After comparing and carefully handpicking 10 of the best gas powered RC cars on the market, we have found Losi 5IVE T to be the top choice for most users.
We have spent 11 hours reviewing, testing, and collecting feedback to bring you this unbiased review to help you make the right purchase decision.
In this top 10 review and comparison, we took into account factors that might influence your buying decisions, such as performance, reliability, fun factor, part availability, toughness and build quality.
At the same time, it is important to note that each gas powered RC car is made for slightly different purposes, so keep reading to find out which unit works best for you and your needs.
- Motor: Zenoah G320 32cc 3.2hp
- Servo: Losi 30kg/cm
- Speed: 40 mph
Table of Contents
Best Gas Baja Kit - HPI Baja 5B
The HPI Baja 5B SS Buggy Kit (SBK) is an icon in the realm of 1/5 scale RC vehicles.
It offers a thrilling DIY experience, it lets serious hobbyists not just drive but also construct and customize their own off-road beast.
The assembly process, although demanding, is guided by a detailed manual, enabling enthusiasts to gain intimate knowledge of their vehicle’s mechanics.
To complete the package you will need to purchase the radio, engine and servos separately.
The driving experience of the Baja 5B SBK is exceptional, with its rear-wheel drive providing an engaging challenge and a need for adept car handling skills. Its detailed body, larger scale, and high-quality shock absorption system add a sense of realism is one of the top in the class.
A metal-geared drivetrain adds to its resilience and toughness, ensuring it can withstand the most challenging environments.
Its 4mm thick 6061 aluminum monocoque chassis lends the HPI Baja 5B its signature desert racing buggy aesthetic. Expertly bent to maximize strength, the chassis serves as the anchor for the engine and suspension, acting as the car’s spine. A dual-bellcrank rack and cam-type servo saver ensure precise steering. The aluminum parts are stylishly anodized in gunmetal, and the SBK kit includes a clear polycarbonate body with the iconic Baja desert racer design, ready for your personal touch.
The roll cage, constructed from high-impact nylon and crowned with an authentic aluminum roof, adds to the vehicle’s classic appeal. It’s not just for show, though – the roll cage serves a functional purpose by shielding the engine and internal components from damage during crashes. For easy maintenance, the roll cage, radio box, body panels, wing, undertray, and gear case are all secured with quick-access clips.
The updated SBK version features new upgrades, such as a super heavy duty drive shaft, sway bars, rear hub carrier and a heavy duty front hex hub.
Overall, Baja 5B rewards you with a unique, hands-on RC experience that few other models can provide. You’re not just buying a high-performance RC car, you’re investing in a project that lets you learn, tweak, and perfect. This amalgamation of DIY assembly, superior power, and exciting handling makes the HPI Baja 5B SBK a fantastic choice for hobbyists looking for a full-scale, immersive RC experience that delivers satisfaction far beyond simply driving.
|Iconic Baja design|
|Rewarding building experience|
|Tough & durable|
|Great build quality|
|A bit expensive for a kit|
Biggest Gas Truck - Redcat Rampage MT
The Redcat Racing Rampage MT is an incredibly imposing and thrilling mammoth of the 1/5 scale RC market.
Its grandeur lies not just in size, but also in its strong, aggressive presence, making it a favorite amongst RC enthusiasts who crave for big scale bashing and monster truck durability.
The Rampage MT is powered by a hefty 30cc 2-stroke gas engine, which is on the big side, but an absolute must for the large-scale monster truck.
The truck boasts a robust, dual-disc brake system which guarantees effective stopping power for such a heavyweight contender.
Its four-wheel drive system, complemented by huge, treaded tires, provides excellent grip and traction on a variety of terrains. The aluminum-bodied oil-filled shocks and independent suspension deliver an exceptionally smooth ride, even over the roughest landscapes.
The Rampage MT’s body design stands out with its eye-catching color schemes and realistic decals. The truck’s roll cage and sturdy plastic components are resilient to crashes and rollovers, making it a hardy choice for aggressive driving and stunts.
On the downside, Redcat Racing Rampage MT is quite a fuel guzzler due to its large engine. Also, the size and weight of the vehicle might make it somewhat cumbersome to transport.
Nevertheless, the Redcat Racing Rampage MT is a fantastic choice for RC enthusiasts looking for large scale raw power, and thrilling monster truck performance. It’s a beast on the track or off-road, offering an unmatched, adrenaline-fueled RC driving experience.
|Biggest monster truck there is!|
|Thrilling driving experience|
|Cumbersome to transport|
Best Gas Buggy - Losi DBXL 2.0
Losi DBXL 2.0 is full time 4WD ready to run buggy with some heritage.
