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For kids who need extra motivation to get outside the house, it doesn't get better than Power Wheels Jeeps. The key here is to pick a durable brand and model that lives up to their expectations. With countless options available, it's best to be well equipped to cut through the chaff.
Power Wheels Jeeps are drivable toys that enhance a child's motor and coordination skills while providing plenty of outdoor fun and entertainment. The battery-powered mini-cars are modeled after popular brands, achieve up to 6 MPH, handle different terrains, and are safe for kids of 1 to 8 years.
Throughout this article, you'll find the following info about picking the best Power Wheels toy for your little ones:
- Different Power Wheels styles
- Features to consider when buying a ride-on toy
- How to pick an age-appropriate Power Wheels jeep
- Age guidelines for Power Wheels Jeeps
- Power Wheels safety guarantee
- Power Wheels riding safety
Power Wheels Styles
Power Wheels are a broad range of drivable toys molded after popular car models.
They make excellent, not to mention function toys, as they allow children the luxury of being behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. As a result, Power Wheels are among the most popular car toys with kids in the 1 to 8+ age bracket.
You're spoilt for choice when shopping for Power Wheels as there are numerous styles and options to pick from.
Power Wheels Jeeps
Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler remains the most popular ride-on for kids across all age groups. As a result, the Jeeps feature some impressive and realistic features to enhance the driving experience.
Thanks to licensing agreements with the most popular car brands, Power Wheels Jeeps come in many themes to cover various interests.
Some of the most popular Jeep Wrangler themes include:
- PAW Patrol
- BBQ Fun
- Jurassic Park
- Willys Pink
- Barbie and Disney Princess
- Pixar Toy Story
- Hot Wheels
Ride-On Trucks and SUVs
Ride-on trucks and SUVs are the second most popular electric vehicles for kids. Here, you'll find many replicas of the major truck models, including Dodge, Ford, and Toyota. These ride-ons are typically bigger than cars and carrying a capacity of two—the driver and passenger.
Since trucks sit higher than the standard cars, they have a higher rollover risk but the manufacturer's best efforts. Although modern models are specially built to minimize rollover risk, it's best to err on the side of caution.
A quick check of the ride-on's width and height is enough to help you lower this risk. The safest ride-on trucks have a width and height ratio of 1.5:1.
Other popular styles include sports cars, racing ATVs, and dune racers for all age groups, like the Power Wheels Dune Racer, and they come in numerous themes as well.
Common Features in Power Wheels Jeeps
The features available on Power Wheels Jeeps vary between the various models. Therefore, it's crucial to carefully check the specs of any model to understand its scope and capability. Here are a few of the standard features in the most popular Power Wheels jeeps on the market today:
- A rechargeable battery: Powerful rechargeable batteries underlie the popularity of these children's toys. They provide a safe and convenient way to power the drivable cars while allowing for long-lasting play at kiddie-friendly speeds. The smaller jeeps come with a 6-volt battery, while their larger cousins boast a 12 volt capable of up to 5 MPH (8.04 KPH).
- Parental override: Most ride-ons come with a parental override feature through the remote control. The feature allows the parent to gain control over the Power Wheels and swoop in to save the day if necessary. It comes in handy if the child loses control and the car is on a collision course with an object.
- Power-lock braking system: Most Power Wheels will automatically come to a stop once the child lifts their foot off the pedal. This is a must-have safety feature because it ensures the child never loses control even at higher speeds. If your child panics and forgets to apply the brake for whatever reason, the power lock swoops in to save the day.
- High-speed lockout: A common feature with Power Wheels with two maximum speeds—beginner and actual top speed. The lockout limits the car's speed until your child masters their ability to control and drive. Once you're confident that your little one can control the car at high speeds, you get to unlock the higher speed.
- Gradual acceleration: The best Power Wheels accelerate gradually to let the driver adjust to the car's motion. It gives the child a level of control while preventing the sudden lurches that could hurt or spook them. The ride-on should also roll to stop when a child applies the brakes.
- Forward and reverse: Best in class Power Wheels come with bells and whistles, including a reverse button. Reversing gives the child the feel of driving a real car and piles on the fun times. It enhances the driving experience as well as the child's imagination and creativity.
- Multi-speed options: The larger Power Wheels Jeeps come with 2 or 3 gears or speed options to enhance the driving experience. Shifting the gears lends credibility to the driving experience, making the child feel like they are driving a real car. It makes the ride-on truly exciting such that the child doesn't tire of it quickly.
