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If you love cars then you'll love this magazine. If you love Top Gear, then you won't necessarily love this magazine. By this I mean it is very different from the show. Yes you still have funny inputs from Jeremy, James and Richard but it is much more car focused.
I have a subscription to this magazine and I love cars, I love everything about them and as such I am quite sad. Dont' buy this magazine unless you are interested in what engine it has, whether the v8 provides better handling than the v12 or whether some upgraded monocoque frame provides a much better performance than the old one. For instance, if you didn't understand that last sentence then the magazine is probably not for you.
Don't expect to see sneak peeks of the upcoming series either as they are very separate from each other. Top Gear magazine is for car bores and Top Gear TV is for family viewing.
All that said though, it is more interesting than the other car magazines even with the bits most people would find dull. Overall I would suggest this magazine but only if you truly love cars and all their dull mechanics.
A good and factual magazine, this is quite different from the TV show. There is more facts, less humour. More everyday cars and less supercars (although they are still in there).
I always enjoy reading Jeremy Clarksons page, he gets a one/two page section and these are often funny, even you don't agree with him.
James May also gets a page to write but oddly enough Richard Hammond does not appear in the magazine. Richard does write for other publications, however, including some motorbike mag.
A suprise writer for some articles, mainly test drives, is Tom Ford. A suprise as he is straight out of 5th Gear fame, Top Gears main competition in the UK - for the TV market at least.
One good aspect about the items in this is the honesty that is copied from the TV program. If a car is rubbish, they just say so. This is something smaller magazines sometimes dare not do because the manufacturers might not loan them any more cars. Top Gear have the power over the manufacturers.
From what I understand, only one manufacturer has ever refused to loan Top Gear a car and that was Rover. And look what happened to them.
So we get honesty, James May and Jeremy Clarkson. We also get an awful lot of adverts - possibly half of the magazine is advert filled. This keeps the cost down however, so we shouldn't see that as a negative.
They often put nice gifts on this as well. Often sample DVD's of their own full-length DVD's and DVD's of the program itself.
A nice buy this magazine, but quite different from the TV programme.
Being something of a "petrolhead" I subscribe to/buy several car magazines every month and Top gear is one of those magazines.
I am a huge fan of the BBC TV show, however the magazine is not quite as irreverent as the TV programme and is not as focused on just the top end performance cars that Jeremy, Richard and James clearly enjoy hooning round the test track and across the globe.
It is a quality magazine, with a page count usually running to over 300 pages, which for the cover price of £3.95 is very good value.
It is split into several sections consisting of "Metal" which is the news section, then "Faces" which has regular monthly contributors including Jeremy Clarkson and James May. "Drives" gives a very brief road test of a number of cars each month.
Then there is the "Features" section, which is usually full various articles about the cars we love but generally will never own ie, Bugatti's, Lamborghini's, Ferrari's et al.
Finally at the back of each issue is "lifers" section where various cars are run as long term test cars by contributors to the magazine and these are cars you can actually own, not supercars snatched from the motoring stratosphere.
Also at the back is a new car data section which gives prices and specification for virtually every new car available in the UK.
Downsides? Not many in my opinion, to be honest I'm hard pressed to think of anything. I suppose 50 pages of advertising at the back of the mag could be seen as excessive but then advertising revenue helps to keep the price down. A necessary evil then.
