The Cybex Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 is an interesting convertible car seat with some unique features. this seat is easy to use and installs equally well with LATCH and the vehicle belt, sporting a unique LATCH connector that removes easier than anything we've ever seen. This seat has the SensorSafe technology which is intriguing, but we aren't convinced it is enough to make up for the higher price of the Cybex or the disappointing crash test results. While we do like the way this seat looks and the comfort value is high, we think there are better seats that offer an additional margin of protection that you will love for a lower price.
Cybex Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 Review
Pros: Easy to install, nice quality, no-rethread height adjustment
Cons: Disappointing crash tests, price, wider, harder to carry
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Cybex is a German company that is now part of the Goodbaby International Holdings Ltd. Cybex focuses on creating functional products with an eye on safety and design. They currently make car seats, carriers, and strollers.
The Cybex Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 (in blue) scored about average during testing compared to the competition as seen in the chart below.
The details on the Cybex performance are included below.
The Sirona didn't perform well in our crash testing earning only a 4 of 10 compared to the competition. While it offers a basic level of protection like all car sets for sale in the US, and it meets the Federal guidelines, it didn't perform as well as the competition. While it did not have the worst sensor results in the group, it did have results below the average.
The chest sensor result for the Cybex was 409 where 1000 is the maximum allowed and a lower number is better. The low (best) result for the group was earned by the Britax Allegiance with a stunning 186 g result. The average for our group is 351.
For the head sensor (HIC) the Cybex sensor result was 49 where 60 is the maximum allowed and a lower number is better. The average for the group is 44 while the best result is only 33 earned by the Clek Foonf.
These results indicate that the Cybex struggles to compare to the competition when analyzing the crash test results.
The Cybex also features what they call linear side-impact protection that they claim absorbs up to 25% more impact forces than seats without this feature. While we love all things safety, it is hard to determine the truth of the claim or how it was tested without transparency from Cybex and we were unable to find any information on how the seat was tested or how the efficacy was determined.
The Cybex also sports the "SensorSafe" technology that detects when little ones have slipped out of the shoulder portions of the harness and sends this information to your phone. We aren't sure how often this problem occurs in real life as a well-fitted harness should not allow a child to slip out and a well-designed clip should be relatively childproof and hard enough to open that a child can't manage it. however, it also monitors other things that could be very useful. This feature relays if the temperature in the car is too high or too low and if your child has been sitting in the seat for an extended period of time. When you reach your destination, the technology will also remind you that your child is still buckled in the back seat. It will then notify your designated emergency contacts with your location if you do not take action to remove the child from the seat. These alerts are designed to help prevent parents from accidentally leaving their child in an unsafe car and could theoretically help prevent unnecessary death from things like overheating in a hot car. This feature works with your smartphone and does emit Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF), so you need to determine if the feature aligns with your goals and the EMF level is considered acceptable for the benefits you gain. This feature will only work on late model cars that have a port for installing the receiver port that comes with the seat.
Ease of Install - LATCH
The Sirona LATCH installation is a smooth operation with a score of 8 of 10 for ease of installation using the LATCH. This LATCH system is not that straightforward and until you figure out that you need to slip the tails of each strap through the slots on the seat to tighten it can feel near impossible to tighten well. You need to ensure that the strap is positioned properly over the "hump" in the seat, but once it is, it is easy to use and can get as tight as you need it. While some testers wished this step wasn't necessary, it isn't difficult and it does make tightening a breeze.
The LATCH connectors are somewhat unique and easier to use because the shape allows you to press the back end with your thumb to push into place (above left). There is also a pull tab to release the connectors (above right) that are far easier to use than the traditional button.
Ease of Install - Belt
The Sirona is equally is easy to install using the vehicle belt earning the same score as the LATCH installation of 8 of 10.
The belt lock-off for forward (above left) and rear-facing (above right) installation are both difficult to see making threading the belt more challenging. Once you get the belt through, however, it is easy to tighten and use the lock-off to hold the strap in place. The lock-off allows the strap to tighten but not loosen. Rear-facing is more difficult because the lock off allows the strap to fold and wrinkle.
The Sirona angle can be adjusted (above left) and the level indicator (above right) has a range to help ensure the right angle is used. Both features work well and function as expected.
Ease of Use
The Cybex is easy to use with features that function as they should and helped it earn an 7 of 10 for ease of use.
The harness on the Cybex has a non-rethread height adjustment you can move with a child in the seat. It is easy to use and move smoothly up and down when you squeeze the lever. The harness has 12 height positions and the crotch strap has 3 providing enough variation to fit most children well.
The buckle on the harness is a little stiff but it pops open and the parts move out on their own. The chest clip feels like gets a little hung up on the rubber back, but it releases easily. The tightening strap moves smoothly and the release button is sort of deep within the foot of the seat with a plastic cover that prevents little ones from accessing the button. The button is easy to access for adults.
The LATCH connectors stow under the padding of the seat back and the tether has a covered pocket on the back. The location and design keeps the straps and anchors out of the way when you move the seat or install it using the vehicle belt. The user manual tucks in the same back pocket location as the tether strap.
The cover of the Cybex can be removed to machine wash in cold water. The nicer finished look of the fabric being tucked under the shell makes it a little more difficult to remove the cover, but it is worth the effort.
The Cybex is comfortable and looks to be nice quality earning an 8 of 10 for this metric. With a smaller price tag than other seats with this score, the Cybex proves you can get more for less, but not budget-price less.
The Cybex has padding that is thicker than average and fairly firm for good support. The fabric is slick and soft and feels like it will be easy to wipe clean. The fabric fits the padding and shell well with a look that isn't overly tight or frumpy. The shell has a nice look and feel that is enclosed so no dirt or gunk can find a home in small places. The base is also smooth and there are no edges to cause damage to the vehicle seat. Overall the seat has a clean but functional look.
The Cybex weighs about 23.5 lbs depending on configuration, which makes it heavier than average for the group and helps it earn a 5 of 10 for weight and size. It is also relatively wide at 19.6 inches which may not be an issue if you only need to fit one or two car seat in your back seat. however, if you need three seats or two seats and a third person then it could be too wide to work well.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz