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Since their invention in 1984, Power Wheels have been a staple in the children’s toy industry. As child-sized replicas of real cars, these high-end toys allow your young kid to get a safe and fun driving experience. However, not all Power Wheels are made equal, and you might be wondering which is the best choice for you.

The best Power Wheel for your 8-year-old is the Best Choice Products 12V Ride-On Truck. Designed to resemble a sleek open-top truck, it includes features like working LED lights and an auxiliary power outlet for music so your kid can cruise around in style.

However, this model has its share of potential downsides as well, and there’s plenty of other options that may suit you better, depending on your needs. Read on to learn more about what to expect from Power Wheels and how to narrow down your options, and take a look at my recommendations of the best models out there.

What Are Power Wheels?

Power Wheels for 8-year olds

The name Power Wheels officially refers to the brand of electric ride-on cars owned by Fisher-Price. However, like other catchy names like Kleenex or Band-Aid, the term can now be used when talking about electric kids’ cars more generally. These cars are often shrunk-down, and more plastic versions of real models on the market. They’re battery-powered and easy to operate, so your kid can get inside and drive it themselves.

Aside from Fisher-Price, other popular brands in the industry include toy-makers like Best Choice Products, Aosom, and Uenjoy. Some customers feel strongly about the difference between the manufacturers, with many insisting that the Power Wheels brand is the highest quality and the most reliable. However, others insist that the quality is the same, or even that some of the competitors have surpassed the original.

The Power Wheels Dune Racer, pictured here, is a popular choice for boys and girls.

What Should I Know Before Buying a Power Wheels Car?

While Power Wheels can be exciting and interactive toys for your kids, they can come with quite a few drawbacks. One of the most common complaints about electric ride-on cars is how long they last, for two main reasons: durability and sizing.

Although some parents testify that their kid’s electric car has been going strong for over five years, others need to get it replaced within one. This seems to be an issue for many customers, regardless of the brand. The combination of an electric motor and an outdoor kid’s toy doesn’t make for the most dependable product, so it’s a good idea to check the quality and make sure that everything’s working as soon as you get it.

The car’s lifespan may also be cut short by your child outgrowing it. Because your kid needs to fit comfortably inside the vehicle in order to enjoy it, it may not be quite as timeless as a doll or an iPad. Therefore, you might want to take into account how much your kid will grow when deciding how much to invest in the toy. Many kids will undergo a major growth spurt somewhere between the ages of 8-13 for girls or 10-15 for boys, which is important to take into account.

How Much Do They Cost?

You can usually expect to shell out $200-400 for one of these toys, but some options will cost you slightly over or under this range. The price typically depends on a variety of factors, including quality, durability, and the features included, so it’s not always a great idea to base your buying decision solely on the cost.

What Should I Look for When Choosing a Car?

Aside from the price, there are several qualities that you’ll want to think about when buying your kid’s car. 

If you’ve never purchased an electric ride-on car before, you may not know where to start. We’ll go into more detail about each of these aspects and how to figure out what you want. The biggest factors to consider are the following:

Design

One of the most important features of your child’s car is how it looks. There are plenty of different styles of electric kids’ cars on the market, so you’re going to want to think about what your 8-year-old likes. Are they a big fan of a certain superhero? If so, you can consider getting them a character-themed car.

On the other hand, a kid that pays close attention to makes and models may have a dream car that they’d love to drive someday. Plenty of Power Wheels and kids’ cars are replicas of luxury brands like Porsche or Maserati, so you may even be able to find the one that your child likes.

Safety

Realistically, safety will probably be much less of an issue when buying a toy car for an 8-year-old than for a younger kid. However, electric ride-on cars can be scary at first, and you still want to make sure that you have the right precautions put in place.

Seatbelts

Many toy cars include seat belts to make sure your child stays securely inside the vehicle while it’s moving. With maximum speeds around 5 mph (8 km/h) for most options, this feature is probably a bigger necessity for toddlers. Either way, it adds a realistic touch to the vehicle, and it can be especially beneficial if you plan to pass on the car as a hand-me-down later on.

Parental Control

A lot of ride-on cars also include a remote control for parents to operate the car for their child. Many 8-year-olds will probably be responsible and coordinated enough to drive the vehicle on their own, but the remote can still be useful at the very beginning when they’re just getting the hang of it.

