With summer seeming to have finally appeared in the UK, and lockdown restrictions easing across the country, we’re all looking for any excuse we can find to get out in the sunshine and enjoy the warmer weather.
Remote control (R/C) cars are a great reason to do just that, and here we’ve tested some of the entry points into this fascinating hobby, which can develop not only your driving ability but also your engineering skills.
What we’ve tested here are ready-to-run (RTR) examples (or very nearly so) of off-road buggies and trucks, which means they’re cars that you can take out of the box and begin driving with a minimum of preparation. All the models we tested are electric and ideal for use by relative beginners.
Crucially, every one of the five brands represented here also offers a strong degree of aftercare. As a result, once you’ve bought one of these cars, you can repair, replace or upgrade it with go-faster parts with ease.
How we tested them
Two key points here are value for money and the cars’ fun factor. We were looking for models that put a smile on our face right out of the box. Nobody can deny that speed is fun, but it isn’t everything, and our favourites had to balance impressive speed with eager handling.Advertisementhttps://72f1ae6c5c2c802829caf90ff0282117.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?upapi=trueAD
Stable cars make life much easier for novice drivers, because walking over to put a flipped car back on its wheels is a pain. Good ground clearance and traction are also useful if you’re going to use one away from smooth tarmac and car parks, because many will want to drive in the garden or other off-road areas. It’s also good to have some adjustability, for when the budding racer becomes more adept and willing to experiment.
We liked sturdy construction, too, with a strong chassis and suspension, plus bodyshells that can stand up to a bit of abuse. Finally, we looked at price at the time of testing.
We can honestly say that there isn’t a duff car here, and picking a winner was a difficult task. The Traxxas Bandit just pipped the rest, though – it’s beautifully constructed, well priced and great fun to drive. We were highly impressed by the FTX Bugsta, which is fast and stable, while close behind was the Tamiya Racing Fighter.
- Traxxas Bandit XL-5 iD
- FTX Bugsta Brushless
- Tamiya X-SA Racing Fighter