The 8 Best Remote Control Cars of 2019

Take these mini wheels for a spin

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Most Popular: Top Race RC Monster Truck

4

For those with a budget, it’s nice to know that you don’t have to sacrifice features, terrains, and applications when purchasing a high-quality RC car. This Top Race truck clocks in at well under $30 making it the cheapest on our list, but with 4WD, a strong anti-collision structure, anti-skid tires, immense rock-climbing power (with the super absorbent shocks to go with it), a 2.4Ghz transmitter, and all the batteries you’ll need for operating right out of the box, this little RC rig pulls is also the best remote control car overall.

A bonus here is that it’s also waterproof, so the kids in the family (ages 8 and up) can take it through puddles and across streams without almost any fear of shorting.

Best for Kids: Maisto Rock Crawler Extreme

3.9

The Maisto Rock Crawler Extreme handles off-road trails and driveways with aplomb and can keep kids engaged for hours. Built with three motors to help handle rough terrains like grass and rock, the Rock Crawler Extreme tackles it all with large tires, a full suspension, and four-wheel drive.

Supported by a durable frame that can handle some crashing and rolling around, the Maisto achieves a kid-friendly top speed of around five miles per hour making it manageable for kids learning to control the vehicle. The pistol-grip joystick is a good size for smaller hands and includes a trigger for moving forward or reverse and a circular control toggle for changing direction. It requires six AA batteries, giving the Maisto a longer runtime without the constant need for recharging.

Best For Speed: Kid Galaxy Ford f150 Remote Control Truck

3

This RC truck that’s modeled to look like the Ford classic pickup is the perfect entry-level truck for the RC hobbyist in your family (AKA the kid who’s tired of those “toy trucks” and wants one that can play with the big boys). With the most powerful, 20-volt battery in its class, this truck can hit flat speeds up to 30 mph (which is scaled from 100mph at the full size), and it does so operating for more than 30 continuous minutes, which is three times longer than the average RC battery.

To get their feet wet on hobby customization, this 21 x 13 x 12-inch truck can have its parts swapped to fit any application, so your kid will get the chance to learn what it takes to supe up an RC rig. As a bonus, the thing can scale rocky, gravelly roads just like the full-sized Ford, so even though it isn’t targeted as a true off-road car, it’ll handle some all-terrain fun.

Best for Toddlers: Holy Stone RC Cartoon Race Car

Holy Stone RC Cartoon Race Car
Courtesy of Amazon.com
3.8

While the adults get to have most of the fun with remote control cars, kids are not without their own options. The Holy Stone RC cartoon race car doesn’t go off-road and it doesn’t come waterproof, but this remote control car for those 18 months and up is the perfect beginner’s model for young children. Featuring two-channel direction with forward, reverse, left and right, there are also honking sounds, as well as music and flashing headlights.

Additionally, there’s a removable race car driver that kids can take out and play with separately and then put back when they want to drive around the house. With a simple, two-button design, bright colors and plenty of noises to keep a toddler entertained, the cartoon race car will bring hours of joy. Three AAA batteries are required to power the car and two AA batteries are needed for the remote.

Best Splurge: Exceed RC Electric DriftStar

Treading a really delicate line between “uber-expensive hobbyist RC” and “RC that’s fine for kids” the Electric DriftStar is a decent price point at pro operation levels. With stable arm suspension and aluminum-capped shocks that are filled with actual oil, the suspension system pays homage to a full-sized drift car (which this thing is 1/10th the size of).

The precise steering tech gives drivers full control while the high precision SP03018 electric speed control keeps the engine measured and in check. And speaking of that engine, the RC540 motor is basically top of the line. Combine that with a 7.2V 1800maH Ni-MH battery power and an extra-large bumper for extra sudden collisions and you’ve got an RC car that will go the distance. 

