Power Wheels Dune Racer – Is It Worth It? Complete Buying Guide and My Experience


Are you considering buying the Power Wheels Dune Racer for your child and want to know more about it?

Maybe you have heard mixed reviews about the ride-on car and aren’t sure if it is the right purchase for you?

Or are you curious and want to know more? No matter what the reason is that brought you here today, I have the answer for you!

Power Wheels Dune Racer - Is It Worth It

Finding the right ride-on electric car for your child can be tricky. The market is full of cars, all claiming to be the best and safest for your child.

You can easily find yourself overwhelmed, scrolling for hours through reviews and contradicting advice, unsure where to turn or who to trust.

Disappointed, you wonder if you will ever cut through the marketing and opinions and find the right ride-on car for you.

Well, no more! Today, I am here with the answers for you.

I have a complete buying guide for the Power Wheels Dune Racer and plenty of information about my experience buying it for my child!

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the car and decide if it is the right one for your child or not.

What Is the Power Wheels Dune Racer?

The Power Wheels Dune RacerOpens in a new tab. is a ride-on electric car created by Fisher-Price. The low-riding car comes with a range of fantastic features that set it apart from others on the market.

Not only is the car suitable for use indoors, but the Monster Traction System means it can handle hard surfaces, rocks, gravel, wet grass, and other rough terrains with ease.

It’s the ideal car for any child that wants to explore the world!

The Racer features extra-wide tires that are well-treated and designed to handle the outside world. You get a good level of grip without the slippery wheels that can plague toys and real cars alike.

It also has a good deal of balance control, so your child can enjoy a smooth ride without feeling every bump in the road! If only some real cars were made this way!

You don’t need to worry too much about safety either, as this car is designed with safety in mind! The car features a sturdy steel frame that is made from high-quality steel.

It won’t get damaged easily, providing you with plenty of use for the car! It also features additional safety features that keep your child safe.

It’s worth noting that the original Power Wheels Dune Racer was discontinued recently, with the newer Dune Racer Extreme being the only one on the market.

But fear not! I have purchased the Extreme, and after plenty of use and love from my child, I am here to provide you with a full and detailed review of the Extreme!

You will find it referred to as the Dune Racer or Extreme in today’s article, as it is the only Dune Racer you can now purchase.

Let’s get into the review and look at the car in closer detail!

Photo: Mattel.com

What Age Is the Dune Racer For?

The Dune Racer Extreme is designed for children aged three to seven.

Younger children can use the Racer if they wanted to, but it’s best to only use it indoors and only when you can supervise them to ensure their safety.

For children aged 3 to 4, I’d recommend using the high-speed lock that limits your child’s speed to 2.5mph.

This is fast enough while they get to grips with the car, without compromising their safety.

Once they have had some experience with the car, you can remove the speed lock and allow them to play at full speed!

The car has a maximum weight of 59kg which applies to both passengers!

Make sure that anyone using the car does not exceed the weight limit, as you could damage the car and impact their safety too.

Is the Dune Racer Safe?

Yes! The Dune Racer extreme comes with plenty of safety features that keep your child safe while they play.

Power Lock brakes provide instant braking once your child stops touching the pedal and the speed lock-out allows you to control the speed until your child is comfortable with the car.

There are also strong side bars to protect your child, and the low-profile design offers excellent stability, even when driving off-road!

How Fast Does the Dune Racer Go?

The Dune Racer Extreme has a maximum speed of 5mph when traveling forwards, and a 2.5mph speed when reversing.

That is plenty of speed for your child to whizz around the garden or out on an adventure! You can also limit the speed too, allowing them to go slower while they get to grips with the car.

While it isn’t the fastest car on the market, it offers your child enough speed without compromising their safety.

I found it fast enough, and my child certainly didn’t seem bothered that they couldn’t go over 5mph! The speed is possible thanks to the powerful 12V battery that is housed underneath the car.

How Big Is the Dune Racer?

The Dune Racer Extreme is big enough for two people! There is plenty of room in the cockpit for a driver and a passenger to sit and play together.

It’s perfect for anyone with multiple children or cousins that come to play often!

The extra space in the cockpit is ideal for growing children.

Now you don’t need to purchase a toy that your child will grow out of quickly. The Racer Extreme will grow with your child and has extra room for their growing legs!

