Kings of the Road: The Best RC Cars Under 100
In 1988, Clint Eastwood would reprise his role as Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan one final time in “The Dead Pool” (not to be confused with the 2016 Ryan Reynolds superhero flick “Deadpool”). Though the film was met with mixed reviews, it did produce one iconic scene: a terrified Eastwood tears through the winding San Francisco streets in his unmarked cop car, doing his best to outrace a 1963 Chevy Corvette RC Car – souped-up with a Reedy motor and an 8.4 volt NiCd battery, piloted by 1985 world champ RC driver Jay Halsey – that follows in hot pursuit.
The scene brought RC cars into the mainstream, and although RC cars remain an immensely popular gift for demographics ranging from DIY aficionados to elementary schoolers, much has changed in the twenty plus years since “The Dead Pool’s” debut. Today’s RC cars are bigger, sleeker, faster, more powerful, and – most importantly – more accessible. To wit, just in time for the summer holidays, we present below four RC car options – both for hobby-grade racers and more recreational users – none of which cost more than $100, all of which are available on Amazon.
Best RC Cars Under 100 – The Hobby-Grade Option
For relatively new RC fans searching for hobby grade cars that race and handle off-road tracks, we’ve got some tough news: there’ s only one truly excellent option below $100. Nevertheless, it’s a price performer and a perfect “first” RC car.
S911 RC Monster Truck
⦁GP Brush 390 motor
⦁Top speed of 35+ miles per hour
⦁S-Truck suspension system
⦁10 minutes of battery life when fully charged
⦁Control from up to 100 meters away
⦁Radio System: 2.4 ghz
⦁1/12 scale model
⦁Lifetime tech support/customer service guarantee
⦁Offroad capabilities, extremely fast on all types of land
⦁VERY durable for the price, allegedly weather and waterproof
⦁A couple of customers have complained about the gearbox
⦁Speed is a double-edged sword – may be tough for children to control
⦁Expect a lot of crashes at first, as it’s difficult to control
Overview: This awesome Monster Truck is a great starter car for those purchasing their first remote controlled vehicle. Even though it’s reasonably priced and has hobby-grade top speed at more than 35 miles per hour, it remains durable enough to provide some margin for error if you’re just starting out as an RC driver. Though several users have noted that the truck’s speed can make difficult to control, this is often the case when new drivers pick up their first hobby-grade RC car. It’s a great option if you want to take your car offroad, and the only major concern is its finicky gearbox. New drivers who are serious about the hobby can start here, but extremely young children should steer clear.
The Child-Proof “Gift” Cars
Though not as fast or durable as hobby-grade RC cars, these two sleek luxury car models are much safer and easier to handle, and any parent could rest easy watching their child unwrap one on Christmas.
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse Licensed RC Model Car
⦁1/14 scale, licensed Bugatti model
⦁Working head/tail lights
⦁8-15 mph top speed
⦁Car runs on 5 AA batteries, the controller runs on a single 9 volt battery
⦁A sleek model that looks like the actual Bugatti Veyron
⦁Fast, easy to control, turns and handles well, safe for all ages
⦁Extremely quiet, no annoying buzz, surprising durability
⦁Doesn’t handle rough surfaces well
⦁Finer details – like the antenna and mirrors – could possibly break easily
⦁Flat sports car design makes it too easy to stop
Overview: Young car buffs will love this Bugatti model, as it truly looks like the real thing. Parents will love its safety, relative durability, and ease of control. Since it’s modeled on a sports car, it’s extremely flat, which is good and bad – it can fit under furniture and in other nooks and crannies but twigs and rocks can often stop this Bugatti in its tracks. Overall, it’s a pretty basic model RC car that still allows for a bit of finesse when handling and accelerating.
Lamborghini Veneno RC Sport Racing Car
⦁1/24 scale, licensed Lamborghini model
⦁Color options are red or silver
⦁8-10 mph top speed
⦁Working head/tail lights
⦁Car runs on 3 AAA batteries, remote runs on 2 AA batteries
⦁The battery lasts more than 15 minutes when charged
⦁The sleek appearance of the actual Lamborghini Veneno
⦁Extremely safe, children as young as 6 can use it
⦁Long battery life ensures hours of fun
⦁Not the fastest, but this is by design
⦁Steering and throttle are all or nothing – little finesse, “throttle may as well be a button” said one review
⦁Very limited outdoor use
Overview: A smaller scale, less powerful model than the Bugatti Veyron, this Lamborghini is probably intended for the youngest of car enthusiasts, as it’s 6 and up age range indicates. The Veneno is the kind of model car you could picture your 8 year old opening up on Christmas morning and driving around the living room all day, and that is certainly it’s intended audience.
Best RC Cars Under $100 The New Kid On The Block
The SZJJX Spiderman Wall Climbing RC Car
An innovative creation that – as its namesake suggests – scales walls like the Web Slinger himself, this new release is sure to be a hit among younger RC buffs for years to come. Read our full review on this product here
⦁Lightweight design, suction fan vacuum allows for wall climbing
⦁Forward and reverse, 360 degree rotation, stop with brake lights
⦁Auto shut-off to conserve battery life
⦁Runs on 6 AA batteries
⦁The obvious: can drive on walls, windows, even ceilings
⦁Strong, shockproof body can resist inevitable falls from the ceiling and walls
⦁Sleek white and black design
⦁Can only drive on the smoothest of surfaces
⦁Have to be within 10m to control it reliably
⦁Not a lot of speed
Overview: This car is the #1 new release among RC cars on Amazon, and it’s easy to see why – it’s ability to drive on walls and even windows and ceilings is certainly innovative. However, this novelty can feel like a bit of a gimmick, as you have to be very close to the car to control it and it doesn’t drive very fast. Another great gift for young children, if your kid values driving his RC car anywhere in the house over brand names, then this is your best bet.
The Final Word On Best RC Cars Under 100 Bucks:
Which budget RC car is best for you? That truly comes down to a question of values. Are you an adult, and are you looking for a serious RC racer to dive into hobby? The Monster Truck is your best bet. Are you looking for a gift for your child, and does that child love leafing through car catalogs and naming cars as you drive by them on the street? The Bugatti and Lamborghini models are for you. On the other hand, is your kid pretty apathetic about brand names but loves novel features and wants to drive his or her car all over the house? Then the Spiderman Wall Climber is what you’re looking for, if you can tolerate the occasional RC car landing in your soup after a foray up the walls and ceilings.
The bottom line is, if you’re looking for a gift for your child or if you’re an adult looking to buy your first hobby-grade RC car, you can find exactly what you need for less than $100.