10 Best Power Wheels for Kids and Toddlers Reviewed in 2020
Spring and summer are just around the corner! With those warm days coming, it’s time to think of outdoor activities for your little one! With power wheel cars your little one will be able to cruise around the yard without having parents worry about running into anything! Battery powered vehicles will get your child excited and boost their creativity through using their imagination with pretend play. We came up with a list of the 10-best battery-powered vehicles that the market has to offer! We’re sure you’ll find the perfect one for your little one to cruise away in!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 26 hrs of research
Easy to assemble
Come with adjustable seatbelt
Has music tunes / aux cord included
Parents can control
Recommended for 3 & up
10 Best Powerwheels Reviewed
1. Best Choice Car Truck w/ Remote
Easy to assemble
Come with adjustable seatbelt
Has music tunes / aux cord included
Parents can control
Recommended for 3 & up
Some customers had trouble with the truck going into ‘drive’ mode.
Best Choice’s 12V ride-on truck lets kids put the pedal to the metal! --Well, sort of. There are three speed options but it tops out at 3.75 MPH: just fast enough to give little ones a thrill in their chic new ride!Read more
This truck fits one child. It does come with an adjustable seatbelt to safely secure your child while they’re riding along. It has great traction so it’s perfect for any kind of ground: whether it’s gravel, dirt, or grass.
There’s LED lights are nice and bright that your child will feel like they’re riding in their own personal car. It also comes with 3 speed options as well as a remote control for parents to adjust the speed or steer accordingly.
This truck features an adjustable seatbelt, tunes for the ride including your child’s own aux cord, and a remote control so that parents can steer as well. Your little one will be cruising into their next adventure in style.
2. Peg Perego John Deere Ground
Features two speeds without lock-out high-speed for learning
Automatic breaks and easy-push accelerations pedal
Great grip tires for multiple surfaces
Attached in the rear, oversized stake side trailer
Trailer easily falls off when riding over rough terrain
Rear fender is not attached securely
Peg Perego’s John Deere Ground Force is a cute little ride-on for those who love a good tractor! This one even features a trailer for storage, working FM radio, and two speeds to choose from.Read more
This tractor features two speeds and also a reverse. The low speed is 2½ miles per hour and the high speed is 4½ miles per hour. When the little ones are just learning to drive, you can lock out the high speed to make sure they don’t start zooming around the yard too fast. It features an easy-to-push accelerator pedal and also has power brakes.
The tractor has great tires that allow it to drive on surfaces like dirt, pavement, grass, and gravel. Attached to the back is an oversized trailer that is great for hauling around dirt or even their best-stuffed friend. As they cruise around the yard, they can even listen to a real working radio while resting their arms on the flip-up armrests. The seat is adjustable making it easy for the little ones and bigger ones to ride most comfortable. Why go to the farm when you can bring the farm to you?
Learning to drive a battery-powered ride-on the tractor is a great way to build your kid's confidence. From teaching them how to control the steering wheel to learn how to use the acceleration pedal, you will see their confidence grow each time they play with this tractor. When they master the skills they will never be prouder of themselves.
3. Batman Lil' Quad
2 mph maximum speed
Push button start
Cool Batman designs
Does not go in reverse
Limited turn radius
Race onto the scene with this crime-fighting quad! The Batman Power Wheels Lil’ Quad can reach up to 2 MPH when moving forward and comes in classic Batman colors with thematic graphic stickers. This push-button vehicle is easy for toddlers to ride and looks mega cool.Read more
The vehicle has a toddler-friendly push-button start and goes up to a maximum speed of 2 miles per hours. To keep things extra safe, this quad only goes forwards, and the seat is lower to make it more accessible to toddlers.
The frame is designed in the classic blue and black colors, with graphics of the Dark Knight on either side of the hood. Another cool thing about the hood is the storage compartment underneath for storing essential supplies and crime-fighting gear!
Toddlers need a sturdier, more comfortable ride than older kids. That’s why Power Wheels included features like strong, wide tires and built-in footrests. A comfortable ride, plus a slower speed allows toddlers to get used to the driving experience at their own pace.
