Traxxas Bandit Vs Rustler: Make the Right Decision!

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In the world of RC cars, the Traxxas Bandit and Rustlers are very famous. They offer great features for RC cars. Yet, people are often confused when it comes to picking between these two. 

So, what should you choose between Traxxas bandit vs rustler?

If you want a speedy and heavyweight RC car, the Traxxas Bandit is your choice. It is cheap too! But, you will get fewer upgrade options and small tires. The Rustler provides more options and scope for an upgrade but it’s very expensive. Bandit has smaller tires and Rustler has big tires.

This is not all, you need more information to decide fully. Read the article till the end to get better insight! 

Start reading now.

Traxxas Bandit Vs Rustler: Quick Comparison

Small summed-up info can go a long way. If you know the key differences between these RC cars, you can easily set your priorities right. 

So, to help you here’s a chart mentioning every key difference between rustler and bandit

Differentiating Factors Traxxas Bandit Traxxas Rustler
Top Speed 70 mph 65 mph
Weight Heavyweight Lightweight
Tire size Smaller Bigger
Aerodynamic Control More Less
Upgrade Options Less More
Versions 2 3
Price 329.99$ 429.99$

Knowing all this information is boosting your decision-making skills. Still, there is a lot left to know about these RC cars. 

Below, we have provided all the details to help solidify your decision. Give it a good read!

Traxxas Bandit Vs Rustler: Extended Comparison

We believe that you are now ready for the in-depth discussion. In the segment below, we have provided an extended discussion of the key factors mentioned above. 

Read and follow along!

Top Speed

If you’re buying an RC car, you should know the top speed. 

Knowing the top speed prior to buying can really help you in the planning section. If the top speed’s higher than average, you may use the car in RC car races!

Traxxas Bandit

Talking about speed, the Traxxas bandit is quite a fast car. The top speed of the Traxxas bandit is 70 mph. It does not fluctuate on-road and on tracks. 

The top speed of bandits stays constant throughout the different road types!

When comparing the Bandit and the Rustler, the Bandit has a higher speed. In fact, among Traxxas Stampede vs Rustler vs Bandit, Bandit is the fastest! The Traxxas Stampede only has 30+ mph as its top speed. 

That’s slower than the fastest RC cars.

Traxxas Rustler

On the contrary, the Traxxas Rustler’s speed is quite close to the Bandit’s speed, but it’s lower. The Traxxas Ruster’s top speed is 65 mph. 

Yet, Bandit can achieve higher speeds.

If you’re looking for a speedy RC car, the Rustler may not be for you. But hey, there are ways you can increase the speed of an RC car. The best way is to switch out the motors with brushless ones.

If you are planning to do that, here are some brushless motor recommendations from our end-

Product 1
Product 2

By using these motors, your RC car will definitely get hasty! And also, new motors are always better than old ones, right?

Winner: If you’re looking for the faster car among these two, the Traxxas Bandit surely wins!


An RC car’s weight has many effects on the car. If it’s heavyweight, you get more traction control, but less speed. If it is lightweight, you’ll get speed but less control! 

Let’s learn about these 2 Traxxas cars now.

Traxxas Rustler

Between the Bandit and the Rustler, the Rustler has less weight on it. The Rustler weighs only 5.12lbs. You will see its effects later in the article. Quite surprisingly, despite being the lighter option, it doesn’t have the greater speed. 

For a lightweight car, the Rustler actually has a decent amount of control! Accordingly, the lightweight results in easy carry. 

Whether you’re carrying it in a hauler bag or hand. The weight’s also one of the main differences between Redcat Blackout and Volcano.

Traxxas Bandit

On the contrary, the Traxxas Bandit weighs approximately 6.75lbs. You can immediately notice that the lbs count on the Bandit is higher than Rustler. This increased weight actually improves the on-air control of the car.

So, is the heavyweight bad for an RC car? Well, it does make carrying the RC car tough. But, it has other boosted aspects such as control and traction! 

So having the heavier weight is a plus.

Winner: In the weight segments, the Traxxas Rustler wins for weighing less than the Bandit!

Wheel/Tire Size

The wheel and tire sizes of RC cars determine the quality of the suspension and control. The bigger the wheels, the better. If the RC cars have big wheels, they can roam on rocky roads quite easily.

