Ups And Downs Of The Arrma Granite Voltage: Is This The Best First RC Or A Headache Waiting To Happen?

Around Black Friday of 2021 I received an email from Horizon Hobby advertising the Arrma Granite Voltage for $89. That’s a 1/10 2wd RTR monster truck with battery and charger for less than a C-note. I must admit that I was drawn in by the appearance of the truck; it looks nice with its multi-color body and big 2.8″ wheels and tires. Despite being in the hobby for more than a quarter century I thought the truck looked interesting and wanted to see how it compared to its competition, all the while also wondering if the truck could handle being upgraded to full hobby spec. Below are my notes on my experience with the truck straight out of the box as well as after its first run. Normally this would be a full review but being on the road prevents me from getting the usual in-shop studio glamour shots; this will be a bulleted list of likes and dislikes for easier consumption.


-Completely ready-to-run, just add (4) AA batteries to the transmitter

-Body, wheels and tires look great

-Simple Design

-Standard 12mm hexes make wheel and tire replacement simple

-Oil filled shocks feel smooth right out of the box

-Low Price

-Ball bearings throughout

-LCG chassis and mid-motor design aid handling, superior cornering capability compared to other trucks in its class

-Fast enough for beginners

-Water resistant


-Soft material phillips head hardware stripped on first removal

-Wheel nuts loosen easily, need a nylon insert

-Plastic transmission gears and diff cups

-One piece spur gear, top shaft, top drive gear is not mechanically held in place; this could be an issue after being removed and reinstalled for maintenance

-Combo ESC/Receiver is not extremely uncommon but the servo is also integrated; upgrades require an entire electronics system replacement if one component fails

-20t 540 motor lacks torque for off-road driving, Arrma’s MEGA 550 system would be a better choice

-Radio feels cheap in the hand and doesn’t fit larger hands well (not an issue for children though, so more of a compromise than a dislike)

-Radio glitched at close range multiple times during first run

-Weak stock battery and slow charger

-Minimal upgrades available

-Body has holes for Arrma’s Body Clip Tethers are pre-drilled but none are included

-Included plastic wheel wrench stripped before removing the first wheel, a traditional metal 4-way wrench would be much preferred

-Tires lack grip and lose traction even on stock power

-Transmission case only allows three pinion sizes (stock 16t, 19t or 25t) and gears are 48 pitch. I would prefer to see 32 pitch gears for added durability, especially in a truck with no slipper clutch

-Aftermarket upgrades can cost more than the truck

-Diff is very loose, limits the truck to one wheel drive in most situations


Overall I like the truck when driving with a beginners perspective. It slides around on pavement and I was able to drive an entire pack without flipping the truck over or having to retrieve it. Compared to other trucks in its class it is a bargain. Out of the box it is complete, the chassis design is easy to work on and the box-to-backyard time is extremely low (the charger is the only let down in the category). I would have no qualms about handing this truck over to a first-time RC’er or a young driver; it is tough, it handles well, it is not so fast as to get out of control easily and it is quick enough to be entertaining (it is faster than any toy-grade RC that a youngster might be moving up from).

As an experienced hobbyist I can safely say that the $89 I spent on mine would have been better saved and spent on another truck, even if it cost twice what this truck does. After replacing all of the electronics, the hardware and adding a LiPO sized for the truck I would have been financially ahead buying a Traxxas Stampede XL-5. That truck costs over $200 but has separate electronics (if one component fails it can be replaced individually), metal gears inside the transmission and replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to find. I own several Stampede 2wd’s and they do not handle as well as this truck does but they are not only faster out of the box but have more torque to handle taller gearing. The Titan 550 was a replacement for the Stinger 20t motors in the first generation Stampede and is a significant bump in performance. The Arrma uses the same design of motor (it may be the same but I cannot confirm no deny that fact) in a truck nearly a quarter of a century newer than the Traxxas. The all-in-one electronics package is a concern for me as well; I am not saying it is going to fail but if it does it all has to go to fix the issue. I foresee hobbyists shelving and parents discarding the truck should something go awry electrically instead of buying all new pieces and replacing everything at once at a cost nearly equivalent to the purchase price of the truck.