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ECX Boost RC Review

Review by Hunter Wick

I bought the ECX Boost expecting a fun, not too serious little buggy. Since I am a seasoned RC hobbyist and this is a vehicle primarily aimed at newcomers to the hobby, this review was done with a beginner mindset. Heck, I even let a couple newbs to the hobby drive it and see what they thought of it! Read on to find out whether all this hype about this little buggy is deserved or not.

In addition to this written review we have prepared an unboxing video of the ECX. Also be sure to take a look at our ECX Pros and Cons videos.

Steering - 7/10

Before I even laid eyes on the Boost I was expecting very little in the steering department. When I opened up the owner's manual before driving it and saw that the stock servo only has 41oz. of torque, I was sure that this little buggy would be barely able to turn its own tires! To my surprise, however, the stock servo actually did much better than I had anticipated. In fact, most of the understeer that the Boost exhibited appeared to be more due to the light weight front end rather than the servo. I think a little bit of aluminum up front on the Boost would really help it out in the steering department. Install an aftermarket servo in addition, and I think the boost would be able to cut those corners as sharp as you want!

ecx boost rc buggy

Acceleration - 5/10

The acceleration department is really the major downfall of the Boost. It is equipped with a 20 turn brushed motor, so I wasn't expecting much, but the performance of this motor was pretty pathetic to say the least. Actually, the motor got the buggy up to speed rather quickly, but once you understand that the buggy's top speed is somewhere between 15 and 20mph, that's no achievement. For a beginner, though, 15 to 20mph is amazing. I allowed a couple of beginners to the hobby to drive the Boost, and they seemed more than content with the speed, but still, I would like to see the buggy equipped with a faster motor in the future. On closer inspection, I think the motor is fine, but the gearing is ridiculously low. The motor was only reaching 110 degrees after a full, 25 minute run. I appreciate ECX gearing the buggy down so that this brushed motor will last as long as possible, but gearing it up a tooth or two on the pinion wouldn't hurt. To sum it up in the acceleration department, the Boost had enough speed to be fun on a small track and for beginners, but for experienced hobbyists who want something a little quicker, I would save up for a brushless system.

ecx boost rc buggy 2

Braking - 8/10

Considering that the Boost hits a maximum of 20mph with the stock setup, braking isn't a huge deal, but it is still important as to add some level of safety for a beginner. I found that the stock ESC and motor were adequate to lock up the rear tires and stop the buggy within 10 to 15 feet, which is acceptable. The reason I took off two points from this category was because sometimes when I would hit the brakes hard the buggy would go full throttle into reverse. While nothing broke because of this, I would like to see this issue resolved because this became very annoying after a while.

ecx boost rc buggy interior

Suspension - 10/10

Once you take into consideration that the ECX Boost utilizes plastic bodied, simple oil filled shocks, you won't be expecting much. To my surprise, however, the stock shocks performed perfectly even straight out of the box. For bashing, the rear shocks were a little under-sprung, but on a track the setup was perfect all around. Thankfully, ECX provides a set of preload spacers in the box, so I used those to fix the rear from being under-sprung. Other than that, the shock oil seemed to be the perfect weight. If you add a heavier brushless system or a seven cell NiMH pack which would add to the overall weight, you might want to add some thicker shock oil and stiffen up those springs. But for the stock weight, the buggy was setup great. To be short about the suspension, Horizon Hobby's (the owner of ECX) knowledge of racing setups really shined through, which is why I awarded this buggy's suspension with a perfect score.

Jumping - 7/10

Electric, 1/10 scale, 2wd buggies aren't designed to be the best jumpers, so I wasn't expecting a whole lot in this department. The Boost handled jumps relatively well, but because of the slow, 20 turn brushed motor, there was not enough power to balloon the tires allowing for the buggy to level out in air. Because of this, the buggy simply nose dived on most jumps. However, the few times the Boost did make a level landing it was a lot of fun. For this reason, I awarded this category a seven out of ten.

Durability - 10/10

Any RC marketed towards beginners needs to be durable, because it's a proven fact that beginners in the hobby are going to crash a lot. The ECX Boost is no different. Thankfully, it performed great in this department. From the drivetrain to the shock towers, the Boost never missed a beat. I think this impressive durability is due to the thickness of all the parts. For example, the shock towers are half an inch thick! Clearly, nothing on this buggy is breaking soon, except for one place. The only problematic area on the whole buggy was the back plate on the transmission which is supposed to protect the motor. While it did not fail during testing, the design that ECX used on this spot isn't a good one. Instead of being a solid piece that is part of the transmission, it is simply an extra piece of bent plastic that is screwed into the bottom and top of the transmission. Since it did not actually break during testing, I felt that it wasn't right to take away any points, but I would like to see ECX think about this design a little more. Other than that, the Boost was exceedingly durable.

ecx boost rc buggy outside

Overall, the ECX Boost did great in most aspects of testing. Like I said, I would like to see a slightly faster motor or higher gearing come standard, but since it is marketed for beginners, the buggy's speed and acceleration is acceptable. The buggy received an overall score of a 7.8, but in the eyes of a beginner, it was perfect! Great job Horizon Hobby on another well-made vehicle.

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