Christmas Buyers Guide – Best Remote Control Cars 2018

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Christmas Buyers Guide Best remote control cars 2017

Looking to buy a remote control car as a present this Christmas? Then look no further than our Christmas buyers guide which showcases a range of RC cars suitable for all ages and budgets. Our guide covers models suitable for driving or drifting, indoors or out, along with some advice on scale and power-train for first-time buyers.

All the remote control cars here are tried, tested and loved by RC Geeks staff. With so many models available, our editors have set about curating a list of the best models we sell, grouped by budget. Whatever you opt to purchase, you can be sure our recommendations will result in a great gift.

Stocking Fillers

HPI Racing Q32 Series (From £32.99)

This fun little chassis packs in huge entertainment at a bargain basement price. Despite the diminutive 1/32nd size they come with a normal transmitter that charges off of a fly-lead (although a USB charger is available). With a thin decorative plastic body and foam tyres they are best suited to hooning around indoors. The original Q32 has always proved to be a big seller at Christmas time, its pricing making it an ideal stocking filler. There have been other variations on the setup such as the Q32 Trophy truggy with different wheels and a comedy sized wing out the back.

Q32 Chassis

With several F1 fans in the office, our favourite ‘flavour’ has proved to be the Formula Q32 cars. These caricatures of classic race cars are available in white and red or blue and yellow. We have lost count of the amount of modifications we have applied to these bargain cars, from manufacturer gear adjustments to full-on LiPo upgrades and FPV setups with goggles. At this near disposable price the scope of what you can get up to is limited only by your imagination! Shop for HPI Racing Q32 cars on our webstore now.

FTX Colt 4WD Buggy (£68)

FTX Colt 1/18 4WD BuggyThe FTX Colt is ideal for the classic ‘first RC Car‘ Christmas gift. The 1/18th scale (Around 25cm long) means it can be used both indoor and out, offering a ‘true’ RC experience without breaking the bank. It includes the car battery and slow charger and only require the AA batteries for the transmitter.

Featuring adjustable double-wishbone suspension, fully ‘ball raced’ and with oil-filled shocks, these cars are a step above the cheap models you will find in markets (or in catalogue shops) in terms of quality.

Shop for FTX on our webstore now to check out the different models this budget brand produces.

Maverick Strada XT 4WD Truggy (£134)

The last of our stocking fillers is a full ‘1/10th’ 4WD scale car. At 42cm long it enters the realms of more serious RC cars and might be seen more as a ‘big boys toy’ suitable for teenagers and above. Its metal differentials are connected to the powerful motor via a metal prop-shaft, powering all four wheels. This tried and tested chassis has been upgraded with aluminium shock towers, tough c-hub suspension all riding on a double wishbone design dampened by oil filled shocks.Maverick Strada XT 1/10Alongside the Truggy, Maverick offer variations on the chassis for different terrains. Drive on smooth or fine surfaces? Check out the touring car and drift car models. Prefer things a little looser? Check the rally car, short course truck, buggy, or desert truck. Really want to test your skills off road? Check out the monster truck and the rock crawler.

Whilst this comes with the low capacity rechargeable battery and trickle charger for the car, you will still need 4xAA batteries for the transmitter. You can view all of the brushed Maverick models on our webstore. Looking for something a little faster? Take a look at the brushless models from Maverick here!

Mid-pack models

Note that the cars from this point on are a lot more ‘serious’. As such you will require a battery (with relevant connector) for the car as well as a charger (plus a set of AA batteries for the transmitter) to get driving, as the manufacturers do not include these. Check the ‘compatible hop-ups’ section for recommendations for compatible batteries and chargers.

Absima AB2.4 BL 4WD Brushless Buggy (£189)

Absima’s AB2.4 remote control car has the classic buggy layout, ideal for tearing around a garden, playground or skatepark. This new brushless model is more than fast enough for teenager. It offers solid value, the chassis features design elements usually found on higher-end models such as oil filled shocks, adjustable turnbuckles and a covered transmission.

absima-blYou can find the Absima AB2.4BL on our webstore, but if you are not a fan of the buggy aesthetic It is also available as a Truggy.

Axial SCX10 II Honcho 1/10th 4WD RTR Rock Crawler (£289)

If you prefer your off-road thrills at a slower pace, try one of our scale crawlers. These models have huge ground clearance, big wheels and are geared for slower controlled climbingThis is one of the all-time favourites when it comes to crawling, fitted with Axial’s AX10 transmission, single-piece AR44 axles, Method Hole wheels, Falken Wildpeak M/T tires and a set of four LED lights.

Axial SCX10 II Honcho

The included control hardware offers a drag brake option for controlled descents. Combining this car with a 3S LiPo will allow you to conquer some serious terrain. The electronics are water resistant so you can bowl your way through shallow streams no problem.

