Traxxas 1/16 Summit VXL 4x4 w/TSM RTR Review

Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner

Equipment Used:

- Stock 1/16 Summit VXL

- Stock Radio

- Stock Nimh battery

- 2s 2200 lipo battery (Gens Ace)


- Great looking!

- Looks like the 1/10 scale Summit

- Nice suspension

- Fast!

- Jumps great

- Takes on all kinds of terrain

- Nice tires

- Pretty durable

- Great parts availability


- For this price should include a lipo

- Traction rolls easily


If you don't want to read this, know that my full video review is embedded below. It's long but there are some timestamps in the description so you can bounce around. If you want to read the review, let me start by saying, "I am not a Traxxas fanboy!" That is not to say that I haven't loved all the Traxxas vehicles I have owned. There have been weak points here and there, but overall, Traxxas remains one of my preferred brands for surface RC. To give you some background on this particular vehicle, when they came out several years ago, I rushed out and bought one. I wanted a Summit at the time, but I didn't have storage space for the 1/10 scale version. Those things have since changed, but my impressions back the first time I got the 1/16 Summit were that it was hard to drive, but fast. I remember constantly rolling it to the point of frustration and just tossing it inside and grabbing one of my other vehicles. I wanted to love it, but I just didn't. Stupidly, I ended up selling it. When I ran into a buddy a few weeks after I sold it, he was buying one new. I told him my experience and he laughed and said, "Bro, you just don't know how to drive!" lol. I took a bit of offense to that as I was pretty sure I was a good driver (I wasn't). I always thought to myself, if I can fly an RC airplane, how hard can a surface vehicle be. Well, that comment stuck in my craw for all these years. I always lamented selling it, so when I saw Traxxas had updated the Summit with TSM, I figured I'd grab another one and give it a go again.


Unboxing and Features:

For this purchase I decided to go straight to Hobby Recreation Products (HRP). Ordering was easy and my truck got here within a few days. As expected it was double boxed and of course Traxxas always does an excellent job at packing their vehicles and securing them so they don't get bounced around. I Included in this RTR are the TSM radio system which also works with the bluetooth module, a nimb battery, a wall charger, manual and spare parts, and of course the vehicle.


I know wall chargers probably don't cost much, and I know they technically make an RTR complete, but I wish companies would just stop including them and a nimh, and cut a few bucks off the price so folks can buy lipos and a decent charger. For this review, I only drove on nimh for a few minutes. My intent from the get go was to use a lipo, so the nimh and charger won't be part of this particular review. My advice to anyone if you plan on staying in the hobby is to get a decent lipo charger (around $50) and a lipo or two. They are cheap enough these days and you'll be much happier with their performance. If you do decide to go the lipo route, don't spend on bigger name brands, or you'll end up spending a fortune. For this vehicle, I used a 2s2200mah Gens Ace battery I already had for my ECX Barrage Kit Crawler. It fits perfectly in the battery holder on the Summit.



My lipo already had an XT60 connector on it, so I sliced the Traxxas connector off of the ESC and put an XT60 in it's place. I charged my lipo and went outside. The first thing I tested was to see how much you had to slow down to make a relatively sharp turn. What you should keep in mind in this case is a full scale vehicle. How fast could you turn driving a raised up jeep with huge tires? Probably not very fast right? The traction roll on the Summit is no fault of the design, but more the nature of the style of truck it is. It can be frustrating if you're used to a low slung vehicle that you can whip around corners, but once you start driving the way the Summit was designed to be drive, you're going to start loving it.


For one, it's pretty darn fast. I didn't clock it, but if you watch the video below, you can see how much speed it has on flat ground. What is also impressive about this truck is how rough of terrain it can handle. I would say this bad boy can take pretty much any terrain most 1/10 scale off-road vehicles can take. And since it's Traxxas, you can rest easy knowing it's pretty durable. Even if you do break something, RPM makes some upgrade parts as do a few other companies. I haven't broken anything myself so I haven't had to buy any parts. Another thing this little Summit does extremely well is jumping. If you keep the throttle pretty much on at the speed you hit the ramp, your trajectory should remain level without any need for adjustment. With the plush suspension and big tires, I doubt you'll make this thing bottom out. I couldn't get it to in my tests. Although the 1/16 Summit can handle rough terrain I would still advise against spending too much time in grass. Grass has a tendency to make most RC vehicles overheat. So if you must drive a lot on grass, check your motor temps frequently.


In loose dirt, you won't have to worry about traction roll as much, and can whip the rear around on some sliding turns. Of all the terrains I have driven on with this truck, the loose dirt is by far my favorite. I love the way it kicks up dirt and the ability to slide around a bit. I do actually like it on pavement also, you just have to be careful on the turns. Before I forget, TSM! The TSM gyro system makes this vehicle drive even better. I avoided gyros in surface vehicles for a while, but now I must say I rather enjoy them. It definitely helps keep the vehicle straight and makes filming easier lol. If I do remove the radio system (as I usually do with my RTRs) I will most definitely use a Spektrum receiver with AVC.



What can I saw other than I really love this vehicle. I am glad I learned how to be a better driver since the day that my friend told me I didn't like my Summit because I sucked at driving LOL. The only person I would not recommend this vehicle to is a young beginner. Every one else, I'd say go ahead and nab one. It is such a cute and accurate scaled down version of the original 1/10 scale Summit. If you want to hear more commentary or see some action footage, check out the video below and, please, remember to subscribe!


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at  Also, to catch the latest reviews, follow us on Twitter @RealRCReviews or our facebook page.