Of all the sit-coms and entertainment programs on television, few did it quite like the B.B.C.’s (British Broadcasting Corporation) Top Gear. With a perfect combination of hilarious cast members, beautiful cars, and interesting situations, Top Gear had found its niche; becoming more and more popular as the years went on.
Although the hosts were swapped out a few years ago, they’ve still had their fair share of outstanding cars on the show. However, since there are good bits of comedy, they’ve also had some of the worst cars ever made on their show. To elaborate on this point, here’s five of the best, and five of the worst, vehicles to ever be featured on Top Gear…
10BEST: MERCEDES G63 AMG 6X6
To show off one of Mercedes’ most expensive models yet, host Richard Hammond took the six-wheeled Mercedes G63 AMG 6×6 to one of the richest places on the planet: Dubai. Needless to say for Top Gear vets, but their was quite a lot of shenanigans.
Illustrating the 6×6’s capabilities, Hammond took it into the vast desert dunes and even an amusement park’s Lazy River. Being able to do all this really helped sell the G63 AMG 6×6 as a true all-terrain vehicle, instead of a useless Mercedes one-off. As a side note, it’s very funny when they always send the shortest host to drive the largest vehicles.
9WORST: DACIA SANDERO
Throughout Top Gear’s time on T.V., they’ve had plenty of long-running ‘inside’ jokes. So many, in fact, it would be difficult to recall them all. One of their most prominent, though, was host James May’s obsession with the Dacia Sandero.
Dacia is a Romanian car manufacturer (Working with Renault) that produces standard sedans and urban vehicles. The Dacia Sandero isn’t an awful car, however, it’s definitely not worth of the praise May heaped upon it. Apparently Clarkson and Hammond agreed, as the other hosts went as far as to destroy one in from of James May.
8BEST: LAMBORGHINI AVENTADOR
After the impressive Lamborghini Murciélago SV, the final Murciélago, it seemed like Lamborghini was going to have a hard time one-upping themselves. Thankfully, they were more than up to the challenge with their 2012 Aventador. As Richard Hammond had tested the last Lamborghini, it seemed appropriate to let him drive the new one.
The result blew Hammond’s mind. Sure the SV before it was quick, but not like the newest Aventador. When watching the show, it’s easy to see Hammond be thrown around by the aggressive gear shifts and brutal acceleration. Not to mention the Italian handy work on the curves sharp design, helping everything to come together in perfect Lamborghini fashion.
7WORST: HAMMERHEAD EAGLE I-THRUST
With the increasing public interest in electric cars for efficiency, environmental concerns, and costs, more and more carmakers have begun to move towards a more ‘green’ lineup; filled with hybrids and all-electric vehicles alike. In an outstanding move by producers, Clarkson, Hammond, and May were tasked with making their own electric car. The result was the “Hammerhead Eagle I-Thrust.”
As you would expect from the minds of Top Gear, the car was atrocious. It was made out of plywood, plastic, and sheet metal. However, it actually ran, for a little bit. When it did, though, it wasn’t very impressive. Although, it was funny to watch.
6BEST: FERRARI F12 BERLINETTA
During one of the most picturesque Top Gear features ever, Jeremy Clarkson too the 2012 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta to Scotland for a nice drive through the countryside. What Clarkson didn’t expect, though, was how amazing the F12 would be.
Clarkson talked about how terrifyingly fast the F12 was, saying that pressing the pedal makes you regret it almost instantly. With the F12 Berlinetta’s powerful V12 the aesthetically pleasing exterior (And interior) combined with the wonderful Scottish backdrop, it’s no wonder why Clarkson said that this would be the only new Ferrari he would currently buy.
5WORST: MORRIS MARINA
Similar to the running joke with the Dacia Sandero, there was another inside joke that had held up for quite some time before the Sandero. This time, it was an old British car called the Morris Marina: Manufactured by Austin-Morris and British Leyland.
The Morris Marina was frequently associated with Royalty from all over Europe (Obviously a joke). In reality, the Marina was a cheap little small car that didn’t offer anything impressive. Moreover, it never offered anything great either.
4BEST: PAGANI ZONDA R
As far as Italian carmakers go, many make virtual works of art on wheels, especially when you consider the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini. However, another Italian supercar company that has arisen since the ’90s is Pagani. Multiple Pagani’s had been featured on Top Gear, none was as mind-blowing as the Zonda R.
The brave pilot for this test was Jeremy Clarkson (Slightly messing with Hammond, due to his love for Pagani’s). For an older man, Clarkson really worked the Zonda R: He fully tested its breaking capabilities, nearly topped it out, and got his fair share of track time. He also had to wear lots of ear protection, as the Zonda R is one of the loudest production cars.
3WORST: RELIANT ROBIN
A drive to the store is, usually, a calm and uneventful process. For all intensive purposes, nobody really wants anything crazy to happen either. That is, unless, you are a Reliant Robin owner, the car with only three wheels.
Clarkson, hilariously, took the Reliant Robin on a good bit of trips. One of the funniest being his use of training-wheels to stay upright. Needless to say, it didn’t help much. Maybe if the Robin could actually stay upright, it could’ve been a good car.
2BEST: BUGATTI VEYRON
Every year, Top Gear nominates their “Best Car” of the year. They provide very good ratings for each vehicle and reliable interpretations of its comfort, power, and affordability. One such car to win the coveted prize was the original Bugatti Veyron.
Of all the other cars during the year, it’s no surprise that the Veyron reigned supreme. Not only did it break the record for fastest production car at the time, but the Veyron also managed to be one of the most expensive and luxurious vehicles on the market. To this day, Bugatti still holds the title of fastest vehicle, just not with the Veyron anymore.
1WORST: PEEL P50
Once again, Top Gear producers had struck gold. So had the host, Jeremy Clarkson, when they endeavored to find the smallest car in the world. What they came across was the Peel P50, a ludicrously small car with virtually no power.
The Peel P50, apparently, had a big impact on Clarkson. After having the Peel P50 on the show, they eventually made their own version of the P50. Another Top Gear original dubbed the “P45.” Somehow, a worse car than the original source material.