These days, adults aren’t the only ones frequenting the strip. Kids have a racetrack of their own, and it starts — and ends — in the driveway. 

Our fascination with cars is so ingrained in our culture that there’s an entire movie genre about it (think Thelma & Louise and, more recently, Ford v Ferrari). Maybe it’s because of this or some other reason that kiddie luxury cars are rising in popularity. Whatever the case, those little ones look darn cute tooting their own luxury horn.

Here’s the buzz on pipsqueak-friendly cars for kids.

Cars for kids have their own class

Kiddie luxury cars are more than just toys. They’re actually referred to as ride-on vehicles, a category of toys that includes cars, trucks and tractors — to name a few. 

A quick Google search will show you just how popular these things are. All the big name department stores plus a few bespoke creators are selling kiddie luxury cars like they’re the real thing. Keep your eyes peeled for specs, trims and even customizations.

Despite their rising popularity, ride-on cars for kids aren’t a new phenomena — and I have proof.

In 1993, Angelica from Rugrats attempts to run away from home in none other than a toy Mercedes Benz. And she looks darn cool doing it.

Even before that, Power Wheels lit up the 1980s like no other. In 1995, after some safety issues were figured out, we saw the arrival of the Power Wheels® Super Talk™ Barbie Beach™ Patrol Jeep® (sheesh, that’s a lot of symbols).

The baby benz

kiddie luxury cars mercedes benz

Mercedes-AMG GT sports cars for kids seat one and come standard with electric braking, power steering, leather seating and spring shock absorbers. They’re four feet in length. The cost? A solid $400.

Moderno Kids has a whole line of kiddie luxury cars, including the Mercedes-Benz make. This one in particular is electric, goes up to 4 MPH (watch out!) and even features LED headlights, just like the real thing.

To keep the little ones entertained, there’s a touch screen on the dash that displays videos and plays music (I’m thinking the song from the opening scene of the Baby Driver movie, but it’s up to you).

Porsche…for pipsqueaks

Porsche cars for kids

My personal experience with ride-on vehicles stems from the Porsche Macan Kids Ride-On Car. My boyfriend’s nephew cruises around with this thing like it’s his job. The radio is functional and you can even plug in an aux cord. Our dog loves chasing him around in it!

Tesla is joining the bandwagon of kiddie luxury cars

Gone are the days when kids had the basic Radio Flyer red wagon. These days, Radio Flyer is investing in a different kind of manufacturing. Yes, it’s the Tesla Model S for Kids.

Tesla cars for kids

With features like headlights, a working horn, an MP3 sound system and even a “frunk” (just imagine that being your little one’s first word), the Tesla ride-on is the boldest new member of the kiddie luxury cars class.

It’s fully customizable, including rim and color configurations. And it charges via plug-in battery, just like mom’s version.

Are car companies really making money off this?

In short, not really. The royalties typically amount to less than 5% of the cost of the ride-on vehicle. However, it’s a solid marketing tactic for any luxury vehicle brand.

Just think about it: seeing a rugrat cruising the residential strip in an electrified Benz, Tesla or any other premium brand is bound to make you covet the super cool adult version, too.

That’s kiddie luxury cars in a nutshell. Time to bring cars for kids to the racetrack!

Rachel Curry
"Hey! My name's Rachel Curry and I'm a full-time writer who loves telling the world's stories as much as hanging with my dogs (and that's saying a lot). A University of Delaware graduate, I've traveled extensively, living everywhere from Ireland to Thailand. Bylines include Matador Network and Delaware Today."

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    12 Comments

    1. In my day, I had this little red car with the yellow top, sat two, and was run by foot power. I felt like the Flintstones and loved it. The fancy kids on the block had the power cars, but nothing seemed exciting about that at the time. We treat children these days less and less like children. But I won’t get too much into that. Long gone are the days of my little red “manual” car and my favorite wagon. If it doesn’t have a battery, it is not worthy of the kids these days.

    2. Wow these little cars are very nice an all but the future is really pushing for babies to be adults quick. But these cars are pretty cool reminds me of the barbie days.

    3. These seem very ostentatious, very… decadent. I’m not going to judge someone’s choices in terms of indoctrinating their kids into a hugely luxurious and consumerist culture, but I totally am going to judge. At the risk of sounding like a cantankerous old man, what happened to kids running around in the woods, in their yards?

      1. LOL excellent comment

    4. These toy cars have really come a long way since the Little Tykes pedal bikes from the 90’s.

    5. I see these at car meets all the time with kids in them. even people will customize them further to match their real car .. big boy toys 😛

    6. Many of these miniaturized kids cars are designed to create brand awareness in children at a young age. They are cool, and they might be worth something one day. They would be valuable if there were not many made. Check out similar children’s push cars from the post-war era.

    7. I distinctly remember having a neighborhood Barbie Jeep. I dont remember exactly who it belonged to but I do know all of us loved riding in it, even the boys. I guess you can say thats where my love of Jeeps started.

    8. I love this article! Especially, Angelica I remember thinking she was so fancy. These cars are better and fancier than my actual vehicle. I’m not sure if kids need such fancy vehicles, but then again I did want one when I was younger. As long as there is super vision I think these toddler vehicles are cool. They are not a necessity, but if you can afford the cost then why not.

    9. These cars are getting so cool. They are getting more and more realistic. My nephew has one its a Jag. It’s a great way to promote brand awareness.

    10. Finally, luxury cars I can afford, here I come South Beach!

      1. SO TRUE

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