5 Greatest RC Cars under $200 – Reviews and Buying Guide

These days, RC cars have skyrocketed in popularity amongst most children and adults, and with these cars comes a strange fascination for enjoyable entertainment. If you are the sort of person that loves off-road driving or speed racing, remote controlled cars are perfect for you. With the help of the transmitter’s signal, you can easily control and drive your RC car to wherever you want around your vicinity. Sounds like what you might love to do, right? We thought as much. This article is aimed at the best RC cars under $200 to ease the fears of people who might actually be thinking RC cars were unaffordable.

However, finding the ideal RC car is an entirely different ball game. You have to scour through the hundreds, if not thousands, of brands and models available on the market, which can be very overwhelming at times. But, to make things a bit simpler for you, we have done all the scouring for you. We have compiled the best RC cars under $200 by considering several key criteria such as the type of car, scale, battery life, speed, and frequency. This way, we were able to put together a list of the absolute best RC cars sold for less than $200.

Top 5 RC Cars under $200

Before we could be able to put this guide together, we invested around 50 hours in research alone. We included offerings from the most reputable manufacturers such as Redcat and Traxxas. From our very detailed table to the reviews of all the products we have picked to our comprehensive buying guide and tips, you will surely find all the information included in this guide very interesting and useful. Begin your journey from the table below to know a couple of things about the products we have reviewed.

Name and Features Image Rating Price
1. Distianert 1:12 Scale 4WD RTR Rock Crawler (Editor’s Choice)
This rock crawler provides you with an incredible control range of 320 feet, 28 mph maximum speed and a sturdy construction allowing you to enjoy it for a long time
Distianert 4WD RTR Rock Crawler
2. Redcat Racing Everest-10 Electric Rock Crawler (Longest Battery Life)
A 1:10 4-wheel drive rock crawler that is ready to work for almost an hour on one charge
Redcat Racing Everest-10 Electric Rock Crawler
3. AHAHOO 1:12 High Speed Off-Road Remote Control Vehicle (Longest Control Distance)
This off-road RC car can speed up to 30 mph and is designed for multi-terrain racing: desert, carpet, tile, open road, grass, and mud
AHAHOO High Speed Off-Road Vehicle
4. Traxxas RTR 1/10 Rustler (Highest Speed)
Its incredible speed of 35 mph together with a powerful motor and waterproof electronics make this model most suitable for speed-lovers
Traxxas RTR Rustler
5. Hosim Large Size 1:10 Scale High Speed RC Truck (Budget Pick)
With its low cost this car is still a decent choice for those searching for high performance and stylish design all at once
Hosim Large Size High Speed RC Truck
Features
  • Type: rock crawler
  • Scale: 1:12
  • Chassis: 4WD
  • Speed: 28 mph
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHZ
  • Control distance: 320 feet
  • Battery life: 15 min
  • Warranty: 30-day money back guarantee, 12-month replacement warranty, lifetime technical support

More features: includes two sets of free rechargeable 3.7V 1500mAh lithium-ion batteries

OVERALL RATING: 9.8 out of 10

The Distianert 4WD RTR Rock Crawler is, in our opinion, the most noticeable RC car on this list, and with its strong and durable wheels, it’s easy to see that it’s specifically built for heavy-duty tasks. This allows it to run at a very high speed and it is capable of withstanding any sort of environment and pressure that it may be subjected to. It comes with a bouncing spring which enhances its performance.

The RC car comes with high-quality wheels, which are remarkable because they are strong and made with bouncing materials. The wheels are also protected against any shock, which means you don’t need to worry in the event of dropping. This will enable you to enjoy your ride throughout.

This RC car boasts an outstanding speed of 28 mph (almost real city road traffic!). The body design of the car makes sure that you have lifelike racing experience. The car is capable of reaching a speed of 30 mph, which is made possible by the powerful motor engine of the car. While the 15 minutes runtime of the battery is average at best, it is still better than what you get from similar products of the same price range.

