Updated on January 4, 2021 by Lyric Fergusson
Whether in the backyard or taking a joy ride downtown, these push cars will have your toddler riding in style. For a busy kid on the go, this mode of transportation offers more than a stroller or wagon, often featuring a moving steering wheel, realistic sounds, and storage for toys and treats. Many push cars also grow with your child, helping them to get the most out of their car as they learn to steer, coordinate, and control it.
The Best Toddler Push Cars For All Ages
(Most Stylish — $$)
Why it’s great: If you’re looking for the style of the Mercedes brand, this push car is for you. Coming in a sleek white, blue, or red style, the 4-in-1 Mercedes PC is a great nod to the adult car, and a fun way for children to stroll around the park.
For younger children, parents can push the vehicle with a handle from behind. There also is a removable bar that goes around the sides to secure little ones. As your toddler grows, the handle and bar can be removed so they can control the car with their feet.
This car features working lights and sounds. There are preprogrammed songs and a USB/SD card slot to play music.
Keep in mind: The manufacturer suggests this push car for children ages 18 months to 4 years, but parents said the car runs on the small side. It does not include a seat belt. The car’s batteries are located under the seat, so some parents noted that their kids could locate the batteries and try to take them out.
Good for: Parents and kids who want a sleek, stylish ride.
(Best for Independent Play – $$)
Why it’s great: What toddler doesn’t want to drive a Ford F-150? This particular push car is different in that you can remove the bottom footrest and the push handle — and your toddler can use his or her feet to propel themselves forward! The kid-powered option builds independence and the push car feature lets mom or dad take the reins when needed. It’s just an overall great choice. I highly recommend it.
Keep in mind: The assembly isn’t the easiest but once it’s done, you’re good to go!
Good for: Parents with independent littles ages 18mo to 5yrs.
(Best for Siblings – $$$)
Why it’s great: This Side by Side push car is neat because both kiddos (up to age 8!) get to drive at the same time. No fighting over who is in front, no crying because the other one is in the driver’s seat. YAY! Step 2 is a great, trusted brand and this product is no exception. It has two individual seat belts, behind seat storage, lots of legroom, and an adjustable canopy. It’s also got a sturdy comfortable handle so mom or dad can easily hang diaper bags or purses from it. The design is also very fun, any kid will love to jump in!
Keep in mind: Although the canopy is collapsable, do check out the dimensions to be sure it can fit in your car’s trunk.
Good for: Parents with kiddos 24 months up to age 8.
(Best Convertible Push Car for Two – $$$)
Why it’s great: This is perfect for parents of two tots who want to be a part of the action. It has two very comfy seats, triangular seat belts, and crash-proof sponge guardrails — no worries about your babe falling out. The front seat can be rotated so the kiddos can face each other, and I love that the Baby Joy is convertible so when they are a bit older they can power the trike by themselves, building cooperation and coordination skills! This thing is awesome and very affordable for the quality and longevity of the product.
Keep in mind: This should be able to fit in any SUV trunk. But might be a bit big for smaller cars.
Good for: Parents who have two kids under 5.
(Best for Parents — $)
Why it’s great: Parents can pull or push their toddlers in this well-designed Little Tikes Deluxe Cozy Roadster. This is the only push vehicle on our list with the ability to put the handle in the back to push it, or fix it in the front like a wagon handle to pull it.
The Roadster has a cute design with a fun cartoon face on the front. A canopy can provide shade on sunny days or be tucked away when it’s not needed. The car also includes a working horn, two cup holders, a zippered storage space, and a seat belt. The durable tires provide a smooth, quiet ride inside or out.
Keep in mind: This Roadster does not have pedals. Parents also have mentioned that it can be difficult to turn because the wheels only go straight.
Good for: This is better for younger children who are less mobile, because the vehicle can only be controlled by the parents.
(Best Value — $)
Why it’s great: This car is all about nostalgia. Chances are, mom and dad either had, or played with a friend’s, Little Tikes Cozy Coupe in the last 30 years. This vehicle has retained many of the features that people love, with a few updates.
This classic toy grows with your child. A handle in the back allows parents to help steer younger children. Parents can remove the floorboard so their child can drive the car “Flinstone” style as they grow. The wheels are durable and rotate 360 degrees.
The vehicle has a high seat back, a realistic steering wheel, horn, and gas cap, as well as a storage space in the back. This new version also features a happy, cartoon face in the front.
Keep in mind: The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe is not assembled and includes many pieces, so it can be difficult to put together. Once it’s assembled, the new take on the classic provides a sturdy ride.
Good for: The Cozy Coupe is great for the widest range of children. The manufacturer suggests this toy for children ages 18 months to 5 years, and the features make it easy to adjust as a child grows.
(Most Realistic — $$$)
Why it’s great: For young kids, this is the real deal! This Huffy Mini Cooper ride-on car looks and rides like the real thing. Offered in both black and pink, this ride-on car has opening doors and realistic sounds for the horn and engine.
The car has a three-point seat belt system and an adjustable handle for adults who want to control steering. The steering wheel does control the wheels, and the floorboards are removable, so kids also can steer and guide the vehicle.
Keep in mind: The manufacturer suggests this ride-on car for children ages 2 to 4, but some parents felt the car ran on the smaller side.
