Traxxas Stampede 4×4 VXL Review
When the announcement of the Stampede 4×4 was made, a lot of people’s ears perked up. The stampede has been a long time staple in the Traxxas line up, and to hear that a new Stampede was coming, people couldn’t place their orders quick enough. Is the truck everything people wanted? Continue reading ….
When we got our hands on the new Stampede 4×4 there were some mixed feelings around the office. A lot of high expectations were placed on the truck, as it has some pretty big shoes to fill.
New chassis design
Velineon Brushless Power System
Revo-spec sealed, silicone-filled differentials
TQ 2.4GHz Transmitter
Digital high-torque steering waterproof servo
Rubber-sealed Ball Bearings
That’s a pretty serious checklist there. All the stuff a basher could wish for right out of the box.
What’s in the box: Everything you need to get up and running quickly. The truck comes RTR and even a 7 cell NIMH battery.
Test Locations: Woodridge Jumps, Leisure Hours Raceway indoor dirt track, parking lots, back yards and streets.
Drivers: Brian and Wrench.
Looks: Something that bugged me about it from the moment we unboxed it is the body placement. The body literally sits higher than the chassis top allowing you to see clear through to the other side. Why in the world would Traxxas do this? It does not look ‘more realistic’, it does not look ‘cooler’, it’s just wrong. This may actually be the first case I have heard of where a after market company had to come out with a body ‘lowering’ kit to make the vehicle look right. Traxxas has some smart designers over there, how did this one make it past everyone? Another thing with the body that bugs me, wheel well placement. Why is the front wheel well START in the center of the front wheel? Sorry Traxxas, but the body and posts need a re-do. The ride hight of the chassis is good, and the paint job that comes on the truck is decent also, standard Traxxas colors and style.
Power: After getting the included battery charged and installed, the first pull of the trigger is pretty shocking. This truck really halls. The size can be deceiving, as you don’t expect the huge brushless power out of it that you really get. Wheelies are a dime a dozen, and the top speed is more then satisfying. The fact that the electronics and drive train can handle a 3S LiPo is awesome. Unless you have some serious brain issues, the Stampede 4×4 VXL has all the power you should ever need to bring smiles to your bashing face.
While the truck has a lot of power, the steering has no problem backing that power up. Even hard on the throttle, you can point the wheels where you want to go with no problem and the truck will take you there.
Jumping: In the air, the truck was amazingly easy to control. All the power makes you a big air master in no time. Back flips, double back flips, and front flips are all done on command with precise landings. We took the truck to one of our favorite bash spots. The tops of those hills are about 6 feet tall, and as you can see we were easily 15 feet in the air. Jump after jump with the occasional hard crash, and not a single broken part or issue. I even pulled off a the difficult back to back back-flip on the huge hills. Not easy, but those are good times!
It’s been raining a lot recently so in between some of the huge jumps were some huge puddles. Sadly these were not always avoidably and we submerged the truck a couple of times. Most other vehicles this would of sent us home in tears, but we would just fish it out, shake it off, and get back on the trail! I don’t think Traxxas suggests submerging it like this. Running in rain, snow, and small puddles are fine, but we don’t suggest using it as a submarine either, as it will eventually lead to issues if you don’t take the time to clean and dry it when your done bashing for the day.
Durability: We have really beat up on this truck. Demolition derbys, local bashes, and some insane air. Add in a couple total water logged incidents and still having a truck to drive is amazing.
Mechanics: Working on the truck isn’t too bad, but the 4×4 makes things more complicated then a 2WD. Simple things like slipper maintenance will have you removing the rear half of the truck so you can get to the stuff you need.
Best Mods: Do yourself a favor and go get the body lowering kit. The truck will look way better. The stock tires don’t have the best traction, and there are plenty out there to choose from. Because it’s a Traxxas vehicle, there are a ton of other hop-up parts out there.
Overall: The truck has plenty of power, is fun to drive and super durable. The body mounting has some issues, and honestly the price seems a little steep. When you can get a brushless Slash 4×4 or a brushed E-Maxx for cheaper, the Stampede is going to have a tough fight winning hard earned basher dollars. We are happy to see it with a 2.4 Ghz radio, but as you can read from our transmitter shootout there are some better options when your paying the big bucks.
As with all of our stuff, if you see us at a bash, stop by and check out the vehicles we have with us. We may let you take a test drive, and at the very least get you some stickers!
Time To Bash – 9.0/10 – Charge the included battery, and your off and bashing!
Workability – 8.0/10 – The Stampede 4×4 platform is a little more of a challenge than a 2wd Stampede.
Car Show Rating – 7/10 – The body is at least a inch too high, and the wheel wells don’t line up.
Bash-A-Bility – 9.5/10 – Waterproof, plus the ability to take huge air is what we want!
Big Squid Rating – 8.0/10 - Tentacles.. You can fix the look/body, and the durability is awesome. The big price tag may be make it hard to pull the trigger.
Want more pictures? Check out our Stampede 4×4 VXL unboxing photos.