Today we are taking a closer look at the creme de la crème of RC cars. We’re going to dwell deep into the RC cars under $1000 category. Of course, these RC models aren’t meant for beginners. I mean, that’s what their price strongly suggests. Sure, you can get one if you really want, but you will most likely not be able to get the most out of it.
Table: Best RC cars under $1000
|5. JLB Racing Cheetah
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|4. Traxxas Crawler
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|3. Traxxas Trail
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|2. Arrma Notorious
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|1. Arrma Kraton
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On the 5th spot, we have a proper electric monster track with a very aggressive price tag to its name. Perhaps not the most popular option out there, and overall not the best RC car under $1000, Cheetah by JBL Racing is still a completely viable one. We are talking about a 1/10 monster truck model with crisp design and huge texturized wheels. Want to know more about it? Hmm… if there were only 3 more paragraphs explaining it further…
When it comes to the interior, I’d like to clear out that Cheetah sports splashproof hardware. Don’t mistake it for waterproof though – those 2 terms aren’t the same! Furthermore, Cheetah’s metal shock absorber is also worth mentioning since it allows better control on various types of terrain.
In terms of performance, JBL Racing Cheetah can boast with a powerful 3S LiPo battery running the show. More precisely, it sports a 4000mAh 30C LiPo, but you are encouraged to upgrade to a higher C model. ESC incorporates 80A which means you have plenty of headroom for improvement.
Lastly, the main workforce of JBL Racing Cheetah is the 3670 2500kV motor. Not only is it waterproof but brushless too, allowing this speedy little devil to reach approximately 50 miles per hour. That’s around 80km/h for our European readers. if that’s not enough for you to buy this model, perhaps you should take a closer look at its price tag. For the lazy ones – it’s rather cheap so it’s definitely worth checking out!
The first of the two Traxxas models we’re going to focus on today is the Traxxas Sports Crawler. Both models belong to the TRX-4 platform which is known for delivering exceptional performance at an affordable price tag… which is exactly what we’re after for our list of the top RC cars under $1000. Yes, I know it’s a pretty high price cap, but it’s something. That said, let’s focus on the Sport Crawler iteration and see what sort of performance it brings to the table!
The Typical TRX-4 Hardware
First things first – let’s focus on the hardware that comes with Traxxas’ TRX-4 platform. The motor choice is absolutely superb. We’re talking about the potent Titan 550 motor, capable of both high speeds and great low-RPM torque. Have I mentioned it’s the 21-turn version? Yep, it is! This thing runs with the help of a waterproof XL-5 HV ESC that takes care of the power side of the deal. Talking about power, you’ll need a 6-7-cell NiMH batteries or 2-3-cell LiPo batteries as well as their respective chargers because this little bugger comes with no batteries in the package.
Traxxas Trail Crawler is definitely among the best RC cars under $1000. Come to think of it, it was ranked at the top spot in our RC cars under $500 piece, which just goes to show you what a monster this thing is. Yep, that’s right – you can get this sucker for less than $500, which makes it an absolute bargain in the under $1000 territory… And here’s why:
When talking about the hardware, you should know that the two Traxxas models featured thus far have identical electronics. Heck, most of the hardware is the same, with only a few notable differences across the two builds that seriously affect the way they drive. We’re talking the same 21-turn Titan 550 motor on top of the high-powered XL-5 HV electronic speed controller.
It’s a great combination, nothing bad can be said about it. But, if you’re thinking of buying this model thinking it outperforms the above-featured entry, you’re making a mistake. Their overall performance is the same, with the only difference being the driving experience they offer.
Let’s Not Forget the Looks
We’ve already said plenty about the internals, but we’ve completely forgotten about the looks… and that’s such a shame considering the gorgeous design of this bugger. If you haven’t noticed by now, we’re looking at a Land Rover Defender in all of its glory. It’s huge, has massive ground clearance, hefty tires, and a sturdy chassis that won’t let you down no matter how hard you crash it. Plus, it’s absolutely gorgeous in every sense of that word!
The second place on this list belongs to the mighty ARRMA Notorious. We’re talking about a 1/8 model here; one that will sweep you off your feet with its size… Not only with its size, though, but with its raw power too. Notorious is great for both beginners and more experienced RC racing enthusiasts… but I really doubt a lot of beginners would spend this much money on their first-timer. Despite that, ARRMA Notorious is a great all-around model that delivers exceptional entertainment at every step of the way!
Good Old ARRMA
The RC cars’ brand ARRMA needs no special introduction. They’ve been in the game for quite a while and are already considered as the epitome of affordable RC goodness. With a lineup of exceptional RC models, ARRMA pushed their influence across the board, and their Notorius 1/8 models is perhaps the most thrilling one. It’s fast, runs smooth af, and packs quite the punch in terms of reliability and sturdiness, all courtesy of ARRMA!
Tough & Powerful
If ARRMA’s credentials aren’t enough for you, then perhaps the overall package can change your mind! It brings forth an impressive set of hardware, controlled by the mighty BLX185ESC and ads-15m servo. They are waterproof, ensuring this bad boy can do all sorts of mud-fueled stunts. The motor is a BLX4074 2050Kv brushless piece, capable of delivering exceptional speeds when powered by high C-rated 6S LiPos. The chassis, ground clearance, and the overall build quality are more than enough to satisfy even the most demanding of RC enthusiasts.
The ultimate model we’re going to inspect today also comes from the wicked RC laboratories of ARRMA. It’s another 1/8-scale model that looks and feels like an untamed beast. And it really is exactly that, which is why I can’t really recommend it to beginners. If you’re an experienced RC enthusiast, on the other hand, you need to get your hands on this beauty!