If I have written the review on the best in British car magazines, then the worst can?t be really far behind, isn?t it? Its funny because Top Gear comes from the house of BBC, one of the most respected names in terms of news worldwide. But that won?t deter my judgement one bit, as I think of Top Gear has now become one of the most biased magazine published in the auto-journalism world ever, and the only reason why it is alive is because of the support of BBC. So let?s see how this car magazine fares in the different departments: Packaging and Style: This is the first thing that strikes you when you are out to buy any magazine?How does it look and feel? Cover design: **** I like the cover of Top Gear, and there are many reasons behind this?firstly, it has got a different theme and layout every month, giving it an all-new look every month and secondly, its not too cluttered with small photos and headlines about what?s inside kept to a minimum. Nice and good to look at!!! Style inside: *** No surprises here, as Top Gear comes across as a cluttered magazine with confused layout and there?s very little text to be seen anywhere in the first sight. Full page-length photographs and advertisements dominate the whole magazine, which doesen?t look to be very impressive. Moreover, the size of the text is too small to make an impact on the first look. Quality of pages is again nothing to write home about, and this is one department where Top Gear gets beaten by its ace competitor What Car? Content: All-right. The magazine looks good, but what use will it be if there is nothing to read in it. Isn?t it. We?ll rate Top Gear by its different sections, as one goes through the magazine to give you an insight into how good the regular features are: First Gear: ** This is one of the first sections of the magazine and has news on the latest cars from around the world. Its not at all detailed, provides very little in terms of inf
ormation on the car, and the only thing you notice is stretched photographs. There is a section on Motorsport as well (just 1-2 pages long) and even after buying 3-4 issues, I am still not able to make out what it wants to convey. Not at all impressive!!! First Steer:** Road-test time, but at Top Gear, people don?t seem to be serious enough...taking into account that this section contains single road-tests of newly launched cars and models, the maximum I have ever got to read about a car here is 1 page. Its just too short-winded, and the only thing worth noticing is the stretched photographs on the pages...the whole section is 20-30 pages long out of which 12-13 are dedicated to photographs, which surprisingly, suffer from proper proper lighting and appear to be dull to me. Too Bad, yet again. Group Tests:** If there? some stuff to read in this magazine, its all here. Each issue has 3-4 group tests which are stretched to 40-50 pages all thanks to half-page and full-page length photographs. Reading material is adequate, but content-wise, the editors seem to be heavily biased towards European-made cars and write-off Japanese and American cars complete with mocking. This is reason enough for me not liking this magazine. Ratings are hugely absent, and seldom do they tally with the text in the magazine. Not Impressive again!!! Top Gear Special Features:*** There are not many that this magazine comes with, and the memorable ones are too few and far between. And no, these special features don?t mean 20-30 page booklets as provided with What Car?, rather a 3-4 page write-up on car-rallies or a soon-to-be-launched model etc.etc. Readable this stuff is but that?s purely because it doesen?t involve comparing (which Top Gear too are biased to do). Strictly passable!! Buying, Running, Selling:** Although the heading promises too much, there isn?t anything worthwile to read in this 10 page long section. You can find some tips here, some tips t
here on buying a car, but soon realise that you know them from before!!! What puts me off is the cluttered way in which this section is written. There is no detail or justification on anything that?s written or advised and there?s a section called Long Term Update which tells u in just 3 pages about the 20 or so cars that the magazine team has...and half of the content is just jokes and mockery!!! Price Guide:** The name says it all- although Top Gear thinks that this guide is?the most comprehensive price guide on the planet?, but I beg to differ. For once, the layout is one of the cleanest I?ve ever seen on a magazine, but that?s because they haven?t written anything here that would provide to be of much help to a car buyer. The information, the prices, the car models are always outdated and new models are added months after their launch. And you can easily spot price-lists of 2-3 phased-out cars. Used car data is too short and the last 20-30 pages are full with classifieds. Too bad indeed!!!! Price BBC has priced the magazine competitively at £3.50, in sync with its strongest competitor-What Car?, and at some superstores like WHSmith, you can get a copy for £2.50 as well. Value for money it is, not in terms of advice and contents, but the amount of photographs and advertisements and brochures you get for this much money!! Overall No, I don?t recommend Top Gear to any avid reader on automobiles. If you think you are going to find some nice, unbiased advice on British cars, you?ll be thoroughly disappointed. Top Gear has got a big brand name, a TV Show and a slick cover going for it, but from when did auto-journalism mean all these things??? For all of you who think that Top Gear is a great magazine, I have 3 pieces of advice: 1. Visit http://topgear.beeb.com if you wanna read about Top Gear road-tests 2. Watch the show on BBC?Top Gear, its biased like the magazine, but you won?t mind as you haven?t plonked your mo
ney on it. 3. Lastly, for God?s sake, switch to What Car? for some decent British automotive advice.</b> THANK YOU, Comments are awaited like always.....
