The first series of the television series Top Gear aired in the United Kingdom on October 20, 2002 and concluded on December 29, 2002, and contained 10 episodes. The series The first series of the television series current format of Top Gear was broadcast in the United Kingdom starting on October 20, 2002, and concluding on December 29, 2002, and contained 10 episodes. The series included presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and Jason Dawe. This was Dawe's only series as a presenter on Top Gear.
|Series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 • Full list|
|1||GFGA001W||Series 1 Episode 1||Brian Klein||20 October 2002|
|Review:||Clarkson reviewed the Citroën Berlingo, which he said was an affordable small car with character and great storage space.He also compared the Pagani Zonda C12 S 7.3 and Lamborghini Murciélago. He loved the Zonda and called it the king of supercars. Clarkson then introduces The Stig, whose sole purpose is to post lap times. The Zonda achieved a 1:23.8 around the track while the Murciélago had a 1:29.0.
Hammond reviewed a Mazda 6, Mazda's attempt at a sports saloon. Hammond and Clarkson agreed the handling was fantastic for a Mazda, but a lack of power and prestige makes it meat for posh German executive cars.
|Challenge:||The Stig had to drive fast enough to be undetected by a speed camera. After attempts in a Honda Civic Type R (129 mph) and a Mercedes CL55 AMG (148 mph), he finally did it at
|Reasonably Priced Car:||Harry Enfield, who sets a very slow lap of 2:01 in the Suzuki Liana.|
|2||GFGA002P||Series 1 Episode 2||Brian Klein||27 October 2002|
|Review:||The Stig tests the Ford Focus RS on the track against its main competition, the Subaru Impreza and the Honda Civic Type R. The Impreza completes the track in 1:36.8 and the Civic finishes in 1:36.5. Surprisingly the Focus RS beats the competition soundly in a time of 1:32.2. Clarkson was initially stunned, because the straight-line speed of the RS is tepid compared to the Impreza. He then drives the RS on the empty roads of Wales and says that it "handles like it's in a cartoon." Aside from a highly positive review, calling it a "budget supercar," Clarkson claims that the differential and torque steer make the car uncontrollable on bumpy B-roads.Noble M12 GTO. Despite the car's wide turning radius, wonky brake lights, and windows that do not completely go down Clarkson loves the car for its amazing handling, great power and most notably its complete lack of understeer. The Stig puts the Noble around a very wet Top Gear track in 1:33.1.
Jeremy states his belief that all good RS Fords bring "power to the people." Hammond agrees, but he doesn't like all RSs. He takes a look back on his childhood dream car, the 1977 Ford Escort RS1800.
|Challenge:||Hammond wanted to see how many motorcycles a double-decker bus can jump over. It managed to cross three bikes and crashed into the eleven others.|
|Reasonably Priced Car:||Jay Kay, lead singer of the band Jamiroquai, admits to being a passionate petrolhead. He is good at guessing which car is shown by seeing only small bits, and then completes his lap around the track in 1:48.1, a record which stands for many episodes.|
|3||GFGA003J||Series 1 Episode 3||Brian Klein||3 November 2002|
|Guest:||Ross Kemp, Peter Horbury, Ian Callum|
|Review:||Jeremy looks at the new Mini and admits it handles well and is styled nicely. However, it is very big compared to the old one, and uses its space inefficiently. He then looks at the funky Toyota Yaris Verso, a much more practical car which he prefers.A general discussion of the "Best Looking Car of all Time." Influential designer Peter Horbury backed the Porsche 928. Hammond backed the Citroën DS, which Clarkson thought was too uptight and stately. He mentioned the Lamborghini Miura SV but chose the Aston Martin DB7 (specifically the Vantage) and brought in its designer, Ian Callum.|
|Challenge:||Grannies attempt to do donuts in a Honda S2000. Rally car driver and stuntman Russ Swift was on hand to teach the grannies how to perform the donut.|
|Reasonably Priced Car:||Ross Kemp, who sets a time of 1:54. (Wet track).|
|Power Lap:||The Westfield XTR2 took on the Zonda around the track, the XTR2 beat the Zonda by 1.2 seconds (1.22.6). Hammond had to round it up to 1:23, but it still beats the Zonda by 0.8 seconds.|
|4||GFGA004D||Series 1 Episode 4||Brian Klein||10 November 2002|
|Guests:||Richard Burns • Steve Coogan|
|Review:||To celebrate the release of Die Another Day a race between two classic Bond cars, Aston Martin Vanquish v Ferrari 575M Maranello (featuring Damon Hill in the 575). Track times: Ferrari 575 1.35.2; Aston Vanquish 1.36.2. The Aston makes the better noise and is more comfortable, but the Ferrari is faster, lighter, more fun to drive, will hold its value better, and has a much better gearbox.Dawe reviewed the Nissan Skyline, showing stock footage of racing-modified Skylines. Dawe calls the car a PlayStation on wheels, noting the extensive electronic monitoring and feedback systems that are displayed on a computer screen inside the car. According to Dawe, the Skylines were so dominant in racing circuits that the rules were eventually changed in order to outlaw the car. He presents the R32, R33, and R34 models for comparison, underlining the fact that Skyline production has ended and that the only source for them now is the secondary market. He concludes that the R34 is the best of the breed but recommends the R33 as the best overall value.|