Vehicle Exterior

One safety feature that matters regardless of your child’s age is the quality of the car’s exterior. While your child is unlikely to crash as long as they’re careful, accidents happen all the time. In case your child runs into something on the road, or the car somehow falls over, you want to make sure that your child will come out unscathed. To ensure that your child is prepared for any scenario, opt for a car with a metal frame and a polycarbonate exterior.

Sizing

As you compare your options, make sure that they have enough space for your child to get in and out easily, but not so much that they’re stretching to reach the pedal. If you’re browsing in a store, you can ask an employee to help your child “try on” the cars they like to see what fits and what doesn’t. However, if you’re searching online or without your kid, you’ll have to check the seat and vehicle dimensions to make sure they work for your child.

If you suspect that your child might hit a growth spurt soon, we’d recommend looking at vehicles that are more open on the sides. While almost all electric ride-on cars have an open-top so your kid’s head won’t hit the ceiling, car doors can also get in the way of long legs. If that’s a concern for you, you might want to consider a model that’s more similar to an ATV.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Best Choice Products Kids Ride On Truck

This electric kids’ truck is a great option for anyone who wants a sleek and smooth ride. It requires a little bit of assembly, which most customers find pretty simple. It’s made with a durable plastic body and 14-inch traction wheels, and a spring suspension system, which keeps the vehicle stable on uneven terrains like grass or dirt. However, it’s also a good choice for driving indoors around a basement or playroom.

It’s on the smaller side, so it’s a good idea to review the dimensions to make sure it’ll fit your child. However, aside from that, it has all the features you could want– manual and remote control, an auxiliary power outlet to play your music, adjustable seatbelts, and working LED lights. The manufacturer doesn’t specify an expected charge life, but many customers have been impressed with the battery, as long as you charge it for a full 18 hours before using it.

Pros

  • Classic style. This truck has a clean and stylish design, and with models available in black, blue, green, red, and white, there’s an option for every kid.
  • Realistic design. The seatbelts, lights, and interactive buttons on the dashboard make this toy car a miniature equivalent of the real thing.
  • Versatile. With manual and remote controls and three speed options, plus reverse, you can use this vehicle in a variety of situations.
  • Easy setup. Compared to some ride-on cars that arrive completely disassembled, this one only requires you to slide on the back axle and attach the back wheels, as detailed in the instructions in the box.

Cons

  • Slower than some cars. At a maximum speed of 3.7 mph (6 km/h), this vehicle only runs at a walking pace, which might be too slow for some 8-year-olds.
  • Limited warranty. This goes for any Best Choice Products car, but the manufacturer warranty is only good for 90 days, which means that you should probably avoid buying it much earlier than your child will start using it. Some reviewers also suggest purchasing an additional warranty when you buy the product.

Product Specifications

Recommended age3-8 years
Item weight50 lbs (22.7 kg)
Item dimensions45” x 31” x 31” (114 x 78 x 78 cm)
Weight capacity65 lbs (29.5 kg)

Best for Rough Terrain: Power Wheels Dune Racer

This Fisher-Price Power Wheels is the perfect option for kids who love racing through extreme terrains, with a Monster Traction system that allows it to power through wet grass and packed sand. While it requires some assembly, many customers say that it’s pretty easy if you follow the instructions.

It can seat two kids at once, with a weight capacity of 130 pounds. It also drives a little bit faster than other car options, with speed settings of 2.5 and 5 mph (4 and 8 km/h) forward and 2.5 mph in reverse. It makes up for the added speed with safety features like metal sidebars and a Power Lock Brake System that stops the car when there’s no foot on the accelerator.

Pros

  • Durable. Its sturdy frame is made from steel and built to withstand outdoor conditions. Some reviews report that their car has lasted for over 5 years.
  • Great for outdoors. Its ridged wheels are ideal for driving around grassy areas like your backyard or the beach.
  • Roomy. With two seats, your child can drive around comfortably with a friend or a sibling. Its open design also allows it to accommodate a variety of sizes.

