The Best RC Car

HPI Racing E10 Mustang Drift Monster Energy RC Car

Our Top Pick for 2016: HPI Racing E10 Mustang Drift Monster Energy RC Car
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for -*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

Nothing is more fun that racing with a remote control car. Whether you are a youngster who is enjoying the thrills of a new race car or an adult who is satisfying your need for speed, a RC car can be a device that gives you thrills for hours. Before you purchase a new RC car, there are a few considerations you will want to make, which should start which with how you plan to use your new RC car. Will you be simply doing donuts on the pavement or will you be doing more extreme racing events that may take you off-road? There are so many different types of remote control cars available today, so we have taken the initiative to provide you with a few of our top selections.

Table of contents

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Electric Brushed 27T 540 Motor
Chassis: Bathtub Type 0.078 (2mm) Thick
High Detail
Four Wheel Drive
Quick Change Battery Holder
LED Lights
High Torque Servo
Painted Body
Automatic Door/Forward/Reverse
Polycarbonate Body
2.4ghz Radio
5 X 1.2 V Rechargeable Battery
2.4GHz Radio Included
Includes Battery And Charger
Transmitter Requires X3 AA Battery

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): HPI Racing E10 Mustang Drift Monster Energy RC Car

HPI Racing E10 Mustang Drift Monster Energy RC Car Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for -*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerHPI is a company that has been bringing high quality remote control vehicles and accessories to RC hobbyists since 1986. Their dedication to their crafted cars is extensive; and as a result, their products tend to be a bit more costly than many of the RC car options available. The HPI E10 is a RC car that is exceptionally durable, and as with all gold picks, it is adored by critics.

The E10 is designed to be a miniature replica of Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s 2013 Ford Mustang, which is sponsored by Monster Energy. It sports the Monster logo on the hood of the vehicle as well as on the doors. It also says Monster Energy in a few different locations across the vehicle. It has a beautiful design that you will be proud to race across the pavement. The E10 is 1/10th of the size of the original vehicle, and it features the exact same type of Monster green Nitto tires. The only difference is that they are made from a hard material that is easier to drift on paved surfaces whereas the original obviously has rubber tires.

This RC car is a drift style on-road vehicle that is ready to run right out of the box. It is designed to be one of the easiest RC cars to drift on the market. It features an optimized weight balancing system that gives you smoother than average drifts as your tires grip the road through sharp curves. This RC car is designed with realistic looks and it performs just as realistically.

When it comes to power, this RC car is a real racing beast. It features a Saturn 27T electric brushed motor that is designed to out race all of the other RC cars you come across. This motor is low maintenance as well, so you will not need to tune it up every time that you decide to race with it. The drive shaft in this remote control car is 4WD, so if you happen to come across treacherous conditions while you are racing, you will be able to maintain control of your vehicle. In addition, the E10 is designed with bell crank steering, which allows you to have more control and maneuver curves precisely the way you want to handle them.

The remote is a high performance SC-15WP speed control that has a brake, a throttle, and a reverse. This makes driving the RC car a more realistic feat. In addition, the vehicle is controlled through a 2.4 GHz radio that has a few channel options, which means you can select a channel that has optimum control and performance. If you do happen to lose control of your E10 while racing through the city streets, then it should not suffer much damage from a front head on collision. The bumper front is fitted with a shock absorbing foam bumper that will take most of the impact.

The E10 runs using a 7.2 volt HPI Plazma battery pack that is designed to give you optimal run time. The remote requires four AA batteries, and there is also an AC wall adaptor included to recharge the batteries. This car is designed for drifting, so it may not be as fast as you like, but it will get you around those curves in good time. Also, the E10 is close to the ground so watch out for uneven pavement that could cause scrapping on the undercarriage.

When it comes to reviews, there are only a few on Amazon, which is possibly due to the fact that this RC car is a bit more than many parents are willing to spend on a child’s toy. Most of the reviews come from RC car enthusiasts who use these devices in their spare time. Out of the 23 reviews on the site, 21 of them gave this RC car a positive rating of at least four stars. In fact, 19 of those were actually five star ratings, so it’s safe to say that the consumers who spend the money on this RC car are extremely happy that they decided to make the purchase. Here is an example of one review: “This was purchased as a Christmas gift and during that time he has toyed with this car a lot, it’s pretty fast the controls are easy and this car can drift nicely. My son is 20 years old he doesn’t baby the car but he takes care of it.”

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Redcat Racing Electric Volcano EPX Truck

Redcat Racing Electric Volcano EPX Truck

View it on Amazon for $139.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerRedcat Racing is a company that was established in 2005 to bring a form of fast and affordable fun to children and adults alike. RC cars haves been one of the main products that they manufacture, and the company is dedicated to making sure that they are durable devices that will last for years. Our silver pick, the Volcano, is a powerful off-road monster truck that is designed to take on rugged terrain and uneven ground with no issue. It is one of the most popular RC trucks that are available on the market today, and it is easy to see why it is loved so much by both consumers and critics.

