The 10 best car seats - from 4 years

Where to buy the best, expert tried and tested Group 2/3 car seats for your child, including ISOFIX and non-ISOFIX options

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  • How to find and pick the best car seats for 15kg+

    Your child now weighs 15kg or more (roughly 3 or 4 years of age) and they can use a Group 2/3 car seat.  A Group 2/3 car seat lasts until your child is 135cm tall or 36kg (around 11 or 12 years old).

    The biggest changes when moving to a Group 2/3 car seat is that your child will probably be ready to sit forward-facing and the 5-point harness or impact shield will now be replaced with an adult car seat belt.

    How does a Group 2/3 car seat fit in a car? 

    Not all car seats fit in all cars, so you need to check the car seat you like can be fitted correctly in your car.  Most manufacturers have a quick online checking service, such as Britax’s Fit-Finder or Maxi-Cosi’s car fitting list.  Have your car’s make, model and year of production close to hand for fast checking.

    When fitting a Group 2/3 car seat you’ll be able to the car 3-point seat belt to install it, but there are a growing number of Group 2/3 child car seats that using ISOFIX systems.

    How much will a Group 2/3 car seat cost?

    Despite having to last at least 7 years, Group 2/3 car seats are probably the cheapest child seats you’ll need to buy.  Prices range from £40 to £200, and there are, of course, the expensive and budget options.

    While price is important, it is not an indicator of how safe a car seat is, as all car seats are tested to set safety standards.  It’s more important to choose the right seat that works best for you, your car and your child.  Remember, don’t settle for second best – or secondhand car seats. 

    When can I use a booster cushion?

    new law on backless booster car seats (booster cushions) has come into force, so now children will have to be:

    • Taller than 125cm tall (4ft1) 
    • Weigh more than 22kg (3 stone 6.5 pounds) to sit on backless booster cushions 

    It's important to note that this rule only applies to brand new products, it does not affect any booster seats that you may currently be using.

    You can find all the information on booster seats and backless cushions in our safety article here.

    Once I’ve chosen the best car seat what do I do then?

    Once you’ve picked your ideal car seat, it’ll have to be fitted in the car.  While we’re fans of DIY at MFM headquarters, we recommend you get your car seat fitted by a trained car seat installation advisor (appointed by the manufacturer) if you can. 

    Here’s our pick of the 10 best Group 2/3 car seats…

  • Joie Trillo, £39.99

    An adjustable and extendable chair, the Joie Trillo has a massive 7-position backrest, which is impressive and probably the most you'll encounter in a Group 2/3 seat.

    "Fitting this seat is easy peasy," says our MFM mum, as it's light, easy and uses the car seat belt.  The Trillo has also enhanced safety features and some clever additions, like 2 tuck away cupholders.

    Check out the full Trillo review here.

    You can buy the Joie Trillo from Amazon or Kiddicare.

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  • Britax Adventure Highback Booster Seat, £49.99

    One of Britax’s classic car seats, this affordable Group 2/3 model has stood the test of time, garnering great feedback from parents over the years.

    It’s super lightweight at 3.9kg, so easy to move between cars, and has an adjustable backrest and side impact wings, as well as a pullout drinks holder and snack tray.

    Our reviewer said this car seat “ticked all the boxes” and scored it a full 5 out of 5 stars for both ease of fitting in the car and durability. She also loved its “genuine simplicity”.

    Check out the full review of the Britax Adventure here.

    You can buy the Britax Adventure at Argos and Precious Little One.

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  • Diono Monterey 2, £120

    The Diono Monterey 2 car seat is installed with either your car’s own seatbelt or ISOFAST (an ISOFIX compatible system that keeps the seat fixed in place when your child’s not in it). The seat is comfy and deep, and can even be adjusted one-handed to accommodate your growing child - height and width-wise. 

    Read the full Diono Monterey 2 car seat review.

    Click here to buy the Diono Monterey 2 on Amazon

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  • Hauck Bodyguard Pro, £149.99

    A highly structured car seat with good safety features that gives a high level of comfort. Easy to adjust and suitable for children from 3 – 12 years, this seat has lots of room for adjustment without being overly bulky.

    This Hauck chair has seat belt guides, three recline positions and a 6-height adjustable headrest.

    When we tested the older version, the original Bodyguard, our MFM mum gave this seat a brilliant 4.5 stars out of 5 in her expert review for its easy fit system, wide range of height and width adjustments, five colour options and soft removable, washable covers. 