- Four-wheel suspension system: Just like you, kids don't appreciate bumpy rides. A ride-on with a stable four-wheel suspension system ensures a smooth ride regardless of the terrain. Such a car will coast over the bumps and potholes in the driveway without morphing into a bone-jarring experience. Some models come with genuine shock absorbers as well.
- Of-road capabilities: Some Power Wheels come with off-road capabilities to let them equal your child's thirst for thrill and adventure. They can ride in the yard, on the pavement, in the park, and even drive through mud puddles. Off-road ride-ons have tires capable of moving through sand, gravel, grass, and mud.
- Themed vehicles: Power Wheels Jeeps come in various themes to feel just about any child's fantasy. From popular movies to fairy tales to comic book heroes to popular occupations, you're spoilt for choice. You can pick a themed jeep to complement your child's interest and fire up their imagination.
- Seat belts: Just like in a real car, ride-ons come with safety belts to ensure your child's safety as they zoom down the road. They feature safety belts that run down the shoulder safety belt or across the lap. Such a safety feature begets a lifelong habit of wearing seatbelts when your child is riding in a car. Seat belts come in handy when your child takes the off-road ride-on down a bumpy road.
- Battery level indicator: A battery meter ensures the ride-on never runs out of juice in the middle of a play session, ruining the entire outing. It allows you to plan your excursions and ensure that the unit is fully charged before each one. Most Power Wheels models provide 1 to 2 hours drive on a full battery.
5 Crucial Age-Specific Features When Buying a Power Wheels (Buying Guide)
The manufacturer's official website states that they make Power Wheels Jeeps for kids between 1 to 10 years. However, each model has the ideal age range, a crucial factor in determining its capabilities, safety features, and comfort. However, there are two main age clusters—1 to 3 years and 2 to 5 years.
To ensure that you get the best Power Wheels Jeep for your child, you should read the product description to get its specs. Here are some of the specs to consider when buying a Power Wheels Jeep:
What a Power Wheels Jeep packs under the hood is a crucial consideration as it underpins the overall driving experience. While there are no hard and fast rules about ride-on power, don't go out and get the most powerful model.
Instead, it would be best to consider your child's physiological make-up and preferences; after all, you want them to enjoy their new gift. If they've never tried Power Jeeps before, it's best to ease them in with a low-powered model.
A low-powered (6-volt) model allows your child time to get accustomed to the thrill of driving at speed. Although the jeep won't zoom down the street, the speed of a 6-volt Power Wheels Jeep might be a lot for a toddler.
Once your child has gotten the hang of it and is craving more action, you can upgrade to a 12-volt jeep with more features, including higher speeds.
Given the broad age clusters used to classify Power Wheels Jeeps, getting one that suits your child is not a cakewalk. A given model might fall in the right age cluster, but it might be too big or too small for your child. If buying from a local store, have your child try out the ride-on before making a purchase.
If buying online, be sure to check the product's dimension to see if it can accommodate your child's weight and height. Luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can get a smaller jeep for the smaller kids and larger ones for the older kids. Since Power Wheels Jeeps have a long lifespan, the younger children can also enjoy the bigger ones as they grow older.
One of Power Wheels Jeep's coolest features is that they provide a high level of customization. While the base models offer excellent safety and performance features, you can accessorize them to suit your child's specific tastes.
For instance, if your child is into dinosaurs, you can get them a Jurassic Park-themed jeep and have them role-play as brontosaurus wrangling park rangers.
Better still, you can outfit the Power Jeep with the corresponding sound effects such as roaring dinosaurs.
A thematically correct vehicle gives them the proper equipment to work with, triggering bouts of imagination and creative energy.
Other premium custom features include a full onboard audio system to let the young ones listen to the radio and music as they drive. Some top models come with USB, SD, and other media plug-in slots. You can plug in a disc with your kid's favorite music or nursery rhymes and enhance each driving session.
For all the fun they represent, Power Wheels Jeeps come with some inherent risk, especially when they're in small children's hands. They pose the risk of tipping over, falling, or colliding with people and obstacles.
To minimize these risks and enhance your little one's safety, thoroughly check the drivable toys' safety features.
How low does the car sit on the ground? The safest Power Wheels sit low on the floor because they have a lower center of gravity. That decreases the chances of the ride-on tipping over when cornering.
