Remote control cars make exciting toys for kids and adults with a need for speed. Some are designed for rough drivers, while others quit after a scrape or two. Durability is a key feature of the best RC cars, but so are features such as maneuverability, customization and speed. Whether looking for a car for an RC enthusiast or a new driver, you want to find a car that will excite them for years to come.
Top RC Cars for Young Drivers
Little kids enjoy playing with remote control cars but may not be ready for the real thing. The controllers on these cars are simple, usually allowing drivers to go forward, backward and make turns. The cars themselves are also designed with young drivers in mind, featuring durable bodies that can withstand being knocked into walls, other toys and obstacles that get in the way.
Bump 'n' Chuck R/C Bumper Cars
Kid Galaxy's Bump 'n' Chuck R/C Bumper Cars encourage kids to knock them around, making them perfect for new and reckless drivers. The cars have a genius-level Toy IQ of 156 through Fat Brain Toy's rating system. Customers rate the cars highly for their durability and how easy it is to control the remotes. Designed for ages six years and up, they will be most enjoyed by remote control drivers who are between six and nine years old.
Go Go Auto
Also from Kid Galaxy is the Go Go Auto, part of the My First R/C series. Designed for ages two and up, the car is durable and simple to control. The remote features two buttons, one for going forward and one for turning the car. Available styles include a red Ford sports car and a blue Ford truck and features a soft, squeezable body. Its size, simplicity, durability and inexpensive price tag make it perfect for a toddler or preschooler's first experience with a remote control car.
Come and Get Us Counting Car
The popular characters from Nick Jr.'s Team Umizoomi hitch a ride in the Come and Get Us Counting Car. Kids control the car with a remote control shaped like an Umi Phone and can even call the car and have it magically come to them by pressing the center button on the remote. As the car moves forward and backward it counts, helping kids learn their numbers. The car receives a four out of five star rating from Toys 'R Us customers for its durability and cuteness. It can be enjoyed by children ages two and up.
Billy Fun Wheels
Chicco's Billy Fun Wheels is designed for kids aged two and older. This yellow truck features a bright smiling face on the front and makes a roaring sound when it accelerates. Children can control the car both by pressing buttons and by simply turning the remote to the right or the left. Parents praise the car for its durability and fun-factor, but note that, like many electronics, it goes through batteries quickly.
Best RC Cars for Outdoor Play
For your rough, adventurous drivers try one of these options. Don't be afraid to get these cars dirty, running them through mud or on rocky terrain. Some of them can even drive straight through puddles of water.
Nikko's Vaporizr is the ultimate all-terrain RC car. It features four-wheel drive and can spin 360 degrees. With its durable body, the car can also tackle rocky terrain or be driven in and out of the water. According to customers, the car delivers all it promises. Those who have purchased the car rate it highly because of its rechargeable battery, performance and durability.
The Rustler XL-5 from Traxxas is a durable, waterproof remote control car designed to be driven on any terrain and in any weather. While it comes with a high price tag, the car can bring extreme fun for serious drivers. It can be driven through water, snow and mud at speeds in excess of 35 mph. The Rustler XL-5 is one of Traxxas' best-selling models.
Tonka's Ricochet can drive over nearly any terrain and perform stunts at the same time. Designed for ages eight and up, the car is fast and has a long range, so kids can drive it all over the yard while staying in one place. Stunts can also be recorded and replayed the next time you take the controller. The Ricochet was named one of Time Magazine's Top Ten Tech Toys for 2011.
Kid Galaxy's Morphibians collection has won multiple awards, including the Oppenheimer Best Toy Awards Gold Seal in 2005. The car comes in five models: Shark, gator, killer whale, orange explorer and red rover. With its 4x4 power, kids can drive the Morphibian on rough terrain or through the water. It is designed for children ages five and up.
Top Toy RC Cars
Remote control cars can be expensive but you do not have to spend a lot of money to get a quality vehicle. If you just want to play with an RC toy without paying an arm and a leg, try some of these reliable, but less expensive options.
SilverLit Mini Buggy
The SilverLit Mini Buggy is a small but durable remote control car. At less than $20 it is also priced right. Customers rate the car highly for its durability and the fact that it charges in less than 10 minutes. You can also drive the car in the dark, using its headlights to light the way.
Air Hogs Hyperactives
For a simple, reliable RC car, try Air Hogs Hyperactives. The cars were given an A-minus rating from RC Mania for speed and performance. Because the cars run on multi-band technology, multiple cars can be driven at the same time and most of the cars in the series are designed to reach speeds up to 20 mph. The Hyperactives also come with removable tires, so the wheels can be changed when switching from indoor to outdoor driving.
SilverLit Ferrari Enzo
While a $70 price tag may not seem like a deal, it is priced low considering all the SilverLit Ferrari Enzo has to offer. This unique car uses your iPhone or other Bluetooth-enabled device as the controller. By simply tilting your device, you can control the car. You can also turn on the car's headlights and taillights and feel like you are driving an actual Ferrari for a fraction of the price.
Best Remote Control Cars for Competition
Be prepared to drop at least a few hundred dollars to get one of these top competition cars. Not only do these cars look fast, they are fast, with some of them topping 70 mph. They are easy to maneuver around competition tracks and most can be customized to offer even more power and speed.
Kyosho Lazer ZX-5
The Kyosho Lazer ZX-5 comes with four wheel drive and is considered a racing buggy. Its slipper clutch gives it traction on rough terrain and helps protect the car's gears. It comes completely assembled, making it ready to pull out of the box and put straight onto the track. Multiple optional parts are available to help make this a high-performing off-road RC car.
CEN Ford GT
Reach speeds of up to 73 mph with the CEN Ford GT CT5. While most cars need to be customized to reach high speeds, this car comes ready to race and is the fastest ready-to-run car on the market. It features an adjustable 2-speed transmission and a lightning engine to help achieve its speed. The high-impact front bumper also makes the car durable.
Schumacher Cat K1
Schumacher's Cat K1 is an RC buggy that is designed to be flexible. It comes with four wheel drive so it can tackle rough terrain and also features high-agility shocks to help it withstand bumps and damage. The car comes assembled and ready to run or as a kit to make it easy to customize. The model of car, which Radio Control Car Action calls "ultra-modern," has won multiple races with its sleek, flexible design.
Traxxas Rally VXL
While it does not reach the 73 mph of the CEN Ford GT, the Traxxas Rally VXL can go up to 50 mph. It also features a Velineon 380 motor, which is the largest in its class, and a no channel controller to reduce interference and maximize performance. The Traxxas Rally VXL also contains waterproof electronics and all-wheel drive, making it the ideal car for multiple terrains and competition courses.
Ready to Drive
Whether you want a car for competitions or for fun, nearly all of the best RC cars come ready to drive.You can enjoy playing with these cars yourself or race against friends to determine whose remote control car is really the best. With some stellar driving skills, even a car that may seem inferior at the start of the race could easily come out on top!