It is a second iteration of a highly popular DBXL model built on the DBXL platform, which now comes with several enhancements.
Since its introduction, the DBXL platform has consistently performed well, however it required a few modifications to bring the best out of it – until now!
Constructed to be big and audacious, the DBXL 2.0 commands attention with its new and powerful Zenoah 32cc engine, which is the biggest you can get in the RTR version. The addition of a new high-flow air filter allows the engine to intake more air, maximizing horsepower to around 4 hp.
The drivetrain has also been improved with 5mm drive pins, durable gearbox with reenforced cups, new center pinned outdrive cups, and the overall robust construction enable the vehicle to traverse most terrain at speed.
An all-new steering rack and servo saver assembly together with the new 6mm aluminum shock towers, sway bar links, chassis braces and shock bodies provide a better sense of direction and on-road stability.
The servo tray has also been redesigned, receiver box has been improved, and HV-rated servos installed, to get an already impressive performance of your DBXL 2.0 elevated to the next level.
Lastly, the fuel tank’s capacity has been increased to 800cc to give you that extra running time on the field.
The DBXL 2.0 is designed for endurance, racing and loads of large scale fun taking the RC driving exhilaration to its finest peak.
|Great package all around|
|Big 800cc tank|
|Powerful 32cc engine|
|Lots of upgrade parts are available|
|Servo could be stronger for better brakes|
Best Gas Monster Truck - Redcat Rampage XT
Rampage XT is a smaller brother of a bigger, beefier and more powerful version – Rampage MT.
This monster truck is more agile, nimble and easier to control than the bigger MT version.
It features a very capable 30cc HY 2-stroke gasoline engine with a 500cc fuel tank and a performance tuned exhaust pipe which delivers plenty of acceleration, speed and great sound.
The latest version makes emphasis on the reliability with a tough, shaft driven, 4-wheel drive drivetrain with tunable sealed gear differentials, large diameter drive shafts and steel drive cups. In addition, it has reenforced outdrive cups and CVA front axle.
The chassis is made of a 4mm 6061 T6 aluminum , which is both relatively robust and light.
The large tires not only give it an aggressive aesthetic, but also provide great grip and stability, making it an ideal model for off-road adventures. Additionally, the Rampage XT’s body design is attractive, featuring a realistic, full-scale truck look that adds to the excitement of operating this RC vehicle.
The package has all the RTR stuff you can think of, including the radio, all the servos and electronics, leaving you only to purchase some petrol, 2-stroke oil and AA-size batteries for the radio.
Overall, if you want a relatively agile 1/5 scale monster truck and the Rampage MT is a little bit too much for you – Rampage XT is a perfect alternative that is extremely versatile and can be used for light bashing, some racing and general driving around.
|Relatively portable for 1/5 scale|
|Good build quality|
|Great value for money|
|Strong stock engine|
Best Short Course Truck - Losi 5IVE-T 2.0
Losi 5IVE-T is a short course truck that is probably the most known and popular 1/5 scale RC car which introduced the 1/5 scale racing to the public.
Its iconic platform/chassis is now considered one of the most influential and successful platforms in the RC industry’s history.
Over the course of its life, 5IVE-T has been updated with better parts, but version 2.0 brings major improvements.
The RTR version is improved with the Bind-N-Drive technology, offering you the flexibility to choose a transmitter that best suits your preferences.
The heart of the short course truck now houses the renowned Zenoah G320 32cc engine, specifically tailored for this model, which is the biggest capacity you can get in 1/5 RC scale.
The remodeled chassis layout enhances the durability and boosts the 4WD balance by reducing the front drive shaft angle.
Moreover, the new rack-style bellcrank steering assembly allows for effortless Ackermann adjustments and overall superior steering geometry.
The model also boasts an updated front hood, upgraded brakes, and hard-anodized bleeder caps and shock bodies that enhance shock performance.
The 5IVE-T 2.0 incorporates robust brakes initially designed for the Team Losi Racing 5IVE-B. The combination of stamped-steel rotors, hefty duty plates, and pads offers racers a sense of assured control, enabling them to approach turns more aggressively and halt more swiftly.
