Cybex Sirona Z child car seat review
The Cybex Sirona Z is a smart-looking seat with a swivel function that enables you to secure your child in the car seat while it's facing you...
Model tested Cybex Sirona Z i-Size with Base Z and Sensorsafe Technology
Seat type Group 0+/1 i-Size
Age Birth to four years approx
Child height 45cm-105cm
Max child weight 18kg
Dimensions Length 715mm Width 670mm Height 430mm Weight 15kg
Fabric cover, removable and machine washable
Typical price £510
It the seat easy to fit into the car correctly?
It's a bit fiddly on the first attempt; we ended up watching the YouTube tutorial to figure out exactly how to attach the seat to the Isofix base. Once you’ve got the hang of it, though, it only takes a few seconds, and fitting the Isofix base to the car is also pretty straightforward.
To use the Sensorsafe harness monitor, you first need to plug a supplied dongle into the car’s OBD II port (you’ll need to consult your car’s ownership manual to find the location of this, but it’s usually fairly easy to access). You then need to download onto your smartphone (Apple or Android) an app that allows you to monitor the interior temperature and alerts you if your little one manages to undo the buckle.
Is it easy to do up the harness and tighten it?
You need to hold two metal buckles together with one hand and slot them into a clasp with the other, so it’s a little fiddly. But after that, it’s plain sailing; you just do up the Sensorsafe clip and pull the belt at the bottom of the seat to tighten the harness.
The 360deg swivel function means you can aim the seat towards the door when doing all this, making it a lot easier to see what you’re doing. Adjusting the height of the headrest is simple, too.
Is the seat cover easy to remove to wash?
This is simply a case of unzipping the cover and pulling it off. It’s a little trickier to refit but not overly so. The newborn insert is also easy to remove and refit as necessary.
The small piece of padding around the buckle is actually too easy to remove; it can fall off when you're unbuckling your child, so you need to be careful not to lose it.
How much space does the seat take up in the car?
Our testers fitted the seat into the back seat of a Renault Zoe, and although it took up a reasonable amount of space across the width of the car, there was still enough left over for a couple of (reasonably slender) adults to sit beside it.
Compared with many rear-facing child seats for this age range, the Sirona Z is relatively compact lengthways, meaning you don’t need to slide the front seat too far forward. That said, if the seat in front is relatively far back, the 360deg swivel function has a limited range – especially with the side protection feature activated. That means it might not be suited to the tallest of drivers in small cars.
How comfortable is the seat for your child?
It's really well padded and looks (and seems) very comfortable. The baby was fairly upright at first, even with the seat fully reclined, but she was in a better position after we adjusted the height of the headrest and harness.
How good are the instructions?
There’s not enough detail about fitting the child seat to the Isofix base in the written instructions, so, as we said earlier, we ended up watching the manufacturer’s YouTube videos. In other respects, the written instructions are clear and useful to refer back to when checking the fit.
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Best cars for three child car seats
A recent survey revealed that having three children was the most stressful number for parents to deal with. Having one or two children may be a life-changing experience, but adding a third to your family throws up a whole new set of challenges. Not only do most family tickets for days out and multi-packs of food come in multiples of four, but you’re also likely to find that your car is no longer big enough to transport the whole clan.
Renault was one of the first car makers to acknowledge that not all families were the standard two parents and two children, when it launched the Espace MPV in 1984. However, the popularity of these boxy ‘multi-purpose vehicles’ – or people carriers – is waning, having been supplanted by SUVs in the affections of many families.
Although most MPVs and many SUVs come with seven seats, not all are able to accommodate more than two child car seats in the second and third rows. While you might be able to use the front passenger seat in some cars, that’s not practical if a parent has to sit in the back, squashed between two child seats. It’s also dangerous for a child in a rearward-facing seat to use the front seat unless the airbag is deactivated, and that’s not always easy to do. The rear seats are generally considered the safest place for children to sit in cars.
To help parents pick the most suitable cars for larger families, we got together the best contenders in three classes – large SUVs, luxury SUVs and MPVs – and tried fitting three child seats into their second and third rows (but not the front, for the reasons outlined above). We’ve also included a category for electric vehicles, even though there’s currently only one with more than five seats: the Tesla Model X.
We chose an infant carrier, a seat suitable for a toddler and one for an older child. The two larger seats can be secured only by Isofix mounts, while the Group 0+ infant seat can be used with an Isofix base or a seatbelt.
Our results are based on our own physical tests and also on Euro NCAP safety tests, which state whether it is permissible to use a child seat in each seat position. This information can also be found in car owner manuals.
The child seats used in our test
Maxi Cosi CabrioFix
Price £119.99 Group 0+
Child weight 0-13kg (approx birth to 12 months)
Seat width 44.5cm
Maxi Cosi AxissFix Plus
Child height 67-105cm (approx birth to four years)
Seat width 44.5cm
Halfords 123 Isofix
Child weight 9-36kg (approx nine months to 12 years)
Seat width 44cm
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