Motoring magazines are in a bit of a quandary they need to be all things to all men and all women for that matter. Some readers only buy them when they are on the look out for a new car others will buy each week and expect somewhat more from their magazine. I have spent the past few years with my head buried in motoring magazines, not because I enjoy them but they do make a cheap hat substitute. Most of the publications available are surprisingly similar. The standard format goes something like this, Bit at the front, latest road tests, letters page, big road tests, feature on some car accessory that looks suspiciously like the manufacturer paid for, review of a torch or something equally useless and then a list of prices facts and figures. This might be fine for reference while buying a new motor but there are guides specifically for that like "Parkers", the real problem is you just can't read magazines like Auto Express and What Car week in and week out. So there I was standing in the newsagents wondering what to buy, desperately trying to avoid reaching for a copy of "razzle" when I first set eyes on Top Gear magazine. Now you've probably all heard of Top Gear the Telly programme on BBC2. It's a bit of an institution in the UK and has made Jeremy Clarkson and Quentin Wilson household names. So it must have been a bit of a gamble to put the Top Gear name to a magazine that would only have a meagre helping of Mr Clarkson et al. Fame, fortune and the BBC aside what do you get for the princely sum of £3.40. Well there does have to be a formula and my heart sank when I saw the bit at the front, latest cars etc etc, but it isn't that bad. We start the magazine in "First Gear" literally, this section tends to be the latest offerings form the manufacturers bit, each small section of text normally eludes to launch dates prices and maybe one or two features, hardly a full re
view but then it's not meant to be. Most magazines do this it's a bit like a taster for what's to follow in coming weeks and it gives an opportunity the graphics artist to go mad with pictures of new cars. After flicking through at least 2 double page adverts (more on this later) comes the aptly titled first steer, here we get a bit more of a serious review on a newly released car and a chance for the journalists to finally impress. Unlike other car publications Top Gear's hacks seem to really enjoy their job and this comes through by the bucket load whether they are reviewing the latest offering from Porsche or a humble Fiesta. Now the motoring world is full of silly acronyms or confusing jargon, why is it there? Well would you buy £700 Xenon headlamps if they were badged as brighter bulbs with a different gas inside? Top Gear does use these acronyms but if they are new or some mad concoction from a manufacturer (Audi please take note) they will at least explain with a "that's assisted brakes to you and me". The reviews in the first steer section always tend to be written in a very accessible style and they have to be with only 2 pages and a huge photo to boot, in an average edition of Top Gear there are normally about 10 reviews in this bit. Ok so you're now expecting a steady flow of each category and what its about etc etc zzzzzzzzzzzz......... Well in a word No, Top gear has followed the formula in order to keep some structure but the second section of the magazine immediately shows the difference. Head Room as it is imaginatively titled is a mixture of stories, short reviews and items on things as diverse as the Mercedes Limo driven by John Lennon and the French I-80 aero train. In short if it's got a motor in it or near it and worth talking about then the guys at Top Gear will. There is often some good insight into the goings on at motoring giants with tales from the b
oardrooms played out like a 3rd rate soap, when you have to fight the office politics yourself each day it is somewhat refreshing to see General Motors having arguments over the company coffee machine policy! Next the section that most closely links Top Gear the paper version to it's Television kin the columns, here familiar faces like Quentin, Tiff and even the now ex Top Gear Mr Clarkson treat us to their pearls of wisdom. Whatever you think of anyone of the Top Gear line up their monthly ramblings do make an excellent read. The columns are aptly titled "alltorque" thanks to the head of the creative naming bureau. Each month a guest columnist is invited to present a page of intelligent arguments and witticisms on motoring related topics. These guests have ranged from political figures including a member of the Green Party who argued the case for more cycle lanes very effectively to the highly talented Mr Alexi Sayle. This is a prime example of the reason you can read Top gear each month, Alexi was given an entire page and boy did he use it! An article on car dancing produced tears from my eyes as Mr Sayle described how to dance within the confines of your motor vehicle, working through musical styles and even the use of a sunroof when dancing to the Bee Gees. All this frivolity does not however detract from the serious business of reviewing cars, Top Gears team of journalists tend to group cars together to give the best comparison of new entrants to the existing vehicles. All cars are described carefully and judged on five categories, Styling, performance, Ride and handling, accommodation and Value for money. Each section is carefully researched and seems to be conducted in a fairly unbiased way although the writing style often betrays the eventual outcome in the first few paragraphs. These group tests and the single reviews cover the entire spectrum of UK available cars from the Daewoo's of this world