4. Dune Racer Green
Open cockpit design
Monster Traction system
130-pound weight capacity
Sturdy Metal frame
Handrails for enhanced safety
Battery takes long to charge
Road Trips just aren’t as much fun without a buddy along for the ride. The Power Wheels Dune Racer allows your driver to tote their favorite passenger around. Kids can drive at speeds of either 2.5 MPH or 5 MPH and a power-lock braking system will give them full control over stopping and starting.Read more
The maximum speed is 5 mph, but if things get a little too rocky, the power lock brakes bring the vehicle to an immediate stop as soon as your child steps on the brakes.
Like the ATVs, these come with Monster Traction for racing over rough terrains like wet grass and gravel. Racing can get a little rough, of course, which is why Power Wheels installed real metal sidebars for hand support. In fact, the entire frame is made from metal, which is why this vehicle supports up to 130 pounds.
Just like grownups, kids love going for a drive with a friend. The sturdy metal construction of this vehicle provides a solid, safe ride for two kids, along with a kid-friendly open cockpit design. Sharing the driving experience is an advanced form of toy sharing -- an essential skill necessary for healthy social development.
5. Thomas the Tank Amazon Exclusive
1-2 MPH speed limit max
Includes track for young drivers
Can be used on or off track
Fun Thomas sounds
Motor isn’t super quiet
Meant for indoor use only
This little engine thinks he can and so he will! The Thomas the Tank Power Wheels Ride-On comes with a 6V battery and his own circular track! This is a great way to keep toddlers contained while still letting them enjoy a ride-on toy. Once they’re old enough to venture out a little more, you can remove the train from the track and let them cruise around the house or garage. Thomas can support up to 40 pounds and additional track can be purchased to expand your little one’s driving range.Read more
Toddlers can barely be trusted with spoons and shoes, let alone moving vehicles. But this particular Power Wheels includes a circular track to keep kids in a safe, contained area while driving. The train maxes out at 1 MPH on the track and 2 MPH off of it to minimize the hazards of hyper young drivers.
Thomas features a black plastic seat with an easy-grip handlebar to aid steering. There are divots for your child’s feet on either side of the train and a push-button operational system for easy stop and go action. This ride-on can hold up to 40 pounds. There are 15 feet of easily-assembled circular track and additional track (including straight pieces) can be purchased. You’ll need to put the stickers on yourself but they can be removed and repositioned if they go on crooked. Charge this toy for 18 hours before your first use for best results.
Styled like Thomas the Tank, this little Power Wheels is the perfect beginner’s set for children one year of age and older. It transitions well and can be used for a few years without boring the child, as older toddlers will get a thrill out of being able to drive off-track. Push the button to hear Thomas talk and make train sounds. Kids will gain hand-eye coordination as the train conductor, enjoy some imaginative play, and experience an increased sense of autonomy.
6. Disney Frozen Jeep Wrangler
Real working doors
Frozen colors and designs
Rear storage compartment
Plays songs from the movie
Weight capacity of 130 pounds
Indoor use not recommended
Let it go and live it up in the Frozen Jeep Wrangler! This ride-on toy sports a pretend radio that plays favorite songs from the hit Disney Movie. Two seats and a maximum weight capacity of 135 lbs allows for fun social play with siblings and friends.Read more
Whether your child rides alone or with a friend, features like the smooth, rounded edges and power lock brakes keep everyone safe. The extra wide tires grip securely on all kinds of surfaces, while the high-speed lock-out feature allows you to set the speed at 2.5 miles until your child is ready for the higher speed of 5 mph.
While the pretty Frozen theme is impressive, what really blew us away are the authentic Jeep details, like the grills, the roll bars and the rear storage area. Combining fantasy and reality is the most effective form of imaginative play, especially when you get to bring along a friend.
Along with the Frozen designs, there’s a built-in pretend radio that plays songs from the movie. A lot of vehicles that look this cute tend to be on the flimsy side, but you won’t have to worry about that here. This Jeep has a sturdy metal frame that supports up to 130 pounds. In addition, the doors open and close securely on both sides for enhanced security.