Starting with the exterior design of the Volcano, you will love the overall aesthetic feel of the vehicle. It features a red and black body that angles upwards towards the back of the truck with the color swap. The hood is silver, and that same color can be seen in thin lines, which are placed to perfectly serve as a border between the red and the black. In addition to the stylish exterior, this monster truck is comprised of a lightweight polycarbonate material that makes it easy to take where everwherever you go. An afternoon hike can easily turn into an off-road adventure. The Volcano is designed to traverse rough terrain, so climbing up a rocky incline should be a simple task. Also, maneuvering over sticks and other small obstacles should be easy.

The Volcano is a RC car that is erupting with power. It features a 27T brushed 540 motor that will get you where you are going, no matter how tough the path. It also features a drive shaft that is 4WD, which means that it will never get stuck in the mud. In addition, those excursions that end with a rain shower will never ruin your fun. This RC truck has waterproof parts that will be protected from rain puddles and excess mud. As an off-road vehicle, the Volcano is extremely fast; in fact, it can go up to 20 miles per hour on any type of surface. Another feature that will help you maintain full control over the Volcano is the aluminum capped shocks that are filled with oil.

This RC car comes with a 2.4 GHz radio transmitter that allows you drive forwards as well as backwards with the car. The remote requires eight AA batteries to power on the device, which are not included with the purchase of this RC car. The Volcano also requires a 7.2 volt 1800 mah NiMh battery; fortunately, this battery is included in the packaging. Recharging the battery takes about six to eight hours, and a full charge results in about ten minutes of play. One suggestion for a longer run is to keep an extra charged battery on hand.

When it comes to reviews, there are 390 on Amazon. Of those reviews, 70 percent of them deemed the Volcano worth of a positive four or five star rating. Some of the reviewers have issues with how quickly the battery dies in this RC car, but it can easily be upgraded if you want more time. Other than that most reviewers love the durability and the fact that it can run on any terrain. Here is a great five star testimonial expressing how versatile this remote control truck really is: “Ok this thing is super fun. It’s been in the mud, snow, sand and grass without any problems. This is a perfect RC car for the beginner wanting to customize it a bit. I’ve already added off road lights and look forward to more modifications.”

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Holy Stone 2962A Lamborghini Veneno RC Car

Holy Stone 2962A Lamborghini Veneno RC Car

View it on Amazon for $69.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardHoly Stone is a company that was created in 2014. They are relatively new to the world of RC racing, but they are dedicated to producing top of the line devices that will entertain children and adults alike. Their Lamborghini Veneno is a unique looking car that is designed for anyone who wishes that they could own a Lamborghini in real life.

This Lamborghini is a futuristic-looking street car that is painted silver. It is designed to be a fast on-road RC car that feels like a real sports car, but it only goes up to 20 miles per hour, so it is a bit slower than a real Lamborghini. The car is extremely low to the ground, but it has a great front and rear suspension that takes small bumps with ease. Just be aware that the bottom could scrap a bit, if the pavement is too uneven. Thankfully, the exterior of this car is made from a sturdy plastic material that is durable and long lasting.

The best exterior feature of this car is that the doors open in a true Lamborghini style, which means that they open upwards from the hinges. The trunk also opens to show the inside workings of this RC car. This is the perfect feature for a child who wants to pretend that their small friend is taking a trip. Their small dolls or action figures can sit right inside of either of the doors. Another feature that you may appreciate is the fact that the headlights come on when you are driving forward, and the taillights turn on when you drive in reverse. You will never have to stop playing with this RC car just because it is getting dark outside.

The remote control is a joystick style control that features a gravity sensor. This means that you can either use the joystick with the base secured to the table or you can use it in gravity mode and just tilt the entire remote in the direction you want the car to travel in. This feature makes it easier to maneuver and control the car is situations where you may not be able to set the joystick down.

The Lamborghini takes a 1.2 volt NiCad battery pack that is included in the packaging. It also requires three AA batteries for the remote portion of the device. The included battery can be recharged with the adaptor that is included with the purchase of this RC car. It will take about four or five hours to fully recharge the battery and a full charge will only give you about 30 minutes of run time.

Insofar as reviews, 89 percent of the reviews on Amazon have given it at least a four of five star rating. Many of the reviewers who rated this product have expressed their love for the design and stylish features. Here is an example of one five star testimonial from an avid RC car hobbyist: “I have 26 remote control cars and by far this is the best one!!! Complete detailed interior, engine compartment opens and the Lambo doors open up electrically by the push of a button on the remote = AWESOME!!! I can’t brag enough about this car!!!”

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Maisto R/C Rock Crawler Extreme Radio Control Vehicle

Maisto R/C Rock Crawler Extreme Radio Control Vehicle

View it on Amazon for $35.46*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickMaisto is a company that has been manufacturing remote control toys for almost 50 years. They specialize in quality devices that can be purchased at a lower price point without sacrificing the quality of it. Their Rock Crawler Extreme is the perfect example of a RC car that goes above and beyond what is expected from a RC car in this price range.

Visually, it is an aesthetically pleasing red exterior that is covered in decals that represents the company. It is a monster truck style vehicle, so it has large wheels that are designed to pull through any type of terrain. The outer shell is a hard plastic that is durable enough to take a few hits while going over rocks without causing any damage. It features a 4WD pull that is supported by a front and back suspension that is great to get through any terrain.

