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Power Wheels for 4-Year-Olds

Have you seen children zipping around on motorized ride-on vehicles and wanted to get one for your own kid? You’re in luck. We’ve rounded up the seven best Power Wheels for four-year-olds. 

The best Power Wheels for 4-year-olds is the Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler Willys because it drives smoothly on concrete and in yards, reaches 5 mph (8 km/h), and seats two children. Other standard Power Wheels features include high-speed lock-out and Power-Lock brakes.

Keep reading to learn more about that vehicle and others that are small in size but full of fun. Whether you are looking for Power Wheels for girls or Power Wheels for boys, you'll find some good options here.

What Are Power Wheels?

Power Wheels is a line of small motorized ride-on vehicles manufactured by Fisher-Price. They’re a great way to keep little ones entertained and exhilarated during playtime. Power Wheels are designed for outdoor use just like real cars and are perfect for giving your toddler some freedom while you get some work done in the garage or backyard. 

Endless mini models of real vehicles are available on the market, including Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Ford F-150s, and Jeep Wranglers. Not a car-aficionado? Power Wheels also come in Barbie, Disney, and Paw Patrol versions. No matter who your kid is or what they love, there’s a Power Wheels car for them. 

Who Are Power Wheels Made For?

Power Wheels are generally designed for kids between one and seven years old. However, be sure to check each product’s recommendations before purchasing, as some models have higher age ranges. Children under the designated age-range should not be using these motorized vehicles until they are older. 

For kids in the appropriate age range, riding Power Wheels can be a very stimulating experience. Not only do they get to enjoy steering and powering the vehicle (much like a bicycle), they can also play around with true car-like activities such as switching up the FM radio, and functional tailgates.

Power Source

Power Wheels run on rechargeable batteries, usually 12-volts. When you bring the toy car home, you’ll first have to spend approximately 18 hours charging up the battery.

Power Wheels run for approximately 30-35 minutes of continuous riding before they need to be fuelled up again. However, factors such as the driver’s weight, weather, and frequency of starting and stopping can impact this. 

After this, spend at least 14 hours recharging your battery. Never charge your Power Wheels battery for longer than 30 hours.

Are Power Wheels Safe?

Though Power Wheels may look nearly identical to their full-size counterparts, they do not function the same way. Instead, they have added safety features so you can feel comfortable letting your little tyke ride around outside, with adult supervision, of course. Here are some of the protective measures your Power Wheels may come equipped with (but note that each model is different and may not feature all of these):

  • Maximum speed limits. You don’t have to worry about your toddler getting a need for speed and blowing off the posted limit signs. Each Power Wheels car has a maximum speed that can be as low as 2 mph (3 km/r) or all the way up to 5 mph (8 km/h), depending on the model and whether or not there is a speed governor.. Versions that reverse also have a lower maximum back-up speed, usually one half of the forward driving limit. 
  • Power Lock® breaks. Power Wheels’ braking system doesn’t operate like a normal automatic car. Instead of pushing on separate gas and brake pedals, all your child has to do is lift their foot from the pedal to immediately stop the vehicle. 
  • High-speed lock-out. While Power Wheels already have a limited maximum speed, you can adjust this, so it is even lower until your child is ready to go faster. The high-speed lock-out function changes your child’s speed to half the maximum that the car can go. Adjusting this requires you to remove and re-insert screws in the shifter, so don’t worry about your child changing this by themselves accidentally (or on purpose).
  • Durable weight limits. Power Wheels can bear up to 65 lbs (29 kg) in their one-seat models and up to 130 lbs (59 kg) in their two-seated versions. 

What Is the Price Range of Power Wheels?

Motorized Power Wheels vary quite a bit in price. The cheapest model (which is only suitable for toddlers) is currently sold for around $100 USD ($126 CAD), but they can go as high as $450 USD ($569 CAD). Additionally, Power Wheels sells replacement rechargeable 12-volt batteries for their products. These sell for about $83 USD ($105 CAD), so consider this cost in your budget as well. 

How Much Does It Cost To Charge Power Wheels?

As mentioned, Power Wheels’ 12-volt batteries have to be recharged for at least 14 hours. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average price of residential electricity as of October 2020 is $0.14 USD ($0.18 CAD) per kilowatt-hours (kWh). 