Grab the Axial SCX10 II Honcho 1/10th 4WD RTR Rock Crawler from our webstore here.

Traxxas Rustler 4×4 Brushed Blue (£299)

Traxxas cars are in our opinion, the pinnacle of the RC world and even this ‘entry level’ model is over-engineered for resilience. This stadium truck infuses the speed and agility of the number-one-selling Rustler with 4-wheel drive performance, increased durability, and even more fun! The 12T motor will fire the truck across lose terrain at speed, whilst the high-torque steering servo will keep it pointed in the desired direction. The included transmitter is ergonomically sculpted for extended use and employs 2.4Ghz tech to maximise range and signal quality. Large Talon™ EXT tires provide versatile grip on any terrain, from backyard trails to concrete skate parks.

Traxxas Rustler 4x4It’s available on our webstore and if you aren’t fond of the blue bodywork, it is also available in red.  Bundles are available including genuine Traxxas batteries and chargers, allowing you to get driving right away. We also offer a VXL model with significantly more power but at a higher price. Learn more about these variations of the Traxxas Rustler on our shop.

Highly Rated Favourites

Arrma Senton 2018 Spec 6s BLX Short Course Truck (£449)

New to RC Geeks this year have been the Arrma RC line of cars. Sat at the top of our selection is the fantastic Senton BLX. This AWD short course truck has so much power on tap that (with the right motor pinion) it is capable of over 60mph! With this much performance on tap, we’d only recommend this truck to adults. 

arrma senton 6s shell

This strategy of offering a heavily factory-upgraded model is a favourite of Traxxas’ and we are glad to see Arrma follow suit. Whilst it does cost over £200 more than the base model Senton, the modified parts easily worth that if not more. The substantially upgraded Senton 6S is available on our webstore here. Remember you will need a couple of XT90 3S batteries (ideally 35C 5000mAh ones) to make the most of it and a charger suitable for them! You can learn more about the Arrma RC line of cars on our first look blog here.

Traxxas TRX-4 Land Rover Defender (£474)

With its instantly recognisable silhouette, the Traxxas Defender has been our favourite model of the year. Its rare to find such a detailed yet robust body on a complete and highly capable chassis, right out of the box. Its the sort of model that you are happy to keep on a shelf for display when you aren’t scaling roots in a muddy forest or rocky defences at the seaside. To give you a small insight into the feature set, it includes remotely lockable differentials, huge ground clearance thanks to portal axles, metal-gear servos and waterproof electronics; Traxxas really have out-done themselves with this model.

Traxxas TRX4

Whilst it is listed as a crawler, its twin-speed remotely switchable transmission means you can kick it up a gear when in open terrain and the transmitter even includes a cruise control feature! Following its release earlier this year we have seen a huge interest in the Defender and we are sure it will be a popular present this christmas. It is one of our most read review blogs and the subsequent brushless conversion coverage has proved just as popular. You can pickup the Defender in grey, red or limited edition green over on our webstore, and don’t forget the battery and charger!

HPI Racing’s Vorza Flux (£525)

The 4WD Vorza Flux HP is HPI’s fastest buggy, able to reach speeds up to 51 mph out of the box (with the right batteries), it will knock on the door of 64mph with a few simple modifications. At 50cm long its a ‘big old beast’ even for a 1/8th scale car, but with the Tork 2200 motor and (programmable) Blur speed controller this thing can really fly!

HPI Vorza

If you want to go fast offroad, its difficult to beat the Vorza! HPI designed this from the ground up for tearing along trails and it includes hardened steel spur and pinion gears, fluid filled front/centre/rear differentials, steel turnbuckle links, a sealed shaft drivetrain, 16mm oil-filled shocks and much more. Its a proven chassis as back in 2010 the Vorza HP broke the record for the longest ramp jump by a remote controlled car! Grab a Vorza Flux here on our webstore and don’t forget to pick up a pair of batteries to get the most out of it.

The Ultimate in RC : Money no object!

Traxxas E-Revo 2.0 Brushless VXL (£629)

At 58cm long and 46cm wide, 5kg yet capable of over 50mph (with two 3S batteries) this beast is not for the faint hearted! It’s MAXX-Spec driveline is pretty much bulletproof with metal components throughout.

Traxxas E-Revo 2.0 Brushless

The E-Revo features Traxxas Stability management, allowing you to use that huge power in a controlled manner. It even has a self-righting feature that rocks the car using the motor, flipping it from its roof back to its wheels!

Grab the Brushless E-Revo 2.0 in orange as pictured, or in green from our webstore. Don’t forget those batteries and chargers, check the compatible hop-ups section for some recommendations.

