Top Gear: Series 4, Episode 7

  • Jeremy road tests the Mercedes-Benz CL 65 AMG.
  • James & Richard become minicab drivers using a Renault Scenic & Ford C-MAX.
  • Jeremy power tests the Spyker C8 Spyder.
  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Lionel Richie.

Episode Guide

Main review: Clarkson drives the Mercedes-Benz CL 65 AMG. He gets a boyish enthusiasm from its overtaking acceleration – once it actually gets going, as it is bogged down by excessive wheelspin from a standing start (when not restricted by the traction control, the use of which only underscores how overpowered the engine is). However, as it’s limited to 155 mph (250 km/h), looks like any other Mercedes-Benz coupe, and has difficulty putting power down off the line, Jeremy does not recommend it, especially in light of the Aston competition. A half-mile drag race is then undertaken: Mercedes-Benz CL 65 AMG VS Aston Martin DB9 VS Bentley Continental GT. The Merc and Bentley bog down off the line, with the lightweight Aston taking an early lead. However, the Mercedes-Benz eventually regains grip, regains ground and pulls rapidly away, with the Aston remaining solidly ahead of the Bentley. Though it is not the fastest, all three presenters prefer the Aston Martin.

Challenge: Hammond and May pose as minicab drivers to test the Renault Scenic and the Ford C-MAX. Hammond thinks that the tall hatches are a good update, and that having big doors is a useful thing. May agrees lightheartedly, but thinks that the increased price (about £2000) is a ripoff for the slight advantages. Hammond and Clarkson agree after they’ve seen that taller people are still cramped, the boot is still no larger, and it still seats only five.

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Lionel Richie, who breaks a wheel off the Liana. Lap time of 1:50.

Review: A Spyker C8, which the Stig drives to a lap time of 1:27.3. It has a lot of power, but the chassis can’t use it well. But the styling is praised as marvellous by Jeremy. It’s designed “for those who want to look good at 4 mph rather than those who just want to go 400”.

Stig Power Laps

Spyker C8 Spyder

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

Lionel Richie


Rating: 5.6/10. From 5 votes.
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