Axial Racing 1/10 SCX10 II Jeep Cherokee 4x4 RTR Review

Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner

Pros:

- Fun, of course, it's an SCX10!

- Great Scale looks

- Durable parts

- TONS of aftermarket parts

- New AR44 axle

- All steel suspension links

- Chassis mounted servo

- Great stock tires

- Adjustable, front mounted battery tray

- Star plug

- Water-resistant electronics

- Many kit parts included in parts tree

Cons:

- No transmission upgrade like in kit

- Even though some scale items like door handles and other moldings are included, hardware to mount them are not

Equipment Used:

Axial SCX10 II 2000 Jeep Cherokee RTR

3s 5000mah 35c Lipo battery

Tactic TTX300 3-channel SLT Radio

Also tested with:

Spektrum DX4S Radio

Pro-Line Super Swamper 1.9 tires

Summary:

I'm going to start this review almost word for word the way I started my SCX10 review. If you are a hard core scaler, well into the hobby, or an expert on RC specs, scale specs, and what all the numbers, measurements, terms mean, then this review will likely be of zero benefit to you.  Especially, because you already have one and for that matter, you probably bought the kit version.

 

When I saw the SCX10 II announced, I knew I had to get one. I knew there were upgrades, but I also loved the choice in body they went with. When I met my wife, she drove a 2000 Jeep Cherokee, so I got a little nostalgic.  I had intended to buy the kit version, but I didn't pull the trigger quick enough and they quickly sold out. Due to the popularity, I saw the expected restock date for the kit getting pushed further and further back as people put in their backorders.  Me, being me, I knew I had to have one ASAP so I finally decided to just go with the RTR version.  I was particularly excited about this Axial RTR because reading down through the specs, I saw that this RTR version came with quite a few upgraded parts anyway.  So, as I often love to do, I logged into my Tower Hobbies account, clicked on the appropriate coupon code and placed my order. At the time I had a code for about $60 off which brought the truck down to about $350.

 

Unboxing:

Axial such a great job of giving you what you need and "plating" it really nicely in the box. As you slide the truck out with its cardboard retainer, you really don't bother looking at anything else.  It does come with a pretty nice Tactic radio and one new great addition is the use of a deans compatible star plug. That takes away the nuisance of having to clip the old Tamiya style plug off to put on your preferred plug. Another thing you get are a ton of parts on the parts trees they package the RTR with.  Definitely go through them, as you might find some cool little things you can add to your rig. I for one discovered that they actually included the door handles and the rear molding that goes above the license plate.  The bad thing is they don't included the hardware for mounting them.  I found a couple small screws in my tool box for the rear molding and I ordered these axial parts for mounting the door handles: AXA1179 (little rubber o-rings), and AX313754 (3mm body clips).  Be careful when reaming or drilling the small holes for these because if your hole is too big they won't work well.

 

There are no surprises when you get an SCX10 II in your hands. Just like the previous models from Axial Racing, you get a really happy feeling just looking at them and holding them.  They look great and feel solid. You can see all of the thought that went into creating this thing. As you read in the pros section of this review, the SCX10 II has several upgrades from the previous editions, my favorite being the inclusion of steel links. The other change that really made me happy was moving the battery tray to the front of the vehicle.  Tons of people with the previous editions did that anyway, but this takes away the hassle of having to do it yourself. As for the tires, in my opinion, these are the absolute nicest tires Axial has ever included in an RTR. They are really sweet looking and they feel really grippy right out of the box. As you see by my picture, I peeled a few of the Axial stickers off and used some RC car pinstriping for my black and red lines. There are plenty of additional stickers in the box, but I was trying to go for a more street friendly look. At some point, I may buy a clear body and paint it red like the one my wife used to drive. The roof rack does not come with the RTR, but Axial sells it separately for under $15 bucks. The good thing is the body has little dimples where you need to make the holes, so at least that takes the guesswork out of figuring out where to drill.

 

Driving:

If you are looking for speed, Axial SCX10 IIs are not for you. For that matter, stay away from all crawlers if you are interested in speed.  These vehicles are built to look and drive like their full scale counterparts.  I didn't bother taking a speed reading with my SCX10 II.  I can tell you that with 2s lipo, you are at about a walking pace and with 3s, you are at a slightly faster walking pace.

 

To quote my previous SCX10 review when talking about driving driving experience, "It was such a zen experience to drive slowly and quietly around the neighborhood, walk through the woods, and kinda just make believe we were sitting in our respective rigs challenging ourselves with the next big root, rock or bump.  I was totally into it and very happy that my son also enjoyed the different experience.  It is a nice change of pace and a great new direction for driving."

 

All of that still holds true, but that experience has now actually gotten better. With the weight of the battery moved to the front and the sweet stock tires, hitting those roots and rocks just got easier.  With the nice low-end of the stock motor and the big grippy tires, you'll be pretty impressed with some of the obstacles you can get over. Even going up a good sized curb is easier. I found that if I went at the curb at an angle to avoid hitting my bumper, I could wait for the tires to grip, then straighten out. The weight of the battery kept the tires gripping and I could pull myself up. It is tons of fun. BTW, even though my picture and video show different tires on my rig, I did the majority of my testing with the stock tires.  I wanted a more family car look, so I went with smaller tires. Even with the weight I added to mine, I think the stock tires outperformed mine because of their size and compound.

 

Conclusion:

I wish this were a longer review, but since there is nothing really negative to say about the new SCX10 II, it's hard to keep on writing without sounding like a commercial for Axial.  Now as Taylor Swift says, "Haters gonna hate hate hate hate..." so I'm sure you'll find a few loons that will complain about this or that, but I recommend you pass that off as nonsense :)  Axial listened to it's customers and they made some great changes so that your RTR experience is awesome right out of the box.  You won't have to call your more knowledgeable buddy to have him help you mod your truck for better driving characteristics or immediately upgrade anything on your new rig.  Sure, like all SCX10s and any other brand crawlers, you can always upgrade more parts for higher performance and more scale appearance, but it is no longer necessary to do any of that with your brand new rig.  Just take it out of the box, charge up your batteries and enjoy your ride.  You can do your own customizations down the road.

 

If you want to sink over $1000 bucks into it, you can definitely do that.  There are more after market parts for these rigs than I could ever have imagined.  Large companies, small companies, guys out of their basement all fabricate parts for these things.  You can buy doll sized accessories to fit into your scaler just for the sake of added realism.  You can buy Vanquish brand parts that are licensed from some of the full scale manufacturers, the options are pretty much limitless. The crawler/scaler world is truly a culture unto itself.  There are competitions that use set up obstacle courses, there are trail run competitions, and who knows what else.  This culture is not something I have time to invest in (yet), but from what I've seen, a huge amount of the competitors use rigs based on the SCX10 and now SCX10 II.  This is one of the greatest aspects of the SCX10 II, you can keep it as stock as you'd like, and not have to worry about performance or quality, or you can hop it up to your hearts content, the choice of course, is yours.  Axial has knocked it out of the park and hell, for that matter, they cleared the parking lot too.  You absolutely cannot go wrong by picking one these up.

 

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