PROS:
  • Realistic racing experience
  • Great controls
  • High speed
  • Strong turbines
  • Comes with heavy-duty wheels

CONS:
  • The metal frame has a plastic top
  • Not too long battery life

Features
  • Type: rock crawler
  • Scale: 1:10
  • Chassis: 4WD
  • Speed: 3 mph
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHZ
  • Control distance: 100 feet
  • Battery life: 1 hour
  • Warranty: 90-day limited

More features: aluminum capped oil filled shocks; bead-lock rock crawling tires

OVERALL RATING: 9.3 out of 10

Redcat Racing is another leading RC manufacturer in the world, and their experience is evident in the Redcat Racing Everest-10 Electric Rock Crawler. The RC car comes with a powerful spring suspension system and a beautiful design. When it comes to features, it includes everything required for a superb climbing experience. Despite being rather affordable, the RC car has waterproof electronics, a powerful brushed motor, and texturized oversized wheels.

All these features mean the Everest 10 delivers very high performance. With the superbly springy and independent suspension springs and ball bearings all through the chassis, the RC is capable of doing a lot of wonders. In regards to battery, the car comes with a powerful 7.2Volt 2000 mAh NiMH battery, which is capable of delivering around one hour of play, which is remarkably impressive.

PROS:
  • Impressive design
  • Modifiable construction
  • Waterproof electronics
  • Shock resistant chassis
  • High-performance

CONS:
  • Includes no AA batteries
  • Plastic parts

Features
  • Type: off-road
  • Scale: 1:12
  • Chassis: 4WD
  • Speed: 30 mph
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Control distance: 328 feet
  • Battery life: 25 min
  • Warranty: not specified

More features: LED lights; designed for multi-terrain racing: desert, carpet, tile, open road, grass, mud

OVERALL RATING: 9.2 out of 10

With its maximum speed of up to 30 mph and its ability to drift, the AHAHOO High Speed Off-Road Remote Control Vehicle is another decent option of under $200 RC cars that are worthy of being checked out. This RC car comes with a three-stage differential gear which has the most advanced technology in the high-speed auto industry. It also features anti-slippery lifelike rubber tires, making it one of the most realistic RC cars you can ever find.

The frequency of this car is 2.4GHz, which means you and your kid can control several RC cars simultaneously without disturbing each other. The control range is quite impressive – 328 feet before the signal gets lost. The shell of the car is produced using explosion-proof and tough PVC which will not break either bent or pressed. You can rest easy knowing such shell will not break in the event of collision or dropping. Moreover, the RC car features an independent suspension system, which means each wheel has high resilience and will allow more steady drive and a remarkable damping effect.

The tires of the car are made of high-quality materials which results in stronger grip and great cushioning effect. With this, you can easily drive through all sorts of obstacles even when you are driving at high speed. Finally, the car comes with a rechargeable 7.4V 1500MAh Li-ion-Fe car battery which is capable of lasting up to 25 minutes with two to three hours of charge.

PROS:
  • High speed
  • Can handle any terrain
  • Anti-slippery tires

CONS:
  • Remote malfunctions sometimes
  • No charger adapter included

Features
  • Type: off-road
  • Scale: 1:10
  • Chassis: 2WD
  • Speed: 35 mph
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Control distance: 300 feet
  • Battery life: 20 min
  • Warranty: 30-day limited; lifetime customer support

More features: waterproof electronics; mirror-chrome All-Star wheels

OVERALL RATING: 9.0 out of 10

Over the years, Traxxas has worked tremendously to become one of the leading manufacturers of RC toys, and they have established themselves as a reliable company by churning out high-quality RC drones and cars consistently. One of their most popular offerings, the Traxxas RTR 1/10 Rustler is one the best RC cars sold for less than $200 for many reasons. Running on Titan 12-turn 550 modded motor, this RC car has a very powerful motor which allows it to be capable of many things.

