7 Best RC Cars Under $200

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The radio-controlled cars on this page fall into the $100–$200 category. These are models that leave the toys behind and take enthusiasts up to the next level. RC cars under $200 usually have more of everything compared to cheaper alternatives, but not always. For example, extra power can sometimes result in shorter battery life. And some vehicles need more maintenance than others.

This guide reviews 7 exceptional products available in 2019. They have become favorites in the RC car community for all the right reasons. The ideal model for you depends on personal wants and expectations. The point of these mini-reviews is to help you make better buying decisions. You should have a good idea of what to look for by the end of this short introduction.

Budget
best-budget-rc-car-under-200
Hosim RC 4WD Monster
4.5/5.0
Scale: 1/10
Playing Time: 10 minutes
High-speed, all-terrain capable, fast battery access, excellent value.
Check Amazon
Best Value
best-value-rc-car-under-200
Redcat EPX Racing RC Drift Car
4.7/5.0
Scale: 1/10
Playing Time: 20 minutes
Fast, lightweight chassis, oil filled shocks, adjustable suspension.
Check Amazon
Top Pick
top-value-rc-car-under-200
LAEGENDARY 4×4 Off-Roader
4.9/5.0
Scale: 1/10
Playing Time: 30 minutes
2 speed modes, metal frame, oil-filled shocks, rubber tires.
Check Amazon

RC Wants, Needs, and Expectations

You’re unlikely to find the perfect RC car, but it’s possible to get something close to it. It’s a good idea to make a quick checklist of your wants, needs, and expectations.

RC Car Wants

Think of your “wants” as things you would like but are willing to compromise on if necessary. What do you want the model to be capable of? How fast and how far do you want it to go. Do you want to be able to tweak the car and upgrade some of its stock parts? You’re unlikely to check all your wants boxes, but you should achieve most of them and meet others halfway.

RC Car Needs

Your “needs” have no room for compromise. For example, if you want to race on flat surfaces you need a car that can reach a certain speed. You need a minimum torque power and robustness if your hobby is rock crawling. Do you need a vehicle with fully-waterproofed electronics and multi-terrain capable? You get the idea. A simple checklist is the best way to make sure your model meets all your needs.

RC Car Expectations

Your “expectations” are those things which satisfy your wants and meet your needs. You expect a radio-controlled car that lives up to the maker’s promises. That is, you expect it to have the battery life, range, look, feel, and functions outlined on the sales page. A buyer’s expectations usually fall short due to a lack of knowledge or from buying in haste.

Summing Up

The 7-point list below is a simple yet effective approach to buying your next RC car:

  1. Prepare a draft checklist for buying an RC car and include the following points
  2. Verify the model’s scale and dimensions (often overlooked by novice buyers)
  3. Check the build quality, materials, and availability of replacement parts
  4. Look at the maker’s suggested age range and skill level for the model
  5. Make sure you’re okay with the playing time on a single charge
  6. Consider charging times and the cost of extra batteries
  7. Ensure the control range is far enough for your needs

Use these suggestions above as a rough guide and to get you thinking along the right lines. The final list should be unique to you and may look quite different from your first draft. Your list may also surprise you once you have your priorities down on paper.

About My RC Cars Under $200 Guide

The word “cars” is a broad one in RC terms. It’s often used to describe any model with 4 wheels and more than two seats. That can include Sports and Luxury Cars, Monster Trucks, Buggies, and Rock Crawlers, etc. This guide includes models from all categories. Remember to have the list ready so that you can check your boxes as you read each piece.

The RC products reviewed here are the result of careful research. I used user reviews and the opinions of industry experts as well as personal preferences. The first three models are Best Budget, Best Value, and the Top Pick. The table below shows the RC cars under $200 in the order they appear.

