11 Best RC Cars reviewed incl video | Stunt, Drift, Buggy & more

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  December 29, 2020

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The Heavy Power list of Top 10 Best RC Cars covers a huge range of prices of RC cars as our goal was to create something that included everything for all budgets.

That's one of the great things about remote-controlled cars - there is a car available for every type of user.

In this article, I'll discuss what to look for when buying a radio-controlled car and review some of the top choices.

Best rc cars for every budget

From the kid who just wants something to race with to the hardcore adult hobbyist with a bigger budget, there's an RC car to suit you.

But when you buy them, especially the more expensive models, there is a lot you need to know (e.g., battery-powered or gas-powered cars, which are the fastest RC cars, which are only intended as drift cars, etc.).

And there are different types of RC cars that specialize in different things like rally car or drift car or just specialize in fastest remote controlled car available.

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Toy reviews & comparisons video

So without further ado, here are the best RC cars for sale this year, along with all the important information you need to know about them:

Model RC car Images
Fastest RC supercar: Traxxas XO-1 Traxxas XO-1 brushless RC car supercar(view more images)
Best RC Monster Truck: Arrma Granite 1:10 Scale

Arrma Kraton RC Monster Truck

(view more images)

Best RC Stadium Truck: Traxxas Rustler best rc stadium truck traxxas rustler(view more color options)

Best RC Drift Car: Fast & Furious RC Mazda
Best RC Drift Car: Fast & Furious RC Mazda(view more images)

Best RC Replica: Traxxas Ford GT
Best RC Replica Ford GT car(view more colors)
Best RC Truggy: Jamara Veloce EP Lipo

Best RC Truggy: Jamara Veloce EP Lipo

(view more images)

Best RC Buggy: Redcat Racing Chimera

Best RC Buggy: Redcat Racing Chimera

(view more images)

Best RC Racing Truck: Redcat Racing Rampage

Best RC Racing Truck: Redcat Racing Rampage

(view more images)

Best RC Stunt Truck: Arrma V3 Outcast 8S Stunt Truck Arrma Outcast RC Stunt Truck(view more images)

Best Budget RC Drift Car: Wonky Cars Cheetah

Best Budget RC Drift Car: Wonky Cars Cheetah

(view more images)

Best Budget RC Offroad Truck: JD Toys RC Rock Crawler Best Budget RC Offroad Truck: JD Toys RC Rock Crawler(view more images)

11 best RC cars reviewed

We will now further review each of these cars:

Read also: the best toy racing tracks

Fastest RC Supercar: Traxxas XO-1 Supercar

Benefits

Cons

If you want the fastest RC car available right now, you should invest a bit in this Traxxas XO-1 Supercar, which can go 160mph straight out of the box and go even faster with a number of optional upgrades.

Not only is the car stylish and sleek, but it also handles beautifully.

This car hits 90 km / h in just 2,3 seconds and 160 km / h in 4,92 seconds - unbelievable!

To achieve such speeds, Traxxas partnered with Castle Creations to develop the Mamba Monster Extreme power system for the unique requirements of the XO-1.

The modified motor is only a few cubic centimeters so it fits into the beautiful design.

The TQi pairs with the Traxxas Link app for powerful tuning features that can even be adjusted by someone else while you drive for extreme precision.

If you want speed, the XO-1 is second to none.

Check the latest prices here

Best RC Monster Truck: Arrma Kraton 1:10 Scale

Benefits

Cons

While Traxxas seems to dominate the RC market, I wouldn't forget the Arrma RC cars - they are top quality.

While I am deeply saddened by the discontinuation of the Nero 6S, their Granite is a great replacement that is a ton of fun.

This little car can go fast!

It can go up to 95+ mph straight out of the box, and with tweaks, we have no doubt you could get it even higher.

It has a low and slim body that reduces drag and allows you to hit top speed, with tires built to grip the pavement.

In addition, it works very well on dirt and snow.

It's one of the coolest little RC cars on sale right now.

It's waterproof and it comes from RTR. It also has a great 2 year limited warranty.

He is for sale here at bol.com

If your child prefers to drive somewhere: check out these fun kids cars

Best RC Stadium Truck: Traxxas Stadium Rustler

Benefits

Cons

The Rustler XL-5 37054 from Traxxas is one of the most fun RC cars out there. It's the # 1 selling 1/10 stadium racer, and for good reasons.

First, the waterproof electronics allow it to ride in all weather conditions, so you can run it through water, mud and snow without damaging the electronics.

Second, it comes with Traxxas Power Cell 7-cell NiMH battery.

