It’s rare you get a pushchair out of the box and instantly fall in love, however I’m a sucker for good looks and the Maxi-Cosi Mura is an attractive beast. We’ve now got to go through that getting-to-know-you process and I’m really hoping that the Mura’s looks are a reflection of its charming functionality and practical versatility....find out more about our evolving relationship.
Robust air tyres, a contemporary bucket seat and T-bar bumper bar – I am loving the looks of this hunky pushchair. The Maxi-Cosi Mura has landed in my office and I can’t take my eyes off it. It has some echoes of the new Quinny Moodd but it seems a more acceptable pushchair that would appeal to a wider audience.
What’s in the box
The RRP of the Maxi-Cosi Mura is £335
The Maxi-Cosi Mura comes in two colours: Total Black and Intense Red.
Maxi-Cosi are a name that is synonymous with good quality car seats that transfer on to just about every pushchair on the planet, however, they also make pushchairs and by the looks of the Mura, they are pretty good at it.
The contemporary yet practical design of the Mura is one that will appeal to many parents. It’s chunky enough for Daddy to enjoy pushing and expensively modern enough to satisfy any Mummy with a pushchair fetish. (They do exist – you know who you are!!)
Down to the nitty-gritty and time to look under the skin of this sporty charmer, starting with the frame. The Mura comes in split elements that you have to assemble yourself if you don’t buy it from a high street retailer. Popping on the wheels is no problem, and the seat just dropped into place however I must admit to being flummoxed by the bumper bar and even the instructions did little to shine a light on where I was going wrong. More on this later....
The foam covered handle is telescopically height adjustable from 101cms to 106.5cms using the button in the centre of the handle – not a major variation in expansion but just enough to make a taller parent more comfortable. All of the metal on the frame is matt aluminium and the plastic parts are black and moulded to a high quality finish.
The large 30cm rear air tyres are what give this pushchair its chunky appearance – not in a fat way, but in a beefed-up and ready-to-go way. It slightly reminds me of an athlete poised on the start line – head down and with all the power behind them. The tapered front end leading to the front wheel unit is where all the directional thinking goes on, a 360 degree swivel gives you ultimate control when cornering, plus the air tyres give it the grip and suspension needed if you choose to go cross country. Of course, the swivel can be locked off to give you more stability on surfaces like shingle or rocky paths.
Mounted on the right of the rear axle is the brake; an on/off rocker switch activated by your foot. Once applied it gives an excellent hold to your pushchair, especially in conjunction with the grip of the tyres.
The basket is not huge but enough for a few bits and bobs. It measures 40cms wide and 34cms long and has sides up to 13cms. However the mounting bracket for the seat, that spans the width of the frame, does hinder the depth of items you can carry, positioned only 20cms from the base of the basket.
Having reviewed pushchairs for the last two years, you can guarantee that I’ve seen most types of fold on the market but today, something new! I am pretty sure that the fold on the Maxi-Cosi Mura is unique.
Slide the frame release buttons up on each side of the handle shaft. The right is impeded by a swinging bracket that just needs to be pushed aside to allow you to action this button. The handle then swings upwards to meet some resistance when vertical. The back axle, with a little assistance from your foot then rolls towards the front wheel and in its place the handle drops down vertically. At this point you could assume 'that’s it!' because the frame lock engages, it stands vertically and it’s relatively compact but it can be made smaller still.
In the centre of the folded frame is a black bracket, grab this and you will feel the grey handle beneath it. Pulling the handle will contract the front wheel closer into the frame, as long as it is turned sideways, or better still, removed. Although it sounds quite convoluted, it’s actually really easy to perform and the wheels are a doddle to remove, leaving you with a small finished article.
Opening is just as elementary. Standing it on its wheels, allow the front wheel to travel forward and press down on the black bracket to secure the wheel base. Then undo the obvious, red, locking bracket on the right and pull the handle upwards, it will lock into place automatically about half way down the frame and you are ready to attach your seat.
