Top 10: Car seats for four-year olds
As your child grows, so should their car seat. These are the best seats that are designed to take your small passenger from toddlerhood through to the point where they don’t need a seat at all.
Don't forget to check the compatibility of your own car by using our unique Car Seat Chooser.
Cybex Solution Z-Fix
The Solution Z-Fix is one of the most expensive Group 2/3 car seats around. However, that quality does shine through, not just in the seat itself and the quality of the fabrics, but in the features. The reclining headrest is a simple but brilliant idea which makes this stand out from other car seats. That in itself would be enough to recommend the Solution Z-Fix highly, but there's also the clever height adjustment, the comfortable fabric and the side impact system.
Considering this seat will last your child nine years, it seems a worthwhile investment, especially as it feels built to last. If you want the best Group 2/3 car seat Cybex offers, this is it. And it's one that should last until your not so little one has grown up and no longer needs a car seat.
Nuna products are at the pricier end of the car seat market, but the quality shines through and the MYTI certainly feels worth the price. Yes, it's a significant investment, but given this seat will last till your child is 12, it works out at good value given the tough shell and hard wearing material. We did have some issues with tightening the five-point harness and reclining the seat itself, but aside from that, there's little to find fault with.
If you have a baby or toddler, you may prefer a swivelling car seat, making it easier to strap them in and get them out. However, the MYTI has the advantage of a top tether system rather than a supporting leg, saving space.
Joie Stages Isofix
The Joie Stages may be at the expensive end of car seats, but the fact it works from birth right up to 7 years old makes it unique. The only other seat we could find that offers similar is the Diono Radian 5 but while that's cheaper, it's not i-Size compliant and doesn't have Isofix. Essentially it means you can buy one seat when your little one is born and not have to worry about replacing it until they are 25kg in weight - around six or seven years old. Most others will only go from birth to four years.
It also feels a high-quality product that will last with hardwearing material and robust plastics used in the seat shell and the base. Once fitted to Isofix mounts it's sturdy too with no movement or rattles once you're on the go. True, the recline handle could be easier to release, but this is a very minor criticism of what is an excellent seat and one that's very easy to recommend as a long term investment.
Britax Romer Kidfix II XP SICT
Getting a child into a seat and positioned perfectly is one thing; it’s another making sure they don’t squirm around and move the belt out of position in the process. Britax reckons that it’s got a system that will prevent this from happening.
The SecureGuard system makes sure the belt stays in place, while padding that sits in front of the child spreads the forces in case of an impact, diverting it away from delicate areas such as the neck. Extra side-impact protection and soft padded wings boost comfort and safety that bit further. It’s a pricey seat, though, at not far shy of £200, and it is hefty at 7.4kg.
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Cybex Sirona S i-Size
The Sirona S is one of several 360 swivelling car seats, designed to make getting your little one in an out of the seat much easier. Tipping the scales at 15kg it's not the kind of seat you want to be moving between cars regularly, but the quality of the Cybex Sirona S shines through with the impeccable build quality and a lovely finish to the material. The independent Isofix arms make it easier to fit than many, too, while we like the softness of the material and the double seatbelt covers.
Our only real criticism is that the swivel action could be smoother and simpler, not helped by the fact you have to move it into its most upright position first. But that's a very small issue. With a price tag that's less than the Nuna REBL and Maxi-Cosi AxissFix, the Sirona S is a good investment and one that's easy to recommend.
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The Maxi Cosi Axiss is suitable for toddlers from 9 to 18 kg (approx. 9 months to 4 years) and enables parents to secure their child without leaning over and squeezing in between the car seat and the back of the front seat. This Group 1 car seat rotates 90 degrees in the direction of the door opening and allows front-on access to easily lift your child in or out of the car seat and secure them within seconds.
It features 8 different reclining positions, ranging from an upright to sleep mode and each position is easily selected using the lever on the front of the seat. The seat has extra padding for your child's head, back and bottom and the headrest and harness are easily adjusted to ensure a secure and comfortable fit as your little one grows.
BeSafe iZi Flex Fix i-Size
The iZi Flex Fix is the first seat from Norwegian firm BeSafe to conform to the very latest set of safety requirements – the second phase of the i-Size laws. While the first phase concentrated on baby seats, the second set looks at seats for older kids. The changes mean increased side-impact protection, as this is now part of the new crash testing procedure.
It’s also designed to be a slim seat overall so that it takes up less space in the car meaning other passengers have a bit more elbow room, while still giving the child in the seat enough room to be comfortable.
Joie Every Stage FX
Joie’s taken what might be seen as an odd business approach with the Every Stage FX, as it only wants to sell you the one car seat for the entirety of your child’s life. This seat will take you all the way from birth through to when your child tips the scales at 36kg and can dispense with a seat entirely. It can be secured in place with either Isofix arms or the seatbelt, so can be popped into an older car without the requisite hoops.
It doesn’t match up to the latest i-Size safety requirements, but it is still fully compliant with the previous, still legal, testing. Partly as a result of this, it is slightly cheaper than it might otherwise be, coming in at just £240.
Suitable from birth, the Mothercare Madrid car seat is used in the rear-facing position from birth to 10kg/20lbs, then it must be used forward facing to 18kg. It features three seat recline positions and a 5-point harness which has individual harness tensioners for added safety, plus, the seat has deep wide wings with side impact protection. The seat reclines on its own axis, too, with built-in locking clips to maintain the tension of the belt.
The comfortable padded cover on the seat is removable and washable, simply unhook the cover from around the outside of the car seat shell.
Joie Spin 360
The Joie Spin 360 is great value for money. It doesn't have all the features of rivals, for instance there,'s no rebound bar, but the seat itself has top quality and, more importantly, sturdy feel to it. The fact it's a bit lighter means it's easier to move between cars, although like most of these swivelling seats, it's not something you'll want to keep doing as getting any seat into Isofix points can be fiddly.
It looks even more seat for your money when you take into account the fact it can be used from birth until around four-years-old, although it's always best to go on the 18kg weight limit as age is always just a guideline. The easy swivelling action, sturdy handles and metal seat belt buckle give the Joie a reassuringly quality and safe feel. It's no budget model either with plenty of features like a ventilated base and plenty of recline position.
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