5 Best Traxxas RC Cars You Need in 2024

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RChobby Lab Profile Picture Ted Dulles
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Reviewed by Kristen Ward
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Reviewed by Kristen Ward

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So you want to get into RC cars and Traxxas caught your eye. I get questions all the time about what RC car someone should buy when first starting out. And Traxxas comes up more than any other brand. Makes sense – their marketing brings lots of newcomers into the hobby.

With over 70 models to choose from, it can get downright confusing trying to pick your first Traxxas RC. But have no fear – I narrowed it down to the 5 best for beginners.

These trucks not only won’t break the bank, but they can handle abuse from new drivers. And should you get more experienced, they offer ways to upgrade and customize down the road.

Let’s jump in! Here are my top Traxxas recommendations for someone just getting started in RC cars.

1. Traxxas Stampede 4×4

If you want an off-road basher that rips across all types of terrain, check out the Stampede 4×4. This truck is an absolute blast to drive, even back when they had brushed motors.

Luckily now Traxxas offers a brushless 2s version. This gives it way more power and speed than the older models.

The Stampede 4×4 handles great on low grass, dirt, gravel, and even flies high off jumps. Traxxas gave it some serious ground clearance enhancement in the latest version.

And the patented Sledgehammer tires dig into anything you throw at them.

Going brushless not only added speed, but beefed up the durability. The new Stampede 4×4 has a heavy duty steel gear drivetrain, long travel oil filled shocks, and rugged composite arms.

It may be made to take abuse from newbies, but even experienced hobbyists love modifying this truck. Tons of aftermarket hop-ups exist to make it your own. Or you could install one of Traxxas’ Velineon power systems when you are ready.

Quick Specs:

  • Scale: 1/10
  • Power: Velineon 380 Brushless System
  • Battery: 7.2V NiMH or 2S LiPo
  • Ground Clearance: 3.2”

Whether freshly unboxed or customized to the max, the Stampede 4×4 is always a blast to drive. And it won’t disappoint newcomers or veterans alike.

2. Traxxas TRX-4 Sport

For crawling over rocks versus blasting over jumps, nothing beats the scale realism of a Traxxas TRX-4. These trucks closely mimic their full size counterparts with functioning suspension systems and velineon power.

They all have portal axles, 4 wheel drive, and remote locking differentials. A steel ladder frame provides flex without twisting. And the bodyshells accurately replicate popular trucks like Broncos, Jeeps, Land Cruisers, and even a Mercedes Unimog.

Narrowing it down depends mostly on your budget and style preferences. Costs range from the entry level TRX-4 Sport to the 6 wheeled Mercedes Benz Zetros.

I like recommending the Sport to start out. At under $400 you can see if scale crawling is really your thing without a huge investment.

The only difference is mostly cosmetic. It has a basic tactical truck body instead of licensing an existing truck model. But it handles identically to the higher end versions.

In fact, lots of people start with the Sport just to have a lower cost platform to modify. Hop ups for lights, winches and other accessories let you customize it down the road.

Quick Specs:

  • Scale: 1/10
  • Power: Titan 12T 550 Brushed
  • Battery: 7.2V NiMH or 2S LiPo
  • Ground Clearance: 3.4”

So if driving through mud, over boulders, and up steep rock faces sounds like your RC dream, the TRX-4 Sport is easily one of the best Traxxas models to start with.

3. Traxxas Slash

It’s no surprise the Slash is a favorite for RC tracks and rental fleets. This 2 wheel drive short course truck can really take a beating. The Slash shrugs off crashes and cartwheels that would break lesser trucks.

Some of its resilience comes from the full fendered body – it helps cushion impacts without damage. And being 2WD reduces stress on many parts compared to 4×4 models.

Traxxas recently released the Brushless Slash 4×4 which I’ll be reviewing soon. But the 2wd has been their workhorse both for bashers and racers for good reason.

It’s fun, fast and relatively cheap to buy and maintain. You can throw one in the back of your car and find a park, dirt lot, hill climb or whatever calls out for a quick bash session.

Despite being labeled a “short course” truck, it handles great on all surfaces. The long suspension travel soaks up big leaps and creates awesome rooster tails. The rear tires really dig in and fling dirt as you drift around turns.

And should you ever feel the need for more speed or strength, the Slash has no shortage of hop up parts. It’s almost as customizable as the Stampede. You can take this truck from simple backyard basher to competitive race winner.

Quick Specs:

  • Scale: 1/10
  • Power: Titan 12T 550 Brushed
  • Battery: 7.2V NiMH or 2S LiPo
  • Ground Clearance: 2.8”

In short, whether you’re an aspiring racer or weekend warrior, the Traxxas Slash should be high on your list to consider.

4. Traxxas Ford Fiesta ST Rally

Maybe bashing in the dirt isn’t your speed. What about an officially licensed Traxxas model that drifts around on pavement?

Here’s where their Ford Fiesta Rally car comes in. It’s part of Traxxas’ 1/10 scale “Forever Fierce” series featuring different licensed Ford race cars.

I chose the Fiesta here because the narrow tires really let you slide around corners like a rally champ!

Now they offer several Fords with a newer Brushless model I’ll be reviewing soon. But even just running NiMH or 2S LiPo, the brushed Fiesta Rally rips around pavement.

