Traxxas Rustler Review: 2WD XL-5 RTR Electric Truck

traxxas rustler review

The Traxxas Rustler XL-5 is a favorite for those who have the imagination to take their RC adventures to the next level. At least that’s what the company claims. We here at TheEliteDrone wanted to test this claim.

Is the Traxxas Rustler XL-5 stadium truck as awesome as it claims, or is it just another wannabe for the position of best truck? Keep reading this Traxxas Rustler review to find out.

Click here to check out this truck’s price


What is the Traxxas Rustler?

The Traxxas Rustler is a 1/10-scale Ready to Run hobby-grade remote controlled stadium truck. It comes in a wide variety of colors to fit your personality. Also, as with most Traxxas vehicles, this one is completely customizable and modifiable if the stock parts do not suit your needs and style of driving.

Note: If you think you will be upgrading the Rustler XL-5 often, it would be much better if you bought the Traxxas Rustler VXL instead. Trust me, you’ll save a good chunk of money in the long run.

What’s in the box?

  • Traxxas Rustler stadium truck
  • AC adapter for charging your truck
  • Manual
  • Battery pack for powering your Rustler

First Thoughts

As with all their vehicles, Traxxas takes excellent care to package the Rustler securely. The truck is safely wrapped in layers of plastic, and sandwiched between thick styrofoam braces.

This ensures that nothing shifts around during shipping. It also protects your new Rustler from paint dings and chips, ensuring that it looks as amazing when it comes out of the box at your house as it did when it was put in that box at the factory.


The Traxxas Rustler comes preloaded with a lot of amazing features to make your off road experience a lot of fun. The Rustler can handle anything you dish out, including dirt, snow, gravels and mud. This stadium truck comes equipped with waterproof electronics.

This means you can even drive through snow with no difficulty and without losing traction. This truck also comes equipped with a Revo Spec torque-controlled slipper clutch and tires that are made to grip onto any surface with ease.

The body of the Rustler is made of polycarbonate plastic which also adds to its ability to all out take a beating. As with most Traxxas vehicles, the run time and charge time depend on what battery and charger you are using.


[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”28″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”##282828″]”This is a good truck for a first RC hobby-grade vehicle. It is fast enough to have fun with, with the power to run laps around the competition.”[/mks_pullquote]

This truck drives amazingly. It handles jumps like a pro, making leaps of up to twenty feet at a time. It also gets speeds of up to thirty-five miles per hour on stock parts, plenty of speed and power for bashing or some mild racing.

This is a good truck for a first RC hobby-grade vehicle. It is fast enough to have fun with, with the power to run laps around the competition. Controlling this truck is super fun. It’s very responsive and ultra smooth. We definitely had a lot of fun driving this through anything we could think of, including mud and gravel.

As a note, this vehicle is recommended for children eight and up. Children should always be supervised when operating RC vehicles of this type and all maintenance and charging should be done by an adult for safety sakes.


The transmitter has your standard 2.4 GHz frequency to prevent any interference from other transmitters nearby. The transmitter also has an ergonometric design, meaning it was designed to be comfortable to hold for long periods of time.

For the transmitter to work, you’ll need 4 AA batteries, which aren’t included with the RC truck.


The 1/10 scale Rustler features a composite fiber  chassis that is 0.8 inches (2 MM) thick. Your truck is two-wheel drive, which gives it more traction in slippery places and makes it versatile enough to leave the competition behind.


The Rustler’s Titan twelve-turned 550 modified motor is fan-cooled. This means that you will have a ton of power under your hood. The fan cooling means that you won’t lose power when the motor gets hot, and the motor most likely won’t burn out on you due to overheating.


The radio system in this truck is a 2.4GHZ two-channel system. As a bonus the steering Servo is waterproof. This system doesn’t have frequencies to adjust. Simply switch on and drive.


The battery in this truck is a 7-cell hump NiMH 3000mA and the charger is a 110-volt AC charger. No need to buy a separate wall charger with this truck. Traxxas has you covered.

The Rustler is also a Ready to Race truck. This means that it’s ready to go straight out of the box. You don’t have to choose your own radio system or anything else. Just charge a battery and go have fun.


Speaking of fun, this truck also includes a planetary differential. This differential never has to be adjusted, and it’ll handle all the various types of terrain straight out of the box. It seems to do pretty well on most surfaces, although not equally well on grass. With a couple of upgrades though, grass shouldn’t be a concern.


The shocks on the Rustler are oil-filled and plastic-bodied. They are totally returnable and rebuildable. This means you can adjust them to fit your needs.

Gear box

The gear box on this truck is closed and waterproofed, like all other electronics. This means that all the mud and snow you will undoubtably be driving through will not wreck your truck or damage any parts.


For more speed, the transmission in this truck comes with ball bearings installed and bushings throughout and is ready for brushless upgrades. Included in the purchase as well is a 28-tooth pinion gear, which is what will help you reach those faster speeds. Furthermore, it has semi-metallic pads and heat-dissipating finned aluminum.


The 2.8″” tires on the Rustler are alias-ribbed for even more traction, and are decent for bashing. They also feature foam inserts. These inserts increase stability on any surface you might encounter.


If you are a beginner driver, the Rustler is the truck for you. There are three different modes you can use for driving, depending on what it is you’re trying to do.

The default setting is the sport mode. The throttle, brakes, and the power are fully functional without any limitations.

The Rustler also comes with Traxxas’s patented training mode. This mode limits the power to half while leaving the brakes on full power. New drivers can then learn to control the truck without going full out.

Finally, race mode has the throttle and brakes at 100%, but you won’t be able to reverse. This is great for drag racing.


This concludes our Traxxas Rustler review. This stadium truck is so much fun to drive. We had a lot of fun running it through its paces and taking it out on any terrain we could think of.

It did not disappoint us in any way whatsoever, and is definitely one we would recommend to anyone, whether this is their first RC vehicle or they’ve been in this hobby for years.




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