Although the car might seem compact, there is even storage available! Hidden under the hood is a secret storage compartment for your child to use!

They can hide their favorite toys here or take some snacks with them on their outdoor adventure.

Appearance

The car is super stylish too! You can choose from a few color options, so you are sure to find one that suits your child’s preferences!

Currently, there are the following color options available to you:

  • Green
  • Blue
  • Pink
  • Purple

The color isn’t the only attractive thing about this car. The unique design features a low-profile sporty design that is perfect for outdoor use!

The chrome accents add some extra flash to the car, and the safety bars are stylish too! So now your child can keep safe while they look good too!

The extra wide tires complete the look. Sure it isn’t the largest or the most sporty car, but it looks good and they are sure to be thrilled when they see the car for the first time!

The appearance is a winner in my books!

Photo: mattel.com

Pros and Cons

Pros

Let’s take a look at all of the pros of the car now! If you are on the fence about making the purchase, let me show you all the fantastic features the Dune Racer has to offer.

I bet they will change your mind!

Spacious 2-seater

It’s rare to see two seats on a child ride-on car, and this sure does set the Dune Racer apart from the competition!

There is plenty of space to sit a driver and a passenger in the car, with lots of legroom too!

Not only is this plenty of space for two pairs of legs, but it ensures that as your child grows, there is still plenty of room for them to sit comfortably and enjoy their car.

Monster traction system

Any car that claims to work off-road needs to have a traction system that can support off-road driving.

The Dune Racer boasts a fantastic traction system and tires with good tread that can work through wet grass, mud, rocks, and gravel with ease!

There is little that can stand in your child’s way with these tires and traction!

Design

The design of this car is fantastic! The chrome-coated accents, low-profile design, and wide tires make it an eye-catching car they are sure to love!

Not only will they enjoy the stylish car, but it is sure to turn heads and attract attention! Plus, it makes it easy to spot and identify, something that soothes any anxious parent’s heart.

Secret compartment

Another fantastic part of the design is the secret storage compartment!

This storage compartment is hidden under the hood, allowing your child to drive with their favorite toys and any gear they want to take with them.

What child doesn’t love having a secret spot for their favorite toys too? It’s been a winner with my children, and I’m sure it will be with yours too!

Forward and reverse speed

Not only does the Dune Racer allow for reversing (not all electric toy cars do), but there are two separate speeds!

Reversing, your child can reach a top speed of 2.5mph and 5mph when driving forward.

This allows them to reverse easily should they need to, and slowly too!

The last thing you want is them speeding backward into a wall or a person! With a lower speed, they can move slowly and change direction if needed.

Enhanced safety features

Safety is super important, and thankfully, the Dune Racer has enhanced safety features for you to enjoy!

It features a Power-Lock brake system which ensures that the car stops when your child stops using the pedal.

There is also a high-speed lock that you can control, allowing you to control how fast your child can go when they are playing.

This is fantastic and helps take some of the anxiety out of watching your child play on an electric car. I have found it super easy to use too, which is always a win!

Cons

No toy is perfect! So let me run through some of the cons of the Power Wheels Dune Racer (see also ‘Could I Put A Car Battery In Power Wheels?‘)!

Not suitable for all terrains

The Dune Racer is designed for rough terrains, but it isn’t suitable for all terrains.

The ride-on car struggles with extra-rough terrains as it doesn’t have the power needed to tackle them.

After repeated use too, the Racer does struggle with rough terrains, despite the claims that it can handle a wide range of terrains.

If you plan to use it in a fairly level garden, you should be okay, but you might struggle if your child is using the ride-on car on particularly bumpy or steep terrains.

No remote control

It’s no secret that remote-controlled ride-on cars are some of the safest on the market, especially when your child is in the driver’s seat!

Sadly, there isn’t a remote control with this car, which can be a safety concern.

You can make use of the high-speed lock to prevent your child from going too fast, but I recommend spending time instilling safety lessons into your child before you let them loose outside your home and garden.

Making sure they know how to drive the car, stop it, and what speeds to do on certain terrains will help make their experience safer and happier for both you and your child!

Seats aren’t overly comfortable

The ride-on car features bucket seats which are ideal for outdoor driving. However, they aren’t the most comfortable, especially if they are used for extended periods.