Car’s electronics have also been updated with the SR6000T telemetry receiver capable of adding telemetry features like exhaust temperature, head temperature, and battery life when used with a compatible Spektrum transmitter. This allows you to quickly check your vital stats during a race or a casual run.
With more updates that results in a more reliable, refined and complete 1/5 RC racing experience – 5IVE-T 2.0 continues its reign as a top-tier RC vehicle in its class.
|SR6000T telemetry receiver|
|Most durable 1/5 scale on the market|
|Lots of aftermarket parts available|
|Great, powerful engine|
|Still the king of 1/5 scale!|
Best Gas Sand Buggy - Redcat Rampage Chimera
Redcat Racing Rampage Chimera is a 1/5 scale 4wd gas off-road buggy designed and made to balance the durability and affordability in one, large scale package.
The RC car comes preassembled and mostly ready to run, with all you need to buy is the gas, 2-stroke oil and some AA size batteries for the radio transmitter.
It has a roll cage design, which comes with a number of great and functional benefits to keep in mind.
First, the roll cage makes it easy to carry, lift, turn around and just helps you with the logistics in general. It also lets you start the engine and maintain basic components, such as the air filter without having to remove the body. Lastly, it provides a solid protection to all chassis components, electronics and the engine.
Based on their previous experience Redcat Racing has improved their game in the durability and reliability department with Chimera. It comes with reinforced outdrive cups and CVA front axles, heavy duty adjustable independent suspension and thickened shaft drives. In addition the chassis features a 4mm 6061 T6 aluminum which is both light and sturdy.
Most things on Chimera are adjustable, such as the ride height, brake linkage, centrifugal clutch, suspension toe and camber angles.
The engine is a 30cc HY 2-Stroke gasoline engine producing around 3.5 hp, which is a capable propagation force that could take Chimera to over 40 miles per hour on a smooth terrain.
A capable and responsive engine coupled with full ball bearing installation and the front and rear gear differentials, makes the buggy feels agile and easy to control on the rough terrain despite its size.
Both servos are capable to get the job done efficiently and are decent for any RTR package. The same goes to the 2.4GHz radio, which is neither good or bad, but gets the job done reliably.
|Accessible pull start|
|Great value for money|
|Easy to maintain|
|Good steering and braking ability out of the box|
|Battery and charger included|
Best Gas Rally - MCD Racing XR5 MAX
MCD Racing is a highly reputable brand in the the RC industry, known for producing high-quality, competitive and race-grade, large-scale RC vehicles.
The company has also won a number of championships in large-scale category.
XR5 MAX is a ready to run version of the on-road large scale RC vehicle for general consumers that want a race breed pedigree with potential to upgrade.
XR5 MAX offers a longer wheel-base option to rallycross enthusiasts looking for large scale RC models. Compared to the original version, MAX has extended wheel base, widened track width, lightweight roll cage made of composite materials and a detailed body with a cool livery.
The MR5 MAX comes in three different versions – Ultimate (top level spec), TR-R (racing spec) or PRO (track spec) which different in component quality and price.
The consumer grade PRO version is nevertheless packed with features and tech well above most of the competition.
It comes with a number of improvements, such as reinforced rear alloy stiffeners, alloy lay-shaft carrier, new alloy shock towers & shock bodies to get that handling up to the next level. The shock absorbers have an internal pressure cell system that prevents the build up of oil foaming across longer runs.
One of the key highlights of the updated platform is the limited slip differential (i.e. LSD) as in case when one wheel looses traction with the ground, the torque still gets transmitted equally at both wheels helping to keep both wheels in optimal rotation in tricky circumstances. The locking sensitivity can be controlled with the included 60°, 90° and 120° ramp pads.
Overall, XR5 MAX is a pinnacle of 1/5 scale craftsmanship which comes with clever designs and high quality parts, material tested and proven in the real racing world. If you want the top of the line large scale experience, there is nothing better out there than MCD Racing cars and XR5 MAX is a great testament to that.
|Exceptional build quality|
|Multiple servo mounting options|
|Adaptive lock differential|
|Advanced shocks with high pressure cells|
|Need to buy engine & radio separately|
Best Budget Gas Off-road - Rovan 305A
Rovan 305A is, bluntly speaking, a clone of the famous HPI Baja 5B but wrapped up in a much more affordable package.
The ready to run budget version of the rear wheel drive classic Baja looks massive, relatively detailed weighting at 40 lbs.
The amazing package deal has almost everything coming in the box with all you need to get is gas, 2-stroke oil and some batteries.
