Duratrax VW Baja Bug Review - First Impressions

We decided to include two short videos. One is our “unboxing” video, or as I like to call it, some “commentary.”  Our second video shows the Duratrax Baja Bug “free running”, which was my run and film at the same time trial effort.

Before I go further....let’s get this straight from the beginning....this buggy is NOT a RACE buggy. It is designed to have fun; not win races or compete with a high power brushless buggy or race truck. What it does rather well is tackle terrain with its oil filled shocks, long travel suspension system, and stock looking tires and wheels.

The Baja bug is powered by a 19T Photon brushed motor coupled to a Sprint 2 water proof brushed FWD and REV ESC. My only modification was to replace the Tamiya style connector with a Deans Male plug. I ran it with our EP5000mah 45C hardcase 7.4V Lipo. This battery is basically overkill for this RC Baja bug and provided me well over 20 minutes of runtime as I spun tire on the wet grass and loose terrain.  Figure top speed around 20 mph. The stock tires have a very scale look and hook up well on the asphalt but loose it in the damp grass I was running. I never managed to trip the low voltage cutoff  on the ESC. I thought I might be overheating the motor, but it never got above warm to the touch.

Everything worked fine. The radio has great range and decent response. The ESC is more basic, not sure if it has a real “brake” or just reverse. I did not have to set up anything. I turned the radio on and the receiver was already bound to the transmitter and the ESC has an auto set system that worked as described in the instructions. I did adjust gear mesh before my first run. I thought it was tight from the factory, and I am glad I did it.

Nothing broke. Duratrax’s flexible parts and a 20 mph top speed pretty much keep that in check. I found this RC vehicle to be fun and can’t wait to run it on a more barren “dirt” terrain with some jumps. It reminds me of some of my Tamiya 1/10th scale rc’s I have had in the past - except this chassis has adjustability. I rate it as a “buy” if you want something fun to run and not interested in top speed or spending a fortune to repair after a high speed crash.


  1. One of my favorite RTR's of all time. Change the tires and lift the body a bit and it will race through wet grass with no problem.


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