The Sub-$200 Small-scale Rally Car Roundup

By: Tim Gluth

Seven vehicles that pack a lot of fun into a small package.

I know I've said that my R/C garage is full, at maximum capacity, that there's no more room at the inn...but I keep looking at rally cars.  Since Josh and I discussed this style of vehicle on episode 7 of the RC Newb Podcast, I've kept an eye out for a smaller-scale, low cost machine that would fit into one of the unused corners of my shop.  Something that could easily be gotten out, switched on, and run around (indoors or out) to satisfy my quick need for radio-controlled joy.

After close to a year of owning an EXC Smash, I’ve taken a liking to these smaller vehicles, however my draw now is toward rally cars, given their quick response and nimble handling.  Take that small size and give it a road-hugging chassis, and you have a good time waiting to happen.  Here are a few low-cost, sub-$200 rally cars that can get you into the game quickly.

Tacon Ranger Rally (1/12) - $169.50 (
This is the vehicle that got me looking at smaller-scale rally cars.  Not being familiar with the Tacon name, I did some research and it appears those that buy this vehicle (and others from the manufacture) are happy with them.  At 1/12-scale, this isn’t a tiny machine, but it is a bit smaller than what you’ll find in a “more common” 1/10 or 1/8 scale vehicle.

LaTrax Rally (1/18) - $129.99 (
A newcomer (somewhat) to the scene this year, LaTrax kicked off their lineup with an attractive rally car that has the backing and durability of Traxxas, but at a more affordable price.

HPI Micro RS4: Ken Block Replica (1/18) - $159.99 (, RCPlanet and Tower Hobbies)
When you think of rally cars now days, the man that you may first associate them with is Ken Block.  Ken has done some amazing things behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta and that has lead to much interest in the rally car scene.  If you want to take a shot at some of Ken’s Gymkhana antics (on a smaller-scale), why not give this replica from HPI a spin?

Traxxas Ford Fiesta Rally (1/16) - $142.99 at
The release of the 1/10 Rally from Traxxas late last year made me turn my attention to  these amazing types of cars.  The 1/10 Rally’s slightly-smaller counterpart is no slouch either (and can be a bit easier on your wallet).  See other prices for this model on

Vaterra Kemora Rallycross (1/14) - $149.99 at
Similar to the LaTrax Rally, another new kid on the block this year has been the Kemora Rallycross.  Focusing on style and fun, this vehicle packs a lot into it’s 1/14-scale frame.  With a brushless motor and 2.4ghz radio, it makes it an attractive entry-level machine for the newbie.

Atomik RC Brian Deegan Ford Fiesta Rally Car (1/18) - $88.99 (eBay)
It should be noted that this model is no longer in production, but it can be found on a few online hobby shops and on eBay.  For a brushed, rtr system, it’s not a bad price to get into a smaller-scale rally car.

Losi Micro 4WD Brushless Rally Car (1/24) - $149.99 (
While it’s the smallest vehicle in our list, it’s not a meek entry, by any means.  Featuring a brushless motor and 2.4ghz radio system, this little machine is ready to rip up the carpet track, basement, or parking lot at a moment’s notice. See other prices for this model on

Do you have a favorite on this list, or do you know of a sub-$200 small-scaler that we missed?  Let your voice be heard in the comments!


Thanks to Ian Maddock (@MadWolfie27) for these suggestions as well:


Photo credit: ChrisCena on Flickr.

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