As far as the performance goes, ARRMA Kraton is one of the most thrilling RC cars you’re ever going to control. It’s based on BLX185 ESC, ads-15m servo, and the almighty BLX4074 2050Kv brushless motor. It’s basically the exact same platform like the one we’ve seen on ARRMA Notorious. The biggest difference is the fact that Kraton feels much more like a truggy whereas the notorious has oversized tires and a short wheelbase. This bad boy is capable of advanced long jumps, which is what some people prefer.
Plenty of Spare Parts Available
Spare parts availability is of crucial importance in the world of RC cars. The same goes for drones too. We’re talking about delicate devices here that need constant attention. And, let’s face it, crashes do happen, and once they start rolling in, they’ll never end. In other words, you’ll need a ton of spare parts to keep your racers alive and well. When it comes to ARRMA Kraton 1/8, spare parts are available on Amazon and on a variety of other hobby shops. You will have no issues with finding stuff like extra wheels, shocks, canopies, motors, etc. And, trust me, this thing is faster than you think, meaning there will be plenty of crashes and part replacements.
Types of best RC cars under $1000 you can buy
But, if you are an experienced RC driver (or a collector of some sort), then you will agree with me that these 10 are the (some of them) best RC cars money can buy! And on this list, there is something for all of you! Whether you are racing on smooth tracks or you’re more of an off-road type of guy, you will find something that suits your needs.
We’ve got different-sized models too. But, don’t expect anything under 1/10. Nope! I decided to concentrate solely on bigger, (pricier) and more powerful models. These are usually really fast and offer the best experience for people who know how to control them properly. So, without any further adue, let’s start off and see what’s the best RC car under $1000!
Nitro vs Electric motors? Which is better?
If you are willing to dash out a good chunk of money for your best RC car under $1000, you will be up against a particularly difficult decision – going for an electric or nitro-powered motor? Believe me, you are not the first person that’s going through this crisis – we’ve all been there… Well, at least I did and I am willing to share my knowledge with you guys!
Here are the main characteristics you can expect from these 2 types of motors:
Many people swear that nitro engines in RC cars make them a lot faster than electric ones. While that might be true if we compare a nitro-powered and brushed electric RC cars, that wouldn’t be the case with brushless ones. On the contrary, actually, brushless electric motors (in combination with a proper, high C rated LiPo) are much faster than nitro-powered ones. Plus, they work on batteries meaning you don’t have to go out and buy nitro fuel after every racing session.
However, Nitro-powered RC cars are (at least in my personal experience) a lot more fun than their electric counterparts. Among other things, that’s also due to their thrilling (and very loud) sound which sweeps the floor with electrics. On the downside – nitro engines require a lot of tuning, cleaning and general maintenance so they’re not exactly meant for beginners. Also, their entire pre-racing setup process is time-consuming. Some people like it, some people don’t… It’s up for you to decide!
Brushless cars are enjoying a huge amount of popularity for quite some time now. Their prices have dropped significantly over the last few years which makes them more affordable than ever. Plus, LiPo battery prices are also dropping which is a win-win situation for all-electric racers. But how do they perform against nitro-powered ones?
As I’ve already stated above, electric motors are (in most cases) faster than nitro-powered ones. However, they don’t offer that unique driving experience that comes with loud nitro engine sounds. Electric motors require little to no maintenance and will last longer than nitro ones… except if forced too drastically. In terms of price, all they require is an upfront investment in a supported battery and charger and that’s it… while on the other hand nitro engines require fuel (who would’ve guessed, eh?) in order to race.
What sort of performance can you expect from RC cars under $1000?
Despite the fact, we’re not talking about the highest-end market (yep believe it or not), the performance these buggers bring to the table is still superb. They are fast, reliable, possess excellent runtimes, and you can rest assured there will always be spare parts available somewhere. It’s really difficult to agree upon average numbers in this price tier, simply because there’s a massive number of available hardware combination you can get…
Are these expensive RC cars worth the money?
Are these RC cars really worth paying $1000 for? Are they really that good? In other words – are they worth the money? Well, it’s a rather subjective topic, because I’m not really able to make an even remotely objective explanation. You see – I’m a massive fan of both drones and RC cars. The way I see it is – the more the merrier. However, some of you might not feel comfortable with spending close to $1000 for an RC car. It’s all relative, and as such, I’m not confident in giving you a concrete answer here. I’m sorry!
Is it dangerous to drive around such fast models?
The danger is rather subjective. What might seem dangerous to some people is an outright breeze for others. It all depends on factors such as the terrain, the presence of nearby people, the experience of the driver, and the power of the RC model. Seeing as we’re talking about rather expensive RC cars under $1000, their top speeds are pretty nerve-racking. Still, if you’re an experienced RC enthusiast, you should be able to conquer them pretty fast. If, however, you’re thinking of buying this puppy as a gift for your little ones, it might be a better idea to look elsewhere… Perhaps out drones under $300 guide would be a far better option!
So with that last Traxxas model (there was a total of 4 of them on this list of RC cars under $1000, just realized that haha), I’m afraid we have come to the end. It’s been quite the road from the very top. Hopefully, you’ve noticed that there’s a mild curve approaching the number 1 spot. That’s because I really did my best to provide you with a 100% objective lineup.
With that being said, if you’re thinking of buying a drone, I hope this list helped you with your decision. It’s a big investment, no doubt about it. But, that just one more reason to do a good research so you don’t end up disappointed.