7/10 for me, mainly because I absolutely don't care about rugby and I thought they had too much Kia in this episode. Yes, Kia has become good but they should have pointed out more, that for the quality you get with them now, you also have to pay the higher price. Cheap and good at the same time is still not possible.
Also no surprises in this episodes, except the few rather brilliant cameos by Eric Clapton (man, he's gotten old) and Bruce Willis. Those were the highlights for me. No other show on the planet can possibly bring in major rock stars or Hollywood actors for a 10-second-appearance with no words spoken, not even their names mentioned (!)
Also: Looks like it's finally gotten through into Jeremy's head, that Opel/Vauxhall does actually make some decent cars these days. If it's enough to ensure the carmaker's survival, is a different question, though.
About the Mastretta: At least they could cover up quite well, that they actually don't give a damn about it. So all in all a good but not brilliant episode.
Lewis Hamilton was Lewis Hamilton, somehow I don't really care for that guy. I neither like, nor dislike him to be honest.
Ecoboxes: Okay. Interesting to see the Focus ST is that quick in a straight line.
News: A few amusing moments, but mostly yawn.
Ceed: Okay, though really only due to the amusing cameos. Even money Willis will be the SIARPC soon.
Tacocar: Wish they would have just shut up about the Mexican Incident and reviewed the thing-- but this actually wasn't bad. From certain angles it looks pretty good.
Rugby: Done to death, but had some amusing moments, like May's locker room game plan and Clarkson's unrequested velocity surplus. The US football dig was pretty comical given that they were wearing helmets and neck braces.
I think the magic is back! I felt a vibe from this episode, an energy, something that reminded me of the old times, when they had proper tests, a car on studio, fun news and a fun test. Even the Mastretta test was great (And I was ready for a complete disaster)!
Welcome back, old Top Gear, bravo!
9 out of 10, with bonus points for using Muse's Knights of Cydonia during the hot hatches drag race.
Eric Clapton and John McClain in the same segment= awesome (has Bruce Willis done the SIARPC yet?)
Also to clarify on the part about the mustang in the news, they should still have the V8 version, the word is that they are going to (for some strange reason) drop the V6 and instead have a 320HP 4-cylinder that should be the same one that will be in the next Focus RS (which they are supposed to FINALLY bring to the US).
I think they are doing this because the 4-cyl (possibly turboed) will not only have more power but get better fuel economy to possibly better fit/sell in car markets outside the US
I'd have to go with a 7 at best. I'll start from worst to best:
- Rugby: it seemed way too long, and wasn't terribly different from the car football and car hockey that they've done before. Plus, and I'll grant this is a very personal thing, I have a bit of a problem watching all those cars get trashed in the name of a segment. I don't know if the show has to buy all those cars outright to be able to do something like this, but if they do, it seems like that's a lot of money that could go towards other segments or specials. Even if they don't, it just seems unbelievably wasteful.
- News: did they really have no other car news to cover? It seemed like they went on way too long in the "news" segment talking about handbrake turns.
- (F1) SIARPC: While Hamilton is one of the more personable and charismatic F1 stars that I recall them having on the show, having him on again seemed a bit "been there, done that" (kind of a theme with this week). Still, Hamilton does seem like a very nice chap.
- Mastretta: Not bad, although they went really soft on the quality issues. The car just looked very cheaply made. I noticed the bonnet bouncing up and down even before Hammond commented on it. For a show that continually rakes US made cars over the coals for their quality issues (for right or wrong, but mostly right) the Mastretta looked far worse.
- Cee'd: a straightforward review made interesting with the understated cameos from LeBlanc, Willis, and Clapton. I am kind of surprised at the change in attitude toward the park assist feature. As I recall, they reviewed the feature on another car and absolutely trashed it, although the change in attitude might be because this one makes the feature idiot-proof to use, while the last one was clumsy and difficult.
- Hatchback Trio: fairly entertaining. Although it was somewhat reminiscent of the style of the Fiesta review, I think this one was much more focused and delivered better information.
Whatever has been missing this season, I'm thrilled to say that they found it! One word describes this episode. FUN!
Hatchback test: That was just fun! They haven't done one like that since I think season 6. That Vauxhall is a pretty car, too bad the American consumer hates hatches.
News: Funny! I love the nostalgia of handbrake turns. I want to see a Dak Cha tested on the show someday.
Kia Test: I like the tests that Jeremy does like that. Bringing in Matt Leblanc and Bruce Willis was completely left field.
SIARPC: Lewis. How the hell did he run a 1:42.9 in that car? I hope he gets Mercedes back on track, he seems less energetic than he was 4 years ago.
Mastreta review: Well, interesting. I appreciate the honesty that it's not perfect but has room to grow.
Rugby: I love the TG car sports. It's been so long since football and the ice hockey cha I wondered if we'd ever see it again. I have to assume they were going to resod the rugby pitch anyway, and I now understand rugby a bit better. Thanks for that chaps! Somehow watching James get bounced around in a car makes me smile.
Well, that was boring as all hell. I guess the Astra test was the only part I liked. The next best part was the scenery in Mexico. Other than that, that was just the dullest shit I've seen in a while. Why the hell did they go one for an eternity about using the hand brake to impress girls? There was really no car news they could find to discuss? I didn't even bother to finish watching the Kia rugby. I gave it a 5.
9/10 from me. I liked the whole episode, but I felt as though they really flogged the dead horse with the handbrake 'joke' / gag. It was amusing for the first couple of references, but it wore out a lot faster than they did of using it. The hot-hatch test with cameos was awesome.
I'm liking this series a lot, and it's not even the withdrawal talking. I don't think, anyway.
This episode exceeded my expectations, wasn't too big on the Hot hatch review but it served it's purpose and I would have been interested to see what the Mastretta's power lap time would have been but for me the high light of the show was the car rugby and I didn't think it was too long as some dreary people here seem to think it was.
The Lewis Hamilton interview was pretty good too, even though I didn't much care for him in the 2012 season of F1 I found myself pulling for him to beat Vettel's time and he managed to pull it off which was exciting.
This was a nice little flashback to around Season 5 or so. It's refreshing to have an episode like this once in a while. That doesn't mean, of course, that it's particularly good. Quality-wise, no more than a 5 to 6.
9/10 for me
First bit was great especially with the 10 second a-list celebrity appearances.
News was quite funny IMO.
Lewis' lap was incredible. It's hardly believable tbh. He's entertaining as well.
The story about Keke and the handbrake actually made me laugh quite hard.
Hammond's car review wasn't anything special, and a bit boring.
The rugby match was very entertaining; Jeremy and James make great films together.