The Best 4WD Value in R/C - Ballin' On a Budget
Of all the cars we’ve reviewed over the years, there is one that stands out in a big way and not because it’s the biggest, or the fastest, or the most extreme. No, it’s quite the opposite. This car is reasonable, simplistic, and for what you get for the price, we think it’s the best value in R/C right now, and we’ll explain why. So what car is the best 4WD value, you’re wondering? Let’s find out.
It’s 1/10 scale, 4wd, and it’s the least expensive electric touring car platform you can buy from AMain Hobbies, and this car is the Fazer Mk2 from Kyosho. There are some good reasons to support this claim, like all the scale realistic bodies, easy upgradability, on-road and off-road cars available, plus more. But perhaps the biggest reason is the Mk2 offers so much and it costs so little, compared to the other cars that are around the same price.
So, what does the Mk2 offer, and for how much?
Now, if you’re not familiar with the Fazer Mk2. They’re a family of vehicles that all share the same Mk2 race-inspired chassis platform and electronic components, with the only difference being the various body styles and color options. The platform is 1/10 scale and delivers 4WD power via a plastic center driveshaft inside an open, easy to work on plastic tub chassis. The cars also feature gear differentials in the front and rear gearbox, and oil-filled shocks are used with the independent suspension system.
Overall, the plastic tub chassis and drivetrain are designed to be efficient, low maintenance, and inexpensive and come offered primarily as on-road cars. Still, there are a few off-road cars available too, with no difference in price.
How fast is the Kyosho Fazer Mk2?
The electronics used in all of the ready-to-run Fazer Mk2 vehicles include a 60A brushed ESC paired with a 550 sized 14T brushed motor. This power system has a maximum 2S lipo battery limit* and gets the Mk2 up to around 25MPH. It’s not a fancy system but does the job. More impressively the Syncro transmitter offers adjustments most RTR transmitters don’t, like steering and throttle trims, steering dual rates, and throttle and reverse endpoint adjustments.
*Note: you can also use 3S power after upgrading the electronics and adding that aluminum center driveshaft.
With the on-road Mk2 selection, there are 14 different officially licensed bodies to choose from, including the popular: Dodge Challenger Hellcat, Acura NSX GT3, 1970 Chevelle SS, Audi R8 LMS, 1970 Dodge Charger, Alpine GT4, 1969 Chevy Camaro Z28, Mercedes AMG GT3, 1969 Chevy El Camino, 1967 Pontiac GTO, and the newest car to the family, the Toyota Supra A80 Drift Car, which includes drift specific tires.
The ready-to-run cars also include detailed pre-painted scale realistic bodies with matching wheels and tires, and of course, the car is assembled, configured, and ready to go. The best part, a brushed Mk2 ready-to-run costs less than $240, which is a lot of car and body for that price, but this is just the beginning.
The bodies also feature many finer details and accessories you often don’t find with ready-to-run bodies, like hard plastic side mirrors, windshield wipers, and wings or spoilers when applicable. Most of the bodies also include proper light buckets to fit LED lighting, so if you want to upgrade your lighting, you can add your lighting system or pick up one of the many led kits offered by Kyosho.
Another bonus to the scale looks is the period-correct wheels some cars use to keep a realistic style. In addition, all Mk2 vehicles are equipped with realistic looking brake discs and calipers that are visible behind the wheels, but they don’t function.
On the performance front, two complete sets of brake discs are included at different thicknesses, which allows the car width to be set at either 190mm wide or 200mm. This adjustment can be beneficial if you’re trying to make a body fit on the car or create a custom stance.
Another cool aspect about the Mk2 is how the chassis is offered in two different lengths, the standard length is the FZ02, and the longer length version is the FZ02L. The FZ02L is about a centimeter longer than the standard FZ02, but it’s better sized for longer bodies, like the Dodge Challenger Hellcat.
This chassis length difference won’t mean anything for most people, but the shorter chassis is a little more agile, responsive, and ideal for touring car racing. In contrast, the longer chassis is better suited to provide more straight-line high-speed stability. But, again, this really doesn’t matter for most people, and the differences are hardly felt unless you upgrade the car to be faster, but the point is, you can pick a car based on the body you like or… the chassis length that works best for you.
The Mk2 On-Road Kit
That’s a lot of flexibility for a $240 4WD RTR car, but there is one better, and that’s the Mk2 chassis kit. Now, this kit is only $140 and comes partially assembled on the standard-length chassis, and it’s intended to be driven with more heat behind it. Because of that, the car has no electronics, so that you can spec it out yourself, but it does include several option parts that are typically sold separately, like the aluminum center driveshaft, the universal front swing shafts, and more. Again, for $140, this kit is a steal and offers a lot of car for the dollar.
