The 10 Best Kid's Cars
This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in March of 2015. Ride-on toys have been around for a long while, and chances are that any parents looking to buy one for their kids might have had a Power Wheels model when they were children. But today's electric cars are very different. They come as faithful replicas of the real things with modern luxuries, like audio connections, and new safety features, such as five-point harnesses and remote controls. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best kid's car on Amazon.
December 11, 2019:
Without a lot of turnover in the field, the only model we sent packing was the Big Toys Direct BMW, which suffered from some reliability issues in the battery, and that ultimately began to suffer from availability issues after that. One of the most widely variegated aspects of the models in this category is battery performance, with dramatically different charge and run times from one to the next. We tried to find the offerings with the best balance between the two for our highest spots, with the Fisher-Price Power Wheels Ford Mustang being one of the best options for a short charge time and a correspondingly long ride time.
Of course, safety was a big feature we looked out for, as well, with models like the Moderno Kids Porsche Roadster and the Dolly Shop 12V Land Rover offering remote controls for parents to take command of everything from steering to braking to help keep kids from driving where they aren't supposed to or from ranging too far from their guardians. To that end, it's vital that parent only let kids who are the right age drive these vehicles, as safety harnesses might not constrain kids that are too small, and it might be too easy for an older child to tumble out of a seat that's too tiny to comfortably accommodate them.
The Developmental Benefits Of Kids' Cars
Your little one will want to let his friends ride shotgun, and interacting with their peers is an important part of children's cognitive development.
Providing your children with diverse toys is important to developing their motor skills. Kids' cars make a great addition to your child's toy collection. Depending on the type of car, your child needs to climb into it, push it with his feet to start it or keep it moving, or alternate between pushing on the gas and the break. Your child also needs to honk the horn while steering the wheel. All of these actions will improve his motor skills, and make him less prone to falling or bumping into things when he walks around.
While you may not be able to convince your little one to go for a nature walk, you may be able to talk him into a nature drive. Any way you can get your kid outside is important, considering the low percentage of kids who play outside each day. The younger you can get your children to enjoy being outdoors, the greater chance you have of preventing them from being addicted to indoor activities, like video games and surfing the internet. If your child is in that stubborn phase when he still needs your supervision, but insists on his independence, a kids' car can be a great transitional toy. It allows your kid to act like an adult, without giving him the freedom to drive too far. Giving your child this sense of independence can help him take on other challenges and milestones with less fear, like leaving kindergarten or sleeping over at a friend's house.
Kids' cars can inspire your child's imagination, too. They give your little one the opportunity to make up scenarios, like driving on a safari, riding in a police car, or playing house and giving his toys a ride to school. Finally, kids' cars are social. Your little one will want to let his friends ride shotgun, and interacting with their peers is an important part of children's cognitive development.
Fun Features To Look For In A Kids' Car
Your toddler may be just as picky about his car as you are when you purchase a grown-up vehicle. Make sure you look for features that will make your child feel both safe and adventurous (not unlike what you probably want in a car). Just how you like to listen to your tunes while you drive, your child probably does, too. If you find a kids' car with a stereo system, you can also utilize the power of music in a kid's development. If your child loves to play make believe and wants to pack up his luggage for a faux road trip, make sure his car has ample storage space. On that note, some other features will help your child's fantasy come to life, like a working horn, engine sounds, and a true-to-life dashboard.
You may also want to make sure the car has a battery life indicator, so your child doesn't accidentally drive off too far and get stranded with a dead engine.
As for safety, look for a model with working headlights, so your child can navigate the streets on your evening walks. Depending on how fast your little one's car goes, you may want a car with a five-point safety seatbelt, or a harness-style seatbelt. Many kids' cars have a soft start feature to prevent your child from jolting forward. You wouldn't drive without padded seats, and neither should your child, especially if he's going to spend hours in his little car. You may also want to make sure the car has a battery life indicator, so your child doesn't accidentally drive off too far and get stranded with a dead engine. If your child will be driving on rough terrain, look for tires with good traction and a tight turning radius.
Your kid's car should match his personality, too. Fortunately, for every grown-up car out there, there is a child's version to match it. If your child loves speed, you can give him a sports car. Some of the biggest names in sports cars make kids' models. They don't actually drive fast, but they'll certainly make your kid feel cool. The little adventurer in your house might like a children's jeep, and the beach-lover could favor one of the convertible models available. The little man in your house who loves to act like a tough guy will love a kids' pickup truck.
Big Names In Ride-On Toys
Several companies have been players in the ride-on toy market, but only a few have stood the test of time. In 1927, famous pilot Charles Lindbergh completed his first solo trip across the Atlantic, and to commemorate it, he created the Radio Flyer wagon.
Weighing 20 pounds and made of metal, this miniature car looked like the classic Thunderbirds of that era.
Louis Marx and Company, which was founded by a man with a a great legacy, put out one of the first battery-operated vehicles in the 1950s. It was called the Marx-Mobile. Weighing 20 pounds and made of metal, this miniature car looked like the classic Thunderbirds of that era. Soon after, they released a variety of other battery-operated ride-on toys, including a pony and a cart. In 1969, Marx struck gold again when they introduced the Big Wheels tricycle. Marx and Company eventually joined forces with another business and renamed itself the Empire Company. In 1984, Power Wheels was established. The brand rapidly took off, and by the year 1990, was making over 1,000,000 sales in battery-powered ride-on toys each year. Eventually, Fisher-Price acquired Power Wheels and put out the first Harley Davidson ride-on toy, which brought the company a record number of sales in the late 1990s.
1996 saw the emergence of the first kids' scooter. Created by Anton Ouboter of Micro Mobility Systems, the original patent was for a vehicle with two front wheels, at least one back wheel, a steering rod, and a seat. It would later be called what we know it as today, the Razor. Of course, as vehicles themselves became more complex, so did their miniatures, and today we have kids' cars that are almost exact replicas of vehicles grown-ups drive, made from many of the same quality materials.
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