They also aren’t made with the highest quality, so they won’t last as long as you would like, especially if the car is used often.

It is worth looking to see if you can add some extra comfort to the seats for your child, or replace them with a more durable seat.

Interior is basic

The car doesn’t come with any additional features like Bluetooth, USB ports, a radio, or an MP3 player.

The dashboard is also quite basic and doesn’t offer any additional entertainment to your child.

They can drive and role-play with the car, but any other games will need to be created by their own imagination!

Tires can wear easily

While the Dune Racer features some of the best tires on the market, they do wear out over time.

If the ride-on car is frequently used on rough terrain, the tires won’t last long at all! The treads will wear out and need to be replaced (just like regular tires).

Make sure you factor in the added cost of this to your budget when pricing up the Dune Racer.

You will need to replace the tires when they wear out to keep your child safe while they use the car.

Buyer’s Guide

Are you unsure what features and factors to consider when purchasing your child a ride-on toy? I was in the same position when I first began my search!

Since then, I have picked up a thing or two and know what we should consider when making our choices.

So let me show you all the important factors and features you should consider when searching for your child’s ride-on toy.

Whether it is the Dune Racer or not, you can use this advice to navigate the market and make your choice!

Age

The first thing you need to consider when purchasing a ride-on car is your child’s age.

The Dune Racer is suitable for children aged three to seven, so you should only purchase this toy if your child sits within this age bracket.

This ride-on toy does not come with a remote control for parents, so you should avoid purchasing it for any children under 18 months.

If your child is two and you want to buy the toy for them, make sure that it is only used indoors until they have learned the skills needed to play with the toy alone.

Here you should follow the guidance from Fisher Price and also your own judgment.

You know your child better than anyone else, so consider carefully whether they are ready for this toy before you make your purchase!

Size

Often, a ride-on car’s age determines the suitable size. So make sure you pay attention to the size and age range of the car you are purchasing.

After all, you don’t want to part with your hard-earned cash only for it to be unsuitable! Thankfully, you don’t need to worry about this too much with the Dune Racer.

The cockpit has plenty of room for your child to grow and still enjoy the car! It is also a 2-seater car, so your child can play with their sibling or friend with ease!

Check the dimensions to ensure that your child will get plenty of use out of the car now and when they grow.

There’s nothing worse than buying a toy and it only gets used once or twice!

Power

Along with the size and age range, you also need to consider the power capacity of the toy and ensure that it suits your child.

The Dune Racer is available at 12V, meaning its speed and cruise potential could be dangerous for young children with no driving experience or skills.

For young children that have never had a ride-on car before, I think it’s better to start them with a 6V car which will be slower and a lot safer for them.

Once they have mastered that, you can progress them to the faster Dune Racer!

Safety Features

You don’t need me to tell you how important safety is, especially when it comes to our children.

They are going to spend hours playing outdoors with their ride-on car, so as parents, it’s our job to make sure it is the safest toy we can find!

Thankfully, the Dune Racer is one of the safest out there. It has fantastic safety features that blew me away.

There is a parent-controlled high-speed lock and a power brake system that reduces the chances of your child getting injured when using the toy!

The speed can be limited to 2.5mph, so you don’t need to worry about your child speeding off!

These features made me feel a lot more comfortable letting my child use the Dune Racer, although the lack of a seatbelt and remote control is disappointing, especially when you consider the racer is meant for aggressive outdoor play.

Make sure that you supervise your child when they are playing with the racer at all times!

Tires

Make sure you check the quality of the tires before you make your purchase! This is where the racer stands out.

Their tire quality is super impressive! You can enjoy large and well-treaded tires that are perfect to use on rough and hard terrain.

The only downside is that these tires can wear out quickly if the racer is constantly driven on rough terrain.

Make sure you check the tires regularly and replace them when needed. If you are considering another ride-on car make sure you check the tires!

If they are low quality then you will need to replace or repair them within the first few weeks or months of use, which you don’t want! After all, it’s more money to spend.

Appearance

Not all children care about the performance of their toys, but they sure like how they look!

They want a unique and attractive toy that they can love and play with, so get them the Dune Racer! It has a unique and adventure-inspired style and shapes they are sure to love.

If you decide to get them a different ride-on toy, make sure you choose a style that your child will love.