7. Lil’ Quad, Camo
Easy to assemble
Perfect size for toddlers
Battery lasts long
Some customers didn’t like that this doesn’t go up hills
This low-rider is designed with toddlers in mind. Children will be able to mount and unseat themselves thanks to the Quad’s low positioning and easy-grip handlebar. The push-button operation makes starting and stopping a breeze even for young ones and a 2 MPH speed limit ensures they’re cruising at a safe speed.Read more
They won’t have to worry about how fast their toddler is going on this one. It comes with an easy stop and go for their toddler as well. Parent’s don’t have to worry about having to chase their toddlers around for hours or having to put their toddler in and out.
This easy to use, toddler friendly power wheel starts with just a simple hit of a button.
Depending on your toddler's mobility development, your toddler will be able to get in and out of this power wheel all on their own. This product is perfect for toddlers! We know how active toddlers can get and it’s perfect to help get them to stay mobilized while also staying safe. It’s the perfect gift for any occasion.
8. Hot Wheels Jeep Wrangler
Motor sound effects
Trendy Hot Wheels graphics
Two speed settings
Electronic braking system
Room for two riders
No safety belts
Not good on hills
Now your Hot Wheels fanatic can enjoy living life in the fast lane on their own full-sized Jeep Wrangler! With two seats, a sleek design, a revvin’ engine and a radio that plays fun kid-friendly tunes, this set of wheels is guaranteed to brighten up playtime again and again.Read more
If the driver wants a buddy, the new and improved cockpit area provides plenty of room for that, as well. Alone or with a friend, your little one will love the realistic motor and revving sound effects as he charges through the neighborhood.
This vehicle is exactly what a Jeep should be, from the roll bar with mounted lights to the chrome finish on the wheels. There’s two-speed options (2.5 and 5 mph) and lots of storage room in the back for all kinds of imaginative role play.
Authentic sounds are so important to a genuine roleplay experience, like driving a rugged Jeep. Many Power Wheels models offer sound effects, but the sounds from this Jeep are much more realistic than you’d expect. Special effects like these make kids feel “grown-up” while having a safe, kid-appropriate experience.
9. Best Choice Kids Car w/ LED Lights - Pink
Easy to assemble
Comes with remote control for parents
Some customers experienced their car stop charging
Only comes in one color
Sleek and chic, this Best Choice 12V ride on is a way to explore in style! A real integrated gear switch and working headlights allow little drivers to engage in hyper-realistic role-playing. Children can rock out to pre-set tunes in the car or plug a music device in via an AUX cord and blast their favorite songs!Read more
Not only is it safety certified but it can also be controlled by parents with a remote as well. Children will also be able to listen to their favorite music and feel as if they have their very own “first” car.
This little power wheel is without a doubt simply stylish. It’s perfect for children between the ages of three to seven.
It does come with two different speed settings that children can choose from and a remote setting parents can control as well.
10. Ford F150
Imitated real Ford truck model
Spacious truckbed for storage
Up to 3.5 MPH
Power-locking brake system
Wide tires allow for use indoors and outdoors
There have been some quality control issues with missing or damaged parts
Children have an admirable ability to just keep trucking along, some days. If your tiny driver is jumping at the chance to get behind the wheel just like mom and dad, they might enjoy the Power Wheels Ford F150. This ride-on toy resembles a true Ford truck with a roomy bed for storage and its own steering wheel. Its maximum speed is 3.5 MPH and it can drive forward as well as in reverse.Read more
3.5 MPH can seem extremely fast or slow, given the context. With a licensed driver behind the wheel, that speed seems a drag. But with a three-year-old steering the ship and laughing maniacally, it can seem like a whirlwind. Truthfully, it’s just fast enough for kids to have fun and get a thrill without being a real danger to them. Additionally, a self-locking brake system immediately stops the car when children remove their foot from the pedal.
Extra wide tires allow this to be an indoor or outdoor toy: go ahead, give it a shot! It’s meant to hold up against rougher terrain than the living room floor. The Ford F150 can safely hold up to 65 pounds and a full charge results in roughly an hour of play time.
