Finding The Best Cheap Nitro RC Cars

While some consider playing with RC, or remote control, cars as something children do, the truth is that many teens and adults race RC cars as a hobby. Though some RC enthusiasts prefer the simplicity of electric RC cars, others love the challenges and thrills that RC nitro cars provide. If you fall into the latter category, you are probably continually on the search for the best nitro cars on the market. Consider adding one or more of these top 5 cheap nitro RC cars to your collection for the best racing experience at top speeds.

Nitro gas powered RC cars are faster, more durable, and best of all, more energy efficient than other types of RC cars! But with so many products and options, it can be tricky to find the right one. We have selected the 5 best cheap nitro RC cars, and these 5 nitro powered RC cars are fun, fast, affordable, and offer great value for money.


Top Cheap RC Cars Reviews

Below, we will review 5 of the best cheap RC cars available on the market, and we will also talk about their pros and cons.

1. Redcat Racing Nitro Shockwave Buggy

This is an off road RC car that is designed to handle all kinds of rough situations on the trail. It features single speed transmission that combines with a pull start Vertex VX.16 engine as well as 4WD to provide top speeds when racing with friends. These features also help improve toughness and durability. It is controlled using a 2.4GHz radio, which allows you to run several vehicles at the same time.

The Redcat Racing Shockwave Buggy is a cheap NITRO vehicle that requires nitro fuel, 80142a glow plug ignitor and 12 AA batteries to run. It also features composite brakes, 6061 anodized aluminum chassis as well as capped oil filled shocks.

These combined with the single transmission make this a durable, easy to use and reliable RC vehicle. With a ground clearance of 12mm, you can rest assured that the Shockwave Nitro Buggy has superior speed and performance. Given its small size, it’s quite surprising that this RC car weighs a little over 7 pounds.

Another notable feature is the Nitro 2.67 cc Vertex motor that provides enough power for this car to race efficiently, regardless of the terrain. On matters of speed, this RC car can charge up to 35 miles per hour, which is standard. The only qualm is that although they are required, batteries aren’t included with the purchase. Fuel is also purchased separately.

  • 4WD single transmission without reverse
  • Easy control with a 2.4 GHz radio
  • Powerful Nitro engine with pull start
  • Strong and durable construction
  • Batteries and fuel are sold separately
  • Could be faster


2. Exceed RC Forza .18 Engine RTR Nitro Powered Off Road Buggy

The Exceed RC Forza .18 Engine RTR Nitro Powered Off Road Buggy is a four-wheel drive that is packing the power. It features a 3-gear center-mounted transmission and a high-precision ESC with reverse function which puts the control in your hands. The high precision receiver features two channels.

The shocks for this monster are extra long for more absorption of impact, and they are nitride-coated. The chassis is light-weight and stiff so that it glides over rocks, branches and anything else you throw at it. That includes rain and snow. The Maxstone also features waterproof electronics so you can drive in any weather, whether rain or shine.

Perhaps the best thing about this crawler is its motors. Yes, you heard right. This crawler has two high-torque motors providing all the climbing power. No matter what you throw at it, it’ll just keep right on crawling. As a bonus, the weight of the motors are positioned low, to give you the lowest center of gravity possible so that your crawler can simply hug the rocks.

The only downside is that parts for this model tend to be a bit low-end and the crawler is a little bit top-heavy. However, both replacement parts and upgrades are easily found at your local hobby store or online by contacting the manufacturer.

  • It is very fast
  • It is very affordable
  • Very powerful
  • It is lightweight
  • Excellent design
  • Most of the parts are made with plastic
  • Can be difficult to get the settings


3. Redcat Racing Lighting On-Road Car with VX 16 Taiwan Pull Start Engine

This is a hobby grade RC car that is features a stylish design as well as a wheels that allow for drifting when the vehicle is turning. While this obstructs speed and handling and does have any practical benefit, it goes a long way in perfecting maneuvers that most RC cars cannot achieve.

Unlike other RC vehicles that improve performance by providing utmost speed, terrain versatility and handling, this one does things a little differently. Redcat Racing uses components that focus mainly on drifting. Such include hard, relatively slick tires which also make gaining traction quite a challenge. And while speed may increase as the motor breaks in, the fastest it can go is 15mph.

These may seem like more of a blow than benefit for many but truth be told, improved drifting opens a new way of experiencing the world of RC vehicles. As such, this is a great option for those who love a challenge. Other than drifting around corners, the Lightning EPX Drift also allows you to perform tricks spins. That said, there is no better way of unleashing your creativity than with this car.

Being a slick RC vehicle, this model is not as durable as most models on this list. It has a low ground allowance meaning that the chassis bears the brunt of most crashing and not the wheels as one would expect. The remote is a 2.4GHz pistol transmitter with proportional control. Combined with difficult handling, this makes the Redcat Racing Lighting On-Road Car more suitable for experienced hobbyists.

  • Excellent drifting
  • Very affordable
  • Low speed
  • Difficult handling



4. Exceed RC Infinitve Nitro Gas Powered RTR Off Road Monster 4WD Truck

At the other end of the spectrum for our cheap nitro RC cars, the Exceed RC Infinitve Nitro Gas Powered RTR Off Road Monster 4WD Truck may not make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up like the Rampage XB or look as rugged and cool as the similarly priced Nitro Shockwave, but this 1/10-scale nitro RC buggy proves that looks can be deceiving.

The Exceed RC Infinitve Nitro Gas Powered RTR Off Road Monster 4WD Truck comes equipped with a high-torque .18 nitro engine, adjustable wishbone suspension, high-impact wheels, oil-filled big bore shocks, all-wheel drive system, and much more, making it a more than capable buggy for any RC enthusiast.

Overall, this buggy runs incredibly well. Simply pop on the glow plug igniter and give the pull-cord a yank or two. Instantaneously, the engine will come to life and begin purring like a dream.

So, if you’re willing to overlook flashy brush less RC cars for a fun and very capable buggy that straight up performs, you should definitely keep the Exceed RC Infinitve Nitro Gas Powered RTR Off Road Monster 4WD Truck on your short list.

  • Very tough and durable
  • Excellent speed for a truck
  • Highly affordable
  • Lightweight suspension
  • Can be difficult to operate for a beginner



5. Redcat Racing Tornado S30 Buggy Nitro

The last of our cheap nitro RC cars in this article is the Redcat Racing Tornado S30 Buggy Nitro. It is an excellent all-around buggy powered by a state of the art brushless motor and excellent outer appearance that will definitely suit not only kids but people of all ages as well!

It is running on the .16 NItro Engine with Pull Start that incorporates 4WD and forward/reverse transmission. Other than that, it is also running 7.2v 2000mAh NiMH battery which allow it to go quite fast and endure a lot of time. On the downside, the pistol-like controller requires a whopping 8 AA batteries (none included) which will cost quite a lot if you go for the high powered ones.

Regarding other features, the Redcat Racing Tornado S30 Buggy Nitro sports aluminum capped oil filled shocks, extremely sturdy body made from Vivid Polycarbonate, waterproof electronics, independent spring suspension systems and a gigantic spoiler running the show from the back, allowing superior aerodynamics to the RC.

Best of all, you can upgrade the stock batteries and implement the powerful Venom 20C 2S 5000mAh LiPos. Not only will they improve the top speed (up to 40mph) but run time as well. You will be looking at around 40 minutes of driving time which is second to none at this price range!

  • Easy to get it going
  • It is powerful
  • It is affordable
  • It is not strong as the parts break easily


What to go electric instead?  Check out our best RC cars for 2017.