My neighbors' 3-year-old got an Escalade for Christmas last year, and it still frightens me to think about it. She could drive, back up, and do 3-point turns like a pro, but she also did some scary stuff in that car. She would drive along the sidewalk and, since the car is so wide and she was, well, 3 years old, the car would sometimes tip over the edge so that 2 wheels were in the street. She would sometimes try to follow my son, who was on his little bike, and her car went far faster than his bike-- it terrified me. Another afternoon she and some other neighborhood kids were backing up, then ramming the car into the curb, over and over. Then there's the fact that the car was always in the street and zooming in and out of people's driveways, constantly putting the child in close contact with (actual) cars. How can anybody think that these play cars are safe? They're not safety tested like real cars are, yet children feel safe shutting the door, buckling up, and going into the street in them.
And why are small children getting Cadillacs and other scaled-down SUVs as presents, anyway? What does this say about our culture? What will next year's present be? If my ILs bought a surprise like this for DS without consulting me, I would be so upset.
Maybe next year you can have a Nova Natural catalog sent to your MIL's house.
(That's what I did this year, and she miraculously got all of DS's presents from it!)