How does the FAZER MK2 compare to other radio control cars?
Now, if you had $240 to spend on a new on-road car, the Traxxas 4-tec 2.0 brushed RTR would be the best comparison at $230, but it doesn’t come with a body. And, $230 is enough to buy the MST TCR-FF touring car, which does include a body, but it’s only 2WD. The last, best comparison to the Mk2 would probably be the Losi V100 RTR platform, which is offered in a few different body styles, and they’re also brushed, but they’re more expensive at $260.
The Mk2 on-road vehicles have 14 different body styles and are ready-to-run cars for under $240, but what about off-road?
FAZER Mk2 Off-Road Trucks
The Fazer Mk2 has a few off-road versions, including the Rage 2.0 and the Mad Van Monster truck. These vehicles are spec’d just like the on-road cars, except feature longer suspensions, arms, and shocks for a wider and taller stance, and of course, different tires and bodies. But, again, just like the on-road versions, these off-road vehicles pack a lot of value for being 4WD vehicles for only $220, only being beat on price by a few Redcat trucks that we’ve never tried, but they’re probably ok options.
Now, if you had $220 to spend at the hobby shop, the Traxxas Bandit and Rustler would be solid choices for 1/10 scale brushed vehicles at about $200, except they’re 2WD. If you want to bump into a 4WD Traxxas, the Slash 4x4 is an excellent choice, but it’s a hundred dollars more.
The final Kyosho Mk2 vehicle to talk about is the Mad Van VE brushless version, and it’s the only Mk2 to be offered with 2S capable brushless electronics. Because of that, the truck also comes with the aluminum driveshaft upgrade, and it costs more, at $290.
For more information be sure to check out our article on the awesome Kyosho Mad Van VE.
Now let’s talk about replacement and option parts for the Mk2 because much of the car’s value comes from them. For instance, drivetrain parts are typically the most expensive maintenance costs for a vehicle, but the Mk2 uses the same (1) driveshafts all four corners, and replacements only cost $15. Likewise, the (2) differential outdrives are all the same for all four corners, and replacements only cost $12, and the package includes the center driveshaft outdrives. That (3) center driveshaft, by the way, is only $9. How about the (4) diff gears? Are they expensive? No, only $9 for both. Even the (5) suspension arms are inexpensive at $8, including both front arms, which fit the left or right side, and the rear arm, which fits the left or right side too; there is no direction like on some cars, so the spare parts are kept to a minimum. The same applies to many parts, like the (6) hubs, which are $8 replacements, including one front and one rear, that again, fits either the left or right side—the direction doesn’t matter.
The Best 4WD Value in R/C
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Kyosho Fazer Mk2 HD Sway Bar Stabilizer Set KYOFAW208
Kyosho Fazer Mk2 Aluminum Servo Saver KYOFAW214
Kyosho FZ02 HD Front Hub Set (Red) YOFAW205
Kyosho FZ02 HD Rear Hub Set (Red) KYOFAW206
Kyosho Fazer Mk2 HD Aluminum Wheel Hub (4) KYOFAW204
Kyosho Fazer Mk2 TC Aluminum Shock Set KYOFAW225
Kyosho Fazer FZ02 HD Motor Mount KYOFAW217
Kyosho Fazer Mk2 Carbon Front Shock Stay KYOFAW222
Kyosho Fazer MK2 TC Carbon Rear Shock Stay KYOFAW223
Kyosho Fazer MK.2 TC Universal Swing Shaft S (2) KYOFAW202
Kyosho Rage 2.0/Fazer MK2 Swing Shafts (2) KYOFA533
Kyosho Fazer FZ02 HD Front/Center Shaft Cup KYOFAW211
Kyosho Fazer FZ02 HD Rear/Center Shaft Cup KYOFAW212
Kyosho FZ02 HD Differential Shaft (2) (Rage 2.0) KYOFAW207
Kyosho Fazer Mk2 HD Aluminum TC Center Driveshaft (FZ02) KYOFAW209
Kyosho Fazer Mk2 HD Aluminum Center Driveshaft (FZ02L) KYOFAW210
*Prices subject to change without notice - last updated November 15, 2021
Note: Speed ratings are for informational purposes only. Actual speeds may vary due to condition, terrain, battery type, and driving style.