready, with standard 30 amp plugs.
When you look at the features and specifications of the two, there are not many really important differences, but we do notice that the Westinghouse, though a couple of hundred dollars less expensive, offers a few pretty important advantages over the Champion – most noticeably the Westinghouse has a bit more running power and longer running time, and is significantly quieter.
Again, the Westinghouse does seem to have a couple of pretty clear advantages in terms of features and performance.
Westinghouse iGen4500DF vs Champion 200988: Key Differences
- Both are true inverters, meaning they are safe for even sensitive electronics, including PCs, phones, smart appliances, medical equipment and more.
- The Westinghouse iGen4500DF has more running power, and though a couple of hundred watts more may not seem a huge increase, it can make a difference in certain situations.
- The Westinghouse is much quieter, and this difference is not just clear on paper – in actual usage the Westinghouse is an exceptionally quiet generator, to the point that you will forget it’s even running.
- The Westinghouse runs longer, having a full 18 hours run time versus the Champion’s 14 hours – a significant difference, which can be attributed to the Champion’s larger gas tank more than anything else.
- The Champion offers lifetime customer support, though both companies are particularly well known for their excellent customer service.
Given their roughly equivalent power ratings and overall similarities, we need to ask why the Champion, which is clearly outperformed by the Westinghouse, is more expensive. To me this makes sense, though, because the Champion is a clearly better machine in terms of material and build quality and reliability, both day to day and over the long term.
In fact, we can say with a lot of confidence that the Champion 200988 is probably the best made generator at this very popular power level. The Westinghouse is also great, and known as a well made and reliable machine – in fact, I can’t right off the top of my head think of another at its lower price level that’s better.
But the Champion, which is a bit more expensive, is a better machine in terms of materials, build, dependability and reliability, every day and over the years, and should last longer. I don’t think either machine will let you down, but for emergency use and home backup, medical equipment, demanding worksites and professional use – and for people who simply want the highest levels of certainty and security – the Champion is the way to go.
Westinghouse iGen4500DF vs Champion 200988: Bottom Line
So the comparison of the Champion 200988 and Westinghouse iGen4500DF electric generators really comes down to your own priorities.
The Westinghouse iGen4500DF is less expensive, and is in fact the better performer in some key ways, and probably pretty handily represents the best value on the market today in this ultra-competitive ~4000 watt inverter generator category.
The Champion 200988 is the best built and most reliable generator at this power level – at least without spending way more money – and is the true choice for anybody who wants the ultimate levels of dependability and security.
All that said, I should make it clear that the Westinghouse, especially at its lower price, is a fantastically well made machine, and is probably the most reliable at its price level, and the Champion is not that much more expensive, and for the money also represents exceptional value – again, especially given its overall quality.
Either way, you will be getting a brilliant machine for the money, and one you will find enormously useful in so many ways, and for so many years to come – in the competition between the the Westinghouse iGen4500DF versus the Champion 200988, or Westinghouse versus Champion overall, both are clear winners.