Once again, Maxi-Cosi has tackled the functionality of this pushchair from a clean sheet of paper – it doesn’t work like any other pushchair I’ve come across. To attach the seat you simply drop it into place on the horizontal tubes that span the width of the frame. The seat can be placed in either direction; facing you or facing outwards. Whichever way you choose, there’s no lining up of narrow pegs to ill-fitting brackets, you simply drop it on and it seems to find its attachment when it’s in the vicinity, eventually acknowledging it’s in the correct position with a loud click.
Not being one for instruction manuals, I tried to fathom out how to remove the seat on my own before admitting defeat. As it turns out it is simple, in fact almost too simple. At the rear of the chair, near the bottom of the seat is a rudimentary, black, metal handle made out of bent wire, approximately the thickness of a pencil. Pull this and the seat is easily disengaged from the frame. Fashioned in the same thick wire, is the recline handle which spans the back of the seat. It reclines the backrest from upright to almost fully flat with one stop in between. These handles both perform the functions perfectly well, I am just surprised at the choice of material being so basic when the rest of the pushchair exudes a fine finish.
The seat itself is plush and wide at 29cms wide and 28cms deep. The back of the chair is 44cms with a further 5cms of headroom under the canopy. It is punctuated by the five point harness that can be adjusted. Again, breaking the mould, Maxi-Cosi have conceived an alternative method to height adjustment: un-pop the shoulder pads from the strap and slide the pad down, this reveals an ‘S’ shaped hook, un-hook the lower part of the strap. The seat cushion is attached via Velcro at the top of the seat; pull this down to reveal two alternative popper/hook combinations, giving a choice of three heights in total. Poke the required popper/hook through the relevant hole in the cushion and then re-attach to the main body of the harness. Neat!
Now to explain where I was going wrong with the bumper bar, firstly, I couldn’t get the blanking plug out of the hole where the T-bar was going to sit. Eventually, with the seat unit upside down and visions of me with a hammer and chisel springing to mind, my fiddling released the plug. As it transpired, it had a small node on the underside that needed pushing to one side to release it. I must say that the instructions hardly labour this point and it left me puzzled for quite some time. Anyway, the T-Bar slides neatly into the hole and the elastic hair-bobble on the end of it attaches to a node underneath the chair. This allows you to disengage the T-Bar and flop it down out of the way, without having to actually remove it completely – and it makes getting your child in and out so much easier.
The calf rest is only there to support tired legs, aesthetically it looks like something that the designers felt obliged to include although I’m sure they wanted to keep things minimal. However, it is a useful addition when the seat is reclined and the child’s legs need to stretch out. It can swing from horizontal to around 45 degrees: the angle of the frame.
Attaching the canopy is not easy, but once you’ve mastered the peculiar attachment, it forms a beautifully shaped, well tensioned canopy. It’s not that large, I would have liked another segment added to provide a little more protection from the elements, especially as the seat has cut-away sides. It has a viewing window in the back to keep a watchful eye on your passenger when they are in the forward facing position. When folded out of the way it sits at the back of the head of the chair like the hood on a sweatshirt – way too cool for school!
The Maxi-Cosi Mura has brawn, brains and beauty wrapped up in one pushchair. Its stocky build gives it the ability to tackle most terrains, it has a clever fold that I’ve never seen before and its contemporary design will flatter the most affected fashionista. Its broad-base appeal is what will build the credibility of Maxi-Cosi as a pushchair manufacturer, rather than a car seat manufacturer that dabbles in pushchairs.
I love this pushchair and it would feature in my favourites without doubt. Even though the canopy and T-bar attachment baffled me, they both work well when in place. The canopy could do with being slightly larger but that could just be personal preference.
The handles to recline and release the seat seem unimpressively engineered compared to the rest of this pushchair, again, they work well, they just seem a little basic in comparison.
This is a great pushchair with loads of character that makes it stand out as an individual and in today’s market this is difficult to find. Most pushchairs seem to be a re-hash of an old model or a rip off of another manufacturer, it’s great to find a pushchair that does its own thing.
We give the Maxi-Cosi Mura
4 out of 5 stars
Open size: 104 x 100.5 x 106cms
Folded size: 51 x 65 x 84cms