There are loads awesome RC cars to choose from and with each type unique considerations come into question, especially when choosing the perfect car for your kid. Most common ways of determining which to choose are its power, size, type (on or off-road) and whether this is going to be ready to use straight out the box or does Dad need to get creative in the garage.There is some key information to consider when deciding what RC car is the best for a beginner and with so many different manufacturers, designs and features this can be confusing, especially with very little information to compare with. This is why at StarWalkKids we have decided to take the hard work out of choosing, so you can make an informed decision about what would suit your child’s needs.
Best one to start with
What makes a rc car best for a beginner is often challenging to comment on. Sometimes kids want speed and other times they prefer obstacle challenges. Some like to use their toy car at the beach and other times over rocky terrain. The best choice is one that suits your child’s settings and overall preference. Are they a speed freak or do they prefer a subtle challenge that requires high levels of technical skill.
There are different speeds that these cars can reach and by limiting the speed for the younger driver will ensure no accidents happen. Sometimes the over ambitious can find things are all over before the racing has even started. Some cars in this review will reach speeds of 50km and can be easily broken if ridden into obstacles. This is why making sure the teenager is prepared for the responsibility of handling such a machine.
Most of these RC vehicles are specifically chosen for teenagers and are designed in such a way that if a someone much younger used them it might be dangerous. This is why throughout this review we look into high-end cars with great performances with once in a lifetime appeal and a toy that every child would love as a gift.
What makes a good one
who is the best RC car manufacturer is a highly contested debate and there have been several debates on such a topic, but there are many factors when making such a decision. We have decided to leave this open to debate and have only chosen the best on the market to review, so whatever is your preferred you can be assured they are high quality and well made.
There are some key components when deciding what is a well-made car and this is mainly down to durability, speed, handling and most importantly the ability to replace broken parts. Sometimes we get complaints that one particular part has broken and there are no available spare-parts which mean an expensive gift that is now wasted. All the cars chosen here are replaceable and makes the life of each extended until you decide otherwise.
Who makes the fastest car
This is a growing trend and a number of RC vehicles that are being produced by brands is staggering. There is a wide range of products and some are clearly better than others and in this review, I have chosen the best of the bunch. Here is a list of some others worth considering:
- AKA Racing
- HPI Racing
Each of these has been around for a long time and have stood the test of time as a brand that manufactures and produces quality RC toys.
What should I buy for racing
There is a clear difference between RC cars that are driven on track and those that are off-road. This is the first thing to consider if your child is serious about his riding. Whether he wants to be a legend like Michael Schumacher on-road or like Walker Evans the off-road, either is fine but one must choose either type of racing. Most children like the option of going over rough terrain and in different environments, so that they can test at the beach, backyard and anywhere. This is an advantage of the off-road types of cars, however, there is something magical about the track…
Where to race
Some have wheels designed to go over rough road and surfaces, while others are meant for a smooth terrain. Make sure to know if this an urban ride or a rugged racer, both have their time and place, but one is not necessarily designed to fit for the others.
What is best for bashing
The car that can handle the roughest and varied road surfaces is the one that has the biggest wheels and suspension. There are always obstacles that come in the way when using at the beach or out in the woods, so making sure you have the car that can handle this will make it last a while. There are several large wheeled cars below and each has been chosen because of their ability to handle bumps, bashes and getting thrown around the track.
Which is good for drifting
The “fast and the furious” movies have inspired other like “Tokyo drift” and all the kids want to know if their car can drift round corners. Some can drift better than others and usually this is to do with surface and the driver’s ability. However, there is one highlighted below that can really handle the corners with ease and in complete control.
Teens Traxxas Slash RC Car
Traxxas is well-known for producing racing engines and this RC “the slash” was inspired from off-road racing championships. This is a fast race car and with a rear-wheeled drive this can rip through turns and easily handle jumps.
Speed – The traxxas slash was designed from the 900+ full-throttle horsepower engines that are used at the racing championships. The slash car is fast and has loads of torque and in comparison to the “Everest-10” this is 2 or 3 times faster.
Power – The power of this is impressive and with a modified motor this can really handle long-lasting control with great overall performance. The motor is a 12-turn 550 and designed to keep things going fast with cool low maintained temperatures. The air-flow keeps this cool and the motor life extended with long hours of use.
Type – 2 rear-WD and comes with a 2.4Ghz radio system that can handle using all day with frequency interferences. This is another electrical charger car with all the usual precision control and handling.