Cons

  • Fewer safety features. With no seat belts or parental controls, your child might want to start in a slower setting before they get comfortable with driving.
  • Slips on flat surfaces. Some customers have found that the plastic wheels make it hard for the car to gain traction on sidewalks and asphalt, especially when they’re sloped.
  • Time-consuming setup. While the assembly doesn’t seem too challenging, it is a little bit more involved than other options.

Product Specifications

Recommended age3-7 years
Item weight68.5 lbs (31.1 kg)
Item dimensions25” x 46” 15” (63.5 x 116.8 x 38.1 cm)
Weight capacity130 lbs (59 kg)

Best for Mini Soccer Moms: Best Choice Products Licensed Land Rover

Your kid will love picking up their dolls, toys, or even a friend in this Land Rover replica. Its realistic design and features like working lights, a horn, and music will leave your kid feeling fancy as they cruise around the block.

Like the truck, it includes 4-wheel suspension, so your child can drive smoothly, and the seat belts and parental control options ensure additional safety. It’s also built to last, with a strong frame constructed from metal and polypropylene plastic. Similar to the other Best Choice Products car, it’s also recommended to charge for 18 hours before using.

Pros

  • Realistic design. It includes interactive features like headlights, a horn, start-up sounds, and plug-in music.
  • Roomy. Unlike the other Best Choice Products truck, this car comes with two seats, meaning that your kids can ride around together or drive a friend.
  • Versatile. It comes with manual and remote control options, with two-speed settings, as well as reverse. The front hood also opens up to a storage compartment that your child can use to keep toys.
  • Easy setup. Customers say that assembly is pretty minimal and easy to complete.

Cons

  • Slower than some cars. Like the truck, its speeds only reach 3.7 mph (6 km/h) at the highest, which can be better suited to younger or more timid kids.
  • Pricey. This model usually costs slightly more than very similar options. 
  • Limited warranty. The manufacturer warranty is only good for 90 days.

Product Specifications

Recommended age3-8 years
Item weight77.2 lbs (35 kg)
Item dimensions51.25” x 34” x 26” (130 x 86 x 66 cm)
Weight capacity128 lbs (58 kg)

Best for Speed Demons: Razor Dirt Quad

This ATV-style 4-wheeler from the scooter brand Razor is perfect for any kid who wants more of a thrill. It runs at a maximum speed of 8 mph (12.9 km/h) for up to 40 minutes of continuous use, meaning that your child could even use it to run to the corner store and back in one charge.

It’s made to resist the weather, with shatter-resistant plastic and 13” pneumatic knobby tires. However, its ATV design leaves it open on all sides with no seat belts, which makes it much more dangerous than a traditional power wheel. Most 8-year-olds will be able to handle it without a problem, but you’ll still want them to wear a helmet to be safe.

Pros

  • Fast. Reaching a maximum speed of 8 mph (12.9 km/h), the Razor Dirt Quad is by far the speediest option on this list.
  • Adjustable. With an open design and adjustable handlebars, this vehicle will be able to fit your growing kid for years.
  • Great for outdoors. The weather-resistant material in the tires and frame make this a great option for outdoor play.
  • Virtually no setup. Customers say that the dirt quad came almost fully assembled, although it does require 12 hours of charging time.

Cons

Product Specifications

Recommended age8+ years
Item weight75 lbs (34 kg)
Item dimensions43” x 24” x 31” (109 x 61 x 79 cm)
Weight capacity120 lbs (54.4 kg)

Best for Disney Princess Fans: Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler

If you’re looking for a classic Power Wheels car, this Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler is probably your best bet. While it’s a little bit of a tighter fit, it could still be perfect for an 8-year-old on the smaller side, with seat dimensions of 18” x 8” and a weight limit of 130 lbs (59 kg) for two kids.

This car is ideal for kids who like to represent their favorite characters everywhere they go. It offers decked-out models to fit a range of themes, including Disney Princesses, Hot Wheels, Jurassic World, Sunny Day, and Toy Story 4. It’s also designed to look like a Jeep Wrangler, with working doors and trunk storage space to match. It does require some assembly, which many customers say was somewhat time-consuming but overall pretty easy.

Pros

  • Fun design. If your child is a fan of characters like Cinderella or Buzz Lightyear, this car could be a great fit for their style, and they could also love decorating it with stickers during assembly.
  • Balance of safety and speed. With speed settings of 2.5 and 5 mph (4 and 8 km/h), as well as a reverse option, this Jeep will let your child go faster than options with similar safety features.
  • Roomy. This car seats two kids comfortably without a divider so your child can bring along with them on their ride.

