The Pria goes beyond the average seat in terms of safety features. It has large side impact bolsters in the shell along with large wings in the headrest. It’s designed to release air during a crash to reduce the effects of an impact. Even though the NHTSA doesn’t provide side-impact crash ratings, it’s a good bet that the manufacturer tested this feature thoroughly, which provides a little extra piece of mind.
The seat shell is also specially designed to reduce crash forces. Again, detailed crash info isn’t provided, but Maxi-Cosi has a good reputation.
Weight and Dimensions
Depth: 21” – The Pria 70’s depth is average, and on par with Britax and many others. It’s not as deep as seats such as Recaro and Clek models, but it’s also not a compact seat. If you have a small car with tall passengers up front, consider a more compact seat.
Width: 19.5” – Also average. Considering the large side impact bolsters, it’s not too wide of a seat and will fit in most back seats fine along with rear passengers.
Height: 25.5” – This is actually a pretty short seat despite having a high maximum height limit. Once the headrest is extended, the height grows a bit, but the shell should not disrupt rear visibility for the driver.
Weight: 25.5 pounds – This isn’t the heaviest seat out there, but it’s definitely on the heavy side. While not ideal for travel, the extra weight is due to its reinforced structure and does help make it stronger.
The included instruction manual is fairly easy to read, but not as well organized as it could be. The booklet is hidden in a pocket on the side of the seat so it’s always handy. Installing this seat is less tricky using the LATCH system. With the seat belt installation, you need to route the belt below the seat bottom which is a bit tricky.
A bubble level is not included – you simply need to make sure an indicator line is level with the ground. If not, you may need to use a pool noodle or rolled up towel to get the appropriate incline. Overall, the seat isn’t too tough to install, but not as easy as many other high quality seats.
The Pria can be purchased one of two ways – with the TinyFit infant insert, or without. If you use this insert, it will fit babies as small as 4 pounds, which is as small as any other convertible seat. Maxi-Cosi states the insert is not needed if your baby is 9 pounds or above. I would get the model without TinyFit if your child is both 9+ pounds and has decent head control (around 4 months of age) to save $40.
The rear-facing weight limit is 40 pounds on this seat, which is quite good. The seat has 3 recline positions. Position 2 or 3 must be used, which allow the seat the lay more flat. This will cause the seat to take up more space, so again small cars with tall passengers up front will have problems with fitment.
When used forward-facing, the Pria has a height limit of 52 inches and weight limit of 70 pounds. These are both quite good and will allow most children to use the seat until at least 7 years of age. The recline position should be set to position 1 which doesn’t take up as much leg room as it does when rear-facing.
The headrest is easily moved up and down by pressing a lever at the top and pushing or pulling. This also moves the shoulder harness straps so small adjustments can be easily made. For large adjustments, you’ll need to thread the shoulder harnesses to one of 3 slots in the seat back.
The crotch buckle strap has three positions. These are changed by rethreading the buckle through a different slot. When rear facing, the 3rd slot is only to be used along with the TinyFit insert.
The buckles are easy to clip. Once in place, pulling on the harness adjustment strap at the front of the seat tightens it. Getting the harnesses tight enough can be difficult and sometimes requires pulling very hard on the strap.
Fabric and Design
The Pria 70 is one of the best-padded seats out there. There are six nice color choices as shown above – Total Black, Dress Blue, Mineral Grey, Sweet Cerise, Walnut Brown, and Steel Grey. The fabric has a good feel to it yet wipes off fairly well. However, the cover is a bit difficult to remove and put back on. Also, the cover is hand-wash only and must be air dried.
Warranty and Customer Service
The Pria has a one-year warranty, which is standard for convertible seats. Maxi-Cosi isn’t known for having the greatest customer service, so keep that in mind if you’re less of a do-it-yourself type and think you might need to call for help with installation.
This seat expires 6 years from the date of manufacture, which is typical of convertible car seats.
In terms of safety features and comfort, I feel the Pria is good for its price. However, the instructions and ease-of-use are lacking compared to other similarly priced seats. It’s an okay value overall, but not great.
- Great side impact safety features
- Very good height and weight limits
- Easy headrest and harness adjustment
- Good padding and fabric
- Instructions and installation aren’t great
- Heavy, not particularly compact
- Not the best value
If the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 were priced about $50 less, I would consider it to be a great value. However, I don’t feel it’s as good of a seat as models from Britax which are often available for a little less money at Amazon. If there are features you’re partial to such as the side impact air protection or built in cup holder, it may be worth extra money to you. If not, I recommend considering other seats before making your decision.