Dimensions – The chassis on “the slash” is larger in size than the “Everest-10” and has a wheelbase of 13.2 inches and is a couple of center meters larger. This, however, might be larger but is lower to the ground and has a clearance of 3.5 inches or just under the Everest’s 9cm.
The difference is small however and for height in comparison the is nothing really between them. The closer to the ground the more stability, which is why they keep the long-wheelbase chassis close to the ground on most RC motor-cars. This also has a rear and front bumper and is made to handle large impacts, which protects in those early stages of learning.
Engine – The engine comprises a combination of electronic controls and waterproof casing. The transmission is 272 Magnum and is designed to keep things turning with high torque-control. The ball bearings and 48 gears deliver articulation and don’t waste anything, so the efficiency is high with a great performance.
The torque control is designed to dissipate heat and with the slippery clutch this handle traction and with consistent control, so whatever pressure put on it the wheels keep on turning.
The shocks are filled with oil and boast X-ring technology with our seal of approval for performance. The good thing about the trexxas slash is the rebuild kits and that even if the pressure gets too much this can be easily repaired.
The gears are made from a steel composite and last the test of time with a steel ring surrounding the nylon casing. The rough bashing and rough terrain are handled with the hardened steel and with very little maintenance this well-made design keeps the torque to the wheels efficient and shreds as it goes.
Terrain and surface type – This is a dirt-racer RC designed car with all the grit and speed to match, but it is for racing and not for going up and down more technically difficult terrain like the “Everest-10” is. However, this is a 2WD RC car that rips faster and handles drifting corners like a dream.
Most teenagers want to show-off how well they can drift their cars and with this, they can, it handles the corners with complete control. This is a fantastic RC car for the beach and if you’re a regular at the beach, want to have fun ripping through the sand, whether sand-dunes or just bumping over the ripples the tide has made then this RC vehicles type is the one for you. This can drift easily around the corner, but handling might take some time to learn, but practice makes perfect.
Ease of use – This has a lot of grit, speed and reaches high top-speeds that make it suitable for slightly older kids and preferably into their teens. The handling is great and this comes highly rated across all platforms when reviewed, which is why this is a sure bet for ensuring this would be ideal for a gift for any occasion. This is a kid dream for when they want a ride for jumping over small platforms and creating ramps and obstacles to heighten the driving/riding experience.
Pro’s and Con’s – The traxxas 2×2 is a younger brother of the Slash 4×4 and is capable of impressive speeds, control and awesome handling of most situations. However, it is only a 2x2WD and not as versatile as the Slash 4×4. This is not meant to be used in the same way on a rough, bumpy and rugged terrain.
Age range – This is teenagers with a passion for things that have a high top-speed and like the sport of racing RC cars. The ideal ages are 13 years old to 15 years old and older. This is for children that can handle the responsibility and not good for younger ones.
Price – This is a gift that is really special and any child that is into his RC racing will appreciate this. That being said it is expensive and comes in at the mid-high range in this review. The price is high, but so are the specifications and features, which blast all the rest with a dust heap of dirt in the rear view mirror.
This is great value for money in terms of RC 4WD car to get things started. This is ideal for the first time user who wants a racing car to ride F1 style with their friends. This is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and makes driving easier than some in this review with its moderate top-speed and power.
A parent beginning the buying process and is unsure of what to get for their child as a gift can be sure this is ideal with great all-round features without there being any features that could be dangerous. Others in this review reach huge top speeds and in the wrong hands can cause accidents.
However that’s not to say this doesn’t have loads of grit and technology to keep up, but what it does mean is if you want to find out what is possible then make sure to read until the end of this review.
Speed – The top-speed is 25 mph and is really fast for those never drove a remote-controlled car before. This is fast and with 4 simultaneous spinning wheels, this can really go at speeds that make the user experience fun and exhilarating. However, it will get faster as we continue to review and compare other RC vehicles and this is a good start with a solid speed. I recommend this for beginners.
Power – The power draws from the battery and the lithium-battery type is powered with 7.4V 1500mAh and has a mighty torque up to 1kg equivalent. This will last around 15 minutes and is slightly less than some of the others.
Type – This is a remote-controlled 2.4GHZ radio with a signal to reach up to 80 meters and is sturdy in design and has 4 shock absorbers that hold steady with the suspension that is independent of each wheel.
