Review of Maxi-Cosi Mobi rear facing toddler seat



*Please note this review pertains to a child restraint system sold in Europe, but is not available in North America at this time.

This is a comprehensive review of our rear facing Maxi-Cosi Mobi toddler seat and the suitability of the new Volvo V40 to accomodate one. The review has originally been posted on my blog about the new Volvo V40, from a father's perpective. The original post on my blog contains many detailed pictures that I was unable to upload to this site.

Rear facing toddler seats are up to five times safer than their front facing counterparts in a frontal collision. Impact forces are distributed along the back of the seat, protecting the disproportionally large head, the fragile neck and the soft spine much better.

I grew up in Sweden where most toddlers stay rear facing until three or even four as locally recommended. I now live in Poland where nearly all infants are turned around at about twelve months, like in most European countries. Since perishing on dangerous Polish roads is on average nearly four times more likely than on Swedish, I decided not to go with the crowd.

One year ago, I stayed up late one night, studying online reviews of rear facing toddler seats. Unsurprisingly, Swedish sources featured most comprehensive and reliable reviews, as rear facing seats were invented in Sweden around fifty years ago and the Swedish market for rear facing toddler seats is most mature in the world. Upon going to bed, I decided for the Maxi-Cosi Mobi. Luckily, the following day I found out it was one of the handful rear facing toddler seats available on the still immature Polish market.

Mobi is the only rear facing toddler seat from Maxi-Cosi. It is approved for children between nine and twenty five kilograms. Our daughter moved from her baby seat to this toddler seat at twelve months and both have moved into the V40 when it arrived in October. Our daughter will stay rear facing until three or even four, before moving to a front facing child seat, when she has outgrown the Mobi.

The seat is very practical. It features four incline positions that can be easily adjusted with only one hand while the toddler is seated. This unique feature has especially come to use on longer journeys, making our toddler sleep like a baby. Placing and removing the toddler is easy thanks to practical hooks retaining the seat belt. The cover is removable and washable, but we have found it sufficient to only wipe it off now and then.

From the fabrics through the padding to the frame the seat breathes quality. Based on one year of use, my opinion is that the seat is durable. Taking the high quality and durability into consideration, the Mobi is very reasonably priced. As a bonus, it also looks good in the V40.

It features a side protection system, ample head protection and extendable support leg for increased safety. The latter is sturdy, but has a sharp detail on the back that could easily damage the interior, so I covered it with protective pads for furniture. The five point harness is hight adjustable for three positions. We find the harness reliable and easy to use, although we wish tightening it could have been slightly easier. Same goes for height adjustment that is tricky and time consuming to carry out, partly due to a slightly unclear instruction manual.

Our daughter finds the Mobi very comfortable. The seat is perfectly sculptured for her body, enabling her to always enjoy the rides. At the age of two, her feet are still barely touching the seat back, thanks to placement far out on the seat. Thus, her seating position is currently flawless. In a longer time perspective her comfort might decrease though, as legroom will get more and more cramped with my daughter growing taller.

Learning to mount the seat takes some time. Initially it is challenging, but soon it becomes surprisingly easy. Our Mobi is mounted in the passenger seat, but it can also be mounted in the back seat. Both the front and rear doors of the V40 are large enough for easy insert and removal of the seat. When the Mobi is in place I move the passenger seat forward, fasten the Mobi with the seatbelt, reduce the incline of the passenger seat for more space in the back, extend the support leg, attach the belt hooks to the convenient anchor points below the glovebox and tighten all the belts for a stable and safe mount.

Initially a time consuming and frustrating procedure has relatively quickly become a piece of cake, completed in less than two minutes. Mounting and unmounting is easy enough for me to remove the seat when commuting to work and mount it mainly when used, especially during weekends. When not using it, I usually stow it away in my wardrobe, despite having to carry the relatively heavy and massive seat back and forth.

Our daughter loves to be seated in the Mobi. My partner unnecessarily worried that our daughter would be crying when rear facing. Because she is unfamiliar with front facing, it is completely natural for her to be seated this way. No reasons to cry, but several reasons to smile. Seated in her rear facing seat, mounted in the passenger seat, she has the most desirable view a toddler can dream of. Looking forward she adores her mommy, looking right she admires daddy driving and looking left she enjoys the world, as the Mobi is high enough for good outward view in the V40.

Passenger seat mount is also very convenient for both parents. From the driver's perspective it is convenient to have both eye and physical contact with the toddler. Handing over beverage or fondling when stationary does not require any acrobatic maneuvers or stopovers. Your partner in the back seat also enjoys eye contact with the toddler, especially with the front passenger head rest removed. Leaning forward to take care of your toddler is for easy tasks possible without unbuckling, as the length of seat belts is very generous. Beverages and canned food can be placed in the fancy cup holders between the back seats. There is also plenty of legroom with the passenger seat pushed forward, securing high comfort for the parent behind it.

Unfortunately, passenger seat mount comes with two issues. First I have to disable the airbag before mounting the seat and enable it again after removing the seat, by turning the key in the slot right of the glove box. It is of crucial importance to remember turning off the airbag before mount, as it can have catastrophic consequences for the toddler if deployed. Fortunately, I can always clearly see if the airbag is enabled or disabled on a screen above the frameless mirror. Second, the rear facing Mobi is obstructing the view in the right mirror of the V40 - a common issue in most cars, including the 406 Coupe I owned before the V40, but unlike the 508 I also considered. In practice it means that despite being one eighty six, driving with a pushed back seat, I have to lean my head to see the mirror. Unfortunately, for less tall drivers such leaning might be inadequate and they should therefore consider attaching a second, small mirror on top of the present mirror or placing the rear facing Mobi in the back seat. My partner has not driven the V40 yet, but when she begins, one of these options might be necesssary.

For simplicity, let us assume we choose the latter. Mounting is even slightly easier than in the front due to lack of airbag. As in the front, there are anchor points for the belt hooks, the seat remains very stable during journey and there is plenty of legroom for the toddler. Unfortunately, the rising window line towards the rear of the V40 is obstructing outward view of a small toddler, in contrast to front seat placement. Further, the Mobi is relatively large and requires the front seat it is mounted behind to be pushed forward, leaving sufficient room for my partner that is one seventy two, but barely for me. Since I am the driver, only suitable rear mount in our V40 is behind the passenger seat.

In summary, both me and my partner, as well as our daughter, are very satisfied with the Mobi from Maxi-Cosi. The V40 is suitable to accomodate one, but front mount obstructs the view in the mirror.

I hope this review has influenced you to keep your toddler rear facing and supported you in evaluating the Maxi-Cosi Mobi for your V40.

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