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HPI Baja 5B vs Rovan Baja 5B: Which One is the Best?

If you want to know if the HPI or Rovan Baja 5B is best then keep reading. Also, learn how fast the HPI is and the length of the Rovan variant.

Which One is the Best: the HPI Baja 5B or Rovan Baja 5B?

If you’re seeking top-tier performance, durability, and extensive aftermarket support, and are willing to pay a premium for it, then the HPI Baja 5B might be your best bet.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option that still delivers decent performance, the Rovan Baja 5B is a commendable choice.

Both have their merits, and your decision should align with what you value most in an RC buggy.

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Brand History and Reputation:

HPI Baja 5B:

HPI Racing is a well-established brand in the RC community, known for producing high-quality products backed by years of expertise. Their Baja 5B is a testament to this legacy, having garnered a massive following since its inception.

Rovan Baja 5B:

Rovan, on the other hand, is often considered a more budget-friendly option. While they’ve made significant strides in quality over the years, they were originally seen as offering “clone” models of more established brands.

The Rovan Baja 5B is among their most popular models, largely because of its price point and performance ratio.


HPI Baja 5B:

This model boasts a robust 2-stroke gasoline engine that delivers consistent power. The vehicle is known for its agility, responsiveness, and a well-tuned suspension system that can handle various terrains.

Rovan Baja 5B:

The Rovan variant is equipped with a similar 2-stroke engine. While it provides commendable performance, especially given its price, some users report needing to make minor adjustments or upgrades to achieve the same level of responsiveness as the HPI model.


HPI Baja 5B:

One of the hallmarks of the HPI model is its durability. Its well-crafted parts and robust build mean it can take on rough terrains and impacts without significant wear and tear.

Rovan Baja 5B:

While the Rovan model is decently durable, especially for its price range, it may require more frequent parts replacements than its HPI counterpart, particularly when subjected to more aggressive driving or tougher terrains.


HPI Baja 5B:

Being a premium model, the HPI Baja 5B comes with a heftier price tag. However, many enthusiasts argue that the cost is justified by the product’s quality, performance, and longevity.

Rovan Baja 5B:

The key selling point of the Rovan model is its affordability. It offers a more budget-friendly entry into the world of large-scale RC buggies, making it a favorite among beginners and those who are hesitant to invest heavily.

Aftermarket Support and Upgrades:

HPI Baja 5B:

With a massive user base and brand reputation, the aftermarket support for HPI Baja 5B is impressive. There’s an abundance of parts, upgrades, and community forums dedicated to this model.

Rovan Baja 5B:

While there’s a decent amount of support and parts available for the Rovan Baja 5B, it may not match the sheer volume and variety available for the HPI variant.

How fast is the HPI Baja 5B?

The speed of the HPI Baja 5B largely depends on its specific model, engine type, and any modifications made to it. On average, a stock HPI Baja 5B can reach speeds between 30 to 40 mph.

 This speed is quite impressive for a vehicle of its size, especially considering that it’s often driven off-road, where conditions can be less than optimal for high speeds.

However, it’s worth noting that many RC enthusiasts and racers modify their Baja 5B models to improve their performance and speed.

With the right modifications, such as upgrading the exhaust, tweaking the carburetor, or even swapping out the engine for a more powerful one, speeds can push past the 40 mph mark. It’s not uncommon to hear of modified Baja 5Bs reaching speeds of 50 mph or even slightly more.

Understanding the HPI Baja 5B

Before going further, it’s crucial to understand what the HPI Baja 5B brings to the table. Manufactured by HPI Racing, this 1/5th scale RC buggy is designed for both enthusiasts and serious RC racers. Its large scale means it’s significantly bigger than most standard RC cars, leading to a more realistic driving experience.

Power Source and Mechanism

The HPI Baja 5B is typically powered by a two-stroke gasoline engine, which is significantly different from the electric or nitro engines found in smaller RC models. This gas-powered engine not only provides a more realistic sound and feel but also offers a robust power source that can sustain the vehicle’s large size and weight.

Factors Affecting Speed

Several factors can influence the Baja 5B’s speed:

  • Terrain: The type of surface on which the Baja is driven will play a significant role in its speed. Loose sand, mud, or rough terrains will generally slow it down, while smooth surfaces or packed dirt can allow for higher speeds.
  • Tire Choice: Just as with real cars, the type of tires used can impact speed. Slicks, for example, might be great on a smooth track but can hinder performance on loose surfaces.
  • Weight: Any added weight, be it from modifications or cargo, can affect the buggy’s speed.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance ensures that the engine and other components are in top condition, which can directly influence the speed and performance of the Baja 5B.

How Long is the Rovan Baja 5B?

The length of the Rovan Baja 5B is approximately 817mm or 32.2 inches. This makes it one of the larger RC models available in the market. The model’s substantial size, combined with its powerful engine, allows it to traverse various terrains with ease, making it a favorite for off-road adventures.

It’s also important to note that, besides its length, the Rovan Baja 5B has a width of about 480mm (18.9 inches) and a height of approximately 255mm (10 inches), depending on the specific model and the setup.

The Rovan Baja 5B: An Overview

Before going any further, it’s essential to understand the Rovan Baja 5B’s general specifications. The Rovan Baja 5B is a 1/5 scale two-wheel-drive off-road buggy, which is a popular choice for both casual users and racing enthusiasts.

This model boasts a powerful petrol engine, all-terrain tires, and a robust build that can withstand harsh conditions.

Why Does Size Matter?

You might wonder why the length (or overall size) of an RC car like the Rovan Baja 5B is important. Here are a few reasons:

  • Stability: Larger RC cars tend to have better stability, especially at higher speeds or when navigating through rough terrains.
  • Visibility: Due to its substantial size, the Rovan Baja 5B is more visible from a distance, making it easier to control during races or casual runs.
  • Durability: A more substantial build often translates to a more robust and durable structure, capable of withstanding impacts and the wear and tear of frequent use.