Cons

  • Less realistic. Unlike many other electric ride-on cars, this one is pretty different from the real-life version. While it has a radio, it’s pre-installed with sounds and doesn’t work for plug-in music. It also doesn’t include other details like seat belts or headlights.
  • Time-consuming setup. While customers can generally assemble this car pretty easily, many say it comes in a lot of pieces and takes over an hour to put together.

Product Specifications

Recommended age3-7 years
Item weightN/A
Item dimensions47” x 30.5” x 33” (119.4 x 77.5 x 83.8 cm)
Weight capacity130 lbs (59 kg)

Best for Farming Lovers: Peg Perego John Deere Ground Force Tractor with Trailer

This tractor is a great option for a kid who likes to help out around the garden. It has a spacious trailer in the back that can hold up to 22 lbs (10k), as well as wheels that provide traction on grass and dirt with a slope up to 10%.

It’s made by the Italian company Peg Perego but manufactured in the USA, which some customers appreciate. It also comes with a built-in FM radio so your child can listen to music as they drive, as well as adjustable armrests. Its maximum speed of 4 ½ mph (7.2 km/h) moves at about a speed-walking pace so that you can keep up the car no matter what.

Pros

  • Unique style. This toy has all the intricate details of a John Deere tractor and will stand out from all of the other ride-on electric cars in the neighborhood.
  • Practical. The trailer in the back isn’t just for show. It’s sturdy enough to carry a full load of produce, toys, or anything else your child needs to transport.
  • Replacement parts available. Unlike with other brands that require you to ship back the whole product if one part fails, Peg Perego sells replacement parts online so you can fix up your car as needed.

Cons

  • Drives best on soft surfaces. While this car does great on small hills and uneven terrain, some customers say that their wheels have started wearing or splitting after using the car on asphalt.
  • Tricky setup. While you can purchase expert assembly when you order the car, many customers have had a hard time following the instructions to put it together on their own.

Product Specifications

Recommended age3-7 years
Item weight50 lbs (22.7 kg)
Item dimensions24.5” x 26.5” x 67.5” (62.2 x 67.3 x 171.5 cm)
Weight capacity88.2 lbs + 22 lbs (40 kg + 10 kg)

Best for Luxury Style: Best Choice Products Kids Ride On Car SUV Truck

A Mercedes Benz SUV could run you upwards of $130,000, but you can get this kiddie version for much cheaper. Your kid can feel fancy taking a long ride around the neighborhood with this truck, which holds a charge for around 1-2 hours after being plugged in for the required time of 8-12 hours. Plus, with a maximum speed of 3.7 mph (6 km/hr), you’ll be able to follow along easily.

It comes with two seats so your child can ride with a friend, along with a spacious trunk to carry toys or snacks to the park. Just make sure to store it inside when they’re not using it.

Pros

  • Luxury style. Designed to look just like the real thing, this car has all of the details and features your child could want, including a working horn and headlights, realistic dashboard, and plug-in music. It also comes in black, pink, red, and white.
  • Roomy. With two seats and plenty of trunk space, your child will be able to ride comfortably while carrying everything they need.
  • Easy setup. Customers say that assembly is pretty easy and usually takes less than 30 minutes.

Cons

  • Slower than some cars. Like other Best Choice Products cars, its speeds only reach 3.7 mph (6 km/h) at the highest.
  • Pricey. This model is probably the priciest from this list, most likely because of the number of features and the level of detail.
  • Limited warranty. The manufacturer warranty is only good for 90 days.

Product Specification

Recommended age3-8 years
Item weight66 lbs
Item dimensions53.4” x 33.7” x 32.3”
Weight capacity128 lbs (58 kg)

Final Thoughts

If you’re in the market for a Power Wheels car for your 8-year-old, the Best Choice Products Kids Ride-On Truck is an all-around great option. However, each car has many of its own pros and cons. The best choice for you depends on various factors, including your kid’s style, size, and whether they want to ride with a friend. Regardless of your needs, this list is a great place to start. Good luck shopping!