Traxxas makes some of the most popular and high-performing remote control (RC) trucks. The Traxxas Slash, Rustler, and Stampede are three of their best-selling models, but choosing between them can be tricky. This extensive feature-by-feature comparison will help you decide which Traxxas RC truck is the best choice for your needs and budget in 2024.
Overview of the Traxxas Slash, Rustler, and Stampede
Here is a brief overview of each truck we’ll be comparing:
Traxxas Slash – Short course racing truck with a low center of gravity, high ground clearance, and rugged suspension.
Traxxas Rustler – Stadium racer styling inspired by old-school muscle cars. Optimized for speed and tricks.
Traxxas Stampede – High-performance monster truck built for off-road adventures and extreme terrain.
All three models share Traxxas’ proven XL-5 waterproof ESC and 2.4GHz radio system for responsive speed control and long range. But each truck has a unique style, optimized performance, and specially tuned parts designed for their specific purposes. Keep reading to see how they compare in detail!
Speed and Power
Speed and acceleration are essential performance factors for RC trucks. Here is how the power and top speeds of the Slash, Rustler and Stampede compare:
- Slash – Up to 30+ mph
- Rustler – Up to 35+ mph
- Stampede – Up to 30+ mph
- Slash – Titan 12T 550 modified racing motor
- Rustler – Titan 12T 550 modified racing motor
- Stampede – Titan 12T 550 modified racing motor
Motors (VXL brushless upgrade models)
- Slash – Velineon 3500 brushless motor
- Rustler – Velineon 3500 brushless motor
- Stampede – Velineon 3500 brushless motor
- Slash – RWD
- Rustler – 2WD
- Stampede – 4WD
Conclusion – The Rustler has a slight edge in max speed thanks to its stadium truck optimization. But all three deliver incredibly fast speeds over 30 mph when upgraded to brushless motors. The 4WD Stampede offers the most acceleration traction off the line.
Handling and Control
Handling, steering, and control are crucial for navigating terrain and maneuvering at high speeds:
- Slash – Low center of gravity short course chassis
- Rustler – Race-inspired chassis balanced for high speed
- Stampede – High-clearance ground effects chassis
- Slash – Independent rear suspension with adjustable oil-filled shocks
- Rustler – Independent suspension with oil-filled shocks
- Stampede – Long travel independent suspension with oil-filled shocks
- Slash – Directionally mounted rally-style tires
- Rustler – Race compound front tires, detailed rear tires
- Stampede – Large deep lug tractor tires for traction
- Slash – 2.7 inches
- Rustler – 2.8 inches
- Stampede – 3.5 inches
Conclusion – The Stampede’s high clearance and monster truck tires give it the best off-road handling and control. The Rustler has optimized asphalt handling and the Slash provides great all-around traction.
Durability and Construction
RC trucks need to be able to withstand crashes and the rigors of racing:
- Slash – Anodized aluminum chassis, composite fiberglass body
- Rustler – Composite chassis, injected molded body
- Stampede – Composite chassis, injected molded body
- All models – Waterproof XL-5 ESC, receiver box, and servo
- All models – Oil-filled shocks help absorb hard impacts
- All models – Soft flexible front and rear bumpers
Rustler Reinforcements – The Rustler features beefed-up suspension arms, drive cups, and a front bumper for extra durability.
Conclusion – The Rustler is built for hardcore racing and crashes. But all models feature waterproof components and rugged parts able to handle rough riding.
Performance Upgrades and Modifications
Here are some of the most popular performance upgrades and modifications available for each truck:
- Larger tires for more ground clearance
- 2WD to 4WD conversion kit
- Rear sway bars for stability
- Aluminum shock caps for handling
- Bigger shocks for rough terrain
- 4WD conversion kit
- Metal transmission gears for added durability
- Steering stabilizer bar for control at high speeds
- Stampede to Monster Slash conversion kit
- Rustler front bumper for bashing protection
-Wheelie bar for pulling off cool stunts
- Metal transmission gear set
- Brushless motors for more power
- LIPO batteries for longer run times
- Metal gear transmissions
- Aluminum shock and suspension components
Conclusion – Each truck has unique aftermarket upgrades, but brushless power, metal gears, and aluminum components are popular universal modifications.
Appearance and Design
Here is how the visual styling and body designs of the Slash, Rustler and Stampede compare:
- Slash – Short course racing truck
- Rustler – Stadium racer
- Stampede – High-clearance monster truck
- Slash – Race-inspired GT body with side vents and hood scoop
- Rustler – Retro muscle car inspired fenders and sedan body
- Stampede – Radical curved fenders and headlights
- All models – Available in bright official color schemes
- All models – Fully customizable bodies with paint, decals, and trim
- All models – LED headlights and taillights
Conclusion – The Rustler has cool retro muscle car styling. But all models offer bright official paint jobs and endless customization potential.