Barbie Jeeps and Tonka Trucks are pretty swell but some kids want a ride-on toy that looks more like the car mom or dad drives. Children love mimicking their role models and they actually learn a great deal of social behavior simply from watching and role-playing in the footsteps of their parents! This truck will help increase their hand-eye coordination, balance, navigation, and confidence.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
This is our most important criteria for motorized toy vehicles like Power Wheels. Safety measures differ based on the target age group, but overall, we looked for features that provided a safe driving experience with supervision from an adult. Many features figure into a Power Wheels’ safety, including solid construction, securely closing doors, slow-speed settings, high-speed lock-out, and power lock brakes.
A motorized car has to function as a car in order to be truly fun for a child. Of course, we don’t expect Power Wheels vehicles to operate exactly like standard race cars, Jeeps, ATVs, etc. But they should offer kid-appropriate features that replicate the sensation of driving. What’s appropriate, however, differs based on the age range. For example, we’d expect models for kids 3 years and up to have higher speeds and greater traction for tackling all types of terrain. We’d expect those cars to have wide turn radiuses and the ability to go forward and backward. Additional features like play radios, lights, and sound effects also enhance the driving experience.
Imaginative play can be provided through so many features, ranging from the colors and designs to functional elements like roll bars and storage compartments. That’s because the imaginative play is a combination of fantasy and reality, with greater emphasis on reality. Hence, imaginative play typically involves role-playing real situations likes going to the market, hosting a tea party or driving a car. In that sense, we wanted to find Power Wheels and battery-powered vehicles that replicated a wide range of real vehicles like motorcycles, quads and fire trucks.
High-speed lock-out is particularly important since children tend to have a “lead foot” approach to driving. Parents can use the lock-out feature to keep the speed at the slower setting, no matter how hard their kids push down on the pedals. When children are ready to go faster, they can disable the lock-out feature simply by removing a screw. Power-lock brakes, which immediately brakes the motor, i.e, stops the car, is another essential feature. Beginners certainly need it while they’re getting used to the car, but advanced riders can sometimes get out of control, in which case, the would need to stop the car immediately. For Lil’ Quads, starting and stopping is even easier with the push-button control, which we would expect in a vehicle made for toddlers.
We don’t expect quite as much functionality from the under 3 category of vehicles since they’re made for kids as young as 1 year old. In that case, we mainly expect solid, stable vehicles that drive in one direction. Some steering is fun, but it should be limited since children this age lack the fine-motor skills necessary for full radius steering. Toddler Power Wheels should also be downsized to accommodate their small bodies, which is we why looked for features like lower seats and shorter handlebar columns.
Other Factors to Consider
On the other hand, add-ons like cool graphics, especially of recognizable characters like Elsa from Frozen, are also effective ways to inspire imaginative play. Pretending to be these characters and acting out scenes from these shows helps kids make sense of their own lives. They can also create whole new situations and storylines when they have exciting, interactive toys like moving vehicles. This is a level of play and critical thinking that they would not be able to achieve just from watching the movie or show on TV.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are the Lil’ Quads really safe for 1-year-olds?
The Lil’ Quads are generally safe for 1-year-olds because of their small size and toddler-friendly features. These features include low seats and small handlebars. The footrests help keep them stabilized by placing the legs and feet in the correct positions. Having said that, toy vehicles may not be safe for toddlers with certain physical or neurological impairments. If you have any concerns, we recommend checking with your pediatrician, who can recommend proper safety measures. At the very least, we recommend safety gear such as a bike helmet since there are no seatbelts in these vehicles.
We also want to stress that these are safe with supervision by a responsible adult. They go slow enough for adults to walk along with the child, but this may not be necessary for small spaces, like a playroom or a fenced-in yard. Plus, these only go forward with limited turn radiuses, so there’s virtually no risk of out-of-control driving. However, the push button feature makes it easy for you or your toddler to stop the vehicle instantly in case of emergencies.
q: How long does a battery charge last on average?
