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Rear facing child car seats

The best and worst rear facing child car seats

By Lisa Galliers

Article 3 of 3

Find out which rear-facing child car seats are best for protecting your child in a crash.

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Best and worst rear-facing car seats for older children

The most dangerous car accidents are generally frontal collisions, and they’re also the most common.

Rear-facing car seats protect children from the forces of a crash that would otherwise fling their delicate bodies, heads and necks forward

In our unique guide we bring together the test results for the top scoring, and bottom scoring, most recently tested rear-facing car seats, updated with our latest crash test results.  

Which? members can log in to unlock the tables below. 

If you're not a Which? member, sign up for a £1 trial to Which? to gain instant access to this information, as well as all our other thousands of independent reviews. 

The best extended rear-facing car seats

Extended rear-facing car seats have been around for a while, and are becoming more popular as parents understand they can be a safer option for children. 

These seats can remain rearward facing until your child is around four years old, and are usually multiple group seats, which means they combine more than one car seat group, such as a Group 0+ and Group 1. 

Some seats are designed to be used with children older and heavier than four years old/18kg. Some can even be used with a harness (instead of the adult seat belt) until your child is 25kg, or around seven years old. 

Some of the first ones we tested were big and bulky, and so difficult to install that they scored quite poorly. 

Fast-forward a couple of years and more manufacturers are creating seats that are smaller and easier to install. Our unique table below makes it easy to see the best-scoring extended rear-facing child car seats from our tests.

Alternatively, you can head straight to our child car seat reviews to find all the extended rear-facing car seats we’ve tested

Top-scoring extended rear-facing child car seats

Besafe Izi Kid X2 i-Size
Typical price £400.00
Which? score 79%
Reviewed May 2016
Best Buy
Overall safety rating:
5 out of 5
Fitting in car:
4 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
4 out of 5

This i-Size seat can't do much wrong: it gets an excellent five-star overall rating for safety based on the results of our unique crash testing. It's fairly easy to install and use, and will keep your child rearward-facing until they're around four-years old. Find out which one comes top.

Concord Reverso Plus
Typical price £249.00
Which? score 75%
Reviewed Jun 2016
Overall safety rating:
4 out of 5
Fitting in car:
4 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
4 out of 5

This innovative i-Size seat has been tweaked and updated since we very first tested it. It's a great seat that can be used rearward-facing from birth up to 105cm, which is around four years old. Most similar seats have a child weight limit of 18kg, but this one takes heavier passengers. Find out which seat it is by logging in.

Besafe Izi Modular toddler
Typical price £430.00
Which? score 73%
Reviewed May 2016
Overall safety rating:
4 out of 5
Fitting in car:
4 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
3 out of 5

Despite just falling short of our Best Buy cut-off point, this is an excellent rear-facing toddler seat with a high score from the results of our tough crash tests. It can be used rearward-facing from 61 to 105cm, and it's definitely worth considering. Head to our review for more detailed information.

Cybex Sirona M2 i-Size
Typical price £295.00
Which? score 72%
Reviewed Aug 2016
Overall safety rating:
4 out of 5
Fitting in car:
5 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
4 out of 5

This smart-looking i-Size car seat is approved to the latest regulations and will keep your child rearwards until they reach 105cm, which his around four years old. It's comfy, easy to use and looks great. Which one is it? Log in to find out.

The lowest-scoring extended rear-facing car seats

Some extended rear-facing car seats aren’t quite as impressive as they should be. Below are the lowest-scoring extended rear-facing car seats that we’ve tested. 

Some score poorly due to crash test results, but some score poorly because they are so hard to install correctly. Which is a real issue. An incorrectly car seat may not provide the crash protection it's supposed to. 

Lowest-scoring extended rear-facing child car seats

Axkid Wolmax
Typical price £240.00
Which? score 36%
Reviewed May 2017
Don't buy
Overall safety rating:
4 out of 5
Fitting in car:
3 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
2 out of 5

This car seat is approved for use with children from 9-25kg, which is around one to seven years old, and can be used rear-facing with a harness for the whole time. Some extended rear-facing car seats we test can have good crash test results, but still be made a Don't Buy. Log in to find out why.

Diono Radian 5
Typical price £225.00
Which? score 20%
Reviewed Aug 2016
Don't buy
Overall safety rating:
2 out of 5
Fitting in car:
2 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
1 out of 5

This unique extended rear-facing child car seat is designed to last from birth up until your child reaches 25kg in weight, or about seven-years old. It can be used rear-facing with your child strapped in using the harness up to 25kg, too, so this child car seat could be ideal if you have a larger than average child. We made it a Don't Buy, find out why.

Nuna Rebl
Typical price £395.00
Which? score 1%
Reviewed Aug 2016
Don't buy
Overall safety rating:
1 out of 5
Fitting in car:
4 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
3 out of 5

The top of the range car seat has an array of features that should make it easy to use and fit. It's installed using Isofix and is designed to keep your baby rear-facing until they're four years old. But we found serious flaws in this seat during a crash. Find out which one you need to avoid, and why.

How Which? finds the best and worst child car seats

Which? crash tests every child car seat we review, using more severe crash test scenarios than the legal requirements. This helps us to find the car seats that offer the best protection for your children.

  • Crash tests – Each car seat tested endures a front crash, equivalent to a head-on collision at around 40mph, and a side crash equivalent to two cars crashing at 30mph, repeated again and again, in the different ways a car seat can be used.
  • Crash test dummies – State-of-the-art dummies are wired up to record the crash forces on the most vulnerable parts of the body to help accurately indicate the risk of injury a real child could have in a crash.
  • Installation – We test how easy it is to install every child car seat and how easy the seats are to use. Some extended rear-facing seats can be big, bulky and tricky to install.

Which? car seat experts carry out the most comprehensive ease-of-use testing there is. This is particularly important, as we know from our own investigations that most child car seats are not installed correctly.

We check whether each seat is easy to install and adjust in a range of cars, considering both Isofix and seatbelt modes. And we look at the instructions to see whether there are any ambiguous areas which could lead to the child car seat being fitted incorrectly.

If a seat is difficult to install, it’s more likely to be fitted incorrectly, which could increase the risk of injury - or even death - in a crash.

How we test car seatsfind our more about our unique and extensive car seat tests

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