Prices and Budget
Here is how the retail pricing of the Slash, Rustler and Stampede compare:
- Slash – $230
- Rustler – $220
- Stampede – $250
- Slash – $400
- Rustler – $400
- Stampede – $430
- Base models – $220-$250
- Pro models – $400-$430
- Upgrades – $20-$500+
- Slash – Great versatility for the price
- Rustler – Fast and durable for racing at a reasonable cost
- Stampede – Outstanding traction that beats trucks costing much more
Conclusion – The prices are very similar between models. All provide excellent value. The 4WD Stampede gives you more for the money.
Recommended Terrain and Use
Here is how the Traxxas trucks are optimized for different types of terrain and uses:
- Track racing
- On-road handling
- All-around recreational bashing
- Hard-packed dirt Oval racing
- Asphalt and parking lots
- Racing, tricks, and stunts
- Off-road trails and rough terrain
- Grass, gravel, dirt, mud
- High-speed bashing and giant air
- Can be modified for multi-surface use
- Great for backyard fun or track racing
Conclusion – Each truck is purpose-built, but upgrade kits allow configuring them for different surfaces. The Stampede dominates true off-roading.
Based on this detailed comparison, here are some final recommendations for choosing between the Traxxas Slash, Rustler and Stampede:
For speed – Go with the Rustler. The optimized chassis gives it the fastest top speed.
For racing – The Rustler is designed for track domination right out of the box.
For off-road and stunts – The Stampede’s monster truck tires and rugged durability allow it to tackle any terrain.
For upgrades – The Stampede has the most upgrade potential into a Monster Slash.
For younger drivers – The Stampede is the most beginner-friendly choice.
Most versatile – The Slash is a great all-around RC truck with optional upgrades for any conditions.
Best value – The Stampede gives you the most performance for the price.
Overall winner – For serious off-roading, huge air, and the most fun right out of the box, the Stampede is hard to beat.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with any of Traxxas’ high-quality trucks. Consider where and how you plan to drive to choose the perfect model for your needs. And no matter which you choose, you’ll enjoy the latest technology, robust construction, high speeds, and Traxxas’ unmatched support. Any of these trucks will provide hours of racing, bashing, stunting, and backyard fun.
Traxxas Slash vs Rustler vs Stampede Comparison Chart
Here is a helpful comparison chart summarizing the key specs and features of the Traxxas Slash, Rustler and Stampede:
|Short Course Truck
|Titan 12T 550
|Titan 12T 550
|Titan 12T 550
|2WD or 4WD
|Independent w/oil filled shocks
|Independent w/oil filled shocks
|Independent w/oil filled shocks
|Tracks, on-road, bashing
|Asphalt, hard dirt, racing
|Off-road, bashing, stunts
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about the Traxxas Slash, Rustler, and Stampede:
What is the best Traxxas truck for racing?
- The Rustler with its optimized chassis and tires works best right out of the box for racing. But the Slash and Stampede can be modified for racing as well.
Which is faster – Slash vs Rustler vs Stampede?
- The Rustler has the highest top speed at 35+ mph, followed closely by the Slash and Stampede at 30+ mph.
What is the most durable Traxxas RC truck?
- The Rustler is the toughest and most durable model thanks to its reinforced parts designed for hard crashes.
Do the trucks handle well in the grass?
- The Stampede handles grass the best with its monster truck tires. The Slash also does fairly well on grass.
Can the trucks drive through water?
- Yes, they are all fully waterproof and can run through puddles, streams, and wet grass.
How long do the batteries last?
- Run time is 15-30+ minutes depending on the battery. Lipo upgrade batteries provide the longest run times.
How fast can they go with upgrades?
- With brushless motors and lipo batteries, they can reach 50+ mph! But speed should be limited for safety.
Which is better for tricks – Slash or Stampede?
- The Stampede is better for big air tricks thanks to its high ground clearance and stiff suspension.
Are replacement parts available?
- Yes, Traxxas has a huge selection of authentic replacement and upgrade parts to keep them running.
After looking closely at the key specs and features of the Traxxas Slash, Rustler, and Stampede, a few models stand out for particular uses:
- The Rustler for racing and speed
- The Stampede for off-road adventure
- The Slash for versatility
But no matter which high-performance Traxxas model you ultimately choose, you can be sure to enjoy the most advanced Ready-To-Race(R) engineering and technology available in RC trucks today. Just pick the style and features that best match how and where you want to drive. Then get ready to experience the power and innovation that makes Traxxas a top RC brand for both casual hobbyists and hardcore enthusiasts alike!