Traxxas Unlimited Desert Racer (£829)

Our favourite car of 2018. Nothing really came close to Traxxas’ Unlimited Desert Racer. Whether you were in the park, on the beach or on a dirt track, this truck was unstoppable. The eight dampers give it incredible ride, poise and balance, allowing for fantastic body control even taking tight turns at speed. The 2200kv motor, VXL-6S speed controller combo are paired perfectly with a shaft-driven 4WD all-metal drivetrain for explosive performance. Its approximately 1/7th scale, weighs 6.1kg yet will pass 40mph effortlessly on nearly any surface.

Unlimited Desert Racer

The details on this model are incredible and much of it is functional. The shell mounts around the cage with usable spare driveshaft and two spare wheels mounted on the rear deck. We were completely obsessed with this truck over summer and it featured in an extensive review article. TLDR? Believe the hype. This is the real deal, get your credit card out right now 😉 Available in Orange as pictured or Red, the Unlimited Desert Racer is available on our webstore. We’d recommend picking up a the bundle that includes two 3S 5000mAh batteries and the Traxxas dual LiPo charger to make the most of it.

Traxxas X-Maxx (£929)

The X-Maxx is a big truck that is capable of 50mph+ speeds thanks to its 30, yes you read that right, THIRTY volt power system. Living up to its name, this monster truck will decimate all terrain in its own unstoppable style, seriously it needs to be seen to be believed. It is currently the most expensive model we stock (and the twin 4S batteries are sold separately!) but if you have to have the ultimate, then this cannot be beaten.

Traxxas Xmaxx

Besides the monster spec it also has some clever tricks up its sleeve, such as the auto-righting system. Roll the truck and at the press of a button the ESC will have you back on your wheels after a very smart pre-programmed set of pulses use the motor inertia to roll the car back over! Grab the X-Maxx from our webstore in blue, red or limited edition green for nitro spec power without the hassle.

Looking for something different ?

RC Cars from Kits

Finally it is worth mentioning for any ‘serious’ RC gift recipients, we do sell chassis kits. These do require a whole host of supporting components and are only suitable for seasoned hobbyists buying

Sakura D4 kits

Just how big ARE these?

If you are unfamiliar with RC toys it can be difficult to visualise how large they are. For guidance most of our models are ‘scale‘ models, labelled with a fraction such as 1/8, 1/10, 1/18, 1/32, but what does this mean? In simple terms it is the size ratio compared to the ‘real-life’ full size vehicle.

RC Car Scale

For example the HPI Racing Ford Mustang classified as a 1/10th scale model (although it is on the long side) and measures 431mm, 127mm tall and  200mm wide. This is approximately 10% of the size of the actual production car which (according to wikipedia) measures 4784mm long, 1381mm tall and 1916mm wide.

As you can see from our example, in practice there is some variation. This is a product of manufacturers taking artistic license to adjust the design due to limitations of their chassis, or pre-existing elements such as wheels and tyres, to produce a design that just ‘looks right‘. To avoid confusion, wherever possible we include the dimensions of the model in our listing.

With great power comes great responsibility

Its important to note that all of the models you see on this page are electric, powered by batteries. Whilst some include a battery for the model (and indeed some for the transmitter too) many do not. Further to this, some of the high-end models do not include a charger for the model battery either. Please take note of the ‘in the box’ section on our product listings to avoid disappointment on Christmas morning!

The batteries and chargers section of our webstore will have all the supporting products you need to get your RC car running. If you need assistance in selecting the correct parts to match your model, feel free to drop us a message.

Note that many model batteries are user removable (often without tools) allowing them to be ejected for charging, or replaced for batteries with larger capacity/higher burst rate for increased performance. Power systems can appear full of jargon and proprietary standards, so to address this we’ve put together a this blog to help beginners upgrade or just get the most out of their current setups.

Finally, here at RC Geeks, we’re often asked how fast a specific car will go. We’ve made this convenient little blog to help you understand the variables which will contribute to an RC cars top speed, and hopefully give you some idea how fast your RC car can go.

Spares and hop-ups

Accidents can occur, so its good to know that we have your back. Should the worst occur and you damage your model, we can provide the parts you need to get back on the track; Simply use our simple spares finder to find them.

Our higher end models are ripe for modification and we have a wide range of wheels, tyres, bodies, electronics and more to hop-up your car. Check the ‘hop ups’ section for items that are suitable and feel free to contact our engineers to confirm compatibility.

Wheels and tyres

RC Geeks – Quality Gifts and support

The majority of the products here qualify for free next day delivery and we will be fulfilling orders late into December to make all your Christmas dreams come true. Gifting something so specialised can be complicated so feel free to drop us a message if you require buying guidance

We are proud of our car selection and are happy to stand behind it. Whilst there are many cheaper models available on the high-street and in catalogue shops, we prefer to provide cars of a quality that we are confident to support.

Fancy buying something that flies instead? Then check out our Christmas Quadcopter Buyers Guide.

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