RC Cars Under $200 Comparison Table

Make and ModelScalePlaying TimePrice
Hosim BIG Off-Road RC 4WD Monster Truck1/1010 minutesCheck Price
Redcat Powerful EPX Racing RC Drift Car1/1020 minutesCheck Price
LAEGENDARY High-Speed 4×4 Off-Road Monster1/1030 minutesCheck Price
Protector Fast 4WD All Terrain RC Buggy1/1210 minutesCheck Price
Exceed RC MadSpeed Le Mans Drift Car1/1012 minutesCheck Price
Exceed Brushless RC SunFire Race Buggy1/10Not specifiedCheck Price
Tacon Brushless Soar Buggy RC Car1/1410+ minutesCheck Price

1. Hosim 9125 RC 4WD Monster Truck | Best Budget

Hosim 9125 RC 4WD Monster TruckView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Our Best Budget RC car goes to the Hosim 4WD Monster Truck. It’s a large 1/10 scale model that sports a bunch of hobby-grade features. Its two speed options are ideal for new users.

  • Best feature 1: Double motors
  • Best feature 2: All metal sealed ball bearing
  • Plus points: High-speed, all-terrain capable, fast battery access, excellent value
  • Minus points: Short battery life, long charging time

Hosim 4WD RC Monster Truck Highlights

One of the standout features of the Hosim 9125 RC monster truck is its two independent motors. They provide twice the power of a single-motor design. The top speed is an impressive 30 mph (46km/h) which is incredible for a truck in its class. And the all-metal sealed ball bearing gives users better control over challenging terrains.

The independent shockproof system and real steel chassis shaft structure reduce hard impact. RC monster trucks also need quality wheels to support the sturdy body. The Hosim doesn’t disappoint. There are 4 super-grip, aggressive tread tires on each of the heavy duty, anti-skid wheels. Underneath is the truck’s battery compartment. A simple press removes it for quick swaps and USB charging.

The Not So Good

Powerful trucks need plenty of power and this one’s no different. The running time on a single charge is 10 minutes at best, and recharging takes around 2.5 hours. These are typical times for a model in this category, but that doesn’t make them less frustrating. It needs extra batteries to extend the fun.

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Tech Specs
Model type: RC Monster Truck
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 17.8 x 12.6 x 6.6”
Product Weight: 5.5 lbs.
Max Range: 262 ft. (80 meters)
Battery: 7.4V 1600mAh
Running time: 10 minutes
Charging time: 2.5 hours
The Pros
Hobby-grade metal components
Two speed modes
All-terrain capable
Double motors
Real steel chassis
Robust ABS body construction
All metal sealed ball bearing
High 30 mph top speed
Fast battery access
Excellent value
The Cons
Short battery life
Longish charging

2. Redcat EPX Racing RC Drift Car | Best Value

Redcat EPX Racing RC Drift CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

A sleek, RC racing car called the Redcat EPX makes the Best Value slot. This model is a large, ready-to-run (RTR) drift car with a powerful 27T 540 brushed motor.

  • Best feature 1: Powerful 27T 540 brushed motor
  • Best feature 2: Shaft driven 4WD
  • Plus points: Fast, lightweight chassis, oil filled shocks, adjustable suspension
  • Minus points: Not easy to handle at lower speeds

Redcat EPX RC Drift Car Highlights

Drift racing is all about sliding smoothly around tight bends while maintaining forward momentum. Proper drift cars must measure up to the above, or they’re a waste of time. This model’s shaft-driven 4WD keeps the vehicle controlled during those impressive drifts. The lightweight chassis ensures the car makes a quick recovery once back on the straights. Top speeds can exceed 20 mph.

RC tinkerers love being able to fine-tune their models. This puppy has an adjustable independent suspension system, and aluminum capped oil-filled shocks. Other noteworthy features include waterproofed electronics, Hexfly steering servo, and an aluminum top brace. Playing time depends on how hard you push the car, but 20 minutes is a reasonable average. Battery charging takes 2+ hours.