Dimensions and weight – The best for indoor use is always the smallest, which enables it to be nimble, like this car with dimensions 16.5 x 9.1 x 3.4 inches. This is smaller than some of the others in comparison, but this is to be expected as the bigger usually means more expensive also. The weight of the Keliwow is 3.1 pounds and is slightly heavier when batteries are included.
Engine – The engine is secure and made to endure until battery life ends. The combination between the battery, clutch, shock absorbs differentials and shaft drive both front and rear make this a good overall engine, especially for the price. The server and the speed changer allow this to pull-hard and keep the torque high with sustained speed.
The clutch passes power easily and the mechanism ensures this keeps pulling and top-speed quickly reached.The suspended shock both from the front and rear handle the various terrain they find themselves in. The universal shaft makes the frame and wheels connect without there being room for disruption on the track.
Terrain and surface type – The wheels and 4WD shaft ensure traction and stability over most terrains, but there are some others in this review that can handle rugged and rough environments that this cannot. However this is tuned to handle places like the beach, sandy surfaces, and dirt.
The differentials are well-made and handle smooth corners, which is why this has a good all-round performance with the rear and front.
The wheels are flexible and made to handle fast speeds with sharp turns, which is why they are classed as professional. This car is fast enough to drift and handle corners with ease, but that is easier with a top speed of 25 mph.
Ease of use – This last around 15 minutes of continuous use and takes around 3 hours to charge. The performance and durability make this easy to use and handle both on and off the track, it’s ready to use out the box, which is great for gifts. Keliwow also has great customer service and from the start to finish this makes getting, using and repairing easy at any stage in the user experience both as a parent and for the child.
Pro’s and Con’s – This is mid-level in price, mid level in performance and as you guessed it mid-range all-round. That is not taking away from this being an awesome remote-controlled car, with a fast top speed and a reasonable price to match. However this is capable of speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour, so remember that if you’re wanting the best of the bunch then keep reading.
Age range – This is for children aged from 12 or 13 years of age and up and the manufacturing states this also. The speed of 25 mph is fast and some younger kids might struggle with that, but this is depending on the child.
Price – This is mid-range in price overall and for some parents looking to find a balance between getting an awesome one that will impress and not too expensive then look at this car as an option.
Maisto 1/6 Scale RC Ferrari 488 GBT
This is the same type of RC Maisto car as the one previously reviewed, but much larger with a scale of 1/6, which includes loads of better features and thrill under the hood.
Speed – This can reach fast speeds and is equal to the same standards as the low-end Traxxas car reviewed later. This is much fast than we can run and is fast enough to give adults some excitement when using.
Power – The powerful 164 feet range means this can be used over a larger distance than the other 1/24 scale sized Ferrari 488 GBT car reviewed earlier. The battery size is larger and therefore has more torque and power. The 2 AA batteries give the power and the controller is excellent with pro-style control, with speed controls that allow for technical maneuvering.
Type – The Maisto is a sports car and a supercar all at the same time and the scale means this RC Ferrari 488 GBT is a stunning toy car that is powered to perform.
Dimensions and weight – The dimensions are 22x11x6, larger than the other smaller car types in this review, but match the Traxxas Slash types with a larger frame and body. The weight is 8 pounds and has a solid feeling, even when bumped.
Engine – The engine is made to perform and gives a silent sound with a torque pull that can impress.
Terrain and surface type – This is an outdoor RC car and made to reach high-speeds, however, this is not a buggy or off-road vehicles, so make sure the surface is smooth.
Pro’s and Con’s – Fast and furious with a speed and style that match each other, so the teen to use this will love his latest and greatest gift.
The only negative is that it is a little more expensive and cannot be repaired as easily as the Traxxas cars.
Age range – This is for older children into their teenage years ideally and should be treated with respect and sometimes this comes with age.
Price – The price is mid-range and is around the $100, which is reasonable considering the spec.
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse
Bugatti are known for producing great sports cars and this RC car is based on the real thing with a high top-speed as the word “Vitesse” states in French.
The Bugatti Veyron roadster is a supercar and with dynamic and impressive style this is hard to know it’s not the real thing. This impressive car is based on the world speed record holder with an incredible 408.84 km/h as the fastest roadster yet.
Speed – This RC supercar is based on one of the fastest cars in the world, but is not as fast in real life. This reaches speeds similar to a child running and is easy for handling with great traction and handling even a top speeds.
Power – The power in comparison is not comparable and this model and type is much weaker with less torque and grit. For example, the “traxxas Slash” types are completely different machines and if you’re wanting a car to be an all round beast then this isn’t the one. However, all testing and reviews have said this will keep going even after a good bashing or hard bump and is quiet as it drives.