Best for Beginners: Double E Monster Truck

If you’re relatively new to remote control vehicles and finding yourself a bit baffled by all of the options and features that are available, the DOUBLE E Monster makes is the best remote control car for you. It’s a well-rounded RC truck that checks a lot of boxes for the person who wants a solid remote control toy that’s affordable and easy to figure out, and it packs in some of the best battery life we’ve seen as well. It’s also got a great classic monster truck design that kids will love.

The 1:12 scale means it’s on the larger side, but it can also tackle just about any terrain. It’s great for both off-road use on rocks and gravel but it can motor along really well on streets and sidewalks too. It’s a four-wheel-drive vehicle, with separate front and rear motors, lots of torque to spare, and an independent suspension system to it won’t be shaken up on even the roughest surfaces.

The best part of the Double E Monster, however, is that you won’t be stuck replacing batteries; it sports an internal rechargeable 6V 800 mAh pack that can be recharged from any USB power source. This saves you the trouble of having to carry around an extra power adapter; you can recharge it from your laptop or use your mobile phone or tablet charger. Even better, a single charge (which takes about two hours) provides up to 40 minutes of running time, making it one of the longest-lasting RC cars we’ve seen in this price range. 

Best Budget: Growsland Remote Control Car

If you spend even a few minutes searching up remote control cars on Amazon, you’ll be absolutely amazed by how much you can actually spend if you ever decide to get into the hobby in a serious way. However, there are some pretty good cheap and cheerful options available as well, so there’s really no need to break the bank when getting started. Among these, Growsland’s little supercar comes in at under $20.

With a classic racing sports car design, the Growsland isn’t going to be climbing any rocks or doing any offroading, but it handles great both indoors and outdoors on streets and sidewalks, and the 1:24 scale means it’s small enough to motor around indoors without knocking around your furniture or freaking out your pets. It can get up to a pretty reasonable speed of around 8 mph.

A simple two-joystick remote makes it easy for younger kids to operate, although it’s worth noting that the use of the older 27 MHz frequency for the remote means that you won’t be able to race two of the same cars in close proximity as the remotes will interfere with each other. The car and remote will also require you to supply your own set of six AA batteries, but we don’t think that’s a serious omission considering the price tag here.

Best for Stunts: Blexy RC Stunt Car

While rock-climbing monster trucks are among the most common RC vehicles you’ll see, if you’re looking for something a little fun and different, there are some pretty cool stunt vehicles available too. By their very nature, these can also usually handle some pretty rugged terrain, making them the best of two worlds. Among these, the Blexy RC Stunt Car stood out for not only offering the ability to flip and spin around but to even go amphibious.

On land, Blexy’s car can motor along at up to 12 mph, with the four big wheels allowing it to quickly turn on a dime, even at speed. It also handles fine on just about any surface, and the best part is that you can use it on a rainy day, as you don’t have to worry about getting it wet or even rolling through puddles. In fact, dirt and sand aren’t a problem for it either, and it can roll right into the water, so it’s a fun RC vehicle you can take to the beach. Any further and you'll need to upgrade to a boat.

The downside is that you’ll only get an average of 20 minutes of playtime from the rechargeable batteries, and they can be a bit of a pain to recharge; the amphibious nature of the vehicle means that the battery has to live in a sealed compartment, and you have to remove it in order to recharge it, which takes about three hours but can at least be done using a standard USB power source. This is the kind of vehicle where we’d really recommend picking up a second battery pack if you plan to use it a lot.

Tested by

How We Tested

We bought four of our readers’ favorite remote control cars that our reviewers tested for 26 hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these remote control cars, from price to battery life. We’ve outlined the key points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Remote Control Car

Age range - Perhaps the most important consideration when buying a remote control car is the age of the person (or people) who’ll be using it most. If the car is for a young child, you may not want want a feature-rich model with a high top speed. But if it’s for a tween, teenager, or even an adult, the option you select can be more complicated.