Apart from the powerful Titan 12-turn 550 modified motor, it also comes with the XL-5 electric speed control, and the RC car can effortlessly reach neck-breaking speeds of around 35 mph, which is very impressive considering the relatively affordable cost. Besides, the Rustler has full waterproof electronics, which means it can drive across mud, snow, and puddles without any issue whatsoever. In addition to that, the Rustler also has a decent seven-cell NiMH battery that can provide you with 20 minutes of play.

When it comes to the durability, you don’t have anything to worry about because this RC car comes with steel gears, durable frame, and like we already mentioned full waterproof electronics. If everything is taken into account, nobody should really bat an eye when it’s said that the Traxxass Rustler is one of the best RC cars under $200 available on the market currently.

PROS:
  • Very speedy
  • Sturdy construction
  • Powerful motor
  • Affordable cost
  • Very useful training mode
  • Waterproof electronics

CONS:
  • Not durable
  • Battery life is average

Features
  • Type: off-road
  • Scale: 1:10
  • Chassis: 4WD
  • Speed: 30 mph
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Control distance: 260 feet
  • Battery life: 10 min
  • Warranty: 30-day money back guarantee; 90-day replacement warranty

More features: low voltage protection: the receiver stop working when batteries voltage is lower than 6.5V

OVERALL RATING: 8.9 out of 10

Established in 2010, HOSIM is a manufacturer of different kinds of RC cars, and this pick is one of their best off-road RC vehicles. The most impressive thing about this RC car is the wide tires. Since off-road driving requires a wide tire that is capable of creating more grasp on the ground, this car is absolutely perfect for a situation like that.

Just because it is an off-road RC car doesn’t mean that it cannot be used for high-speed races. This RC car is capable of reaching a speed of 30 mph, which is quite impressive since this RC car costs a little more than $100. So, if you are the sort of person that likes speed, then you will love this car a lot.

The remote control of the car has an impressive range of up to 260 feet. It features an incorporated throttle, and also a very responsive steering system. In addition to that, it comes with an ergonomic transmitter system, which enhances its control. This car also features utilization of S-truck suspension technology, which makes it deliver strong and durable performance. As such, it’s perfect for specialized operations like flip, turn, and drift.

PROS:
  • Remarkably fast and powerful
  • Superior control
  • High performance
  • All-terrain RC car
  • Perfect gift for both kids and adults

CONS:
  • Poor battery life

Buying Guide

If you are new to RC cars, it will be quite hard for you to choose the best one. Whether you’re a new user or a professional, the following guide is designed to help you make a well-informed decision.

Why might you want to own an RC car?

Fun and entertainment

The main reason why you might want to own an RC car is the incredible fun they offer. There is nothing so fulfilling as watching this little car speed through the patio and rapidly blasting over your street as you control it yourself. While your children will require some supervision when playing with these toys, the play is generally independent, so they will be able to learn and form opinions about their surroundings.

RC car

Competition

While a lot of people only compete through online games, RC cars provide a perfect chance for them to engage in real life completion, which is much healthier and more exciting. A child who likes RC cars will want to race with a friend or a family member, which generally boosts the spirit of competition in your family. This is truly the most appealing part of RC cars, an opportunity to bond with other family members.

Socializing

Your children will surely make new friends playing with RC cars. There is a high probability that you will come across groups with RC gatherings or clubs, and RC cars are a fun and exciting way for your children to make friends and bolster social skills. Over the years, RC cars have seen a great evolution which means they’re now regarded as small cars. As a result of this, it’s easy for your kids to find others who share the same interest as them.

Hand to eye coordination

Like video games, RC cars are capable of helping a player improve hand to eye coordination. However, they do this better than video games particularly due to how they utilize real-world navigation. In addition to that, crashing and damaging cars is physical, so playing with RC cars can really improve reaction and reflex. Ranging from basic designs to advanced ones, there is a wide range of RC cars to choose from online.

Features to Consider While Choosing a Remote Control Car

Before shopping for an RC car, you need to be conversant with some features and aspects. Below are the most important features to consider when shopping for an RC car.