The Traxxas Rustler Xl-5 is robust but still sporty, with a top speed of 55 km / h.

Underneath the body you'll find a Torque-Control slipper clutch, which allows the Rustler XL-5 to operate smoothly with consistent traction control.

There are three driving profiles and a user-friendly electronic speed control for high handling, allowing new or young drivers to develop their handling skills before using the full power of its Titan 12T motor.

It's also RTR (Race Ready) so all you have to do is pop in the batteries and you're good to go.

You won't find a better hobby RC car for less than 250 euros.

View all variants here

Best RC Drift Car: Fast & Furious RC Mazda

Benefits

Cons

While the company has many mediocre offerings, their Mazda Drift Car is a standout in the price range.

Mazda Drift is a very fast racing car with a top speed of 40 KM / H.

The wide bumper at the front provides extra strength and protection should you drift out of the track.

The body of the car is interchangeable and is available in different colors and shapes. The body is made of a flexible, durable plastic PVC.

This model is made for beginners and advanced, even for children from 8 years old.

The orange Mazda style is the coolest of the bunch, and it's also the sportiest. It is also fast and durable.

And, as expected, it drifts wonderfully, allowing you to take turns without difficulty.

The battery leaves a lot to be desired, but if you or your child are just getting into RC cars, the Mazda is a good choice.

Check the latest prices here

Best RC Replica: Traxxas Ford GT

Benefits

Cons

Racing enthusiasts can't get enough of the Ford GT, mainly because of its sleek appearance.

Now you can get that sleek look with the Traxxas Ford GT 1/10 FWD, which is a new addition to their arsenal of great RC cars.

This officially licensed scale Ford GT uses the 4WD 4-Tec 2.0 chassis and while it won't hit the same speed as the actual Ford GT, it looks just as cool.

This powerhouse is capable of over 50 mph out of the box and comes with aggressive street tires with replica brake discs and calipers for the ultimate in realism.

It's also waterproof, so you won't have any issues with the electronics if you drive it in the rain or over puddles.

He is available here in different colors

Best RC Truggy: Jamara Veloce EP Lipo

Benefits

Cons

Jamara is another popular RC Car company for hobby enthusiasts and they have a nitro RC car that is powerful, fast and reliable.

The Truggy RTR is that car, and it's a great choice of big-air stunts thanks to the durable aluminum chassis, brackets and shock towers, and the Nitro Star F4.6 HPI engine, which puts out power, lets you get huge long air jumps, backflips with ease. and do high jumps.

Its large wheels and 4WD make it perfect for landing on even difficult terrain. 

And, like most Traxxas cars, HPI Racing's Truggy Racer is waterproof.

You also get a full, detailed guide to disassembling and reassembling the Truggy for easy maintenance.

It is available here at bol.com

Best RC Buggy: Redcat Racing Chimera

Benefits

Cons

Another great Redcat Racing RC car is the Redcat Rampage XB-E Electric Buggy, a super-fast buggy that uses an impressive 11.1v 3600mAh LIPO battery to power it.

It has a super fast 980KV electric brushless motor that provides all the torque you could ever want and fantastic horsepower.

This thing is a MASSIVE 1/5 scale extreme buggy so make sure you have storage space for it.

While the price tag is high, the payoff is good too, and it's one of the coolest RC cars you can buy right now.

Check current prices here at Amazon

Best RC Racing Truck: Redcat Racing Rampage

Best RC Racing Truck: Redcat Racing Rampage

(view more images)

Benefits

Cons

Redcat Racing is another favorite brand of ours in the RC world as they consistently deliver quality cars.

One of our top picks for RC trucks is the Redcat Racing Blackout SC Pro.

It has a super aggressive look that makes it look like a race truck (which is essentially what it should be), and two colors are available: red or blue.

 

More importantly, it has a super impressive 7.4V 3200mAh LIPO battery (and yes, the charger is included, of course).

The motor is electric brushless KV3800 motor.

It also uses four-wheel drive to push itself on any terrain (it's one of our winter favorites for snow!).

It's a fast and powerful beast, and since they no longer make the Arrma 6X trucks (they've been discontinued) this is a second best.

Check prices at Amazon

Best RC Stunt Truck: Arrma V3 Outcast 8S

Benefits

Cons

The Arrma Outcast 8S BLX is one of Arrma's latest RC cars and appears to use the same design as the discontinued Arrma Nero 6s line.

Except it looks weird ... not necessarily in a bad way, but ultimately unlike any other truck design we've seen.

It uses a '50s-style truck body with an aggressive-looking, low-seated chassis.

