Best Ride-On Toys of 2018

Grant Morgan ·
Managing Editor
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We researched and evaluated 10 kids ride-on toys to find the safest, longest-lasting and most adaptable powered toy cars available. We found the Fisher-Price Power Wheels Jeep to be the best overall ride-on toy because of its ability to drive on both grass and hard surfaces and stop safely, as well as its parent-adjustable speed settings of either 2.5 mph or 5 mph, giving this vehicle a longer play lifespan than most. It also has seats for two children and can hold a maximum combined weight of 130 pounds. 

Best Overall

Fisher-Price Power Wheels Jeep

The Fisher-Price Power Wheels Jeep’s adjustability and strength makes it possible to grow with your child. Its maneuverability on grass and pavement allows for more adventures.
Best Value

Mini Cooper Ride On

The Mini Cooper ride-on toy is a single-seat vehicle that gives your kid a fun ride for the best price. It features working lights, a horn and motor sounds.
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Best for Toddlers

Power Wheels Harley Rocker

The Power Wheels Harley Rocker is a safe, fun ride for your child. It’s easy to climb onto without help, maxes out at 2 mph and has built-in footrests.
Best Overall

Fisher-Price Power Wheels Jeep

The Fisher-Price Power Wheels Jeep is a great way for your kids to have adventures in your own yard or driveway. Unlike many other ride-on toys, the Power Wheels Jeep can drive on both grass and hard surfaces, although it struggles on inclines like any model would.
One important feature that sets this Jeep apart from the rest is the option it gives parents to change the speed from 2.5 mph to 5 mph. This makes it possible for the Power Wheels Jeep to “grow” with your child as they get older and want to go faster. This also ensures that your child’s speed is regulated as they are starting to learn how to drive it. This two-seater can hold two children with a combined maximum weight of 130 pounds, making it possible for your child to take a sibling or friend along for the ride. There isn’t much storage area behind the seats – just enough to collect water if you leave the Jeep out in the rain or snow. The initial charging of the battery can take anywhere from 18 to 30 hours. Fortunately, the battery charging time after this will be significantly lower and the 12-volt battery will power the toy for up to three hours.
  • Seats two kids
  • Usable on grass and pavement
  • Speed adjustable by adults
  • Long initial battery charge time
  • Assembly required
  • Hard acceleration can be challenging for younger children
Best Value

Mini Cooper Ride On

The Mini Cooper battery-powered ride-on toy is a fun, single-seat vehicle that comes with working lights and a transparent windshield.
This kids car is modeled after the real Mini Cooper body style and requires assembly, with most adults reporting an average time of half an hour to put it together. Your child can cruise their Mini Cooper on a hard surface, such as sidewalks or driveways, at 2.5 mph – in forward or reverse. While the Mini Cooper isn’t the best ride-on toy we evaluated, it is a great value because of its price, features and age range. Unfortunately, it cannot drive on grass or gravel very well, but the rechargeable 6-volt battery lets your child drive for one to two hours between charges. Battery charging time may vary depending on your child’s usage, but it can take up to 24 hours to fully charge if completely drained. The Mini Cooper kids ride-on toy is recommended for children ages 3 to 7, but because of the single-bucket-seat design, larger kids will find it harder to enjoy as they grow. Fortunately, the Mini Cooper has a weight limit up to 77 pounds, giving it an above-average lifespan.
  • Working lights and sounds
  • Runs for up to two hours
  • Weight capacity up to 77 pounds
  • Full charge can take from 8-12 hours
  • Not recommended for children younger than 3 years old
  • Battery only has a six-month warranty
Best for Toddlers

Power Wheels Harley Rocker

The Fisher-Price Power Wheels Harley Rocker is perfect for the beginning driver, especially toddlers. Thanks to its smaller size, younger children can climb onto this ride-on toy easily and start their driving adventures by stepping on the foot pedal to go.
The motorbike stops immediately when the child takes their foot off the pedal. The built-in footrests also help keep your child’s feet safe from dragging and getting caught. One of the best features of the Harley Rocker is that it can only reach a maximum speed of 2 mph. This is a safer speed than many other battery-powered ride-on toys, making it a good choice for toddlers. Of course, parents should always supervise and help their child as they learn how to control any ride-on toy. This vehicle comes with a 6-volt rechargeable battery that is stored under the seat, and the initial charge can take up to 18 hours. The Power Wheels Harley Rocker is recommended for children 18 months to 4 years of age, and because it has a wide and stable three-wheel low-rider base, it is one of the safest ride-on toys for toddlers.
  • Easy for toddlers to get on/off
  • Slower speed safer for toddlers
  • Three wheels for stability
  • No lights or sounds
  • No reverse
  • Not built for children over 3 years old

Why Trust Us?

Top Ten Reviews has evaluated and reviewed ride-on toys for more than five years. Each time we’ve worked on this site, our reviewers have carefully researched the latest models and brands, including contacting manufacturers, scouring the internet for information, and reading consumer reviews to gain insight and opinions. Their research comparisons led them to evaluate what makes the best battery-powered ride-on toys the best. We’ve found that the best powered toy cars have excellent safety features, such as stability and immediate stopping when a child steps off the accelerator. We’ve also found that the difference between battery life is just as important and can determine how often a child uses and enjoys their vehicle.

Our reviewers at Top Ten Reviews dove into online communities and toy sites such as Amazon and Toys-R-Us to see what actual owners said about their purchases and experiences. This helped us get a start on evaluating what features mattered to parents who care about their child’s safety and enjoyment. Researching this way also provided us with some tough questions to ask manufacturers about their products and they gave us good insight, for the most part, when contacted. We found that while most ride-on toys are extremely similar, there are some differences that can make it worth spending extra to ensure the vehicle lasts more than a summer.

How We Evaluated

We researched 10 ride-on toys online and visited local stores to find out what features makes the best power wheels toy. We also spoke to children and parents who own battery-powered ride-on toys to see what they liked and disliked the most about these children’s vehicles.

Things to Consider

Kids ride-on cars may all offer the same driving experience, but there are several things you should know about them when you plan to buy one. As you are deciding on which vehicle to buy for your child, you should pay special attention to the following criteria:

Most children's ride-on vehicles are designed to be miniature replicas of "grown-up" vehicles such as a Ford Mustang, Jeep or Hummer. A toy vehicle's ability to imitate an adult driving experience for your child will make all the difference. How the vehicle looks, all the way down to the decals you can use, is indicative of its quality.

Kids cars are powered by electric batteries, which means the strength and size of the battery will influence the vehicle's speed and power. The size of a ride-on vehicle's battery is largely indicative of its battery life and the speeds it can reach. 6-volt batteries typically allow a vehicle to travel at around 2.5 mph for just over an hour. A 12-volt battery will allow your child to drive for upward of three hours at speeds of 5 mph. Look for models that charge quickly, possibly allowing your child to enjoy their ride more than once a day.

Some children's ride-on cars come with longer than the standard one-year warranty. Pay attention to the warranty length, as it will help counterbalance additional future expenses. It isn't uncommon for parts within the motor or battery to fail. In these cases, the cost of replacing those parts can be quite expensive, especially if you have to pay to replace them yourself.

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