Traxxas RTR Rustler

Type of car

There are different types of RC cars on the market like drift cars, street cars, trucks, crawlers, and more. Each type comes with different pros, cons, and unique features. Depending on your demand and hobby, you should pick the most suitable model.

Since your budget is under $200, it is apt to go for off-road or rock crawler cars which are the most common and quality in this price range.

Scale

There are basically three scales or sizes: small size with 1/18 scale, large size with 1/8 scale, and the regular size with 1/10 scale. The most popular scale for the best RC cars under $200 is 1/10. With appropriate size, all the RC car parts can perform effectively.

Durability

You run the risk of having a shattering crash each time you take your RC vehicle for a spin. There are no two ways about it: RC cars are toys, and toys tend to break at times. Most people like buying the sturdiest car possible to reduce this risk. The secret behind buying a robust RC car is finding a model with a durable body and a sturdy chassis.

Speed

Speed is one of the most vital elements you need to take into consideration when purchasing an RC car. If you love speed, then you should clearly consider this feature. The average RC cars speed range is 10 – 70 mph. normally, while the speed of a remote control car below $200 is around 20mph – 30 mph, so you shouldn’t expect an outstanding racing performance from such products.

Frequency and control distance

Frequency shows the transmitter’s controlling capacity. A weak radio signal cannot control your RC car properly. The normal frequency of the best RC cars under $200 is 2.4 GHz. You should, however, try to check whether the frequency is adequately strong to control the RC car.

Battery life

Battery

You should choose RC cars with longer battery life like the Redcat Racing Everest-10 Electric Rock Crawler. Contemporary RC cars that operate on just regular batteries alone are rare. You will have either a charging station for both the remote and car, or you will have a remote control that operates on AA batteries and an inbuilt car battery that is charged in AC outlets.

While a regular NiMH battery is capable of lasting you a long time, the battery could actually die out if allowed or used in the sun for a long period of time. To maximize the life of your battery, recharge the RC car until it is full. During lengthy inactivity periods, the RC car should still be recharged once weekly.

Warranty

Warranty is always a very important consideration when buying any electronics. Most RC cars provide rather good warranty terms. Ensure that you check out the coverage and support, as they are useful whenever you need it.

Extra Features

Depending on the type of RC car you purchase, the remote control may allow you to do additional things such as a horn, honk, or light up. While all these might sound appealing at first, don’t allow yourself to be deceived by basic additions that could run out the battery quicker since they are on standby constantly. In a lot of cases, they are merely marketing additions and aren’t really important.

FAQ

With the 2.4GHz radio system, you just switch on and drive. There are no channels or frequencies to manage, so the focus is on having fun. Unlike 27MHz radio systems, the whole family can race side by side without fear of interference.

The warranty terms are one of the most important factors to consider. Out of all the brands whose products are featured on this list, Distianert offers the best warranty conditions. The Distianert 1:12 Scale 4WD RTR Rock Crawler comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, a 12-month replacement warranty, and a lifetime technical support, which is the best as far as this guide is concerned.

The Traxxas RTR 1/10 Rustler is the best RC car for a beginner on this list. With its powerful motor, sturdy construction, and an incorporated training mode which allows newbies to get accustomed to driving these cars, you just can’t go wrong with this car as a beginner.

Our Verdict

The winner of this round goes to the Distianert 4WD RTR Rock Crawler for how it perfectly packs high performance and affordability in a single unit. Being a 4-wheel drive, it is obviously suitable for heavy-duty tasks. It has a high speed and great control, thereby ensuring a very realistic racing experience.

Coming up at second place is the Redcat Racing Everest-10 Electric Rock Crawler. With the independent suspension springs and ball bearings all through the chassis, the RC is capable of doing a lot of wonders. Apart from that, the car also comes with a runtime of one hour, which is the longest on this list.

Our third pick is the AHAHOO High Speed Off-Road Remote Control Vehicle. With its maximum speed of up to 30 mph and its ability to drift, the AHAHOO Vehicle is worth its weight in gold. The RC car comes with a three-stage differential gear which has the most advanced technology in high-speed auto industry.

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