For seven years now, the Mima xari has wowed many a passer-by whilst strolling the city streets. The distinctive look of the xari sets it aside from any other pram on the market but how does it perform? Read on to find out.
The Mima xari certainly stands out from the crowds. Aimed at parents who love a lavish lifestyle and want their child to travel in luxury too, it really does make a statement.
What's in the box?
When you buy the pushchair, you receive three boxes. The chassis, the seat unit and a starter pack.
Seat with carrycot inside
Shopping basket covers
Box 3 (starter pack)
The xari is almost totally customisable. The seat pod is available in Camel, Snow White, Argento, Cool Grey, Black and Royal Blue and, new this spring, a limited edition Yellow. The chassis is available in Aluminium, Rose Gold or Matte Black and the starter pack is available in a host of 12 gorgeous colours.
We are testing the brand-new Royal Blue - a beautiful, electric shade - on an aluminum chassis with a gorgeous Denim Blue starter pack.
The initial build of the xari is quite a lengthy process, but once you have set it up you sure do have something of a marvel to feast your eyes upon.
The actual set-up of the chassis itself is relatively simple. Unfold the chassis by unhooking the clip, attach the wheels (being careful to put the correct wheels on each side - they are clearly labelled L and R) and then pop on the basket covers and the handlebar cover. That's it! The seat is where it gets slightly more complicated but we will talk about this more later on.
Starting at the wheels, we loved their smooth and fluent shape and their rubber tyres provide a super-smooth ride. The wheels were really easy to pop on and off in case you need to wash them or to fit the pushchair in a small car boot. The front wheels are lockable swivel wheels just in case you encounter some bumpy ground such as cobbles or gravel. In shopping centres and high streets, the swivel wheels pushed like a dream. Their tiny turning circle is perfect for winding your way through the shops.
The shape of the chassis itself is unlike any other pushchair on the market. It is curved yet angular at the same time. The front and rear wheel axles extend outwards from a central barrel, which gave the pushchair a really lovely rock whilst we were pushing it - this was actually great for getting baby to sleep!
If storage is high up on your wishlist then you might be disappointed in the size of the shopping basket on the Mima xari. There are in fact two baskets, which technically do equal the same size as a conventional shopping basket, BUT when looked at individually, each basket is rather small and you definitely could not fit shopping bags in there.
The front basket is long and narrow and is great for keeping dummies, bibs, wipes and the like to hand. The back basket is larger and deeper and great for stuffing a blanket or spare clothes in. Both baskets are beautifully covered by basket covers that coordinate with your chosen pushchair seat cover… again this all adds to that element of style that the xari oozes and the unsightly nappies are all tucked away neatly.
The brake is beautifully simple and is located in the middle of the back wheels. The pedal is the perfect size to allow parents to use it easily. The basket cover has even been elegantly shaped around the brake pedal too so you do not catch your toes on anything.
The handlebar is covered in a zip-on leather cover to match your seat unit. The adjuster buttons are the round buttons on each side of the handlebar. There are three positions, giving a great range for pushchair drivers of all heights.
The seat of the xari is where the action is at with this pushchair. If you appreciate fine design then you are sure to love the egg-shaped seat unit, which conceals some hidden gems in terms of features.
Building the seat unit from the box requires a bit of doing. You need to make sure that you have your starter pack at hand and zip open the shell of the seat to reveal an almost suitcase-like structure. It is at this point that you clip the seat liner into place using the sliding clips. A bit of manpower is needed to do this so make sure you are feeling strong!
You also need to thread the harness to your desired height here too, again using the sliding clips. But once this is done and you zip the seat pod back together, the finished article is something of beauty. Just clip on the hood and bumper bar and your child is ready to hop in!
The harness is made of silky-soft webbing with easy sliding adjustors. The buckle is egg-shaped to emulate the overall egg shape of the xari and it is this attention to detail that is evident throughout and really makes you feel like you're dealing with something special.