Power Wheels run on a 12-volt, 12 Amp/hr battery, which converts to 144 Watt-hours (Wh) or 0.144 kWh. Since you must charge this battery for 14 hours and it costs an average of $0.14 USD per kWh, it will cost approximately $0.28 USD ($0.35 CAD) to refuel the Power Wheels battery. If you are recharging the battery every day, you will rack up an extra $103 USD ($130 CAD) on your electrical bills annually. 

If you’d like to calculate this cost with your own utility rate, the number of hours spent charging per day, and the number of days you recharge the battery per year, use the U.S. Department of Energy’s appliance energy calculator. Fill in the number “144” under wattage and plug in the others according to your personal use. 

How To Choose Your Power Wheels

There are more differences between different Power Wheels models than just appearance – though let’s be real, that is a significant factor, especially for children. Keep reading to explore other product aspects to consider when deciding which Power Wheels vehicle is right for your kid. 

Age and Weight Restrictions

The most important factors to consider when choosing a Power Wheels model for your little one are the model’s age and weight limits. For safety reasons, your kid may be too young for certain makes or too heavy for others. Before buying a vehicle, double-check the restrictions to make sure it is suitable for your kid. 

Speed

Consider the maximum speed at which you feel comfortable enough to let your little one drive. Higher speed versions of Power Wheels have parent-controlled limits to adjust as needed, but you should still factor this into your decision. On the other hand, some vehicles may go too slow for your kid, and you may want something that lets them drive a little faster. 

It’s also important to note that some more advanced models have reverse functions. Think about whether or not this is a feature you’re interested in.

Terrain

Even the most basic Power Wheels can drive on grass and hard surfaces, but their ATVs and trucks feature Monster Traction™, which lets kiddos go on off-road adventures. These models can easily drive on wet grass and rougher terrain. If your little tyke is riding around on dirt or in a rainy climate, consider opting for Power Wheels with Monster Traction™. 

Vehicle Type

You know your little one best, so consider what type of vehicle is up their alley before buying one for them. Do you have a girl who would hate a pink Barbie van but love riding around on a Harley? Or maybe your son would love a Minnie Mouse vehicle instead of a Batman one. If you’ve got a Frozen fanatic in the family, Power Wheels has a Jeep for them too. 

Recall History

Since 1998, Fisher-Price has recalled seven different Power Wheels products. The most recent recall was warranted on February 5, 2019, for the Barbie Dream Camper as there were issues with the vehicle continuing to run after users released the pedal. For more information on past and ongoing recalls, visit Mattel & Fisher-Price’s Recall & Safety Alerts page.

Seats

Power Wheels have room for either one kid or two. Think about which is more suitable for who you’re buying for. If you have a couple of tots at home, a two-seater is a great option so they can play together. Or, if your child needs something special for just them, go for a one-seater.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Power Wheels: Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler Willys

It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to purchasing the Jeep Wrangler Willys Power Wheels. Kids love this vehicle’s innate adventurous feel, from its light bar to stylistic fog lights to the removable shovel attached to the hood. The Wrangler Willys’ appearance perfectly mimics the real thing, but its pink coloring makes it even more fun. 

Your little one will love embarking on make-believe forest trails and desert destinations in this vehicle. It drives perfectly on both grassy and hard surfaces and reaches a maximum of 5 mph (8km/h). Need to back up? No problem. Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler Willys reverses at 2.5 mph (4 km/h). If that’s faster than you’re comfortable with, you can adjust their speed limits manually.

For even more fun, this model comes equipped with a microphone and amplifies genuine driving sounds. Plus, your four-year-old can take a friend for a ride in the passenger seat. 

Best Splurge Power Wheels: Power Wheels Ford F150 Raptor

This mini Ford F-150 may cost a bit more, but the price tag is definitely worth it. Got a monster truck (or just general truck) lover in the family? They’ll love the way this Power Wheels version feels just like its full-size counterpart, lifted, oversized tires and all.

Still, you can have some peace of mind knowing Power Lock Brakes will stop it as soon as your four-year-old’s foot lifts off the pedal, and you can implement high-speed lock-out until they get used to driving. 

The Power Wheels F-150 Raptor features real storage space in the dash and the moveable tailgate. Your kid can take on even the most rugged terrain, including mud and wet grass. It’s so realistic your four-year-old will feel just like they’re the driver in a truck commercial. 

Best Budget-Friendly Power Wheels: Power Wheels Racing ATV

So much excitement comes with the Racing ATV no one will ever guess it was a budget option. In fact, this vehicle can drive even faster than our splurge choice! Your four-year-old can hit a maximum speed of 6 mph (9.6 km/h) going forwards and half of that in reverse. Of course, you can still limit the driving speed by half, just like other Power Wheels vehicles. 