    Check out the full Original Hauck Bodyguard review here

    You can buy the Bodyguard Pro chair from Kiddies Kingdom or Precious Little One 

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  • Graco Nautilus Elite, £149.999

    An updated version of the much-loved and multi award-winning 1-2-3 Graco Nautilus, the Elite will last your child from the age of 9 months to 12 years and can be used both rear and forward-facing. 

    Featuring an adjustable width headrest, 5-point safety harness up to 36kg and side impact protection system, the Graco Nautilus Elite also has an integrated cupholder to please your thirsty little ones.  The seat is universal when it comes to car compatibility, but if you are unsure on how to install it, Halfords provide a free fitting service. 

    For more on the Graco Nautilus Elite features read the review.

    You can buy the Graco Nautilus Elite from Amazon or ASDA.

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  • Recaro Monza Nova 2 Seatfix, £125

    The updated version of the Recaro Monza Seatfix, the Recaro Monza Nova 2 Seatfix uses ISOFIX or your car’s own seatbelt to be fitted in your vehicle, and scored full marks for ease of installation.

    What's different about this version is that it now has an even more Advanced Side Protection system and Anti-static side pads that reduce crash-generated forces to the head and shoulders by 30% and the neck by 20%.

    This car seat’s big wow factor is the ability to plug in a DVD or MP3 and use the headrest’s integrated speakers. This car seat is ideal for encouraging reluctant older children.

    Read the full Recaro Monza Seatfix car seat review.

    You can buy the Recaro Monza 2 Seatfix on Amazon

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  • Britax Kidfix II XP SICT, £225

    The newest version of the Britax KID plus SICT car seat, the Kidfix II XP SICT is a forward-facing Group 2/3 high-backed booster seat with a belt harness pad. New to the Britax range for 2015/2016, the Kidfix II XP SICT now features Britax' patented SecureGuard, which ensures optimal lap belt positioning. 

    The SecureGuard acts as a 4th attachment point to a seat belt. It helps to keep the belt in an ideal position over the lap and pelvic bones so it better distributes the impact energy involved in frontal collisions.

    As well as the guard the XP-PAD and Side Impact Cushion Technology on the seat will take up to 30% of the energy forces away from your child’s neck in the event of a frontal impact, according to Britax.

    Quick and easy to swap between cars, the seat is also comfy and can be reclined, which is probably why our MFM tester gave it 4.5 stars out of 5.

    Click here to buy the Britax Kidfix II XP SICT from Mothercare.

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  • Cybex Solution Q-Fix, £190

    This multi award-winning car seat has already scooped a Red Dot Design Award and a “sehr gut” from Germany’s Auto Bild magazine (Cybex is a German company) for its automatic height and width adjustment features, patented, reclining headrest and side impact protection system. 

    Our MFM reviewer gave the car seat 4.5 stars out of 5 for its comfort, ease of use and ISOFIX compatibility, but you can read all about its features in our full review

    Click here to buy the Cybex Solution Q-Fix from Mothercare.

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  • Concord Transformer T, £194.99

    The Concord Transformer T car seat got top marks in our review, and it's not difficult to see why; a large seat, it can be installed with ISOFIX or your car’s own seatbelt.

    Its ease of installation has been commended, and it has great safety features. The intuitive push-button size adjustor is noteworthy, too.

    Read the full Concord Transformer T car seat review

    Click here to buy the Concord Transformer T on Amazon or order it from Uber Kids.

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  • Joie Every Stage, £159.99

    Okay, so this chair is technically an all-stage car seat, not just Group 2/3, but it's groundbreaking so we thought we'd add it to the list.

    The Joie Every Stage Group 0+/1/2/3 chair can face rearward from birth up to 18kg (approx 4 years). And like the Milestone, the Every Stage can be used until your baby grows to be an 11 or 12-year-old pre-teen.

    The Every Stage features 5 recline positions, side impact protection, a 10-height headrest and side wings that widen as the headrest is raised.

    It also has a 5–point harness that simultaneously adjusts as the headrest is adjust, so there’s no need to rethread the harness.

    You can buy the Joie Every Stage from Argos.


    Find out how long your child's required to travel in a car seat in our guide to the latest car seat laws.

    There’s plenty of choice on the market, so where do you start? Our car seat buyer's guide is your first port of call, and then our invesigation into whether you need to avoid backless booster seats

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Last updated on 28 November 2017