These days you can choose from Power Wheels with movies, cartoons, or series themes that your child is sure to love.

Just remember to check that it is a theme they like to avoid any disappointment when they open the toy.

Entertainment Value

I’ve spoken a lot about entertainment value today, but let’s touch on it once more. The Dune Racer is a little disappointing when it comes to entertainment value.

It doesn’t have any additional features like USB ports, Bluetooth, or radio, and the interior is quite basic.

There is no option to play music or any stories while your child is playing with the car.

Although this is disappointing, the racer does redeem itself when it comes to its outdoor performance! It

has a fantastic outdoor capability and well-treaded tires that will transport your child to a whole world of adventures, they will just need some imagination to aid them!

Durability

Another factor to consider is the durability of the racer. After all, if you are spending a lot of money on it, you want to ensure it will stand the test of time!

Thankfully, the Dune Racer is made using high-quality metal and plastic. This racer is made to last!

Despite this, there are a few things you should consider to help the Dune Racer last for as long as possible.

You should carry out regular maintenance to ensure that all components and the battery are operating correctly. Make sure that your child isn’t manhandling or misusing the toy too, as that is a sure way to break it!

By teaching them to be responsible and caring for their toy and regularly maintain it to ensure that it stands the test of time!

Price

So how much will the racer set you back? Well, it isn’t cheap! Compared to others on the market, it sits at the mid-price point, but that doesn’t mean it is affordable by any means!

There are cheaper alternatives (like the Dune Racer Extreme) that you can purchase.

I recommend keeping an eye out for any sales or flash deals, especially in the build-up to the festive season.

You can usually pick up a bargain, especially on kids’ toys, so keep your eye out and see if the Dune Racer goes on sale!

Before making your purchase, be sure to check your budget carefully to ensure you can afford the Dune Racer.

There is no point in causing yourself financial stress over a toy, especially when you can purchase a cheaper option if you want to.

Maintenance Tips

Before you leave today, be sure to check out my top maintenance tips!

These will help you care for the Dune Racer easily and help to extend its lifespan, getting more value for your money! I have three fantastic tips for you to check out below.

Recharge the battery fully

First, make sure you recharge the battery fully when charging the racer.

The durability of the battery depends on the charging frequency so make sure the battery is charged until it is fully charged before using it.

This should take roughly 12 to 14 hours. Ensure that you never use the battery when it is half charged or store the battery empty, as it can shorten its lifespan!

Check charging time

You don’t want to undercharge or overcharge the battery, as it can damage it, shortening its lifespan.

Make sure to read the charging instructions before charging the battery to see how long the batteries take to charge. Use this as your guide and check on the batteries while charging to ensure they do not overcharge.

Remove the battery when repairing

Finally, ensure that you remove the battery when carrying out any repairs on the racer. Leave the battery on a dry and stable surface to ensure it is safe while you carry out any repairs or replace the tires.

The last thing you want is your battery falling and smashing to pieces!

Photo: mattel.com

Power Wheels Dune Racer Extreme vs. Dune Racer – Which Is Better?

You might have noticed that there are two different models out there, the Extreme which I have spoken about today, and the original Dune Racer.

What are the differences? Well, let’s take a look at the differences now!

Both have the same 12V battery and have the same maximum speed as the original (5mph forward, 2.5mph reversing). They also have a storage compartment, power brake system, and side rails that offer arm support.

However, there are some differences! The Extreme features wider tires that offer more balance when using outdoors. It also has squared rear fenders and a cover underneath that provides extra protection to the electric components.

This is wonderful if you are looking to extend the lifespan of the electrical element of the car and have some added protection.

Recently, the original model has been discontinued, with the Extreme only being available to purchase on Fisher Price’s websiteOpens in a new tab..

You can still purchase the original model and parts on some sites, but they will likely be second-hand.

To save yourself the hassle of this and hunting down parts when you need to carry out repairs, I recommend that you opt for the Extreme!

After all, it’s got the extra protection for electrical components, who doesn’t want that?

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! If you are looking for a mid-price point ride-on car that has fantastic safety features, then the Dune Racer Extreme is the one for you!

It offers endless fun for your child, and is sure to keep them entertained for years to come! Just be sure to maintain it and you can enjoy years of use from the Extreme!

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