We’re used to seeing a lot of vastly different cool cars around here. Sports cars, luxury SUVs, muscle cars, the list goes on and on. But one thing they all have in common is this: they’re all intended to be driven by adults. But that isn’t actually the case for every great car in the world. In fact, there are a number of cars that are designed to be driven by children — and many of them are downright awesome. The best kids’ cars do an excellent job of replicating the style and experience of their larger brethren, to the point where many adults find themselves wishing they were a kid again solely so they could drive them.
We’ve had a look at the kids’ cars (or junior cars, as they’re sometimes called) on the market that really get our engines going, so to speak, and have come up with ten that we consider the best. All of these cars are intended for children, but they offer enough swagger, craftsmanship, and — in a few cases — performance to make adults swoon. So read on to discover who made our list of the best cars for kids… and apologies in advance for getting that “1-877-KARS-4-KIDS” song stuck in your head.
What’s The Deal With Kids Cars?
Kids In Cars Getting Juiceboxes
Kids’ cars, as you have probably surmised, operate under a different set of rules than their grown-up counterparts. They’re not legal to drive on the street, which goes without saying if they’re being driven by kids. But even further, they generally lack the construction and safety features that are required in a street-legal vehicle, regardless of how lax your state’s laws regarding such things are. You also should pay special attention to the safety features that are offered by kids’ cars. As there are no specific federal safety standards for these types of toys, it’s up to the manufacturers to take good care of your offspring. They often do so by offering features like seatbelts and remote controls that allow parents to control the vehicle when necessary.
Power Wheels Ford F-150 Raptor
Power Wheels is probably the first brand most people think of when they hear the phrase ‘kids’ car,’ as the Fisher-Price sub-brand has been cranking out iconic battery-powered ride-on toys since the ‘80s. And while they may have been surpassed in quality by some crazy luxury brands in recent years (as you’ll see further on down the list), Power Wheels still makes one heck of a kids toy. Their current top-flight model is this mini clone of a Ford F-150 Raptor, which features a working tailgate, two forward gears plus reverse, oversized tires, Power Lock brakes, and a lifted chassis.
Radio Flyer Tesla Model S For Kids
Radio Flyer is best-known as the maker of the Little Red Wagon, basically the most old-fashioned kids’ ride-on toy there is. But that doesn’t mean the company is stuck in the past — far from it. Radio Flyer also makes the only official battery-powered Tesla kids’ car, a mini version of the famed Model S electric sedan. The car runs on Radio Flyer’s proprietary FlightSpeed Lithium-Ion batteries that offer far shorter charging times and longer range than lead-based battery counterparts. The mini Model S is capable of hitting a top speed of 6 mph, but sadly, there’s no Plaid option available.
Best Ride On Cars Lexus LX-570
Best Ride On Cars specializes in recreating licensed ride-on versions of vehicles from luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Bentley, and more. And since the cars are sold at high-end department stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus, there’s a good chance that many of the parents buying these cars are driving the real thing home from the store. The brand’s Lexus LX-570 looks a lot like the full-size SUV, with fine attention to detail throughout. The little Lexus has real leather seats, Bluetooth audio, a 12V battery, and is equipped with both seatbelts and a parent remote control.
Moderno Kids Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 24V
If you want your kid to make a statement in the neighborhood, then have them roll up in this little Lambo. Moderno Kids’ licensed Aventador SVJ ride-on car may not be able to hit 200 mph (that’s probably a good thing), but it still offers that signature Lamborghini style. It’s available in a variety of bright model-accurate colors and comes equipped with flashy features like LED headlights, Bluetooth streaming with additional AUX and USB inputs, and light-up wheels (don’t get any ideas, adult Lamborghini). And since we know you’re wondering, yes, it has working scissor doors.
Harrington F1L Racer
We’ve now crossed over from toys to ridiculous luxury products, and that’s the realm we’ll be staying in from here on out. First up we have the F1L Racer from Harrington Junior Cars. Harrington offers half-size tributes to classic cars, and this example is a dead-ringer for a Lotus 25 F1 race car from the 1960s. Constructed mainly from steel and aluminum with a fiberglass body, the F1L has a rear-mounted 110cc air-cooled 4 stroke gas engine that is able to rocket it to 29 mph (a speed-restrictor can be fitted for kids’ use). There are also loads of modern high-end engineering and luxury touches, like hydraulic brakes with Brembo calipers, fully independent suspension, and customizable DuPont paint livery.
Harrington Land Junior E
In addition to their gas-powered minis, Harrington also offers electric versions of many of their cars, including this battery-powered shrunken Land Rover Series IIA. Driven by a 48 Volt BLDC 1200W electric motor, the Land Junior E has a variable top speed from 4 mph up to 28 mph, depending on who’s going to be driving it, along with a range of up to three hours. The fully automatic, RWD drive little SUV is just as well-made as a real Defender, with the same type of high-end materials, suspension and braking systems, and rack-and-pinion steering as seen in the F1L Racer.
Harrington offers a lot of Junior Cars — 10 and counting — but the 300 may be the most impressive of them all. Based on the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300SL, the 300 is the fastest car on this list, with the gas-powered version of the vehicle capable of a top speed of more than 40 mph. That’s some serious speed, and Harrington highly recommends that you opt for a speed restrictor if a little kid is going to be behind the wheel. But with a load capacity of 550 pounds and the ability to accommodate drivers over 6’ tall, you may just want to forget about junior and keep this one for yourself.
The Little Car Company Bugatti Baby II
Even more ludicrously luxurious and meticulously crafted than Harrington’s Junior Cars are the offerings from The Little Car Company, makers of the most high-end kids’ cars on the planet. A joint project with Bugatti, the brand’s Bugatti Baby II is a recreation of the legendary half-scale Type 35 race car that Bugatti produced from 1927 to 1936. The new Baby is around 50% bigger than the original, meaning it’s able to accommodate adult drivers as well as children. It features a RWD lithium-ion battery-powered electric powertrain that includes regenerative braking along with two distinct drive modes, “Novice” and “Expert,” that govern top speeds. And if you’re a real speed demon, you can opt for the “Speed Key” — an option cribbed from the Chiron supercar — to unlock an additional 10kW of power and disengage the governor.
The Little Car Company Aston Martin DB5 Junior
For the James Bond of the next generation, we have this near-perfect mini replica of the DB5 that’s technically an official Aston Martin release. Seemingly no expense was spared in recreating the superspy’s world-famous ride in ⅔ scale, with authentic Aston badges, beautiful replicated Smiths instruments in the dash, a mahogany and aluminum steering wheel, full leather interior, and double-wishbone suspension in the front with a rear live axle. The RWD open-top speedster is available with a 6.7 HP electric powertrain, or in a two-battery Vantage spec with double the power output.
The Little Car Company Ferrari Testa Rossa J
What do you get the kid everything? Well, if you’ve got $110,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you get them this ¾ scale replica of a 1950s Italian race car. Ferrari actually scanned and digitally reproduced the drawings of the original car for this Little Car, striving for accuracy in every step of production. The bodywork is constructed from hand-beaten aluminum like the original, and it boasts the same steering and suspension geometry. There are modern touches as well, as the leather, insignia, and paint are all the same that you’ll find on today’s Ferraris. Powered by three batteries and an electric motor, the littlest Ferrari tops out at over 37 mph in Sport Mode.
The 15 Best LEGO Sets For Adults
Who says kids get to have all the fun? After picking up one of these sweet rides for your little one so they can play grown-up, why not pick up an adult version of a kids’ toy for yourself? You’ll find just the thing in our guide to the 15 best LEGO sets for adults.