Type – This is a licensed RC model supercar and is fully ready for use straight out the box. This comes with a radio controller and it is fully functioning with easy steer handling.
Dimensions and weight – The car is smaller than all the others at 18 x 9 x 9 inches and weighs 2.5 pounds, which is also lighter than all the rest in this review.
Engine – The engine is a standard low-mid RC car type and does not stand out in comparison to the others, but this is understandable because of the price being so cheap.
Terrain and surface type – This is really only for road use and not for off-road at all, however, is can handle cut grass. Indoor use with this car would be ideal and great for trying some technical maneuvers around the house.
Ease of use – The is very easy to use and children of all ages can use this and if the child hasn’t used one before then this would be a good choice. There are some cool features like having reverse lights shine and because of its flat low-level design it can fit into and under places, the rest would not.
Pro’s and Con’s – This is a cheaper product and is not as enjoyable or able to use in certain terrains. This combined with the weaker engine type and overall low-level of features makes this a fun budget RC car, but definitely not for the child that loves his racing cars.
This is good for indoor use and can handle the smooth terrain and for some this is ideal. The main benefit with this car is that it’s very cheap, comes fully assembled and is ready to ride and drive straight out the box. This car can handle fast crashes and is strong enough and robust enough to be able to last the test of time with vigorous use and play.
Age range – This is for kids of all ages above 5 years, but ideally it’s best for 7 years old to 13 years. This is similar to the “Ferrari 488 GBT” in terms of speed, durability, and overall performance.
Price – This is a great gift, not too expensive and ideal for a present that is quick to learn and anyone can use without too much difficulty. The price is low and on the budget for many and in comparison it’s cheap to the Traxxas, which are high-end spec with prices to match.
Ferrari 488 GBT MaistoTech
Ferrari cars are well-known for luxury and for some parents that enjoy a thing of beauty they will appreciate the 488 GBT RC car that is a stunning example, but in miniature form with a scale of 1/24. The attention to detail means this is a dream come true for some kids.
Speed – The speed is similar to a fast walking parent or teen and designed well for indoor use and play. The speed controller only has one-speed setting and is fast, but steady. This makes this easy to handle and uses so that the likelihood of it turning over or flipping is reduced.
Power – The power is not great and won’t pull a trailer behind it like some RC toy cars, but this is fine for using and has enough torque to keep things exciting for us.
Type – This is remote-controlled toy car and is great for gifts and play, but not ideal for the parent or grandmother looking for a unique gift that will still be used as some RC car hobbyist do. This type of car allows for forwarding, back, right and left turning with lights that shine to show the way.
Dimensions – Product dimensions are 10.5 x 4.4 x 5.2 inches and the weight is 3 ounces, which is why the manufacturer recommended age if from 8 – 15 years. This is fine for younger children also, but under 3 years would be dangerous.
Engine – This model number is 81090 and the engine runs off of 3 AAA batteries, which is why this is a small toy car. The range is around 30 feet for the RC controller with a frequency using 49MHz, however, it is worth noting that if 2 of the same RC colored cars are bought there will be some interference.
Terrain and surface type – The manufacturing guidelines state that it is not to be used on grass, sand, dirt or mud. This car is better for road use, indoor use or smooth surfaces that do not interfere with low-profile of the car’s design.
Age range – This is for children aged from 8 years old to 15 years. This is a great gift and
ideal for a present that is quick to learn and anyone can use without too much difficulty.
Price – The price is the lowest in this review and good value for money. This does come at a cost and the overall features like; speed, durability, and excitement-factor is less in comparison to some of the others in this review. However, this gives a good bank for the buck and will not let you or the family down.
Ease of use – This is very easy to use and with a constant speed with a simple forward and backward
Traxxas Slash 4X4
This is another truck made by Traxxas and this is very similar to the slash reviewed previously, but with a load more hidden under the hood. This is a 4×4 and is a little more expensive, but wait until you hear why this so.
HOWEVER…This needs a transmitter, battery, charger, and receiver, which means that there is a little work required beforehand and won’t work straight out the box. I couldn’t resist adding this into the review because of the extreme potential this RC Traxxas slash car has, it’s unbelievable when its full potential is reached. This will also come with a body that has full customization capability, so you can design with graphics to suit your child’s preferred style.