right up the Mercedes S class and beyond. The majority of features in each months offering are not directly reviewing cars many are on motoring events like classic car rally's and famous motoring routes or cities. An example form the current edition sat in front of me is an item on car dealers in Las Vegas. Then there are the weird features which seem to have a predominately American feel to them with stories of our Stateside cousins building motorised goliaths within their garden sheds in a way that I thought only the "A Team" were capable. Even the nude car club of America got a review with hilarious pictures of sad old gents and strategically placed wiper blades and petrol caps, you really just don't know what to expect! Of course there are the required features of any motoring publication including Long-term tests where the Top Gear team drive a Mondeo for 6 moths free of charge and see what bits fall off. This could be so useful but what's the point of driving a brand new car, perhaps it would be far more enlightening to drive a 3 year old Ford to give punters information that can't be gleamed from a test drive or salesman's pitch. Then it's time to wade through the customary letters section and into the last third of the magazine, which comprises wholly of lists and adverts. The lists give basic information on all UK available new cars and are somewhat part and parcel of the motoring magazine formula. Top Gear also includes a list of cars by price, which occupies some eleven pages, surely this is something best left to the Internet or specific price guides? It even appears that Top Gear know it's dull as they have tried to live it up with a guy called Data Dad. Oh dear I suppose it couldn't all be perfect could it? Yep data dad is asked questions like "if you take all new cars on sale in the UK and divide their BHP by their in litres and then multiply and then wor
k out the average, what car comes closest to the average". If you really want the answer to this then maybe you'll enjoy data dad's ramblings! Sadly I don't but in the interests of equality if you would like to have a stab at the answer put it in my comments section we'll all have a giggle. Apart from dear old data dad my only other bugbear with Top Gear magazine is the adverts. Yes they are all very sexy and glossy and even occasionally informative but do we really need so many of them? Between each section there is normally 3 double pages worth of manufacturer generated gibberish. I know the magazine has to be financed but I'd love to know how much more the £3.40 cover price would have to increase to reduce the frequency of the ads. So we finally reach the end of the magazine and yes once again Mr I have an A level in smart wording has chosen "leftovers" for the last page which contains items that were just too short or meaningless to go anywhere else. There we have it Top Gear magazine, it's not really related to the TV programme apart from the odd columnist (and I mean odd!) but that is more of a plus point, for it gives the publication free reign to comment on and review all sorts of motoring oddities. Priced at £3.40 and available at just about every newsagent in the land a monthly dose of Top Gear magazine is almost and I stress almost everything I want form a motoring magazine. Now where did I put that copy of Razzle?............. ©Lordpercy 2001 www.topgear.com Subscriptions 01795 414744 @ £39.60 per annum Published by BBC magazines a division of BBC Worldwide
I started buying top gear about 3 years ago when I noticed it being advertised on the show. It has the best cars reviewed as well as futuristic cars made by mercedes and jaguar just as prototypes. Thge writers know their stuff and communicate in language a novice like me can understand. They often sneek in little jokes just to please the reader, but always in good taste unlike the likes of MAX power and Fast Car, with half naked women sprawled over cars. I will continue to buy this magazine as long as the reviews are as good as they are just now.
Top Gear car show I used to hate watching this but my Dad and brother used to be glued to the TV, so after years of not watching it or refusing to watch it. I love the programme, maybe because I am a driver myself and understand the buzz you get when you are behind the wheel of a good car. It reviews cars and often gives you good advice on how to buy cars and which ones. The cars in each sector are so diverse and the competition so great that you need a few tips, so reviewing the cars is an excellent tip guide. Not that at the present moment I could afford any one the beautiful cars they show on the programme. It has some top presenters although Jeremy Clarkson left they still have an abundance of talent with Tiff Needell, Quentin Wilson, Andy Wilmall and the first feminine presenter Vicki Butler Henderson, yes her name is as posh as it sounds. A brilliant presenter, her speech may be eloquent but her reviews are excellent. I am sure the boys get jealous when a female drives a Ferrari or a Porsche. I have learned a few good things from watching Top Gear, yesterday night they showed tips on how to save fuel and do more miles to the gallon. Did you know by having the windows open and revving the engine you waste fuel and by changing gears unnecessary. Well you do now. A great programme it may only come on for half an hour but they get through heaps of cars and items. A new programme on channel 4 has started called ‘Driven’ but I still regard Top Gear the original and the best. It comes on Thursday’s 8.30pm on BBC 2 well worth watching. Even you females you will like me after a while.