On-demand backflips and wheelies are available, making it easy to impress your friends.

This RC Stunt Truck can be purchased here at TopRC

Best Budget RC Drift Car: Wonky Cars Cheetah

Benefits

Cons

You can get this Wonky Cars Drift for less than 50 euros.

It's nice because the housings are interchangeable with a huge selection of available versions.

Here you can see it in action:

They are made from a flexible, durable plastic PVC that can withstand impact and accidents and are easy to replace even if damaged.

The tires are made of rubber and can be replaced with another kind.

1/10 scale… it's really big!

Check the latest prices here

Best Budget RC Offroad Truck: JD Toys RC Rock Crawler

Even as a toy quality truck, the Rock Defender 1/12 6WD handles rough terrain excellently.

Many customers rave about its 4x4 traction, which can put the driver in tight spots.

Another feature is the shock-resistance suspension that allows it to handle shocks exceptionally well.

The rc truck makes a good buy for only about 50 euros. This would be an excellent choice as a hobby toy off road truck.

Benefits

Cons

The Rock Crawler is for sale here

RC car Buyer's Guide

Before getting into the hobby, it's best to get an overview of what's out there and then build your knowledge on that foundation over time.

There are several quirks about RC vehicles that are essential for understanding the type of car you want to buy.

The first question that usually comes from anyone new to RC cars is:

"Which RC Car Is Best To Buy?"

This is actually a great question, but it's put in a little bit wrong.

The correct question is actually: what type of RC car do you want to buy?

Before choosing an RC, understand that there is a big difference between toy quality and hobby class.

The latter is much more expensive, but as you can expect, they are more durable, faster and generally better. We'll cover both types in this short guide.

There are different categories of RC cars, each with a special function.

Here's a basic overview of the main categories of RC cars:

There are other classes of RC cars such as pans, tours, scrawlers, SCTs and others.

But these are more for enthusiasts and special circuits that you will no doubt learn if you manage to build your own RC or competitions.

Once you find the right RC, you can find the hobby very addictive.

This is especially true if you find a local race track or obstacle course.

Several modern RC cars are designed to deliver some fantastic performance especially when in the hands of an experienced driver.

As you increase your skills as a driver, you will better understand which vehicle offers you maximum options for your needs.

Over the years, advancements in RC technologies have exploded, increasing the driver's level of driving ability.

As you go through the list above you will see almost every category of RC car.

Each of the chosen cars has a set of features that are very useful for its off-road specialty.

While some of them are more expensive, we've made it a point to even list those on a budget to give an amateur a good starting vehicle.

Toy Grade vs Hobby Grade

The first decision you need to make is whether you are going to buy a toy quality RC car or a hobby class RC car.

The stuff for toys is what you find at Wehkamp and other department stores.

These vehicles usually have a great look, but most of the time the benefits pretty much end here.

The vast majority of them are made very cheaply and have very limited capabilities.

Toy class RC cars

Toy-grade RCs generally have a very low top speed, poor handling and rudimentary suspensions if any.

What that means is that whoever uses the vehicle is likely to get bored with it quickly and toss it to the back of the play chest in no time.

Most toy class vehicles will not pass through grass or rough terrain.

They will not climb obstacles and they go too slow to have fun for a long time, even on smooth surfaces.

And worst of the toy-grade RC, they are not upgradeable or repairable.

If your child likes it enough to keep using it, they will eventually break it.

And when that happens, you throw it in the trash and end up with a sad little boy (or girl).

Most toy-class RCs will cost you between $ 40 and $ 100, so you're talking about a lot of money for something that ends up in the trash.

Notable exceptions to this are the London Drift Car and the Rock Defender.

While it's still nowhere as good as this hobby-class crawler, it's surprisingly capable of a toy-type truck, and with the small price tag, it's a pretty safe option when money is very limited and if that kid of slower, more technical type of car.

Hobby class RC cars

Let's talk hobby class cars. Switching to a hobby-grade RC has a number of important benefits.

First and foremost, they are more reliable and repairable, protecting your investment.

Another advantage of the hobby class RCs is that they are upgradeable.

So as your skills as a driver grow, so can the vehicle's capabilities.

For example, kids can grow with still the same RC car they used to start when they were three, as you'll be able to upgrade it as its skills increase.

With hobby class RC cars, there really is no limit when it comes to cost, but you can get in some fun hobby class RCs for just $ 150.

Read also: best RC drone for your kid

Sizes and styles RC cars

Now that I have hopefully persuaded you to consider a hobby class RC car, let me now explain the differences between the myriad sizes and styles out there so that you can make a smart purchase decision.

