I’ve been able to drive a lot of dif­fer­ent types of 1/5-scale ve­hi­cles, but I hadn’t re­ally been able to pull the trig­ger on an electric-pow­ered one, so I couldn’t wait to get the DBXL-E fired up. First I had to get past the Vel­cro bat­tery straps, which gave me a good bit of trou­ble while try­ing to get the bat­tery packs in­stalled. It took me about five min­utes to get the bat­ter­ies strapped in be­cause I was fight­ing with straps try­ing to stick to other straps and not be­ing able to grab onto the plas­tic ends be­cause of the lack of space be­tween the mounts and cen­ter drive shafts.

Once the bat­ter­ies were in and the buggy was pow­ered up I was ready for some fun. I got into the throt­tle hard while in my drive­way and the DBXL-E ac­cel­er­ated with ease. While mess­ing around on the pave­ment I found that the cen­ter diff fluid is a lit­tle light for high-grip duty. The diff bled power to the front end pretty eas­ily with ev­ery stab of the throt­tle. In dirt, where this buggy be­longs, this was much less ap­par­ent. The front end wasn’t bleed­ing power as much as it did on the pave­ment, and all four tires dug in and moved the DBXL-E out with author­ity. If most of your run­ning will be in high-grip con­di­tions, con­sider re­fill­ing the cen­ter diff with thicker fluid.

I ex­pected the DBXL-E to be a lit­tle bit lazy due to its size and weight, but I was pleas­antly sur­prised as I drove it around. It feels like you’re driv­ing a much smaller and lighter 1/10-scale buggy. The throt­tle has a smooth feel, brak­ing is per­fect, and steer­ing is very re­spon­sive. You wouldn’t think that a buggy this big can get squir­relly but the power on tap eas­ily broke the tires loose and caused the DBXL-E to slide around more than I thought it would, at least when I had Ac­tive Ve­hi­cle Con­trol switched off. With­out elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol step­ping on the ac­tion, I had a blast pitch­ing the big buggy into long drifts. With AVC turned up, less skilled driv­ers can more eas­ily hold a tight line. Or, if you’re in re­ally gnarly ter­rain that bounces even this gi­ant around, di­al­ing up AVC can make driv­ing more pre­cise no mat­ter how skilled you are. It works the throt­tle and steer­ing so quickly to make cor­rec­tions that you won’t even know it’s hap­pen­ing.

You can never call it a day with­out get­ting some air, and that’s what I did with the DBXL-E. I was able to send it sail­ing with ease and land­ings were soaked up well. Slight cor­rec­tions were made by stab­bing the throt­tle and brake in the air.

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