I read just a few of these magazines and I'm afraid I'm not that big a fan. As a comparison, I think Car is much better in terms of the articles it offers, it seems to have morenews of interest to me and less wasting of paper on daft events that I didn't want to watch on TopGear, the program, never mind sit down and read! Thankfully it still has Jeremy Clarkson as one of the columnists. While he may not be enough to make the magazine worth buying instead of some other publication, he does make for at least one sweet-spot in the magzine, something to look forward to. I might have sounded a bit harsh. They are still good magazines and in the absence of any other I would gladly buy one of these than buy nothing, it's just that I always can!
covers lots of areas, whatever types of cars you are interested in buying, it'll have a review of it. to tell you what is good about it, and what is bad about it. at the back of the magazine, it tells you all about all the current models, price, fuel consumption etc. it even has the insurance group written out for you. to help you and advise you what you can afford to buy, remember, it is not only the main price, you need to add insurance, and also the fuel.
Top Gear is at the top of the pile as far as practical car magazines go. Essentially an extension of the BBC programme it has plenty of articles written by your favourite presenters. Coming in at around three quid it is reasonably priced. You may need help carrying it home! The magazine is often ¾” thick, but you rarely find filler articles. The extra weight is made up by a significant proportion of advertising, which is a good thing – honest. The extra advertising revenue keeps the price down and shows that the industry rates the magazine. The focus is very much on cars and whilst you do find a motorcycle article here and there you can tell that the editors are passionate about four rather than two wheels. There is motor sport coverage, but again, nothing to get excited about. Where Top Gear does well is in independent testing of new and used vehicles, along with methods of buying and financing your car. This is a sensible magazine for people with cars and mortgages! Each issue comes with a comprehensive guide to new car prices and specifications along with a guide to what you can expect to get as a trade in price for your used car. This magazine is always on my shopping list when I travel to Detroit as I take copies for friends at all big three companies who pass it around like a playground copy of Playboy. If you don’t breathe petrol then you won’t want a subscription, but if you do drive a car make sure you pick up the annual JD Power survey issue. This is the most comprehensive drivers eye view of what it is like to own a car over a period of time. Pick up the JD Power issue, and two other issues before you even THINK of buying a new car.
I have been buying the mag for about a year now, and I have too say that i am very pleased with the articles and much more, take for example when watching the TV program "Top Gear" its always nice to hear the witty remarks made by all the presenters and also some very good metaphors, the same is in the mag, most of the reviews will make you chuckle at the remarks made. I have found the mag will preview cars much before there release date which gives a few good years to save up for car of my dreams. Very good detailed statistics on all new car at the back of the mag, which is good when you get into a argument with your mate about whose car is fastest and who has the biggest luggage space (the list goes on). Its a shame that the free gifts aren't brand new cars.
Top gear is a very good motoring magazine when top gear is not on tv . The magazine is well put together and a good leisurely read with good buying advice and reccomendations at the back . It is not too technical in its tests but all of the info you need is there . The main problem with this mag is that when the pogram is on tv the mag has almost exactly the same reviews , it has different writers to the tv presenters but the articles are almost exactly the same ,this is very annoying if you buy the magazine after seeing the program as when you read it you tend to get a feeling that you know what the next paragraph will say . The only other problem with top gear is the price it is priced towards the top end of the market and with the amount of adverts inside the price is a little steep . saying that it is very well written and the photographs are very good .it's not over dramatic and unlike some motoring magazines it doesn't have a bias towards ferrari ,porsche etc . I know these cars sell magazines but how many of the readers can afford them . If you are looking for a good quality magazine with good reviews of all types of cars then give it a try ,if you are looking for a boy racer magazine then look elsewhere..
Top Gear is the cosmo of the motoring mag market. It has that trendy, glossy image with big fat photos of scrumptious cars.... mouthwateringly controversial articles from all of the BBC's celebrity motorists...first coverage of all the new cars on the market (however small or inexpensive) and I love it. Beneath all the gloss, Top Gear is an incredibly useful magazine if, like me, you are planning to buy a car. Old or New, they'll give you advice on what to buy, from where, and how to look after it. As I have already mentioned, Top Gear is number one when it comes to reviewing new cars, particularly that flashy number that you are quite blatantly never going to afford. this makes Top gear the magazine for dreamers. Being the equivalent of Cosmo though, does have its downfalls. Top Gear actually has little more info or editorial than other motoring mags but it looks chunky because it is 95 percent advertising....doh. Finally, just a note for new car buyers... Top Gear publishes the results of the annual JD power survey into recent cars; i have found this incredibly helpful in helping to choose my motor. Vrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrooooooooooooooooom.