The ten best Top Gear episodes

Yesterday we asked you to help us come up with the best episode to bring a member of the uninitiated, unwashed and unknowing masses into the cult behind UK motoring show Top Gear. Here's your ten best choices.

Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our Jalopnik summer feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


10.) The Ariel Atom

Season: 5

Episode: 9

Suggested by: Legal Spiegel Eagle

Why It's Awesome: Jeremy Clarkson's melting, deformed face flapping about in the wind should be enough to get someone new hooked on the show. If for whatever reason it isn't, move along down the list.

Where to watch it: Netflix


9.) Jeremy Drives the World's Smallest Car

Season: 10

Episode: 3

Suggested by: JackTrade

Why It's Awesome: This episode is a classic if only for the shot of Clarkson in the tiny Peel P50 trundling along behind the BBC News set. Everything about his trip to BBC HQ is ridiculous, from getting the car in and out of the elevator to the board meeting to just watching Clarkson fold himself into the thing. The rest of the episode is brilliant too: there's a Rolls-Royce Drophead, Lamborghini Reventon, Ferrari 599 GTB and a Bugatti Veyron racing a fighter jet. This is everything we love about Top Gear folded into one, hour-long block.

Where to watch it: iTunes


8.) Southern United States Road Trip

Season: 9

Episode: 3

Suggested by: Kuang

Why It's Awesome: This is the one I used to get all of my friends hooked. The drama, the shenanigans, the camaraderie — it's all classic Top Gear, and it takes place on U.S. soil! (For better or for worse.) The first time I saw this episode, I was on the edge of my seat. They were going to get shot! BBQ'ed! Made to squeal like a piggy! Of course though, by the end of the boys' journey through the deep South, they managed to wrap it all up in a nice little bow and send everyone home happy. This is an excellent episode.

Where to watch it: iTunes


7.) Amphibious Cars

Season: 8

Episode: 3

Suggested by: uncaged102

Why It's Awesome: Richard Hammond's panicked squeals as his Volks-boat sinks to the bottom of the lake are hilarious. James May trying to sail a Triumph is sort of sad, but incredibly entertaining. And Clarkson being Clarkson is always good for a laugh. After you've watched this one, go on to season 10, episode two and watch the guys try to get their vehicles across the English Channel.

Where to watch it: iTunes


6.) Mercedes-Benz Living Room

Season: 8

Episode: 4

Suggested by: noursegod

Why It's Awesome: In this episode, Clarkson takes an innocent Mercedes-Benz S Class and guts it, turning the interior into a proper British living room. He adds a fireplace, concrete floor and comfy chairs. A friend or family member who enjoys home remodeling shows on HGTV will indeed get a kick out of this one. Keep them around to watch Richard race a skydiver in a Porsche Cayenne S, and Ewan McGregor flog a Reasonably Priced Car.

Where to watch it: iTunes


5.) Tom Cruise & Cameron Diaz

Season: 15

Episode: 5

Suggested by: Nigel

Why It's Awesome: If the Star In a Reasonably Priced Car segment isn't enough to reel in fresh eyes, the incredibly moving tribute to Ayrton Senna will. If your car-indifferent friend is a robot incapable of feeling human emotion, bolt him to a chair and pry his eyes open wide enough to watch Richard race two snowmobiles down a hill behind the wheel of the Volkswagen Dakar Touareg. If he still isn't interested, find a new friend.

Where to watch it: Amazon Video-on-Demand


4.) The Cheap Lorry Challenge

Season: 12

Episode: 1

Suggested by: Desu-San-Desu

Why It's Awesome: Desu-San-Desu did such a great job highlighting the best bits of this episode, we're gonna go with it. It's the start of a new season, so there's the preview montage that's full of excitement and action. Then, Porsches and Lamborghinis! Spinning! Then trucks! Doing ridiculous things! On fire! Season 12 is regarded among the Top Gear cognoscenti to be one of the best, and its opener is no disappointment.

Where to watch it: iTunes


3.) The Ford Fiesta Test

Season: 12

Episode: 6

Suggested by: crossdrilled

Why It's Awesome: My mom is a huge Blues Brothers fan. Every time it's on TV, she's gotta drop whatever she's doing, sit down, and watch it. So when she saw a little green Fiesta getting chased through a mall by a big black Corvette, she was pretty much hooked. And if an hour-long show can get my mom to stop in her tracks and watch an itty bitty Ford embarrass a big, mean Chevy, then it's good. The rest of the episode is no slouch either: James and Jeremy examine Communist cars, and Richard's in a Caterham. What could be better than that?

Where to watch it: iTunes


2.) The Vietnam Special

Season: 12

Episode: 8

Suggested by: Das Wauto

Why It's Awesome: This one's less about the cars (or in this case, motorcycles and scooters) and more about the guys themselves. It plays out like a buddy roadtrip movie, and not the hour of wacky automotive-themed stunts we've come to know and love. That makes it especially easy for the Top Gear neophyte to jump in and enjoy.

Where to watch it: iTunes


1.) Toyota Hilux

Season: 3

Episode: 5

Suggested by: isopropylalcoholic

Why It's Awesome: How hard could it be to kill a Toyota pickup truck? Jeremy takes on this seemingly simple task over a two-part episode in season 3. He drives it into trees, down stairs — even backwards into the ocean. Still, the car keeps on trucking, even as the stunts get more and more ridiculous. If the Top Gear guys will go through this much trouble for just one joke, how much crazier could they get for the rest of the series? Without a doubt, your newly Top Gear-addicted friend will stick around to find out.

Where to watch it: Netflix