Traxxas Bandit

Bandit has decent wheels but the size is quite smaller. In fact, the wheel size of Bandits is a bit smaller than the Traxxas Rustler. 

Smaller wheel sizes are easily operable but they are not the best option for uneven terrains!

Traxxas Rustler

On the other end, the Rustler’s wheel dimensions are greater than the Bandit. Although the big wheels contribute to weight, they help cut through uneven roads and rocky terrains. 

Do remember to maintain RC tire balance at all times though.

Winner: The clear winner is the Traxxas Rustler for having the bigger wheels.

Upgrade Options

If you buy an RC car, you will have two options for the future. You can either keep upgrading the RC car or you can buy new ones. Upgrading the RC car is usually the cheaper option. 

Traxxas Bandit

The design of a car dictates the upgrade potential. Quite unfortunately, the Bandit has a small chassis. This means, that if you want to upgrade the car, it’ll be tough. 

When comparing the Traxxas Bandit and Rustler, the Bandit has fewer upgrade options. 

On top of that, the Bandit only has 2 versions of it. Traxxas Bandit 2WD and the VXL. If you want a 4WD RC car, Bandit cannot fulfill your needs!

Traxxas Rustler

Here, the Traxxas Rustler actually has a decent amount of potential upgrades. It is because of its robust design and wide chassis. You can put extra gear boxes and ESCs to change the WD count on a rustler.

In fact, you can even turn it into a monster truck. You will only be changing the servo motor and putting in big tires. 

Additionally, the Rustler has 3 versions available. The 2WD, 4WD, and the VXL.

Winner: When calculating the upgrade factor between these cars, the Rustler wins for having more upgrades.


Setting up a budget is important when buying an RC car. Even more important is to check if your desired car is within your budget. If you’re looking to buy one of these RC cars, check this section out.

Traxxas Bandit

The Traxxas Bandit comes in at only 329.99$. It is about 100$ less than the Traxxas Rustler. Also, the price-to-value ratio for the Traxxas Bandit is quite phenomenal. 

So if budget is a concern, you know which one to pick!

Traxxas Rustler

Many people ask, is the Traxxas Rustler VXL a good car according to its price? Well, the answer is yes! 

For 429.99$, you’re getting a lot of good stuff. However, it is quite high for an RC car. There are other cheaper alternatives as well.

Winner: Traxxas Bandit is the winner for being the inexpensive option.

Traxxas Bandit Vs Rustler: Which One to Go for?

So, after all this discussion, the decision for you should be easy and certain. Nevertheless, let us sum up the differences yet again.

If you want a speedy and heavyweight RC car, the Traxxas Bandit is your choice. It has better aerodynamic control as well. Buying this cheaper option has a couple of downsides. You will get fewer upgrade options and small tires.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for more upgrade options and lightweight cars, pick Rustler. It also has big wheels and a decent speed, which is great for roads. 

However, there’s very less air control and the price is higher than Traxxas Bandit.


What parts break the most on a Traxxas Slash?

The A-arms of the RPM and the rear hubs are prone to breaking in the Traxxas Slash. As a strategy, you can buy these pieces of equipment extra. In that way, you can easily swap them when needed. Along with that, shock caps, driveshafts, and spur gear are also necessary. You can buy them from RC shops.

Can you upgrade Slash 2WD to 4WD?

No, you cannot upgrade Slash 2WD to 4WD in a conventional way. But it’s possible to customize the wheel drive count by adding gearboxes. For instance, many people added an extra gearbox in the Stampede. That has transformed the Stampede from 2WD to 4WD. In that regard, you will need extra ESCs too!

Are Traxxas Rustlers good?

Yes, Traxxas Rustlers are quite good RC cars. From 2WD to 4WD cars and different models, the Rustlers are made solidly. The design and performance are phenomenal on this RC car. Also, the suspension on this car is amazing. This full suspension helps retain control and makes cornering easy, even on rocky roads!

The Final Words

That is all we got! Hopefully, now you know the better option between the traxxas bandit vs rustler.

It’s important to take good care of these RC cars. Always clean and keep them in a cool and dry place.

Wishing you all the best!

About the author

Travis Murray

I am Travis Murray, and my love for RC began in 2017. It gradually turned into a passion, leading me to become an RC enthusiast and blogger. I write in-depth reviews and DIY guides for RC enthusiasts to provide troubleshooting tips and insider knowledge to help starters find the hidden gems in the hobby.
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