The best RC LEGO vehicle sets

LEGO is putting life into some of its sets with electric motors. CAR picks its favourite remote control LEGO vehicle sets.


by Chris Williams |
Updated on

Welcome to an article that features the coolest items in the whole wide world: LEGO sets that move on their own.

LEGO make a lot of car-related sets, the best of which you can find in our frequently-updated article, but here we focus specifically on the titillating remote-control sets.

How the RC LEGO sets work

With the exception of the Stunt Racer, all the sets here are controlled via the LEGO CONTROL+ app. Through this app, you not only control the vehicle but can also undertake challenges if you wish. There is some neat additional info, depending on the vehicle. With the X-treme Off-Roader, for example, you can see what angles of lean you are achieving at any given moment.

LEGO’s remote control sets are powered by Technic electric motors and the brain of the vehicle is the Smart Hub, connected to via Bluetooth and powered by batteries.

The best RC LEGO vehicle sets:

Technic CONTROL+ Off-Road Buggy
Price: $228.69

At 374 pieces, the Off-Road Buggy is fairly straightforward to construct. But the large wheels and heavily-tread tyres are indicative this kit is about the driving experience.

Let us say from the outset that this is not a competitor for the likes of a Tamiya RC buggy, for example. LEGO’s Off-Road Buggy has a top speed of just over three miles per hour, which doesn’t sound like much but it’s enough to complete a lap of the house in a very competitive time.

The Off-Road Buggy is best suited to rough terrain rather than steep gradients. This is due to the fact it has good ground clearance and grippy tyres but only one electric motor.

Technic CONTROL+ Top Gear Rally Car
Price: $264.99

The Top Gear Rally Car is a bit of a contrast to the Off-Road Buggy. It's lower and slower but curiously, it is much better on steeper gradients. However, it isn't as good on undulating terrain and is therefore best suited to courses that you create at home yourself.

The Rally Car is very easy to drive and we recommend it to younger drivers who are taking their first steps into the world of remote control driving.

Technic CONTROL+ X-treme Off-Roader
Price: $329.99
Alternative retailers
Walmart$325.00View offer

The X-treme Off-Roader takes on the appearance of an RC rock crawler. Indeed, it is meant to emulate the rock crawler style of remote control driving.

At almost 1000 pieces, this kit is quite a decent build, and when you’re done the fun doesn’t stop. This is arguably the best remote control LEGO kit here because it has proper off-road ability. Pebbles, rocks, garden hoses, tall grass, the X-treme Off-Roader can tackle a domestic property with ease thanks to big ground clearance, chunky tyres, and proper suspension.

As is the case with the Off-Road Buggy, this isn’t a competitor for the other RC rock crawlers, but it's good fun in its own right.

Alternative retailers
Best Buy$239.95View offer
Macy's$239.99View offer

This is the only set here to use a conventional remote control, as opposed to the CONTROL+ app.

This is a relatively small set, at 374 pieces and about 20 centimetres in length, but it offers some unique driving, different from that you’ll get in the sets with wheels. The tracks are independently motorised, meaning the Stunt Racer can turn in its own length. And the weight distribution is heavily towards the rear, which causes wheelies. The top speed isn’t very much but the acceleration is instantaneous.

Technic CONTROL+ Volvo Articulated Hauler
Price: $349.99

Beginning to delve into the heavy machinery, we find the LEGO Volvo Articulated Hauler.

This is a big kit, consisting of 2,193 pieces. Once constructed, by all means you can drive it. The Volvo steers and moves slowly but naturally, the party piece is the tipping tray, which can be raised and lowered. Beneath the tray there is a full working gearbox with four stages. Although it’s slow, the first gear allows the Volvo to climb surprisingly steep inclines. There is a single gear for the tray and it can even cope with a little payload. So if you’re ever looking for a more interesting way to deliver the pet food to the bowl…

Technic CONTROL+ Liebherr R 9800 Excavator
Price: $1399.00
Alternative retailers
Walmart$1249.99View offer

The biggest beast of all, consisting of 4,108 pieces. This will take some time to construct but once you have, the Liebherr R 9800 comes to life.

Where the likes of the Rally Car uses two electric motors, this uses seven. And two Smart Hubs, meaning you’ll need 12 AA batteries to run it. Via the app, you can move the arm and bucket, swivel the body, and drive the tracks. In addition, you can program a sequence of movements, which is rather neat. And you can actually scoop things up with the bucket.

Technic CONTROL+ Mercedes-Benz 4X4 Zetros Trials Truck
Price: £284.99

A new and exciting set, the Trials Truck, like the X-treme Off-Roader, is designed to achieve impressive things on tough terrain. It’s long and thin with much ground clearance and little body overhanging the axles. The latter feature lets the Trials Truck climb sudden, steep inclines (or vice versa) without scraping its chin and getting stuck.

The Trials Truck also features locking differentials (a first for LEGO Technic) and proper suspension in order to cope with harsh terrain.

The Trials Truck consists of 2110 pieces and is powered by four electric motors.

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