Whether you are looking for a great truck for a kid, or you want a truck that you can have fun bashing around with or even racing, you want to make sure you get good value for your money.
The problem is, how do you make sure you get the best truck you can for your money? That’s what I’m here to help you figure out today.
I’ve been kicking around figuring out which trucks are well made and will give you a good bang for your buck, and which ones are are just poorly made pieces of junk that might just break the first time you use them.
Some of the most telling information I’ve found has been user reviews where people relate their real-life experiences with these trucks.
By collecting all of this information, I hope to be able to help you find the best truck for you budget. In the list below, I have organized the trucks by budget size (150, 200, etc.). This way you should be able to quickly find what best fits with the amount of money you want to spend. If you want a similar listing of RC cars look here.
If you are in a hurry, CLICK HERE to check out what we think is the overall best value.
One thing to keep in mind is that while you can get great trucks for the smaller budgets listed, you will have to give up some things that you would get at the higher price points. This usually means lower performance, but if you plan well you can leave yourself room to grow.
Some trucks lend themselves well to being upgraded for better performance in the future. This is great if you are wanting to test out the hobby to see if you like it before you commit more money to it.
Now, check out the list below to find the best truck for your money. There will even be a section at the bottom of the page for those of you with a bigger budget who really looking to splurge on a top of the line truck.
Best Option Under $150: The Redcat Racing Sandstorm Baja Buggy
If you’re looking for RC Trucks under 150 dollars, you’ll be amazed by the powerful, responsive and durable Redcat Racing Sandstorm Baja Electric Buggy. New hobbyists and old pros alike can enjoy the thrill of RC racing with this 1/10 scale electric buggy.
On or off road, four wheel drive keeps your buggy on track and in control, even in wet or icy conditions. Indoors or outdoors, this machine is ready to take on any surface. Conquer dirt hills, broken sidewalks and grassy terrain with off-road tread tires and excellent stability.
Polycarbonate body armor and aluminum capped, oil filled shocks give the Sandstorm the durability it needs to handle the toughest driving conditions. This buggy will take on the biggest challenges you throw at it.
A powerful electric brush motor and a waterproof ESC allow this beast to get up to blazing speeds. Set it down and let it rip; you’re in control of this speed freak as it blazes down the street.
An easy to use remote allows even beginning racers to maneuver with ease with simple controls and a forward/reverse transmission.
No lengthy, complicated set-up required. Just a simple charge and the Redcat Racing Sandstorm Baja Electric Buggy is ready for action with an internal wall chargeable battery.
Per the manufacturer, the Redcat Electric Buggy is not intended for children under 14-years of age due to its power and speed. Start your little ones off on something a bit tamer before letting them use the Sandstorm.Extra Parts
Redcat offers replacement parts on their website, and for hobbyists looking for a bit more playtime, the Baja Electric Buggy can be upgraded with a larger battery.Power Requirements
The Redcat Racing Sandstorm Baja Electric Buggy comes with a 7.2V LiPo Rechargeable Battery Pack and includes a 2.4GHz transmitter that requires 8 AA batteries (not included).A Racing Buggy For Everyone
If you’re looking for an affordable, powerful and flat out fun remote-controlled buggy, the Redcat Racing Sandstorm Baja Electric Buggy is what you need. Its mix of speed, durability and handling along with a budget-friendly price, makes this the perfect electronic buggy for anyone who wants to tear up the track.
Best Option Under $200: The ECX Ruckus
Whether you’re looking for an introductory RC truck, shopping on a tight budget, or just looking for an inexpensive truck to play rough with, it’s be important to make sure you’ve found the best possible deal. I’ve done some research and I can say that the ECX Ruckus is the best RC Truck under 200 dollars.
The Ruckus comes stock with a waterproof servo and electronic speed controller, meaning you can take this truck off-roading in any weather without worrying about puddles or rain frying these vital components. The Nickel-metal battery is held in place by a system designed for beginners, meaning there are no body clips to lose. The Tazer 15T ESC is fully capable of handling a Lithium-polymer battery with no modification, which makes upgrades decidedly easy.
The truck is only two wheel drive, which means it has somewhat more sluggish handling and acceleration than a four wheel drive truck. There is an upside to this, though: a two wheel drive truck is much more lawn friendly than their four wheel drive cousins, which is an important factor for any parent with an enthusiastic child. The body itself is made of a flexible and sturdy plastic that can take its fair share of hits, but with enough use it will inevitably break. A nice feature about the Ruckus is that a body designed for 1/8th scale trucks will fit on it as a replacement, meaning the smaller Ruckus will have a hard time breaking the thicker plastic.
With all this said, it might seem like the Ruckus is too good to be true, but most of the savings come from the choice of components in the truck. The motor is brushed, meaning it’s less efficient than a brushless motor. This translates to lower speed and slower acceleration, but for a novice driver this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Too much speed can be difficult to control, and a brushless motor – along with the components required to support the extra power – are more expensive to repair.
Packaged with the Ruckus is the Spektrum DX2E radio controller. This trigger-style radio is solidly built and the receiver installed in the Ruckus is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about losing control out in the mud or the wet. The DX2E normally retails for 60 dollars, making it an incredible value for a package that costs under 200. Even if you move on from the Ruckus, the DX2E is a radio that can match with any high end RC Truck you upgrade to.
Check out this rock throwing, dust cloud rolling video of the ruckus in action:
Best Option Under $300: Traxxas Rustler
The Traxxas RTR Rustler is the remote controlled buggy that the phrase “Hey everybody, watch this” was made for. All of the electronic components in the car are waterproofed to allow you to blow through mud and water or just play in the snow. Just imagine the fun you will have throwing mud all over every other car on the course as you pass them by.
To save you time, it is ready to run right out of the box. Just charge the included 7-cell hump NiMh 3000mAh battery for the car and put four AA batteries in the controller and you will be tearing around the yard. The powerful electric motor will make this buggy race at 35-40 mph, while the rugged suspension system lets it take as much punishment as you can dish out. This combination makes it the best RC truck under 300 dollars that you are likely to come across.
The Rustler is built for off road and rugged terrain play. The battery has a 20-30 minute runtime, and, with the purchase of a second one, you can have one charging while the other is in use. With the addition of an upgraded charger, you will only have to stop long enough to swap the batteries out. This is a good thing because, when your friends see what your car can do, they will all want a turn driving it.
Your buggy is built with standardized parts that are easily upgraded if you decide that you want a little better performance. A larger battery and a brushless motor can add 15 mph to the 35-40 mph that you are already getting. Upgraded shock absorbers or just a few spares might be nice for you to have on hand if you intend to put it through especially difficult terrain. Your imagination is the limit as you decide how far you want to go.
The one minor drawback to the Rustler involves its speed and power. The 2WD gearing that makes this one of the fastest ready to run RC cars around has the side effect of lifting the front wheels off the ground. Off the line, this is not much of a problem, but accelerating out of a turn can cause you to loose control and the race. There is a simple solution available. A wheelie bar is available to buy that will let you keep all four wheels on the ground and you in complete control. It will also send a message to your competition that your car has too much power for them.
When you put all of its features together, the Traxxas RTR Rustler is the best RC truck for the money around. Now all you have to do is find some wild terrain to run it in.
Watch this video to see the Rustler in action:
I hope you have found this list helpful in your search for the right truck to fit your budget. Check back often, as I intend to grow and expand this list in the future.