Size

Remote-controlled cars come in all shapes and sizes, from a small scale of 1:64, all the way to a large scale of 1: 5.

The most common size is 1:10 scale, which is what I'm going to recommend for a few reasons.

Not only can larger RCs cost a lot of money, but putting a 10 pound rocket, 80 mph in the hands of a child can do significant damage to things like pets, cars, or ankles, so I don't think they're a good one idea for a beginner.

On the other side of the scale are a number of smaller RCs, such as 1:18 scale. Many people flock here because they are cheap and there seems to be a natural thought that small toys are best suited for small people.

The problem with the size is that they are still far too big and powerful to use at home unless you have a huge basement or an empty two-car garage.

But they are still too small to handle most of the terrain you encounter outside.

99% of the time, a child will use an RC car in the backyard in the grass, on a dirt driveway, or on a street full of curbs and various obstacles.

In fact, small cars are useless in all these circumstances.

So unless you live next door to a skate park to use them only on the sidewalk, the smaller cars will go unused.

I picked up a 1:18 scale monster truck, just like this one for a friend's kid for his birthday, and as far as I know, he used it once and never touched it again.

For this reason, I feel that 1:10 scale RC cars are a good place where you have the advantage of being able to use them in a wide variety of terrains without the expense or hazards of the larger vehicles.

The only exception to this would be if the child has a large enough interior space to use them as I mentioned earlier.

In that case something like the 1:28 scale team associated trucks are a great option and a really cheap and fun indoor alternative.

These Hot Wheels RC cars from 1:28 are great fun and you can also have a lot of fun setting up a race course with jumps in the garage inside.

What type of vehicle should you buy?

Now that I've recommended size, I'd like to break down all the different types of RC cars you can get within that 1:10 scale.

There is a lot of variety here, but I'm going to break it down into three main groups. You have cars on the road, off road cars and crawlers.

I'm going to immediately take the on-road group off the table for the same reasons as with the 1:18 scale, as you are very limited where to use them.

Even if the child lives where they have immediate access to a nice, large paved area, most kids will quickly get bored with that limited application of just one type of use.

So that leaves off-road vehicles and tracks. Both can be a good option depending on what you think you want to use your car for.

In my experience, the majority of kids seem to prefer the thrill of going fast, setting up jumps, doing wheelies and donuts and all those things that go hand in hand with the typical off-road vehicles.

If you think your child would be more interested in the slower, more technical side of RC then the crawler is the way to go.

The places these trucks can reach is extremely impressive and there is an endless supply of obstacles to challenge them.

The only caveat to the crawlers is that as I experience spending their time in such rough, rougher terrain, breakage is inevitable, so keep this in mind with this segment.

Because of the higher demands on these vehicles, you also tend to have far fewer options at the lower end of the price range.

300 to 350 euros is generally the starting point for this type of vehicle.

If you use it a lot, you must be prepared to carry out regular repairs with this truck. So just keep that in mind.

Which type is recommended for beginners?

So this leaves us with the off-road segment, which I recommend for the majority of new RC owners.

Within the off-road segment you have a variety of vehicles:

In addition, they are all available with two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. What is the difference?

The difference between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive is that the four-wheel-drive trucks are generally better suited to rough terrain, easier to drive in low traction environments, and more expensive.

The steerability is really only a big advantage for the fast, more powerful truck types that I wouldn't recommend for a beginner.

In the more modestly powered vehicles, the two-wheeled trucks are very manageable and cheaper.

The 4 × 4s have big advantages when you go up in speed and power and try to traverse the nastier, rougher terrain.

Now for your final consideration, what type of vehicle? A buggy, a stadium car, etc.?

My recommendation here has a lot to do with where you expect them to use the truck.

If it's going to see a lot of use in the grass and rougher terrain, then you'll want to stick with something that has a lot of ground clearance.

Monster trucks generally have the most ground clearance, followed by stadium trucks, then a lot of variants where it doesn't matter, finally, buggies.

They have the least space off the ground.

On the other hand, the handling improves if you reduce your ground clearance.

If they are going to use them in shorter grass and smoother terrain then something like the short racer or buggy is best.

I'm a big fan of stadium trucks because I feel like they achieve the perfect combination of versatility in the widest range of terrains.

One of my favorite examples is the Traxxas Rustler.

It does well in short grass and is a lot of fun in dirt driveways, skate parks and bumpy sand areas.

In my mind it is one of the best values ​​in RC. It's super durable.

It's easy to work on and has appropriate performance right out of the box, plus it's highly expandable.

