Written on: 27/07/2006 by jonathan kelly (108 reviews written)
Lots of data
Too many advertisements
I have just bought Top Gear Magazine as when I was in Asda I noticed it came with a free book Clarkson on Cars so it was a bargain. This is also due to my usual motoring magazine Car not being out until tomorrow as well. A quandary overcome; then when a £7.99 book comes with a £3.90 magazine. Only some times do I read Top Gear. My favourite listing magazine on cars was What Car? That has gone all consumer orientated on new cars, boring in other words.
I had spent years with my head buried in What Car? As a teenager dreaming up exotic specifications to the cars of the day as in Ford Escort with a heater and 4 speed gearbox a heated rear window and cigar lighter!
The format of Top Gear and the figures they include pages and pages of advertisements. Then there is a features list on the Clio 197, XKR, E-Type, Mustang, Corvette, Camaro, Z4, Porsche need I say more this is not for everybody next a page list of regular features Koenigsegg CCX, Ducato, Maserati, Audi, and lastly Volvo.
This is what Auto Express readers miss out on and What Car: the high end market. Top Gear magazine is now under the influence of Top Gear the Telly programme on BBC2. It's an institution and Jeremy Clarkson is the master of both.
We start after the letters of one paragraph then a page in the magazine with a list of 80 people whom work for it! More ads then a section called metal the latest offerings form manufacturers a camper van and truck are included for some reason as a Muppet called J Kay has the first caravan for celebrity hair dressers a bit on the London Motor show follows the non event of the year by the look of it. Most of the magazine is full of more advertisements.
After flicking through at least 2 double page adverts comes a section called Faces Clarkson puts his three penny worth in and then James May from the TV show another couple of non entities also get a page each. Then a section about advertising cars 4 pages of it! Then an advertising feature by Renault whom really need, all the advertising they can get all on 10 pages of extra thick paper.
Top Gear then has a section on Audi rebuilding old Nazi racing cars. Then more adverts and pieces by people you have never heard of now we are up to page 90.
Top Gear's next section is on Drives yes driving cars Audi TT 4 pages on it! Then a section on all the American Muscle Cars to celebrate the introduction of 21C versions of all these great muscle cars from the 1960's reborn. Bullets' Mustang the Vanishing Points Challenger a Camaro from what ever Corvette from? This goes up to page 170 with adverts galore and then a bit about boring cars as well.
Next the Lifers section on long term test cars: yawn. A 62 page New Car Guide follows from that all the info worth knowing.
In the world of new models equipment engine performance and price all need to be compared from one model to the next and it is not L, GL, GLS any more it is VVT, CD Ti or VXR.
Lastly 60 Pages of advertisements who then own this magazine it is a cash cow for the BBC all creativity with no criticism. It seems if you want to find out something critical best do it your self. Want some pretty pictures and creativity gone mad this fits the bill. If you want second hand car prices a look at the adverts will have to do because the magazine is not going to tell you anything. A coffee table car magazine on par then with other coffee table fashion magazines like Vogue for instance. What more do you what?
Published by BBC magazines a division of BBC Worldwide