Which 4×4 ride-on toy is best?
Kids just want to have fun, and what better way is there to enjoy a couple of hours than cruising around in a realistic-looking electric-powered 4×4 vehicle? Even the little ones, as young as three-years-old get excited imitating the adults when driving a 4×4 jeep toy that looks like their parent’s SUV.
Over the past several years, 4×4 ride-on toy car prices have come down significantly, while the quality has gone up. Today, some of the best models are affordable and even allow kids to venture off the backyard patio with their 4×4 off-road toy and onto different types of terrain, including dirt, mud, gravel and more.
While there are numerous models to choose from, the Best Choice Products Kids 12V Ride On Truck is a top choice for performance, features and safety.
What to know before you buy a 4×4 ride-on toy
Safety should be a high priority when purchasing a 4×4 ride-on toy. Although no toy is 100% risk-free, you should look for one that has the maximum number of safety features to ensure your child has a fun time without you worrying about an injury.
Age Suitability and weight capacity
Electric ride-on toys are typically designed for ages 2 to 8 years. However, some models are suitable for toddlers. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s recommended age range and the vehicle’s weight capacity. While many two-seaters can hold up to 130 pounds, most single-seat models limit the weight to approximately 40 pounds.
For more information about ride-on toy vehicles, look at the Best Kid’s Ride on Cars guide at BestReviews.com
- 1–2 years old: The motor skills of this age group are still in early development, making them prone to falls. The electric toy car should have supportive seats with seatbelts appropriate for small children. A low-powered motor that propels the vehicle at a slow walking speed is ideal. Many ride on toys suitable for this age range are intended for indoor use, employing buttons instead of pedals for control.
- 3–5 years old: Many children in this age group have already developed good motor skills and reflexes. They can ride a more powerful electric vehicle with a maximum speed comparable to the average walk. Some kids can handle even more powerful cars fitted with 12V or 24V batteries. Most of these kids prefer ride on toy cars that are replicas of those driven by adults, and many of the vehicles are controlled with foot pedals and generate realistic sound effects.
- 5–8 years old: The kids in this age group have active minds and dream of driving an actual 4×4 off-road vehicle or exotic supercar. Some of their favorites are licensed versions of Ferraris, Jeeps, Fords and others. They can handle faster speeds up to 6MPH, typical of 24V toy electric cars, and they love models with advanced features that stimulate their imagination.
What to look for in a quality toy 4×4
Safety features of the electric ride on car
The best 4×4 ride-on toy cars for kids include countless safety features that prevent tipping over, crashing into objects and falling out of the vehicle. Many include two-point seat belts, power lock capabilities, internal padding, an adjustable seat and a hidden battery inaccessible to children. Some of the best kid’s electric cars use a brake system that stops the vehicle as soon as the rider lets off the gas pedal.
However, regardless of the safety features, a child should wear protective gear such as a helmet, and parents should always be close by with the remote-control system, to observe and intervene if needed..
On electric ride on cars, the battery size determines how fast the vehicle goes. The slowest 6V battery in a ride on car is appropriate for smaller children. Most single-seater electric cars suitable for older kids use a 12V battery, while some larger two-seater cars come equipped with a 24V battery. In addition to higher speed, the 24V vehicles have enough power to drive on gravel, grass and other types of terrain as well as tackle some minor inclines.
One-seater vs. two-seater
Selecting an electric toy vehicle with two seats can make a significant contribution to your child’s “fun factor.” The single-seater models are great enjoyment for one rider, but the two-seater cars allow your child to share the experience with a sibling or friend. Keep in mind that two-seater cars are larger and consume more space in your house or garage.
Dual-motor vs. single-motor cars
Like full-sized electric cars, dual motors offer better performance than a single motor in a kid’s 4×4 ride on vehicle. However, while the dual-motor configuration in EVs provides unparalleled traction control in all conditions, in the kid’s version, dual motors only help maintain the maximum speed when loaded with more weight.
A remote-control feature for a kid’s electric vehicle is a must for riders in the 1- to 2-year age group. These toddlers may not even be tall enough to reach the pedals, and their lack of driving skills means it is unlikely they can safely control the car. As a parent, you can control the starting and stopping, speed and direction, ensuring your child has an exciting experience.
As your child grows (ages 3 to 5), they gain confidence and begin controlling the car independently. While most kids do fine, you still have the option with the remote control to override your child’s actions and ensure their safety.
How much you can expect to spend on a toy 4×4?
Prices for most 4×4 ride-on toy vehicles that have 4WD range from $300-$600, although some exotic versions sell for nearly $1,000.
4×4 ride on toy FAQ
How much faster is 24V than 12V?
A. Ride-on toy cars with 12V batteries can reach up to 4 to 5 mph, while those with 24V batteries can achieve a speed of 6 mph.
How long does it take to charge a 12v battery for a kid’s ride-on electric car?
A. The first charge of a 12v battery requires about 8 hours. Successive full charges need about 6 hours.
How do electronic brakes work in a 4×4 ride on toy?
A. When the accelerator pedal is released, a short circuit is created with the wheel motor, which tells it to stop.
What’s the best 4×4 ride-on toy to buy?
Top 4×4 ride-on toy
What you need to know: The Ride-On Truck that looks like a Jeep Wrangler provides a realistic behind-the-wheel experience for up to 2 hours for one child rider aged 3 to 8 years.
What you’ll love: The 4WD vehicle features a spring suspension, plastic wheels and functional led headlights. Built with safety in mind, the 4×4 ride-on toy includes an adjustable safety belt, locking doors and limits the max speed to 3.7mph. The parental remote has forward/reverse controls and speed selection for extra safety.
What you should consider: Although the vehicle has good torque, it stops and starts with a jerky motion. Some users claim the battery life is shorter than its rating.
Top 4×4 ride-on toy for the money
What you need to know: This 4×4 ride-on two-seater is great for pretend play and little ones who love construction.
What you’ll love: The realistic off-road vehicle design features a dump bed that can be tilted for offloading and a rugged set of six wheels. The ride-on dump truck comes with seatbelts for safety and a USB port so the kids can play their favorite tunes . Parental control is provided with a 2.4GHz remote.
What you should consider: An 18v battery would significantly improve the vehicle’s performance, which is sometimes slow and has difficulty on steeper inclines with the 12v battery.
Where to buy: Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The one seater is perfect for younger kids looking for rugged adventure.
What you’ll love: This bright-green and blue jeep is outfitted with all the amenities: chrome spinners, a working horn and headlights and real engine sounds. With a max speed of 2.5 mph, you won’t lose sight of your little one.
What you should consider: There’s no remote control so parents looking for a little more supervision might prefer an option with that additional safety feature.
Where to buy: Amazon
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Jeff Harper writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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