Since this RC car is designed for climbing rough terrain and traversing through off-road conditions, it only goes at about three to four miles per hour, which may be a turn off for those of you who like to travel fast. This device has a triple transmitter receiver that allows you to control three different trucks, which means that you can enjoy some off-road adventures with a few friends. The batteries are not included with the purchase of this RC car, but it does not require any extremely expensive battery options. The remote takes six AA batteries, and the truck itself requires a nine volt, which means that more than likely you will be replacing the battery when it loses its charge instead of recharging it. The batteries tend to last for about 30 minutes of continuous use with this specific remote control monster truck.

When it comes to reviews, this RC car has quite a few positive ones. Out of the 789 reviews on Amazon, about 73 percent of the testimonials gave this remote control truck a positive rating of either four or five stars. Many of the reviewers have expressed how well the truck climbs up rocks, curbs, and other rough terrain. Here is one such five star testimonial: “This crawler is a beast. It crawls over fairly large rocks and it handles steep hills (I would say 50-60 degree hills) pretty well. It is also pretty good in the snow and on ice. It is pretty good on sand as well, but it gets in the motors.”


Pre-purchase considerations

Type

When you are purchasing an RC car, you need to know what type of surface you will mainly be racing on. There are several different types of remote control cars that should be considered before you make a purchase. They can be placed into two categories, which are on-road and off-road options.

On-road RC cars are designed to be raced on flat, paved surfaces. These types of cars can help you perfect your driving skills and attain a speed goal that you wish to reach. These cars are often realistic looking vehicles that sport that are considered street cars, touring cars, dragsters, or drift cars. Off-road cars are higher from the ground so that they can be driven across more rugged terrain. These vehicles are designed to be more durable and take a little abuse. Off-road varieties include trucks, buggies, and bigger vehicles. Decide whether you prefer to adventure off-road or you’d rather race at speeds that can reach 100 miles per hour. If you want to have both experiences, a buggy may be a good choice that has a frame that is up off of the ground, but it still has relatively fast speeds that can be useful for racing.

Electric, Gas, or Nitro

RC cars can be powered in a few different ways. They can be electric, which means that they run on battery power. Electric powered RC cars tend to be a bit less expensive, they are lighter to carry, and they run a lot quieter than many of the other powering options. Some prefer the silent motor, while others like to hear their cars rev up their engines during acceleration. The one downside to an electric remote control car is the fact that you will need to recharge or replace the batteries, but that is the only maintenance that the car should need. If you choose a battery powered device, make sure that it functions on rechargeable batteries that last.

Gas or nitro RC vehicles have more power to them. Some combine gas and oil to run, but most RC cars today simple use nitro, which is a type of fuel that can be bought at any RC hobby store. Some people prefer this type of RC car because of the way the car smells and sounds when you torque the motor. These types tend to go at faster speeds, but this also means that the crashes could be more fatal for your vehicle, since any RC car that runs on nitro is a bit heavier. In addition, gas leaks and oil spills can occur, just like in a real vehicle, and your car will require oil changes and tune ups as well.

Scale

How big of a RC car do you want? Should it be small because your space is limited or should it be larger to be seen from greater distances? Most car sizes range between 1/16th and 1/5th, but what exactly do these sizes mean? 1/5th is the largest size RC car that you will most likely get. This means that the remote control car is 1/5th of the size of a full sized vehicle. There are sizes smaller than 1/16th, but purchasing one of these smaller options can mean that the parts that you may need to repair the vehicle may be hard to find. If this is your first RC car, then it may be a good idea to get a mid-sized car that is about 1/10th the size of a full sized car.

Aesthetics

Every RC car differs in style and design, so if you are thinking of purchasing one, make sure it fits your style. Some RC cars have decals and sponsors branded on them to make them look like a true race car. Others have a smooth finish that makes them look like a muscle car that could be raced in the streets. Which exterior design gets your engine revving?

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Racing RC cars is a passionate sport that anyone can enjoy. You can find a car that is a perfect match for you that is ready to run straight out of the box or you can construct your car as a labor of love. Each part will need to be cared for and maintained, but it will be something that you built. There are many other considerations to make, starting with the type of engine, the scale you want to work with, and the look of the car as a whole. You may be working with a remote control car, but you need to make some of the same considerations that you would need to make when purchasing a full sized vehicle. Hopefully this guide can help you decide which car you want to invest in. No matter which car you choose, make sure it is fast, because as Ricky Bobby would say: “if you’re not first, you’re last”.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. HPI E10 Drift Gittin Jr. 1/10 Monster Energy Mustang HPI111664, RC Planet
  2. Redcat Racing Electric Volcano EPX Truck Review, RC Trucker
  3. Johny Tech Review, Zomg! Lamborghini Veneno 1:14 Scale, Die-cast RC Car Review, YouTube, June 29, 2015
  4. Car Tech, Video Maisto Tech Green Rock Crawler EXTREME Remote Control Car Review, RC Mania

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