Reclining the seat is a one-handed motion with the lever at the back. The lever is even carefully covered with a seat unit flap; another example of the great finish on this pushchair.
The hood is unique and is made up of three armadillo-like armour blades. These can be extended one at a time and the overall coverage when fully out is reasonable. A fabric hood would most likely give more coverage but as far as aesthetics and innovative design, the hood is a winner and it adds to the overall head-turning look of the xari. The action of extending and retracting the hood seemed a little jerky at first but we soon got the hang of grabbing it quite firmly to make the whole process a little smoother.
The seat can be placed onto the chassis in forward or rear-facing positions and the seat height is great for chatting away to your babies and toddlers. Another great feature is the ability to slide the chair brackets up and down the frame, allowing parents to bring the seat unit or carrycot closer to them. We used the seat parent-facing with a 7-month-old and forward-facing with a 2-year-old but we must admit that the 2-year-old - who isn't petite - was a touch too big for the seat unit.
There is no separate carrycot with the xari. Instead, the cleverly designed seat casing morphs into the carrycot. The seta unit quite literally zips in half and (much like cracking open an egg) reveals the carrycot. The top half can be stored away until you need it but the bottom half is your carrycot in disguise!
The plastic stiffeners at each end need to be tucked under the rim to make the deep carrycot stable. Clip the hood onto the carrycot frame and place the coordinating mattress (included in the starter pack) inside and your baby is ready to roll. The bumper bar from the seat unit is clipped onto the frame to provide the carry handle for the carrycot and make lifting it off the frame that bit easier.
The carrycot has a gentle rock to it, which is great for soothing a newborn baby to sleep.
To unclip the carrycot from the frame just push the buttons on either side of the carrycot brackets and lift it off the frame. It is important that you make sure the bumper bar/carry handle is rotated to the upwards position before you lift the carrycot off its frame or it will tip when you lift it.
There are two ways to fold the xari - it's pretty clever really! If you are using the pushchair with the seat unit in place then there is no need to remove it from the chassis. Step 1: Adjust the handlebar so it points away from you and is tucked over the top of the seat unit. Step 2: Pull the levers on each side of the chassis upwards and fold the pushchair down towards the floor. Step 3: Tuck the front wheels in and the pushchair is freestanding when folded! For a chunkier seat unit, we expected a really large fold package but actually standing up against a wall or in a hallway cupboard it really wasn't too bad at all.
If you are using the pushchair with the carrycot, you simply remove it from the chassis before completing the steps with the chassis alone. The central barrel of the pushchair acts as a carry handle. Carrying the chassis alone was really easy and we managed lifting it in and out of the car with no problem at all.
There is a bit of a knack to unfolding the pushchair. It's the kind of thing you need to find your own way around but we found it easier to stand to the side of the pushchair and pull the handlebar up, then, using the back wheels as a ballast, flick the front wheels forward and the pushchair back into shape.
The Mima xari is a designer pushchair of all extremes: it is unique and eye-catching and has been cleverly designed to fit in with your lifestyle without making you compromise on style. If you're a pramaholic or pushchair addict then you are sure to appreciate every fine attention to detail that the designers have put into this pushchair. The luxe styled looks of the xari will be the marmite of the pushchair world. Some with love it and some will loathe it but the stand-out looks should not detract from how well the xari performs as a comfortable and practical mode of transport for parent and child. There are several fabulous features that make parents' lives easier, such as the one-hand recline, easy-to-operate harness system, all-in-one fold and the ability to forward or parent-face the seat unit.
There are a few not-so-perfect features of the Xari such as the unique armadillo-like hood, which doesn't offer oodles of coverage and can be a touch clunky to operate. The seat unit is fab for smaller babies but taller toddlers may struggle when their legs start to grow too long for the moulded shape of the xari's seat unit.
We give the Mima xari 4 out of 5 stars