|Challenge:||Hammond judged mid-range 2.0-litre four-door family saloons. After he decided that the Honda Accord was the best compromise, The Stig then took them round the track in the "Mid Range Olympics." On a dry track for all of them, the Jaguar X-Type came in last at 1:46 due to a soggy traction control system, narrowly beaten by the Toyota Avensis and the Renault Laguna at 1:45. The Honda Accord came in the middle at 1:44, which was in turn beaten by the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes C-Class at 1:43. The Ford Mondeo, despite being front-wheel drive and down on power compared to the Germans, came quickest at 1:42 due to its chassis.|
|Reasonably Priced Car:||Coogan sets a time of 1:53.0 in the pouring rain, which is then used as a benchmark wet time for the Liana's lifetime. Clarkson lauds his ability to place characters in appropriate cars, and Coogan exhibits encyclopedic knowledge of Volvo parts and can tell between Porsche 911 models based on door-slamming sounds. Richard Burns also appears and Clarkson demonstrates to him what rallying is really like. He makes him stand outside in the cold waiting for the cars to come past and when a car did come past it sprayed grit in his face.|
|5||GFGA005X||Series 1 Episode 5||Brian Klein||17 November 2002|
|Review:||Mercedes S-Class. After a short history lesson and noting "firsts" that now appear on many family and economical cars (like Anti-lock brakes and airbags), Clarkson fails to test drive the car after it refuses to heed his commands. He then goes for a test drive in an Audi A8 and notes that the Audi is more of a sports car than a luxury car.Dawe looks at used Peugeot 206s. He lauds the car for having character and classlessness, and though he acknowledges that the prices are inflated by too much demand, he still recommends buying them because they will hold this value until again up for sale. Clarkson and Dawe agree that it's the best used car buy of the time.
Hammond goes to Germany to "test drive" a Maybach 62 and gushes over the numerous features of the car. He says that it is better than a Rolls-Royce, but it is the sort of thing that can only be appreciated by those who can afford it. Clarkson then test drives a Bentley Arnage and thrashes the car on the Top Gear track. The Stig takes the luxury car to a time of 1:40.8 (Wet track).
|Challenge:||Make an 'average' car into a 007/Bond car, for less than £300. The result, a Rover 800 incorporating a paintball gun, a bullet-proof tea tray, a passenger ejector seat, and rocket tubes, makes a parody of many of the associated mods that grace many James Bond cars. It was built and introduced by Edd China.|
|Reasonably Priced Car||Jonathan Ross while driving an extremely wet track, he is penalized two seconds for cutting over the Hammerhead corner and receives a time of 1:57.|
|6||GFGA006R||Series 1 Episode 6||Brian Klein||24 November 2002|
|Review:||Clarkson drives the Renault Vel Satis through Swindon. He finds the ride to be too pillowy to cope with bad roads, and its looks to be too wacky for its target audience of executive car buyers. However, like the Renault Avantime, Clarkson loves the bold design.Hammond drives the BMW Z4 in Portugal. He admits to not liking the wet BMW Z3, but finds the Z4 to be excellent. Clarkson disagrees, but allows it to be put onto the Cool Wall as a cool car.
Dawe looks at used Volkswagen Golfs. He laments briefly at the poor performance of petrol Golfs in the past two generations, and recommends the torque of the diesel versions to those who want performance. Dawe then looks at a metallic pea-green Golf with a beige interior and black dashboard, remarking that a poor choice of colour and trim can make a secondhand Golf worth £500 less than if it was in a proper colour scheme. Clarkson drives his personal Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG around the track very carefully. Hammond notes to Clarkson that, according to a UK gay-oriented website, the SL55 AMG is considered to be the 4th gayest car. The car is then stolen by Hammond and given to the Stig for a lap. The Stig posts a time of 1:33.0 (Very Wet Track)
|Challenge:||Dawe is with the "Grannies" while they learn how to handbrake park in a Mini.|
|Reasonably Priced Car:||Tara Palmer-Tomkinson is reminded of her previous appearance on Top Gear and is grilled on her driving habits. Time of 1:54 is posted. (Wet track)|
|Power Lap:||Honda are trying to decide whether or not to sell the NSX in Britain. The Stig takes the car on a wet track. He posts a time of 1:33.7.|
|7||GFGA007K||Series 1 Episode 7||Brian Klein||1 December 2002|
|Review:||Hammond drives a Saab 9-3, following the government guidelines for "commuting in an eco-friendly manner". He finds it to be well-equipped and a bit of a bargain compared to German orthodoxy, but not as wacky and interesting as old Saabs.Jason Dawe takes a number of cars to a primary school to get the kids' verdict on coolness. Among them were the Ferrari 360, the Pagani Zonda, the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34, the TVR Tuscan. Their favourite was the Lamborghini Countach, the oldest, dirtiest, least comfortable, and least safe of the cars.