The latest version of 305A comes with the upgraded nylon rear and front suspension arms as well as the upgraded CNC aluminum tower brace at the rear.
The stock 30.5cc 4 bolt head motor is surprisingly powerful and can take you Baja to 40 miles per hour or more, out of the box. You can, of course, upgrade it with a bigger motor, but we never felt the need to do it as it delivers plenty of punch.
Electronics are basic, yet capable with the digital metal gear steering servo delivering 45 kg of turning power and the throttle servo delivering around 20 kg.
Additionally, you also now get a 3-channel Fly-Sky GT3B radio, which has automatic frequency hopping digital system, 10 model memory, and serves the purpose well.
|Unbeatable value (half price of HPI Baja)|
|Most HPI components would fit as upgrades|
|40+ mph out of the box|
|A bit too loud|
|It is an HPI clone after all|
Best Gas Powered RC Car - Buyers Guide
- Engine: The type and power of the engine will greatly affect performance. Most large scale RC cars use 2-stroke engines, which are typically measured in cubic centimeters (cc). The higher the cc rating, the more powerful the engine is. The power of the engine will influence the top speed and acceleration of the car. In most cases, the engine can be upgraded to a more capable over time, but it is wise to consider it in advance.
- Build Quality and Durability: Larger RC cars are subjected to a lot of stress, particularly if you’re driving them off-road or racing them. Look for cars made with high-quality, durable materials, and reputable brands, like HPI an Losi, which are known for their build quality. Consider the durability of the car’s chassis, the quality of the shock absorbers, and whether the car has a protective roll cage.
- Fuel Efficiency: Since these cars are gas-powered, the more fuel-efficient the car is, the longer it can run on a single tank. Check the car’s specifications or user reviews to see how long it can run on a tank of gas. If fuel efficiency is not a concern, then it makes sense to check the fuel tank capacity then, as larger tanks give you a longer running time.
- Maintenance and Repair: Gas-powered RC cars require more maintenance than their electric counterparts. You’ll need to regularly clean the air filter, change the oil, and perform other maintenance tasks. Check if the car you’re considering is easy to disassemble and reassemble, and whether replacement parts are readily available and affordable.
- Price: Large scale gas-powered RC cars can be quite expensive, so you’ll need to consider your budget. Keep in mind that, in addition to the upfront cost of the car, you’ll also need to budget for gas, oil, maintenance supplies, and possibly replacement parts.
- Controls and Range: Consider the quality of the remote control that comes with the car, if you already do not have one. It should be comfortable to hold and easy to use. The control range also matters. The further the range, the further you can drive the car from your standing position.
- Parts Availability: One of the key things to consider when buying a gas-powered RC car is the availability of spare parts. Cars that have a wide range of available parts will be easier to repair and upgrade, enhancing the lifespan of your vehicle.
- Terrain Compatibility: Depending on where you plan to use your RC car, you might need to consider its compatibility with various terrains. Some cars are better suited to flat surfaces like pavement, while others are designed to handle off-road conditions.
Gas-powered RC cars use a mix of regular gasoline and 2-stroke oil, are generally larger, more powerful, and have longer run times. Nitro RC cars use nitro fuel (methanol, nitromethane, oil mix), are usually smaller, have a distinctive high-pitched sound and smell, and require more frequent refueling and specific maintenance.
Maintenance for a gas-powered RC car typically involves regular cleaning, especially of the air filter, as well as periodic oil changes. The engine may need to be tuned from time to time for optimal performance. Other parts, like tires, suspension components, and gears, may also need to be checked or replaced regularly depending on usage.
Most gas-powered RC cars use a mix of regular unleaded gasoline and 2-stroke oil. The exact mix can vary but is often around 25:1 or 30:1 gas to oil. Always check the manufacturer's instructions for the recommended fuel mix.
The run time on a full tank of gas can vary greatly depending on the size of the tank, the power of the engine, and how the car is being driven. However, gas-powered RC cars typically have longer run times than electric cars. A gas-powered car might run for 30-40 minutes on a full tank, whereas an electric car might run for 15-20 minutes on a fully charged battery.
While it used to be that gas-powered RC cars were generally faster than electric ones, advancements in electric motor and battery technology have largely closed the gap. Nowadays, the top speed of the car depends more on its design and build than on its power source. Both gas-powered and electric RC cars can reach speeds well over 50 mph. However, high-speed models can be much more expensive than slower ones.