The Not So Good

The car can be tricky to control at slower speeds due to its low traction. That’s quite typical for a lot of drift models and can take a while to get used to.

amazon

Tech Specs
Model type: RC Drift Race Car
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 14.2 x 8 x 4.5”
Product Weight: 6 lbs.
Max Range: 100 ft. (30 meters)
Battery: 7.2V 2000 mAh
Running time: 20 minutes
Charging time: 2+ hours
The Pros
Powerful 27T 540 brushed motor
Superb drift control
Shaft driven 4WD
Fast (for a drift car)
Lightweight chassis
Oil filled shocks
Hexfly steering servo
Adjustable suspension
Waterproofed electronics
The Cons
Hard to handle at slower speeds

3. LAEGENDARY Powerful 4×4 Off-Road Truck | Top Pick

LAEGENDARY Powerful 4x4 Off-Road TruckView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

There are good reasons why the Powerful LAEGENDARY 4×4 Off-Road Truck makes the Top Pick. It comes with dual built-in DC motors that add an extra boost to this beast and its capabilities.

  • Best feature 1: Dual built-in DC motors
  • Best feature 2: Long running time
  • Plus points: 2 speed modes, metal frame, oil-filled shocks, rubber tires, ergonomic controller
  • Minus points: Too fast for indoors, a two-battery arrangement

Legend Off-Road RC Truck Highlights

The two speed modes are useful in a couple of ways. The LOW speed is ideal for learning and navigating around smaller obstacle courses. The HIGH (fast) speed mode is better for racing and driving around larger areas. The 250 ft., control range gives plenty of scope for adventure courses. This monster can reach a top speed of 30 mph (48 km/h) in ideal conditions.

Powerful Performance, Easy Control

There’s a double battery connector to accommodate two batteries for twice the running time. Players can expect around 30 minutes with this arrangement. That’s impressive with a 1:10 scale model in this category. It’s a stable vehicle across most terrains too. It has a metal enforced frame, oil-filled metal shocks, and heavy-duty wheels with super-grip rubber tires.

The lightweight pistol-grip style ergonomic remote controller makes driving the Legend a joy. It’s as simple as turning the 2.4GHz radio system on and driving off—that’s it. New users don’t have to fuss around managing frequencies or channels either.

The Not So Good

Some monster trucks are suitable for inside as well as outside fun. This one isn’t, not unless you have room for a pony indoors. It’s just too fast for homes, even at the LOW-speed setting.

The 2-battery setup is a brilliant concept though it’s not perfect. The problem is that the extra battery arrangement uses a Velcro strap to hold them in place instead of a door. This setup takes away the truck’s waterproofing. That means it’s only safe to use two batteries when driving in dry conditions.

amazon

Tech Specs
Model type: RC Monster Truck
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 15 x 12.8 x 8”
Product Weight: 2.2 lbs.
Max Range: 250 ft. (76 meters)
Battery: 2 x 7.4V 1600mAh LiPo
Running time: 30 minutes
Charging time: 2 hours
The Pros
Dual built-in DC motors
Double battery connector
Long running time
Long control range
Two speed modes
Tough metal frame
Oil-filled shocks
Rubber tires
Lightweight, ergonomic controller
Too fast for indoors
The Cons
Two-battery arrangement removes waterproofing
Too fast for indoor use

4. Protector Fast 4WD All Terrain RC Buggy

Protector Fast 4WD All Terrain RC BuggyView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

The Protector with its RC390 brushed motor is one of the coolest looking 4WD RC cars around. The four top-mounted working LED lights and spare wheel add to its appeal as a serious sand rail buggy.

  • Best feature 1: Full-scale roll cage
  • Best feature 2: Heavy-duty metal diff. /outdrives
  • Plus points: Modular chassis, working LED lamps, all-terrain knobby tread tires
  • Minus points: Low average playing time, insane charging time

Protector 4WD All Terrain RC Buggy Highlights

Its impressive roll cage is quick to remove for easy access to the solid, modular chassis. An all-metal diff and independent suspension let users thrash and jump the model with confidence. Quality ball bearings and multi-terrain knobby tread tires add further to the model’s appeal. And the front-facing LED lamps are bright enough to let the fun continue after dark.