Battery life - There’s nothing worse than setting up a new piece of technology just to have it run out of batteries before you know it. That’s why paying attention to battery life (in addition to keeping a set of spares handy if its battery isn’t rechargeable) is smart. It’s also worth noting that a vehicle with more features will drain a battery more quickly.

Price - You’d be surprised at how much you can pay for a remote control car if you want one that’s fast, durable, and packed with features. That’s why it’s important to prioritize what’s really important to you and pay attention to the price tag.

Test Results: Top Race RC Monster Truck (Most Popular)

4

What We Like

  • Compact design

  • Great controls

  • Long battery life

What We Don't Like

  • Flips easily

  • A little slow

Top Race RC Monster Truck
 Lifewire
Top Race RC Monster Truck
Lifewire 
Top Race RC Monster Truck
 Lifewire
Top Race RC Monster Truck
Lifewire 

“The long battery life and the small size make it perfect for families,” our tester said of the Top Race RC Monster Truck. “Plus, it's got a fun, cool design that kids will love,” she added. The downside? “The turns are wide and the center of gravity is higher so it's easier to flip,” our reviewer explained. While she also mentioned it’s a little slow, she thought the long-distance transmitter, great controls, and the fact that it’s waterproof make it a great purchase.

Test Results: Maisto Rock Crawler Extreme (Best for Kids)

3.9

What We Like

  • Superb battery

  • Great on a variety of terrains

  • Very stable

What We Don't Like

  • Plastic exterior seems cheap

  • Slow

  • Controls can lag at long distances

Maisto Rock Crawler Extreme
Lifewire
Maisto Rock Crawler Extreme
Lifewire 
Maisto Rock Crawler Extreme
 Lifewire
Maisto
Lifewire 

Our tester thought this was a great option based on its off-roading abilities, battery life, and overall value. “The car has some great treaded tires and great controls,” she stated. “The battery life is also superb and lasts for days.” On the other hand, our reviewer noted, “Sometimes the controls lag at great distances, and the car itself is made of a cheap plastic exterior.” According to our tester, the car is also on the slower side, but she said its affordable price point makes it a good option for kids.

Test Results: Kid Galaxy Ford f150 Remote Control Truck (Best for Speed)

3

What We Like

  • Incredibly high speeds

  • Easily drives over obstacles

  • Long-range transmitter

What We Don't Like

  • Short battery life

  • Difficult to control

Kid Galaxy Ford f150 Remote Control Truck
Lifewire
Kid Galaxy Ford f150 Remote Control Truck
Lifewire 
Kid Galaxy Ford f150 Remote Control Truck
Lifewire
Galaxy Ford
 Lifewire

While on the more expensive side, if you’re looking for high speeds and great handling of terrain, this car will do the trick, according to our tester. She raved, “This car flies up to 30 mph across parking lots and down streets!” Another plus? “Its hardy design and the suspension make crossing branches and rocks a breeze,” our reviewer said. On the other hand, she warned, “The high speeds make it difficult to control, and the battery life is a joke—after 20 minutes the battery dies.” In the end, our tester felt this car is probably best suited for adults who are looking for high speeds and understand that the battery life makes the fun short-lived.

Test Results: Holy Stone RC Cartoon Race Car (Best for Toddlers)

3.8

What We Like

  • Fun, vibrant colors

  • Small

  • Easy to control

What We Don't Like

  • Much better suited for indoors

  • Limited controls

Holy Stone RC Cartoon Race Car
Lifewire 
Holy Stone RC Cartoon Race Car
Lifewire 
Holy Stone RC Cartoon Race Car
 Lifewire
Holy Stone RC Cartoon Race Car
Lifewire 

Our tester highly recommended this toy “if you're looking for a kid-friendly starter RC car” because it has basic controls, vibrant colors, and a compact size. In terms of limitations, our reviewer said, “The controls only go in two directions, making it harder to steer and harder to overcome obstacles.” She explained this “makes it more of an indoor car.” Overall, though, our tester called it “perfect for young kids.”