Automatic braking systems keep the Power Wheels from colliding with people or objects if the child loses control or becomes absent-minded while behind the wheel. Lifting the foot off the pedal causes the car to roll to a comfortable stop. That allows the young ones to learn how their drivable toys' driving mechanism works without risking an injury.
Parents should have full control over the speed limit of their child's Power Wheels Jeep. Toddler-friendly models come with a safe and comfortable top speed of 2.5 mph (4.02 kph). It's slow enough to avoid abrupt acceleration yet fast enough to give them the thrill of driving a car.
Since older kids have better motor skills, balance, and coordination, they can comfortably handle higher speeds. Power Wheels targeting this age group have a top forward speed of 5 mph (8.04 kph). For models with a reverse button, the rate is capped at 3 mph (4.83 kph).
Age Guidelines for Power Wheels
Power Wheels manufacturer offers handy guidelines to help parents pick the best model for their kids. Comparing your child's age to those guidelines when buying one lets your child derive maximum enjoyment from their new toy.
Power Wheels come with an age rating as a safety measure and to let the child derive the highest level of joy for their toys. However, there's a remarkable overlap between the age groups, which can have you splitting hairs.
This guide breaks the age groups into three and considers your child's weight, height, coordination skills, and driving terrain.
Less Than 2 Years Old
Toddlers in this age bracket are featherweight and yet to master their motor skills. Therefore, they're best served by small and lightweight Power Wheels toys without a complicated driving mechanism.
Typically, a simple push is all it should take to get the Power Wheels ride-on going. At this point, it's too much to expect the little one to engage and shift gears.
An easy-to-operate Power Wheels model improves your child's hand-to-eye coordination, balance, and motor skills. At this age, the child uses fingers to control movement. An age-appropriate ride-on helps the child develop a sense of movement of their external parts.
For easy access and dismounting, the Power Wheels should be low to the ground. That has the additional advantage of lowering the center of gravity and preventing it from tipping over.
2 to 4 Years
Since kids in this age bracket have better hand-to-eye coordination and their motor skills have grown some, you can buy them slightly larger Power Wheels.
Thankfully, you have a large selection of Power Wheels to choose from in terms of design, size, and styles. Some models in this age bracket have top speeds of up to 6 mph (9.7 kph), making for a thrilling riding experience.
As their cognitive skills improve, children in this age bracket become particular about their tastes and likings. The vehicle's style, theme, and additional features become a point of concern. Therefore, most models come with foot pedal operation, realistic engine sounds, popular themes, and car radios.
The Power Wheels are rugged enough for use in different terrains. While the smaller models can be restricted to cemented pavements, the bigger ones are more versatile. They can handle rough terrains such as gravel, grass, and even muddy patches.
As the size increases, the Power Wheels become roomier, allowing your champion driver to tag a friend along for the ride. The increased carrying capacity increases the fun and reduces sibling rivalry.
Just make sure the young driver and their passenger put on their safety belts and helmet and have the fun times rolling.
5 to 7 Years
Since kids in this age group are more perceptive, the Power Wheels have a canny resemblance to real cars. Most of them are a replica of famous car brands. They come with realistic styling and additional features such as FM radio, car horn, and realistic engine sounds. However, the top speeds are capped at 6 mph (9.7 kph), which the kids might find sluggish.
The use of custom features such as chrome wheels and exhaust pipes helps to make up for the reduced speed. Most kids in this age bracket are looking for a Power Wheels that sits somewhere between a toy and the speedier go-karts.
Prioritizing a child's needs when buying a Power Wheels toy car is the best way to get them to enjoy their new gift. A child's size and developmental stage are the most crucial considerations.
Many advanced features are lost on a toddler, while the novelty of a base ride-on will quickly wear out on the older kids. A two-year-old will hardly appreciate an FM radio, while a 7-year old will treasure it immensely.
Power Wheels Jeeps Safety Guarantee
While getting a big flashy Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler is a sure way to brighten your little one's day and make their outdoor playtime fun and exciting.
As mentioned earlier, these drivable toys come with some inherent riding risks. Moreover, the safety of Power Wheels Jeeps is a topic of many debates because these rideable toys have had a couple of safety recalls.
Thankfully, Power Wheel Jeeps have never been a subject of safety recalls but have benefitted from the lessons learned by their manufacturer for each recall.