Good for: This is one of the more expensive ride-on cars, but it comes with a strong resemblance to the actual Mini Cooper. Parents and kids who like that look and the realistic features will love this push car.
(Best Convertible Push Car — $$)
Why it’s great: This 4-in-1 Stroll N Trike offers the best range of options for growing kids! It’s a great gift for children under 1 who can start learning how a bike works. The infant trike is controlled with an adjustable push handle by parents. A canopy provides shade as your child enjoys the ride. Kids then move to a steering trike, then learn-to-ride stage, both of which help them to learn coordination, steering, and pedaling. Finally, parents can remove the handle when the child is ready to use the classic trike and pedal on their own.
This Radio Flyer Stroll N Trike includes an adjustable seat, tray with cup holders, canopy, removable footrest, and storage bucket. Parents can buckle their kids into the three-point harness for a safe ride.
Keep in mind: The design of the seat can cause children, especially younger ones, to slide around a little.
Good for: This Stroll N Trike has the best age range, with the manufacturer suggesting ages 9 months to 5 years. For toddlers who learn quickly and are ready to get out on their own, this is a great vehicle that will grow with them.
(Best for Younger Children — $$)
The Whisper Ride-On looks like a real vehicle with its sleek design. A steering wheel with a working horn makes this a fun ride for young children. Two cup holders and a storage compartment under the hood provide space for drinks, treats, and toys. Parents can comfortably push this car with the handle, which then folds under the vehicle for easy storage. The car includes a safety belt and a fixed floor so that young children can ride securely.
Keep in mind: There is nothing to shade children on this car, so it would be helpful to have your toddler wear a hat. Despite the name, some parents also said that the wheels shake and rattle, especially when rolling on pavement.
Good for: Like the Push Around Buggy, this Step2 vehicle is best for younger children. The steering wheel is not attached to the wheels, and the floorboard cannot be removed, so parents need to steer this car.
(Best Stroller Replacement — $)
Why it’s great: Move over, stroller! Modeled to resemble a real sports car, this Step2 Push Around Buggy makes for a fun, smooth ride. An extra-wide handle provides parents with a comfortable way to guide their young child for a stroll in the buggy. Your toddler “driver” is safely buckled into the seat as they pretend to drive with a realistic steering wheel and horn.
This durable buggy has two cup holders and a large storage compartment under the hood, which makes it easy to prepare for a longer trip.
Keep in mind: This push car is on the smaller side and is not convertible, so children might outgrow it quickly. Some parents felt the buggy was noisy on the pavement and did better on softer surfaces.
Good for: This buggy is best for younger children. The steering wheel does not control the wheels, and the floor is not removable, so children who are energetic and independent might outgrow this buggy quickly.
(Best For Families With Limited Storage – $$)
Why it’s great: Radio Flyer has been around since before we were kids for a reason. Their products stand the test of time. This push “wagon” is perfect for families with limited space or smaller cars. It folds super easily and takes no time to pop up and be ready to go. There is plenty of room inside the wagon for two kids over 1.5years, and moms say it’s easy and comfortable to pull along. The flatbed holds 150lbs so you can also use it to lug accessories to the beach or the park when the kiddos are feeling more like a run and the side flap zips down so it can also be used as a bench.
Keep in mind: It has three different models available, so make sure you choose the one that’s right for your needs.
Good for: Parents who want an easily transportable push car.
FAQ’s about Toddler Push Cars
1. What is the youngest suggested age for children using a push car?
Most manufacturers state 18 months as the youngest suggested age, but it depends on the features of the car. Some cars include more secure seat belts, permanent or removable floorboards, and other safety features that can make a push car safe enough for a child under a year.
2. What is the oldest appropriate age that a child should be using a push vehicle?
Again, this varies. Most manufacturers suggest 4 years old as the oldest to use a push vehicle. Some of these cars, though, adapt to a child as they grow, allowing kids to use the vehicle through the ages of 5 or 6. Look for features like removable handles and floorboards, which then allow a child to steer the car themselves.
3. On what surface should I use the ride-on toy?
The durable plastic wheels on these vehicles typically work on indoor surfaces that are soft, as well as outdoor surfaces like sidewalks or pavement. The vehicles often will be noisier on rougher, outdoor surfaces, and the tires may run down faster.
4. Is this a good replacement for a stroller?
Some push cars are very similar to strollers—parents push the vehicle from behind, while the child sits belted into the car in the front. Others allow the parent to pull the vehicle or the child to move the vehicle with their feet. These push cars are a good next step from a stroller for toddlers because they can be used in a similar way, but provide a more engaging experience.
5. What are some key features to consider when buying a ride-on car?
There is quite a range of features on these vehicles. Consider how the child is secured in the push car—are they enclosed, is there a seatbelt, or are there bars securing the child? Determine if you want the car to adjust to your child’s abilities as they grow. Some have removable or adjustable features, while others do not. Also, if you plan to use the car outdoors, look for a vehicle that includes a roof or canopy.
Push cars are a fun way to travel with your young child, providing an interactive and engaging trip with them. While parents control the car for younger children, many models allow the child to steer or pedal as they get older.
These cars allow toddlers to play “like mommy and daddy,” putting them behind the wheel for the first time. The vehicles provide pretend play and coordination for kids, while also offering a safe way to stroll around the block with parents.
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