Top Gear: Series 3, Episode 3

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  • Jeremy road tests the Bentley Continental GT.
  • Richard finds out how to escape from a sinking car.
  • James drives the Subaru Legacy Outback.
  • Jeremy power tests the Saab 9-5 Aero and races it against a BAE Sea Harrier.
  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Rob Brydon.

Episode Guide

Main review: Bentley Continental GT. In the previous series all three presenters were clamouring for the chance to drive it, with it eventually being revealed that Jeremy won out. But he was not impressed. Though the car is good for overtaking (0-60 in 4.8 seconds) and it has an immensely high top speed of 198 mph (319 km/h), he found it to be too much of a Volkswagen and rather cramped inside. It seemed to lack character. Jeremy was forced to conclude it was a good car, but could never call it a great car.

Review: May, acknowledging that the aristocracy will never buy new Bentleys, tries to find out what they would be buying. He reviews the Subaru Legacy Outback, he says it is sturdy, comfortable, sporty and perfect for “aristocrats with children called Reginald”.

Top Gear Survey Results: The results of the Top Gear automotive satisfaction survey are discussed and include the Suburu Outback placing 10th out of 137 cars. First place went to the Jaguar XJ. At the other end of the list was the VW Sharan. Also near the end were the Mercedes M-class, A-class, and C-class.

Information Film: Using a swimming pool, Hammond showed the dangers of being in a car that is sinking in water; he demonstrated that you should open the car doors as soon as it strikes the water, rather than waiting for the car to fill with water and the pressure to equalise.

Star In A Reasonably-Priced Car: Rob Brydon, Top Gear’s first ever Welshman. Jeremy tells Brydon about his love of Marion and Geoff. Brydon came third at 1:48.6.

Cool Wall: Bentley Continental GT is cool as long as David Beckham does not own one. BMW M3 CSL is seriously uncool because of the carbon fibre roof and bought by those with “gear shift aggression strategy”. The Ford GT is uncool. The Porsche 911 GT3 was sub-zero when a woman in the audience told Jeremy he would make the second date. The BMW 5 Series is seriously uncool.

Review: Jeremy reviews and compares the hot Saab 9-5 Aero to an aeroplane. On the track the Saab was powerful but conventional and, glaringly, front-wheel drive. However, the turbocharged engine had midrange potency, and the handling was very safe and predictable, if poor on a track. Thought it went in the cool section of the Cool Wall, Jeremy admitted he could not find out why dentists with Saabs have “that knowing grin” on their faces.

Challenge: The Stig drives the Saab vs a Harrier Jump Jet, the British Aerospace Sea Harrier did the lap in 31.2 seconds and the Saab did it in the slower time of 1:37.9.

Stig Power Laps

Saab 9-5 Aero
1:37.90

BAE Sea Harrier
0:31.20

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

Rob Brydon
1:48.60

Screenshots

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Rating: 7.7/10 (29 votes cast)

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