It depends on the specific model, and other factors such as speed and the type of terrain it’s driven on. First, it’s important to note that Lil’ Quads run on six-volt batteries, while most other Power Wheels run on 12 volts. Ideally,12-volt batteries run about one to three hours on a full charge, meaning the battery’s been charged for at least 18 hours, but no more than 30 hours. However, vehicles with higher speeds and specialized features will drain the battery faster. If the vehicle’s driven over challenging terrain like wet grass, that can certainly have an effect on battery life. As for the battery’s overall lifespan, you should expect a battery to last one to three years on average, but this is dependent on the total number of hours the battery is used.
q: Do I have to purchase replacement parts from an authorized service center?
We highly recommend you do so for at least the first year since you would be covered under the bumper-to-bumper warranty. That means most replacement parts and repairs are free, but only if you go through an authorized service center. It’s important you check with your local service center to see what services they offer, and what parts can be ordered online. While most parts can be ordered and sent directly to your home, some parts must be picked up in person from the service center. In addition, certain electrical components cannot be sold directly to the customer for safety reasons. Thus, some repairs, like installing new gearboxes and PC boards must be done by the service center.
Once your warranty expires, you can certainly choose to buy eligible replacement parts from other online sellers. The downside here is that you may not always be certain which part you need to buy, especially if it’s a part that’s specific to a particular model. There’s also no guarantee that you’re getting the correct part with many of these sellers, so it can be a bit risky. That’s why many parents continue to purchase from an authorized service center, where they can be sure of exactly what they’re getting.
q: Will the tires damage my hardwood floors?
Because Power Wheels tires are plastic, not rubber, there’s a high risk of damage to hardwood floors. We know many parents allow their kids to use these indoors, especially the Lil’ Quads, which are about the size of a standard tricycle. However, these parents typically have carpet or tile floors that are not slick or coated. Hence, concrete floors in the basement are usually fine, but linoleum or other slippery tiles generally don’t offer enough traction.
Even if your hardwood floors are made from very solid wood, like oak or walnut, chances are they’re stained with layers of varnish and wood polish. The ruts and grooves on the plastic wheels can definitely scratch through these layers, which would look unsightly even without damage to the wood. That’s why Power Wheels operate much better outside, where the wheels can dig in without causing serious damage.
q: Can I really put these together by myself?
The short answer is yes, even for the mechanically challenged. The long answer is, it may take longer than you’d like, so it’s always better to have helped it at all possible. A good amount of time to set aside is two hours for the full-size car models and at least one hour for the Lil’ Quads. Most models include one or two specialty tools for steps like tightening the lock nuts. One of the most challenging aspects is going through all the pre-assembly steps, like properly removing the battery and positioning the frame correctly in order to fit in all the parts securely. This is where a partner is helpful, but plenty of parents have put these together on their own.
Believe it or not, the most difficult step for most parents are the decals. We should stress that the vehicles work perfectly fine without the stickers, but they certainly look better with them, especially ones like the Paw Patrol and Disney Frozen cars. We recommend setting aside time to do these which can be laid on crooked if you’re in a rush. You could even do them a few at a time so that you don’t get frustrated. A final tip concerning assembly: remember that it takes about 18 or more hours to charge these batteries. That’s why we recommend hooking it up to the charger before you do anything else.
q: Do the batteries last longer in the cold?
This is a persistent myth, possibly due to cell phone manuals that tell you to store batteries in the fridge if you won’t be using your phone for weeks or months. The logic here is that batteries lose their charge slower in cold temps, thus prolonging the battery’s overall lifespan. This doesn’t work for Power Wheels batteries, however, which should never be exposed to extreme heat or cold. Doing so will damage the battery or dramatically slow down its ability to charge. That’s why Power Wheels recommends storing the vehicles indoors under a protective cover during snow or rain.
Here are some other helpful tips for extending battery life: 1) Don’t take the battery off the charger until it’s fully charged; 2) Unplug the charger when it’s not in use; and 3) Charge the battery to full capacity and put it away in a dry, room-temperature location before storing the vehicle for long periods of time.
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