Cybex has carved out a niche for itself, offering comfy car seats and pushchairs in eye-popping bright colours. And the Solution Q-Fix is no exception. The new highback booster seat has already scooped a Red Dot Design Award and a “sehr gut” from Germany’s Auto Bild magazine (Cybex is a German company). And now it’s here in the UK. It certainly looks the part.
The Solution Q-Fix has a few neat tricks up its colourful sleeve. New and unique to this car seat is automatic height and width adjustment that lets it grow with your child. And a new air ventilation system for comfort even on hot days. It also boasts a couple of features shared by its predecessors, the Cybex Solution X2-Fix and X-Fix: a patented, reclining headrest designed to prevent heads lolling forwards during sleep and extra side impact protection.
As I prepared to test the Solution Q-Fix, I was in for a shock. All manner of beasties had gathered under my old car seat and I came to the conclusion that this car seat was too good for my car (a middle-aged Toyota Avensis with no Isofix). And for my family. It would surely be criminal to grind crumbs into it. It has a Red Dot Design Award! Only clean, designer-clad children in Audis should be allowed to sit in it. But we persisted. Me, my filthy car, my son and his companion Doggy Edwards (pictured).
How easy was it to assemble?
The Solution Q-Fix is ready to use out of the box. It comes in two parts that click together, and you need to clip two pads onto the sides, then you’re away. My lack of Isofix wasn’t a problem. If you do have Isofix, it’s a great way to ensure the seat is well positioned and it means you don’t need to strap the seat in place to secure it when it’s empty. (It’s often overlooked, but leaving a loose car seat on the back seat after you’ve dropped the kids off is dangerous because in an accident it can fly forwards and hit the driver or front passenger.) But with or without Isofix, you use your three-point seat belt in the same way to secure your child. The guides for the seat belt are easy and intuitive to use. Plus there’s a pouch on the back for the instruction manual, so you’ll never forget how to use it.
How was the special height/width adjustment feature?
My son’s tall for his age and, as I started fitting the seat to him, I saw what was special about the Solution Q-Fix. You reach one hand round the back, just below the headrest, to adjust height… and as the height increases, so does the width. The whole seatback broadens to accommodate and protect your growing child in comfort. The design is impressive and this, plus good-quality cushioning, made it very pleasant to sit in according to both my son and Doggy Edwards.
How was the headrest?
The reclining headrest is good, you can see how it would lead to less lolling forward while asleep, but it’s something the parent has to adjust to suit the child. You couldn’t, for example, adjust it while you’re driving if your child nods off – although your passenger could probably reach back and do it, as it’s simple to access.
What was the ventilation like?
The added ventilation is visible too. Although with all those gaps for air to pass through, I’d have expected the car seat to be lighter. At 7.1kg it’s much heavier than my son’s more basic seat. Comfort on hot days can be further enhanced by getting the extra Summer cover, which is 85% cotton (the standard, washable cover is 100% polyester). But if you have aircon I wouldn’t worry.
Is it value for money?
The big, obvious caveat of the Solution Q-Fix is its price. Parenting is an expensive business and a pair of these car seats would cost as much as some second-hand cars. So it only represents good value if you’re a family that uses the car a lot, particularly for long journeys.
How compact is it?
It’s also a large car seat. It’s wide. And it has a “Linear Side-impact Protection System Plus” pads on each side, making it wider still. Plus it gets wider as it grows. So if you’re planning to fit three children across the back seat, I’d recommend measuring up first.
Who is the Cybex Solution Q-Fix car seat best for?
Anyone who drives a lot with their family. If you were driving to the south of France and back, for example, the extra comfort will lead to less-grumpy kids, which is priceless.
In a nutshell
The Cybex Solution Q-Fix car offers impressive comfort and safety. It is pricey, but if you divide the cost by the seven years that it will last you then the price tag doesn’t seem quite so bad. It’s nowhere near as pricey as the early days of parenting – remember when your car seat only lasted you 18 months?! It also looks great. It certainly got Doggy Edwards’ seal of approval.