Should I Choose a 2WD or 4WD RC Car?

A choice between 2wd and 4wd RC cars

Are you finding it difficult to choose between a 2WD and 4WD RC car?

Do you want to opt for the right RC vehicle among different RC car types? RC models are available in 2WD and 4WD models. Both the models may look the same in appearance but are different in their features and capabilities. RC cars always have a diverse range of features. One feature is never enough to finally draw a conclusion. You have to look for certain features to finally come to a decision. Let’s dig deeper into the features and compare them one by one to ease the decision-making process.

To get a different view, here is a YouTube video in which the 2wd RC cars are compared with the 4wd RC cars.

Drive Control

The 4WD RC car is quite easy to control as it does not slip and swing at the rear ends and corners. It is very easy to drive 4WD RC in a straight line as compared to 2WD RC. You have to set up your RC car very carefully to handle the drive of a 2WD RC car. You can refer to this post to find out how to make your RC car run straight.

Most people love to drive 4wd RC cars for bashing as they have higher controllability while others prefer 2wd over 4wd RC cars as 2wd RC cars require higher driving skills.


The traction control system can prevent the idling of the drive wheels when the vehicle is driving on wet roads such as snow, so that the vehicle can start and accelerate smoothly.  Especially on snowy or muddy roads, the traction control system can ensure smooth acceleration performance to prevent the vehicle from moving laterally or tailing due to the slipping of the driving wheels.

The 2WD cars are often rear-wheel driven. The traction generated in such models is not very solid. 4WD cars have the rear wheel pushing while the front wheel pulling. This combined effect in 4WD RC cars generates a lot of traction. So if you have a muddy and sandy surface to drive your RC car, then 4WD will serve you the best in such conditions.  This the exactly the reason why most off-road cars are 4wd.

Braking System

The same wheel drive mechanism is applicable to the braking system as well. When you apply the brakes in a 2WD car, only the rear wheels feel the effect and are responsible for slowing down the vehicle. In the case of a 4WD model, all four wheels generate the same effect once brakes are applied. This increases the braking effect in a 4WD RC car making it easier to stop. So the 4WD excels in the braking system mechanism.

Mechanical Strain

Just because there are too many spare parts in a 4WD RC car, the rotational mass and the heavy mechanical system causes a lot of mechanical strain in the 4WD RC car. This is not the case with the 2WD RC car because it has only the rare parts involved in the functioning.  As a 4WD RC car has many more parts in the system, it is slower than a 2WD RC car, and its complexity leads to more problems too.

Maintenance Cost

For the above reason, the maintenance cost for a 4WD car is way too much as compared to the 2WD car.  You have to spend a lot of money to keep the mechanical parts properly functional. The 2WD car does not have mechanical complexities, so the cost also remains low when it comes to maintenance.

In fact, for most beginners, 2WD RC cars for their simpler designs are appropriate for the entry point of this hobby.


You have to look into various factors while opting for the right RC vehicle. You just cannot look at the mechanism of the vehicle. The requirements and interests of every person vary. There are many features that can be compared before coming to a decision. The above-mentioned factors would help you in deciding whether to go for a 4WD RC car or 2WD RC model.

Thanks you for reading.

Written by Carlos Santos


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