If you have a few dollars more to spend, you can drive a monster truck with two wheels, like the Traxxas Stamped, or the Traxxas Bigfoot.

Traxxas Stamped has a longer chassis and bigger tires, so better suited to grass and rough terrain. This one has an upgrade of the electronics and a new body.

Another great option here is the Arrma Granite Voltage. It is a two-wheeled monster truck that is not too expensive.

I don't like it as much as the Traxxas trucks, but for the price, it's terribly hard to find much to fault.

RC car repair

There is one last consideration that I think you should be aware of.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the main advantages for hobby class RCs is that they can be repaired, and this is huge as sooner or later they will all break down.

Ultimately, they all do. With a toy-grade RC, you throw it in the trash, leaving you with a disappointed child and feeling like you've wasted money.

The hobby class RCs have the advantage of being repairable, but to take advantage of this you need to pick one with good part support.

And ideally one for which your local hobby store has the parts in stock.

If this is the kid's only RC car they will be devastated having to wait a week or more for parts to be ordered, so getting the parts at your local hobby store is a big plus.

In my case, if I break down an RC car, I have plenty of others to use in the meantime, and I can hardly ever get to my local hobby store when it's open.

So for me my only concern is there is good support for parts online.

Part support is also why I wouldn't recommend some of the cheaper off-brand RCs available from places like eBay, Amazon, or any of the many Chinese retail sites.

Some of those vehicles represent great value for money, but no child wants to wait a month for parts to come out of China if they break something, if at all.

So for their first RC, stick with a brand with local support.

Hopefully you are now well equipped to pick out the perfect RC car that is sure to make someone happy.

I have links in the comparison table with all the vehicles that I have listed, along with their specifications.

FAQ

What else should I consider before buying an RC?

How you control your RC greatly affects some of the other functions you need for it.

For example, if you want to drive the vehicle from anywhere, you might want to check the RC's crash score.

Some vehicles are clearly more robust than others, so if you plan your RC to survive a wall crash, consider using a stronger car.

What type of batteries do RCs use?

Different manufacturers use different battery types. Common batteries, however, are 9V and AA.

You should also know that there are some RCs with nitro motors.

So while the controller may require batteries, the motor may require batteries and fuel.

Can two of the same RC be used at the same time (with different controllers)?

If you buy two of the same RCs, check if they have different frequencies for the controllers.

Usually manufacturers have multiple frequencies on the controller and in the car so this won't be a problem.

But always check before completing your purchase.

Can an RC car make jumps?

Again, this is highly dependent on the type you are buying. Of course, off-road RCs are more suited to handle jumps than street cars.

If your RC has shock absorbers, chances are it can handle light to moderate jumps off ramps.

More gadgets: the best robot toys

Can I design my own RC?

You sure can! There are a number of other enthusiasts within the hobby who use RC kits to build custom models.

However, if you're learning a bit about RCs or don't have the time to invest in builds, sticking with ready-made cars is probably a better option.

Can I use my RC on the beach or on sandy surfaces?

You can, but it must be done with extreme caution or avoided.

Sand particles can get into the bushings, gears, suspension and other small parts and cause a lot of wear.

Anyone who uses their RC on the beach or in sandy conditions will lose some life from their vehicle.

Additional Considerations

Below are a few things to understand about RC components.

This information can be helpful if you need replacement parts or if you want to try making a custom RC.

RC Motors with brushes or brushless

Currently, all RCs have motors that are brushed or brushless (brushless, sometimes abbreviated as BL). Among the two, brushless are the best.

Brushed motors run slower than BLs; hence most cheaper RCs (especially toy models) feature brushed motors.

The rating for brushed motors is calculated from revolutions (usually denoted by 't').

Many of the stock engines in ready-made RC have a range between 19t and 30t.

Powerful brushed motors range between 5t and 12t. So the lower the turns, the faster the engine.

Some brushed motors are rebuildable and have an easy disassembly so that the brushes and springs are accessible.

Other brushed motors are closed (non-rebuildable, so called 'cans') and must be replaced as a whole.

Brushless (BL) motors are more durable, faster, and use battery power more efficiently. Therefore they are more expensive. BLs are classified by KV.

Unlike brushed motors, the BL KV ratings that are higher equals more RPM.

But just because a BL has a high CV doesn't automatically mean better.

Lower KV equates to more torque essential for heavier RCs such as trucks and other off-road / all-terrain vehicles.

More race cars? Also read everything about these LEGO racers

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child, he came into contact with everything around games when his mother started the Tin Soldier in Ede. Since 2016, he and his team have been creating helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.