RC drivers can take the Protector across most terrains like grass, sand, and stones among others. The car’s hobby-grade attraction also includes quick battery access and IPX5 water resistance. Twin 3.7V, 1500 mAh dynamic batteries and easy USB charging are two more. Safeguards include low battery voltage, anti-block, and circuit overheat protections.

The Not So Good

There’s never enough playing time on a single charge with any RC car. It’s the biggest frustration in all radio-controlled models though some are better than others. The short 10 minute maximum run time with the Predator is disappointing. USB charging is easy but the long 4 hour charging time is insane. At least the model includes 2 batteries though new buyers may want more.

amazon

Tech Specs
Model type: 4WD Off-Road Buggy
Model Scale: 1:12
Dimensions: 13.5 x 10 x 6.1”
Product Weight: 3.31 lbs.
Max Range: 280 ft. (85 meters)
Battery: 2 x 3.7V, 1500mAH Li-ion
Running time: 10 minutes per charge
Charging time: 4 hours
The Pros
Upgradable Buggy
RC390 brushed motor
Full-scale roll cage
Heavy-duty metal diff. /outdrives
IPX5 water resistance
Modular chassis
Twin dynamic batteries
USB charging
Working LED lamps
All-terrain knobby tread tires
The Cons
Low average run time
Insane charging time

5. Exceed RC MadSpeed Le Mans Drift Car

Exceed RC MadSpeed Le Mans Drift CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Meet the Exceed RC 2.4Ghz MadSpeed Drift King. The car is a 1/10 electric ready-to-run (RTR) Le Mans drift racer. This model has a distinctive centralized low center of gravity (CG) design.

  • Best feature 1: Unique low center of gravity (CG) centralized design
  • Best feature 2: Metal components
  • Plus points: Attention to details, 540 brushed motor, foam bumper, rubber tires
  • Minus points: Short battery life, long charging

Exceed RC MadSpeed Drift Car Highlights

Exceed’s RC drift car has a hot wheel-spinning look about it. This is the brushed model and not quite as powerful as the brushless version. That makes it a better car for entry-level users keen to get into drift racing. It’s not a toy, though. The 540 motor provides all the tire-shredding torque and RPMs needed to perform impressive high-speed drift actions.

The MadSpeed Le Mans Drift Car uses metal components in its build. They include a CNC aluminum upper deck, center drive, and motor mount. The model also sports some neat details. Some of the standout ones are the side view mirrors, rear wing, alloy-style wheels, and chrome exhaust. The car also has a foam bumper for added protection and uses quality rubber for the drift tires.

The Not So Good

The running time on a single charge is 12 minutes at best and charging can take at least 2.5 hours. It’s a familiar issue with all these models. It’s always a good idea to factor extra batteries into the cost.

amazon

Tech Specs
Model type: RC Drift Car
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 17.32” (L) x 7.48” (W)
Product Weight: 3.3 lbs.
Max Range: Not specified
Battery: 7.2V Ni-MH 2000mAh
Running time: 12 minutes
Charging time: 2.5+ hours
The Pros
Excellent entry-level drift racer
Low center of gravity design
Metal components
Attention to details
540 brushed motor
Protective foam bumper
Rubber drift tires
Pistol grip controller
The Cons
Short battery life
Longish charging

6. Exceed Brushless SunFire RC Race Buggy

Exceed Brushless SunFire RC Race BuggyView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

At #6 is the Exceed SunFire electric-powered RC PRO Race Buggy. The car has a tough polycarbonate shell and sleek racing design. It’s a fast model that’s adjustable and durable.

