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Child seat test 2015 (Group II-III) - safe ride for the grown-ups

Dino Eisele, Hans Peter Seufert
Child seat test 2015 (group II-III)
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G äbe If there was a sympathy rating in this test, the starter SP from Disney would collect a lot of points. Lightning McQueen from the film 'Cars' adorns the child seat and quickly makes friends. But what counts are the results from the practical and crash tests, the latter being carried out by auto motor und sport together with TÜV Süd. And the inexpensive Starter SP is not convincing, although it costs just under 70 euros - that's a fraction of the prices that are due for the Cybex and Recaro child seats in the test - but you notice the low price of the Disney- Sit on all points. A thin foam cover is simply pulled over the simple plastic mold for upholstery. In contrast to the other seat covers, this one can only be washed by hand.

Child seat from Disney saves on safety

In order to use the Disney Starter SP to adapt to the size of the child, only the headrest can be adjusted in height using notches. A plus point for the seat is the low weight of just under four kilos. This means that installation and removal work quickly, easily and sometimes with just one free hand. However, there are no securing Isofix mounting arms. Therefore, the child seat should be buckled up during every journey - even without a child - so that it does not fly unsecured through the vehicle during braking and evasive maneuvers. Only small sketches printed on the seat provide information on the correct belt routing. However, these are only poorly visible on the inner edge and partly covered by the headrest. There are no operating instructions with tips and explanations about the Disney seat.

However, the high measured values ​​in the crash weigh much more heavily. The stress in the chest area is so high that injuries can be expected in a real accident. The forward shift is still in the green area, but it is the greatest in comparison. In addition, the Disney child seat offers little protection in the event of a side impact. But safety should not be spared in seat categories II and III either. After all, these seats accompany children from around three years of age until they are twelve years or 1.50 meters tall. For this long, children are only allowed to ride in the car with a suitable and approved restraint device. You can read on the right which seating group is suitable for your childabove.

Universal child seat from Recaro for groups I to III

Some child seats manage the balancing act of covering groups I to III and are therefore suitable for children from around nine months. While most of the children secure their passengers with a catching table, the Young Sport Hero from Recaro gets by without this system, which is controversial among experts and not always accepted by children. Instead, the little ones sit on an additional cushion at the beginning and are held in place by an integrated five-point belt.

When they are big enough, the additional cushion and belt are removed. This is a bit fiddly, but well described in the instructions and usually only necessary once. In addition, easily understandable sketches on the child seat show how the vehicle belt should run. Because after the conversion, this secures the child and seat together - effectively. Although the measured values ​​of the head acceleration are only just in the range for a recommendable judgment, the new Q-dummies, which were used for the first time this year, react a little more sensitively than the previous H-III dummies.

Solution M from Cybex including Isofix locking arms for 180 euros

In the practical test, the Recaro Young Sport Hero also does well, although it also has to do without Isofix mounting arms. The handling would be more pleasant, however, if the seat wasn't quite as heavy and voluminous. Some functions, such as adjusting the height of the headrest, are also quite cumbersome. The Recaro seat scores with the flexibility that it can be used for children between 9 and 36 kilograms. That also justifies the high price of almost 240 euros.

However, a child seat does not have to be absolutely expensive, as the last candidate in the test proves. The Solution M-fix from Cybex costs just under 180 euros. Without the recommended Isofix locking arms, it is 30 euros cheaper than Solution M. In both cases, however, the child is strapped in with the normal three-point belt. Because the Isofix system only additionally stabilizes the seat in the larger groups. However, this means that the car is secure and secure even when traveling without a child. However, its use is not mandatory.

The Solution M-fix can be installed with or without Isofix, the locking arms disappear into the housing if necessary. The investment is definitely worthwhile - if not with the current vehicle without the appropriate Isofix hook, then at the latest with the new vehicle. A vehicle change can be pending within the eight to nine years of use.

Handle second-hand child seats with care

Regardless of whether with or without Isofix, the Cybex seat impresses with its simple design Handling and well thought-out functions. Thanks to the lightand airy-looking construction, it can be installed quickly and easily. Even regular changes between different cars are not a problem. So that the child seat is always optimally positioned in the car, the angle of the backrest hugs the bench at a variable angle. Depending on the space available in the vehicle, an additional, extendable side impact protection improves stability. In addition, the height of the headrest is infinitely variable, and the variable inclination is intended to prevent the head from tilting forward while sleeping. All in all, the Solution M-fix deserves the rating “recommended”. In the practical test, the Cybex child seat scores with good operating instructions, high-quality workmanship and comfortable upholstery.

Much more important and decisive for the judgment, however, are the results in the crash test. And there it impresses with the lowest load values ​​in this seating group. The prerequisite for this, however, is the correct installation of the child seat with seat part and backrest. Both parts can be separated from each other for space-saving transport, which can subsequently lead to the use of the lower part only as a simple booster seat. But this is neither permitted nor recommended. The tests of recent years have shown that such cheap booster seats are very unsafe and that the risk of injury in an accident is extremely high.

Used child seats are similarly treated with caution, although the temptation for reasons of cost is often great is. Even as an emergency or second seat, they should only be an option if the history of the seat is known and an accident can be ruled out. The slightest damage and hairline cracks in the material are not visible to the naked eye, but can have devastating consequences if a crash occurs again. In addition, the plastics age due to solar radiation and temperature changes in the car and can become brittle over time. And: The manufacturers are continuously developing their seats in terms of safety. Investing in modern - and tested - seats is definitely worth it.

Overview and price comparison


Which seat fits my child?

For children up to twelve years and 1.50 meters tall is in Germany a child seat is mandatory. The approval standard ECE R 44 divides the restraint systems into five groups according to the weight of the child: Group 0 for babies up to ten kilograms (age: around nine months), group 0+ for babies up to 13 kg (around eighteen months), group I for children between 9 and 18 kg (nine months to four years), group II for children between 15 and 25 kg (three to seven years) and group III for children between 22 and 36 kg (six to twelve years). UNECE R 129, also known as i-size, has been in force since 2013, and body size is decisive.It is also important that the manufacturer has approved the desired seat for the respective car. There may be restrictions, especially with Isofix systems.

This is how we tested

For over 20 years auto motor und sport has been testing child seats together with TÜV Süd. To simulate a frontal collision, the crash body of a Golf V is braked from over 50 km /h with up to 31 times the acceleration of gravity. For comparison: The approval standard ECE R 44 only requires values ​​up to a maximum of 28 g. Mazda 2, Opel Zafira Tourer and Renault Grand Kangoo were ready for installation for the practical test. Handling, comfort for the child and how understandable the instructions are were evaluated.

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