The Maclaren Techno XLR has been redesigned for 2012 and no longer accepts a car seat (due to what seems to have been a safety issue, based upon consumer reviews). It's reported as agile and comfortable, but also hard to fold, with some other difficult-to-use features. There have been numerous recalls on previous XLR models, which makes us hesitant to recommend this stroller.
Short- and long-term safety concerns. In November 2009 all Maclaren Strollers, including the Techno XLR, were recalled after reports that 12 children had had their fingers amputated in Maclaren hinges. Since the recall, Maclaren USA has been sued for damages by several of the families impacted. When Maclaren USA filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and named the families in its list of creditors, it placed their claims against the company in limbo. However, rather than closing, Maclaren shuttled business and distribution to a new entity called Maclaren North America, which continues to sell strollers, without compensating injured families.Another concern: Pre-2012 versions of the Techno XLR had a number of complaints about Graco car seats falling off the stroller, even when properly attached. There was no recall for this issue. The 2012 version of the stroller is no longer car seat-compatible.
The updated 2012 Techno XLR has linked rear-wheel brakes. But testers say they are tricky to operate, especially if you're wearing sandals. The five-point harness buckles can be hard for parents to open -- although that also means toddlers can't open them either. The five-point harness is not padded, but there is a headrest for small infants and the seat is more padded than those of other Maclaren strollers. One of the new features is a wrist strap, which is a nice safety feature.
On the bulky side for an umbrella stroller. The Maclaren Techno XLR is designed for families on the move -- in and out of cars, on and off buses and trains and up and down stairs. However, testers say that the XLR is harder to fold than other Maclaren strollers due to its bulkier padding. The XLR has a built-in carry strap, but the fold itself isn't as compact and the wheels hang out a bit, which can pose challenges in crowded spaces. While the XLR can fit easily in the trunk of a small car and other compact spaces, it does not stand in the folded position, which makes indoor storage harder. Also, a few consumers complain about the wheels becoming squeaky after using the stroller for a while -- an issue that must be fairly common, since Maclaren has a fix for it on their FAQ page.
On a more positive note, the XLR has a washable seat and seat liner, so you can clean up messes without dismantling the whole stroller.
High weight rating offers good fit for toddlers. The Maclaren Techno XLR offers a great weight rating of up to 65 pounds, with the ability to carry infants thanks to its fully reclining seat. The seat has an infant enclosure, as well as a headrest to protect infants' heads and feet. The all-wheel suspension makes for an even more comfortable ride. The XLR comes with a full-coverage, extendable sun visor -- an improvement over previous models -- and also comes with a coordinating boot for warmth. A rain cover is included.
The basket is reported to be medium-size but, as with most umbrella strollers, is hard to access when the seat is reclined. The handles are adjustable, and tall parents say it's a very comfortable push for them.
Lifetime warranty could possibly restore Maclaren's credibility. Maclaren strollers now come with a lifetime warranty against defects when strollers are used as instructed. This comes after Maclaren the business has undergone much scrutiny in the U.S.
In 2009, the strollers were recalled because of amputation risk. When Maclaren USA filed bankruptcy in 2012, it impeded families from effectively suing for damages. However, a report by The Wall Street Journal says this may no longer be the case. The terms of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing mean there is a chance that Maclaren could be dissolved, putting long-term customer service in question, according to the company's former creative director.
1. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Review Credibility: Excellent This government website publishes official information about the Maclaren hinge recall, including which models are affected and how to get protective hinge covers if you already own a Maclaren stroller.
Review: Maclaren USA Recalls to Repair Strollers Following Fingertip Amputations, Editors of CPSC.gov, Nov.9, 2009
2. Which? magazine
Review Credibility: Excellent The U.K.'s Which? magazine (similar to ConsumerReports.org) is an excellent review publication, which at times is even more comprehensive than ConsumerReports.org. They provide in-depth coverage of the Maclaren Techno XLR that includes product testing.
Review: Pushchairs: Best Buys, Editors of Which?, As of November 2012
3. Baby Bargains
Review Credibility: Excellent The 2011 edition of "Baby Bargains," written by consumer advocates Denise and Alan Fields, covers a variety of stroller manufacturers. The authors provide ratings only for overall brands and not for individual models, although they do discuss current models and parent feedback. In the latest edition, they discuss Maclaren in detail and the Techno XLR specifically.
Review: Chapter 9: Strollers, Diaper Bags, Carriers and Other To Go Gear, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition, 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good Schultz offers a thorough review of the Maclaren Techno XLR, saying she likes the adjustable handle, high 65-pound weight rating and the cute seat liners that can be purchased to jazz up the Techno XLR. She does say she wishes it included cupholders and a parent tray.
Review: Maclaren Techno XLR Review, Hollie Schultz, May 9, 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good In more than 10 reviews, the Maclaren Techno XLR receives an average rating of 3.9 stars out of 5. Several customers report that their Graco car seats fell off the stroller, in spite of following the instructions for securing. One customer says she was asked to send her stroller to Maclaren in the U.K., and it was determined that the car-seat design had changed and no longer fit. A few parents say it's a good stroller, but there are complaints of a hard push and squeaky wheels.
Review: Maclaren Techno XLR Stroller, Black/Champagne, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2012