  • Best feature 1: Powerful 3300Kv brushless motor
  • Best feature 2: Adjustable parts
  • Plus points: Sealed motor & transmission, ground clearance, metal parts, superb brakes
  • Minus points: Vague instruction manual, long charging time

Exceed SunFire RC Race Buggy Highlights

This model is an excellent choice for someone upgrading from toy-grade to hobby-grade. Younger kids may fare better with the less powerful Sunfire brushed version. There are plenty of opportunities to tinker with the settings and upgrade the parts for those who want to. There’s a 3-position adjustable rear wing, adjustable aluminum shocks, camber, and toe turnbuckles.

SunFire Performance

A Powerful 3300Kv brushless motor takes this puppy to around 50 mph (80 km/h). The brakes are superb so don’t let the high speed put you off. The buggy has 1.02” ground clearance to keep it safe when racing. Both the motor & transmission are sealed to protect the delicate parts from dirt, dust, and grime. Metal components contribute toward the cars rugged appeal and driver confidence.

The Not So Good

The vague instruction manual is typical of Exceed. Parts reference and the basic instructions are not a problem. But they leave out the kind of specs shoppers want to read about like control range and battery life. Potential buyers must rely on feedback from SunFire owners for some specs. The manual does state charging times. But even they’re vague, ranging anywhere from 2–4 hours.

amazon

Tech Specs
Model type: Brushless RC Race Buggy
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 15.8 x 9.8 x 6.3”
Product Weight: 2 lbs.
Max Range: Not specified
Battery: 8.4V 3000mAh Ni-MH
Running time: Not specified
Charging time: 2.5 hours
The Pros
Sleek, aerodynamic race design
Powerful 3300Kv brushless motor
Adjustable parts
Sealed motor & transmission
Decent ground clearance
Metal components
Highly responsive brakes
The Cons
Vague instruction manual
Long charging time

7. Tacon Brushless Soar Buggy RC Car

Tacon Brushless Soar Buggy RC CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Last on the list is the 1/14 scale RC Tacon Soar Buggy. It’s the ready-to-run (RTR) car to consider if you want something completely different. The colorful, unique design certainly make it stand out.

  • Best feature 1: Colorful, unique buggy design
  • Best feature 2: 2mm thick aluminum chassis
  • Plus points: Metal parts, adjustable, 380 brushless motor, exceptional handling, knobby tires
  • Minus points: Poor stock battery, parts availability

Tacon Soar Buggy RC Car Highlights

There are plenty of hobby-grade metal parts used in the Tacon Soar Buggy. It has a 2mm aluminum chassis, anodized aluminum shock towers, and aluminum threaded oil-filled shocks. The car is both upgradable and adjustable—the way RC enthusiasts like things.

The option to adjust the buggy’s behavioral characteristics for different terrains is invaluable. Minor tweaks can take the performance from good to exceptional. Speeds can vary, but the powerful 380 brushless motor and the stock battery should take the car to over 30 mph. Both the power and efficiency should increase exceptionally by upgrading the battery to a 7.4v 1800mah lithium.

The Not So Good

The stock battery is more of a goodwill gesture than anything else. You need to invest in a better battery to release the full potential of this little beast. The makers suggest a Gens Ace 7.4v 1800mah lithium that should cost around $20 or less. It will increase the running time too.

I read a lot about how hard it was to find some parts and upgradable components for this model. That’s only true if your search starts and ends on sites like Amazon. I suggest looking at the NitroRcX official website. Not only do they stock all the spares, but they’re usually cheaper too.

amazon

Tech Specs
Model type: RC High-Speed Buggy
Model Scale: 1:14
Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4.3
Product Weight: 1.9 lbs.
Max Range: 100 ft. (30 meters)
Battery: 7.2V 1100mAh NiMH
Running time: 10+ minutes (stock battery)
Charging time: Not specified
The Pros
Colorful, unique buggy design
2mm thick aluminum chassis
Metal components
Adjustable (fine-tuning)
380 4500KV brushless motor
Exceptional handling and aerodynamic performance
Knobby tires
The Cons
Poor stock battery
Parts availability quandary
0/50 ratings