Key features of the Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Plus car seat:
Age suitability: Birth until 4 years
Rear-facing until: Approx 2 (87cm tall)
Additional cost of ISOFIX base: Included in price
Total cost from birth to 4 years: £395
Travel system compatible: No
With its solid reputation based on more than 30 years of child car seat research, it’s no wonder that Maxi-Cosi is one of the most recognised car seat brands out there.
The brand hasn’t rested on its laurels though, continually innovating, case-in-point, the AxissFix Plus. An updated version of the Maxi-Cosi Axiss, it provides top safety performance by complying with the latest i-Size regulations it also has a 360 degree seat rotation.
In addition, it’s now suitable from birth (45cm tall) to around four years (105cm), with a maximum weight of 19kg, but can only be used rear facing until your little one is 87cm (about 2 years old).
Have improved protection at faster speeds for side and front impact
Protect babies’ heads and necks
The Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Plus competes with the 360 degree rotating Jané Gravity i-Size car seat (£349), which is also suitable from birth until 4 years old and meets the new i-Size regulations, along with the Recaro Zero.1 i-Size seat (£399).
This is the updated version of the AxissFix car seat. How is this new version different?
The biggest difference from the AxissFix is that the AxissFix Plus can now be used from birth (45cm tall) thanks to the infant inlay. The earlier version could only be used from four months (61cm) to around four years, meaning you had to buy another car seat for newborns.
Green indicators let you know that the ISOFIX is secured properly
Attach the top tether strap to the anchor point behind the seat
This was easy in our estate car where top tether points are located in the underside of the roof where they’re normally concealed in the headlining by hinged caps. These two points allow the seat to be mounted on the left- or righthand side.
Top tether points were made mandatory on UK cars in 2011, but our 2008 model has them. Some older cars, however, may not have these fixing points.
It’s best to check the car’s manual and don’t make the mistake of attaching the top tether strap to a fixing point designed only to secure your shopping or luggage – it is not designed to hold the weight of a car seat and child in the event of a crash or emergency braking incident.
Is the seat easy to rotate? How far does it rotate?
It’s very easy to rotate. You just pull the levers at the base of the seat and it spins around. It’s a very smooth action.
It took us a little while to work out that you had to switch to rear-facing or forward-facing mode in the panel on the base before you could get the full 360-degree spin.
The 360-degree rotation gives you so much flexibility, giving you the option of fixing the seat on either side of the car, forward or rear-facing. I found being able to rotate the car seat a huge advantage. It meant I could get Tess strapped in and sorted before spinning her into position. It definitely saved on back pain!
The first Axiss model only rotated 90 degrees, but Maxi-Cosi since updated the design so both this and the previous AxissFix version rotate the full 360 degrees.
How long is it rear-facing until?
You can keep your child rear-facing in the AxissFix Plus to 87cm (around two years old). I’m keen to keep Tess rear facing for as long as possible, ideally until four years, so the 87cm rear-facing limit is a definite minus point for me.
The research data clearly shows that infants caught up in crashes fare significantly better in rear-facing seats and indeed the advice to use this type of restraint for as long as possible is carried on the NHS Choices website.
There are a number of rotating seats on the market that can be rear-ward facing for four years including the Cozy ‘N’ Safe Signature Merlin and Cybex Sirona M2 i-Size.
There’s a quick guide on the seat as well an instruction booklet with more detail. I found the Maxi-Cosi video the best way to get an overview of how the AxissFix Plus works.
What do you think of the top tether?
My partner, who is particularly safety conscious, loved this additional safety feature. It gives the seat stability under normal driving conditions but most importantly adds that extra layer of protection that could make all the difference in the event of a car crash.
The top tether in the AxissFix Plus means there’s no leg to anchor in the foot well, freeing up storage space here. On the other hand, it could be argued that a top tether and a front leg would make things even safer.
Does it feel sturdy?
I found it reassuringly sturdy. It’s a bulky car seat and, at 12.4kg, it’s fairly heavy too. This is partly down to the large base unit which has a high back as part of the top tether system.
How comfortable is the seat? Is it more comfortable than your previous car seats?
The seat is well padded and feels quite plush in comparison to other car seats we’ve used. Tess was very comfortable – when she was awake.
But as soon as she fell asleep her head flopped forward in a rather unsettling manner. The seat can’t recline enough to stop this happening.
This is my one gripe with what is otherwise a brilliant car seat.
Unfortunately, it’s quite a major one, as we were constantly having to pull over in the car to readjust Tess’s head and eventually bought a head support cushion that goes round her neck.
Clever parent-friendly design features made strapping Tess into the AxissFix Plus hassle free. Getting a wriggling baby into a car seat can be somewhat challenging!
I found the rubber loops that hook the straps out of the way really useful as they stopped the straps getting stuck under Tess.
I also liked the anti-slip material on the underside of the harness pads. The harness buckles with a satisfying ‘click’ and adjusting the harness is a dream; you tighten it by simply pulling the black strap below the back and loosen it by pressing the grey button.
The headrest is deep and comfortable with foam padding and soft material. It’s super easy to adjust too. You just push the lever at the back of the headrest and the headrest slides up and down between seven different settings. The harness moves with it, which makes adjusting the seat to different heights faff-free.
Does it recline?
The seat has four recline positions in both forward- and backward-facing mode. But, perhaps due to the base’s high back, it doesn’t recline very far. This was a real problem for us as Tess’s head kept flopping forward when she fell asleep.
How portable did you find the AxissFix Plus to get in and out of the car?
It’s a heavy and bulky car seat and not one that you would want to move regularly between multiple cars. Rather, it’s the kind of car seat that you would fit and leave in the car until your child outgrows it.
Is it travel system compatible?
No, but most rotating seats aren’t. We tested the AxissFix Plus with my daughter Tess who’s 8-months old. She normally travels in a Maxi-Cosi Pebble and I missed the ability to lift the seat out of the car.
What do you think of the design?
It’s a really nice looking car seat with a slightly futuristic curved design. It comes in a range of fabulous colours, including a lovely ‘Nomad’ range. I tested ‘Black Raven’, which is a very stylish matt black material on the main seat with a black and grey striped head rest.
Is it easy to clean?
The cover and the shoulder pads can be removed for washing, while the shell can be cleaned with a damp cloth.
How effective is the sun canopy?
The sun canopy is sold separately and I didn’t test it. It costs £25 and is the generic canopy that’s used on all Maxi-Cosi car seats with a head support element.
What is the price? Is this good value for money?
At £395, this isn’t a cheap car seat. But most of the rotating car seats are quite pricy. Bearing in mind that car seat will take you from 0 to 4 years and it’s packed with safety features, as well as this swivel function, it’s not a bad price. Plus, you don’t need to buy a separate base – it all comes as one.
If you suffer from a bad back, then this this could be the car seat for you! This is stylish, quality product with cutting-edge safety and a parent-friendly design features. A fantastic car seat let down by the fact that it doesn’t support the head of a sleeping baby properly.
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