Speed – This is by far the fastest yet and produces a top-speed of 60+ mph if you want it to. This is very fast and should only be put into the hands of a child that knows how to handle it. That being said…this is a machine-made for high speeds and with high torque and peaking performances that leave all competition in its dust, it’s no wonder that it is also the most expensive out of all other cars in this comparison review.
Power – With all the speed produced what makes this so powerful you might be wondering? The engine is everything you want it to be and with a huge range of possibilities, this can be as fast as the teenager’s own will and determination is. This is a great feature and with the increased ability this allows an opportunity for the boy or girl to bond with the parent that wants to get involved and get this up and running.
Type – This a platinum edition car and is a 4×4 style-truck designed to go fast and absorb everything around that gets in its way. This doesn’t come with a transmitter and this allows you to choose how far you want this to keep the frequency constant.
The battery choice is varied and you can opt for the one that outlasts others with power and ensure the extended use is installed. The radio bands are typically 2.4GHz and this is usually the standard unless your child is a tech-head and knows some ways of extending the reach.
The motor type is brushless and the frame is made from nylon tub that has been molded together with a composite. This is shaft driven and 4x4WD and unlike “the slash” above this is spinning with all 4 wheels and grips better than it’s brother.
Dimensions – The best small RC car dimensions are sometimes the smallest and this 22.4 x 11.7 x 7.6 inches, platinum features the chassis is low to the ground design. When this combined with GTR shock absorbent design the slash can handle whatever is thrown its way.
Engine – The engine is electrical and powered by the battery of which is your choosing and if you pick some that top speed of 60 mph can be reached. The overall weight is 5 pounds and with a shipping of 8 pounds total, this is relatively light, because of the missing components.
Terrain and surface type – This is a 4×4 RC car and is made to grip, speed, bump and grind almost anything it comes into contact with. This handles beach use, rocky terrain and loves dried mud to drift across. This is not as technically capable of handling steep vertical piles like some of the monster trucks, but all other types it will power through.
This has the potential of reaching speeds 60+ mph and you’re gonna need to learn how to drift and ease around those corners effortlessly. This is the car for you if you’re a drifter, it’s got everything under the hood to make this fly as if the corners are cushioned.
Ease of use – This is not as easy to ride and doesn’t come straight out the box ready to use, however it is ideal for the teen that likes a challenge and wants to customize to suit his car racing needs. This car for racing kids that love being the fastest on his street or loves showing off at the beach, impressing all on-looking with its unique style and awesome speeds that stun people into awe.
This is recommended for 15 years and older, but some kids as young as 12 years old have been seen to use them. Sticking to the manufacturing guidelines is always best though and parent unsure should stay close to control the possibilities.
Pro’s and Con’s – This is the fastest and gritty car out of the lot and is a mean machine built to grow with your child’s abilities and technical handling. This is full customization options and for those that like a challenge with handling, speed, control, design then this is the car for them. The top speed of this car is phenomenal and crushing with a potential top speed that can keep up with a cheetah. This is a 4×4 and built for all-terrain and made to endure and replaced when a part is damaged, which makes this a toy for life.
The negative aspects are that the price is 3-5 times the “Bugatti Veyron” and might put off some parents, but in general you should be aware that these are different user experiences and one is not meant to be used next to the other, but almost like the Bugatti is for the beginner and the Slash 4×4 is meant for the pro and experienced driver.
Age range – Older children and teenagers that like to make their gifts a working project and develop their technical ability and skills will love this. This has all the potential to be the best, both with speed, style, and durability. This is fast, so fast it’s scary to some parents watching, while others find it cool. This can be fully customized and you can make the engine type suit the child’s ability, all the way until there an adult. Some children’s RC car hobbyists prefer this as it’s one that can suit their racing desires and needs.
Price – This is the most expensive car and anyone who takes their RC racing serious will love this. The price is high and the features too, but if you want to get the best with all the potential that an RC racing car can have then this is the car for your kid.
Best overall pick
The “Teens Traxxas Slash RC Car” is the best pick and has all the features that a great RC car should have. The control and handling are superb for fast driving, rough terrain and handles on the sand, dirt and rugged environments.
This one is high-range in price and in comparison to the others, this is fair in price with unique style too. The speed is ideal and finds the equilibrium between safety and fun. I highly recommend this as any toy gift for children either in their teens or close to becoming one, you won’t regret it.
Best Budget Pick
The “Keliwow 4WD“ is a great mid-range pick overall and ideal for children who want to have fun around the house or outside on the street. This is easy to use and cheap in comparison to all others in this review.