Dromida 1/18 Touring Car Brushless 4WD RTR Review

Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner

Equipment Used:

Dromida Touring Car Brushless all stock, then with a Dromida 2s lipo.

Pros:

- Gorgeous looks

- Solid construction, nice quality

- Durable body and bumpers

- Does not use integrated rx/esc

- Fast!

- Great size, easily fits in backpack

- Programable ESC

- 2.4ghz radio system

Cons:

- Non standard battery connector

- No indicator lights on charger

- Tires could use a bit more grip

Intro:

Even as an experienced RC guy with both surface and air products, I have always had a soft spot for Dromida.  They make cool products at very reasonable prices.  They allow people new to the hobby to get in with a low price of admission, and let us experienced folks add another toy to the collection.  I have liked and given positive reviews to most of the Dromida products I have reviewed, but I don’t let that influence my opinions as I continue on with their line of products.

 

I really enjoyed the 1/18 Monster Truck and the two Wasteland vehicles as I found they were tough, surprisingly quick, and they looked great.  More than anything, the kids loved them.  I had considered upgrading one of them to brushless, but I figured the additional speed would make driving those models a roll-fest.

 

When the brushless versions of the new Dromida Rally Car and Touring Car were announcced, I knew I had to test one out.  I left the decision up to my son, and he chose the Touring Car.  At the time of this review, using Tower’s coupon codes, you can knock $23 off the  price bringing it down to $146.  I don’t think there is a comparable product on the market from a reputable company for that price. Let me know if I’m wrong, but perhaps we have differing opinions on who is reputable ☺

 

Out of the Box:

My order arrived double boxed of course and well packed. Everything in the box was secure and nothing was damaged.  Going over the vehicle, I found nothing loose or leaky.  The little touring car is really gorgeous.  The body is nice and thick and a definite improvement over the Wasteland models. I never had an issue with them, but this feels and looks like a 1/10 scale body only smaller.   The layout is good, the battery tray seems ample, and the most wonderful thing is THE ESC AND RECEIVER ARE SEPARATE!!! So many times, with vehicles this size, companies will use an integrated ESC/RX unit that pretty much ties you into using the RTR radio. This was a major plus for me as I liked to use my nice radio for all of my models.  It doesn’t say in the manual, but I do know that this ESC is programmable.

 

My only unboxing gripes were the non standard battery connector and the charger that doesn’t have an indicator light to tell you when the battery is fully charged.  It’s a slow charger anyway, so if you don’t have a hobby grade charger, this one will work fine, just make sure you set a timer for 2 hours as indicated in the manual.  After my initial drive, I cut off the connectors and added Deans connectors to the esc and battery. I had also ordered a Lipo battery so I performed the same surgery there.

 

Driving:

Before I put the speed meter on the car, I wanted to drive a little around the parking lot to loosen everything up and warm up the tires a little. WOW, this little sucker is zippy! I couldn't tell if it was fast for it's size or just FAST!  I ran inside and got my speed meter and taped it to the car. The GPS meter clocked it's top speed, bone stock at 22mph. My 1/10 scale brushed touring car was only 20mph out of the box!  22mph on a 1/18 scale care looks really fast.  If you punch the throttle off the line, the torque is going to want to pull the car to one side... be sure not to adjust the trim to counter that otherwise, you won't be able to drive a straight line. Instead, go light off the line for a speed run, then punch it, that will greatly reduce the torque pull.  This is not fault of the car, all my fast cars do that. I needed minimal trim to get my Touring Car to track straight as an arrow.

 

You might notice from my other surface vehicle videos, I like to do some testing in my parking lot.  There is a nice couple of turns that really give me a good idea on how a car/truck corners.  I admit, I was used to my big 1/10 scale on-road cars that have upgraded tires, so I tried to take the turn at near full speed.  That resulted in spin out after spin out.  Sure the tires could stand to be a little grippier, but this car is little and heavy, so expecting it to hug the corners at high speeds isn't very reasonable.  The more time I spent time driving this car, the more I got the hang of which speed gives you the best handling.  Once you find that sweet spot, you should be pretty happy with the cars cornering. I would still like to be able to upgrade tires... if you know of any, please let me know who makes them.  One more thing to note, I did adjust the steering dual rates a bit just to give the steering servo a little less throw.  It helps make the car drive straight a bit easier as it tones down your steering adjustments. If you find yourself zigzagging too much, I suggest you make some adjustment here.

 

After my initial testing, I was ready to do some driving on my 2s 1600mah lipo.  I didn't expect much of a top speed improvement as a 6 cell nimh battery has a voltage of 7.2 and a 2s lipo has a voltage of 7.4.  On other cars, the top speed either doesn't change or it does by about 1mph.  To get my speed test, I drove to the far side of the parking lot to make a speed run. I thought I eased onto the throttle, but I guess not, HOLY S***, this poor little guy went a few feet and spun out.  I did expect a little extra punch, but not that much.  I drove back to my starting point and eased onto my run and finally punched it full open throttle.  It looked remarkably faster.  I drove it back to check the GPS and it indeed had gained an additional 4mph, topping out at 26mph! That might not seem like much, but it makes this car look like a bullet.  One of my neighbors was outside doing yard work and he actually stopped and asked how this little guy was so fast. I'm not sure if it was just the lipo making it that much faster, or the lipo plus the changing out of the esc and battery connectors to Deans. I didn't hit the 30mph the box says (I assume it needs to be geared differently for that), but I can't even imagine this car going up to 30mph.  So same deal on handling as with the nimh battery, but especially with the additional speed, look for that sweet spot of speed for making nice turns.  Even with just 1600mah, you'll get tons of run time. Just be sure to keep your eye on the motor temperature, as you will have a lot of time to drive and it's hard to resist hauling tail all the whole time.

 

As far as durability, it's a touring car, so you aren't really supposed to jump it or hit hard terrain with it and expect not to break anything. I didn't do any jumping as I figured if anything, the bottom of the car would slap the ground excessively. I doubt it would break it, but it didn't seem like something I wanted to find out. I will tell you that I lost control a few times and hit the curb a few times and nothing broke at all. My son managed to hit it sideways, backward and forward and without damaging the car. It helps that the car is small and the foam bumpers soak up the impact.

 

Conclusion:

Dromida once again, is receiving my endorsement. Even though I'd love to have better tires and slightly better charger, what you get with this Touring Car RTR is a pretty darn good value.  I'll pay this price any day for a solid brushless vehicle backed by one of the biggest companies in RC. At this size and price, the Dromida Touring Car is perfect for tossing in your backpack, and taking it with you to a friends house, or in my case, to the office. I love messing with RCs while I "brain storm" my next design :)  If it's your first RC or your 10th, I think you're going to love this one!

 

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