Despite the safety features, your little tyke will be full of adrenaline while they zip around on their mini quad. Just like the real thing, the Power Wheels Racing ATV performs incredibly on rough terrain. How could it be an ATV if it didn’t?

Best Monster Traction™ Power Wheels: Power Wheels Dune Racer 

Laughter is a guaranteed side effect of the Power Wheels Dune Racer! Thanks to Monster Traction that drives on just about any surface, this is hands down the best model for off-roading experiences. Its big tires, low profile, and open sitting area make it feel like a real race car. 

Parents: don’t let that worry you. This vehicle’s speed is capped at the standard 5 mph (8 km/h), with the option to reduce it by half. Backing up is also limited to 2.5 mph (4 km/h).

If your four-year-old’s passenger needs a little more support, the Dune Racer comes equipped with metal sidebars to grab onto.

For extra off-roading fun, there’s a hidden storage compartment underneath the vehicle’s hood. They can take their most treasured objects with them on their adventures. Their imaginations are the only limitations!

Most Weather-Friendly Power Wheels: Power Wheels Baja Trailster

Riding around in a rainy climate? Or somewhere with steaming hot solar rays? The Baja Trailster provides the most weather protection of all the Power Wheels models. A roof covers this vehicle’s cockpit so your kid can play all day no matter what Mother Nature sends your way. This dune buggy-styled Power Wheels also bears sturdy arm rails and large wheels for optimal safety. 

Vibrant red and sleek black coloring will make your kid the coolest four-year-old on the block. They might just have some jealous friends who want to take it for a spin too. Luckily, there’s room for two in the Baja Trailster. Outdoor playtime awaits! 

Most Interactive Power Wheels: Power Wheels Barbie Dream Camper 

Little ones who love to play but need a bit more stimulation than just driving around will adore the Barbie Dream Camper. It has all the features that make Power Wheels great: maximum driving speeds of 5 mph (8 km/h), high-speed lock-out, Power-Lock brakes, and a two-kid capacity. 

However, your kiddo can also enjoy an interactive kitchen featuring various pretend appliances, utensils, and food. With toy hot dogs, s’mores, a grill, and a campfire, anywhere can become a campsite. On the way to their destination, Barbie will even read out GPS directions. They might even start asking to help out in your real kitchen soon! 

Best Single-Seat Power Wheels: Power Wheels Jurassic World Dino Racer ATV Ride-On

Power Wheels’ Jurassic World Dino Racer ATV might just be the flashiest of them all, and your kid will be the center of attention. This vehicle only seats one, so they’ll soon become the most revered kid on the block. Not only does this model encompass all the other pros of a Power Wheels ATV, this one is modeled as a 3D dinosaur! Your four-year-old can open and close the raptor, Blue’s, mouth for added fun. 

Which Vehicle Is Right for My 4 Year Old?

  • Do they want to match your vehicle? Maybe your child wants Power Wheels so they can match with you! If this is the case, we recommend choosing the model that most closely matches your own vehicle. Similarly, if you find they’re keen on one particular part of your car, like it’s big wheels or coloring, aim for the one that also flaunts their favorite feature. 
  • Is your little one interested in any particular brands? Does your tiny tyke love playing Hot Wheels with their friends? Get them the Power Wheels Hot Wheels Jeep Wrangler! Do they wish they were a superhero? Invest in a mini version of the Batmobile with the Power Wheels DC Super Friends Kawasaki Batman ATV
  • Where will they be riding their Power Wheels? Think about the area where your kid is most likely to play with their Power Wheels. Will they be riding up and down your paved driveway, or will they be scooting around on muddy, wet grass? If they explore different, tougher terrains, go for a model with Monster Traction™ for the smoothest, most seamless experience. 
  • Does your kiddo enjoy lowkey or fast-paced play more? Is your little one more likely to hang back and play in the sand or go swinging on the monkey bars? If they’re more adventure prone, we recommend gifting them a higher-speed vehicle like the Ford F150. On the other hand, if they’re more laid back and like to stick with what they know, try something more slow-paced and interactive like the Barbie Dream Camper

Final Thoughts

Most parents and four-year-olds alike will find that the Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler Willys is the best all-around choice for them. It drives well on hard surfaces and grass, reaches 5 mph (8 km/h), which can be further limited by parents, and seats two so your kid can have a travel buddy.