On 7th June 2001, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission levied a $1.1 million fine on Fisher-Price. The Power Wheel toymaker had failed to report severe safety defects on their products.
The landmark ruling turned into a blessing in disguise for all Power Wheels enthusiasts. It forces all Power Wheels manufacturers to implement superior safety standards to avoid such huge fines.
Today, all motorized toys conform to strict safety standards as manufacturers go over and beyond to ensure the ride-on cars are 100% safe for your little ones.
In addition to using superior construction materials, including metal, nontoxic plastics, and polycarbonate, Power Wheels come with a host of kiddie-friendly features.
That includes metal sidebars, hand support, smooth contours, and round edges on the jeep's interior to prevent cuts, scrapes, and bruises.
Power Wheels Riding Safety Measures
The first step in keeping your child safe while riding a Power Wheels Jeep boils down to picking an age-appropriate car. Since the manufacturer's guidelines aren't absolute, the parent has the final say when buying a drivable jeep wrangler toy.
Start with a smaller, slower, 6-volt battery jeep, and work your way up as your child's motor skills and driving abilities to improve. The best beginner Power Wheels Jeeps are jam-packed with safety features for a safe riding experience.
Taking these safety precautions ensures your kid's safety whenever they take their jeep Wrangler or Hurricane out for a spin in the backyard or the park.
Undergo Proper Training
It's advisable to teach your little one how to drive their new power jeep safely from the get-go. Driving on the wrong surface is a leading cause of ride-on-related accidents and injuries.
Most rugged ride-on cars are equipped for driving on various surfaces such as grass, rough terrain, and hard surfaces. However, some models are only fit for paved surfaces.
When driven on the wrong surface, a ride-on car can skid and roll over, crushing your child in the process. Also, don't let a child drive a rugged jeep until you're confident in their abilities to handle it safely.
Get Proper Safety Gear
Arming your child with dedicated safety equipment is an excellent way to ensure their safety with each outing. For the lighter and slower, 6-volt Power Wheels Jeeps, any safety gear will do.
A helmet, knee guards, and elbow guards are excellent ways to protect your child from minor accidents.
For the more rugged and powerful 12-volt Power Wheels Jeeps, motocross safety gear is the way to go. It offers superior protection to your little speeder as it's meant to protect drivers going at speeds greater than 6 mph (9.7 kph).
Inspect the Power Jeep Before Use
While insisting on a safety check before each ride might bum out your child, do your best to explain its importance. As with real cars, ride-on cars are subject to wear and tear; a safety inspection ensures that each part works properly. It also lets you catch minor repair needs before they snowball into a safety hazard.
Ensure a Safe Riding Environment
In their carefree and curious nature, children aren't above riding their ride-on cars on a busy street. If possible, never let a child take their new toy out for a spin without adult supervision. They are likely to wander into oncoming traffic where a speeding motorist can easily knock them down.
Alert Other Road Users
When your little one is out riding on the street, put up a safety flag to alert road users to proceed cautiously. If possible, get a ride-on with a horn or give your child a whistle as a precaution.
If your kids have the more powerful, rugged jeeps designed for the outdoors, help them pick the safest terrains. Explain the dangers that lurk in steep slopes and ravines to help them avoid the risks that come with toppling over.
Espouse Battery Safety Practices
Power Wheels Jeeps ship with a 6-volt or a 12-volt battery, depending on the age cluster. Keeping the battery properly charged and in excellent condition is the key to a fun-filled riding experience.
Before using the Power Wheels Jeep for the first time, be sure to charge the battery for at least 18 hours. However, you shouldn't charge it for more than 30 hours. Crossing these guidelines ruins the battery reducing its lifespan and its ability to store charge.
After each use, you should charge the battery for at least 18 hours but not longer than 30 hours. That means it's safe to leave the battery charging in a wall outlet overnight.
Always use the recommended charging plug when charging a Power Wheels Jeep's battery.
Power Wheels Jeeps are the ultimate gift when looking to entice young children to spend time outdoors. These rugged and drivable toys come in various shapes and sizes to match a child's wildest imagination.
You can pick between a 6-volt and a 12-volt depending on your child's ages, size, and developmental stage.
Picking the best Power Wheels Jeep for your child will bring them joy while ensuring a safe riding experience. Jeep Wrangler is the most popular ride-on model and is available in several themes revolving around popular children's shows and movies.