Clarkson drives a Lotus Elise badly, and then gets a lesson in how to do it properly. The Stig drives it round the track and achieves a time of 1.35.6 (Wet track)
|Challenge:||Fastest Faith, Part 1: A search for the "fastest faith" starts, with the contestants being a Catholic Priest, a Rabbi, a Buddhism Lama, an Anglican Priest, a Bishop also from the Church of England, and a follower of the Hare Krishna. Each driver drove a highly tuned Subaru Impreza WRX STI. The car was spun by the rabbi and the Hare Krishna, giving them 5th and 6th place respectively. Fourth place went to the Lama, third to the bishop. The Catholic priest was beaten by the Anglican priest for the best time.|
|Reasonably Priced Car||Rick Parfitt sets a time of 1:52.|
|8||GFGA008E||Series 1 Episode 8||Brian Klein||8 December 2002|
|Review:||Jeremy road tests the Audi RS6 and the Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG.The track times were: The Audi RS6 did 1.33.0 and the Mercedes E55 completed the track in 1:35:5(both wet tracks, considerably wetter for the Mercedes)
Jeremy tests the Maserati Coupé on the track. He finds it to be a confused and unsatisfying alternative, somewhere between the performance of a Ferrari and the comfort of a Jaguar. The Stig achieves an underwhelming time of 1.38.0 (Very wet track) Hammond looks at superminis, choosing the midrange 1.4 litre of each type. He finds the Ford Fiesta to be rather good to drive and quite practical, but extremely boring both inside and out. The Citroën C3 is interesting, but slow and forgettable to drive. The Honda Jazz is easily the most practical and spacious, quite like a mini MPV, as well as intelligently proportioned inside. But the Jazz has all the downsides of an MPV, such as noise reverberation and poor drive feel. The Nissan Micra is less practical, but offers a huge amount of technology and options for its price. Hammond is finally satisfied by the MG ZR, which feels special to drive even in the midrange non-hot version.
|Challenge:||White-Van Men raced a Ford World Rally Transit van around the Top Gear track. They all had similar times but one; Clarkson's preferred man got lost and turned up a time of two minutes behind the others.
A Lada Riva is modified by Lotus. After driving it on the track, the Lotus test driver calls it "easily the worst car I've ever driven." They take out the shoddy Russian
|Reasonably Priced Car:||Michael Gambon's driving style causes him to nearly roll the car in the last corner of the test track. As a result, Clarkson renames the corner "Gambon's Corner". He set a time of 1:55 in the wet.|
|9||GFGA009Y||Series 1 Episode 9||Brian Klein||22 December 2002|
|Review:||Renault Espace, Volvo Estate XC90, Subaru Forester 2.0 XT, VW Golf R32, Ford Focus RS, Honda Civic Type R, and SEAT Leon Cupra R. The Stig drives the Focus RS to a lap time of 1:32.2. He then drives the R32 to 1:33.3. As shown in Episode 2, the Ford is again quickest on the track, but Clarkson prefers the Golf because it is easier to control.|
|Challenge:||The Stig raced around the track against an aerobatic plane. The Radical beats the Westfield by a time of 1:19.1.
If you stripped the body panels and all non-essential equipment off a car, how much faster could you make it go? A stripped-down Jaguar XJS cut its 0-60 time by 1.2 seconds.
|Reasonably Priced Car:||Gordon Ramsay, who set a time of 1:50.|
|10||GFGA010S||Series 1 Episode 10||Brian Klein||29 December 2002|
|Top Gear Awards 2002:||
Jay Kay appears to accept an award for being the fastest guest of the series.
|Review:||Off roaders: Toyota Land Cruiser, BMW X5, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Range Rover. Clarkson ridicules the poor usability of the BMW X5 as an off-road vehicle. He cites the Jeep, Land Cruiser, and Range Rover as more or less equally good off-road, but overwhelmingly prefers the pricey Range Rover because of its excellent interior, indestructability, and "sheer Range-Roveriness".Clarkson looks back at the Lotus Esprit fondly, after almost a quarter-century of production. Clarkson's only gripe is the awkward gearbox, which is gotten from an old Renault 25, and the limited quantities of which will eventually kill the Esprit off. Clarkson tested the Esprit V8, which posted a time of 1:32:5
Hammond also reviews a TVR 350C, which sets a time of 1:28. Clarkson also reviews the AS One, and the Audi TT MTM Bimoto. The Audi MTM Bimoto set a time of 1:28:6, whereas the As One posted a 1:29:4 on the track. Dawe looks at a number of used car bargains, including a Citroën AX, a Nissan Primera, and a £100 Nissan 300C. In his final presented segment, Dawe recommends to be brave and go for old, essentally disposable cars with potential reliability issues to save money.
|Challenge:||Fastest Faith, Part 2: The search for the "fastest faith" continued with a Muslim Imam, a Rastafarian, a Druid, and a Seventh-day Adventist. The Adventist pastor was unable to fit in the car, giving him 4th place. The Rastafarian, who was jokingly warned to "keep off the grass", turned in the top time, beating the druid and the imam, who got 3rd and 2nd respectively. The Rastafarian also beat the Anglican priest from the earlier challenge, earning the title of "fastest faith" decisively.|