There are few – if any – baby products that display the dramatic range in price of pushchairs and travel systems.
You can pay well over £1000 for high-end designer prams and well under ten times less for budget versions designed to do basically the same thing: keep your little one on the move, and safe while doing so.
The Mothercare Xpedior is a very popular range of 3 and 4-wheeled products that lean more towards the latter price bracket.
Watch our video review
Ker-chinging in at just £250 (£100 when on sale – see below) for a complete pushchair and car seat system with the reassuring brand appeal of one the UK’s most trusted high street retailers.
But Mothercare has some stiff competition at the lower-end of buggy market, as it competes with the likes of the increasingly popular British retailer Obaby, German power house Hauck and the Dorel-owned brand Safety First who all make their own budget travel systems.
On paper, £250 for a pram, car seat, cosytoe, apron and mattress is very appealing – but how would Mothercare’s Xpedior fare when put to the test?
What’s in the box?
Xpedior base pack (includes chassis and seat unit)
Xpedior colour pack
Infant car seat
Any additional extras?
Mothercare essential change bag – £14.99
How is assembling the buggy?
The basic parts of the pram fit together easily and intuitively, which is just as well as the instructions are pretty bad – of the ‘pictures only’ variety – and quite hard to decipher when you’re unfamiliar with the product.
All in all it only took 15 minutes to put together and it was ready to go.
So what’s it like when out and about?
The town we live in is challenging to negotiate with a pram – cobbled streets, narrow pavements and roads – so I was able to test the Xpedior on a variety of surfaces.
The suspension I found to be perfectly up to the task of rumbling over uneven surfaces while giving a civilised ride for little one – no doubt helped by those large, robust wheels.
The swivel on the front wheels can be locked or released, and in general the pram fared well mounting kerbs.
But the steering is heavy and manoeuvrability when turning is difficult and a strain on the arms – a sentiment shared by other mums I spoke to regarding the pram.
At 9kg the pram is at least 1.3 kilos lighter than its competitors, including the Obaby monty, Safety First Travel System,Hauck Disney Shopper, Bugaboo Buffalo and even the Mothercare Orb. Which is great because it’s light weight certainly made it easy to get in and out of the car.
Does it seem durable?
For the price, the Xpedior offers many plus points. The main compromise you make when you buy the Xpedior is likely to be the durability.
On first glance and while still at home I thought the frame appeared robust and solid.
But out on the street it did seem creaky and less sturdy than more expensive prams.
The seat seemed to rock a little, and just didn’t feel as secure as I’d have liked it to be, probably because the Xpedior is made of lightweight materials.
My daughter is petite, and I have wondered how the pram will fare when she reaches the maximum 15kg weight limit – equivalent to the average 4-year-old.
How comfortable is it?
Evelyn looked very comfortable in her seat; there is plenty of room and she seems to enjoy being out in the pram.
The pram’s hood I found particularly good, offering a great amount of shade. When fully extended in the seat position it is so voluminous it blocks my view of her face, though obviously you can adjust this to suit.
I like the fact that the wheels are wide and solid as is the safety bar, and there is a cosytoe, which fits over the top of the seat in both positions.
However, the harness is a bit awkward to clip into place and I caught my finger a few times doing it.
Tell us about the seat unit
A clever touch on the Xpedior is the multi-function seat, which converts to a true lie-flat carrycot via a three-position swivel mechanism and the release of a few tensioning buckles.
This is good for the space-poor, as there is no separate basket to store, and no messing about when it comes to packing the pram away in the car.
It does mean that the design of each position lacks specialist finesse of other prams that have interchangeable carrycot/seats but the Xpedior pulls it off pretty well.
How does it fold?
Folding takes a bit of a knack – though this is something experienced by many higher priced prams too!
It is not a one-handed operation, you have to utilise two catches either side of the frame.
Once folded the pram is remarkably compact and it is easy to swing in and out of the car and fits fairly unobtrusively in a medium to large car boot.
With that said, folding the pram down fully requires you to remove the seat – but as this it comes off easily it’s not a chore.
What do you think of the pram’s handle?
The foam handle is comfy to hold, despite the mechanism for adjusting the handle height being a little clunky.
The highest setting is very high, the highest I’ve seen on pram – making it a good option for tall parents!
What about the basket?
The basket beneath is great! It fits a couple of shopping bags, and is easily accessible.
How does it work as a travel system?
The Infant car seat itself is fairly basic. But its big minus point is its lack of ISOFIX compatibility, which won’t bother those without ISOFIX anchor points in their car, but won’t appeal to those who prefer the use of a quick-release car-seat base.
The hood on the car seat, however, is a great and it fits to the pram very easily. But the car seat’s straps are thin, easily twisted and a bit of a fiddle to adjust.
Not aided by the explanation-free manual, the car seat feels like the most basic-feeling part of the travel system.
Mothercare could improve on the car seat by making it Isofix compatible, and giving it a more refined system of straps; many mums have reported these dig in a little.
Even with its shortcomings there’s no doubt the Xpedior offers outstanding value for money.
This is a well-featured product with slick, modern looks, some clever features and all you need for getting from A to B on a budget.
But there are some aspects you need to ensure you can live with – the lack of ISOFIX compatibility, a few fiddly features and a slightly rickety build, for instance.
It’s an appealing-looking, no-frills pram: very functional, and no slouch in the looks stakes.