These officially licensed bodies completely change the overall look and handling versus truck models. Lower profile, proper wheels, working lights, and gorgeous sponsor decals take these to another level.

Out of the box they impressively mimic their real race car counterparts. Yet you can still find metal gear differentials, oil filled shocks, adjustable turn buckles and more also found on trucks like the Stampede.

So not only do they perform as awesomely as they look, they have the familiar durability and customization options expected from Traxxas.

And while I chose the Fiesta for drifting, all their on road Forever Fierce cars handle fantastic. They make great starter models if you’re more interested in sealed surfaces over off road.

Just be careful of curbs!

Quick Specs:

  • Scale: 1/10
  • Power: Titan 12T 550 Brushed
  • Battery: 7.2V NiMH or 2S LiPo
  • Ground Clearance: 1.3”

Whether blasting down straightaways, drifting through roundabouts, or even catching sweet air off ramps, a Traxxas Ford lets you unleash your inner rally driver even on plain old pavement.

5. Traxxas Maxx

What if you want step up to something more advanced right off the bat?

Say you already have some experience driving RC cars at friends or local shops. And you want something built to go BIG rather than just getting started.

Here’s where the mad scientists at Traxxas engineered the Maxx. It’s one of their latest and greatest bashers.

This giant truck has 8 oil filled shocks, beefy 8mm steel CV axles, an ultra tough T-Maxx style chassis and much more.

It even has a modular exo-cage integrated into the body that acts like a roll cage to prevent damage from gnarly crashes and flips.

And unlike absolute insanity that is the X-Maxx, Traxxas gave the Maxx 3 different drive modes accessed via the transmitter. This lets you limit throttle output while you learn how all that power feels.

Escaping crashes unscathed is one thing. Preventing them is another. Which is why I suggest the Maxx over say a nitro powered Revo or gas powered X-Maxx for beginners.

Those require careful tuning and considerable driving finesse to avoid disaster. Whereas the Maxx can take the hits for you while you build skill. And you can unleash more power as your abilities progress.

Now it IS on the pricier side – $650 RTR. But you get what you pay for – an almost indestructible truck ready to tackle anything right out of the box. And learning to handle this beast will make driving lesser trucks seem easy.

Quick Specs:

  • Scale: 1/6
  • Power: Velineon 1500 Brushless System
  • Battery: 2 x 3S 5,000 mAh LiPo
  • Ground Clearance: 3.8”

So while the Maxx costs more than other picks, its versatility lends well as a “forever truck” that grows with your skill level. You’ll never outgrow its capabilities.

More Options to Consider

Whew, narrowing to 5 picks means leaving out a LOT of great Traxxas RC cars!

While I feel my selections above cover a good range of vehicles, here’s a few other Traxxas models that might suit a beginner:

Rustler – Their stadium truck models like the Rustler have nice ground clearance and handle all sorts of surfaces and speeds. Stadium trucks are like monster trucks and short course trucks combined! Great versatile basher.

Bandit – Traxxas’ basic 2wd buggy. Lower cost, fast, agile and lots of hop ups available. Nice laying introduction to higher performance racing.

XO-1 – Feel need for insane brushless speed? The XO-1 will blow your hair back at over 100 mph! Not for beginners per se, but could be a good goal truck down the road.

Sledge -Brand new Traxxas rock bouncer released at the 2023 Shot Show. 1/6 scale, portals, solid rear axle will let you traverse insane obstacles!

Summit – The OG monster truck with functional 2 speed transmission. This thing will climb rocks and crush cars!

E-Revo 2.0 – Take the Maxx formula and shrink it down to 1/8 scale. Amazing basher than can also handle huge jumps/drops with its plush suspension.

And that’s just scratching the surface of Traxxas’ lineup! As you consider which model might suit you best, don’t hesitate to drop me any questions in the comments below.

I hope this overview gives you a solid starting point to choose your first Traxxas RC car. Getting started should be an exciting adventure, not a confusing mess trying to parse through dozens of options.

While just suggestions based on my years in RC, there’s no fundamentally “wrong” choice. I always say getting ANY RC vehicle is better than getting none!

Traxxas offers an industry leading lineup with quality electronics, durable parts and excellent support. Rest assured that while models and features may differ, Traxxas strives to make RC fun for all.

So don’t overthink it. Pick a truck that catches your eye and stokes imagination about the driving adventures to come. The rest you’ll figure out through experience. That journey IS the hobby!

Let me know what model you end up with! And if you want more RC tips and modification ideas, make sure to subscribe!

Keep on bashing… 🏁

Final Thoughts

Getting into RC cars should be an exciting adventure, not a confusing mess trying to parse through dozens of options. Traxxas makes quality vehicles with great parts support across all price ranges.

Don’t overthink it – pick a model that catches your eye and stokes your imagination. The rest you’ll learn through experience. That journey IS the hobby!

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Written By Ted Dulles

I'm Ted Dulles, an avid RC hobbyist extraordinaire! My passion for the world of remote-controlled (RC) models ignited in 2018. Just a year later, fueled by this passion, I took a bold step and opened my own RC shop in California. I have a deep fascination with all kinds of RC models – be it cars, planes, or boats. I'm always eager to take on new challenges and absolutely love the thrill and excitement that come with this hobby.

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