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Review: Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR

Maxi-Cosi's Rodi XR for 2007 is a good-looking, comfortable and reassuringly sturdy ride.

Posted: 29 May 2007
by Laura Lee Davies

Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR Group 2/3 car seat

happyface Solid, comfy and stylish
sadface Not much to fault
Features: Suitable from from 15-36kg (approx 3 and a half to 12 years), backrest adjustable as your child grows, good side-protection from the head down to the hips, reclining position for smaller and larger children which is easy to adjust from the front of the seat, seat can be installed by using a regular 3-point safety belt already in the car. Once the child is old enough, the backrest can be removed and the base used as a booster seat (more like a solid cushion).
Weight: 5.1kg. Internal dimensions: height 555mm + 160mm for base, width 270mm, depth of seat 330mm. External dimensions: height 675mm + 160mm, width 430mm, depth of seat 410mm.
Conforms to ECE R44/04.
Price: RRP £94.99
Contact: The Maxi-Cosi website
Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR

The concept:
Once you get to car seats for older children (from about 15kg in weight, or around 3 to 4 years of age – go by weight not age as all children grow at different speeds) you forgo the bulky car seats where children are held in by complicated harnesses.
All of a sudden, car seats at Group 2+ begin to look more like an extension of the normal car seat. They are intended to offer better height so that your child can still see out of the window but not be so penned in, they allow the normal car seat belts to be used, but with hooks and extra seat lift, so that the adult belt cuts across your child's body at the correct level.
These car seats often look more sporty, ideal now that your toddler is a full-on 'kid'! This less babyish appearance means it can age more gracefully with your child, up until the time when she no longer needs a car seat boost of any kind (at 12 years or when she reaches 1.35 metres in height, whichever comes first!).

The Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR in action:

This follows on nicely from the Rodi XP which is easy to use and has been very popular. However, it offers more side protection as the padding and support runs from the head (where there is a good amount of support at the back and sides, and down to the hips, to help protect arms and legs in the event of a side-ways car hit).

Ease of use / safety
Any Group 2+ car seat seems infinitely easier to use than the loops and clasps of Group 0 and 1 seats.
As with most car seats of this kind, you can simply position it where you want it to go on the back seat of your car, then use the seat belt to loop through at the top, down, under the opposite side's arm rest and into the regular seat belt clasp. (The instructions in the manual are really easy to follow and you are given clear pointers to times when the car seat may not be suitable for a particular model of car or seat belt fitting, which is rare.)

The base of the Rodi XR fits stable onto your car's seat and the back is tall yet it does not make the seat car lean forward at all. If you have a headrest fitted on the back seat, you can use the anchor that comes with the car seat, but this is not essential.
You can adjust the height of the backrest so it better supports your child from pre-schooler upwards. This is a two-handed job but easy to release and adjust.
The shoulder supports can also be adjusted to two different positions which is not only useful when your child grows, but is easy enough to do if you are ferrying different age children around and need to change it as you go.
The seat does not require any extra seat room to be adjusted to a more reclining position (good for younger children, especially if you are travelling around at bed or nap time) as well as the regular sitting position, which is fine for normal travel for all ages. The movement is easy though it does require two hands.
All the adjusting should be done when your child is not in the seat, or when the car is moving. However, you might want to gauge correct heights etc when your child is sitting in the seat (perhaps in your home) to see what adjustments you're going to make.

The cover of the seat is a stylish and cosy material that's easy to clean. It wipes down well, but you can also remove the covers of the head and back rests, and the booster seat individually, if you want to wash them. We found this reassuring as our daughter is not the tidiest of three-year-olds!

Out and about
Having been couped up in her Group 1 car seat for perhaps a little too long, Eleanor absolutely loves this seat. Sporty looking, it makes her feel like a big girl and more like her older brother, yet it has more side-impact support that his Group 2 seat does. She doesn't notice this and doesn't feel more 'babyish' because of it.

At first we found she liked to lean out of the seat more, partly because of the novelty of the flexibility afforded by using a regular car seat belt, but she luxuriates in the depth of this seat and has now got used to sitting back and enjoying the ride.
One of the reasons we delayed changing her seat was because she is not the tallest three-year-old. However, now nearly four, she was more than ready for this transition, and the height of the seat allows her to enjoy the view from the window, even if she is no longer perched up on the toddler's car seat.

Comfort for your child
We like the reclining option on this Group 2/3 seat. It reassures us that, as she changes shape and height, Eleanor will continue to find this a comfy and secure ride.
We also like the extras you can get for this seat: a 'Universal Holder' for drinks, and a 'Summer Cover' in a lighter weight material for those sticky hot days spent in motorway traffic jams! (The summer cover comes in Ecru, Navy and Aqua options.)

The car seat itself comes in various different styles of cover: Black Reflection is black and dark grey, Gipsy is grey, orange and turquoise, Indian Spice is grey, red and orange, Penguin is various shades of grey, Harry is dark blue and grey, and Happy Flower is a very girly red, orange and pink floral design.

The ThinkBaby verdict

A solid, reassuring car seat with a sporty style, good side-support and useful adjustable features to allow the seat to grow with your child.
Usability: 5/5 review5stars
Quality: 5/5 review5stars
Value 5/5 review5stars

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